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UFC 213 lost its headline fight just hours before the event, with Amanda Nunes falling ill and thus being unable to defend her women’s bantamweight title on the line against Valentina Shevchenko

Due to the original headline bout having to be scrapped, the original co-main event was bumped up to main event-proper, with Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero doing battle to crown an interim middleweight champion

The five fight main card kicked off in the bantamweight division, with Brazilian Douglas Silva de Andrade(24-1-1NC) taking on American Rob Font(13-2, #15BW), with the latter the betting favourite

Font lived up to the billing as betting favourite, as after a back-and-forth first round in which neither fighter could gain a measurable advantage, Font was able to land numerous elbows, punches and knees on the Brazilian whilst against the fence towards the end of the second round and quickly secured a double-leg takedown against the fence and from there got the guillotine choke in half guard for the submission victory at 4:36

Moving to the lightweight division, veteran Jim Miller(28-9-1NC) took on former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis(19-6) with both looking to rebound from defeats last time out

Miller was the aggressor early, landing multiple inside leg kicks however during the second half of the first round Pettis was able to find his range and began to land his creative kicks in tandem with landing right hands before the round ended

Two minutes into the second round Pettis managed to open a cut on the head of Miller after landing a head-kick which led the Octagon canvas being covered in blood, as the majority of the second round consisted of grappling on the ground, with both fighters exchanging advantage though Pettis got the better of the ground work as the fight moved into the third and final round

The final round was a tentative five minutes as neither fighter could gain a significant advantage however Pettis was firmly in control of the fight as he tried and landed some of his creative, unorthodox kicks on a tired Miller

In the end after going all five rounds and fifteen minutes Pettis got the victory via unanimous decision
The first of two heavyweight bouts on the main card, touted American prospect Curtis Blaydes(6-1-1NC) faced veteran Polish fighter Daniel Omiela?czuk(19-7-1-1NC, #15HW)

The first round was an uneventful one, with no significant action as Blaydes repeatedly tried for the takedown against the fence however Daniel Omiela?czuk did a good job defending as Blaydes was unable to complete any of the five takedowns he tried in the first five minutes

It was more of the same in the second round with little action despite Blaydes again trying for the takedown multiple times with Daniel Omiela?czuk again easily defending the attempts as the fight moved to the final round

The final five minutes followed the pattern of the previous ten with Blaydes attempting takedowns as Daniel Omiela?czuk defended them entirely, though towards the end of the round and fight both fighters showed something of a willingness to exchange strikes however neither could land any significant shots as the fight ended

All three judges gave the bout to Blaydes who scored the unanimous decision win who’s now riding a three fight winning streak

Dutchman Alistair Overeem(42-15-1NC, #3 HW) and Brazilian Fabricio Werdum(21-6-1, #1HW completed their trilogy of fights in the co-main event, as both eyed the chance to earn a heavyweight championship fight next time out

A round with little action, both fighters were very reluctant to expend too much energy and try anything elaborate, instead the first five minutes was spent in the feeling out process, though Overeem got the better of the limited and brief striking exchanges while Werdum didn’t attempt any takedowns

The second round featured more action, though neither fighter excelled in doing much damage to the other, with Overeem landing a right jab that stunned Werdum however the Brazilian pulled guard immediately and was able to avoid sustaining any damage either potential on the feet or subsequently on the ground

The action picked up significantly mid way through the final round, as Werdum was able to land a left-right straight combo followed up by a knee in the clinch that rocked and dropped Overeem, and after the Dutchman got back to his feet the Brazilian secured a double-leg takedown against the fence and held Overeem there until the round and fight ended

Despite the late domination by Werdum, it was Overeem who got then win via majority decision

A middleweight interim championship bout headlined the main card, with Cuban Yoel Romero(12-1, #1MW) taking on Australia’s Mark Whittaker(19-4, #3MW) with the winner earning the interim title and a shot at champion-proper Michael Bisping next time out to unify the belts

Romero started out aggressive early trying numerous unorthodox kicks, particularly leg kicks, though Whittaker was able to absorb them, though on the second half of the round Romero was able to get a takedown but again Whittaker was able to avoid any damage and get back to his feet quickly

It was more of the same in the second round, with Romero looking for and securing numerous takedowns but without being able to do any damage once on the ground as Whittaker showed a good ability to scramble back to his feet, however the Australian was having problems with movement due to the legs kicks from Romero that landed in the first and second rounds

The pace and action slowed in the third round with neither fighter able to gain the upper hand, with Romero in particular not trying anything especially aggressive, while Whittaker was trying high kicks and punching combos as the round came to an end

The action picked up in the fourth round with Romero attempting and successfully completing a few takedowns, however much like earlier in the fight Whittaker avoided any damage and was able to get back to his feet fairly quickly, while when on their feet Whittaker was the slightly more aggressive fighter despite not being able to land any hugely damaging blows

By the fifth round both fighters were very fatigued, though Romero much more than Whittaker, and the Australian consistently landed front kicks to the body that took their toll on the Cuban, who by just past the half way mark in the final round was bleeding from the top of the head

The last minute-and-a-half of the final round was spent with Whittaker in Romero’s open guard as the Australian landed some hard ground and pound elbows in addition to moving from the open guard to side control

After going all twenty five minutes, all three judges gave the bout to Robert Whittaker who becomes the new interim middleweight champion and will next fight champion Michael Bisping

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh