UFC_Ferguson_Lee

Two title fights headlined UFC 216, as the interim lightweight and flyweight championships were on the line, however a major heavyweight bout scheduled for the event was pulled from the main card shortly before the event began

Heavyweight Derrick Lewis, who was slated to fight Fabricio Werdum on the main card, had to be pulled from the event due to problems with his back, and was replaced by Walt Harris who was set to fight Mark Godbeer on the undercard with Godbeer being pulled entirely from the event and not fighting at all

The five fight main card kicked off in the lightweight division, as Evan Dunham(18-6, #14LW) faced Beneil Dariush(14-3, #12LW)

Dariush dominated early, landing two brutal elbows over the top on the inside whilst against the fence which dropped Dunham, however the American Dunham survived the round though was bloodied as he made it to the second round

Dunham managed to rally somewhat in the second round, scoring a takedown early in the round and continued to pressure Dariush as the round progressed by using his wrestling in tandem with pushing the pace with his striking as the bout moved to the third and final round

The pace slowed in the final round, with both fighters showing signs of fatigue which resulted in sloppy punching exchanges as the bout came to a close

In the end, showing how close the fight was, the bout was judged a majority draw

Focus then shifted to the women’s flyweight division as Brazilian Kalindra Faria(18-5-1) took on Italian Mara Romero Borella(11-4-1NC), with the Brazilian entering the bout as betting favourite

Defying the odds, Borella dominated from the start, as after getting a takedown she landed numerous ground and pound shots and from there she took Faria’s back and got the rear naked choke and submission at 2:54 of the first round
Next up was the makeshift heavyweight fight with American Walt Harris(10-5) taking on Brazilian former divisional champion Fabricio Werdum(21-7-1, #2HW) with Werdum the betting favourite to pick up the win

Proving the gulf in class, Werdum quickly got the take then moved from the back to mount and applied an armbar to get the tap-out win at just 1:05 of the very first round

Challenger Ray Borg(11-2, #3FW) was looking to do what no fighter had done in seven years and not only defeat the first and only flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson(26-2-1) but also take the 125lbs title in the co-main event

Johnson was able to dominate all five rounds, utilising his wrestling to take Borg down and from there used his superior ground grappling to land ground and pound shots whilst also getting the better of the stand-up exchanges and though Borg was a durable opponent that was never close to being finished in the first four rounds, Johnson did manage to finish Borg towards the end of the fifth and final round as after throwing Borg with a German suplex Johnson was amazingly able to jump into an armbar and get the submission win in spectacular fashion at 3:15

In addition to the incredible finish, Johnson also broke the record set by Anderson Silva for most successful title defences with the flyweight champion having defended his title eleven times now

The interim lightweight championship was at stake in the main event, as Tony Ferguson(23-3, #2LW) attempted to defend his title against challenger Kevin Lee(16-2, #7LW) with Ferguson the betting favourite to become the new interim 155lbs champion

Lee was able to dominate the first two-and-a-half rounds via his wrestling and takedowns and was able to keep Ferguson on the ground whilst landing some good, solid ground and pound punches and elbows and was on his way to beating Ferguson and taking the title, however with just over a minute to go in the third round Ferguson, working off his back, was able to first apply an armbar which Lee managed to escape from though moments later Ferguson was able to apply a triangle choke from which Lee could not escape and had to submit to at 4:02

With the victory Ferguson bagged the interim lightweight title and set-up a possible unification bout with champion-proper Conor McGregor, who Ferguson called out during his post-fight interview

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh