The UFC returned to the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last night (Sat. May 12, 2018) for UFC 224 on pay-per-view (PPV).
In the main event of the evening UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes successfully retained her strap in front of her native Brazilian crowd against No. 2-ranked Raquel Pennington.
The co-main event saw top-ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum best Ronaldo Jacare Souza after three hard-fought rounds. With the victory, Gastelum hopes he has done enough to earn a shot at the 185-pound title.
Also on the card Lyoto Machida knocked out Vitor Belfort in spectacular fashion to end his career, and Mackenzie Dern picked up a tremendously impressive win over Amanda Cooper. You can check out our full live coverage of UFC 224 here below:
UFC Fight Pass Exclusive Prelims:
- Welterweight: Warlley Alves def. Sultan Aliev via R2 TKO (doctor stoppage, 5:00)
- Middleweight: Jack Hermansson def. Thales Leites via R3 TKO (punches, 2:10)
- Welterweight: Ramazan Emeev def. Alberto Mina via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Middleweight: Markus Perez def. James Bochnovic via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 4:28)
- Middleweight: Cezar Ferreira def. Karl Robinson via R1 submission (arm-triangle, 4:45)
- Heavyweight: Oleksiy Oliynky def. Junior Albini via R1 submission (ezekiel choke, 1:45)
- Lightweight: Davi Ramos def. Nick Hein via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 4:15)
- Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Sean Strickland via R1 KO (head-kick and punches,
- Women’s bantamweight: (C) Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington
A leg kick from Nunes knocks Pennington off her feet. Nunes has Pennington against the cage and is picking her shots carefully but Pennington fights back to keep her at bay. Another big leg kick takes out Pennington’s front let and now she’s checking them. Pennington catches Nunes with a good 1-2 combo but Nunes is continuing forward.
Nunes lands a hard left hook and Pennington fires back in response. Nunes clinches up for a moment but then separates. Pennington with some nice hooks now that land. A knee to the body lands for Pennington.
A right hand lands again for Pennington but Nunes is still pushing forward and has mad huge Octagon control. Pennington is spending most of her time with her back to the cage. A front kick to the body lands for Pennington but Nunes keeps coming forward. The round comes to an end.
Nunes again with Octagon control early on and is stumbling on her front leg which has been abused by leg kicks. Pennington tries to push forward a bit more now but is backed up against the cage again. More big leg kicks from Nunes but Pennington isn’t backing down as she’s pushing forward now. A few right hands land for Pennington and she also lands some uppercuts in the clinch. Nunes with a kick to Pennington’s body as she’s against the cage.
Pennington gets a brief takedown but Nunes is back up to her feet. Pennington has the back clinch now against the cage. Pennington gets the takedown and is right into side control. Ground-and-pound from Pennington now and Nunes shoots to her feet and eats a right hand as a result. The round comes to an end.
Pennington comes forward with a few jabs. Nunes darts forward to back Pennington back up and Pennington goes for the clinch but is shoved away. Some hooks land for Nunes and Pennington comes inside with hooks as well but doesn’t land much. A right hand lands for Pennington and Nunes lands a leg kick before getting a big takedown into half guard. Pennington gets full guard now. No action and the referee stands them up.
Pennington with some hooks and immediately into a takedown attempt. Nunes defends well against the cage before spinning out. Pennington eats another leg kick and lands a nice few shots of her own. A takedown attempt from Nunes and it’s stuffed. Pennington is in on one of her own now but Nunes gets out of it. A right hand lands for Nunes and she follows up with a knee to the face to end the round.
Pennington comes inside with a nice right hand. Neither woman landing much of anything before Nunes lands a big leg kick followed by a hook. Pennington with a right hand but misses on a takedown. Nunes gets the inside trip and falls right into full guard. Pennington fights back up to her feet and eats some knees from the clinch.
Pennington fires back with a right hand and catches a kick before coming in on a takedown against the cage. Nunes has Pennington against the cage now and lands a few strikes before hitting two big knees. Pennington goes for a takedown but the round comes to an end.
Pennington tells her corner “I’m done” before the round. Her corner talks her into fighting. The pair hug before going at it again. Pennington comes in with a 1-2 but Nunes fires back with the pressure. Pennington again lands a 1-2 but is then taken down by Nunes. Some hard elbows landing for Nunes from full guard. More elbows from Nunes now and the referee warns the pair to work. Nunes smells blood and is pouring on the ground-and-pound as she drenches in blood. Nunes continues her assault and the referee stops it.
Official Result: Amanda Nunes def. Raquel Pennington via R5 TKO (punches, 2:36)
- Middleweight: Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Gastelum stuffs a takedown attempt early but Souza still has him clinched. Souza gets off some shots to Gastelum’s stomach and drops down for the takedown but it’s stuffed. Souza catches one of Gastelum’s legs and goes for the trip, but Gastelum lets off some strikes. Souza drops down and goes for the leg lock.
Souza gets on top position on the ground in side control. Souza into full mount now but Gastelum gets into half guard. Souza back into full mount and gets off some ground-and-pound as well as teasing the arm-triangle. Souza drops down and is going for an armbar now. Gastelum is saved by the horn.
Gastelum gets off some hard shots early on and wobbles Jacare a bit, who is trying hard for the takedown but can’t get it. Souza continuosly fails to take Gastelum down off the clinch before the round comes to an end.
A head kick from Souza and he goes for the takedown. Against the cage now and Souza gets him down by Gastelum gets away and to his feet. Both men are visibly exhausted but Gastelum is staying busy in the striking department. Souza with a few wild hooks that land but Gastelum eats them. Souza going for a takedown at the end of the round here but Gastelum rolls away. Gastelum fires off as many shots as he can before the final horn rings.
Official Result: Kelvin Gastelum def. Ronaldo Souza via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Catchweight (123 pounds): Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Cooper
Dern lands an overhand right to start things off. Cooper comes inside with a combo but doesn’nt land much. A hard body kick lands for Cooper and Dern responds with a big shot that drops Cooper. Dern gets full mount and reigns down ground-and-pound before Cooper gives up her back. A rear-naked choke easily locks in for Dern and Cooper has to tap.
Official Result: Mackenzie Dern def. Amanda Cooper via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 2:27)
- Bantamweight: John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher
Both men exchange leg kicks early on Kelleher lands a nice combination that stumbles Lineker back a bit but he responds with a shot to the body. Lineker stuffs a takedown but eats an nice uppercut. Lineker connects on a wild shot that drops Kelleher and he’s unleashing ground-and-pound now. Lineker comes inside with a nice body shot and connects on the chin to stumble Kelleher against the cage. They clinch up but soon separate before exchanging strikes. The round comes to an end.
Lineker with a nice combination that catches Kelleher’s chin, but now both men are throwing bombs and connecting. Lineker stuffs a takedown and lands a right hand. Lineker is blitzing hard now and wants the knockout. Lineker is still landing some stiff shots as he continues to come inside.
Kelleher almost catches a kick but isn’t able to hang on. Lineker gets the back clinch after Kelleher misses on a spinning attack. They separate and Lineker lands another hard combination. The round comes to an end.
Kelleher shoots in and Lineker locks in a half guard guillotine. Lineker let it go and gets to his feet, but another takedown attempt from Kelleher against the cage now. Lineker powers out and we’re striking again. Lineker is still landing big shots, but he’s slowing down a bit now due to all the recent output. Lineker is teeing off on Kelleher hard against the cage now. He eats the punches and is still in it despite the rowdy crowd. A huge left hand knocks out Kelleher cold and that’s it.
Official Result: John Lineker def. Brian Kelleher via R3 KO (punch, 3:23)
- Middleweight: Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida
Neither man wanting to throw the first shot here. After two minutes Vitor finally comes inside but nothing lands. Machida catches Vitor in the head with a kick but he doesn’t seem fazed by it. Belfort comes inside hard again and connects on a few hooks. Belfort catches a kick to end the round.
Machida lands a front kick to Belfort’s face and knocks him out cold – that’s it.
Official Result: Lyoto Machida def. Vitor Belfort via R2 KO (front kick, 1:00)