The prelims are over, so it’s time for the main card and not one, but two title fights…
Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga
Moraga comes out aggressively, hits Benavidez with a head kick, but gets tagged with a right. Fight spills to the mat and Benavidez is on top. The latter is hunting for a choke. Wow. Benavidez moved for the guillotine but Moraga spins out. They scramble but Moraga winds up on the floor again. Moraga gets back to his feet. Both men land knees from the clinch. Moraga picks Benavidez up and throws him to the mat, but the latter scrambles out. Crazy. Now Benavidez returns the favor.
Round 2: Moraga throws a body kick but Benavidez counters with punches. Benavidez flurries in nicely. Moraga plants a hard leg kick. Both guys wing hooks. Moraga punishes Benavidez with a cracking body kick. Benavidez clinches up and Moraga is cut on the top of his head. Possibly from a headbutt. Benavidez gets the takedown. Benavidez is working from sidemount as some boos start. Round ends.
Round 3: Both men are chucking big, big shots. Moraga knows he needs a finish. Action slows after the heated exchanges. Benavidez charges in and gets the takedown. Benavidez lands some elbows from sidemount. Moraga establishes guard. Benavidez continues to work from the top. Moraga is covered in blood. Round ends.
Joseph Benavidez def. John Moraga via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Browne
Browne is keeping busy with the jab. Browne comes in but gets blasted with a counter right. Wow. Browne stumbles back but weathers the ensuing storm. Browne fires a big right that’s blocked. Browne lands a left hook. Arlovski wobbles Browne with a back fist and follows up with more shots. Browne seems to be relatively okay. Arlovski flurries in nicely. Both guys chuck huge bombs and again, Browne’s stunned. Arlovski gets floored by a huge counter right. This is crazy! Arlovski gets back up and resumes his attacks. A booming right from Arlovski crumples Browne into the cage. The ref jumps in. That was unbelievable.
Joe Rogan just relayed that Arlovski almost pulled out of the fight this week due to a calf injury. The former teammates share a nice moment after the bout.
Andrei Arlovski def. Travis Browne via TKO (punches) R1, 4:41
Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi
Cerrone fires a kick to start things off. Follows up with a big leg kick. Another hard leg kick from “Cowboy”. Makdessi threatens with a left. Makdessi eats a head kick but fires back. Makdessi is getting eaten up by these kicks. Makdessi comes in with a combo. Makdessi continues to jab Cerrone to the body. Makdessi is starting to find the mark more often. Cerrone with a nice combo. Makdessi spins a kick to the body but takes another leg kick. Round ends.
Round 2: Makdessi comes out aggressively but takes a counter. Cerrone misses with a head kick. Cerrone comes in with a nice knee to the head. Makdessi is cut. Makdessi takes another leg kick. Makdessi lands a left but Cerrone flurries back. Cerrone eats a left. Cerrone plants another knee. Makdessi continues to hit Cerrone with his left as he comes in. Cerrone flurries in and clips Makdessi with a nice elbow. Wow. Cerrone blasts Makdessi with a kick. Makdessi immediately waves off the fight. Sounds like the latter is saying his jaw is broken. Gutsy performance from Makdessi.
Donald Cerrone def. John Makdessi via TKO (head kick) R2, 4:44
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
Finally, after three postponements, this fight is going to go down. Weidman fires a kick to start things off. Weidman throws a right that misses. Weidman attempts a takedown and slips. Crazy, crazy scramble. Belfort starts blasting in punches that appear to stun Weidman. Champ is cut by his left eye but gets the takedown. Weidman lands several big shots from above. A follow up elbow from Weidman. Belfort gives up his back. Belfort is taking a ton of shots from above. Wow. This is going to be over. Fight’s done. What a crazy fight.
Chris Weidman def. Vitor Belfort via TKO (punches) R1, 2:53
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Johnson wings a hard leg kick to begin the fight. Johnson takes an eye poke but says he’s okay. Wow. Johnson drops Cormier with an overhand right but the latter gets up. Johnson overreaches and Cormier takes his back. Johnson breaks free but is pushed up against the cage. Cormier trips Johnson to the floor but he’s already back to one knee. Johnson gets back to his feet. Johnson fires a headkick and then follows up with a right. “Rumble” is firing huge shots. Cormier looks for a takedown but can’t get it. Cormier comes in and clinches. They both chuck big shots after the break. Round ends.
Round 2: Johnson comes out firing kicks and at least one, grazes Cormier in the head. Wow. Cormier closes the distance, picks Johnson up, and takes him to the mat. Cormier starts to land some shots from above. Cormier is looking for a Kimura but gives up on it. Nope. “DC” grabs it again. Cormier is alternating between punches and going for the Kimura. Cormier lets go. Cormier is dominating from the top. Now Johnson creates some space but Cormier is still on top. Cormier lands some elbows and Johnson is cut. Massive round for “DC”.
Round 3: Cormier throws a leg kick. Johnson counters hard but slips. Now Johnson is looking for a takedown. Wow. Johnson gets it but Cormier gets back up. Now Johnson is up against the cage. Cormier is looking for a single leg but eats a right hand. Action spills to the mat and Cormier is working from his back. Cormier is hunting for the RNC. Johnson taps. Cormier is the new light-heavyweight champion.
Cormier proceeds to tell Jon Jones that he’s waiting for the now former champ.
Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via submission (rear-naked-choke) R3, 2:39