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UFC 218 results: Full winners, analysis and reaction from Holloway vs. Aldo 2

UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2 was just as good as advertised, and then some. The main event was a three-round war that ultimately ended with Max Holloway successfully defending his UFC Featherweight Championship with a third-round TKO of José Aldo.

Aldo came out looking great, throwing hard and heavy shots that landed frequently. He avoided Holloway’s best shots and controlled the first and second rounds. But every shot he threw was heavy, and took a lot out of the gas tank. Holloway, meanwhile, can go five rounds no sweat, and he weathered the storm.

Until the third round, when he became the storm. Aldo, despite landing some of his hardest shots, couldn’t seem to hurt Holloway, who eventually swarmed Aldo, bloodied his face and scored a third-round stoppage after a desperate takedown attempt by Aldo.

Holloway has now won 12 consecutive bouts.

In the co-main event, Alistair Overeem took on Francis Ngannou in what was ostensibly a title eliminator. Many overlooked Ngannou, but he put himself on the map fairly quickly with a brutal left hook that knocked Overeem to the mat, unconscious. He had a follow-up shot, but it wasn’t needed as the referee called a stop to the action less than two minutes into the first round.

The main card opened with a thrilling three-round bout between women’s strawweights Tecia Torres and Michelle Waterson. Torres used her overwhelming aggression to make Waterson uncomfortable early, and a dominant third round sealed a unanimous decision victory for the fifth-ranked strawweight in the promotion.

Following that, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje faced off in the lightweight division and it was an exciting one. Gaethje’s damaging leg kicks hurt Alvarez early, and by the end of the third round, Alvarez couldn’t really plant his legs were so damaged. But Gaethje was hurt more, having absorbed a ton of punches to the head and body throughout the first two rounds.

The fight came to an end when Alvarez landed a big knee in the third one, one that caused Gaethje to faceplant before the referee stopped it upon the follow-up blows. In the next bout, Henry Cejudo controlled Sergio Pettis for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision win.

On the preliminary card, there were several finishes worth watching, but the highlight was the welterweight contest between Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira. They battled back and forth for three rounds before Medeiros scored a TKO victory in the final round.

Below is the full play-by-play from the main card as it happened, and below that is a full list of results for Saturday’s card.Max Holloway def. José Aldo via TKO at 4:51 of Round 3

Round 1: Holloway uncorks a big right straight that Aldo steps away from. Aldo is vvery patient, early on at least. He’s not throwing anything, he’s just letting Holloway come forward. Holloway does again, and Aldo moves out of the way of a hook and throws two big winging hooks of his own, both glancing blows. Nice straight punch to the body for Aldo, and a big leg kick. Holloway is taunting Aldo, but not landing anything of his own. Holloway connects with a left jab, and then a right straight. Aldo is throwing heavy shots, but Holloway is keeping out of danger. Left jab from Holloway lands again, and Aldo has some swelling under his right eye. Holloway is throwing his hands up, taunting Aldo, and eats a huge uppercut from Aldo. Holloway shrugs it off like it didn’t hurt, but it was a big shot as the round ends.

Round 2: Hard leg kick from Aldo early in the round. Holloway misses with an overhand right. Aldo moves away from a short combo from Holloway, and connects with a hard left hand to the jaw. Holloway eats it and keeps coming forward, though. Big left to the body from Aldo as a right over the top just glances off from Holloway. Huge right leg kick from Aldo, and Holloway’s leg swings out as a result. Left hook from Aldo. They clinch, and Aldo tosses Holloway off of him. Holloway lands a right cross, but Aldo slips away from the follow-up. Another big leg kick from Aldo. The two stand in the middle and trade some big shots, winging hooks from both fighters. Both eat shots, both land shots. It’s good stuff. Holloway tries a flying knee near the end of the round that glances off. The round comes to an end.

Round 3: Aldo lands a knee to the body and a leg kick early. Holloway is walking him down, but Aldo is keeping out of danger from the diving punches. Aldo lands an elbow as they break from a clinch. The big question is whether Aldo’s gas tank will run out soon. He got tired at this point in the first bout, while Holloway has a fantastic gas tank. They throw some winging hooks again, with Aldo landing the better shots, and Aldo swimming away from most of them. But Aldo is taking big open-mouth breaths halfway through the round. Holloway lands a stiff left jab, then a right one. Holloway lands a big combination, and Aldo does too, but Holloway seems unfazed. Big overhand right from Holloway, who apparently has a chin made of granite because he’s eaten some huge shots and doesn’t look bothered. Aldo is fading. Holloway connects with a huge combo, big body shots and hooks. He pounds away at Aldo’s body, and lands a knee to the head. Aldo is throwing his own shots and they are landing hard, but Holloway is teeing off. Aldo is bloody and almost out of it. He goes for a takedown and Holloway ends up on top. Holloway throws ground and pound and with 10 seconds left, the referee stops the fight!

Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem via KO (punch) at 1:42 of Round 1

Round 1: Overeem comes out looking for the clinch, and ends up with his back to the fence. Nothing happens there for some time and the referee separates the two. Overeem throws a left hand and Ngannou moves out of the way and lands a huge bomb on the chin that immediately knocks Overeem out. It was a huge left hook as Overeem was swinging from the other side. Overeem went out immediately, and ate a huge follow-up before the referee could stop it.

Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Round 1: They spend the first minute shooting from range with nothing big landing, mostly straights and jabs. Pettis lands a nice leg kick, the first significant strike, but he is very quickly taken down by Cejudo. Cejudo ends up in side control with well over three minutes to go. Cejudo tries to transition to mount and Pettis gives up his back, but he’s on his knees so Cejudo can’t get over to flatten him out. Cejudo throws some punches, but little damage is done. Cejudo wants back mount but Pettis is defending well. Cejudo ends up back on top in full guard. He is trying to pass and land strikes, but Pettis is defending well. Still, the round comes to an end without Pettis landing anything outside of an early leg kick.

Round 2: Pettis quickly ends up on his back again in the second round, and Cejudo is once again working a smothering game to try and pass to a more dominant position. Nothing of note happens for a period of minutes, with Cejudo winding up with Pettis’ back, but without the mount. Pettis, again, is defending well, but he has no offense from the bottom. Cejudo doesn’t have much from the top, either, but he’s neutralizing Pettis, a striker, very effectively. Pettis gets back to his feet with a minute to go but Cejudo has him against the fence. Cejudo throws some knees to the shin. The round comes to an end the same way the first did.

Round 3: Pettis stuffs an early takedown attempt, and eats a big leg kick from Cejudo. Pettis throws a slow right straight, and Cejudo goes for a single leg takedown. He gets it, planting Pettis on his back with, again, over three minutes to go. Cejudo gets to side control again, and eventually is forced back to full guard. He’s trying to throw more strikes from the top, but there isn’t anything of note. Pettis eventually walks up the fence and gets back to his feet with a little over a minute to go. Cejudo fakes a takedown, and just misses with a high kick to the body. Pettis misses with a short head kick. He’s afraid of the takedown at this point. Cejudo lands a right straight and Pettis punches air. The fight comes to an end.

Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via TKO (knee) at 3:59 of Round 3

Round 1: The two both take the center of the octagon, Alvarez is on the aggressive early on. He lands multiple big shots to the body and a big leg kick, but he eats a leg kick of his own that does some real damage. Alvarez connects with multiple big body shots early. He lands a nice left hook over the top, and eats a left hook from Gaethje. Alvarez goes for a big kick at the end of the round and ends up on his back, where Gaethje wings some massive hooks, but they’re glancing blows. Alvarez took some big leg kicks in the first round, but should have taken the round.

Round 2: Gaethje comes out on wobbly feet and eats two big straight lefts from Alvarez. Alvarez then goes back to working the body, punishing Gaethje over and over with repeated shots to the body. Gaethje is gassed halfway through this round thanks to the body shots. Alvarez is teeing off and doesn’t have that much to worry about save for the occasional leg kick from Gaethje, which do land and do hurt Alvarez, who has had leg issues in the past. The round comes to an end with Alvarez well in control and Gaethje fairly bloody.

Round 3: Alvarez has some serious damage to his legs, and Gaethje knows it. Gaethje is landing nothing but those leg kicks, and Alvarez goes down to the mat following one of them. He tries to pull guard, but fails. He can’t really plant for his shots, but Gaethje is very gassed, so he’s still got that going for him. Alvarez lands a big knee to the face and Gaethje faceplants. Alvarez holds his hands up in victory, but Herb Dean isn’t sure he’s going to stop the fight. Alvarez throws a couple half-hearted shots and Dean stops the bout.

Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Round 1: Torres comes out swinging as Waterson misses with a left high kick. They throw from range for a few seconds and then grapple, with Waterson securing a takedown and then grabbing onto Torres’ back. Waterson got on her back while standing but eventually loses it and they scramble against the fence. Torres connects with a right straight over the top after they disengage. Waterson lands a nice kick to the body. Torres has a cut underneath her right eye. Torres gets the clinch on Waterson and lands a nice knee to the body, and a short elbow against the fence. Torres keeps up the pressure in the clinch, landing several big short shots. Waterson does connect with a hard left hand to the head as they break up, but they are quickly back against the fence again, with Torres pressing Waterson up against it. Torres is winning on pure aggression, she wings some strong hooks that land big time just as the round ends.

Round 2: Waterson lands a nice right hand over the top and a good knee on top of that. She is trying to be more aggressive, and she definitely needs it. Waterson winds up with a takedown on Torres and has full guard. Waterson gets to half guard, but is fairly inactive on top. She is trying to pass, and very few strikes are being landed. Torres is trying to lock in a kimura from the bottom but Waterson gets out of it. The rest of the round is spent on the ground until the final 10 seconds, when Torres manages to get to her feet. Very little damage was done in the round, but Waterson won it.

Round 3: Waterson has some swelling on her face that seems to be bothering her. Torres throws a high kick in the direction of the swelling, but it glances off. Waterson lands a good right straight over the top that stumbles Torres. They clinch and scramble, with Waterson looking for the takedown. She doesn’t get it, and ends up with her back to the fence. Waterson throws the same right straight over the top three times in a row and she’s telegraphing it big time. Torres comes at her with a left that lands and they scramble against the fence again. Waterson looks tired. Torres lands another shot that sends Waterson to the ground briefly, though it was less a knockdown and more a trip. Torres swarms and gets her back with a little over a minute left. She is hanging from Waterson’s back and eventually flattens her out. Torres starts unloading with punches from the top, and Waterson can only try and defend. Waterson manages to get to her feet, but the fight ends. It should be Torres, two rounds to one.

UFC 218 full fight card results

Main Card

Featherweight: Max Holloway def. José Aldo via TKO at 4:51 of Round 3
Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem via KO (punch) at 1:42 of Round 1
Flyweight: Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via TKO (knee) at 3:59 of Round 3
Women’s Strawweight: Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card

Lightweight: Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira via KO (elbows) at 4:06 of Round 2
Welterweight: Yancy Medeiros def. Alex Oliveira via TKO (punches) at 2:02 of Round 3
Lightweight: David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Women’s Strawweight: Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Cooper def. Angela Magaña via TKO (punches) at 4:34 of Round 2
Welterweight: Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (referee stoppage) at 4:21 of Round 1
Light Heavyweight: Dominick Reyes def. Jeremy Kimball via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:39 of Round 1
Heavyweight: Justin Willis def Alen Crowder via KO (punch) at 2:33 of Round 1

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