The action returns to the Octagon later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold …
The action returns to the Octagon later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold when he takes on the formidable Yoel Romero in the main event. In addition to the headlining act, heavyweight knockout sensation Mark Hunt will look to dispose of rising contender Curtis Blaydes.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 221’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 221 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya
Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski
The only featherweight bout on the card saw rising Australian contender Volkanovski (17-1) put his 13-fight win streak on the line against undefeated Canadian youngster Kennedy (11-1). The longer Kennedy opened up from range before sneaking in for a takedown attempt. Volkanovski defended nicely before landing his own takedown via sweep. Volkanovski started to score short elbows and punches down the pipe as Kennedy struggled to cover up. Kennedy didn’t offer much outside of a few transitions with his legs and his lack of defense really started to show on his face. In Round 2, Volkanovski quickly secured another takedown along the cage. Kennedy returned to his feet before eating a hard knee inside by Volkanovski. The Canadian tried again to grab a leg and take Volkanovski down, but Volkanovski remained heavy, switched his stance, and ended up in top control. From there, “The Great” blasted Kennedy with thudding body shots that went unanswered. Volkanovski followed that up with nasty elbows to the side of the head as the points continued to rack up. Kennedy tried to defend in turn, but the pressure was too much. Volkanovski would earn the second-round TKO finish with seconds left in the round.
Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen
In the opening FS1 preliminary bout, ranked flyweight contenders Formiga (21-5) and Nguyen (18-7) locked horns in a crucial 125-pound matchup. Nguyen opened up with a flurry that back the Brazilian against the cage. Formiga fought the hands well and landed a counter punch off the break. Formiga then caught Nguyen with a nasty counter right hand as Nguyen rushed inside yet again. The Brazilian tripped Nguyen and landed in side control. Formiga quickly and effortlessly moved over into full mount. From there, the grappling expert landed hard ground-and-pound before the first bell sounded. In Round 2, Formiga suffered a cut on his forehead during an early exchange that started to drip down his face. The Brazilian shook it off and landed a nice spinning kick to the body. As Nguyen swung a looping hook, Formiga quickly changed levels and dragged the rising contender to the canvas, quickly passing to half guard. Nguyen was able to get back to his feet, which is a win in its own right. Nguyen followed that up some good strikes on the feet, but unfortunately suffered an eye poke towards the end of the frame. In the third round, Nguyen landed some short punches inside, including an uppercut that stung Formiga. Out of nowhere, Formiga blasted Nguyen with a devastating spinning back fist that dropped Nguyen in his tracks. Formiga jumped on Nguyen’s back and quickly sunk in the late rear-naked choke finish.
Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota
UFC veteran Pearson (20-14, 1 NC) headlined the Fight Pass portion of the event and tried to stop a four-fight losing streak when he took on Japanese veteran Hirota (18-9-2). Pearson opened up with a nice body kick before sticking Hirota with a stiff jab. “Real Deal” then caught Hirota with a nice counter left inside. Hirota kept his hands low with confidence but Pearson started to slip his shots and scored good points. In Round 2, Pearson continued to find a home for his counter left inside, although Hirota was able to score damage to the Englishman’s body and lead leg. Hirota would add to his efforts with a nice jab, but Pearson landed the more powerful punches in most exchanges. Pearson kept the pressure going with quick lefts coming in and impeccable shot selection. Hirota returned favor with a huge right hand that buckled Pearson and opened a cut. In Round 3, Pearson landed a nice head-body combination inside. Hirota came back with more lead leg kicks, but Pearson kept busy by sticking his left uppercut on the counter. Both men started to throw with more power with under 30 seconds remaining, but nothing significant landed for either lightweight. In the end, it was Pearson who did enough on the judges’ scorecards to walk away with the unanimous decision win.
Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez
In the lone bantamweight matchup of the evening, Team Alpha Male standout Ishihara (10-5-2) aimed to capture his fourth Octagon victory when he met wily 27-year-old Mexican fighter Quinonez (7-2). Quinonez opened up with a few low leg kicks before securing a brief takedown. Ishihara was pinned against the cage but defended nicely to limit damage. That was until Quinonez took Ishihara’s back and secured a tight body triangle. Ishihara broke the lock and got back to his feet. From there, Ishihara was finally able to land some offense in the clinch before tripping Quinonez to the canvas. He also landed a flush left hook before the first bell. In Round 2, Ishihara came up high with a head kick. Quinonez responded with a whipping front leg kick. Ishihara decided to close the distance and landed a nice takedown along the cage. Quinonez came back with more leg kicks on the feet, but it was Ishihara who led the way with pace and persistence. Ishihara then landed a big counter left that dropped Quinonez before the end of the round. The third frame saw Quinonez land a nice right hand over the top. Ishihara offered a lot of feints and remained mobile before and after throwing strikes. Quinonez was able to land a partial head kick before blocking a Ishihara takedown attempt. Quinonez opened up a little more with his hands down the stretch and was able to score some valuable points. Fortunately for Quinonez, his efforts scored him a unanimous decision win.
Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe
The opening bout of the evening saw New Zealand lightweight Jumeau (13-4) take on undefeated Japanese prospect Abe (6-1). Jumeau opened up with a nice one-two down the pipe, as Abe immediately started to leave his hands down by his hip. Jumeau came back with a big overhand right before catching Abe with a nice left hook. Abe was able to land a short right after Jumeau caught his leg from a kick. The Japanese striker then piled on more right hands along the cage as Jumeau covered up. Abe then dropped Jumeau with a right counter inside, but the New Zealand native stayed alive. In Round 2, Jumeau came out quickly to secure a takedown, although Abe got right back up. Jumeau landed a painful body kick. Abe was waiting for his counter shots to land, but Jumeau showed solid head movement inside to avoid most of the attacks. The third and final frame saw Jumeau continue his comeback on the feet. Abe tried to counter when the opportunity presented itself, but he kept loading up on his shots. Jumeau was able to sneak in a slick head kick that caused some swelling over Abe’s right eye. Abe came back with a strike that seemed to be a punch, but the fight was stopped after Jumeau protested it was an eye poke. Jumeau snapped a few body kicks in after the action resumed, following his efforts up with a leg kick that buckled Abe. In the end, it was Jumeau who did enough over the final 10 minutes to walk away with the unanimous decision win.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.