John Lineker is a 135-pound wrecking ball, and Michael McDonald was his latest demolition project. In the main event of UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Lineker defeated McDonald via first-round TKO.
McDonald was brave enough to try and trade punches with Lineker, but the Brazilian's shots were too hard, and his chin too sturdy.
A huge right hand dropped McDonald near the cage. He quickly got to his feet and began firing shots, but Lineker kept coming with more heavy punches.
Ultimately, he put McDonald down for good, and referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the bout. Here's the closing sequence. per Fox Sports UFC:
During his post-fight interview, Lineker called out current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz:
Lineker has grabbed some attention with his devastating finishes, but is he really ready for Cruz? He just might get an opportunity to prove it.
El Cucuy and Groovy Put on Gnarly Show
Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson was supposed to fight Michael Chiesa, but an injury forced the latter out of the bout. Lando "Groovy" Vannata stepped in to face Ferguson, and we're glad he did.
Vannata didn't win, but he came really close. He stunned Ferguson twice in the first round. The second time put Ferguson in dire straits. Fox Sports UFC has the sequence:
The first round had a frenetic pace with back-and-forth action. Ferguson's jabs and body kicks did damage, but Vannata's movement, counter right hands, kicks and spinning backfists scored as well.
In the second round, it looked as if Vannata lost a little steam. Ferguson started to employ his jab even more, and he also connected with a powerful Superman punch off the cage.
Vannata made a tactical mistake and left his neck in a comprising position. Ferguson went for the guillotine first, but transitioned to a D'Arce choke. That move led to the win.
Despite it lasting just over a round, this was a great fight. Scott Holtzman, who fought earlier in the evening, admired the action as well:
Here's a look at all of the action.
- Alex Nicholson def. Devin Clark via first-round KO
- Rani Yahya def. Matthew Lopez via third-round submission (head-and-arm choke)
- Scott Holtzman def. Cody Pfister via unanimous decision (30-27x2, 29-28)
- Cortney Casey def. Cristina Stanciu via first-round TKO
- Sam Alvey def. Eric Spicely via first-round submission (guillotine)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (29-28x3)
- Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen via second-round TKO
- Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
- Daniel Omielanczuk def. Alexey Oleinik via majority decision (29-28x2, 28-28)
- Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman via second-round TKO
- Tony Ferguson def. Lando Vannata via second-round submission (D'Arce Choke)
- John Lineker def. Michael McDonald via first-round TKO
Analysis and Highlights
Don't Grapple with Yahya
Matthew Lopez came into his fight with Rani Yahya undefeated, but he left with his first loss. Lopez attempted to match transitions and submission holds with the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert, and that's something almost no one can do successfully.
After a competitive first two rounds, Lopez was gassed coming into the third. Yahya took advantage and finished the rookie with a head-and-arm choke.
An exhausted Yahya talked about his win:
Casey Blasts Stanciu
Cortney Casey came out looking to make a statement. Mission accomplished. She knew Cristina Stanciu may possess a more diverse striking game, so Casey took her down and dominated.
A trip toward the end of the first round led to a full mount and a series of elbows. Stanciu covered up until the referee called an end to the fight.
"Smile'N" Sam Takes over the Fox Prelims
Sam Alvey is known for his smile and striking prowess. Only the first half of those qualities were on full display on Wednesday.
Alvey defeated Eric Spicely with a surprising guillotine. He did use the threat of his strikes to set up the winning maneuver, but it's obvious Alvey has been working to make his game more well-rounded.
Here's a look at the finish, per Fox sports UFC:
After the victory, Alvey went on a post-fight rant that almost sounded like a monologue for a comedic talk show:
Ben Nguyen was fighting in his hometown, but Louis Smolka didn't care. In an epic grappling battle, Smolka proved to have ground-and-pound and transition game that was too advanced for Nguyen.
After several minutes of domination from top position, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight just when Nguyen's corner was throwing in the towel.
Nguyen showed incredible toughness. He took a beating and escaped a ton of submission attempts, but Smolka was too tough in the end.
Keita Nakamura was getting rocked in the first round by Kyle Noke, but the Japanese veteran showed great toughness to withstand the punishment.
In the second round, it was Nakamura who would gain advantage. A knee on the inside dropped Noke and Nakamura would take his back and flatten him out with the rear-naked choke cinched.
It was less than 10 seconds remaining in the fight when the hold was applied, Noke tried to gut it out, but he tapped less than a second before the buzzer that would have allowed him to escape.
Take a look:
That may have been the latest submission in a round. It's hard to imagine one coming later. This was Sioux Falls' first UFC show. The crowd was great, and the fights were solid.
When is the next show?