Sean Strickland picked up his first main event win with a unanimous-decision victory over Uriah Hall to close out UFC on ESPN 28 from Las Vegas.
Strickland came out ready to dictate the fight from the beginning. He threw over 100 significant strikes in the first five minutes, setting a blistering pace and forcing Hall to get out of his element.
The second round saw Hall get his bearings and get more involved with the fight. Strickland's output slowed a bit, and the former Ultimate Fighter combatant had enough moments that you could make an argument he won the round.
That wasn't the case in Round 3, though. Strickland continued to bring the pressure but also included some wrestling as he mixed in a takedown of Hall and even came close to ending the fight.
Strickland's jab and volume were clearly a problem for Hall. He did little to match the intensity that Strickland brought to the fight, mixing his ranges and keeping Hall off balance.
The win marks the fifth in a row for Strickland. He continues to be impressive as a middleweight and could wind up playing a large role in the weight class moving forward.
- Sean Strickland def. Uriah Hayes via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45 and 49-46)
- Cheyanne Buys def. Gloria de Paula via TKO at 1:00 of Round 1
- Jared Gooden def. Niklas Stolze via TKO at 1:08 of Round 1
- Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Collin Anglin via TKO at 1:50 of Round 2
- Jason Witt def. Bryan Barberena via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-28)
- Chris Gruetzemacher def. Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Daniel Chavez vs. Kai Kamaka III ruled majority draw (29-27 Kamaka, 28-28 x2)
- Jinh Yu Frey def. Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Zarrukh Adashev def. Ryan Benoit via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Philip Rowe def. Orion Cosce via TKO at 4:21 of Round 2
Cheyanne Buys def. Gloria de Paula
Cheyanne Buys came into the UFC with a reputation for being a violent striker but didn't get a chance to show it. She was wrestled around by Montserrat Conejo for three rounds in March.
In her second fight against Gloria de Paula, the striking was able to shine through. The 26-year-old was ruthless in landing a head kick while de Paula was trying to get from her feet. The whole thing took just under a minute:
Buys was attempting to make history last time out. She shared the card with her husband, J.P. Buys, and both came up short. This time, Buys was on the card sans partner and picked up her first UFC win.
The Brazilian was unsuccessful in her UFC debut as well. With the quick loss to Buys, she will have to a get a win if she even gets another crack in the organization.
Jared Gooden def. Niklas Stolze
Jared Gooden should be on top of the world. His bout was initially reported to be canceled because of a breach of COVID-19 protocols. However, the organization reversed that decision when neither fighter tested positive for the virus.
It was a good thing for Gooden, as he would have missed out on adding a bold point on his resume.
The two welterweights appeared to just be in the feeling-out stage when Gooden followed a sharp left hook with a right hand the smashed into Stolze's face. It didn't take much after that for the fight to be called to an end.
The win was key for Gooden, who was coming off back-to-back decision losses. Stolze lost his UFC debut and is now 0-2. While he brought a four-fight win streak to the UFC with him, he hasn't stepped up in his opportunities thus far.
Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Collin Anglin
There's no better way to introduce yourself to UFC fans than a highlight-reel knockout. For instance, Melsik Baghdasaryan has to be considered one of the biggest winners on the card mainly from the number of plays his head kick knockout of Collin Anglin is going to get on social media.
The 29-year-old came out hot right away. He and Anglin traded kicks early and set a good pace in the first round.
Anglin came in under similar circumstances to his opponent. He was making his debut after an impressive decision win on Dana White's Contender Series. The head kick obviously turned that first fight into a rough experience.
His willingness to push the pace and exchange with a dangerous striker bodes well for his future with the organization, though.
Jason Witt def. Bryan Barberena
The welterweight matchup between Jason Witt and Bryan Barberena looked like it had the makings of a brawl on paper. It took two rounds to get there, but it paid off with a third round that saw both fighters nearly end the fight.
Witt utilized his wrestling to build an advantage on the scorecards in the first two rounds. He landed four takedowns in the first two rounds and nearly locked in a guillotine choke that would have ended the bout in the second round.
Knowing he was probably down on the cards, Barberena turned up the pressure in Round 3, looking for a knockout. Witt obliged with some heavy blows of his own.
Ultimately, Witt's work in the early rounds was enough, even though one judge scored it a 28-28 draw.
It was a good display of chin and fortitude for Witt, who was knocked out in two of his three fights coming into this one.