UFC 225: Whittaker Edges Out Romero in Main Event Nail-Biter

Invalid DateChicago, IL
Steven Rondina

Yoel Romero threw everything he had at middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. According to two of the three judges, however, it just wasn't enough. In a heated contest that saw both men battered, bloodied and broken, Whittaker earned a narrow split decision victory to extend his perfect record at 185 pounds and maintain the legitimacy of his middleweight title. Earlier in the card, former champion Holly Holm trucked through Megan Anderson and Colby Covington became the interim welterweight champion.

  1. June 10, 2018
  2. Clock Icon6:08 am

    UFC 225 Results: Robert Whittaker Beats Yoel Romero in Main Event

    UFC 225 Results: Robert Whittaker Beats Yoel Romero in Main Event
    ufc 225 9-6-2018 logo
    ufc 225 9-6-2018

    UFC 225 Results: Robert Whittaker Beats Yoel Romero in Main Event

    Alex Ballentine
    via Bleacher Report
  3. Clock Icon6:05 am

    John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn

    Whittaker and Romero both transported and will not be at tonight’s press conference.

  4. Clock Icon5:49 am

    UFC 225 Full Card Results

    Main Card (Pay-per-view):

    Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) Holly Holm def. Megan Anderson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) Tai Tuivasa def. Andrei Arlovski by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Mike Jackson def. CM Punk by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

    Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1):

    Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem by TKO via Elbows at 2:56 of Round 3 Claudia Gadelha def. Carla Esparza by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Mirsad Bektic def. Ricardo Lamas by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) Chris de la Rocha def. Rashad Coulter by TKO via Punches at 3:53 of Round 2

    Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass):

    Anthony Smith def. Rashad Evans by KO via Knee at 0:53 of Round 1 Sergio Pettis def. Joseph Benavidez by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27) Charles Oliveira def. Clay Guida by Submission via Guillotine Choke at 2:18 of Roun

  5. Invalid Date
  6. June 11, 2018
  7. Clock Icon11:28 pm

    Whittaker Shows Heart in Win Over Romero

    Whittaker Shows Heart in Win Over Romero
    ufc 225 9-6-2018 logo
    ufc 225 9-6-2018

    Whittaker Shows Heart in Win Over Romero

    Alex Ballentine
    via Bleacher Report
  8. June 10, 2018
  9. Clock Icon5:38 am

    The Official Scorecards

    Jed I. Goodman @jedigoodman

    All 3 judges gave Whittaker Rounds 1, 2. All 3 judges gave Romero Rounds 3 & 5. (no 10-8 for either) 2 judges gaves Whittaker Round 4. https://t.co/RRBgX21KMl

  10. Clock Icon5:37 am

    UFC Japan @ufc_jp

    #UFC225 👑👑👑 https://t.co/qPbordMzmt

  11. Clock Icon5:36 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Official Decision

    Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

    Another split decision which is met with loud boos, despite being the right call! Regardless, this was an amazing contest. Both men put on gutsy performances and displayed a level of toughness that most can only dream of.

    Whittaker's title reign remains undisputed, which is a good thing for the murky middleweight division. While it's unlikely, here's hoping we see these two fight again later this year.

  12. Clock Icon5:26 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Round 5

    Romero opens the round with a spinning kick but it fails to land and Whittaker just responds with more jabs. He knows that he needs the stoppage here, though, and is turning up the volume. That translates to another huge knockdown followed by some big ground-and-pound.

    Whittaker is turtled on a single leg and gets back up but Romero is all over him, landing punches in the clinch and dragging him down from behind. Romero is so, so tired, though, and just can't seem to land anything to seal the deal, holding on to Whittaker's back for an extended period of time.

    The referee breaks them up and Romero lunges for a fight-ending punch. He can't quite get that, however, and Whittaker manages to glide to the horn. It will be interesting to see how the judges have it, but we at Bleacher Report chalk this one up as...

    10-9 Romero Bleacher Report scores the fight 48-47 Whittaker

  13. Clock Icon5:20 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Round 4

    Both men are tired after that frantic third round, but Whittaker seems to have more gas than Romero at this point. Romero is once again fighting highly conservative and that is letting Whittaker tee off with kicks. One rides a bit low (or high) and catches Romero's cup, giving him a much-needed breather.

    The action is reset and Whittaker seems to have a broken right hand, exclusively using kicks and his left jab. He's making it work, however, as Romero is still struggling to muster up the energy to do anything in response.

    Romero gets back active in the final 30 seconds, however, and staggers Whittaker with a punch. While he might have been able to finish the fight off that earlier, he can do little more than plod forward as Whittaker staggers backwards. The horn sounds and Romero, on our card, needs a stoppage.

    10-9 Whittaker

  14. Clock Icon5:11 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Round 3

    Romero's eye looks much better...and that goes for pretty much everything about Romero. He scores a clean knockdown on Whittaker with a right hand and thrashes him with ground-and-pound. Whittaker gets back to his feet and lands a hard elbow in the clinch that slows down Romero a bit, but he is visibly hurt.

    Whittaker clinches up and recovers and that frantic offense seemed to empty out Romero's gas tank. He's huffing and puffing hard, but is still keeping active and landing hard shots.

    Whittaker is on his bicycle but hammers Romero with a headkick. Romero, somehow, stays upright and actually continues to sling leather. The champ is bloody after the exchange but somehow, continues to stay upright. He survives to the end, but this fight is suddenly a lot more interesting.

    10-9 Romero

  15. Clock Icon5:06 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Round 2

    Whittaker continues to tag a largely static Romero, tagging him with leg kicks and jabs while avoiding any punishment. Romero lands a glancing headkick but Whittaker tags him hard with a left. That shot did real damage, too, and Romero's eye immediately swells shut.

    That seemed to wake up Romero a bit, and he starts turning up the volume in the second half of the round. His eye looks nasty, though, and this one might be stopped on the stool.

    10-9 Whittaker

  16. Clock Icon5:00 am

    Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero Round 1

    Whittaker comes out very kick-heavy, hittking a number of body kicks alongside Jon Jones-style oblique kicks.Romero is keeping his output to a minimum, and it's easy to wonder if he's going to be super-conservative following his weigh-in fail.

    Romero is keeping his guard incredibly high, doing little more than flicking occasional front kicks and throwing an occasional spinning backfist. Whittaker is fine with that, too and he slowly, methodically, adds up points. There's a gasp at the horn as Romero barely misses a scary spinning backfist, but Whittaker avoids it and takes the round cleanly.

    10-9 Whittaker

  17. Clock Icon5:42 am

    Covington Beats RDA Via Unanimous Decision

    Covington Beats RDA Via Unanimous Decision
    ufc 225 9-6-2018 logo
    ufc 225 9-6-2018

    Covington Beats RDA Via Unanimous Decision

    Alex Ballentine
    via Bleacher Report
  18. Clock Icon4:48 am

    The main event is upon us!

    Get hype, ladies and gentlemen. This should be a good one.

  19. Clock Icon4:45 am

    T-Wood Is Ready for Colby 👀

    Tyron T-Wood Woodley @TWooodley

    Get this bitch ready! @ufc @danawhite hit my line now! https://t.co/6gzKwyvKpH

  20. Clock Icon4:40 am

    UFC Canada @UFC_CA

    #AndNew interim WW champ! @ColbyCovMMA wins UD at #UFC225. https://t.co/YWhDujH0NO

  21. Clock Icon4:40 am

    Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)

    Covington, as has been discussed, is a generally lame human being but this was a really strong performance from him. He shut down a very good, very savvy former champion and executed his gameplan almost flawlessly.

    Will he be able to keep winning as a relatively limited talent? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, he's been able to walk the talk thus far.

  22. Clock Icon4:33 am

    Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington Round 5

    Covington is back in early form, and is already RDA as soon as the round starts. The pressure remains high and, eventually, he gets the takedown. Dos Anjos slips free for a few seconds but, once again, he is back against the cage getting ground on.

    It takes him three minutes to get back to striking range and he lands a good left hook. But once again, Covington absorbs it and clinches up.

    Both men start slinging in the final minute but Covington knows how his bread is buttered, and goes right back to the clinch. RDA slips away, but he just didn't do enough to take the fight in this writer's mind.

    10-9 Covington Bleacher Report scores the fight 49-46 Covington

  23. Clock Icon4:26 am

    Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington Round 4

    Dos Anjos finally lands some early offense blasting Covington with a left hand. Covington wears it well, though, and clinches. Dos Anjos finally starts to turn things around, though, by reversing position and getting a takedown of his own. Covington works his way back up, but gets taken right back down and starts breathing heavily.

    He gets back up, but dos Anjos is all over him, dragging him along the whole perimeter of the cage and scoring some more takedowns of his own. Covington looks to get back on offense, but dos Anjos is starting to find his groove.

    Covington reverses the momentum, however, with some solid clinchwork and starts opening up with strikes. He scores a takedown and finishes the round on top, but RDA is officially on the board with us now.

    10-9 dos Anjos

  24. Clock Icon4:21 am

    Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington Round 3

    Dos Anjos seems to have found his balance but Covington is just all over him. Though RDA is cleanly landing shots, he just has no answer to for Covington's forward pressure and he just keeps getting pushed back to the cage.

    That pattern just keeps repeating time and again, and dos Anjos is just getting more and more tired, and more and more frustrated. The third horn sounds and, once again, this feels like another round for Covington.

    10-9 Covington

  25. Clock Icon4:13 am

    Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington Round 2

    Once again, Covington gets the takedown inside 10 seconds. Dos Anjos works his way up and establishes distance once again, but Covington is quick to get back into the clinch. Again, dos Anjos escapes but that's another two minutes of superior position in the book for Covigton.

    Dos Anjos lands some big punches at range, but again, Covington just keeps clinching up after each exchange and just eating up the clock. With a minute left, Covington gets another takedown and, yeah, that seals up another round for him.

    10-9 Covington

  26. Clock Icon4:08 am

    Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington Round 1

    Covington scores a takedown inside 10 seconds and dos Anjos' cauliflower ear explodes all over the place. He enjoys a few minutes in dominant position, but doesn't land anything particularly dangerous. Dos Anjos is backing up as he enters, cracking him with punches but Covington clinches up each time and threatens with takedowns.

    Dos Anjos is avoiding the ground and landing some clean shots (particularly uppercuts), but Covington continues pressing ever-forward. He's doing well off his back foot, but it's hard not to chalk this round up for the wrestler.

    10-9 Covington

  27. Clock Icon4:01 am

    Sign Us Up for That

    Amanda Nunes @Amanda_Leoa

    Let’s do it @HollyHolm

  28. Clock Icon4:01 am

    Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson Official Decision

    Holly Holm def. Megan Anderson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

    Big reality check there for Megan Anderson. The Australian featherweight was barking for a shot at Cris Cyborg and, well, she's lucky that it never materialized. She was out-skilled, out-muscled and out-worked on every level by an undersized Holly Holm and one has to imagine that Cyborg would have utterly thrashed her.

    That said, Holm was impressive on every level this fight. She showed new wrinkles to her game and sported more muscle for this fight than she has in the past. It will be interesting to see what comes next for her.

  29. Clock Icon3:47 am

    Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson Round 3

    Another early takedown attempt from Holm! She doesn't get it, but once again enjoys minutes of dominant position along the cage. Anderson is struggling to do anything at this point and doesn't seem to be able to keep up with Holm in any phase of the fight.

    Holm scores a big body lock takedown and once again just starts throwing light, but uncontested, ground-and-pound. Again, Anderson just seems fine with riding out the position en route to the horn...but this time, she doesn't have the glimmer of hope that is one more round.

    10-9 Holm Bleacher Report scores the fight 30-27 Holm

  30. Clock Icon3:40 am

    Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson Round 2

    The surprises continue as Holm once again opens the round with a takedown attempt that leads to more clinchwork. Anderson gets back to range much quicker this time, however, and gets some good trades in with Holm. Holm goes for another takedown, and gets it this time, working her way to side control and then mount. She lands some hard ground-and-pound and even starts going for an arm triangle choke!

    Anderson seems demoralized by Holm's successful offense on the ground and is doing little beyond limiting Holm's output. She coasts to the horn, seemingly completely content in ceding another round. Not a good showing from the Aussie.

    10-9 Holm

  31. Clock Icon3:34 am

    Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson Round 1

    One might expect former boxing champion Holly Holm to look to out-strike the green Megan Anderson in their bout...but nope! After a bit of back-and-forth, Holm clinches up on her much larger opponent, presses her to the cage and has little trouble holding her there for minutes on end.

    Anderson eventually escapes and scores a takedown, but Holm scrambles and lands on top. She doesn't do much beyond the required strikes to not be stood up, but that's all she needs to do, really. This is an easy 10-9 for her.

    10-9 Holm

  32. Clock Icon3:23 am

    Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

    CM Punk is being transported to a local hospital for a facial CT scan, per UFC.

  33. Clock Icon3:22 am

    Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa Official Decision

    Tai Tuivasa def. Andrei Arlovski by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Not the most exciting fight, but a good win for Tuivasa. He faced a savvy, wily, steely former champion and managed to work his way to a decision win after starting his career with six consecutive first-round finishes. It might be a bit cliche, but this will likely be a huge learning experience for him and make him even trickier in his next fight.

    Meanwhile, Arlovski somehow looks really good! Despite losing, his striking was on point, his cardio was strong and his chin somehow became stronger.

    Again, this one won't end up on either man's highlight reel but there was a lot to like about both men's performance.

  34. Clock Icon3:16 am

    Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa Round 3

    Arlovski comes off the stool surprisingly nimble for a man his age while the much younger Tuivasa is looking sluggish as he enters the third. Neither is especially active, but Arlovski is doing good work with his jab, repeatedly catching Tuivasa as he steps in.

    Tuivasa manages to crack him with a left hand and starts to up his output. He lands some good shots, but doesn't seem to have the cardio to really go for the kill. That lets Arlovski recover, fire back, and reestablish distance.

    Both men seem to be content in the case they made after four minutes, and largely coast en route to the official decision. Interesting fight, and a tough one to score.

    10-9 Tuivasa Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Tuivasa

  35. Clock Icon3:09 am

    Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa Round 2

    Arlovski is looking much crisper in the second round, cracking Tuivasa repeatedly with jabs. Tuivasa is still pressing forward, but Arlovski is landing at will and opening up more and more cuts.

    Tuivasa seemingly staggers Arlovski with a punch, but the former champ wisely clinches up again to clear the cobwebs. The action is stopped with a minute left due to an eye poke by Tuivasa. Arlovski looks for a big spinning backfist which misses but, other than that, neither man lands much of note. That should tie things up.

    10-9 Arlovski

  36. Clock Icon3:03 am

    Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa Round 1

    Both men respect the other's power here, offering very little output. Arlovski cracks Tuivasa with a right hand but Tuivasa manages to score a big takedown in response, and lands directly into mount. Arlovski manages to reverse and get away, but gets dropped shortly after standing back up with a left hand.

    Tuivasa lets him back up, and Arlovski makes the most of that by clinching up and stalling so he can fully recover. Tuivasa is profusely bleeding, but is throwing heavy leather in the closing minute including a huge right hand. He gets over-aggressive, though, and slips during a kick attempt and Arlovski turns around and gets some offense of his own in.

    The horn sounds and Tuivasa is officially headed to his first ever second round!

    10-9 Tuivasa

  37. Clock Icon2:54 am

    Yes, This Really Happened and It Was Amazing.

    Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

    Tuivasa, the legend, coming out to Celine Dion’s “my heart will go on” from Titanic. Please induct him in the HOF, too.

  38. Clock Icon2:52 am

    UFC @ufc

    Thank you for the memories. Thank you for breaking down barriers. Thank you from all the fans and from the UFC. @RondaRousey #UFC225 https://t.co/IEf5mOi9FZ

  39. Clock Icon2:51 am

    Ronda Rousey Is the First Woman to Be Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame!

    She joins the 2018 class which also includes former welterweight champion Matt Serra and UFC founder Art Davie.

    UFC @ufc

    Champion. Pioneer. Legend. @RondaRousey enters the Modern Wing of the #UFCHoF July 5! https://t.co/ExQslOwW84

  40. Clock Icon2:48 am

    CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson Official Decision

    Mike Jackson def. CM Punk by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

    CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall was kind of funny since the wrestler was quickly and unceremoniously executed. CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson...well that was kind of sad. Punk just didn't have anything to offer here and just got beaten from pillar to post.

    Hopefully this is his last fight.

  41. Clock Icon2:38 am

    CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson Round 3

    Punk comes out urgent, but just can't do anything. He shoots for a takedown, gets easily stopped, and spun over to the cage. Jackson lands a hard shot that rocks Punk and another that puts him on his back.

    Jackson stands back up, and clobbers Punk with a huge right hand followed by a big elbow. Again, Punk tries and to get a takedown and again, doesn't actually come close to completing it. Jackson is completely content in riding this one out to the judges and, well, it's hard to blame him.

    This was a dominant win for Jackson and there's absolutely, positively no question about that.

    10-8 Jackson Bleacher Report scores the fight 30-25 Jackson

  42. Clock Icon2:31 am

    CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson Round 2

    Jackson is standing in the center of the cage and just landing at will. Punk shoots for a takedown, but can't quite get it and gets spun around and chinned hard. Punk is staggered but rushes in and attempts another takedown, only to be taken down in return.

    The ex-WWE champ is getting sliced up on his back, and has no real defense for Jackson's ground-and-pound. Jackson starts showboating on top, taunting and looking up while landing hammerfists. Punk does next to nothing to try and even slow Jackson down, and ends up just spending three minutes absorbing punishment.

    10-8 Jackson

  43. Clock Icon2:25 am

    CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson Round 1

    Punk comes out flicking kicks but eats a huge right hand from Jackson. Punk fires back, runs forward and clinches up but Jackson flips him around and breaks free. The difference in striking skills is becomign more and more profound, as Jackson continually lands right hands but Punk once again charges forward, clinches up and holds Jackson tight.

    Back at range again, but this time Jackson continues to out-land him, but Punk manages to catch him off-balance and get a good takedown. He lands a bit of ground and pound, but Jackson works his way back up and lands some brutal rib roasters.

    The horn sounds and while this round might be a close one...this is looking bad for Punk.

    10-9 Jackson

  44. Clock Icon2:16 am

    Sights and Sounds from Ground Zero

    Our own Nathan McCarter is in Chicago for this card and Chicago, unsurprisingly is all about the Chicago-Made Punk.

    Nathan McCarter @McCarterN

    MASSIVE ovation for Punk. No surprise but it is LOUD. #UFC225

  45. Clock Icon2:14 am

    Blaydes' Brutal Finish of The Reem


    *WARNING* This KO may ruin your appetite. https://t.co/bgZDKZeXs2

  46. Clock Icon2:07 am

    Mike Allardyce @mikedyce

    Overeem leaves with a towel over a cut on his forehead, presumably #UFC225 https://t.co/ld25hMOTh9

  47. Clock Icon2:04 am

    Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes Official Decision

    Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem by TKO via Elbows at 2:56 of Round 3

    Blaydes is officially a contender now. Six straight wins and now with three enduring veterans on his resume, it's hard to deny him.

    He's not necessarily an exciting contender, but his pure wrestling base and solid gas tank makes him an interesting challenge for the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier...assuming Brock Lesnar doesn't come back.

  48. Clock Icon1:58 am

    Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes Round 3

    Overeem seems to have shaken off whatever ankle issue it was that hampered him in the second round and starts hammering Blaydes with body kicks. Blaydes presses forward and manages to clip Overeem with a good shot, leading to a flurry and another double-leg takedown.

    Blaydes is in firm control now, and is generally out-muscling Overeem on the ground, landing some solid elbows. A big one slips through while Overeem was trying to hand fight, and it wounds him badly. Another follows, then another, then another and that's the end of the fight.

    Blaydes was up big, but still hunted for the finish, and got it in scary fashion. Huge win.

  49. Clock Icon1:53 am

    Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes Round 2

    Blaydes shoots for a big takedown but eats a huge knee and good right hand from Overeem. He stays on that leg, but ends up in a guillotine choke, followed by a heel hook. Ultimately, Blaydes manages to recover from the strikes, scramble around and land a good knee on the exit.

    Back at striking range, Overeem has a bit of a stagger with a right ankle injury being the alleged culprit. Overeem hides it well, but gets taken down once again and ends up right back where he was in the first round, lying back and doing little more than keeping Blaydes in half-guard.

    The clock keeps ticking and Blaydes starts opening up with ground-and-pound. He doesn't seem to wound Overeem, but he scores another clean 10-9.

    10-9 Blaydes

  50. Clock Icon1:47 am

    Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes Round 1

    This is a standard striker vs. grappler matchup and it looks like it. Overeem is maintaining a safe distance and looking to land some good strikes, while Blaydes looks to get inside Overeem's reach to start working for a takedown.

    Things are slow for the first half of the round, but a stutter step by Blaydes baits Overeem into being flat-footed, which opens the door for a huge double-leg takedown. He isn't doing much on top, largely sitting in half-guard with occasional teases of advancement, but he doesn't need to do much.

    Overeem seems content in staying on his back, and doesn't even attempt to get upright until the final ten seconds, where he looks for a heel hook. Ultimately, though, he ends the round on his back and that's good enough for Blaydes.

    10-9 Blaydes

  51. Clock Icon1:37 am


    Nathan McCarter @McCarterN

    Chicago crowd boos the decision, but it was the right one. #UFC225

  52. Clock Icon1:36 am

    Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza Official Decision

    Claudia Gadelha def. Carla Esparza by Split Decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28)

    The decision is met with raucous boos, and somewhat surprisingly so!

    Gadelha got tired in Round 3 but just bullied Esparza around the cage for most of the fight. Her cardio remains a concern and her striking didn't look as crisp as some of her past fights, but there shouldn't be much question as to who the winner was.

    Esparza, despite the loss, showed that she remains an elite strawweight. That might sound strange given how negative this writer was about Esparza during the contest, but she remains scrappy, good in scrambles and well-conditioned. That's more than enough to beat most of the division.

  53. Clock Icon1:32 am

    Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza Round 3

    Esparza opens the third with urgency, and clocks Esparza with a right hand. Gadelha, cracks her back, but is visibly tired after two rounds defined by her intense physicality. The former champ is doing her best Frankie Edgar impression, squirreling her way around the cage, lading a shot or two and slipping away but that ends when Gadelha musters up the energy to score a takedown.

    Gadelha is looking to ride out the rest of the fight, landing light ground-and-pound and Esparza manages to avoid damage, kick her way free and score a much-needed takedown. Esparza remains urgent and starts posting to land power shots on the ground.

    She can't quite land anything big, but takes this round with gusto. The final score cards should be interesting...

    10-9 Esparza Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Gadelha

  54. Clock Icon1:24 am

    Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza Round 2

    Gadelha's plan for the second is the same as her plan in the first; keep the pressure high. Esparza has some success in the clinch, but eventually gets reversed and taken down in emphatic fashion.

    Gadelha is more methodical here, but is physically overwhelming Esparza in a profound way. She lands heavy ground-and-pound and just wrenches Esparza around into different positions. Esparza stays active and avoids any serious punishment, but just can't get in any real offense of her own.

    The score cards might be even due to the first-round knockdown now, but it's clear at this point who the better fighter is.

    10-9 Gadelha

  55. Clock Icon1:18 am

    Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza Round 1

    Gadelha opens with some heavy early aggression, looking for kill shots right away. Esparza gets tripped up during a kick attempt and gets taken down, but comes out on top in the scramble. Gadelha breaks free, gets back to her feet and gets right back to pressuring Gadelha.

    Shockingly, Esparza nails her with a punch that puts her on the ground. Esparza looks to get some ground-and-pound off it (including an illegal, Mark Coleman-style headbutt) but gets reversed and put on her back when Gadelha attempts a heel hook. She can't get much on the ground, but manages to turn around and score a takedown of her own.

    Esparza absorbs some punishment but gets free, only to be snatched into a tight guillotine choke. She survives to the horn, but it looks like this might be a long night for her.

    10-9 Gadelha

  56. Clock Icon1:07 am

    Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic Official Decision

    Mirsad Bektic def. Ricardo Lamas by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

    Another somewhat surprising split decision here...but at least the right man won.

    A scrappy effort from Lamas, but one that officially puts him on a downward trajectory now that he is coming off back-to-back losses. Given his age (36), his weight class (145 pounds) and the fact he isn't a crushing power puncher, that's a very bad, likely irreversible thing.

    On the flipside, this is a huge win for Bektic. Now 13-1 in his career with his sole loss coming via an absurd comeback, he can officially be looked at as a bona fide top-10 featherweight. Depending on how the rest of the division shakes out, we could see him fighting for the title within a year.

  57. Clock Icon12:59 am

    Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic Round 3

    Lamas knows he needs something big and is getting more frantic with his strikes and takedown attempts. A failed spinning kick puts him on his back. He reverses position, but Bektic reverses in turn, but gets caught in a guillotine choke. Bektic manages to pop his head free, though, and that has to sting for Lamas.

    Back to the clinch again and Lamas once again hunts for a submission, getting hold of a good front choke. Bektic manages to defend, though, and lands on top as Lamas attempted to adjust. He rides out the remainder of the round, and that should knot the fight up for him, albeit without the clean sweep on the scorecards.

    10-9 Lamas Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Bektic

  58. Clock Icon12:53 am

    Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic Round 2

    The pace is high from both men at the start of Round 2, but neither lands anything particularly notable (outside an unintentional headbutt by Bektic that slices open Lamas). Bektic forces thing back to the cage and Lamas can't quite escape.

    It's a considerably slower pace, but Bektic recognizes that he's getting work done in the clinch. He eats up minutes on his first foray and quickly clinches back up, but gets quickly separated by Herb Dean due to inactivity. Lamas can't do anything to swing the round bac in his favor, though, and he's now in desperate need of a stoppage.

    10-9 Bektic

  59. Clock Icon12:45 am

    Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic Round 1

    After some early pawing, Lamas explodes into a takedown attempt. He doesn't quite get it, but manages to force Bektic to the cage and get to work in the clinch. Bektic reverses position, gets some knees in and breaks free before, returning to striking range.

    They exchange some strikes but neither lands much of note until Bektic slips in a quality takedown. Lamas butterflies his way back to his feet before he taking any damage, but can't quite land anything in the waning seconds of the round.

    A close opening frame, but that late takedown sealed things up on our scorecard.

    10-9 Bektic

  60. Clock Icon12:29 am

    This One Was a Slobberknocker, Folks!

    UFC @ufc

    LET'S GO! RASHAD IS LAUNCHING! @Rashad_Coulter #UFC225 https://t.co/fvKHzhhw7X

  61. Clock Icon12:26 am

    Rashad Coulter vs. Chris de la Rocha Official Decision

    Chris de la Rocha def. Rashad Coulter by TKO via punches at 3:53 of Round 2

    This wasn't a particularly great or technical fight, but it was two big dudes punching the heck out of one another and that counts for something!

    De la Rocha came out of this looking tough as nails, given how much punishment he endured in the first round and how much he dished out in the second. Champion in the making? Absolutely not. But for one night, he won the UFC fanbase's heart.

  62. Clock Icon12:21 am

    Rashad Coulter vs. Chris de la Rocha Round 2

    Coulter seems to have lost a step and de la Rocha notices it, and immediately opens up with punches. He scores a takedown and Coulter just doesn't seem to have the energy to work his way up. He turtles and de la Rocha just pours on punches with impunity for minutes on end.

    He slows down and begins to pick his shots, but when Coulter rolls back to his back, de la Rocha turns up the volume and lands a couple hard shots. That, finally, draws a referee stoppage.

  63. Clock Icon12:16 am

    Rashad Coulter vs. Chris de la Rocha Round 1

    De La Rocha looks to get into the clinch as soon as the horn sounds. He succeeds, but Coulter drills him with a knee, and slams him with punches on the break. That offensive success causes him to get a bit wild, though, as he goes for a flying knee, whiffs on it and ends up on his back with de la Rocha in full mount position.

    De la Rocha lands some good shots and nearly gets a submission, but Coulter manages to survive, work his way back up and get back to work. He lands a series of hard shots on de la Rocha that opens up a big cut over his right eyebrow. De la Rocha absorbs a huge amount of punishment but, somehow, manages to stay upright and reverse things into a takedown! The round wears ends with de la Rocha on top, but Coulter just landed too many shots to not score this one for him.

    10-9 Coulter

  64. Clock Icon12:00 am

    This Is Why Wrestling Fans Still Love CM Punk

    The man could smoothly deliver fiery, well-articulated promos with a fourth wall-bending edge to them. One of a kind!

    Steven Rondina @srondina

    This is still pretty darn great, imo. #UFC225 https://t.co/Yy9hDGfCzI