Fight Network is on the scene at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada for UFC 206: Holloway vs. Pettis. Follow below for live play-by-play, post-fight videos, quotes, reactions and more on-scene coverage.
Fight of the Night: Doo Ho Choi vs. Cub Swanson
Performances of the Night: Lando Vannata and Max Holloway
Attendance: 18,057 (Sell Out)
Gate: $2,429,300 CAD/ $1,843,101 (USD)
Main Card (PPV, 10 p.m. ET):
-Max Holloway (16-3) vs. Anthony Pettis (19-5) – interim UFC featherweight title
Referee Yves Lavigne is overseeing tonight’s main event. They feel each other out early, exchanging kicks. Holloway swings upstairs, but Pettis is out of range. A right hand lands flush for Holloway. Pettis circles out and grazes Holloway with a high kick. Holloway finds a home for his jab. They trade punches, both absorbing them well. Pettis drops levels for a takedown in the final seconds, but he can’t get it. Fight Network scores the round 10-9 Holloway.
Pettis is marked up below the right eye. Holloway drops him with a straight punch, but he lets Pettis get back to his feet. Holloway blocks a Pettis head kick. Pettis is pressing forward, but Holloway continues to land the most significant punches and counters. Pettis can’t seem to find his rhythm. He initiates a clinch late in the round, but Holloway exhibits strong takedown defense. Holloway earns another 10-9 round on Fight Network’s scorecard.
Pettis uncorks some kicks before Holloway answers back with a kick that lands low, causing a short break in the action. Holloway is simply outworking Pettis with volume and variety. Holloway trips Pettis to the mat with less than a minute left. He briefly engages him there before popping back to his feet. Pettis eats two hard body kicks. Sensing Pettis is fading, Holloway lunges forward with combinations to the head and body. Pettis drops to the floor and referee Yves Lavigne has seen enough, halting the assault. Holloway jumps over the cage to celebrate and we have a new interim UFC featherweight champion.
Result: Max Holloway def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (punches) at 4:50, Round 3, Holloway claims interim UFC featherweight title
After the win, Holloway calls out champion Jose Aldo to unify the titles in Brooklyn in February. He praises Pettis for his losing effort.
Meanwhile, Pettis confirms he broke his hand from the first punch he landed in the fight. He announces he’ll be returning to the lightweight division for his next fight.
Max Holloway: “I asked you guys earlier in the week about Jose Waldo. Where is Jose Waldo? Tell him to meet me in Brooklyn in February.”
Anthony Pettis: “Max Holloway is a beast. He did this right. He stood up with me and he got the belt. He’s a good fighter. It’s too much for me to make this weight cut to 145 lbs. I have to go back up, it’s too hard.”
-Donald Cerrone (31-7, 1 NC) vs. Matt Brown (20-15)
Cerrone lands an early body kick. Brown walks him down with body punches, but eats a head kick. A left hook connects for Brown and Cerrone answers with an outside leg kick and a series of jabs. Cerrone is mixing up his combinations, while Brown is swinging for the head, mostly missing the mark. Cerrone fakes low and lands a clean head kick, but Brown doesn’t seem bothered by it. Brown’s right eye is bloodied up. He lands to Cerrone’s head, then attempts a high kick. He drops to his back and immediately wraps Cerrone up in a triangle choke. He tries to switch to an armbar, but Cerrone slides out of danger. They return to their feet as Brown continues to come forward. Brown targets the body and catches Cerrone off balance with a straight right that drops him to end the period. Fight Network’s likes Cerrone’s early work, giving him a close 10-9 round.
The pace has slowed a bit in the second, but Brown remains the aggressor. He briefly floors Cerrone with a left hook, then continues to unload with shots as Cerrone is backed up against the cage. Cerrone circles out of danger and recovers, utilizing a straight jab as his primary offensive anchor. A straight punch sends Brown tumbling to the mat, but he pops back up. They’re trading hooks in punching range and Brown’s face is really showing some wear-and-tear as blood streams down his cheek. Cerrone is now stalking Brown, going high with the occasional head kick, while Brown charges in with looping punches and short elbows. Cerrone’s patience and technical proficiency appears to be difference maker at this stage of the tilt and he’s up 20-18 on Fight Network’s scorecard, but a game Brown is keeping it interesting.
Sensing he may be behind on judges’ scorecards, Brown is turning up the tempo, sitting down on his power punches early. Cerrone catches Brown with his head low, landing a picture-perfect head kick that instantly renders his adversary unconscious. A sensational highlight-reel finish for “The Cowboy.”
Result: Donald Cerrone def. Matt Brown via KO (head kick) at 0:34, Round 3
Donald Cerrone: “It was a tough fight. When you’re in there you really have to dig deep. After I took a couple of punches I said, ‘hell no, not today baby!’ The head kick was there. I saw him feinting to that side and I went for it. I want to fight in Denver, Colorado against anyone who will sign on the dotted line.”
-Cub Swanson (23-7) vs. Doo Ho Choi (15-1)
Choi strikes first with a straight right and knee. He ties Swanson up and lands a series of knees in the clinch. Choi is pressing forward and seems to have already found his punching range. Swanson answers back with a jab and overhand right. They trade hooks. Swanson grazes the South Korean prospect with an uppercut, then connects with a stiff body punch. Choi continues to press forward, but Swanson’s counterpunches are starting to find a home. Choi initiates a clinch. They separate and immediately go back to trading leather. Choi pops Swanson’s head back with a clean, stiff jab. Swanson lands a kick to the body. Choi’s straight punches are landing, but Swanson is countering with looping hooks. Swanson drops levels for a single-leg in the final moments of the round, but it’s easily defended by Choi, who takes the opening frame 10-9 on Fight Network’s scorecard.
They’re back to trading in the center of the octagon. Choi gets the better of the early exchanges, but Swanson stuns him with lunging power shots. He’s aggressively pursuing the finish as Choi covers up, but it doesn’t take long for Choi to reverse the momentum, stunning Swanson with power shots of his own. The crowd erupts for the wild exchanges. Swanson gets him down and fishes for a choke, but Choi defends well and pushes him off. Back on their feet, both fighters are trading fierce power shots and they’re both landing. Swanson stuns his foe in the final minute, as Choi tries to tie him up. It’s an incredible battle and the crowd is on its feet, voicing their appreciation for the melee. Fight Network sees it for Swanson, 10-9, in what’s shaping up as an all-time classic.
Both fighters are putting their granite chins on display, trading heavy shots in the center of the octagon. Choi connects with a clean left, takes Swanson’s back and drags him to the mat. Swanson reverses, landing in Choi’s guard. It’s nearly reversed again as Choi lands elbows to the top of Swanson’s head. They stand up and trade vicious shots again. Both fighters are repeatedly staggered, showing tremendous heart and durability. They’re exhausted. It’s a war of attrition as they eat clean punches, but both fighters keep swinging back. Choi is bloodied up, but that doesn’t stop him from coming forward. The crowd is going berserk. With time running out, Swanson lunges in, unleashing a storm of power punches that drop the South Korean fan favorite. They immediately embrace after the final bell of what should go down as one of the best fights ever on Canadian soil and a definite contender for “Fight of the Year.” Fight Network leans toward Swanson, giving him a 10-9 score in the deciding round, earning him a narrow, hard-fought 29-28 victory.
Result: Cub Swanson def. Doo Ho Choi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
It’s deafening post-fight as both men receive standing ovations for their gutsy efforts.
Cub Swanson: “It was such a good fight. I was exhausted, but there was no way I was going to quit. I felt like I was being disrespected with him calling me out on twitter. I felt like he was judging me on my last two fights against grapplers. It got me focused on showing him everything that I can do and I trained my ass off.”
Doo Ho Choi: “I picked Cub in a winning interview. I really believed I was going to win. I’m going to train even more and I’m not going to lose again. This may sound a little silly but my cornerman and myself are both big fans of Cub Swanson. Apart from the rankings, I really wanted to fight this guy and I really believed I was going to win.”
-Tim Kennedy (18-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (12-2)
Kennedy uncorks some kicks early as Gastelum stalks him down. A looping hook finds its mark for Kennedy, who immediately grabs a body lock and momentarily drags Gastelum to the floor. Gastelum pops up, but Kennedy drags him back down, then takes his back. Gastelum defends well and regains a vertical base, but Kennedy is relentless with his body lock and won’t give Gastelum any room to separate. Gastelum finally spins out and appears to stun Kennedy with a heavy hook. Kennedy connects with a counter as they trade wildly, but Gastelum lands the cleanest shots to close out the period. Fight Network sees it 10-9 for Kennedy based on his positional dominance.
Gastelum is more aggressive early, but it doesn’t take long for Kennedy to tie him up in the clinch. Kennedy desperately tries to secure a takedown, but Gastelum sprawls effectively and now looks to take Kennedy’s back. Upon separation, Gastelum connects with another combination. Kennedy is increasingly desperate with his takedowns and Gastelum is making him pay. They trade in the final minute with Gastelum landing clean, effective shots. The momentum has now swayed entirely in the favor of the Mexican-American, who evens up the fray at 19-19 on Fight Network’s scorecard.
Gastelum lands a quick combination and Kennedy drops to all fours. Gastelum stays on him, looking to take the back then battering him with more clean shots on the feet. Gastelum pushes forward with a stiff jab and vicious body shots. Kennedy’s face is a bloody mess. Kennedy answers back with looping hooks, but Gastelum is unfazed. Gastelum continues to be the aggressor and it finally pays off. A thudding combination floors the American military hero and some followup punches from Gastelum seal his fate, as referee John McCarthy rescues Kennedy from the barrage.
Result: Kelvin Gastelum def. Tim Kennedy via TKO (punches) at 2:45, Round 3
Following his triumphant performance at 185 pounds, Gastelum insists his sights are still set on the welterweight division.
Kelvin Gastelum: “He’s very durable and I knew I was in for a dogfight. But I was confident in my preparation and I was confident in my ability. If they give me a fight at middleweight that I want, I will stay at 185. If no fight interests me, I will drop to 170 and fight a No. 1 contender. I want a No. 1 contender and believe I deserve a No. 1 contender.”
-Jordan Mein (26-10) vs. Emil Meek (8-2-1)
Meek strikes first with a hard leg kick. Mein answers back with an outside leg kick. He lands a quick single-leg, but they pop back up and it’s Meek swinging wildly. Meek uncorks another leg kick, creating the opening Mein needed to drive him to the canvas. Mein lands some knees to the body from side control and moves to a north-south position. Meek scrambles back to his feet and begins finding a home for his hard hooks. Mein eats a hard body kick, which he answers with a combination of his own. Meek blocks a head kick and Mein attacks the body, then scores a takedown. A wild scramble ensues and Mein looks to take the back of the UFC newcomer. They separate and Meek barely misses with a head kick. A hard left hook lands for Mein, but Meek finds a home for a flurry of countershots as Mein is sent back-pedalling. Mein laughs it off, but nearly eats a flying knee. The round ends with Meek pressing forward, landing a pair of outside leg kicks. Fight Network sees an action-packed and competitive opening round for Mein, 10-9.
They touch gloves and immediately re-engage in punching range, trading outside leg kicks and hooks. Meek scores a takedown, but Mein is active with his butterfly guard. Meek is persistent, passing to half-guard and looking to isolate the head and arm for a possible arm-triangle choke. Mein defends well. The crowd is growing restless as the Norwegian newcomer maintains top control, while Mein defends choke attempts and positional advancements. Meek rides out the round on top, earning a 10-9 score and evening up the contest at 19-19.
Meek is the aggressor to kick off the final period. Mein is primarily on the defensive, looking for counters and sprawls. Meek completes a takedown about 90 seconds in. Mein ties him up inside the guard, neutralizing the position. The crowd desperately wants a standup, but referee Dan Miragliotta isn’t having any of it. Meek tries to posture up with strikes and Mein attacks a kimura as time expires. Meek gets a 10-9 round on Fight Network’s scorecard, which should be enough to earn him the 29-28 decision.
Result: Emil Meek def. Jordan Mein via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Emil Meek: “It was amazing. It’s something I’ve been working on my whole life. To win in my UFC debut on the main card was incredible. He’s a tough guy. It took a lot of heart. I had a lot of fans that came here to support me. Without them I wouldn’t have managed to pull it out.”
Jordan Mein: “I feel a little sluggish. I took some good shots and recovered from them so that was a positive for me. I was just trying to switch it up as much as I could from striking, to kicking, to takedowns, I think I did that. Ran out of breath basically and couldn’t finish some of the takedowns.”
Preliminary Card (TSN2/FS1, 8 p.m. ET):
-Nikita Krylov (21-4) vs. Misha Cirkunov (12-2)
A body and leg kick land for Krylov. Cirkunov answers with a high kick that is blocked. An outside leg kick connects for Krylov and Cirkunov goes high again. Cirkunov closes the distance and secures a takedown, but Krylov wraps up the head to avoid giving up a bad position. They clinch briefly before separating. Cirkunov catches a body kick and drives forward for a takedown. He scores a single-leg, but Krylov attacks the neck. Krylov pops back to his feet and this time he powers through for a takedown of his own. Cirkunov reverses the position with a brilliant sweep and they scramble back to a standing clinch. Cirkunov nearly scores another single-leg, then he drops his foe with a hard straight left. The Latvian-Canadian prospect immediately pounces for a fight-ending guillotine choke, yielding a submission at the 4:38 mark of the opening stanza.
Result: Misha Cirkunov def. Nikita Krylov via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:38, Round 1
After earning the biggest win of his career, Cirkunov makes his case to Joe Rogan for a fight against an established legend. He name drops former UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as a possible opponent.
Misha Cirkunov: “I’m just happy. MMA is my religion. It means the whole world to me. I’m on the verge of crying. I’m the only one who knew this was going to happen. I gambled the world on myself and my career and I did it. If I have half the work-ethic of my grandmother, I know I can accomplish anything. I definitely belong in the top 10. I’m on an eight-fight win streak since I dropped my coach. I’d like to fight Mauricio Shogun Rua. If I fight a big name like that, more than just Toronto will see my potential. The whole world will see my potential.”
Nikita Krylov: “I’m not happy. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. I just want to fight.”
-Olivier Aubin-Mercier (8-2) vs. Drew Dober (17-7)
Aubin-Mercier gets the loudest ovation of the night thus far. They trade, as Dober uncorks looping power shots against Aubin-Mercier’s straight punches. Dober is already busted up. Aubin-Mercier pops his opponent’s head back with a jab, then Dober misses badly with another looping punch. Aubin-Mericer drops Dober with a body punch, but he pops right back up to his feet. Dober is struggling to find his range and the French-Canadian star is comfortably picking him apart with combinations. The opening stanza belongs to Aubin-Mercier, 10-9.
Dober drops him early and pounces with shots, but Aubin-Mercier does well covering up and closing his guard. Aubin-Mercier uses a kneebar attempt to reverse the position. He takes Dober’s back and locks up a body triangle. Dober tries to protect his neck, but Aubin-Mercier gets the hooks in and forces the tapout. The crowd erupts as Aubin-Mercier celebrates atop the octagon.
Result: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Drew Dober via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:57, Round 2
Olivier Aubin-Mercier: “I’m really happy with the win. I’m still at the point where I can improve. He was a really tough opponent, my toughest opponent so far, so I got a little emotional after the win. But I’m an emotional guy. I’d like to fight Andrew Holbrook next. He just beat Jake Matthew and I think it would be a good challenge right now.”
Drew Dober: “It was unfortunate. He got the rhthym first and I wasn’t able to capitalize on a successful knockdown and he accomplished the reverse and choked. I was trying to avoid the takedowns and make the fight as exciting as possible. I feel like I did that but unfortunately I gave up one and he took it.”
-Valerie Letourneau (8-5) vs. Viviane Pereira (11-0)
They circle and Letourneau looks to employ her range while the undefeated Brazilian stalks forward. Letourneau catches a kick and drives Pereira to the canvas. She immediately passes to full mount, but Pereira does well to regain her guard. Letourneau postures up and lands a few shots before Pereira ties up her neck and scrambles back to her feet. They are battling back and forth in the clinch with Letourneau landing cleaner shots, including a pair of knees to the head. The French-Canadian American Top Team representative takes the opening round on Fight Network’s scorecard, 10-9.
It’s a tepid pace in the second period with Letourneau’s rangy strikes getting the better of Pereira’s short, looping power punches. Pereira outmuscles Letourneau in the clinch and gets her to the ground. Now inside Letourneau’s guard, Pereira’s offense is mostly stifled. Letourneau kicks off and returns to her feet. Letourneau’s pace has evidently slowed, and Pereira finds the target on a few short hooks as time expires, but Fight Network still sees the round for the Canadian, who is up 20-18 on our scorecard.
Letourneau is popping out her jab. Pereira’s hooks are landing occasionally as Letourneau backs her up. Pereira initiates a clinch with about a minute left. They separate and the game Brazilian continues swinging until the final bell, but it may not be enough. Fight Network gives the durable newcomer the third, 10-9, but still sees the fight for Letourneau, 29-28.
Result: Viviane Pereira def. Valerie Letourneau via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Viviane Pereira: “I can’t even explain how big the win was. All of the work I put in over the years, it all came together. I’m not satisfied, though, I could have done better. I was nervous because it was my first UFC fight, but I will get better. I want to reach the top.”
Valerie Letourneau: “I was happy after the fight because there are a lot of things I wanted to work on that I did in this fight, being more patient, smarter. I really thought I won the fight. It’s hard to judge when you are fighting. When I watch the fight I will be able to judge. But I thought I won the fight and I’m still happy with what I did because there were a lot of little victories that I’ve been working on and I believe you can see it but I’m disappointed.”
-Mitch Gagnon (12-3) vs. Matthew Lopez (8-1)
It doesn’t take long for Gagnon to close the distance and pressure Lopez against the cage. Lopez lands a slick throw to briefly get the Canadian to the floor, but they scramble back to their feet. Gagnon flattens his foe with a stiff combination and hammers him with a bevy of followup elbows and punches on the mat. Lopez survives the onslaught, but he gives up his back. Gagnon looks to sink in the hooks, but Lopez flips around, landing in Gagnon’s guard. They’re back to their feet briefly, but the round ends with Gagnon attacking a leg. A great recovery from Lopez, but Gagnon earns a clear-cut opening frame, 10-9.
Gagnon is in pursuit of an early takedown, but Lopez threatens his neck to keep the action upright. Lopez uses Gagnon’s own momentum to land in his half-guard. Gagnon fishes for a triangle choke, then switches to an armbar, but Lopez defends intelligently to avert any real danger. Lopez is controlling the positional game and takes the back. He nearly sinks in his hooks for a rear-naked choke as Gagnon is seen wincing, but the Canadian fights off the hands. Gagnon finally regains his footing, but Lopez drags him back down to the mat to cap off an impressive 10-9 turnaround stanza. It should be tied going into the third and deciding round.
A hard kick to the groin floors Lopez, leading to a halt in the action. They restart and now it’s Lopez aggressively pursuing the takedown. He gets it and immediately moves to his opponent’s back. The output is lacking, but Lopez is riding Gagnon like a blanket. Gagnon returns to his feet and the fighters separate. They are trading shots in punching range before Gagnon initiates another clinch. After another separation, Lopez completes a power double-leg takedown. Time appears to be running out for Gagnon, who gives up his back and tries to dump Lopez over the top. Lopez maintains a dominant position for the final minute, which should earn him a 10-9 deciding round and win him the fight 29-28 on Fight Network’s scorecard.
Result: Matthew Lopez def. Mitch Gagnon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Matthew Lopez: “He got off to a fast start. But there was no quit in me today! I wasn’t going to quit. A lot of people came out to see Cormier and Johnson and they wanted to see a good show. I tried to give them a good show. This win means I get to keep on fighting in the UFC. It means a lot to me.”
Mitch Gagnon: “I started off good and kinda faded in the last couple of rounds. I thought I was going to be the one putting the pressure on but he’s the one that turned it on. That’s just the way it goes.”
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET):
-John Makdessi (14-5) vs. Lando Vannata (8-1)
Vannata is trying to establish his range early and mixes up his attacks. Makdessi connects with a nice double jab combo. Lannata anticipates Makdessi as he circles, connecting flush with a spinning wheel kick to the face that instantly knocks Makdessi out, shades of Edson Barboza’s highlight-reel finish of Terry Etim in 2012. A spectacular knockout for Vannata caps off the UFC Fight Pass prelims.
Result: Lando Vannata def. John Makdessi via KO (spinning wheel kick) at 1:40, Round 1
Lando Vannata: “I practiced that kick about 2,000 times in camp and I knew it was going to work. I was planning on using it and I knew he couldn’t stop it. I expected it to be successful. I’m ready for whoever they want to give me next.”
-Jason Saggo (12-2) vs. Rustam Khabilov (20-3)
Both fighters are trying to establish their range early as chants of “Saggo” echo throughout the arena. A nice body kick lands for the Canadian. Saggo mixes it up and goes high this time, finding the mark. Another high kick grazes Khabilov, who answers back with a pair of stiff hooks. He charges in for an explosive takedown and gets it, but Saggo immediately neutralizes any offensive output with his rubber guard. Khabilov maintains control in the guard, but his offense is severely compromised. Saggo nearly sweeps him to no avail. Khabilov’s control earns him a 10-9 round on Fight Network’s scorecard.
Khabilov is starting to let his hands go as Saggo presses forward and attacks the body with single punches and kicks. A hard punching combination connects for the Russian, who muscles his adversary to the ground shortly thereafter. Khabilov can’t seem to pass Saggo’s guard. Saggo attempts an omoplata, which causes Khabilov to shake his arm free. As soon as Saggo stands up, Khabilov pelts him with hard combinations. Saggo is briefly dazed, but he weathers the storm. The Canadian gives up another late takedown and he’s now down 20-18 on Fight Network’s scorecard. He likely needs a finish here.
Khabilov answers a Saggo kick to the body with a looping hook. Saggo is controlling the center of the octagon, but Khabilov appears to be getting the better of their exchanges. Khabilov catches nothing but air on a superman punch attempt. He follows it up with another seemingly effortless takedown, landing short punches inside Saggo’s guard. Saggo’s butterfly and rubber guards are limiting the amount of damage he’s absorbing. Saggo returns to his feet with just 60 seconds left. Khabilov lunges in for a takedown, but Saggo immediately attacks the arm. Khabilov reverses again and closes out the fight inside his foe’s guard. Fight Network sees it as a clean sweep for the Russian, who should earn a convincing 30-27 victory.
Result: Rustam Khabilov def. Jason Saggo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Khabilov calls out fellow lightweight contender Kevin Lee.
Rustam Khabilov: “I didn’t expect an easy fight , he’s a tough guy. I wanted the finish, but I could t get the finish I’m happy with the win. I was focused more on my striking in this camp with my coach, Roberto Flamingo, and it really helped.”
Jason Saggo: “Rustam was a tough opponent. His wrestling, he did well taking me down and I just wasn’t able to get back up off my back. He won the fight and deserved the win.”
-Zach Makovsky (19-7) vs. Dustin Ortiz (15-6)
Ortiz is the aggressor early. Makovsky grazes him with a knee as he lunges in. Ortiz closes the distance and pursues a takedown against the cage. Makovsky nearly shrugs him off as they jockey for position. Ortiz drops levels and eats a knee, but he’s unfazed and takes Makovsky’s back on the ground, but he can’t get his hooks in. Makovsky executes a brilliant reversal, landing in top position and subsequently taking Ortiz’s back. They scramble back to a vertical base and it’s Ortiz pressing him against the cage, but neither fighter is landing anything significant in close quarters. They separate with 45 seconds left, but Ortiz is stalking his foe. Makovsky does well to anticipate a kick, landing a takedown then again taking the back. Ortiz reverses, landing in his opponent’s guard to cap a close opening stanza. Fight Network sees it 10-9 for Ortiz.
Makovsky is seemingly loosening up and he lands a spinning back kick to the body. He briefly gets Ortiz down, but can’t keep him there. They’re back to jockeying for position in the clinch. Ortiz is able to take the back from a brief scramble, but can’t do anything with it. Makovsky attacks an arm and then a leg on the ground before Ortiz locks him up in a body triangle, wearing him down with short shots to the side of the head. Makovsky does well to keep his neck out of danger before finally scrambling out of the precarious spot. Ortiz appears to be cut above the right eye. It doesn’t take long for Makovsky to attempt another takedown, but again it’s Ortiz reversing and pressuring his adversary against the cage as time runs out. Another 10-9 round for Ortiz on Fight Network’s scorecard.
Ortiz continues to be the aggressor. Makovsky lands a swift single-leg, but he leaves his neck open and Ortiz attacks a guillotine choke off his back. Makovsky waits out any danger. Ortiz uses his butterfly hooks to scramble back to his feet. They re-engage in the clinch before separating. Ortiz lunges in for a takedown, but Makovsky anticipates it well before attacking a single-leg of his own. Ortiz maintains his footing and scores a takedown. He nearly passes to full mount, but Makovsky won’t give up the position and scrambles back to his feet where the exhausting clinch battle continues. Ortiz takes the back, but eats several reverse elbows. With 30 seconds remaining in the fray, Ortiz presses forward, but it’s Makovsky who drops levels for a takedown. Ortiz immediately reverses and lands a few punches on the ground as the fight comes to an end. Fight Network sees it 10-9 for Ortiz, who should take it 30-27 in a fight far more competitive than scorecards might dictate.
Result: Dustin Ortiz def. Zach Makovsky via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dustin Ortiz: “The key was to out hustle him out move him and break him. I knew I had to keep moving and keep busy. He didn’t surprise me with anything, I thought I could have even done better. This fight meant everything for me to stay in the UFC. I was thankful for the opportunity. It was a chance for me to start again.”
Zach Makovsky: “I was a little hesitant more than I wanted to be. Sloppy transitions, I gave him the top position. I think most of the time he ended up on top of me was because of my mistakes. I felt like I was doing the right things just a little sloppy, not so tight. And he was more slippery that I anticipated. I couldn’t keep a hold of him on top and I think ultimately that’s what lost me the fight.”