Jon Jones (22-1) will fight Alexander Gustafsson (18-4) for the UFC light heavyweight belt Saturday night in the main event of UFC 232 at the Forum in Inglewood. Jones and Gustafsson engaged in one of the most exciting bouts in light heavyweight history in 2013. The card was moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on less than a week’s notice following irregularities in Jones’ drug test results. The co-feature pits UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino (20-1) against women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (16-4) for Cyborg’s title. Also scheduled to fight on the card: Michael Chiesa (14-4) vs. Carlos Condit (30-12), welterweights; Ilir Latifi (14-5) vs. Corey Anderson (11-4), light-heavyweights; Chad Mendes (18-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (18-1), featherweights. The card begins at 3:15PM Pacific with the pay-per-view portion commencing at 7PM Pacific.
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson live round-by-round coverage
Jon Jones is widely regarded as the best fighter in the history of the sport. He is ostensibly unbeaten and has taken out a collection of legends over the course of his storied career. In recent years, controversy has engulfed him as drug test failures and incidents outside the Octagon have sullied his reputation. Tonight he returns looking for redemption and attempting to regain the light heavyweight title that was stripped from him. In his way is Alexander Gustaffson, the Swedish mauler who gave Jones the toughest fight of his career in 2013 and now looks to hand Jones his first true loss.
Round 1. Jones goes for a takedown early but gives up on it quick. Jones tries again and they end up in a clinch where they trade knees. Gustafsson takes a low blow but quickly returns to action. They trade low kicks, with Jones throwing more of them. Both are cautious with their boxing. Jones catches a kick and goes for a takedown but Gustafsson defends well. Gustafsson lands a few solid punches in a brief exchange. Gustafsson follows with an overhand right. Close round. 10-9 Gustafsson.
Round 2. Jones lands a few nice body kicks early in the second. Jones goes for a takedown. Gustafsson blocks it and threatens with a guillotine choke but doesn’t come close. Gustafsson lets his hands go a little bit but nothing lands too strongly. Jones continues to use low kicks as his primary weapon. Jones clinches and lands a knee to the body. Jones lands a head kick. Gustafsson connects with a solid right hand. Another close round. These are tough to score. 10-9 Jones.
Round 3. Jones lands a stiff jab that snaps back Gustafsson’s head an elicits a loud response from the audience. Jones scores a takedown. Jones lands a few elbows from the top. Jones moves into side control, takes the back, and lands some heavy punches until the fight is stopped.
Winner: Jon Jones, TKO, round 3.
Jones put away an opponent there that gave him a tough time last time out. That has to be tremendously satisfying. Still, between the drug test irregularities that caused this card to be moved and the way this fight went, there are still open questions about where Jones’ game is at right now as compared to the lofty standards he set in years past.
Cris “Cyborg” Justino vs. Amanda Nunes live round-by-round coverage
Cris “Cyborg” Justino, undefeated since 2005, is one of the most accomplished and famous female fighters. Amanda Nunes, the bantamweight champion who knocked out Ronda Rousey and sent Rousey out of the sport, moves up in weight to try to unseat longtime featherweight champion. It’s a legacy-building fight for both.
Round 1. Nunes throws a few heavy punches early. Cyborg answers back and clips Nunes on the chin. Rather than becoming defensive, Nunes fires back. She drops Cyborg. Nunes drops Cyborg again. Nunes is opening up. Cyborg is in massive trouble. She fires back and Nunes drops her back unconscious.
Winner: Amanda Nunes, KO, round 1.
That was a historically important moment. For years, Cyborg has dominated and in the process she has created an aura of invincibility. Tonight that was shattered as Nunes ran through Cyborg in much the same fashion that Cyborg ran through so many opponents. It was a performance that will be talked about for a long time.
Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa live round-by-round coverage
Carlos Condit has accomplished a lot over the course of his great career, including winning the WEC title and becoming interim UFC champion. He has lost four straight and is looking for his first win since 2015. Michael Chiesa was an Ultimate Fighter winner and used his ground skills to rise up the ranks before losing his last two. This is an important fight for both as they look to reverse their recent fortunes.
Round 1. The fighters clinch and Chiesa scores a takedown. Condit threatens with an armbar. Chiesa avoids that and threatens with a rear naked choke. Condit escapes that and they return to their feet. Chiesa proceeds to take Condit back down. Chiesa isn’t terribly active from the top while Condit throws elbows from the bottom and then attacks with an armbar. Chiesa grimaces but pulls his arm out and they return to the feet. Chiesa gets another takedown and this time has side control position. Condit responds by attacking with a heel hook. Chiesa attacks with punches to prevent that. Another wild scramble proceeds at the end. That was a very entertaining ground battle. 10-9 Condit.
Round 2. Chiesa gets another takedown early on. Chiesa locks in a kimura and gets the submission.
Winner: Michael Chiesa, submission, round 2.
Both fighters came into that fight on losing streaks and both came out of it in a better position. Chiesa got the win and Condit the loss but they engaged in an exciting back-and-forth battle where they showcased their skills.
Ilir Latifi vs. Corey Anderson live round-by-round coverage
In a wide open light heavyweight division, Ilir Latifi and Corey Anderson are trying to break into the title picture. Latifi is a compact powerhouse with five wins in his last six. Anderson is a long and lanky fighter with two straight wins in his own right.
Round 1. Latifi knocks Anderson off balance with a leg kick and Anderson gets up walking a little unevenly. Latifi looks for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Anderson comes in and eats a few hard punches. Anderson lands a few kicks but eats a vicious hook from close range. Anderson lands a nice combination by the cage. Big round for Latifi. 10-9 Latifi.
Round 2. Latifi goes for a takedown but Anderson blocks it well. Anderson then looks for a takedown of his own but Latifi blocks that. Anderson lands a series of kicks. Latifi fires back with punches and then has to back up because of exhaustion. Anderson hammers the weathered Latifi with some crisp punches. 10-9 Anderson.
Round 3. Anderson is moving better again in the third and is pressing forward as Latifi has looked tired since expending so much energy in the first round. Latifi counters with one of his powerful hooks and then does again a little while later. Anderson connects with a solid combination including a knee to the head. Latifi responds with a side kick to the head that gets a big reaction from the crowd. Anderson knocks Latifi back with a straight punch. 10-9 Anderson, 29-28 Anderson.
Winner: Corey Anderson, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
It’s unfortunate for Ilir Latifi that he lost the decision because he was getting the better of the action by a wide margin when both men were at their best at the beginning. However, the thick and muscular Latifi couldn’t maintain the same pace and as he faded, Anderson took away the fight.
Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski live round-by-round coverage
Chad Mendes is one of the most decorated featherweight fighters, having fought many of the elite of the division and only having lost to the very best. He returned from a two year drug suspension to score an impressive finish over Myles Jury. At 18-1, Alexander Volkanovski is looking to break into the top ranks of the division and this is his opportunity. Volkanovski is 5-0 in the UFC thus far but hasn’t fought anyone with the reputation of Mendes.
Round 1. Volkanovski and Mendes both throw a lot of low kicks early on. It’s notable how similar the two are built physically. Their frames are almost identical, compact and muscular. Mendes opens up with a few power punches by the fence but Volkanovski covers up. Mendes shoots for a takedown at the midpoint of the round but Volkanovski blocks that. Mendes gets a takedown in the final minute but Volkanovski gets back up. Really close round. 10-9 Volkanovski.
Round 2. Volkanovski is the aggressor early with punches but Mendes rocks Volkanovski with a punch. Mendes recognizes it and he comes in swinging heavy. Mendes drops Volkanovski with another punch and has Volkanovski in trouble. Volkanovski recovers pretty well. Volkanovski answers back and appears to have Mendes in some trouble with his punches. Mendes responds by taking Volkanovski down but Volkanoski gets up quickly. Volkanovski has some more success with his punches but Mendes takes Volkanovski down and quickly takes Volkanovski’s back. Mendes looks for a choke but Volkanovski gets out and returns to his feet. Volkanovski batters Mendes with some hard punches by the cage. He drops Mendes and lands an additional fight before it is stopped.
Winner: Alexander Volkanovski, TKO, round 2.
That was a terrific performance by Volkanovski. He survived great jeopardy both standing and on the ground and put away a top contender in impressive fashion. That second round in particular was a thrilling, back and forth war.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris live round-by-round coverage
Andrei Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion and one of the most accomplished heavyweights in UFC history. At 39 years old and 2-7 in his last 9 fights, Arlovski is reaching the end of his career but he has been competitive in recent bouts. Walt Harris is 4-4 in his last 8 fights and is a mid level UFC heavyweight.
Round 1. They clinch. Harris lands a few knees to the body. Arlovski looks for a takedown but Harris blocks it and they separate. After a few relatively even exchanges, Harris goes for a takedown that is successfully defended. Harris throws a few heavy punches that whistle by Arlovski’s head. They open up with hard punches and swing at each other with looping shots from close range. Harris lands the hardest punch in the exchange. 10-9 Harris.
Round 2. As Arlovski is coming in with a punch, Harris catches Arlovski off balance and scores a takedown. Arlovski returns to his feet in quick order. The pace slows with neither man landing much. Harris does connect with a couple of solid isolated punches. Arlovski connects with a decent combination. The crowd boos what has been a slow bout. 10-9 Harris.
Round 3. Harris connects with a big left hand, probably the best punch of the fight. Sweat flies and Arlovski backs up. However, Arlovski isn’t in significant trouble. Harris follows up with a strong combination that backs Arlovski up against the cage. The pace slows as the fight comes to a merciful end. 10-9 Harris, 30-27 Harris.
Winner: Walt Harris, split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
That was not a crowd-pleasing fight and isn’t going to do a lot to elevate either man. Harris landed the better strikes and deserved the decision.
Cat Zingano vs. Megan Anderson live round-by-round coverage
Former bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano is looking to make a run at featherweight and she takes on top featherweight contender Megan Anderson here. Anderson is looking to rebound from a loss that ended a winning streak while Zingano is looking to follow up on a win that broke a losing streak.
Round 1. Zingano lands some kicks from the outside while circling as the larger Anderson takes the center. Zingano injures her eye on a kick and can’t defend herself so the fight is stopped.
Winner: Megan Anderson, TKO, round 1.
That was an unfortunate ending for Zingano as her eye got grazed on that kick and there was little she could do to defend herself. Anderson did nothing wrong and the referee made the right call.
Petr Yan vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade live round-by-round coverage
The Russian prospect Petr Yan is well regarded already at 10-1 and has two UFC victories to his credit thus far. He takes on 25-2 (1 NC) Douglas Silva de Andrade, who is 3-2 in the UFC after dominating on the lower levels.
Round 1. Andrade lands a nice hook early. Yan answers with a stiff body kick. Yan follows with a couple of body punches and another hard body kick. Yan catches a kick and takes Andrade down. Andrade attacks the leg but Yan gets out of trouble and Andrade returns to his feet. Yan continues to attack the body hard. Andrade is active in his own right but isn’t landing with the same impact. Andrade lands a nice combination punctuated by a knee to the body. Yan gets a takedown late in the round. 10-9 Yan.
Round 2. Yan lands a solid two-punch combination early. Andrade lands a quality one off straight right hand. Yan goes for a guillotine choke by the cage. He lets it go and takes side control position on the ground. Andrade works his way back up to his feet but Yan pulls him back down. Yan attacks with a heel hook but Yan feeds him some hard elbows to the face in response. Andrade is bleeding and Yan is really opening up. 10-9 Yan.
The fight is stopped between rounds.
Winner: Petr Yan, TKO, round 2.
Petr Yan’s precision is quite impressive. He is so technical with his attacks and is very effective offensively while not leaving a lot of openings for his opponents. This was a rather one-sided win over a very experienced opponent.
B.J. Penn vs. Ryan Hall live round-by-round coverage
B.J. Penn is one of the legends of the sport and has been a star since bursting onto the scene in his early 20s. Now 40, Penn hasn’t won since 2010. Ryan Hall won the Ultimate Fighter and the ground specialist has won twice in the UFC. This is his first fight in over two years.
Round 1. Penn takes the center of the cage and throws a few punches before clinching. Penn can’t get a takedown. Hall looks to pull guard and ends up on the ground while Penn attacks the legs with kicks. Eventually the referee stands Hall up. Hall throws a few head kicks that don’t connect. Hall rolls in, grabs a heel hook and Penn taps out.
Winner: Ryan Hall, submission, round 1.
Penn had never been submitted before in his MMA career. It was certainly better to see him matched with a submission artist who didn’t do a lot of damage than a striker who was going to punish the legend in the final leg of his career.
Andre Ewell vs. Nathaniel Wood live round-by-round coverage
Andre Ewell has won five straight and is coming off a win over Renan Barao. Nathaniel Wood has won six straight in his own right including a UFC debut submission over Johnny Eduardo.
Round 1. The action is fast paced from the start. Wood lands the first telling blow of the fight less than two minutes in as he drops Ewell with a punch. It appears he clips Ewell with another punch a little bit later but Ewell is fine. Wood is the one consistently moving forward while Ewell circles away. Wood also is connecting better. 10-9 Wood.
Round 2. Ewell comes out swinging and after a wild exchange, Wood takes Ewell to the ground. Wood is in Ewell’s full guard and there isn’t a lot of action from that position. Wood gets more active with punches in order to retain the position, although he isn’t doing much damage in the process. Wood lands a series of punches to the body and gets more active as the crowd grows restless. Wood really is attacking the body hard as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Wood.
Round 3. Wood opens with a few low kicks. Wood catches a kick and throws Ewell down but Ewell gets right back up. Wood scores a takedown a minute and a half in, with Ewell utilizing the rubber guard from the bottom. Despite being well behind, Ewell isn’t able to do much off his back and is forced to simply defend as Wood lands punches from the top. Ewell tries to get up but in the process Wood takes the back and locks in a rear naked choke for the submission.
Winner: Nathaniel Wood, submission, round 3.
Wood was dominant in all aspects of the fight. He got the better of the standup exchanges and Ewell was controlled when the fight went to the ground as well.
Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis live round-by-round coverage
Uriah Hall generated a lot of buzz during his time on the Ultimate Fighter given his remarkable power. However, his UFC career has been up and down. Fighting a consistently high level of competition, he has dropped four of his last five. Bevon Lewis is the least established opponent Hall has fought in a while, unbeaten but unproven.
Round 1. The fighters come out aggressively, with Lewis in particular wasting no time looking to land big shots. He lands a series of knees in a clinch and then breaks it off. Lewis lands a clean right hand and just keeps coming. As the round progresses, Lewis slows down his pace and both fighters approach the other with more caution. 10-9 Lewis.
Round 2. The pace is much slower in the second than the start of the first. Both men are throwing plenty of leg kicks and neither is landing much of consequence. Lewis lands a hook and then a head kick. Hall answers with a spinning back kick to the body. Lewis catches a kick and takes control of Hall’s body on the feet. Against the cage, Lewis lands a series of hard knees to Hall’s butt. On the break, Hall connects with a hard spinning back kick to the body and Hall follows with some nice punches at the close of the round. 10-9 Lewis.
Round 3. The fighters clinch against the cage before Lewis breaks that off. Hall then knocks Lewis out with an inside punch. Lewis was swinging and at the end of Lewis’ punch, Hall countered and put him away.
Winner: Uriah Hall, KO, round 3.
Bevon Lewis was giving Uriah Hall plenty of trouble early Hall pulled off the come from behind win and handed Lewis his first defeat. After the fight, Hall dedicated the performance with a sweet tribute to his sister who is battling depression.
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Curtis Millender live round-by-round coverage
Afghan star Siyar Bahadurzada is an exciting competitor known for his closing skills. He has three straight wins in the UFC, all by finish. Curtis Millender also enters this fight with momentum, having won eight straight, including two in the UFC.
Round 1. Millender leads with some low kicks. Bahadurzada lies back and mostly observes, loading up occasionally for a power shot. Millender lands a heavy spinning back kick to the head that the crowd reacts big to but Bahadurzada is fine. Bahadurzada finally lands one of his big looping punches but Millender takes it well. Millender is controlling the range and landing more but Bahadurzada has a lot of power when he lands. Millender lands a few nice jabs and follows with a head kick. 10-9 Millender.
Round 2. Bahadurzada comes out swinging, throwing big winging punches and talking trash. A few connect but Millender mostly defends well. Bahadurzada is talking an awful lot. Millender lunges in with a nice knee and then lands a hard uppercut. Bahadurzada shakes his head to effectively claim these shots don’t hurt every time, but it’s clear they are doing damage. Bahadurzada lands one of his heavy hooks but Millender just keeps throwing. Bahadurzada catches Millender as Millender attacks and takes Millender down. Millender has half guard and mostly just covers up while Bahadurzada lands light punches and elbows. Close round. Bahadurzada controlled Millender for a while but Millender did more damage in the standup. 10-9 Millender.
Round 3. Millender throws a few low kicks at the start. Bahadurzada opens up with his wild hooks and connects with a few. Millender answers back with a few clean straight punches to the jaw. Millender knocks out his mouthpiece with a punch and then lands another few hard punches. Millender hurts Bahadurzada by the cage and really starts to open up. Bahadurzada is clearly in big trouble and he goes for a slow takedown. Bahadurzada somehow gets top position but as he looks to mount Millender moves to stand up. Millender gets up but Bahadurzada pulls him back down. Millender stands up again. Millender lands a few more punches at range and Bahadurzada continues to shake his head every time as if to will the shots into not counting. Bahadurzada goes for a late takedown but Millender reverses into top position in the final 15 seconds. 10-9 Millender, 30-27 Millender.
Winner: Curtis Millender, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
That was an entertaining fight. Bahadurzada is tough and kept coming but Millender was getting the better of the offense most of the way.
Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson live round-by-round coverage
UFC 232 kicks off with a pair of bantamweight fighters. Brian “Boom” Kelleher began his UFC career in impressive fashion, beating respected veteran Iuri Alcantara by submission and he added to his resume with a win over former champion Renan Barao. He is coming off a knockout loss to John Lineker. Montel Jackson earned a spot in the UFC with a win on Dana White’s Contender Series but he was unsuccessful in a decision loss to Ricky Simon. Jackson missed weight for this bout.
Round 1. The fighters exchange low kicks early, with Jackson also mixing in his jab. Kelleher goes for a takedown but eats a hard elbow from close range that drops him. Jackson follows with additional punches on the ground looking for a stoppage. Kelleher is able to survive for a time but Jackson locks in a D’Arce choke for the submission less than two minutes in.
Winner: Montel Jackson, submission, round 1.
That was a quality win for Jackson, who scored the first submission of his professional career against a veteran opponent. Those close-range elbows are a potent weapon in defending against takedowns.
UFC champion Amanda Nunes stands on the brink of becoming the new ‘baddest woman on the planet’
Amanda Nunes has visions she can’t deny.
Those same fierce beliefs that fueled her rise to UFC’s women’s bantamweight champion now take Nunes to her greatest undertaking yet.
Saturday night at the Forum, in the co-main event of UFC 232, Nunes (16-4) will attempt to hand women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg (20-1) her first defeat since 2005.
“If you’re a fighter, you want to break records and challenge yourself all the time,” Nunes told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m that one. I’m that person. I like to keep doing that.”
UFC tries to stem criticism over its drug-testing protocol ahead of Jon Jones’ return to the octagon
A UFC executive and noted anti-doping figure Friday sought to quell mounting criticism of the organization’s decision to allow former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones to fight in Saturday’s UFC 232 main event at the Forum despite the presence of a steroid metabolite in his system earlier this month.
“Optically, not a pretty picture, but I stand up here 100% confident in [the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency] decision-making and these experts that they have, and I believe this is the right thing to do, this fight going on tomorrow,” Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance, told reporters.
Saturday’s light-heavyweight title rematch between Jones and Alexander Gustafsson was moved to the Forum after Nevada last week ruled it wouldn’t immediately sanction the bout for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After making weight Friday in Los Angeles, Jones (22-1) will earn a guaranteed $500,000 for the bout.
Novitzky disputed the contention by steroid experts that the decision to allow Jones to fight following a positive test is unprecedented.
“There’s another sports league out there that’s had this issue pop up multiple times, and they’ve handled their adjudication the same way that USADA handled Jones,” Novitzky said, declining to identify the league because of collective-bargaining agreements. “As long as the science showed residual effect in subsequent tests, they were not punished again. It’s really a matter of double jeopardy.”