Mark Muñoz got wrecked by Gegard Mousasi in the main event from Berlin, Germany. Mousasi became the first man to ever tap out the “Filipino Wrecking Machine” in their middleweight affair at the World O2 Arena. It was swift first round submission for the former Dream and Strikeforce champion, who saw his hand raised in the Octagon a second time.
To open the main event, Muñoz was on the hunt for a takedown. He was able to slam Mousasi, but couldn’t make the most of it as Mousasi dusted it off and stood up right away.
Then, Muñoz made the mistake of shooting in from too far out and too low against “The Dreamcatcher”. Quick to capitalize on the mistake was Mousasi, who took control laying on elbows and punches from a dominant position. From there, Mousasi transitioned on the mat and sunk in the rear-naked choke. The tap came at the 3:57 mark in the first.
In his post-fight interview with Dan Hardy, Mousasi made a case to fight another one of the UFC’s top ten middleweights.
“I think I’m going to get a win over Luke Rockhold or Tim Kennedy to get a bit closer to a title shot. I’m not calling anyone out, but I’m sure I’ll get a winner,” Mousasi said.
For Mousasi the win was his fifth in his last 6 outings. He also earned a $50,000 bonus for his submission. Muñoz now falls to 1-3 in his last four.
In the co-main event, C.B. Dollaway utilized his top notch wrestling to wrangle a win over touted TriStar standout, Francis Carmont.
Both men engaged in some early taunting, but it was Dollaway who was able to back it up. Dollaway initiated the attack in the first round, dropping Carmont and looking for the ground and pound finish.
Seizing takedowns in the subsequent rounds was key for the Power MMA & Fitness product to sweep the scorecards against Carmont.
In the post-fight press conference, Dollaway told media he feels he’s a top ten contender at middleweight. He too raked in $50,000 for his performance.
A stunning decision marked the first blemish on undefeated TUF 17 alum, Luke Barnatt’s record. In the latest controversial decision to rock the MMA world, Sean Strickland locked in a split decision over Barnatt.
While the first round wasn’t action-packed, it was a tactical one in which Barnatt slightly outstruck Strickland. A case could’ve been made to score it in favor of Strickland who came on with some late power punches in the round.
However, Barnatt clearly edged out the second and third rounds. Strickland slowed his striking output and explained in the post-fight press conference he dislocated two fingers in his right hand in the midst of the fight.
A most impressive debut was made by Sweden’s Niklas Backstrom. The UFC newcomer halted Tom Niinimaki’s 12-fight win streak. The UFC newcomer pulled off a modified bulldog choke and transitioned into a rear-naked choke to finish Niinimaki. The first round stoppage also netted him $50K.
Nick Hein’s judo paired with a nasty left hand elevated him on the scorecards over Drew Dober. It was Dober’s debut at lightweight after coming in on short notice and fighting Sean Spencer at welterweight.
It was the Cologne, Germany native’s debut in the UFC and marked his fifth straight win. Though Dober never quit coming forward and tried to finish Hein, his efforts weren’t enough.
Their fight was briefly halted in the third so the cageside doctor could check on a gushing cut near Dober’s right eye. In the end, Hein saw the unanimous decision in his favor. Dober has now lost two straight in the UFC.
Iuri Alcantara strutted in and out of the cage in under 30 seconds. The Brazilian pulverized Vaughan Lee with a knee and polished him off with punches to secure his second straight win.
Peter Sobotta made his presence known with a dominant performance over newcomer Pawel Pawlak. Sobotta returned to the Octagon for the first time in nearly four years. While away from the UFC, Sobotta went on a 5-0-1 run, with all finishes occuring in the first round.
Fighting out of Germany, Sobotta had previously fought twice there with the UFC. In his third outing in Germany, he took home his first UFC win over a listless newcomer in Pawel Pawlak.
Early momentum was set by Krzystof Jotko in a middleweight tilt with Magnus Cedenblad. Jotko pursued Cedenblad aggressively from the onset. Cedenblad was able to stymie his attack with a pair of takedowns.
In the second, Cedenblad scored early with a huge head kick, but Jotko recovered well. Soon after, both attempted takedowns, and only Cedenblad succeeded in getting one. From there, a grappling exchange ensued. Jotko was attempting a rear-naked choke when Cedenblad transitioned, secured an arm-in guillotine choke, and forced Jotko to tap with just one second remaining in the round.
Cedenblad has now won back-to-back fights in the promotion and pocketed an extra $50,000 as well for the finish.
Opening his fight with a flying front kick, Maximo Blanco almost scored the quickest knockout in the UFC. Instead, he settled for a much needed unanimous decision win over Andy Ogle.
Both men came into the battle with their backs up against the wall. Each of them had only one win in their last 4. “The Little Axe” has now lost 4 of 5 in the UFC.
Newcomer Ruslan Magomedov also outlasted Viktor Pesta in a back and forth heavyweight contest. Magomedov’s kickboxing and diverse striking foray gave him a decision in his favor.