Abu Dhabi: UFC® 267 lived up to the pre-event hype and so much more on a thrilling night at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
A spectacular night of fights climaxed with Glover Teixeira claiming the light heavyweight crown from Jan Blachowicz, after Petr Yan had become the interim bantamweight champion.
Elsewhere Khamzat Chimaev returned to the Octogan in spectacular style picking up his fourth first round win in as many UFC fights, while Islam Makhachev furthered his title credentials in the lightweight division.
Here is the full breakdown from a famous night in Abu Dhabi.
Main Event: Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira
Glover Teixeira became the light heavyweight champion at the age of 42 with a stunning win over Jan Blachowicz.
The Brazilian stunned the champion with a dominent display, ending the night early with a second-round rear-naked choke.
Seven years after his last title shot, Teixeira knew this would be his last chance to win gold and picked up the best possible present just two days after his birthday.
Teixeira took control in the first round, enjoying top position after a takedown inside the first 60 seconds.
The second started better for the champion, as he looked to stifle takedowns and found success with his hands.
But midway through the round Teixiera rocked the Pole with a left hand, before being able to take it to the ground again and swiftly find the rear-naked choke to make history and become the second-oldest UFC champion in history.
Co-main Event: Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen
Petr Yan became the interim bantamweight champion after a five-round battle with Cory Sandhagen.
Yan dropped the title to Aljamain Sterling in controversial circumstances in March, and was denied the chance to immediately challenge for the title with Sterling recovering from surgery.
Sandhagen stepped in to fill Sterling’s shoes in Abu Dhabi with the interim title on the line, and the Russian took home the gold with a unanimous decision showing 49-46 on all three cards.
The American started well, remaining illusive and keeping Yan guessing with unconventional striking and level changes. Both men found success to the body in the opening two rounds, but it was a third-round spinning back fist that would swing the pendulum in Yan’s favour, dropping Sanghagen with the pressure maintained in the remainder of the third.
Sandhagen saw brief takedown success in the fourth, but it was the constant forward pressure and crisp, accurate striking that saw Yan on top to the final buzzer.
Islam Makhachev vs Dan Hooker
Islam Makhachev passed his toughest test to date with flying colours producing the perfect display in a first-round submission of Dan Hooker.
Many have touted Makhachev as the successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the lightweight division, and this win will do little to quell that talk.
Having taken top position on the ground, the Dagestani fighter was able to lock in a kimura, forcing Kiwi Hooker to tap at 2:23 of the opening stanza.
Ranked fifth in the lightweight division going into the fight, Makhachev will now be looking at the very top of the class for his next opponent having stretched his unbeaten streak in the UFC to nine fights, and his overall record to 21-1.
Alexander Volkov vs Marcin Tybura
Alexander Volkov put on a clinic in takedown defence to stifle Marcin Tybura, and pick up a unanimous decision win.
Pole Tybura attempted 15 takedowns across the piece but was constantly left frustrated by the rangey Russian who took the decsion 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Volkov’s conditioning showed in the third round as he landed the better of the striking against a tiring Tybura.
The win moves Volkov to 34-9 and gets him back in the win column after a loss last time out to interim heavyweight champion Cyril Gane. Ranked fifth going into the fight, Volkov snapped Tybura’s five-fight win strteak to enchance his credentials at the top-end of the division.
Li Jingliang vs Khamzat Chimaev
Despite being out of the Octagon for more than a year, Khamzat Chimaev didn’t skip a beat in putting Li Jingliang to sleep in their opening round of their welterweight bout.
Li was unable to land a single strike as Sweden’s Chimaev notched his fourth UFC win – all inside the first round.
Having taken Li to the ground, Chimaev landed a barrage or strikes that looked like ended the fight, before Li refused to tap to a rear naked choke and referee Jason Roberts was forced to step in.
Chimaev stormed onto the UFC scene with three wins in a little over 60 days in 2020 before illness kept him out of the Octagon for more than 12 months. Currently unranked in the welterweight division, that is expected to change with the division once again put on notice by the 27-year-old.
Magomed Ankalaev vs Volkan Oezdemir
Magomed Ankalaev furthered his credentials in the light heavyweight division with a dominant unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) win over Volkan Oezdemir.
Seventh-ranked Ankalaev stretched his unbeaten run to seven, with an overall 16-1 record – and he was quick to call for a top-five opponent next time out.
Ankalaev had the best of the first round – landing a straight left to drop his Swiss opponent, who had been out of action since July 2020. The second round saw Ankalaev continue to find the target with his hands, opening up a nasty cut over Oezdemir’s left eye.
Oezdemir found success with leg kicks throughout, but rarely troubled the Russian.
Amanda Ribas vs Virna Jandiroba
Amanda Ribas moved to 5-1 in the UFC with a unanimous decision win over fellow Brazilian Virna Jandiroba.
The 28-year-old overcame early adversity to take the win with a crisp display of striking that only improved as the fight went on.
Jandiroba has the better of the opener, taking Ribas down and working well on the ground, before dropping her compatriot with a solid right hand in the final seconds of the round.
From there it was all Ribas, as she found the target with her hands frequently and accurately in the second round, before landing a solid head-kick in the third that threatened to end Jandiroba’s record of never being stopped in her 20-fight career.
Ribas answered a loss last time out in the perfect way, moving to 11-2 and cementing her place in the strawweight top-10.
Ricardo Ramos vs Zubaira Tukhugov
Zubaira Tukhugov impressed with a unanimous decision win over Ricardo Ramos in the featherweight division.
The Dagestan fighter looked crisp with his striking against the dangerous Brazilian. Tukhugov has made Abu Dhabi something of a home with three of his last four fights now being in the Emirates, finding success in getting back in the win column after a defeat last time out, moving him to 20-5-1 overall.
Albert Duraev vs Roman Kopylov
Albert Duraev and Roman Kopylov went to war for fifteen minutes with Duraev getting the unanimous decision.
He was seconds away from finishing things in the second round, but the buzzer saved Kopylov with a deep choke sunk in. The round had started well for Kopylov, dropping his opponent in the opening seconds, but it was Duraev who would take control on the floor and hand out serious punishment from full mount.
Both fighters went into the third round with serious damage, but neither man could find a finish.
Duraev, making his UFC debut in the middleweight division, extended his winning streak to ten fights, 15-3 overall.
Elizeu dos Santos vs Benoit Saint Denis
Brazilian Elizeu dos Santos won a convincing decision win over former French special forces operative Benoit Saint Denis.
Debutant Saint Denis took heavy punishment throughout and was seemingly on the brink of defeat on multiple occasions. Despite dos Santos being docked a point in the third round for an inadvertant groin strike the judges still saw things 29-26 in his favour.
Shamil Gamzatov vs Michal Oleksiejczuk
Michal Oleksiejczuk ended the perfect 14-0 record of Shamil Gamzatov with a devastating first round uppercut. The 26-year-old Polish light heavyweight was constantly moving forward and found the target after 3:31 of the opener, dropping the Dagestani to his knees before the referee stopped proceedings before too many more blows could be landed.
Makwan Amirkhani vs Lerone Murphy
Britain’s Lerone Murphy continued his unbeaten run with a stunning second round knockout of Makwan Amirkhani.
Mr Finland had the best of the opening round, but a perfectly timed knee from Murphy as Amirkhani shot for a takedown ended the contest. The Brit, who has had all four of his UFC fights in Abu Dhabi, moves to 11-0-1 in the featherweight division.
Hu Yaozong vs Andre Petroski
Andre Petroski picked up his second win in the UFC, moving to 7-1 overall with a submission win over Hu Yaozong.
The American, fighting on just 5-days’ notice, dominated on the feet and ground with multiple submission attempts before finishing off an arm triangle in the final seconds of the third round against an incredibly durable Chinese fighter.
Tagir Ulanbekov vs Allan Nascimento
Tagir Ulanbkov stretched his win streak to five, with a second win in the UFC following a closely fought win over Allan Nascimento. Three highly technical rounds were punctuated with high level grappling and submission attempts with the Dagestani getting the nod from the judges via split decision.
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