As the year in MMA gradually comes to an end, each promotion begins to put their best fighters on each card to end with a bang. If this weekend wasn’t evidence of that I don’t know what is.
ONE FC made its way to the Philippines for ONE FC 23. Roger Gracie made his promotional debut at Light Heavyweight defeating James McSweeney via TKO at 3:15 of round 3. In a Heavyweight bout Brandon Vera made quick work of Igor Subora, utilizing soccer kicks after a punch dropped him. Vera won by KO at 3:54 of round 1. In the main event Bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes successfully defended his belt via rear naked choke at 1:16 of round 2 despite a valiant effort by Dae Hwan Kim.
At RFA 21, the promotions final event of the year, Mehdi Baghdad defeated Zach Juusola to claim the vacant Lightweight belt. Baghdad won by TKO after an elbow split Juusola’s forehead. The finish came at 2:47 of round 4.
Invicta FC 10 only had eight fights on the fight card because of injuries but still managed to put on a show. Featherweight Tonya Evinger extended her win streak after getting the win over Cindy Dandois via armbar. The armbar marked her second straight and came at 1:23 of round 2. The main event saw a new Atomweight champion crowned. Herica Tiburcio earned the upset victory over “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson via guillotine at 1:04 of round 3.
At UFC 181 Travis Browne defeated Brandan Schaub by TKO at 4:50 of round 1. The first of two title fights saw Anthony Pettis attempt to defend his Lightweight belt for the first time. Though Gilbert Melendez came out strong, Pettis was able to settle and earn a guillotine from the mount at 1:53 of round 2. The second of the two title fights served as the main event. Welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler picked up right where they left off in this rematch. The two slugged their way to a split decision which saw Lawler become the new champion.
Longtime UFC veteran Yves Edwards has announced his retirement from the sport following a recent loss.
Following his release from the UFC, Lightweight Anthony Njokuani has signed with Legacy Fighting Championship and will fight undefeated Thomas Gifford.
WWE superstar CM Punk has signed with the UFC.