UFC 178 lived up to the hype Saturday night, as the stacked event delivered some incredible finishes and even more memorable fights.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his title, earning a second round submission victory over Chris Cariaso in the main event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After dominating the first, “Mighty Mouse” quickly worked to secure a kimura, locking it up tight and forcing the tap.
Johnson is still the only fighter to hold the 125-pound title, having defended it five times now. He also has a seven-fight win streak, which is third-longest in the UFC.
The UFC debut of Eddie Alvarez looked promising at the start, as the former Bellator champion seemed to be in complete control vs. Donald Cerrone. Like he does, though, “Cowboy” overcame a slow first round to control the final 10, earning a decision win over Alvarez.
For Cerrone, the win was his 12th in the UFC’s lightweight division, his fourth of the year and his fifth straight overall. Known for his “fight night” bonuses, Cerrone left the leg of Alvarez badly damaged with an array of kicks.
Conor McGregor quite possibly stole the spotlight with his first round finish of Dustin Poirier. Despite not being the main or even co-main events, the fight was billed as such. In fact, the two faced off in the center of the Octagon – a move normally reserved for the top bouts. Once the bell sounded, it was all “Notorious,” as he dominated “The Diamond” before ending it just over a minute into the first round.
After picking Poirier apart, who is ranked No. 5 in the featherweight division, McGregor said he would be ready to step in next month and fight for the title if he was needed, evening calling out champion Jose Aldo. Chad Mendes, who he referred to as “Mini,” is scheduled to face Aldo in Brazil.
Former Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero and Cat Zingano each earned third round stoppage victories on the main card. Romero overcame a rough finish to the second, leaving Tim Kennedy a bloody mess inside the cage. Zingano, making her return after 18 months away, did the same to Amanda Nunes.
The win for Zingano likely sends her to a title fight with Ronda Rousey for the UFC female bantamweight championship. “Alpha” originally earned the title shot last year after beating Miesha Tate, but a knee injury sidelined her.