Originally published at UFC 257 REPORT: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of UFC 257 from Abu Dhabi.
We will have coverage on the site throughout the night going through each fight followed by our UFC 257 POST Show hosted by John Pollock & Phil Chertok LIVE at YouTube.com/POSTwrestling.
Throughout the night, you can chat with fellow POST listeners in the POST Wrestling Discord chat.
MAIN CARD (10 pm ET on pay-per-view)
*Dustin Poirier (156) vs. Conor McGregor (155)
*Michael Chandler def. Dan Hooker by TKO at 2:30 of Round 1
*Joanne Calderwood def. Jessica Eye by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Makhmud Muradov def. Andrew Sanchez by TKO at 2:59 of Round 3
*Marina Rodriguez def. Amanda Ribas by TKO at 0:54 of Round 2
*Armen Tsarukyan def. Matt Frevola by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
*Brad Tavares def. Antonio Carlos Junior by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Julianna Pena def. Sara McMann by rear-naked choke at 3:39 of Round 3
*Marcin Prachnio def. Khalil Rountree, Jr. by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Movsar Evloev def. Nik Lentz by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Amir Albazi def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
KHALIL ROUNTREE JR. (8-4, 1 NC, 206) VS MARCIN PRACHNIO (13-5, 206) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
In the first round, it was close with significant power behind both men’s strikes. Prachnio was sneaking his strikes through more consistently and ended up doubling Rountree in strikes landed throughout the opening round. 10-9 Prachnio
Prachnio was on his way to winning the second round when Rountree rocked him with a counter right and followed with a left head kick. It was a massive final minute for Rountree to even the fight. 10-9 Rountree
In the third, Rountree caught him with an uppercut but it was a relentless pressure from Prachnio that won him the round. He put on lots of pressure and appeared to take advantage of a conditioning edge late in the fight and out-landed Rountree including solid strikes to the body. 10-9 Prachnio and 29-28 overall
WINNER: Marcin Prachnio by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This was a must-win for Prachnio after starting his UFC campaign with three consecutive losses. It was Rountree’s first fight since September 2019 and the announcers noted it was a tough weight cut for Rountree.
JULIANNA PENA (9-4, 136) VS SARA McMANN (12-5, 135) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Round 1 featured McMann being patient until her opening to execute a single-leg takedown and move to the back of Pena. She slid one hook in but lost the position with Pena up to her feet. McMann got another takedown and finishes the round inside Pena’s guard where she landed one notable elbow strike. 10-9 McMann
McMann got her down right away but was caught in a guillotine that she had to pass. McMann was into Pena’s back before they got upright and clinched by the fence. Pena landed several notable strikes in the closing seconds and secured the round. 10-9 Pena
Pena came alive in the third round with a takedown immediately followed by several hammer fists. Pena took McMann’s back and got both hooks in before getting her arm under and choking McMann out.
WINNER: Julianna Pena by rear-naked choke at 3:39 of Round 3
It was a huge third round performance from Pena, who definitely lost the first round and the second could have gone either way. Pena secured the sixth win of her UFC career and rebounds after her loss to Germaine de Randamie last year. McMann falls to 6-6 during her UFC career going back to 2013.
Pena called out Amanda Nunes and told her to stop ducking her.
BRAD TAVARES (17-6, 185.5) VS ANTONIO CARLOS JUNIOR (10-4, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
The first round was a toss-up but was highlighted by Tavares’ takedown defense, which was extra impressive given his recovery from a torn ACL. There was a low knee that hit Tavares and led to time being called. Carlos Junior edged the round for me. 10-9 Carlos Junior
In the second, Tavares was connecting with his right hand and using his balance as he popped up from the mat. Carlos Junior was getting comfortable with his jab when he was rocked with a left hook that set-up a monstrous right hand. 10-9 Tavares
Tavares continues to roll in the third round finding a home for his right hand with his timing on point. Carlos Junior entered the pocket and met a knee strike from Tavares. Tavares continues to stop the takedowns and was 10/11 on takedown blocks throughout the fight. 10-9 Tavares and 29-28 overall
WINNER: Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The story of the fight was Tavares utilizing his right hand and nailing down his timing of Carlos Junior, whose game plan was greatly affected by the superior takedown defense of Tavares. The 33-year old notches his first win since April 2018 and bounces back following losses to Israel Adesanya and Edmen Shahbazyan.
MATT FREVOLA (8-1-1, 155.5) VS ARMAN TSARUKYAN (15-2, 157*) – LIGHTWEIGHT
The first round was excellent with tons of action. Tsarukyan got the takedown quickly and followed with a slam but Frevola scrambled. Tsarukyan was drawing Frevola in and landing while Frevola was swinging wildly. Tsarukyan was landing with jabs but was nailed with a big right hand at the end. 10-9 Tsarukyan
Tsarukyan had tremendous pressure throughout the round, getting the takedown and working hard on top. Tsarukyan threatened with a D’Arce and arm-triangle but could not get either submission. The pace is very high for both men. 10-9 Tsarukyan
Tsarukyan continued to dominate in the third round and finished with 10/12 on his takedowns. Tsarukyan was in side control and achieved ¾ mount with nonstop pressure until the horn sounded. The third was his strongest round of the fight. 10-9 Tsarukyan and 30-27 overall
WINNER: Arman Tsarukyan by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
This was a great performance from Tsarukyan as he wins his third in a row and with an opponent change the day prior to boot. He is an exciting lightweight to watch and the only blemish on this performance was that he missed weight by one pound.
MARINA RODRIGUEZ (12-1-2, 116) VS AMANDA RIBAS (10-1, 116) – STRAWWEIGHT
Ribas scored with the body lock takedown and Rodriguez tried to wrap her leg around the body for a better position. Ribas worked in Rodriguez’s full guard for the duration of the round where she landed with strikes, primarily to the body, and won the round. 10-9 Ribas
The second round was wild. Rodriguez hit a massive right hand and Ribas was stunned and went to a knee. Rodriguez pummeled her with follow-up strikes, Herb Dean stepped in but never touched them as Rodriguez assumed it was over, but it wasn’t. Rodriguez reset and landed Ribas with a brutal right elbow and top big right hands and Dean stopped the fight.
WINNER: Marina Rodriguez by TKO at 0:54 of Round 2
This was a wild fight and a huge victory for Rodriguez, which ends the lengthy win streak of Ribas. Rodriguez has faced some ultra-tough competition since entering the UFC and was coming off a draw with Cynthia Calvillo and loss to Carla Esparza. Ribas had won her last five fights and was 4-0 since entering the UFC. This will greatly elevate Rodriguez’s standing in the 115-pound weight class.
ANDREW SANCHEZ (12-5, 186) VS MAKHMUD MURADOV (24-6, 186) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
It was all Muradov moving forward in the first round with big looping right hands at the beginning. Muradov was throwing kicks and Sanchez was reacting rather than enacting any offense. Muradov connected inside the clinch and attacked with calf kicks. 10-9 Muradov
The second round was a close round with Sanchez improving with his pressure being implemented to back Muradov off. Muradov landed with a left and right combination and had a strong end to the round. 10-9 Muradov
Sanchez landed and Muradov immediately responded with a massive right hand that sent Sanchez back as his knee buckled. Muradov connected with a flying knee and pressed Sanchez against the fence with a flurry of shots until referee Jason Herzog stepped in and stopped the fight.
WINNER: Makmud Muradov by TKO at 2:59 of Round 3
Muradov wins his 14th win in a row and is now 3-0 in the UFC after wins against Alessio Di Chirico and Trevor Smith. Muradov had four fights fall apart in 2020 and had not fought since December 2019. After the fight, he wanted Dana White to follow him on Instagram, which I’m sure was White’s top priority.
JESSICA EYE (15-8, 1 NC, 126) VS JOANNE CALDERWOOD (14-5, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
It was a close round as they immediately went after it and fought inside the clinch. They were trading throughout the round, but Calderwood would end the exchanges with a kick. Calderwood got the better of the strikes and edged out the round. 10-9 Calderwood
The second round was a strong one for Calderwood. She caught Eye with a front kick to the face as Eye’s face was swelling. Calderwood attacked from the outside and landed a knee from the clinch and followed with a body kick. It was constant attacks from the outside until Eye capitalized on a spinning attack and took Calderwood down in the final minute but couldn’t do anything on top. 10-9 Calderwood
Eye was fixated on getting Calderwood down as they clinched against the fence for a long time until referee Keith Peterson broke it up. Calderwood got back to work and attacked the body nonstop with knees from the clinch and cut Eye with a knee to the head. Calderwood was the aggressor in all three rounds and won the fight handily. 10-9 Calderwood and 30-27 overall
WINNER: Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
It was a strong performance from Calderwood and gets her back into title contention after the hiccup against Jennifer Maia last August that cost her the flyweight title fight with Valentina Shevchenko. Calderwood improves to 6-5 in the UFC while Eye loses her second straight fight at flyweight.
DAN HOOKER (20-9, 156) VS MICHAEL CHANDLER (21-5, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Chandler was stalking him and began throwing front kicks while Hooker circled. Chandler began to pepper the body and connected with a right to the body and a left hook landed flush that dropped Hooker by the cage and was finished with strikes.
WINNER: Michael Chandler by TKO at 2:30 of Round 1
After the fight, Chandler cut promos on Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov adding “beat me if you can” quoting The Grappler Len Denton. He called it the greatest moment of his career and it’s hard to argue and this win was essential and should set Chandler up for a massive fight in the lightweight division.