Sunday, May 13, 2018

UFC 224 tied a promotion record for 11 of 13 bouts being finished before the end of the last round; only two bouts went to a decision. The mostly unheralded card delivered in way that some more anticipated cards have failed as the night was filled exciting fights, amazing submissions, and jaw-dropping knockouts. And one of the only decisions of the night was the best ‘Fight of the Night’ earning Kelvin Gastelum and Jacare Souza $50,000 bonuses:

Gastelum and Jacare battled back and forth for three rounds with many fans and media split on who they believed one. The judges scored the bout 29-28, 28-29, & 29-28 in favor of Gastelum who cemented himself as a top contender in the middleweight division.

Opening the PPV card was a bout between two legendary Brazilian fighters Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort. The bout started off slow with not a ton of action in the first round as both fighters showed respect for the other’s power.

Then history showed up in a weird way when Machida landed a front snap kick to knock Belfort unconscious just 1-minute into the second round.

Belfort had previously lost a bout in 2011 to Anderson Silva with the same kick and Machida had previously won a fight with Randy Couture with the same kick, both times just as jaw-dropping. After the fight, Belfort announced his retirement from what is sure to be a hall of fame career. Machida earned himself a $50,000 bonus for the knockout.

Aleksei Oleinik is nick-named ‘The Boa Constrictor’ and for good reason. His ability to squeeze a choke has already put him in the history books when he finished the first ever Ezekiel Choke submission in UFC history back in early 2017. What’s even more impressive is the technique is generally reserved for gi jiu-jitsu and Oleinik finished the choke while mounted.

Oleinik was an underdog coming into his heavyweight bout against Junior Albini and early in the fight looked as though he might be out matched. However, the super tough Russian weathered an early storm and locked Albini up in a standing position. Albini took the fight to the mat on top of half guard, but the Boa Constrictor just tightened his grip and Albini had to submit to the Ezekiel choke. The choke earned Oleinik a $50,000 bonus: