Fight of the Night: Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
In a fight that lived up to every expectation set from the moment it was announced, lightweights Dustin Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) and Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) had fans out of their seats for the entire 12 minutes the fight lasted.
Heavy leather was thrown by both men throughout the entirety of the first round. With the second round controlled almost entirely by Chandler, "The Diamond" displayed his jiu-jitsu prowess in the third when he came out of a scramble having taken Chandler's back, locking in a rear-naked choke to end the fight with three minutes to go.
The grudge match went in favor of the No. 11 pound-for-pound fighter in the world this time, but it's a safe bet to say that fans around the world would love to see this one run back.
Performance of the Night: Alex Pereira
After a week filled with tension surrounding the past meetings between former champion Israel Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) and the new middleweight king Alex Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), the main event inside Madison Square Garden delivered in a big way.
Pereira, down on the scorecards heading into the fifth and final round, was dealt a handful of adversity throughout only his fourth fight in the UFC. Proving the doubt surrounding his ability to survive the championship rounds, "Poatan" emptied the tank and came away with a finish over one of the most brilliant technical fighters the sport has ever seen. After securing his third career victory over "The Last Stylebender," Pereira will bring middleweight gold back to São Paolo.
Performance of the Night: Zhang Weili
Zhang Weili (23-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) reclaimed strawweight gold inside the world's most famous arena after defeating Carla Esparza (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) with a second-round victory by way of rear-naked choke, becoming the third consecutive champion to hold the title twice, joining Esparza and Rose Namajunas.
"Magnum" navigated a chaotic first round filled with striking and grappling with the poise of a champion before countering an Esparza takedown attempt in the second, advancing to a crucifix position which cleared the way for a clean submission just over a minute into the second round.
This story first published at UFC.com.