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UFC Fight Night 128 post-event facts: Frankie Edgar approaches seven hours of UFC fight time

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The UFC made its 18th trip to New Jersey and its ninth stop in Atlantic City on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 128, which took place at Boardwalk Hall and aired on FS1 following an early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

A notable contender in the lightweight division emerged when Kevin Lee (17-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) defeated Edson Barboza (19-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) by fifth-round TKO in the event headliner. It was one of five stoppages on the 11-fight card.

For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s latest East Coast venture, check below for 45 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 128.

* * * *

General

Jim Miller and Dan Hooker

The UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance payout (formerly the UFC Athlete Outfitting pay) for the event totaled $175,500.

Debuting fighters went 1-0 at the event.

David Branch, Siyar Bahadurzada, Ricky Simon and Merab Dvalishvili earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 128 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 128 drew an announced attendance of 9,541 for a live gate of $923,720.

Betting favorites went 7-2 on the card. Two fights had even odds.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:20:28.

Main card Gallery Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 11 images

Lee improved to 6-1 in his past seven UFC appearances, which date back to December 2015.

Lee’s 10 UFC victories since 2014 in lightweight competition are most in the division.

Lee has completed at least one takedown against 12 of his 13 UFC opponents.

Lee’s 32 takedowns landed since 2014 in UFC lightweight competition are most in the division.

Barboza suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Barboza has absorbed 231 significant strikes in his past two fights.

Gallery Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Frankie Edgar (23-6-1 MMA, 17-6-1 UFC) improved to 8-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in February 2013.

Edgar improved to 2-2-1 when fighting an opponent for the second time in the UFC.

Edgar’s total fight time of 6:47:33 in UFC competition is the most in company history.

Edgar’s 1,477 significant strikes landed in UFC competition are second most in company history behind Michael Bisping (1,567).

Cub Swanson (25-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) suffered his first decision loss since Aug. 18, 2010 – a span of 2,803 days (nearly eight years) and 16 fights.

Gallery Justin Willis def. Chase Sherman at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 7 images

Justin Willis’ (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind champ Stipe Miocic (six) and Alexander Volkov (four).

Branch (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) improved to 2-1 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in March 2017.

Branch improved to 14-2 since he was released from the UFC in March 2011. His only defeats in that stretch came to Anthony Johnson and Luke Rockhold.

Brett Johns (15-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his 15-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Dan Hooker (16-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) improved to 3-0 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in June.

Hooker has earned 15 of his 16 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his UFC wins.

Gallery Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 4 images

Jim Miller’s (28-12 MMA, 17-11 UFC) four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2016.

Miller suffered just the second knockout loss of his career and his first since a July 2014 bout against Donald Cerrone, which also took place in Atlantic City.

Miller’s total fight time of 5:00:53 in UFC lightweight competition is most in divisional history.

Preliminary card

Ryan LaFlare (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) has earned all seven of his UFC victories by decision.

LaFlare’s seven decision victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (10) and Jon Fitch (eight).

Alex Garcia (15-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his nine-fight UFC career.

Gallery Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Simon’s (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) victory at the 5:00 mark of Round 3 is the latest stoppage in a three-round UFC fight.

Dvalishvili (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

Luan Chagas (15-3-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Corey Anderson (10-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has earned five of his seven UFC victories by decision.

Anderson’s 12 takedowns landed marked a new single-fight record for a UFC light-heavyweight bout.

Anderson’s 12 takedowns landed are fifth most in a single UFC fight.

Patrick Cummins (10-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career. His previous four defeats came by knockout.

Tony Martin (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) was successful in his return to the welterweight division. He earned his first victory in the weight class since October 2012.

Keita Nakamura (33-9-2 MMA, 3-6 UFC) has suffered all six of his UFC losses by decision.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 27' cast: Richie Smullen, who's going through doors Conor McGregor opened

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LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” has returned for its 27th season, and for the first time all the cast members are undefeated heading into the show.

MMAjunkie recently sat down with all 16 “TUF 27” cast members. Watch the video above to get to know lightweight Richie Smullen (3-0-1), a 26-year-old SBG Ireland fighter who admitted he’s likely getting opportunities because of another Irish fighter – Conor McGregor – though he plans to make the most of them.

“The Ultimate Fighter 27,” featuring UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier as coaches, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1.

Also see:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Dan Hooker wanted to call out Paul Felder to his face instead of being a 'little Twitter thug'

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Dan Hooker had a very good reason for turning the tables on Paul Felder during their post-fight interview at UFC Fight Night 128.

After Hooker (16-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) scored a first-round knockout of Jim Miller (28-12 MMA, 17-11 UFC) in a lightweight bout on Saturday’s FS1-televised card at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., “The Hangman” changed the narrative of his post-fight interview with Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who was on commentary for the event.

Hooker said he feels deserving of a top-15 opponent after going 3-0 since moving up to the lightweight division, and Felder gave the New Zealander props for calling him out face to face. When explaining his thought process during his backstage interview, Hooker said he wouldn’t have done it any other way.

RelatedDan Hooker had the guts to call out Paul Felder to his face, and it was actually awesome

“I said that before this fight, ‘I wanted a top-15 guy,'” Hooker told MMAjunkie. “I know that I deserve a top-15 guy, and that’s what’s next for me. And if I’ve got one standing there in front of me, I’m going to ask on the spot. I’m going to deal with it face to face instead of getting on Twitter and being a little Twitter thug and calling people out when I had him standing right there when I win.

“Any of the top-15 guys standing there I would have called them out, but I feel like a fight with Paul Felder is good, man. We’re both exciting guys; he’s top-15. He want the fight too, so Sean (Shelby) knows what to do.”

Hooker entered the event off the high of a submission win over Marc Diakiese at UFC 219 in December and a highlight-reel knockout of Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 110 in June. His finish of Miller was arguably more emphatic and significant than either of those performances, but the 28-year-old barely celebrated after the finish.

He explained why.

“I just shoot from the hip,” Hooker said. “If I felt like (celebrating more) I would do it. I would have done it if that was my reaction, but I shoot from the hip, and that’s my reaction.”

Although he didn’t get too excited about it, there’s a trend showing within Hooker’s performances. Not only has he stopped his opponent in all six of his UFC wins, but he’s scored finishes stemming from knee strikes in his past two. Hooker said he’s dangerous everywhere, and the knee is simply just one weapon he can use to finish a fight.

“That’s just one of my tools,” Hooker said. “That knee is one I’ve hit a couple times in my career. But that’s just one of my tools.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 4 images

Despite missing weight, Kevin Lee not interested in moving to 'muddy' welterweight division

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Unless the UFC decides to implement a 165-pound division, don’t expect Kevin Lee to change weight classes after coming in heavy for the UFC Fight Night 128 main event.

Lee (17-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) earned a fifth-round TKO of Edson Barboza (19-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) in Saturday’s FS1-televised headliner at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The win was somewhat marred, however, because “The Motown Phenom” came in one pound over the contracted 156-pound lightweight limit.

Although it officially marked the first time he’d missed weight, Lee also struggled to hit the limit in his previous fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 in October. Lee has repeatedly stated his desire to see the promotion create a division between lightweight and welterweight.

RelatedKevin Lee: I'll answer questions about Khabib Nurmagomedov that Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez can't

Lee’s struggles to make it down to lightweight are obvious, though, and when prompted with a question about potentially jumping up to one of the UFC’s higher existing divisions, he more or less brushed it off.

“It’s some options to be had at 170,” Lee told MMAjunkie. “Right now they (expletive) around with this whole interim title (between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at UFC 225) and the top of that division is kind of muddy right now. It don’t really seem like there’s too much there right now.

“155 is where I’ve been focusing. So many good fights. The best fighters at 155. I love a challenge. Yeah, 170 is there, maybe for the future, but right now I’ve got to get that gold around me. But (165) would probably entertain me a little bit more.”

Lee, 25, has repeatedly apologized for missing weight for UFC Fight Night 128 and said the issue came down to a lack of time. He said an extra 15 minutes would have allowed him to come in on point, but that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, he managed to earn a convincing victory over Barboza.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Kevin Lee's lopsided win over Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night 128

If a 165-pound division became available, Lee said there would be minimal resistance to moving up. That’s not the case now, though, so he plans on correcting the issues that hindered him ahead of the win over Barboza and ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen twice.

“I’m going to sit back, I’m going to make some adjustments,” Lee said. “I’m going to take some time. I would love a 165 weight class. I’ve been calling for it for a long time. I wish more guys would call for it. A ’65 weight class definitely needs to be made. I still feel like that’s where I’ll truly shine, you’ll see the best version of me. But in the meantime I’ll make my adjustments, and we’ll see how this whole thing works.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 11 images

Ricky Simon on controversial stoppage vs. Merab Dvalishvili : 'I stood over his limp body'

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Ricky Simon has no doubt that the referee made the right call in his controversial win over Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Fight Night 128.

In what was seemingly a first in UFC history, Simon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was awarded a TKO victory despite Dvalishvili (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) making it past the final bell of their bantamweight fight.

Dvalishvili was getting the better of Simon until the late stages of the preliminary card matchup at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Had the fight gone to the scorecards, Dvalishvili was up two rounds on two of the three judges’ tallies. Then Simon applied a guillotine choke, which was locked in for roughly the final 40 seconds of the fight.

Although Dvalishvili did not tap, the referee deemed him unable to continue at the 5:00 mark of Round 3.

“Everyone else might have been confused – I wasn’t,” Simon told MMAjunkie post-fight. “I was choking him hard with everything I had, I was trying to stay calm in that guillotine and I felt him go limp there. I stood over his limp body at the end. I saw his eyes roll back. … I was yelling at the ref, ‘He’s out! He’s out! If you want me to keep squeezing the neck I’m going to.’ I felt him, he was out.”

RelatedTwitter reacts to confusing Ricky Simon-Merab Dvalishvili finish at UFC Atlantic City

Simon got his opportunity to debut as a short-notice replacement. It’s marked his third fight since December, with his most recent being a 59-second win at LFA 36 on March 23. He admitted he was feeling the quick turnaround, and he said that paired with the confusing ending to the fight took some of the glory away from his first UFC win.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity,” Simon said. “I fulfilled a dream tonight, but I can’t help but be disappointed with myself and my performance.”

Although the UFC debut didn’t fully satisfy him, Simon said he’s moving on. He already has plans for his sophomore octagon effort, and even named a specific opponent he wants next in unbeaten Benito Lopez (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

“(Next is a) little bit of rest, little bit of family time and a lot of beating up little Benito,” Simon said. “Little Benito Lopez I’m coming for you. You’ve been dodging me for too long. I’m coming for you little B.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Why new UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra remembers Karo Parisyan fight as fondly as GSP upset

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For Matt Serra, that monumental upset of Georges St-Pierre in 2007 gave him his “Rocky” moment, but it’s not necessarily his fondest MMA memory.

On Saturday 43-year-old Serra was announced as the latest member of the 2018 UFC Hall of Fame class. Although he will be 15th fighter inducted into the “Pioneer” wing, which is meant to honor the sport’s trailblazers, he’ll forever be linked to that UFC 69 upset of all-time MMA great St-Pierre.

That 2007 knockout victory, which earned Serra (11-7 MMA, 7-7 UFC) the UFC welterweight title, remains one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. If fans think it’s the primary reason UFC officials chose him for the hall, “The Terror” understands.

RelatedFormer UFC champ Matt Serra joins 2018 UFC Hall of Fame class

“I’m totally fine with that,” the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist told MMAjunkie on Saturday while at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, N.J. – just a stone’s throw from his New York stomping grounds. “That fight was my ‘Rocky’ movie, and I was a big fan of ‘Rocky,’ and I felt like I lived that movie – except ‘Rocky 2’ ended up better than my second fight with GSP.”

As always, Serra was quick with a joke as he discussed an honor that clearly means a lot to him. After all, “The Ultimate Fighter 4” winner never necessarily thought he’d be a UFC Hall of Famer, though he said he took pride in the fact he fought – and defeated – guys who are in there or will be someday. However, while his victory over 13-1 favorite St-Pierre elevated his status, he perhaps got the most career satisfaction from a loss – to Karo Pariayan nearly 13 years ago.

“Listen, it’s not always the wins you want to be remembered for,” he said. “I mean, right at this place, at Boardwalk Hall, I lost to Karo Parisyan (at UFC 53 in 2005). In that fight, I learned a lot about myself because it was a fight where I got winded – a fight I almost won. During that fight, I wanted to get out of there – but I never got out there. I never let myself quit, so stuff like that, I’m proud of, you know?”

Your next #UFCHoF inductee – @MattSerraUFC enters the Pioneer wing! #UFCAC pic.twitter.com/hwNmyaRaSG

— UFC (@ufc) April 22, 2018

While a friendly relationship with UFC President Dana White certainly helped Serra’s UFC Hall of Fame chances, the fan favorite contributes to the sport in many ways. He trains a host of current UFC fighters, including UFC Fight Night 128 competitors Aljamain Sterling and Magomed Bibulatov, as well as Al Iaquinta, who stepped on short notice earlier this month to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title.

Serra, who hasn’t fought since 2010, satisfies his MMA itch by working with that next generation of fighters.

“So, like this next chapter of my life, I’m happy to still be a part of it and have the relationships I have with these younger fighters who are just like family to me and (fellow coach Ray) Longo,” he said. “It’s amazing I’m still involved and somehow still relevant, so I’m having a good time, man.”

Serra also hosts the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Jim Norton, he’s a regular on the “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” Web series, he’s a frequent special guest at MMA functions of all sorts, and he’s a happy family man who now gets to spend more time with his clan.

Throw in a new UFC Hall of Fame induction, and it’s hard to find a man happier than Matt “The Terror” Serra.

“I’m whistling to work everyday,” he said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Frankie Edgar pushes for shot at Max Holloway-Brian Ortega winner after UFC Atlantic City

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Fresh off a redeeming win over Cub Swanson in UFC Fight Night 128’s headliner, ex-champ Frankie Edgar wants another UFC title shot.

Pointing out his lost title opportunity at UFC 222, Edgar pushed to face the winner of an upcoming title bout between featherweight champ Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) and Brian Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC 226 in July.

“I’d like to see what happens with that,” Edgar told MMAjunkie backstage after his unanimous decision win at Boardwalk Hall, which hosted the FS1-televised event in Atlantic City, N.J. “I would love the winner of that fight.

“I was supposed to get the title shot, and obviously, we know what happened. But I’m No. 3 in the world, and those guys are ahead of me.”

RelatedCub Swanson posts statement following second loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC Atlantic City

Edgar, who stands at No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, came into the bout just one month removed from a knockout loss to Ortega, who stepped in to co-headline UFC 222 when Holloway was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury.

Taking on a rematch with Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) on Saturday, Edgar (23-6-1 MMA, 17-6-1 UFC) was met with concern for his quick turnaround and invited additional scrutiny by indicating he’d broken his medical suspension by sparring immediately after his loss.

“I get it why people (question my chin),” he said. “You look at past people that have done it before, and maybe it didn’t go their way. But like I said, I think I’m just different.

“I took some good shots in there. Cub can crack, and I didn’t get phased by any of his punches, so I think I shut the doubters down once again.”

RelatedTwitter reacts to Frankie Edgar's victory over Cub Swanson in UFC Fight Night 128 rematch

Edgar has made a career of doing that, of course. In the process, the 36-year-old New Jersey native has been in eight UFC title bouts, receiving three shots at the lightweight and featherweight title as a contender.

Whether his latest win adds another title shot to his list, the odds seem pretty good he’ll chase one more down.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

6 biggest takeaways from UFC Atlantic City, including Kevin Lee's recovery from wobbly legs

What’s worth remembering coming out of UFC Fight Night 128 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.? A few things, actually.

1. Kevin Lee does the dance, resumes the beating, wins the fight

It’s not often you see someone come so close to being knocked out, only to snap out of it in a matter of seconds and go right back to work the way Kevin Lee did. Edson Barboza’s best chance to stage a comeback victory disappeared just that quickly, and when he couldn’t capitalize on it he got his face opened up by the ceaseless assault of Lee.

He seemed to think that should add up to “Khabib time” in the end. Yeah, don’t hold your breath. But for a young fighter still making his way in a tricky division, it’s a very positive step. Lee can dish it, and he can take it. With a little more seasoning, he might be a serious problem for every other lightweight on the roster.

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UFC Fight Night 128 Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay: 2018 total passes $2 million

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 128 event took home event took home UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay totaling $175,500.

The program, a comprehensive plan that includes outfitting requirements, media obligations and other items under the fighter code of conduct, replaces the previous payments made under the UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.

UFC Fight Night 128 took place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were a trio of octagon veterans. Frankie Edgar (23-6-1 MMA, 17-6-1 UFC), Cub Swanson (25-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Jim Miller (28-12 MMA, 17-11 UFC) all earned maximum non-title-fight payouts of $20,000 for having 21 or more bouts under the program structure.

The full UFC Fight Night 128 UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance payouts included:

Kevin Lee: $10,000
def. Edson Barboza: $15,000

Frankie Edgar: $20,000
def. Cub Swanson: $20,000

Justin Willis: $3,500
def. Chase Sherman: $5,000

David Branch: $5,000
def. Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000

Aljamain Sterling: $5,000
def. Brett Johns: $5,000

Dan Hooker: $5,000
def. Jim Miller: $20,000

Ryan LaFlare: $5,000
def. Alex Garcia: $5,000

Ricky Simon: $3,500
def. Merab Dvalishvili: $3,500

Siyar Bahadurzada: $5,000
def. Luan Chagas: $5,000

Corey Anderson: $5,000
def. Patrick Cummins: $10,000

Tony Martin: $5,000
def. Keita Nakamura: $5,000

Under the UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-3 bouts receive $3,500 per appearance; 4-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2018 UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance payouts:

Year-to-date total: $2,107,500
2017 total: $6,295,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $18,725,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 128 with AC/DC – and no Eminem Curse

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While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, N.J., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 5, 2:18

Kevin Lee: “Wins and Losses” by Meek Mill

Edson Barboza: “Meus Próprios Meios” by Oficina G3

Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Frankie Edgar: “Kick in the Door” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Cub Swanson: “Look Alive” by Blocboy JB feat. Drake

Justin Willis def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Justin Willis: “DNA”/”Til I Collapse” by Kendrick Lamar/Eminem

Chase Sherman: “Made You Look” by Nas

David Branch def. Thiago “Marreta” Santos via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:30

David Branch: “Soul Food” by Fabolous & Jadakiss

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: “Marretta Da CCD Para O Mundo” by MC Isaac Sardinho

Aljamain Sterling def. Brett Johns via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Aljamain Sterling: “King’s Dead” by Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake

Brett Johns: “Yma O Hyd” by Dafydd Iwan

Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller via knockout (knee, punch) – Round 1, 3:00

Dan Hooker: “Runnin'” by David Dallas

Jim Miller: “It’s a Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” by AC/DC

Ryan LaFlare def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ryan LaFlare: “Lux Aeterna” from “Requiem for a Dream” soundtrack by Clint Mansell

Alex Garcia: “Bandoleers” (“The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” soundtrack) by Don Omar & Tego Calderon

Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili via TKO – Round 3, 5:00

Ricky Simon: “I Can’t Lie” by Russ

Merab Dvalishvili: “Chveni Samshoblo” by JGUFI BANI

Siyar Bahadurzada def. Luan Chagas via knockout (body kick, punch) – Round 2, 2:40

Siyar Bahadurzada: “All the Way Up” by Fat Joe & Remy Ma

Luan Chagas: “Impossible” by Da T.R.U.T.H. feat AD3

Corey Anderson def. Patrick Cummins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Corey Anderson: “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill

Patrick Cummins: “Oblivion” by Grimes

Tony Martin def. Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Tony Martin:”Bad Mother(expletive)” by MGK feat. Kid Rock

Keita Nakamura: “Monster” by Osuman feat. Rino Latina II

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

Marc Goddard, John McCarthy: No controversy in Simon-Dvalishvili outcome, just misclassification

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Veteran MMA referee Marc Goddard sees no controversy in the stoppage of Ricky Simon vs. Merab Dvalishvili.

Goddard’s only issue is that Simon’s win was classified incorrectly as a TKO instead of a submission that resulted from a guillotine choke in the final minute of the UFC Fight Night 128 bout Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

“(The win) actually should be recorded as a submission – a technical submission,” Goddard told FS1 reporter Heidi Androl backstage after the event.

RelatedTwitter reacts to confusing Ricky Simon-Merab Dvalishvili finish at UFC Atlantic City

Goddard was cageside for the FS1-televised fight and watched the stoppage. He said Dvalishvili potentially went unconscious multiple times – potentially several seconds before the end of the third round, and for sure when the final bell sounded.

The moment Dvalishvili (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) drifted off, he said, Simon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was the winner.

“Even though he came around pretty sharp afterwards, he most definitely lost the fight under the ruling, and the right guy went away with the win,” Goddard said.

At times during the final sequence, Dvalishvili’s body language appeared to contradict the assertion that he lost consciousness. The fighter bicycled his legs while in the choke and responded to a check of his arms from referee Liam Kerrigan, who did not wave off the bout before the final bell. Kerrigan also appeared not to wave off the bout in the moments after the fight’s conclusion, as Dvalishvili was immediately attended to by cageside doctors.

Goddard, though, said Kerrigan did wave off the bout. The only thing that had to be done, he said, was to make sure officials knew what had happened.

“It was loud, and I just wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to go to the scorecards, because that’s the way it looked like it was going to be heading,” Goddard said. “But the referee, Liam Kerrigan, to his credit, when he saw he was out, he actually waved it off.

“I think there was a little bit of a rush. People thought they were going to read the scorecards, so I said, ‘No, no, no. The guy has lost the fight.'”

Goddard’s take was backed by veteran MMA official and current Bellator commentator John McCarthy, who said the fight should be declared a submission win for Simon (via Twitter).

At the 56 sec mark the fighter is knocked silly if not out by his own takedown. That is why Simon moves to mount and the neck crank so easily. At the end the fighter is out for a second therefore he has been submitted and loses as such. It should never be ruled as a TKO #AskBJM https://t.co/6rOLeSBSn7

— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) April 22, 2018

Despite the confusing end, the bantamweight fight delivered several moments of excitement for the crowd, and the UFC awarded both fighters a $50,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

UFC Atlantic City video highlights: Dan Hooker knocks out Jim Miller with big knee

Dan Hooker made sure Jim Miller’s milestone didn’t come with his hand raised.

On the night Miller (28-12 MMA, 17-11 UFC) tied the record for most fights in UFC history, Hooker (16-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) knocked him out cold with a massive knee in the first round. The finish came at the 3:00 mark of the frame.

RelatedDan Hooker had the guts to call out Paul Felder to his face, and it was actually awesome

The lightweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Watch the devastating finish in the video above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 4 images

UFC Atlantic City video highlights: David Branch KO's Thiago Santos

Just when it looked like David Branch might be in for a long night eating leg kicks from Thiago Santos, Branch shut things down in a hurry.

Branch (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) stopped Santos (17-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) midway through the first round with a massive right hand to the jaw and a few follow-ups on the canvas. The former two-division WSOF champion avoided the first losing skid of his career with the upset win.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Watch the finish in the video above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

UFC Atlantic City video highlights: Siyar Bahadurzada's sick body kick foils Luan Chagas

The second round was mostly trudging along. Then Siyar Bahadurzada kicked up the middle for one of the nastier finishes in a while.

Bahadurzada (24-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) drilled Luan Chagas (15-3-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) with a sick kick to the body, then an uppercut while Chagas was falling to the canvas. The finish came at the 2:40 mark of the second round.

The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of the main card on FS1.

Watch the finish in the video above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Siyar Bahadurzada def. Luan Chagas at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 8 images

Kevin Lee: I'll answer questions about Khabib Nurmagomedov that Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez can't

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Kevin Lee believes his dominant performance over Edson Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 main event should put him at the front of the queue in the lightweight title picture.

Lee (17-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) earned a one-sided TKO over Barboza (19-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) in the fifth round of their FS1-televised bout on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

After falling short of the interim 155-pound belt against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 in October, Lee rebounded with arguably his best performance to date. Assuming Conor McGregor doesn’t return to the UFC soon and with Ferguson recovering from knee surgery, the win puts Lee in the discussion to fight UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, alongside the likes of Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. “The Motown Phenom” said he should skip ahead of everyone, though.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Kevin Lee's lopsided win over Edson Barboza at UFC Fight Night 128

“Here’s the thing: Eddie was too fat to take a fight less than a month ago (at UFC 223),” Lee told MMAjunkie post-fight. “When you say something like that and you do that, your opportunity pass you by. The man already had his shot, and he lost it, and done lost it and lost it embarrassingly. It is what it is. He was too fat a while ago. If he want the work, he can get it. Dustin, if the folks want to see Dustin then they will, but I don’t feel like he raise as many question that really need to be answered.

“I feel like I bring a complete style to this game, and I can raise up a lot of questions that people want answers for, especially with people like Khabib. He can’t outwrestle me, he can’t outwork me, he can’t out-strike me. So we’re going to see what the better fight (is) and what the UFC really wants, because that’s what really matters.”

If Lee doesn’t get a title shot against Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) next, he said he’s willing to fight any of his fellow contenders next. From Poirier (23-5 MMA, 15-4 UFC) to Alvarez  (29-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), Lee said he will take out anyone put before him. However, he thinks if the UFC wants to give Nurmagomedov his most problematic challenge, the organization should know who to call.

“Nate don’t really want to fight,” Lee said. “I told him, ‘Shut the (expletive) up or go back to riding bikes.’ A month later he posted a picture of him riding bikes, so I guess he already done gave me that W. We going to see how this whole thing shake out. We going to see what Conor’s doing, sitting on the sidelines or what he want, but I feel like Khabib is the next fight to be had.”

Gallery Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 11 images

Although the impressiveness of Lee’s performance is hard to deny, he might be hurt by the fact he missed weight ahead of UFC Fight Night 128. The 25-year-old came in one pound over the contracted 156-pound limit, and while he admits he was disappointed by his shortcoming, he said he’s not going to allow the situation to spoil his achievement.

“It was frustrating,” Lee said. “Everything inside me wanted to clam up. I never missed weight before in my life. It was just a mistiming thing. I feel like if I would have had an extra 15 minutes, man, I would have had that down. But as soon as it happened, it happened. I’ve got to focus on the fight, I pushed forward, and that just goes to show the mental strength in it. We mistimed it a little. My personal scale was a little bit off from the official scale and, I mean, it’s just the fight game, that’s going to happen. A true champion got to keep pushing forward. It tested me more than I even expected.”

RelatedEddie Alvarez: Khabib Nurmagomedov beat No. 11, and now he's champ: 'Pray on that during Ramadan'

Lee’s victory over Barboza was close to flawless, but he made a near-fatal mistake in the third round when he got caught by a spinning kick from the Brazilian. Lee said the fact he was able to overcome adversity was further proof of his “champion” mindset. Overall, he was pleased with what he showcased inside the octagon.

“I feel pretty good,” Lee said. “I’m happy with it, never content. I’m always critical with myself. I even see some of the spots where we can clean up. But that’s just part of the game, it’s what keeps guys like me pushing and keep pushing forward in this sport and showing something new. I got in there, I got the time in, I used my experience, and I think real fighters and real fight fans saw it, and it showed through. I showed that I still got a lot of time on this sport.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

UFC Fight Night 128 draws reported 9,541 attendance for $923,720 live gate

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 128 event drew an announced attendance of 9,541 and a live gate of $923,720.

UFC officials announced the figures following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

In the main event, Kevin Lee (17-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) dominated Edson Barboza (19-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) for a fifth-round doctor’s stoppage TKO. Lee outstruck Barboza, one of the most feared strikers in MMA, by a factor of about 4-1 for the huge lightweight win.

UFC Fight Night 128 took place Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 11 images

UFC Fight Night 128 bonuses: That wacky Simon-Dvalishvili bout was 'Fight of Night'

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Siyar Bahadurzada, David Branch, Ricky Simon and Merab Dvalishvili each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event.

Simon and Dvalishvili earned the “Fight of the Night,” while Bahadurzada and Branch each won “Performance of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Simon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) pulled off a stunner against Merab Dvalishvili (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC). Dvalishvili was on his way to a decision victory. But with a minute left, Simon got the fight to the canvas, got on top and landed a mounted guillotine choke. For nearly a full minute, he squeezed – and Dvalishvili struggled and kicked his legs and appeared to stay conscious. The horn sounded, and it looked like he had been saved by the bell. But it was determined he was out when the horn sounded – and that gave Simon what was declared a TKO win.

Gallery Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Bahadurzada (24-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) took out Luan Chagas (15-3-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) with a nasty kick to the midsection, and while Chagas was falling to the canvas, doubled over, Bahadurzada landed an uppercut that put him out.

Gallery Siyar Bahadurzada def. Luan Chagas at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 8 images

Branch (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was the underdog against Thiago “Marreta” Santos (17-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC), but the former two-division WSOF champion landed a massive right hand that put the Brazilian on the canvas, then followed up with big hammerfists to get a crucial stoppage.

UFC Fight Night 128 took place Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

UFC Fight Night 128 results: Frankie Edgar tops Cub Swanson in rematch

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Gallery Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 10 images

Frankie Edgar couldn’t get Cub Swanson to the canvas, but did enough to get his hand raised in their rematch.

Edgar (23-6-1 MMA, 17-6-1 UFC) rebounded from the first knockout loss of his carrer with a unanimous decision win over Cub Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC).

The featherweight bout was the co-main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 show at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 128 play-by-play and live results

Edgar pressed forward early and kept Swanson mostly on the outside. Midway through, Edgar landed a big right hand and sent Swanson off-balance. Edgar got inside and looked for a takedown, but Swanson stayed upright and broke apart. Swanson landed a nice pair of kicks late in the round to build some momentum heading to the second.

It was more of the same for Edgar in the second, but Swanson was able to stay fairly elusive. But he definitely landed more than Swanson, even if he never had a breathtaking outpouring of offense in the frame.

Edgar stayed busy in the third and worked on Swanson’s left lead leg. Then he kept with the pressure against the cage, never quite allowing Swanson to get any real offense going until late. With 40 seconds left, Swanson put a combo on Edgar. Edgar fired back, but it was too little, too late.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 128 results include:

For complete covearge of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Eddie Alvarez: Khabib Nurmagomedov beat No. 11, and now he's champ. 'Pray on that during Ramadan.'

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Eddie Alvarez showed up backstage at UFC Fight Night 128 on Saturday night with the division that he calls home in a state of upheaval and confusion.

“A lot of guys hurt, a lot of guys out, in prison, praying, injured, I don’t know what’s going on,” Alvarez told MMAjunkie. “But I’m enjoying myself. I’ve been fighting three, four times a year since I was 19. I don’t mind a little bit of time off.”

For a former UFC lightweight champion like Alvarez, who finds himself near the top of the division, it’s tough to know where things are headed, or who he might get to fight next.

For that reason, Alvarez said, he doesn’t trouble himself too much about asking for a title shot – even if he does regard himself as an ideal candidate to beat current UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

RelatedDana White: Dustin Poirier 'absolutely' a contender for UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov

“I seriously have no control over who gets the shot, so I don’t really focus on it,” Alvarez said. “If they want to give Dustin (Poirier) a title shot, hell, give him a title shot. Do I think he’ll do well? Probably not. But it’s not up to me. Give him a shot, let him do what he wants to do, and that’ll be that.

“I know, 100 percent, matchup-wise, wrestling, stylistically, I watch the champion fight a lot. I am the guy to beat the champion. Not Dustin Poirier. Not Conor McGregor. Not anyone. I understand who I lost to, who I won (against). I’m the best style matchup. The champion don’t want to fight me right now. He knows. He’s going to pick off the wounded gazelles one by one. He’s going to take the good style matchups. I understand. Take them. I’ll be waiting in the end.”

In case you can’t tell, Alvarez doesn’t think too much of Nurmagomedov’s status as champion. The way he won the belt, with a unanimous-decision victory over late replacement Al Iaquinta at UFC 223, seems to have failed to impress an MMA veteran like Alvarez.

RelatedMichael Chandler plans to re-sign with Bellator, but I beat Khabib Nurmagomedov '10 times out of 10'

“What’s funny about this whole thing is, Khabib wasn’t a champion,” Alvarez said. “Now he’s the champion after beating no. 11. Let’s just get that out in the open. He says, ‘paper champion, who’s fake champion, who’s real champion?’ You beat no. 11, and now you’re champion. So think on that. Pray on that during Ramadan. No. 11, and now you’re champion.

“When I fought for the title, I literally fought no. 5, 4, 3, 2, then 1,” Alvarez continued. “I fought a champion, a guy who was a champion, who had a belt. That’s a real champion. I’ll continue to fight the best, and I’ll wait my turn. I’ll let the UFC do their job, pick who’s next in line, and I’ll be waiting there for all of them.”

Which is not to say Alvarez is holding out for a title shot. He mentioned Nate Diaz as an opponent he’d be willing to consider, mostly because, as Alvarez put it, “I just want his name.” Failing that, he’d like some name that’s interesting, that provokes an emotional reaction. And until he hears that in discussions with the UFC, he’s willing to wait.

RelatedDustin Poirier wants rematches with Conor McGregor and 'punk' Eddie Alvarez, but title comes first

“And I’m sure in the next couple weeks, we’re going to figure out another name that I can get excited about,” Alvarez said.

But when he hears former opponents like Poirier claiming that he’s running from a rematch, that’s when Alvarez gets a little annoyed.

“Fans need to understand. They say, ‘Hey, you ducked a fight.’ Look at my (expletive) resume, bro. Compared to every lightweight in this division, go look at who I fought,” Alvarez said. “If you ever tell me I ducked someone, you don’t know (expletive) about fighting. You know nothing. Because there’s not a single guy in the lightweight division who has fought back to back to back champions, the baddest (expletives) in this sport ever.

RelatedDaily Debate: Who's next for UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov? Is Dustin Poirier a dark horse?

“And if I’m mistaken, give me the resume. I want to see it. But I’m not the guy. I don’t duck anyone. I will take a better opportunity for myself. If you’re not the guy and you’re not as good an opportunity as what I have available, then yeah, I’ll (expletive) duck you, and I’ll duck you, and I’ll take the opportunity that’s better than you. I’ve been guilty of that. But I’ve never ducked anyone.”

As for how a fight between himself and Nurmagomedov would play out, Alvarez suggested that maybe we’ve already seen it before, courtesy of the “Rocky” film franchise.

“I feel like the story is much the same as one we’ve heard before,” Alvarez said. “A guy from Philadelphia fights an undefeated (expletive) Russian that everybody thinks is indestructible. And you know what, we can do it just like that.

“If he dies, he dies.”

For complete covearge of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Gallery Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta at UFC 223: Best photos view 17 images

UFC Fight Night 128 results: Justin Willis outlasts Chase Sherman in sometime-slugfest

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Gallery Justin Willis def. Chase Sherman at UFC Atlantic City: Best photos view 7 images

What started as a potential slobberknocker turned into a solid, if pedestrian, decision win for Justin Willis.

Willis (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) topped Chase Sherman (11-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) with a trio of 29-28 scores. The first round was the best for him, including a big knockdown.

The heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 128 play-by-play and live results

The big men swung for the fences right away. Willis caught a Sherman kick 35 seconds in and tried to take him off his feet, but couldn’t. But seconds later, he landed a big left hand that popped Sherman’s head back. Seventy-five seconds in, Willis pounded Sherman with a combination and wobbled him, but stayed patient. He nearly paid for it when Sherman landed a right moments later.

Midway through, Willis landed a kick too low. Sherman got time to recover. But on the restart, Willis took advantage immediately. A massive left hand put Sherman on the canvas. Willis pounced on him and landed big strikes on the ground, but ultimately let Sherman back up. And back on the feet, Sherman tried to mount a rally with kicks and punches of his own. The two kept cracking each other, but Sherman somehow stayed standing.

Sherman looked good early in the second with leg kicks and punches, but Willis threw a quick and heavy combo after that. A left jab cracked Sherman, but shortly after that Sherman put his thumb in Willis’ eye. The fighters were warned after a short break, then kept firing right at each other. With two minutes left, Sherman landed a head kick that was partially blocked, but slipped from his feet. Willis took advantage and got on top and went to work out of Sherman’s guard.

Sherman tied Willis up 90 seconds into the final round, which didn’t feature nearly the amount of near-misses the first two rounds had. Sherman tried to get elbows to land in tight quarters, but it seemed to mostly be about two heavyweights making sure they survived the final five minutes.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 128 results include:

For complete covearge of UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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