Monday, June 5, 2023

UFC Fight Night 216 play-by-play and live results

Round 1 – The main eventers touch gloves and get to work. A quick exchange of single punches serves as the initial attacks. Cannonier goes forward and throws a hard kick to the body. Strickland circles to get his back away from the fence and then throws a left hand out for the jab. Cannonier lands punches to the body as Strickland continues to line up his spots. A pair of cannoneer punches are paraded. Strickland hits a kick to the middle and then catches a Cannonier kick to get the takedown. Cannonier quickly gets back to his feet, but Strickland sticks with the clinch. They separate and return to the striking game. A hard leg kick lands for Cannonier, then misses with a big combination. They exchange hard leg kicks. Strickland drops a sharp left into a combination. MMA Junkie scored the round 10-9 for Strickland.

Round 2 – Cannonier opens with a leg kick and a right hand. Strickland lands a left hand. Another kick from Cannonier is caught by Strickland, but this time he doesn’t use it for the takedown. They return to exchange punches, with the faster Strickland finding home with the jab. The cannoneer gets an overhand around the guard. Strickland’s jab continues to score as Cannonier focuses on attacking with leg kicks. Cannonier then lands a good combination of punches, and Strickland responds. Circling to the outside, Strickland creates enough distance for Cannonier to miss with more powerful offerings, leading to frustration. Strickland puts together a good series of punches, causing Cannonier to back away and reset. Before Horn, Cannonier landed a nice right hand. MMA Junkie scored the round 10-9 for Strickland.

Round 3 – Strickland continues to play the jab game early. Punches fly quickly from both fighters, with Strickland seemingly landing a bit cleaner than Cannonier. More vaccines than Strickland are offered. The cannoneer reverses the forward pressure while working behind the left hand. Strickland defends well initially, but Cannonier gets a tough 1-2 combination to find home. They continue to trade punches, but Cannonier is landing well now. Strickland landed several punches to start another heated exchange. As the volume of strikes increases, the left hand lands for both fighters. MMA Junkie scored the round 10-9 for Cannonier.

Round 4 – Strickland takes center and begins working the back of his jab. Cannonier follows up with punches and Strickland circles. They continue to trade up. Cannonier connects with an outside leg kick. After another exchange, Cannonier checked his next leg kick. Strickland begins to follow up with a combination, tagging his opponent. Another heated exchange sees Strickland land well. Cannonier responds with another hard leg kick. He then fires a hard left a moment later. A kick to the body from Strickland is partially blocked. They increase the volume of attacks as they exchange punches. Both fighters land well, Cannonier with more pop. MMA Junkie scored the round 10-9 for Cannonier.

Round 5 – The Cannonier gets the right to start the final round. A moment later, Strickland fired off a three-punch combo. Cannonier gets a kick to the body. Strickland lands a combination that causes Cannonier to circle and reset. Another three-punch combo for the Strickland score. Cannonier lands a big right hand at the end of his own combination. Strickland answers with another combination as they just start to let the punches fly. The quantity is more now. The cannoneer finds the mark and paints Strickland’s nose with blood, but that doesn’t stop him from firing back. Cannonier connects with a nice left hand. Strickland threw his own punches. A spinning backfist from Cannonier misses. A tough exchange ensues: punches from Strickland, punches and kicks from Cannonier. It goes till the last horn. MMA Junkie scored the final round 10-9 for Cannonier, giving him the fight 48-47.

Result: Jared Cannonier def. Sean Strickland by split decision (49-46, 46-49, 49-46)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: The best photos from Las Vegas
Record: Jared Cannonier (16-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC), Sean Strickland (25-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC)
Division: middleweight
broadcast: ESPN+
punch: Herb Dean
to judge,

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