Ultimate Fighting Champion kicks off 2016 with a sensational UFC 195 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which will emanate from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, TONIGHT (Sat., Jan. 2, 2016), starring Welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, and No. 4-ranked contender, Carlos Condit.
"Ruthless" last defended his 170-pound strap in a bloodbath opposite Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 last July, while "Natural Born Killer" dominated former title challenger, Thiago Alves, back in May.
Elsewhere on the PPV main card are exciting tilts featuring elite Heavyweight contenders, Andrei Arlovski and Stipe Miocic, as well as Welterweight up-and-comers, Albert Tumenov and Lorenz Larkin.
However, before we can get to tonight's main courses, fight fans will be treated to a set of seven "Prelims" exchanges, which begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on the Fight Pass digital streaming service, and then transfer over to FOX Sports 1 for the remaining four at 8 p.m. ET.
Below are the results recaps for the three "Prelims" bouts scheduled for Fight Pass:
Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy
"The Diamond" wants to enter the Top 10 of the Lightweight division with a huge win over the highly-skilled Irishman, Duffy.
Good jab early from Duffy. Good combo from Duffy. Poirer lands an uppercut and initiates the action. They're trading big time. Duffy scores with the leg kick. He continues scoring with the jab. Now a right hand from "Irish Joe." Very nice defense and he catches Poirier with a clean right. Good body shots. Duffy in hot pursuit, but Poirier rallies. Solid left hand for American Top Team's Poirier. Duffy's timing is very good. Very nice rights and uppercuts in the clinch from Poirier, who earns the takedown. Smart movie. Could be the difference in this round. Duffy trying to wall walk. The American wants to step over and pull him away. Blood coming from Duffy's nose; might be hard to breath if this makes it into the later rounds. Good elbow from Poirier. Duffy defending the takedown now on his feet. Duffy with a right hand on the break. Swelling on right eye of the Irishman. Couple jabs and left from Poirier. He lands a good knee as we head into round two. Score this one for Poirier.
Great leg kicks by Poirier. Nice right hand. Blood also coming from the nose of Poirier. Clinch by Poirier and he gets the takedown. Looks to step over into half guard. Poirier spilling blood from his nose. Duffy can't get back to his feet. Poirier wants full mount, but gets pushed back to full guard. Good elbow from the 26-year-old. Duffy looking for an armbar attempt, but Poirier recognizes it. More vicious elbows from the Florida-based combatant. Duffy now trying to strike from the bottom. He needs to get out of here. The Tristar Gym athlete may not have enough gas in the tank for round three. Clubbing blows to close out round two for Poirier. Might be 20-17 Poirier.
Poirier connects with a leg kick as Duffy pushes the pace. Left hand from Poirier, who gets another takedown. Duffy looking to push off and get back to his feet. This is a big feat for Poirier, grounding the sound submission specialist like this. Duffy in a scramble, nearly assumes top position. He goes for the heel hook. Poirier stays patient, spins, and lands in full guard. Duffy has trapped the right arm of Poirier. Referee stands the pair up with just over a minute in the fight. Duffy scores with huge body punches, but is taken down for the second time in the round by Poirier. Poirier is caught in a triangle choke attempt by Duffy with 10 seconds left. We go the distance.
It's three-straight wins for Poirier, who looks amazing at 155 pounds. Duffy's UFC record is now 2-1.
Result: Poirier via unanimous decison
Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka
Soto aims to rid himself of a two-fight skid when he takes on the Japanese grappler, Tanaka, on Fight Pass.
Wide stance from Tanaka. Looks like Soto is looking to find angles to surprise the Judo black belt. Soto lands a clean outside leg kick. Tanaka is obviously looking for a chance to clinch up. A right hand from Tanaka is countered by a inside leg kick from Soto. Tanaka defends a single-leg attempt. Antoher right connects for Tanaka. The 25-year-old appears to be countering well, as Soto puts together good combos. Solid outside leg kick for Tanaka. The American keeps going for a step-in hook. Moments later, Tanaka secures the takedown. Soto is looking for the gogoplata from underneath! Wow. It looks deep. Soto lets go after landing solid elbows. Soto explodes up. Tanaka is smiling and happy. We enter round two with a close round one. My guess is it goes to Soto.
Soto's footwork is much improved from his last couple of outings. Really bouncing around nicely. Front kick attempt. Little inside leg kick by Tanaka. Headkick attempt after a couple of body blows for Tanaka. He doesn't get the takedown, but lands a knee afterwards. Soto with a hard leg kick. Good high kick from Soto. Tanaka counters the 28-year-old once more and then lands a takedown. Soto wants the guillotine choke. It's tight. Tanaka is trying to alleviate the pressure, leans into Soto. The California-based fighter loses the submission and Tanaka begins to work his ground and pound. He almost gets full mount, as Soto scrambles well for a leg lock attempt. Tanaka back to working in closed guard. Soto still striking off of his back as round two ends. This one goes to Tanaka.
Tanaka bringing the heat in the final round. He scores with a knee. Soto looks like he's talking to Tanaka. Soto is wading in with hooks, or punches to the body, but coming up short. Tanaka circles out brilliantly. Tanaka gets a takedown briefly, and then they pop back up. He's pumping the jab. Soto urges him to bring it. Jabs after jabs from both men. Solid jab from Soto, but Tanaka with a nice level change, gets the takedown. Soto cinches up a guillotine choke again. We're under two minutes. Soto reminds me of a mini Diaz brother. Back to the feet with 90 seconds. Tanaka is a little bloodied up. Soto continues to land his jab with efficiency. He might pull this one out if he can win this round. Another left finds the mark for Soto. He ducks for a takedown and gets full mount. Goes for the choke with a few seconds on the clock, and it's deep, but Tanaka holds on.
Tanaka picks up his second UFC victory, while Soto falls for the third time in-a-row.
Result: Michinori Tanaka via split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Sheldon Westcott vs. Edgar Garcia
Welterweight prospects, Westcott and Garcia, get us started on this January night in "Sin City."
We've got a southpaw vs. orthodox matchup to start the night. Big one-two by Garcia. A right sneaks on through. Westcott with the takedown, ends up in side control. He's looking to achieve mount. Gets it. Garcia turning, eating punches from the Canadian on his back. He's gotten flattened out. We may be witnessing the beginning of the end. Big, heavy shots from Westcott. Dozens of unanswered punches; referee not stopping the fight. This is a bit curious. Westcott finally gets the bout waved off and a TKO victory just over three minutes into round one.
Westcott breaks a two-fight losing streak, while the Mexican-American, Garcia, drops his second straight.
Result: Westcott via first-round technical knockout