The Octagon action unfolds this evening (Sat., Dec. 30, 2017) at UFC 219 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Holly Holm aims to knock off another women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) legend when she takes on UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. In addition, undefeated lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov will look to remain perfect when he takes on Brazilian striker Edson Barboza in a potential No. 1 contender’s bout.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 219's “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 7:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 219 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Khalil Rountree vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
The preliminary headliner saw former Ultimate Fighter standout Rountree (6-3) test his luck against light heavyweight newcomer Oleksiejczuk (13-2). Both men came out swinging. A Rountree front kick eventual led to a takedown by Oleksiejczuk. Rountree threatened with a guillotine choke in order to get back to his feet. Once there, Rountree blasted Oleksiejczuk with hard combinations, knees inside, and digging strikes to the body. However, Rountree began to tire and Oleksiejczuk took advantage with front kicks to the stomach. The UFC newcomer started to find a home for his hands, too, as Rountree offered little movement around the pocket. In Round 2, Rountree regrouped a little and got his hands going again. Oleksiejczuk returned favor with more strikes to the body. Both men looked visibly tired, but managed to exchange hard strikes in the middle of the Octagon. Oleksiejczuk was more active in the later minutes of the frame as Rountree had to reset after throwing just a few punches. The third and final frame saw Rountree land a ferocious barrage of strikes in the early going, but Oleksiejczuk took them in stride before landing a big-time takedown. From there, Oleksiejczuk would land some short shots to the body whiling controlling Rountree and sapping any energy he had left. In the end, it was Oleksiejczuk who did enough over the course of all three rounds to capture the unanimous decision win.
Myles Jury vs. Rick Glenn
Former lightweight contender Jury (17-2) looked to continue his comeback campaign at 145 pounds when he squared off with gritty journeyman and streaking contender Glenn (20-5-1). Both men tangled along the cage early on. Jury took his time in landing some kicks to the body before landing in top position during a scramble to the canvas. Glenn got back to his feet, but Jury went back to the body with punches to soften the veteran up. In Round 2, Glenn pressured Jury up against the cage to wear him down. Jury got back to the middle of the cage and landed some good combinations that bloodied Glenn up. Glenn didn’t offer much offense outside of some clinch work. That was until Jury took him down and scored some valuable ground-and-pound. The third and final frame saw Jury land hard punches early. He was simply sharper and more technical than Glenn, who plodded forward and fell into Jury’s chest. Despite the close-quarter combat, Jury remained fresh and kept his feet moving around the pocket when the action broke up. In the end, it was Jury’s patience and persistence that did enough on the judges’ scorecards to walk away with the unanimous decision win.
Check out the cool 360 replay of Myles Jury's flying knee in his big win over Rick Glenn! #UFC219 https://t.co/cQt2U8OQ0w— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 31, 2017
Marvin Vettori vs. Omari Akhmedov
In the lone middleweight bout of the evening, Italian prospect Vettori (12-3-1) looked to improve his divisional record to 3-1 when he took on Russian finisher Akhmedov (17-4-1). Akhmedov opened up with a hard kick to the body. Vettori responded with a short knee inside. The Russian came back with a huge right hand that stunned Vettori and then stalked him around the cage with even more power shots. Vettori did little to circle away and avoid Akhmedov’s best shots. In Round 2, Akhmedov came out with heavy inside leg kicks. Vettori came back with a kimura attempt before transitioning to a tight triangle choke. Akhmedov defended nicely and eventually sneaked free. Both men looked visibly tired as Akhmedov went back to the leg kick to dictate the pace of the fight. The third and finale frame saw a winded Akhmedov swing for the fences, as Vettori took more time to line up his shots, including a flying knee along the cage. Vettori followed that up with a nice one-two combination that snapped the Russian’s head back. Akhmedov tried to regain some momentum with a spinning back fist, but it didn’t land nearly hard enough. In the end, the bout was ruled majority draw.
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau
Sparking off the FS1 preliminary card was a flyweight tilt pitting Hawaiian veteran Smolka (11-5) against rising contender Nicolau (13-1-1). Nicolau landed a huge left hook early. Smolka tried to switch things up from range and change levels, but Nicolau tagged him at will on the inside, eventually scoring a brief knockdown. Nicolau dropped Smolka again and started to land heavy strikes on the ground before nearly locking up an arm triangle choke. Smolka defended nicely and eventually turned out of harm’s way. Nicolau ended up hurting the Hawaiian with another flush left hook counter before the end of the frame. In Round 2, Nicolau started to land even more left hooks, as Smolka stumbled away on almost every inside exchange. Smolka’s right eye really started to swell. Smolka tried to battle back with some kicks and attacks to the body, but Nicolau’s power punches continued to dictate the fight. The third round saw Smolka go right back to the body. That was until Nicolau caught a kick and scored a slick sweep. Nicolau would follow his efforts up with a timely takedown and an eventual submission attempt before the end of the fight.
Matheus Nicolau dominated Louis Smolka for a unanimous decision win to kickoff #UFC219 prelims! https://t.co/j8NJrFQSTt— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 31, 2017
Tim Elliott vs. Mark De La Rosa
The opening bout of the evening saw former UFC flyweight title challenger Elliott (15-8-1) move up to 135 pounds to take on undefeated 23-year-old Texas prospect De La Rosa (9-1). The Octagon newcomer looked for a guillotine choke early on, but Elliott quickly transitioned and gained control on the mat. De La Rosa remained offensive off his back with an arm bar attempt. Elliott picked him up and slammed him on his head. From there, Elliott scored in bunches with hard punches to the body and slicing elbows. In Round 2, Elliott quickly scrambled and nearly locked in an anaconda choke. At one point, Elliott turned to the referee and said De La Rosa bit his arm. After another scramble on the ground, Elliott was able to lock in another anaconda choke and finally tap De La Rosa.
And that's a wrap!@TElliott125 gets the Anaconda choke in round 2! #UFC219 off to a good start! pic.twitter.com/0hmpQ4daoS— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2017
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 219 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.