Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Sat., May 12, 2018) inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, featuring Amanda Nunes in her latest women’s bantamweight title defense against Octagon veteran Raquel Pennington. Top-ranked middleweight contender Ronaldo Souza takes co-headlining duties opposite welterweight import Kelvin Gastelum, while Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) legends Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida collide for 185-pound bragging rights. Plus, Mackenzie Dern looks for her second UFC win when she tangles with the venerable Amanda Bobby Cooper.
That’s not all. Not by a long shot.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 224 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised fisticuffs to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 224) before you split and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after “Nunes vs. Pennington”
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC 224 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC 224 QUICK RESULTS:
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington — Nunes def. Pennington by TKO (punches) at 2:36 of Round Five
185 lbs.: Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum — Gastelum def. Souza by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
115 lbs.: Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Cooper — Dern def. Cooper by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:27 of Round One
135 lbs.: John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher — Lineker def. Kelleher by KO (punch) at 3:43 of Round Three
185 lbs.: Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida — Machida def. Belfort by KO (front kick) at 1:00 of Round Two
185 lbs.: Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson — Ferreira def. Roberson by technical submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:45 of Round One
265 lbs.: Junior Albini vs. Aleksei Oliynyk — Oliynyk def. Albini by submission (Ezekiel choke) at 1:45 of Round One
155 lbs.: Nick Hein vs. Davi Ramos — Ramos def. Hein by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:15 of Round One
170 lbs.: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland — Zaleski dos Santos def. Strickland by KO (wheel kick and punches) at 3:12 of Round One
170 lbs.: Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev — Alves def. Aliev by TKO (corner stoppage) at 5:00 of Round Two
185 lbs.: Jack Hermansson vs. Thales Leites — Hermansson def. Leites by TKO (punches) at 2:10 of Round Three
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Alberto Mina — Emeev def. Mina by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
185 lbs.: Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic — Perez def. Bochnovic by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:28 of Round One
UFC 224 LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY:
135 lbs.: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington
Round 1: Nunes drops Pennington with her first leg kick, lands against the fence. Another low leg kick buckles Pennington. One minute in. Nunes jabs the body, lands a leg kick and jab. They trade punches. Leg kick and hard rights from Nunes, Pennington lands a right of her own. Two minutes in. Pennington staying on the fence for way too long, looking to counter. Nunes briefly ties up, lands a knee. 1-2 from Nunes, hard leg kick. Pennington lands a combo in return. Knee by Pennington. Two minutes to go.
Short uppercut by Pennington, who eats another leg kick. 1-2 by Pennington. Nunes tries a 1-2. One minute to go. Right hand from Pennington. Pennington shoots, denied. Good punches from both women. 10-9 Nunes.
Round 2: Nunes right back on the advance, denies a takedown. Body ick and jab by Nunes. Stiff jab from the champ. One minute in. Body kick connects. Low kicks landing for Nunes. Nunes landing the better shots. Two minutes in. Pennington with a well-timed level change, no dice. Good right cross lands for Pennington. Clinch uppercuts. Nunes pops her with the jab, looking to back her up again. Good right hand connects. Nunes stuffs another takedown. Two minutes to go.
Spinning back kick from Nunes. Hard knee by Nunes, Pennington nearly secures her first takedown of the night. Pennington still attached on the cage. One minute to go. Pennington gets her down into side control. Nunes regains half guard. Combo from Pennington as Nunes stands and they trade. Good round. 10-9 Nunes.
Round 3: Nunes goes back to her kicks. Pennington unsuccessfully tries to clinch, gets clipped by a 2-1. Right hand by Pennington. One minute in. Good right by the champ, who eats one in return. Leg kick lands, then a takedown. Two minutes in. Pennington regains guard. Ref wants more action. Two minutes to go.
He stands them up. Good trade. Nunes lands a knee and Pennington looks for a takedown. Back to trading punches, hard right hand from Pennington. Nunes changes level, no luck. Pennington takes her to the fence. Nothing doing on the level change. Nice right hand from Nunes as Pennington tries to move in. Nunes fires knees before the bell. 10-9 Nunes.
Round 4: Good punches from Pennington to start the round. Leg kick by Nunes. Right hand connects a minute in. Pennington looks for a combo, neither lands clean. Leg kick and 1-2 from the champ. Body kick. Pennington easily denied on a takedown and taken down in return. Butterfly guard. Nunes fairly passive from the top. Two minutes to go.
Pennington makes her way up, eats knees from the Thai plum. Good right hand by Pennington, Nunes shakes her head. Pennington shoots in again, Nunes briefly threatens a kimura before going back to the knees. 3-2 from Nnes, looking to open up on the cage. She denies another takedown and cracks her with a knee upstairs. 10-9 Nunes.
Round 5: Pennington tells her corner that she’s done, but they convince her to go back out. Nunes still has gas in the tank, marching after her and looking for power shots. Hard right hand connects. Another right hand. Body shot by Nunes. One minute in. 1-2 from Pennington. Nunes lands an easy double-leg. Nunes on top in guard, landing periodic short strikes. Solid elbows. Pennington covering up, gives up her back as her nose spurts blood. Nunes pounds away on a turtling Pennington for the TKO finish.
Final result: Nunes def. Pennington by TKO (punches)
185 lbs.: Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Round 1: Souza shoots, denied and eats a knee. Gastelum takes him to the fence. Jacare reverses, looks for a head-and-arm throw. Not there. One minute in. Knees by the Brazilian, hard rights downstairs. He changes levels, looks for a single-leg. Gastelum landing good shots on one leg, so Souza goes for a flying leglock and immediately sweeps into top position. Beautiful work. Side control for Souza. Looking for mount. Got it. Good right hand, but Gastelum regains half guard. Two minutes to go.
He passes right back to mount and looks for an arm triangle. Not there. Good punches and control. Good elbows. Gastelum rolls and Souza looks for an armbar. One minute to go. Gastelum stacking him, keeping the pressure on. Souza swats him with hammerfists. Gastelum escapes at the bell. 10-8 Souza.
Round 2: Gastelum lands good punches, eats a right hand. Lead right from Jacare, Gastelum sprawls. Left hand for Gastelum and now Souza’s bleeding. Lead left from Gastelum. One minute in. Big counter right and body kick by Souza. Souza wades into the clinch, Gastelum gets his arms out. Body kick and right hand by Souza. Body kick again. Fake shot form Souza and he lands a combination. Two minutes in. Gastelum looks for a four-piece, lands to the body. Body shot by Jacare, who gets dropped by a 1-2. Gastelum looks to finish, elects to wave Souza up. Body kick from Souza. Two minutes to go.
Body shot by Souza. Low kick and Superman punch from Gastelum. One minute to go. Kelvin lands a sneaky uppercut, pouring t on. Left hook and right hand by Souza knock Gastelum back. Left hook after Gastelum lands to the body. Souza is still alive. Big right hand after absorbing a body shot. Another right hand. Cross and uppercut by Gastelum. Great round. 10-9 Gastelum.
Round 3: Gastelum moving forward. Overhand left met by an overhand right. Sprawl by Gastelum. Souza pressing forward, Gastelum firing his jab. Big right by Souza. Big power shots by both men. Gastelum sprawls on a shot. Gastelum to the body, eats a right hand. Right hook by Gastelum, who denies another shot. Souza tries a head kick and gets in deep on the fence two minutes in. He completes the trip, but loses his grip on Gastelum as he stands. Gastelum lands a right hand, eats one in return. 1-2 by Gastelu,. Two minutes to go.
Body kick by Souza. 2-1-2 by Gastelum. Gastelum pressing forward as a fatigued Souza retreats. Elbow by Gastelum inside, big 3-2 by Souza in return. Body kick by Souza. Good rights by Souza and he shoots. Short elbow by Gastelum as he defends. Souza can’t keep him down and they slug it out until the bell. 10-9 Gastelum.
Final result: Souza def. Gastelum by split decision
115 lbs.: Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Cooper
Round 1: Counter left lands for Cooper. Lots of feints, nothing clean yet. As I say that, both land right hands. One minute in. Combination by Cooper. Dern hurling her overhand right with abandon. Low kick from ABC. Two minutes in. HUGE overhand right and down goes Cooper! Dern jumps on her and immediately takes mount before taking the back and locking up the RNC.
Final result: Dern def. Cooper by submission (rear naked choke)
135 lbs.: John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher
Round 1: Kelleher flicking out kicks. Lineker wings a pair of big hooks. Low kick lands for him. Low leg kicks a minute in. Lineker rips to the body. Big left hook from Kelleher stings him in return, he comes back with a body shot. Kelleher shoots, lands an uppercut on the break. Two minutes in. Again Lineker digs the right downstairs, then drops Kelleher with a left hook. He follows him into guard and goes to work with ground-and-pound. Kelleher makes his way back to his feet. Two minutes to go.
Lineker wings an uppercut, shrugs off a spinning back fist. Back to the body. Kelleher shoots, denied. Lineker tries to spin. One minute to go. Lineker with another right to the body, looks to open up on the cage. They separate. Lineker again punishes the body. Left hook upstairs. 10-9 Lineker.
Round 2: Lineker back on the advance. Body shot. Low-high. Lineker turning up the volume. One minute in. Lineker goes low-high again. Big shots on the fence, Kelleher lands in return. More bludgeoning shots by the Brazilian. Kelleher shoots, stuffed. 1-2 from Lineker. Two minutes in. Another right downstairs. Body shot briefly folds Kelleher and Lineker’s in hot pursuit. Kelleher trying to throw back. Big body shot. More big shots on the fence. Two minutes to go.
Overhand rights. Kelleher catches a body kick, can’t use it. Kelleher starting to throw a bit more, eats more body shots. One minute to go. Lineker ducks a spinning back fist and grabs the rear waist lock, taking him to the fence. They separate. Another nasty right downstairs. 10-9 Lineker.
Round 3: Kelleher firing his jab, Lineker comes back with hooks. Kelleher shoots, sprawled. Lineker grabs a guillotine, can’t get it. Elbow from Kelleher against the fence. Lineker works his way up and pulls his head out of a guillotine before Kelleher shoots again. Stuffed. Left hook and body shot by Lineker. Kelleher firing jabs, right hand. Right hook. Best sequence of the fight for kelleher at the moment. Two minutes in. Kelleher working behind his jab. High-low goes Lineker. Overhand right lands for him with two minutes to go.
Another pair of hooks. Kelleher is hurt and Lineker is sprinting after him, hurling shots. Kelleher retreating, looking to fire back. He gets to the fence, backpedals, and gets demolished by a left hook. Monstrous knockout from John Lineker.
Final result: Lineker def. Kelleher by KO (punch)
185 lbs.: Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida
Round 1: Tentative start, as expected. One minute in. Both men feinting, neither throwing. Low kick from Machida. Belfort steps in, left hand falls short. Machida lands a lead-leg hook hock to the chin, snap kick to the body afterwards. Machida standing orthodox. He tries a high kick. Belfort again falls short with punches, eats a body kick. Two minutes to go.
Leg kick, body kick from The Dragon. Belfort charges in, lands glancing shots on the fence. One minute to go. Inside low kick by Machida. Belfort catches a body kick and counters with a straight left. 10-9 Machida.
Round 2: Belfort lands a right hook to the body. Out of nowhere, Machida uncorks a front kick that knocks Belfort into next week.
Final result: Machida def. Belfort by KO (front kick)
185 lbs.: Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson
Round 1: Low kick from Roberson, Ferreira tries a body kick and hits a reactive takedown. Roberson immediately pops back up, dragged back down into side control. One minute in. Ferreira tries to move to mount, caught in half guard. Staying heavy, not doing much. Two minutes in. Back to full guard. Roberson scoots to the fence. He makes it up, slammed back down into guard. Two minutes to go.
Roberson trying to use a butterfly hook, surrenders half guard. Now Ferreira takes mount with a minute to work. Ground-and-pound landing. Roberson basically hands him the arm triangle on a silver platter and Ferreira makes the most of it, putting Roberson to sleep.
Final result: Ferreira def. Roberson by technical submission (arm triangle choke)
265 lbs.: Junior Albini vs. Aleksei Oliynyk
Round 1: Oliynyk ties up and takes Albini to the cage. They separate; Oliynyk already cut under his left eye. Low kick from Oliynyk, Albini stuffs a takedown and lands a body kick. Oliynyk ties up, eats a knee a minute in. Overhand right by the Russian. Left hook by Albini in return. Oliynyk shoots into the clinch and Albini takes him down into half guard. Oliynyk already looking to set up his ezekiel and he’s got it. Wow.
Final result: Oliynyk def. Albini by submission (Ezekiel choke)
155 lbs.: Nick Hein vs. Davi Ramos
Round 1: Ramos sends out a front kick. They trade inside. One minute in. Hein counters a naked kick with an overhand left, knocking Ramos to the mat. Hein waves him back up. Ramos tries a head kick. Combo lands for him. Ramos hits a blast double two minutes in and moves to half guard. Ramos looking to isolate Hein’s left arm. Two minutes to go.
Ramos hops over and takes the back, looking for the choke as Hein stands. Hein tries to sling him off, can’t do so and Ramos locks up the body triangle. Working on the choke. Ramos clamps down, putting enough pressure on the chin to get the tap.
Final result: Ramos def. Hein by submission (rear naked choke)
170 lbs.: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland
Round 1: Strickland on the front foot early. Zaleski throwing hard, lands a right hand. One minute in. Strickland just jabbing so far. He catches a body kick, can’t use it. More jabs. Two minutes in. Left hand for Zaleski, right by Strickland. Strickland catches another kick and lands a right hand. Zaleski shoots, eats an uppercut and left hook. Zaleski with a glancing head kick. More jabs by Strickland. Low kick with two minutes to go.
Suddenly, Zaleski catches Strickland with a flush wheel kick that sends him to the mat. He jumps on Strickland and pounds away until “Tarzan” goes to sleep.
Final result: Zaleski dos Santos def. Strickland by KO (wheel kick and punches)
170 lbs.: Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev
Round 1: Aliev falls short with a left hook. Hard right hand and body kick connect for Alves. One minute in. Two more body kicks and Aliev ducks into the clinch. Pressing Alves into the fence. Alves uses head pressure and reverses, landing knees to the body. More knees. Keeping Aliev against the cage. Two minutes to go.
Yet more knees. Hard short elbow. Aliev lands on the break. Low kick by Alves. Aliev lands a left hook. Overhand right stings Aliev, then a hard knee to the body. Aliev comes back with good punches. One minute to go. Low kick from Alves, Aliev lands a right hand and ties up on the cage. He hits a throw at the bell. 10-9 Alves.
Round 2: Alves tries an early combination. Alves hops into the clinch, Aliev presses him against the fence. One minute in. Jockeying for position on the cage. Alves pressing him against it now. Two minutes in. Ref wants more action. Same, honestly. Aliev reverses and looks for a knee. Two minutes to go.
Alves reverses in turn. Aliev’s right eye is swelling shut. Aliev reverses and completes his first takedown, but can’t keep him down. Ref separates them. Alves steps in for a body kick. One minute to go. Aliev lands a counter right. Alves opens up in the last few seconds, hurling kicks to the body. 10-9 Alves.
Aliev’s eye is totally shut and the ref calls it between rounds.
Final result: Alves def. Aliev by TKO (corner stoppage)
185 lbs.: Jack Hermansson vs. Thales Leites
Round 1: Hermansson on the advance early, both men hurling low kicks. Hermansson landing more than Leites to start, can’t quite land a combo. Leites catches a kick and takes him to the fence. One minute in. Hermansson fighting off a single-leg, lands a short elbow but that allows Leites to get in deeper. Leites doing good work chipping away at his base, gets him to the mat two minutes in. Hermansson uses an underhook to stand and throw Leites to the mat. Leites regains guard and stands. Good counter throw by Hermansson. Leites working to sweep from half guard. Two minutes to go.
Leites gets into a takedown attempt of his own and goes to work with chain wrestling. One minute to go. Hermansson hits a throw from the whizzer into half guard. Leites regains guard and Hermansson goes for ground-and-pound. Close round. 10-9 Hermansson.
Round 2: Leites eats a right hand, takes Hermansson down and Hermansson looks like he’s in agony for some reason. He’s hurt. Leites moves to mount and Hermansson looks like he wants to die. He easily surrenders the arm triangle. Hermansson fighting it off as best he can. Two minutes in. Amazingly, he manages to survive and regain half guard. Two minutes to go.
Leites staying heavy. One minute to go. Leites moves to north-south, then mount. 10-8 Leites.
Round 3: Hermansson hurls a flying knee, then clamps down on a guillotine. Leites staying patient as Hermansson squeezes for dear life. Leites escapes and sprawls on him. One minute in. Leites secures an anaconda choke and rolls. Hermansson survives and takes top position. He lands an elbow and rides an elevating hook into mount. Hard elbow and punches from Hermansson. Leites is hurt and in comes the referee! Jack Hermansson with an incredible comeback stoppage!
Final result: Hermansson def. Leites by TKO (punches)
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Alberto Mina
Round 1: Emeev opens with a low kick. Hard overhand right connects for him. Mina looks for a leg kick. Head kick comes back at him. Mina lands a left hook and tries an ankle pick a minute in. Good jab by Emeev and they trade rights. Emeev ducks a spinning elbow and drags him to his knees. Mina works his way back up and grabs a kimura grip. Emeev slams him back down, has to fight off a takedown afterwards and does so. Another stiff jab from Emeev. Two minutes to go.
Emeev keeping up the jab. Mina looks for a high kick. Slick knee tap works this time and Mina stands over him. Emeev attempts de la Riva guard and has to fight off leglocks. One minute to go. Emeev gets his leg out and sets up in guard. Mina spins from an armbar to a kneebar, can’t get it. Emeev lands some solid punches before the bell. 10-9 Emeev.
Round 2: Mina lands a leg ick as Emeev keeps the jab coming. Emeev wades into the clinch, avoids a head-and-arm throw and moves to the rear waist lock, forcing Mina to his knees. One minute in. Emeev looking for the back. Mina makes it to his feet. He spins to face Emeev and looks for knees. They separate two minutes in. Both look for punches in the center. Mina ducks in for a single-leg, tries a spinning elbow and gets hurled to the mat. Emeev with some solid right hands. Mina again looks for a leglock without success. Two minutes to go.
Emeev looking to work from closed guard. One minute to go. Mina turns for a kneebar, gets thumped with right hands. Again. 10-9 Emeev.
Round 3: Mina’s busted up, looking for a hail mary. One minute in. Emeev overhand just misses. Mina still wading after him, jumping body kick. Two minutes in. Lead right lands clean for Emeev. 1-2 by Mina. Emeev ties up and takes him to the fence. They separate with two minutes to go.
Mina in pursuit, not much happening. One minute to go. Jab from Mina, leg kick. Zaromskis-esque Somersault kick attempt met by an Emeev right hand. Emeev lands another before the bell. 10-9 Emeev.
Final result: Emeev def. Mina by unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic
Round 1: Bochnovic comes out throwing and dicks in for a quick takedown attempt. Perez sprawls on it and moves to the back. One hook in, fence denying the other. Bochnovic avoids it and Perez looks for a takedown as they rise. One minute in. Bochnovic pressing him against the fence now. Perez spins to the rear waist lock and slams him down, looking for the back again. Bochnovic tries to roll, surrenders half guard. Perez threatening an arm triangle, abandons it. Elbow from Bochnovic off his back and he regains guard. Hard right hand by the Brazilian, who locks up a d’arce as Bochnovic tries to stand. Japanese necktie now, loses it with two minutes to go.
One hook in for Perez. Both hooks in. Perez looking for the choke, can’t quite get it under the chin. One minute to go. Perez gets it under and fights to lock his hands. He’s got it.
Final result: Perez def. Bochnovic by submission (rear naked choke)