The action returns to the Octagon this evening (Sat., Mar. 3, 2018) at UFC 222 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg makes her second-straight title defense opposite promotional newcomer and former Invicta FC champion Yana Kunitskaya.
In addition to the main event, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will try to make his final push towards another featherweight title shot when he takes on undefeated contender Brian Ortega. Also, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will take on towering Dutchman Stefan Struve, rising bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley will look to continue his momentum against talented finisher Andre Soukhamthath, and former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano will make her long-awaited Octagon return in a crucial divisional matchup with undefeated Brazilian contender Ketlen Vieira.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 222’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 222 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern
In the FS1 “Prelims” headliner, highly-touted women’s strawweight prospect and world-class jiu-jitsu practitioner Dern (6-0) made her UFC debut against former Ultimate Fighter standout Yoder (5-4). Dern opened up with huge strikes in the early going before tying up Yoder along the cage. From there, she peppered Yoder with short shots inside. Yoder separated and scored with a few nice front kicks. Dern responded with another wild flurry along the cage. Yoder landed a straight left hand down the pipe followed by a crisp inside leg kick. In Round 2, Dern opened up with a clean kick to the body, but Yoder responded with another counter left hand. Dern came back with a few more haymakers that backed Yoder into the cage. Yoder found more success and nailed Dern with a left hand that briefly dropped her. Dern couldn’t seem to get inside to secure a takedown and drag the action to the canvas. In Round 3, Dern slammed a clean right hand into Yoder’s chin along the cage. Yoder came back with her offense as both women exchanged in close quarters. Dern started to pick things up and press the action with overhand rights before finally scoring a takedown. Dern moved quickly with over one minute remaining to grab the back and threaten with a rear-naked choke. Yoder defended the hands and narrowly escaped as the finally bell rang. In the end, it was Dern who walked away with the split-decision win.
Beneil Dariush vs. Alexander Hernandez
Filling in for an injured Bobby Green, UFC newcomer Hernandez (9-1) attempted to burst onto the UFC lightweight scene by taking out No. 12 ranked contender Dariush (14-4-1). Hernandez came out aggressively and backed Dariush up. From there, Hernandez jumped around and quickly moved in to blast Dariush with a devastating left hand. Dariush instantly dropped to the canvas and the referee jumped in for the knockout stoppage.
John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
The second male bantamweight clash of the evening featured former UFC flyweight title challenger Dodson (20-9) against rising American Top Team standout Munhoz (15-3, 1 NC), who came into the fight winning three out of his last four by submission. Dodson utilized his speed early to zip to the side of Munhoz and land a straight punch down the pipe. The bigger Munhoz commanded the center of the Octagon as Dodson skipped in and out of strikes, including a blistering body shot. Dodson kept busy with a nice right hand and a few good leg kicks. In Round 2, Dodson landed a crisp left hand. He also kept catching Munhoz’s kicks and then circling away from danger. Munhoz moved in along the cage and found a home for his first really good punch of the fight, but “Magician” scored with a nice counter. Munhoz came back with a big right hand that temporarily stunned Dodson. The pressure of Munhoz really started to play a factor and allowed him back in the fight. In Round 3, Munhoz came out with a blistering right hand. The action picked up a little bit before Munhoz inadvertently landed his second low blow. Dodson was able to land a nice knee inside when the fight started up again. Dodson followed that up with quick left hands on the go. He then caught Munhoz coming in with a knee, but wasn’t able to avoid a takedown along the cage. Both fighters landed big shots as the final bell sounded. In the end, it was Dodson who walked away with the split-decision win.
C. B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
Sparking off the FS1 “Prelims” was a middleweight bout between 10-year UFC veteran Dollaway (17-8) and Cuban knockout specialist Lombard (34-9-1, 2 NC). Dollaway came out first with a nice head kick. He followed that up with a hard kick to the body before landing a short jab to Lombard’s chin. Lombard stayed in the middle of the cage and launched leg kicks as he tried to time power shots. As the round was coming to a close, Lombard launched a huge combination. But the final two punches clearly landed after the bell as Dollaway fell to the canvas. Dollaway was seriously hurt, didn’t really know what happened, and couldn’t continue. Due to the late hit, Lombard was disqualified and Dollaway, who was stretchered away from the Octagon, walked away with the win.
Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow
The Fight Pass preliminary headliner saw MMA veteran Pyle (27-14-1) make his final walk to the cage in a welterweight matchup with talented Wisconsin native Ottow (16-5). Ottow came out swinging early with heavy hooks moving in. Pyle took his time and gauged distance with his jab and front kick. Ottow landed a hard lead leg kick before laying Pyle out with a devastating right hand. After 30 seconds of ground-and-pound, the referee was forced to jump in for the TKO stoppage.
Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
In the first of three male bantamweight matchups on the card, submission guru Caraway (21-8) put a two-fight UFC win streak on the line against rising prospect Stamann (17-1). Stamann stuffed the first takedown attempt by Caraway as “Kid Lightning” looked to score control time along the cage. Caraway launched in for another takedown, but Stamann’s low base allowed him to dig for a defense. Caraway found a home for a short uppercut, while Stamann responded with a crisp counter. Eventually, Caraway got his first takedown on his fifth attempt. Caraway worked his way to side control before locking in a no-armed triangle, but the round came to an end. In Round 2, Stamann stung Caraway with a counter left hook in the early going. Stamann kept the offense going with a one-two combination coming in before stuffing another takedown. Caraway came back with a nasty uppercut inside. Stamann responded with a right hand that temporarily buckled the veteran bantamweight. Stamann defended another few takedowns before landing a flush right hand from range. In Round 3, both men exchanged inside leg kicks. Stamann then connected with a flush right hand, as Caraway came back with his own offense. Stamann scored even more with short body shots inside. Caraway kept shooting for takedowns but was simply incapable of gaining leverage. Stamann battered Caraway with filthy leg kicks as “Kid Lightning” looked to step inside for uppercuts. Caraway got aggressive and started to rush in for attacks before pinning Stamann along the cage and nearly sinking in a guillotine choke as the final bell rang. In the end, it was Stamann who walked away with the split-decision win.
Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead
The opening bout of the evening saw former heavyweight prospect Milstead (8-2, 1 NC) take his chances at light heavyweight when he locked horns with undefeated collegiate wrestler Johnson (9-0). Both men landed hard outside leg kicks early. Milstead landed an overhand right that put Johnson back on his feet. Milstead followed his efforts up with two flush right hand counters. Johnson finally grabbed a hold of the former heavyweight and scored some valuable control time along the cage. Milstead forced Johnson off of him with a short left elbow inside. In Round 2, Johnson let his hands go a little more and landed a crisp jab and counter left hook. Johnson brought the action back to the cage and opted to land hammer fists to Milstead’s thighs. Milstead did very well to defend the takedown and even found a home for two right hooks in the clinch. The action broke up, which allowed Johnson to move back in and briefly secure his first takedown of the fight. The third frame saw Milstead tag Johnson in the center of the cage early. Milstead was able to land plenty of counter strikes almost every time Johnson stepped in. Johnson started to press more for the takedown and found one with just over 90 seconds remaining. Milstead did well to sit along the fence and muscle his way back to his feet. Milstead added in some body shots as Johnson maintained cage control. In the end, it was Johnson who did enough over the course of 15 minutes to walk away with the split-decision win.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 222 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 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.