Mousasi Stops Hall in the First, Asks for Elimination Bout or Title Fight
Gegard Mousasi took just one round to get revenge over Uriah Hall in the main event of UFC Belfast after a tentative start that saw him take a calculated approach on the back of his second-round knockout via spinning kick at the hands of the Jamaican in September 2015.
Mousasi stood back as Hall launched several spinning sequences in his direction. Picking his moment perfectly, he pinned Hall against the fence with a body lock before taking him to the ground.
In an effort to defend himself, Hall turned into the turtle position, but it didn't take Mousasi long to get into side saddle where he landed steady ground and pound, which forced the stoppage from Marc Goddard.
"He won fair and square (the first time), you know?" said Mousasi in his post fight interview.
"I have to give respect to Uriah for taking the rematch. We're athletes so (that's what we do)."
Mousasi also declared that he would like a title eliminator bout or a shot at the title in his next bout.
"I'm coming, what the fuck, I'm coming," he replied when asked about his title ambitions.
"Yoel Romero is the toughest test for me. I need an elimination fight now or a title shot. I'll do whatever UFC says."
Stevie Ray Edges Pearson in All-UK Battle
Stevie Ray already had the Belfast fans won over as he made his way to the Octagon, but his Matt Hughes walking slam on Ross Pearson in round one only endeared him to masses more.
While Ray seemed to do enough to get the nod on most peoples' cards for the first stanza, two more very close rounds followed that made the judges' job very hard, which was clear from the split-decision.
Once again, the Belfast crowd made their own fun through some intricate feeling out periods between the Scot and the Brit, with the same Viking chant that we heard during the heavyweight clash ringing around the arena.
Pearson was on the attack throughout the second, as he waded through the single shots of Ray to land rights to the body and head. Ray never looked in trouble and scored with some shots of his own throughout Pearson's dogged onslaught.
Round three saw Ray become more aware of Pearson's attacks. 'Braveheart' landed a beautifully disguised head kick in the final round that looked as if it was headed for Pearson's legs before he flicked his leg up to connect with the side of the head.
Both men threw their hands down to the enjoyment of the gathering in the SSE Arena, to round off a hard fought three rounds.
Volkov Victorious after Surviving Johnson's Early Storm
Alexander Volkov was tipped heavily to have a striking advantage over Tim Johnson when they clashed on the main card of UFC Belfast, but the American buckled the rangy Russian with a right uppercut midway through the first round.
The shot came after a lot of early dominance from the former M-1 heavyweight champion. He strode out very confidently for his UFC debut and seemed to have Johnson rocked with his opening flurry. A Johnson shot stopped his onslaught and when they two separated, Johnson flattened him with his big right hand.
Unfortunately, the fight lost a lot of sizzle in the closing rounds, with a lot of clinching up against the fence. To the credit of the spectators in Belfast, they constantly made fun for themselves throughout the night and launched into a Viking chant as the two heavyweights jostled for position.
Boos rang around the arena when the Russian was handed the split decision win, with Johnson receiving a big cheer from the fans when he raised his hands in triumph.
McGregor helps Lobov to a Rousing Reception in Belfast
The fans attendance at the SSE Arena didn't let the Neil Seery's absence in Belfast or Irishman Charlie Ward's debut loss get to them as they gave Artem 'The Russian Hammer' Lobov a massive reception for his first UFC fight on Irish soil against Teruto Ishihara.
Conor McGregor roared on his support from Octagonside as Lobov looked completely dominant over the opening two rounds. A far more conservative Lobov was on display, with his work with Owen Roddy evident from his measured approach between surges of heavy shots that landed consistently on the Japanese fighter.
Despite his huge flurry to end the second, Ishihara blasted the SBG fighter to the ground with a left hand in the third, but with the Belfast crowd roaring him back to life, Lobov rallied and finished the round in dominant fashion.
McGregor scaled the fence to join Lobov in the Octagon and forced the spectators to fever pitch. Although Lobov was adamant that he didn't care about the launch pad the event could provide him with in the lead up to the event, he will certainly acknowledge the value of a win in Ireland after his hand was raised.
"No one is safe – 'The Russian Hammer' is back," he roared as the SSE Arena exploded, before leaving the Octagon.
- Jack Marshman def. Magnus Celenblad by TKO in Round 2
- Kyogi Horiguchi def. Ali Bagautinov by unanimous decision
- Kevin Lee def. Magomed Mustafaev by submission (rear naked choke) in Round 2
- Amanda Cooper def. Anna Elmose by unanimous decision
- Justin Ledet def. Mark Godbeer by submission (rear naked choke) in Round 1
- Zak Cummings def. Alexander Yakovlev by submission (kimura) in Round 2
- Marion Reneau def. Milana Dudieva by TKO in Round 3
- Brett Johns def. Kwan Ho Kwak by unanimous decision
- Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Charlie Ward by KO in Round 1