Max Holloway made a definitive statement as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world with a third-round TKO of Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 218 to retain his featherweight championship. Holloway baited Aldo into a slugfest and Aldo expended too much energy while Holloway remained efficient. Aldo's defense eventually broke down and Holloway overwhelmed him with a high volume of strikes before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Holloway has now won 12 fights in a row. Aldo has lost back-to-back fights, both to Holloway, so it'll be interesting to see where he goes from here. Frankie Edgar was originally was supposed to face Holloway but pulled out due to injury. He is still most likely the next contender to face Holloway when he's healthy.
Francis Ngannou staked his claim as the number-one contender for Stipe Miocic's heavyweight title with a first-round knockout of Alistair Overeem. Overeem wanted no part of the stand-up with Ngannou and forced the clinch early. But once Ngannou broke free the fight was all but over and he landed a vicious left hand that separated Overeem from consciousness. The UFC has promoted Ngannou as a future star in the heavyweight division and will likely continue to push him as such. Miocic is engaged in contract negotiations, but it's likely the UFC would want to put together a fight between him and Ngannou as soon as possible.
Henry Cejudo used his superior wrestling to win a unanimous decision over Sergio Pettis. The win likely cements Cejudo's status as the number-one flyweight contender. But with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson slated for a superfight with bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, it's likely that Cejudo will have to wait a while for his second title shot.
Eddie Alvarez TKO'd Justin Gaethje in the third round of a fight that absolutely lived up to the hype. Both fighters showed incredible toughness as they survived adversity multiple times. Gaethje did a great job lighting up Alvarez's lead leg with hard kicks. But Alvarez returned with some hard body shots that paid dividends as Gaethje was winded in the third round. Gaethje protested the stoppage but he was clearly hurt badly. Alvarez, the former lightweight champion, will likely face Dustin Poirier in a fight that would determine the number-one contender for the title.
In the opening bout of the main card, Tecia Torres won a unanimous decision over Michelle Waterson in a fun, back-and-forth fight. Torres pressured Waterson and had a big moment in the third round where she took down Waterson and landed some ground-and-pound.
Full results from the event are below:
- Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo via TKO at 4:51 of Round 3
- Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem via KO at 1:42 of Round 1
- Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via TKO at 3:59 of Round 3
- Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira via KO at 4:06 of Round 2
- Yancy Medeiros def. Alex Oliveira via TKO at 2:02 of Round 3
- David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Amanda Cooper def. Angela Magana via TKO 4:34 of Round 2
- Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi via TKO at 4:21 of Round 1
- Dominick Reyes def. Jeremy Kimball via submission (RNC) at 3:39 of Round 1
- Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder via TKO at 2:33 of Round 1