In the main event of UFC Fight Night: Denver, Yair Rodriguez defeated "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung via fifth-round knockout with a crazy inverted elbow with one second left in the fight. The fight was an instant classic and the finish is one of the most unique knockouts in UFC history, capping off the 25th anniversary of the company.
The first round was fairly even with both fighters having moments of success. Rodriguez landed some nice shots from the outside. Jung was able to clip him as he was coming in and made Rodriguez stumble. In the second round, Rodriguez landed a beautiful spinning back elbow, but Jung walked right through it in true "Zombie" fashion. Jung narrowly avoided a flying knee and forced a clinch, but Rodriguez defended well and they exchanged shots as the round ended.
Rodriguez looked more loose to start the third round, scoring with some hard body kicks. But Jung continued pushing forward and throwing combinations, landing with his jab and left hook. Rodriguez landed a head kick and some punches but Jung just ate them and moved forward and they both traded shots to end the round. Rodriguez looked to be slowing down at the start of the fourth round and Jung bloodied his nose. Jung landed a big punch that staggered Rodriguez in the most significant moment of the fight. Rodriguez rolled for a kneebar but was unsuccessful and Jung landed another right hand as the round ended.
Both fighters had success to start the fifth round with Rodriguez landing his jab and Jung countering with his right cross. Rodriguez attempted a takedown but Jung defended it and landed a right hand. Rodriguez scored with a right of his own that stumbled Jung and then they took a moment to high five each other. Jung landed a stiff jab that buckled Rodriguez's knees but Rodriguez later scored with a spinning back fist. Jung moved forward with combinations in the final minute and they stopped again to show respect to each other and wave to the crowd. With ten seconds left in the round, Jung rushed in and Rodriguez ducked and landed the inverted elbow, knocking Jung out cold.
Rodriguez accepted the fight on short notice after Frankie Edgar pulled out of the fight. It was his first fight in over a year due to injury and a contract dispute. He was able to withstand the high altitude in Denver despite the short camp, but he said he suffered a foot injury after the fight.
In the co-main event, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone defeated Mike Perry via armbar in the first round. After losing four of his previous five fights, the win was particularly special for Cowboy as he is a native of Denver. Cerrone now holds the records for most wins (21) and most finishes (15) in UFC history. It was his first victory via armbar since 2008. In his post-fight interview, he said he will be moving back down to lightweight and will attempt to make another run at a title fight.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Yair Rodriguez def. Chan Sung Jung via KO at 4:59 of Round 5
- Donald Cerrone def. Mike Perry via submission (armbar) at 4:46 of Round 1
- Germaine de Randamie def. Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Beneil Dariush def. Thiago Moises via unanimous decision (30-25 x2, 30-26)
- Maycee Barber def. Hannah Cifers via TKO at 2:01 of Round 2
- Mike Trizano def. Luis Pena via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
- Ashley Yoder def. Amanda Cooper via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
- Bobby Moffett def. Chas Skelly via TKO at 2:43 of Round 2
- Davi Ramos def. John Gunther via submission (RNC) at 1:57 of Round 1
- Devonte Smith def. Julian Erosa via KO at 0:46 of Round 1
- Eric Shelton def. Joseph Morales via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)
- Mark de la Rosa def. Joby Sanchez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)