UFC 281: Adesanya Vs. Pereira Prelim And Undercard Live Results, Recaps, And Highlights: Poirier Submits Chandler In Bloody Three Rounder

Kicking off UFC 281 fight day at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will be five early preliminary matches airing live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.

Following, on ESPN+, the four-bout preliminary card will get started at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

Finally, the Pay-Per-View main card will go live at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The broadcast will consist of five fights and will conclude with Israel Adesanya versus Alex Pereira in a main event battle for the middleweight crown. The main event competitors are expected to make their cage walks at roughly 1 a.m. ET / 10 p.m. PT.

 

Follow the Live Results, Recaps, and Highlights below, provided by FIGHT SPORTS

 

Main Card 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (PPV) Live Results:

Co-Main Event: Carla Esparza versus Weili Zhang – Strawweight Title Fight

In this battle for the women’s strawweight title, Carla Esparza and Weili Zhang were able to keep things quite close throughout the first round, engaging in exciting grappling exchanges and scrambles.

In the second round, Esparza forced a takedown attempt as she knows that is where she would be more dominant in this matchup. Weili defended the takedown well and slipped around to her back. Weili was able to secure one of Esparza’s arms between her legs, in addition to getting a hold of her neck to secure the crucifix from the bottom. From there, Weili was able to lock up the rear naked choke, and with one arm still trapped, Esparza did not have much chance to defend.

As a result of this submission victory, Weili has achieved the UFC strawweight title for a second time in her four-year career with the organization.

Weili Zhang defeats Carla Esparza via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2, 1:05

 

Dustin Poirier versus Michael Chandler – Lightweight

This 155-pound matchup started out with an electrifying first round. Chandler started off with explosive striking, catching Poirier on multiple occasions and making him back off towards the cage. Once against the cage, Chandler was able to secure the takedown and control a large portion of the round from there. Poirier was able to wrestle back to his feet and take over in the striking department, landing multiple power shots, dropping his opponent, and finishing the round in dominant fashion.

The second round clearly went to Chandler, as he was able to secure the takedown early and control things with nasty ground and pound coupled with submission attempts. Poirier would defend intelligently enough to escape the round, but at times it certainly seemed like things could have been stopped by the referee.

Into the third and final round, Chandler knew the smart decision would be to get things on the ground. He secured the entry for the high crotch slam, but in midair, Poirier’s position shifted. This resulted in the slam not being completed correctly, and a slight scramble ensued. Chandler wound up going for a sloppy back take on his opponent, a back take that Poirier was easily able to turn out of.

With his opponent underneath him, Poirier went to work with ground strikes, forcing Chandler to turn and expose his back. Poirier locked up the body triangle, rolled to his side, and cinched up the rear naked choke. Chandler did his best to fight the choking hand, but had no choice other than to tap out, putting an end to the bloody affair.

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Official Result: Dustin Poirier defeats Michael Chandler via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 3, 2:00

 

Frankie Edgar versus Chris Gutierrez – Bantamweight

Unfortunately for Frankie Edgar, things did not go as well as he had hoped for his retirement fight. In the opening round, Gutierrez was moving away, using strategic footwork to draw Edgar in, hoping to take advantage of the veteran’s pressure. Just as Edgar took a step forward, Gutierrez planted his right foot and lunged forward with his left knee. The knee split through Edgar’s guard, connected flush with his jaw, and he was out cold immediately.

This was an impressive win for Gutierrez, and a devastating loss for Edgar, but despite tonight’s result, nothing can take away from the fact that Edgar made a legendary career for himself in the UFC.

Gutierrez’s record now sits at 19-3, while Edgar ends his career with a record of 24-11-1.

Official Result: Chris Gutierrez defeats Frankie Edgar via KO (Knee) – Round 1, 2:01

 

Dan Hooker versus Claudio Puelles – Lightweight

In the first round of this 155-pound contest to kick-start the PPV broadcast, Dan Hooker found himself in trouble as Claudio Puelles executed a swift Imanari roll, followed by a dangerous leg submission attempt. Hooker defended well and managed to escape the leg attack as the end of the round neared.

The second round consisted of Puelles desperately trying to get the fight back to the ground, but Hooker was now wise to this game plan and was able to defend the takedowns well. From there, Hooker would go on to land multiple front kicks to the body, which caused supreme damage and his opponent was no longer able to withstand the pain.

Through this TKO victory, Hooker’s record improved to 22-12, while Puelles records his third loss in fifteen fights.

Official Result: Dan Hooker defeats Claudio Puelles via TKO (Front Kick to the Body) – Round 2, 4:06

 

Live Results: Preliminary Card 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+

Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1, 3:20

Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes via Knockout (Punches) – Round 1, 1:20

Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann via Submission (Kimura) – Round 1, 3:37

Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman via Decision (Unanimous) – 30-27, 30-27, 29-28

 

Live Results: Early Prelims 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass

Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar via KO (Left Hook) – Round 1, 2:30

Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Silvana Gómez Juárez via Decision (Unanimous) – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Michael Trizano def. Seung Woo Choi via KO (Left Hook) – Round 1, 4:51

Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce via Decision (Unanimous) – 30-27, 30-27, 29-28

Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu via KO (Check Hook) – Round 1, 3:44

 

Alex PereiraAndre PetroskiBrad RiddellCarla EsparzaChris GutierrezClaudio PuellesDan HookerDominick ReyesDustin PoirierErin BlanchfieldFrankie EdgarIsrael AdesanyaJulio ArceKarolina KowalkiewiczMatt FrevolaMichael ChandlerMMAMolly McCannMontel JacksonOttman AzaitarRenato MoicanoRyan SpannSilvana Gómez JuárezUFCUFC 281UFC281Weili ZhangWellington TurmanZhang Weili