UFC 245: Two of Three Champions Retain

Two of the three title fights that topped UFC 245 ended with the champions retaining their titles, highlighted by a final-minute finish from Kamaru Usman to defeat Colby Covington and retain the UFC welterweight championship at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While both Usman and Covington have major wrestling pedigrees, the two produced fireworks in a fight that featured zero takedown attempts and plenty of exchanges and fire fighting.

The quick pace and quick striking favored Covington, and that’s how the fight played out over the first couple of rounds, but Usman found his mark, too. And he found that body shots were getting to the challenger.

A big right in the third round broke Covington’s jaw, and Usman began to storm back, with many having it tied 2-2 entering the final round.

And it was in that fifth frame where Usman knocked Covington down with a right hand late in the round twice, swarming him with a flurry until referee Marc Goddard waved an end to the championship grudge match.

The co-main event saw the lone title change of the night, as Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway to snap Holloway’s 14-fight win streak at the weight class and win the UFC featherweight championship.

Volkanovski got off to a strong start with the usage of leg kicks, pounding away on Holloway’s legs. Through two rounds, Holloway’s legs were all bruised up.

Holloway was working combinations and trying to keep up with the Australian, but it wasn’t enough. Holloway turned things up in the championship rounds, landing several hard strikes and helping to produce a wild, back-and-forth final frame.

Ultimately, all three judges saw the fight for Volkanovski, 48-47, 48-47, 50-45.

The night also saw Amanda Nunes retain the UFC women’s bantamweight championship against Germaine de Randamie.

Nunes dominated the first round, rocking de Randamie almost right away and delivering a couple of takedowns and vicious ground-and-pound. GDR, however, came right back and rocked Nunes with a head kick and a couple of knees.

But in the third, Nunes turned the fight back into her favor by taking de Randamie back down and keeping her there for just about the rest of the round. With the exception of a scary triangle de Randamie put on in the fourth, Nunes continued this strategy for the rest of the fight, as de Randamie seemed to have no answer for Nunes’ clinching, takedowns and ground work.

All three judges scored the fight for Nunes: 49-44, 49-46, 49-45.

The rest of the main card also saw Marlon Moraes edge out Jose Aldo in a striking war that marked Aldo’s bantamweight debut, and Petr Yan score a third-round knockout of Urijah Faber in an attempt to solidify a future bantamweight title shot.

The prelims also featured several finishes, including highlights from Geoff Neal and Irene Aldana.

Main card results:

UFC welterweight championship: (c) Kamaru Usman def. Colby Covington via TKO (Rd. 5, 4:10)

UFC featherweight championship: Alexander Volkanovski def. (c) Max Holloway via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45)

UFC women’s bantamweight championship: (c) Amanda Nunes def. Germaine de Randamie via unanimous decision (49-44, 49-46, 49-45)

Marlon Moraes def. Jose Aldo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Petr Yan def. Urijah Faber via KO (Rd. 3, 0:43)

Preliminary card results:

Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry via TKO (Rd. 1, 1:30)

Irene Aldana def. Ketlen Vieira via KO (Rd. 1, 4:51)

Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders via KO (Rd. 2, 4:55)

Early Prelim card results:

Chase Hooper def. Daniel Teymur via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:34)

Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Jessica Eye def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Punahele Soriano def. Oskar Piechota via KO (Rd. 1, 3:17)

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