UFC 224 took place Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The card was headlined by a women’s bantamweight title bout between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Raquel Pennington..
Closing odds are courtesy of BetDSI. Here’s a quick recap of each of those fights.
Favorites that won
In the main event of the evening, Amanda Nunes outworked Raquel Pennington over the course of four and a half rounds, eventually finishing Pennington with ground and pound as she faded in the fifth. Nunes was a -700 betting favorite while Pennington was a +525 underdog.
Once they were in the cage, it didn’t matter that McKenzie Dern missed weight by seven pounds on Friday. Dern blasted Amanda Cooper with a right hand, then jumped on her back, eventually securing a fight-ending choke. Dern was a -265 favorite with the comeback on Cooper +215.
In an exciting flyweight contest, John Lineker finally landed his “Hands of Stone” on Brian Kelleher’s chin in the third round, earning a devastating knockout victory. Lineker was a -265 betting favorite and Kelleher was a +235 underdog.
In a middleweight battle of former 205-pound champions, Lyoto Machida repeated history with an incredible front kick knockout of Vitor Belfort in the first round. Machida was a -190 favorite with the comeback on Belfort +165.
Middleweight Cezar Ferreira put former kickboxer Karl Roberson on his back and secured a fight-ending arm triangle choke with just 15 seconds remaining in the first round. Ferreira closed at -150 while Roberson was +130.
In a lightweight bout, Devi Ramos was able to put Nick Hein on the canvas and finished him with a rear naked choke. Ramos was a -185 betting favorite while Hein was +160.
Welterweight Warley Alves blasted Sultan Aliev with a heavy strike near his orbital, eventually forcing a doctor stoppage at the end of the second round. Alves was a -270 favorite with the comeback on Aliev +230.
Jack Hermansson overcame a leg injury, and was able to secure top position in the third round and batter former title challenger Thales Leites to pick up a TKO victory. Hermansson was a -135 favorite and Leites was +115.
Ramazon Emeev battered Alberto Mina over the course of three rounds to win a one-sided unanimous decision. Emeev was a -170 favorite with the comeback on Mina +150.
Markus Perez destroyed James Bochnovic, getting the fight to the canvas and eventually securing a rear naked choke near the end of the first round to prove his -300 favorite status correct. Bochnovic was a +250 underdog.
Underdogs that won
In the co-main event, middleweight contenders Jacare Souza and Kelvin Gastelum threw down in the Fight of the Night, both having big moments and landing huge shots against each other, but Gastelum dropped Souza in the second round and seemed to be the better conditioned fighter, eeeking out a split decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. Gastelum was a +100 underdog while Souza closed a -120 favorite.
In a heavyweight clash, Aleksei Oleinik grabbed a hold of Juniro Albini, then dropped to the canvas, securing his patented Ezekial choke in the first round, the second time he’s pulled that off in UFC history. Oleinik was a +130 dog while Albini was -150.
In a welterweight bout, Elizeu Zoleski dos Santos connected with an unreal spinning wheel kick to knock down Sean Strickland and eventually set up a ground and pound finish. Dos Santos was +100 while Strickland was a -120 favorite.