Fabricio Werdum dominated a tough Marcin Tybura to win the main event of UFC Sydney, staking his claim for another title shot in the process.
Fresh off the face of victory against Walt Harris at UFC 216, Werdum was taken into deeper waters by the Pole but looked equally impressive in the process as he dominated the five round fight on the way to an emphatic victory.
Whilst the Brazilian was only able to get into a dominant ground position when the fight went to the canvas, he also did rock Tybura numerous times, including in the final round.
Despite this the tough and durable European hung in til the final bell, despite the decision not going his way.
However, Tybura can take heart from the fact that only one man has defeated Werdum since his title loss, that being a narrow decision loss to Alistair Overeem. Tybura did have his moments in the fight, landing effective headkicks. However, he was not able to follow up on these successes.
For Werdum, it caps off a wild week in Sydney after he was charged with common assault for throwing a boomerang at UFC welterweight contender, Colby Covington.
In the co-main event of the evening, Jessica-Rose Clark had the dream debut, defeating Bec Rawlings by decision on just eleven days notice.
In a tight fight with her fellow Australian, Clark turned the fight on its head when landing a vicious knee to the body of Rawlings in the second round, taking the wind out of her opponent’s sails.
For Rawlings, it makes bad viewing, as this is her third consecutive loss, though a narrow one. For Clark, it’s a great start to life in the UFC and the newly moved flyweight insists she’ll be even more impressive when given a full camp in preparation.
Rising star Belal Muhammad picked up the most impressive win of his MMA career to date with a decision victory over the highly experienced Tim Means.
In an extremely close contest, that was fought on the feet for the majority of the fight, Muhammad would do enough to edge it in the final round, landing crisp 1-2 combinations on his opponent.
Following the victory, Muhammad called out fellow welterweight contender Colby Covington, who he called a coward. Muhammad quoted “If i saw you on the streets, you’d be going to the intensive care unit.”
Main card opener Alexander Volkanovski put on a show for his home people with an emphatic victory over short-notice opponent Shane Young. After taking the fight on just a few days notice, Volkanovski punished the UFC debutant for 15 gruelling minutes.
A mixture of clinical striking and energy-sapping groundwork made for cruel viewing as far as Shane Young was concerned. The Australian took the victory with a unanimous decision with two of the judges scoring the contest 30-26.
Will Brooks suffered yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Nik Lentz. This marked the former Bellator champion’s third consecutive loss after suffering defeat to both Alex and Charles Oliveira.
The loss came in dramatic fashion when Brooks went for a takedown but Lentz locked in a guillotine in the process, forcing his opponent to tap from the top.
UFC Sydney Main Card Results
Heavyweight contest – Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura via decision (Unanimous) – (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Women’s flyweight contest – Jessica-Rose Clark def. Bec Rawlings via decision (Split) – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Welterweight contest – Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means via decision (Split) – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Welterweight contest – Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic via decision (Split) – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Middleweight contest – Elias Theodorou def. Daniel Kelly via decision (Unanimous) – (30-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Catchweight contest (150) – Alex Volkanovski def. Shane Young via decision (Unanimous) – (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
UFC Sydney Preliminary Results
Flyweight contest – Ryan Benoit def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via KO (Head kick) – (Round 3 – 2:38) Lightweight contest – Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via submission (Guillotine) – (Round 2 – 2:05)
Heavyweight contest – Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via KO (Flying knee) – (Round 1 – 4:35)
Lightweight contest – Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via decision (Split) – (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Women’s Strawweight contest – Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via decision (Unanimous) – (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Flyweight contest – Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa via decision (Unanimous) – (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
Heavyweight contest – Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via decision (Unanimous) – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)