Kevin Lee cruises to big win in UFC Fight Night 128 headliner

Las Vegan Kevin Lee felt he had a lot to prove after tiring and eventually losing an interim title bout against Tony Ferguson in October.

He’s certainly back on track after a drubbing of Edson Barboza on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City.

“I can do it all,” the 25-year-old said after officials halted the bout in the fifth round because of damage to Barboza’s eye.

“I feel I’m the most complete fighter in this division. Edson Barboza is 100 percent the best striker in this division, and I showed I can stand with the toughest striker in the world. I wanted to go out there and show it. I showed I can do it all.”

Lee had a brief scare in the third round when Barboza landed a spin kick that staggered him.

“I can push through adversity,” Lee said. “That wheel kick hurt.”

Lee said he hopes the performance can earn him a title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov, though that will be difficult in a crowded division with Ferguson and Conor McGregor waiting in the wings.

Featherweight contender Frankie Edgar controlled all three rounds against Cub Swanson to cruise to a unanimous decision victory just eight weeks after suffering the first knockout of his career in an interim title bout against Brian Ortega.

“I had the title shot and risked it,” he said of accepting that fight against Ortega when champion Max Holloway was forced to pull out of their scheduled bout. “I was doing really well against Brian Ortega, but he caught me with a shot. I’d love to fight the winner of Holloway and Ortega. We’ll see what happens.”

He had hoped to make his case more clear by finishing Swanson, who entered on a four-fight winning streak.

“Cub did a great job,” Edgar said. “I wanted to put on a more dominant performance, but hats off to Cub.”

Bantamweight Aljamain Sterling bounced back from a crushing knockout loss in December to hand Brett Johns the first loss of his career.

“That last fight was a big learning lesson for me,” Sterling said after the unanimous decision victory. “This fight was to let everyone know I’m still here and I’m one of the best bantamweights in the world.”

Also on the main card, David Branch and Dan Hooker won on first-round knockouts.

Branch landed a right hand on the chin of Thiago Santos to snap his four-fight knockout streak at the 2:30 mark.

Hooker stopped Jim Miller with a knee at 3:00 of the opening round for his third consecutive win since moving back up to lightweight.

Heavyweight Justin Willis outlasted Chase Sherman for a unanimous decision.

Ricky Simon highlighted the preliminary card with a bizarre victory over bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili.

Dvalishvili appeared to survive a deep guillotine until the final bell and was ahead on the scorecards.

Simon, however, was awarded the victory as the referee ruled Dvalishvili was out at the bell.

“I got up, looked at his eyes and he was gone,” Simon said. “I sunk in a deep choke and he was out. I stood over his body and he was limp. He was flailing and then went limp.”

Dvalishvili disputed the account.

“He took me down and I couldn’t move,” the bantamweight said. “I just waited because there was only a short amount of time left. When it was finished, I was just tired and stayed down. I knew I had won. The doctors told me to stay down. I don’t know why they gave it to him. I feel I’m the winner. I didn’t lose this fight.”

Welterweight Siyar Bahadurzada had the only other finish on the preliminary card when he knocked out Luan Chagas with a body kick and a punch in the second round.

Bahadurzada has now won all three fights since missing nearly three years because of injuries.

Ryan LaFlare, Corey Anderson and Tony Martin each won decisions.

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like