Gaethje stops Vick in the first round
There was a lot of animosity between Justin Gaethje and James Vick heading into their main event matchup at UFC Fight Night in Lincoln, Nebraska and it ended quickly when Gaethje connected on a huge overhand right that knocked Vick out in just under 90 seconds into the first round.
Gaethje was coming off of back-to-back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, but Vick was the lowest ranked opponent of his UFC tenure as he improves to 2-2 in the UFC.
Following the win, Gaethje said that he would like to face Tony Ferguson next.
Vick now has a 9-2 record in the UFC after the second first round knockout loss in the promotion. The first such instance was against Beneil Dariush when he was knocked out late in the first round in their June 2016 fight.
Attendance and Bonuses
UFC Fight Night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska drew 6,409 attendees for a gate of $478,337.
Gaethje’s knockout earned him his fourth Performance of the Night bonus in four fights as he continues to rack up extra income with his exciting fights.
Others earning bonuses were Eryk Anders, who scored a knockout win in the final thirty seconds of his three round fight with Tim Williams and Cory Sandhagen and Yuri Alcantara for their back and forth fight that went from Sandhagen being in big trouble early on to dominating Alcantara until earning a second round stoppage victory.
Ferguson returns at UFC 229
Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson’s quick recovery from a serious knee injury in March is nothing short of remarkable.
Ferguson was recently added to UFC 229 to face Anthony Pettis and is presumably the backup plan in the event that anything happens that would prevent either headliner, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, from competing at the October 6 event.
The injury that sidelined Ferguson happened less than two weeks prior to his scheduled main event matchup with Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in Brooklyn in March, which was to determine the new, undisputed lightweight champion after McGregor was to relinquish the title.
Pettis was scheduled to fight on that same event against Michael Chiesa, but Chiesa was scratched from the event two days prior after McGregor threw a hand truck through the window of a bus holding the red corner fighters.
Since then, Pettis earned a win over Chiesa by submission last month at UFC 226 in Las Vegas.
Aubin-Mercier returning at UFC 231 in Toronto
The first official matchup for UFC 231, which takes place on December 7 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, was announced earlier this week and it features Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier facing Gilbert Burns.
Aubin-Mercier and Burns were scheduled to fight in February, but Burns was pulled from the card due to concerns regarding his weight cut when he arrived in Orlando for fight week.
Since then, both fighters are 1-1 after suffering losses last month. Aubin-Mercier lost to Alexander Hernandez at UFC Fight Night in Calgary and Burns lost to Dan Hooker at UFC 226 in Las Vegas.
Prior to his loss, the self-proclaimed “Canadian Gangster” Aubin-Mercier had won four straight.
Another Canadian added to UFC 231 is Chad Laprise, who defeated Aubin-Mercier to become The Ultimate Fighter: Nations winner in 2014. He will face Dhiego Lima, who has a 1-5 UFC record.
MMA Junkie also reported that featherweight champion Max Holloway has verbally agreed to defend his title against Brian Ortega in a potential card headliner at UFC 231.
Magny pulled from fight with Oliveira to face Ponzinibbio
With the UFC making its first trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, the promotion was actively seeking an opponent for Santiago Ponzinibbio, who is an Argentina-native.
After exploring several options, the promotion decided to pull Neil Magny from his upcoming fight at UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo against Alex Oliveira to fill the slot against the heavy hitting Ponzinibbio.
Magny has a solid resume, with wins over Kelvin Gastelum, Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks, while Ponzinibbio is on a six-fight win streak with his most recent win coming over Mike Perry.