On November 25, 2017, the UFC made its return to China, and after three events held in Macau, this is the first UFC card to ever take place on Mainland China. This card was originally scheduled to showcase a Middleweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum, and Anderson 'The Spider' Silva.
However, on November 10, it was revealed that Silva failed an out of competition test from a sample collected on Oct. 26th, and it was announced that he was pulled from the card. The next day, former UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping stepped up as a short term replacement, just 3 weeks removed from his Title loss at the hands of Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217. Let's break down this exciting card that had submissions, KO's, and great fights altogether.
Kelvin Gastelum (Win) vs. Michael Bisping
In our Main Event, we have TUF 17 winner and explosive UFC contender Kelvin Gastelum, who's having a great run at 185 lbs, going up against former Middleweight champion and UFC great Michael 'The Count' Bisping, who comes into this fight on short notice to replace Anderson Silva.
To begin the fight, Gastelum springs forward, looking for the hard left hand early. Bisping keeps his distance with an oblique kick and a couple of jabs. Kelvin presses Bisping against the fence in a clinch, but soon after, they separate and go back to striking. Bisping begins timing Gastelum and catches him with a couple of quick counter rights midway into the second. He has momentum, but he begins reaching with his strikes.
This was a fatal mistake against Gastelum. Bisping threw a left and reached forward with a right hook, missing as Gastelum slipped it. Right behind it, Gastelum throws a lightning fast right then left hook combo, and the left hook crashes right against the chin of Bisping. He drops forward limp hitting the canvas, and as he tries to recover Gastelum is right on top of him, dropping a multitude of right hands that prompt referee Mark Goddard to step in and end the fight. Gastelum sprints to his corner in celebration, and he finishes another UFC great. Kelvin Gastelum def. Michael Bisping via R1 KO.
Jingliang Li (Win) vs. Zak Ottow
In the co-main event of the evening, we have skilled UFC up and comer Jingliang Li, who's 5-2 in the octagon, going up against fellow up and comer and grappler Zak Ottow.
To begin, Li opens with some leg kicks, but Ottow comes back with a body kick. Li lands a stinging right hook, but Ottow responds with one of his own. As Ottow begins using low kicks, Li takes note, and as Ottow throws another Li catches it and throws a huge straight right that drops Ottow hard. Li follows him down and pounds away with hooks and hammerfists.
Ottow tries to grab ahold of Li's leg in desperation but Li stands and keeps perfect distance between him and the scrambling and rocked Ottow. As he does, he keeps landing hard right hands to the grounded Ottow and after a huge hook that sends Ottow back down into the fetal position desperately defending, Referee Herb Dean steps in. He ends the ground and pound assault on Ottow, and Li comes away with the TKO in his home country. Jingliang Li def. Zak Ottow via R1 TKO.
Guan Wang (Win) vs. Alex Caceres
In the main card's 3rd fight, we had a Featherweight contest between UFC veteran Alex Caceres and Skilled Chinese prospect and American Top Team member Guan Wang, who makes his UFC debut.
In the first round, both men exchange early but it is Wang who lands more. Then, as they clinch, Caceres accidentally lands a knee to the cup of Wang. After about a minute, Wang is ready to continue, and the fight resumes. Soon after, Wang lands a good right hand, then a heavy elbow that backs up Caceres. They clinch on the fence, and as they reverse position, Wang lands a hard knee that backs up Caceres. He follows it with a stinging left hook counter to Caceres' uppercut. Wang presses forward but gets a bit too aggressive and eats a couple of left hands from Caceres. However seconds before the buzzer, Wang lands a left hook that drops Caceres and he follows, trying to pound out his hurt opponent. He can't finish it before the round ends and Caceres gets up wobbly.
In the second round, Wang comes out with just as much aggression as the end of the first and it pays off, as he catches Caceres early with devastating right hands, and he backs up the already wobbled Caceres. Wang keeps it on and although he takes a kick to the body from Caceres he keeps the pressure on, landing a counter left then a hard right that almost drops the American again.
Again Wang is hit in the cup, but he won't take a break and is ready to continue, so he does. Wang has slowed down a bit and so has the action, and for the remainder of the round, both men keep their distance and Wang finds more success with his striking as his right hand lands over and over.
In the third round, Caceres is the one who comes out strong first, attempting a high kick. Wang blocks it and steps back appearing a bit winded, prompting Caceres to move forward to strike. This was a mistake as Wang lands a hard left hook, and then another good left hand shot that drops Caceres briefly, although he did get back up and smile, showing he wasn't done yet. Caceres throws another kick but slips, recovering before Wang can take advantage. He finds a successful high kick moments later, but Wang eats it and continues, and they clinch on the fence.
After they separate it's Caceres who's building momentum, but as he plots forward he lands yet another accidental groin strike, which this time takes longer for Wang to continue. When the fight resumes, Caceres comes out hard and tries to fight for a finish, landing some good strikes on Wang. He lands a couple of hooks as the round ends. Wang Guan def. Alex Caceres via Split Decision.
Alex Garcia (Win) vs. Muslim Salikhov
In the first fight of the main card, we had Dominican-Canadian UFC welterweight Alex Garcia going up against Muslim Salikhov, who made his UFC debut.
In the opening round, Salikhov struck first with a low kick, but Garcia charged forward on a strong double leg takedown attempt, and after some battling for it, he finds it. Garcia lands some strikes on top and immediately goes for the arm-triangle, but as he sets it up he can't finish it. After Garcia tries to get to mount, Salikhov scrambles back to his feet. He comes back now, landing a skillful spinning kick to Garcia's body and then a jab followed by a low kick. Garcia shoots again, but can't finish the takedown, instead pinning Salikhov against the fence. He lands a hard knee as Salikhov separates, and as Salikhov goes for a heavy right hand, Garcia times him and lands a takedown, getting some effective right hands in before the round ends.
In the second, both men started slower, being more respectful of each others' skill sets. Salikhov dodges a takedown attempt and lands a kick that is partially blocked, and then both men start swinging for the fences. Garcia then shoots in for another takedown attempt, this time finding it and getting Salikhov down onto the canvas. Garcia then passes to side control, and as Salikhov turns he gets a hook in and takes the back. Garcia then reaches around and sinks in the rear naked choke. It isn't fully under Salikhov's chin, but with Garcia's massive forearms and biceps, he doesn't need it to be. Garcia squeezes and Salikhov tries to pry his tree trunk of an arm away from his nose and jaw, but this only brings it down to his more vulnerable neck, and he is forced to tap. Alex Garcia def. Muslim Salikhov via R2 Submission.
Zabit Magomedsharipov (Win) vs. Sheymon Moraes
In the featured Prelim bout, we have a featherweight matchup between exciting UFC newcomer Zabit Magomedsharipov and skilled Brazilian fighter Sheymon Moraes, who made his UFC debut.
In the first round, both men exchange body kicks and keep their distance. As Moraes goes for a low kick, Magomedsharipov catches it and lands a hard right hand. They fight carefully, and Moraes comes back with a combo of his own. Later in the round, Moraes jumps and pulls guard, but he can't do much from the bottom as Magomedsharipov does a good job keeping him flattened out and controlled from on top. Moraes begins to stand, but Magomedsharipov takes him back down and takes the back of the Brazilian. Once again Moraes stands and once again Magomedsharipov takes him back down, this time passing to side control, and then mount. Magomedsharipov then drops some huge elbows and finishes the round on top.
In the second round, Magomedsharipov tries a spinning kick but misses, however he keeps the momentum and grabs the clinch with Moraes before attempting to take him down. This time Moraes is ready for the trip and reverses, landing in top position. Moraes transitions to mount where he looks for an arm, but Magomedsharipov scrambles and ends up on top, then moves to Moraes' back. Moraes turns over and now Magomedsharipov is in mount, and he drops more heavy elbows from here.
He even finds knee-on-belly position to drop harder elbows down. Moraes struggles underneath, and as he gets back to guard, Magomedsharipov transitions to side control. Moraes gets deep half guard, and as he tries to get up he is hammered by Magomedsharipov rights as the buzzer sounds.
In the third round, both men exchange heavy strikes to begin. Magomedsharipov lands a hard leg kick that causes Moraes to lose his footing, and as he gets back up Magomedsharipov lands a good combo. Magomedsharipov then goes to a high kick then shoots for the takedown. He gets Moraes against the fence and after some struggling, he drags him down once again. Moraes works hard and gets back to his feet twice, but Magomedsharipov shows his dominant wrestling and gets him back down to the canvas both times.
The second time, Magomedsharipov gets into full mount and then into knee on belly, looking to isolate the arm. He can't find it so he mounts, but Moraes bucks him off. As Moraes drives forward to end up on top, Magomedsharipov wraps up his head and locks up an anaconda choke with his arm under the armpit and neck of Moraes, grabbing his own opposite bicep to lock it up fully. Moraes tries to defend it, but can't and he taps out. Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Sheymon Moraes via R3 Submission.
Kenan Song (Win) vs. Bobby Nash
In the lone Welterweight bout of the Prelims, we had Chinese fighter Kenan Song, who made his UFC debut, going up against American Bobby Nash.
In the beginning round, Song's first kick landed on the cup of Nash. Referee Herb Dean paused the bout, but Nash said he was good, so it resumed. As they resume, they exchange and Song lands a huge counter right hand on Nash's jaw. Nash drops to the canvas but tries to recover and grabs the leg of Song in desperation, but Song pounds away with hammerfists and short punches. He continues this onslaught and Nash can't do anything else, so Referee Herb Dean Steps in and Stops the fight. Kenan Song def. Bobby Nash via R1 TKO.
Xiaonan Yan (Win) vs. Kailin Curran
In our only women's Straw weight bout of the evening, we had Kailin Curran going up against Chinese UFC newcomer Yan Xiaonan. To begin the fight, Yan caught a low kick and followed up with a good combination and then a good one two that wobbled Curran. Yan showing superior striking, Curran then clinching Yan against the fence. Curran lands some knees to Yan's legs, and they separate and reset.
Curran lands a good right and presses Yan against the fence once again to try and trip her, but Yan defends it. Curran lands some good punches and a knee before she's shoved away by Yan. Yan lands good combos on Curran back in the center of the octagon, and again Curran grabs a clinch and forces Yan against the wall, landing more short lefts. As they separate once more towards the end of the round, they stand and bang it out and land punches on each other, and Curran once again pushes Yan against the cage as the buzzer sounds.
In the second round, Curran comes forward but Yan is the one who connects first, as she lands a hard left hook and a well timed counter right as Curran throws a leg kick. Yan follows this up with a chopping leg kick of her own. Curran then clinches and gets the bodylock takedown. Yan throws up her legs looking for an arm bar, but can't find it. Curran stands to defend either way, and Yan is able to scramble to her feet. Curran keeps the pressure on and presses Yan against the fence once again, and she is able to land more left hands while doing so.
After working for it, Yan breaks away, and uses her jab to keep the distance against the skilled grappler Curran. As the American comes forward to clinch Yan is able to find the jab more, and as Curran finds the clinch finally, Yan is able to escape more quickly. Yan then times her movements and lands a good straight left. As the round comes to a close Curran is finally able to corral Yan against the cage and land some punches.
In the third round, Yan landed a leg sweep trip on Curran, but the American got back to her feet quickly. They exchange more punches, and Curran shoots for another takedown but is stuffed. Curran is coming forward aggressively, and as Yan tries to leg sweep again, Curran lands a good overhand left. Yan backs up, and Curran is able to secure the takedown, at around 2 minutes into the round. Yan is defending well from the bottom, and is able to make sure Curran can't land too many strikes. However as the round goes on, Curran begins to land more and Yan finally kicks her off and they reset. Curran tries to clinch, but they separate and slug it out until the end of the round and fight. Yan Xiaonan def. Kailin Curran via Unanimous Decision.
Yadong Song (Win) vs. Bharat Khandare
In this Featherweight bout, we have two fighters making their UFC Debuts. Chinese fighter Yadong 'The Terminator' Song will take on Indian fighter Bharat 'Daring' Khandare. To start out, Song throws some spinning attacks that Khandare is wary of as he stays out of range. Khandare returns with a spinning backfist that misses, but he does find the mark with a low kick.
As he does, Song lands a big overhand right that catches Khandare's attention. Khandare uses his jab to keep his distance and slip punches, but he eats a heavy leg kick from Song. Khandare lands some leg kicks of his own, but Song is showing the superior movement and control. Suddenly, Song launches a huge overhand right that crashes against the jaw of Khandare, dropping him onto the canvas backside-first.
As Song goes to follow up with ground and pound, Khandare manages to shoot for a takedown in desperation. Song sprawls skillfully, and then is able to grab onto a headlock and then a front choke, as he clasps his fingers together and uses his forearm to apply pressure on Khandare's neck. Song stays standing and presses Khandare against the fence, and Khandare kicks off of it in one last effort to escape, but Song keeps the choke on and Khandare is forced to tap out. Song celebrates as he gets the big win in his home country. Song Yadong def. Bharat Khandare via R1 Submission.
Shamil Abdurakhimov (Win) vs. Chase Sherman
In our next bout, we have a Heavyweight showcase between UFC up and comers Chase Sherman and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
In the first round, both men exchange as Abdurakhimov lands a lead left hook but Sherman comes back with a left of his own. They both test the range with lefts, and now Abdurakhimov is landing the left hook more and more. Another big left hook from Abdurakhimov and this time he follows it up with a huge overhand right that connects, wobbling Sherman.
As Sherman stumbles forward trying to recover, Abdurakhimov follows, and throws a left hook from behind that clips Sherman right on the chin. Sherman's legs give out and he drops down onto both knees limp. Referee Steve Perceval steps in and stops the fight. Shamil Abdurakhimov def. Chase Sherman via R1 KO.
Gina Mazany (Win) vs. Yanan Wu
In the next fight of the card, we have a Women's Bantamweight contest.
This fight is between American UFC newcomer Gina 'Danger' Mazany and Chinese fighter Yanan Wu, who makes her UFC debut. In the first round there are fireworks to start out as Wu comes charging forward, but Mazany catches her with a good combination. Wu then lands a good left that leaves a mark, and then they clinch, with Wu pressing Mazany against the fence.
Wu is able to bring Mazany down and land some strikes but Mazany works back up to her feet and land a good left. They exchange strikes and then it is Mazany who clinches with Wu, pressing her against the fence. Mazany then lands a trip and lands in half guard, but is then warned for a head butt. She postures up and drops some hard elbows on Wu, who then regains full guard and attempts an arm bar on Mazany. Mazany escapes, and continues to drop strikes from top position. Wu finally is able to work back to her feet, and then lands a knee to the body and an elbow to the head before the round ends.
In the second round, Mazany opens up early and lands a hard left hand and a right high kick that connects flush. Wu clinches and presses Mazany against the cage, but is warned a couple of times for grabbing the fence. Mazany reverses position, and then lands a knee to the body of Wu before dropping down and completing the double leg takedown. Wu is able to stand briefly, but Mazany brings her back down and begins landing numerous ground and pound shots. As Wu struggles to escape underneath, Mazany shifts and is able to keep landing punches to Wu's head from top position. Mazany looks at the referee for a stoppage and Wu takes advantage, scrambling and getting to her feet. Mazany presses forward and looks for another takedown, but Wu defends well, and spins Mazany around onto the fence.
She is again warned for grabbing the fence, and as she works, grabs the fence again. This prompts referee Mark Goddard to walk Wu over to her corner and ask them to translate to her that she cannot grab the fence. She does not lose a point but they reset in a neutral position. They end the round swinging hard, and Wu appears shaken up as it ends.
In the third round, Mazany starts fast again landing a running superman punch, then avoiding the clinch from Wu. Mazany lands a couple of body kicks, and as Wu comes forward Mazany clinches, and trips Wu after pressing her against the fence. As they go down, Mazany stacks up Wu but can't do much from on top, and as Wu tries to defend with rubber guard, Mazany passes into side control. She lands damaging elbows from this position, and is able to maintain side control until the buzzer. Gina Mazany def. Wu Yanan via Unanimous Decision.
Rolando Dy (Win) vs. Buren Wuliji
In the second fight of the prelims, we had a Catchweight contest that was originally scheduled for 145 lbs but moved to 148 due to Rolando Dy's missed weight.
In the bout, UFC up and comer Rolando Dy faces Chinese MMA fighter Buren Wuliji, who makes his UFC debut. In the first round, Wuliji strikes first with a body kick, but is then caught, as Dy lands a huge left hook counter that drops Wuliji. The Chinese fighter recovers quickly though, and he gets back to his feet and manages to grab a single leg takedown and complete it in the center of the cage. Dy works and stands up and Wuliji then transitions to his back, then riding him back down to the ground.
They fight for position for a while, and Dy struggles to get free almost doing it once, and on his second attempt he commits to it and breaks free and gets to his feet. As they reset, now it is Dy who is building momentum, as he lands good combinations that back up Wuliji. Dy shoots for a takedown but misses it as the round ends.
In the second round, Wuliji starts out and lands a takedown to begin, but Dy scrambles and lands in top position. He passes to side control where he lands some good knees to the body, and keeps this position for a while. Wuliji works, then escapes after rolling to his knees and standing. Dy lands some good combos capped off by an elbow, but Wuliji comes back with a good right of his own.
Dy doesn't acknowledge it and continues forward landing a good left in exchanges. Wuliji then shoots and lands another takedown on Dy, but Dy upkicks and gets to his feet, landing good jabs and leg kicks as the round ends. In the third and final round, Wuliji begins with another successful takedown, landing in half guard. Dy tries to work out of it as Wuliji lands good ground and pound on top. Dy finally is able to find a good position and stands up, and they both reset. Wuliji lands a good right, and then shoots for another takedown, but this one is stuffed by Dy. Dy throws a leg kick and it grazes the cup of Wuliji, and time is called.
He recovers quickly though, and as they resume, Wuliji continues to shoot for the takedown, but Dy stuffs both of his attempts. Wuliji then works Dy towards the fence in a clinch, but Dy reverses and is able to land good elbows on Wuliji as the fight comes to a close. Rolando Dy def. Buren Wuliji via Unanimous Decision.
Cyril Asker (Win) vs. Yaozong Hu
In the initial fight of the prelims, we had French UFC newcomer Cyril 'The Silverback' Asker take on Chinese Heavyweight Yaozong Hu, who made his UFC debut.
In the first round, Asker pressured forward first, pressing Hu against the cage and landing a punch, then securing a takedown. He lands a few good strikes but Hu gets back up quickly. As he does, Hu grabs onto a guillotine, and tries to wrench it in while standing, but as he adjusts, the Frenchman escapes. Asker then shoots and lands another takedown, and tries to take Hu's back as Hu tries to get up on all fours. They are against the fence and Asker goes to more ground and pound, then shifting to land a knee to the body of the grounded Hu.
Hu uses this opportunity to get up, but Asker lands another takedown and lands great ground and pound as the round ends. In the second, both men come out swinging as Hu slips a punch from Asker then lands a good punch and a pair of leg kicks. Asker explodes forward with a missed strike and then a successful takedown, and then gets a couple of good punches to Hu's head in before Hu goes to all fours to try and stand again.
Asker then transitions to the back once again and gets a hook in, landing good strikes on Hu from the back. Asker then flattens out Hu, landing more good shots as he does. He then rolls away, getting both hooks in, and then securing the rear naked choke quickly. Yaozong doesn't defend it and finds himself trapped as he taps out. Cyril Asker def. Yaozong Hu via R2 Submission.