One of the biggest fight cards of the year, UFC 241 is finally in the books. It's safe to say the much-hyped PPV lived up to its billing.
The freakish dream fight between heavy-hitters Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero was as wild as they come. Nate Diaz made a triumphant return to the Octagon after three years and looked better than ever. The best moment, however, was saved for the end as the UFC crowned a new champion in the main event.
Here are the results and highlights of UFC 241, held at the Honda Center, Anaheim, California.
UFC 241 Results: Prelims
Khama Worthy def. Devonte Smith by TKO (punches) (4:15, Round 1)
Cory Sandhagen def. Raphael Assuncao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Drakkar Klose def. Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28, 29-28)
Casey Kenney def. Manny Bermudez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29=28, 29-28)
Hannah Cifers def. Jodie Esquibel via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Kang Kyung-Ho def. Brandon Davis via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Sabina Mazo def. Shana Dobson via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-25)
UFC 241 Results: Main Card
#1 Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch (Middleweight)
Perennial title contender Derek Brunson was coming off a unanimous decision victory over Elias Theodorou and the vet Middleweight was looking to get back to title contention.
A product of Dana White's Contender Series, Ian Heinisch's has managed to rise considerably high up the UFC rankings despite being in the promotion for only a year. Heinisch aimed that extending his five-fight win-streak and progress to the top of the pack in the middleweight rankings
Round 1: Heinisch opened up quick as he pressed forward and connected with an inside leg kick. He rocked Brunson with a head kick to the temple and the crown, as well as Joe Rogan, popped for that. Brunson wrapped his arms around Heinsich and tried to take him down. Heinisch maintained his balance and avoided going down.
Both men broke up. Heinisch kept up the pressure with a 1-2. Brunson was cautious. High kick from Heinisch. He followed it up with a leg kick to the calves. Kick to the body. Brunson connected with a right. Inside leg kick from Brunson.
The fight mellowed down after the initial burst. Brunson shot for the takedown. Stuffed by Heinisch. Brunson held onto the leg and Heinisch landed a few shots while being on one foot. Brunson didn't let go of the leg. Brunson moved his head and avoided a combination to connect with a good right. He shot for another takedown. Stuffed again from Heinisch. 10-9 Heinisch
Round 2: Body kicks from Brunson to begin the second round. He went low to the leg. Heinisch changed levels and loaded up on the right hand. Brunson had his guard up. Brunson went for a single leg takedown again but Heinisch defended it well yet again.
Brunson was being patient and let Heinisch engage before he came back with offensive tools of his own. Heinisch began slowing down as Brunson connected with the better shots which included a well-placed left-hand strike.
Both men exchanged body kicks. Brunson rushed in for a big 1-2. Heinisch covered up and Brunson got in a few big shots from the back. He tried to take him down again but Heinisch stayed up. Brunson had 18 significant strikes in the second round in comparison to Heinisch's 5. Brunson easily avoided a Heinisch shot, who seemed to be showing signs of fatigue.
Heinisch went for a big power shot but Brunson got his head out of the way. Brunson stuffed a Heinisch takedown and landed a big left. Brunson ended the round in a big way and fought really smartly to take it on the scorecards. 10-9 Brunson
Round 3: The fans booed as Colby Covington's image came up on the big screen. What a heel!
Heinisch kept the body kicks coming as the final round began. Colby sucks chants in the arena! Heinisch showed some urgency with good left shots. Brunson landed a nice takedown. Scramble from Heinisch, who popped right back up. They clinched against the cage.
Back to the centre, Brunson landed with a straight left. Another left. Brunson's left hand kept hitting the spot today. Brunson went for a takedown but his corner told him to stay up and capitalize on Heinisch's fatigue. Brunson landed another takedown. He had his back for a few moments before both men stood toe-to-toe again.
Brunson kept moving in and out, conserved his energy really well and kept touching Heinisch with lefts rights. Leg kicks from Brunson. Heinisch looked gassed but he still landed a good right hand. A straight left followed. Heinisch kept pressing despite not having much left in the gas tank. Jab, straight left and right from Brunson. He ended the round with a straight right. A great performance from the underdog Brunson. 10-9 Brunson
Brunson landed 60 significant strikes and successfully completed 2 takedowns out of the 10 attempted. Heinisch got in 40 significant strikes with no takedowns.
Result: Derek Brunson def. Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Brunson is now on a two-fight win-streak and looks set to begin another journey towards the title. Heinisch's five-fight streak came to an end and 'The Hurricane' has a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to his cardio if he wishes to be a world-class competitor in the Middleweight division of the UFC.