Live sports programming returned with UFC 249 and it felt refreshing to watch live MMA again. Jacare Souza's positive test didn't deter Dana White from going ahead with the UFC 249 event and in the end, it was a show that will stand out in the history books.
The entire UFC 249 card - right from the prelims to the main show - was stacked with high-calibre fights.
The main event of UFC 249 saw Tony Ferguson take on Justin Gaethje in a fight for the interim Lightweight Championship. Henry Cejudo defended the Bantamweight title against the returning Dominick Cruz after which Triple C announced his retirement from the sport.
Heavyweight knockout artists Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik finally locked horns against each other. The controversial Greg Hardy was pitted up against the undefeated Yorgan de Castro while the battle-hardened veteran Jeremy Stephens took on the highly-rated Calvin Kattar to round off the main card of UFC 249.
On that note, let's rundown the results and highlights of UFC 249.
UFC 249 Results - Prelims
The UFC 249 pelims had a few main event-worthy contests and it perfectly set the stage for the main card to follow. Here are the quick results of the prelims of UFC 249:
Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Aleksei Oleinik def. Fabricio Werdum via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Carla Esparza def. Michelle Waterson via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 30-27)
Uriah Hall vs. Jacare Souza
Vicente Luque def. Niko Price via TKO (eye injury) (3:37, Round 3)
Bryce Mitchell def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-24)
Ryan Spann def. Sam Alvey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
UFC 249 Results - Main Card
#5. Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro (Heavyweight)
Greg Hardy was coming off a loss against Alexander Volkov, however, a win against the undefeated Yorgan de Castro at UFC 249 will catapult him back to prominence in the heavyweight division. Castro beat Justin Tafa in his UFC debut in October 2019.
Round 1: Castro came out throwing bombs and Hardy tried to keep him away with the straight kicks. Yorgan's hand speed was a thing to behold as he looked to string together three-piece combinations. Yorgan also tried to connect with the low leg kicks.
Hardy, however, was the bigger man and he used his reach advantage to stay away and chop away with the outside leg kicks. Hardy came into the pocket but got cracked with a right. Castro followed up with another leg kick, which Hardy didn't check. Hardy looked for the jabs but Castro moved his head well. Hardy picked up the pace and cornered Castro against the cage. The Prince of War tagged his opponent with a few strikes and avoided getting hit himself by moving his head swiftly.
Round 2: Castro amped up the pace in the second round as he followed Hardy and looked to connect with a blitz combo. Hardy's defence and movement was decent enough to avoid a big shot. Castro stuck to his gameplan of hitting Hardy with leg kicks.
Hardy checked a few kicks and himself went for the inside leg kicks. Hardy was the more active fighter for a majority of the round as Castro just moved around without attempting anything after a great start.
Round 3: Hardy started strong with a big right. Castro replied with a short right hook. Hardy was told to connect with the inside leg kicks and continue to box. Hardy was proactive throughout the round as Castro just wasn't doing enough.
Castro slipped with two minutes left to and he stayed on his back. Castro probably wasted a lot of time on the mat but he eventually got back up. Hardy kept on hustling and it seemed like Castro may have injured his leg earlier on in the fight, which explains why he slowed down the pace as the fight went on.
Result: Greg Hardy def. Yorgan de Castro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Hardy had to make some big adjustments as he was getting dominated in the first round, however, Prince of War weathered the early storm, stayed busy and put on a very professional performance en route to a win.