UFC Vegas 35 Highlights: Giga Chikadze stops Edson Barboza

A truly fantastic striking matchup between Giga Chikadze, and Edson Barbosa helped punctuate a card that also saw a knockout of the year contender from Abdul-Razak Al-Hassan. Check out those highlights and everything else that took place at UFC Vegas 35 after the jump.

Giga Chikadze def. Edson Barboza via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 3 1:44)

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Giga Chikadze's march through the featherweight division continues, as he scored the third round stoppage victory over striking legend Edson Barboza. In a tremendously high level striking battle Chikadze was likely leading on the scorecards heading into the third round, when he scored two knockdowns against Barboza, and after a short grappling exchange where Giga nearly found a D'arce choke, the two fighters returned to their feet where Giga scored the stoppage. A truly excellent fight, that wildly outclassed absolutely everything else on this card. This is truly elite MMA. Chikadze after the fight called to either be the stand in replacement for the title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, or for a fight against former featherweight champion Max Holloway.

Bryan Battle def. Gilbert Urbina via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 2 2:15)

Bryan Battle survived an early blitz from late replacement Gilbert Urbina, but surged back to secure the submission victory and earn the title of TUF Season 29 winner. Worth noting that Battle lost his mouthpiece early in the first round, and fought the the majority of the round without his mouth shield in.

Ricky Turcio def. Brady Hiestand via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

In a beautiful mess of a fight Ricky Turcio defeated Brady Hiestand to become the Ultimate Fighter Season 29 winner. Hiestand came out looking to control the fight with his wrestling, but Turcio's relentless scrambling led to him getting the edge in a fight that had an absolutely relentless pace. Great bout

Daniel Rodriguez def. Kevin Lee via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

After surviving being taken down and losing round one, Daniel Rodriguez utilized an effective standup game, and managed to avoid the takedowns for the rest of the fight to earn the victory over Kevin Lee. While Rodriguez looked good filling in on two weeks notice, Kevin Lee looked quite poor, and he gassed in the third. A bad sign for a fighter who once seemed like he had such promise.

Andre Petroski def. Michael Gilmore via TKO (Ground and Pound) (Rd. 3 3:12)

In yet another middleweight fight, TUF alumni battled and Andre Petroski emerged victorious over Michael Gilmore. Petroski clearly won the first round which was punctuated with a couple loud takedowns, while the second round was much more of a toss-up, in the third Petroski came out fast and took Gilmore down again, and found the finish via ground and pound.

Gerald Meerschaert def. Makhmud Muradov via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 2 1:49)

Gerald Meerschaert was rocked early in round one, and on the ropes after Makhmud Muradov landed some heavy strikes. However, Meerschaert was able to survive, partially aided by two long breaks from fouls he committed, but it was enough to clear his head, and take over the fight in the second round, and secure the rear-naked choke finish. A very good performance by Meerschaert who's mixture of toughness and elite grappling make him an ideal gatekeeper in the middleweight division

Abdul-Razak Al-Hassan def Alessio Di Chirico via KO (Headkick) (Rd. 1 0:17)

Abdul-Razak Al-Hassan absolutely murdered Alessio Di Chirico with a head kick. It was the first strike he threw in the fight, and Di Chirico dipped into it. This is a knockout of the year contender.

Wellington Turman def. Sam Alvey via Split Decision (28-27, 28-27, 27-28)

In a boring grinding fight, Wellington Turman almost threw away an easy victory by getting two point deductions in the final minutes of the fight, but still had done enough to secure the split decision over Sam Alvey. Alvey was very upset after the fight, but he definitely didn't do enough to earn the decision, even tho his opponent had two points taken away.

Dustin Jacoby def. Darren Stewart via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 1 3:04)

In a banger light heavyweight matchup Dustin Jacoby dispatched Darren Stewart in an action kickboxing match. Jacoby was able to display his skills as a former Glory kickboxer and was able to rock Stewart and get the finish. Stewart showed impressive toughness refusing to go down, but eventually the stoppage was called by Jason Herzog.

JJ Aldrich def. Vanessa Demopoulos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

In a very uncompetitive bout, JJ Aldrich professionally dispatched Vanessa Demopoulos in fairly routine fashion. Demopoulos was making her UFC debut up a division at flyweight, and Aldrich easily controlled the fight regardless of where it was taking place.

Pat Sabatini def. Jamall Emmers via Submission (Heel Hook) (Rd. 1 1:54)

In a whirlwind fight, Pat Sabatini emerged victorious over Jamall Emmers via grusome heel hook submission. Emmers knocked down Sabatini early, and wound up in mount dealing damage. However the position was quickly reversed into dueling leg locks, and unfortunately that resulted in Emmers almost certainly tearing his knee ligaments at the hands of Sabatini's lethal heel hook. Wishing Emmers a quick recovery.

Mana Martinez def. Guido Cannetti via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

In the wake of losing his coach in the lead up, Mana Martinez put on an excellent performance in earning his first UFC win by defeating Guido Cannetti. Cannetti came out strong in the first forcing Martinez back to the cage, and dealing damage with a heavy dose of leg kicks. After that however, he seemed to take his foot off the pedal and Martinez pressured him, consistently out struck him, and even punctuated the fight with a couple takedowns. He broke down in his post-fight interview talking about his coach, and it was good to see him be able to do him proud.

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