Although the focus is on the champion vs. champion battle between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, a number of contenders moved one step closer to challenging for a UFC title on several fights on the undercard.
Over on the FS1 prelims, Raphael Assuncao moves one step closer to challenging for the UFC bantamweight title with a unanimous decision (30-27, 20-27, 20-27) win over No. 11 bantamweight Rob Font. Assuncao landed several kicks in the first round and even dropped Font with a two-punch combination. Assuncao was by far the better striker in the fight, whether it would be on the stand up or when the fight went to the ground. Assuncao is now on a four-fight win streak in the UFC since his 2016 loss to T.J. Dillashaw.
In the final fight of the FS1 prelims, Paulo Costa and Uriah Hall had a tremendous bout that lasted about a round-and-a-half. The first round had some controversy when Costa accidentally kicked Hall down low. In the second round, Costa landed a left hook on Hall, opening up a series of punches landed by Costa which dropped Hall. After a few more strikes on Hall, the referee put an end to the fight at 2:38 of the second round. With the win, Costa now moves to 4-0 in the UFC, winning all of his fights by knockout.
On the pay-per-view portion of the card, Anthony Pettis got back to his winning ways and scored a submission victory over Michael Chiesa. It started in the second round when Pettis dropped Chiesa and unsuccessfully went for a guillotine choke. After Chiesa escaped from the submission attempt, Pettis then went for a triangle choke and was successful, getting Chiesa to tap just 52 seconds into the second round.
Lastly, in what can simply be described as a war, Mike Perry narrowly defeated Paul Felder by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). It was a back-and-forth battle between the two fighters, which saw Perry open up Felder with a left hook and Perry even landing a German suplex. The fight left Felder a bloody mess, but still hung on to give Perry perhaps his toughest fight in the UFC yet. It was a make-or-break fight for Perry, who came into this fight riding a two-fight skid after starting out 4-1 in the UFC. Felder was a last minute replacement after Yancy Medeiros went down with a rib injury.
Full results and live coverage of UFC 226 can be seen at this link. The Fightful MMA podcast, hosted by Sean Ross Sapp, will go live after UFC 226 to discuss the show as well as The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.