UFC 235's two big Championship fights got all the attention, but Saturday night saw a loaded card in Las Vegas.
After years of questions, the undefeated former Bellator Champion Ben Askren finally made his UFC debut, taking on the former UFC Welterweight Champion in #6 Robbie Lawler. When the fight was over, there were still plenty of questions. Askren overcame an early adversity, nearly being knocked out by Lawler after a Death Valley Driver. However, the action was called by referee Herb Dean when a side headlock looked to put Lawler out -- but it didn't.
After being on the UFC Bantamweight Championship carousel for years, #2 Cody Garbrandt looked to make his way back towards the title against a tall task in #9 Pedro Munhoz. That tall task proved too much as Garbrandt lured Munhoz into a slugfest, and ended up getting caught and put to sleep.
Highly touted #13 Zabit Magomedsharipov was a heavy favorite against upset-minded and higher ranked #6 Jeremy Stephens. Stephens didn't have an answer for the fast-rising Zabit, and dropped a unanimous decision as a result.
While #15 Johnny Walker came into UFC 235 barely ranked, he also stepped in with a lot of buzz and an opportunity to knock off #14 Misha Cirkunov. He did so in the matter of about 35 seconds with a huge flying knee right out of the gate. The most damage Walker took was dislocating his shoulder celebrating afterwards.
Elsewhere on the show, #12 Cody Stamann outlasted #13 Alejandro Perez in a bantamweight bout for a unanimous decision win. #7 Tecia Torres was actually an underdog against the unbeaten #15 Weili Zhang, and it showed, as she was unable to overcome the top control of the hot prospect.
You can see Fightful's full, live coverage of UFC 235 at this link, and our post-show podcast at this link. Fightful's James Lynch is covering the event live, and will share his experience on Tuesday's Fightful MMA Podcast.