UFC 292 RESULTS: The Main Event and Preliminaries
The main card of UFC 292 takes things to the next level with a bantamweight title fight. First, though, we’ll wrap up a pair of slugfests on the prelims.
Sean O’Malley walked the talk and then some at TD Garden on Saturday night, dropping Aljamain Sterling with a picture-perfect counter right hand in Round 2 to win the UFC bantamweight title.
1. Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley
Sean O’Malley shocked the MMA world by dropping reigning bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling with a brutal second-round knockout at UFC 292 in Boston on Saturday night. The brash youngster entered the octagon to a roar from TD Garden and then backed up the talk with his action-packed performance in the main event of the PPV card.
The fighters touched gloves to begin the contest and then spent a majority of the first round dancing around one another. O’Malley stayed on the outside and threw the occasional front kick to the body, while Sterling tried to keep him at bay with lower leg kicks.
Towards the end of the round, O’Malley went for a takedown, but it was defended. Then he found an opening with a crisp counter right hand that dropped Sterling to the ground. From there, the younger fighter kept throwing down ground and pound strikes until referee Marc Goddard had to step in.
O’Malley has a lot of upside to his game. He’s a long striker with great footwork and a powerful jab. He can also shoot for takedowns at a high rate (projected 14 attempts in the fight) and utilize chain wrestling techniques to get opponents to the mat.
Sterling, on the other hand, is a much more effective grappler than O’Malley. He can take down shorter men with ease and spent a good portion of his recent fight with Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo on the mat. He also has a strong submission defense and is a capable wrestler from the top position. He took O’Malley down six times in the fight and dominated time of possession. This was a fight that could have been decided by a few of those takedowns.
2. Marlon Vera vs. Pedro Munhoz
Marlon Vera returned to the win column with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Pedro Munhoz in their bantamweight clash. ‘Chito’ kept the pace up throughout while his lead jab found a home on the face of Munhoz and that ultimately made the difference with the judges in this fight.
Munhoz came out firing a high volume of kicks early in the opening frame, attacking the leg and body of Vera. He missed with a couple of attempts but otherwise held his own against a fighter who tends to struggle to start fights.
Vera began to pick up the pace as the round went on, working his combinations and snapping off heavy jabs. He landed a low kick to the body and a good left hand as well. Munhoz continued to work his front leg, catching Vera with a pair of punches, but also throwing in some calf kicks to keep things interesting.
In the second round, Vera landed another good left hand. He was able to land some shots from distance as well, while Munhoz struggled with his footwork and couldn’t quite catch him with his power.
Towards the end of the round, Vera fired a flurry of strikes that appeared to stun Munhoz and set him up for a takedown attempt. But, the American was able to hold off the submission threat and close out the round with some big striking.
3. Chris Weidman vs. Brad Tavares
The return of Chris Weidman to the Octagon didn’t go as planned, as he was defeated by Brad Tavares in a unanimous decision. Weidman’s leg was damaged early and he couldn’t recover as Tavares dominated on the feet and inside the cage.
Weidman is fighting for the first time since breaking his leg in a brutal knockout against Uriah Hall in 2021, and he’s struggling to find his footing in the first round. He tries to land a leg kick, but Tavares moves well and defends the attempt. The two men continue to trade punches and Tavares begins to focus on the former champion’s lead leg.
A series of low blows leads to a pause in the action and when the fight resumes, Weidman is still struggling to move with any sort of speed. Tavares continues to attack the former champion’s lead leg with kicks and the former middleweight champion just doesn’t have any answers.
Weidman shoots for a takedown but it’s stuffed, and the action returns to the feet. Weidman attempts a kneebar but he can’t hold onto it, and Tavares closes the round with more leg kicks.
Chris Weidman is hoping to rebound from his loss to Sean O’Malley in the co-main event, but he faces an uphill battle against an experienced veteran in Brad Tavares. The 35-year-old Hawaiian has lost his last two fights, including a TKO setback to Bruno Silva in April. Subscribe to the UFC 292 live feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher to get instant analysis from Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell as the card unfolds. Listen to Morning Kombat on the Audacy app, too!
4. Weili Zhang vs. Amanda Lemos
Zhang used her wrestling to dominate Lemos through the first four rounds. Despite some stinging right hands, Lemos could never break through to threaten submissions from the back. In the final round, Zhang dropped Lemos with a big shot that served as an exclamation point on her impressive performance.
Lemos lands a couple of clean punches but is pushed off by a high kick from Zhang. The champion picks her up off the ground and passes into side control where she delivers short elbows. She tries for a guillotine but can’t lock it in.
Lemos makes a brief effort to scramble away from the guillotine but can’t escape as Zhang swarms her. The Chinese champion takes Lemos down off a failed kick and stacks her up before moving into half guard. Lemos manages to get her feet but she can’t stop the onslaught.
The second round saw more of the same as Lemos landed some good punches but was never able to put together any meaningful combos. Zhang landed a few more takedowns and racked up significant ground control time before taking Lemos’ back off a scramble. The champion poured on the punishment from the top position until Lemos almost escaped a D’Arce choke in the final seconds of the round.
After a few more scrambles, Lemos landed a stinging right hand but couldn’t make it all the way back up to her feet. Zhang dragged her down again and pounded away on her with heavy strikes until the fight was over. Zhang landed six takedowns and enjoyed more than 15 minutes of total dominance over her challenger. She also notched 288 strikes to 21 — the largest differential in women’s title fight history.
5. Neil Magny vs. Ian Garry
Ian Garry is one of the most dangerous fighters in the welterweight division and proved that against Magny. The Irishman, who filled in for Geoff Neal in this fight, blasted Magny with leg kicks early and often. Garry dropped the former welterweight title challenger three times and kept going in for more.
Magny threw a few power punches but was forced to back off due to the effectiveness of Garry’s leg attack. He tried to get closer but got smothered by his opponent as they started to wrestle against the cage. Garry used that leverage to get his opponent down for a guillotine choke. Garry followed up with more punches and a few front kicks as the round ended.
The second round saw the two fighters continue to grapple with each other while launching combinations and striking. Garry landed some big punches and kicked Magny in the face several times.
With less than a minute left in the round, Magny started to press forward but was again punished with another low kick. This time he fell to the ground where Garry attempted a guillotine choke from top position. Magny held him clos9e to prevent the submission, but the fighters separated as the bell sounded.
Garry was clearly frustrated with the lack of progress from Magny and took it out on his opponent during the post-fight press conference. He ripped into Magny as the fighters were asked to talk over each other, saying that he was issuing him with “ass whooping” and not a “father-like hug.” Garry continued his verbal assault on Magny and was eventually drowned out by reporters in attendance. Garry apologized for his outburst after the fight and said he was just trying to motivate his opponent.