UFC Fight Night Sydney Main Card Recap: Werdum outlasts Tybura; Jessy Jess wins in debut

The Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney sounded more like Brazil as Fabricio Werdum defeated Polish fighter Marcin Tybura in the main event on Sunday afternoon.

Not many would have guessed the heavyweight contest would go the full five rounds, but neither fighter wanted to go down, despite each of them landing some heavy shots.

Werdum worked tirelessly in the clinch landing some heavy knees throughout the fight. Despite Werdum’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu credentials, the fight stayed predominantly on the feet, with Tybura landing a number of head kicks that appeared to stun the Brazilian.

Werdum’s experience ultimately proved too much for the polish heavyweight, however, as the former champion won the fight by unanimous decision with a pair 50-45s and a 49-46 from the judges.

In the aftermath, Werdum made his case for the title shot and let the Australian public know that he loved his time in the country.

Sydney has been amazing. I love it in Australia. Congratulations to Marcin Tybura, he’s a great fighter and will have a long career. I’m a bit older but I want another belt before I go. I’ve got two championships on my wall and I want one more.

The co-main event featured an all-Australian affair as UFC newcomer Jessica Rose-Clark outpointed Bec Rawlings to claim a split-decision victory.

Both girls came out swinging from the opening stanza. Rawlings threatened with an arm-bar early in the first before Rose-Clark reversed it and landed a number of shots from top position.

Neither fighter wanted to take a backward step with the third round seeing the two fighters trading shots and landing heavily.

Rose-Clark, who took the fight on just 11 days’ notice, ultimately prevailed in the eyes of the judges with two of them giving her the nod, earning her a split decision victory.

Despite missing the flyweight mark, Rose-Clark believes she will be a force to be reckoned with in the division moving forward.

“I knew that I would win this fight but it still feels amazing to get my first UFC win. I can’t wait to get back in the gym and see what’s next. There’s no official flyweight rankings just yet so I’m content with fighting the toughest girls I can get” Rose-Clark said.

Clark now has won back-to-back wins following a two-fight losing streak while Rawlings has now lost three straight.

In the first ever trans-Tasman contest inside the octagon, Alex Volkanovski cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Shane Young.

Volkanovski’s relentless pressure and clear strength advantage overwhelmed the young Kiwi who took the fight on only 8 days’ notice.

Despite saying in the lead up to the fight that he wanted to take home the 50k bonus, Volkanovski admitted to playing it safe against Young as he was a different style of opponent from what he had trained for.

“Obviously, I would’ve rather gotten the finish but I’m very happy with the win. When someone is making their debut, you want to be a bit more careful and I so I didn’t do anything crazy, just stuck to the game plan and got a dominant win.” Volkanovski said of the victory.

Twenty-three year-old Jake Matthews also snapped his two fight losing streak defeating Serbian fighter Bojan Velickovic by split decision. The win is Matthews’ fifth inside the octagon after an extensive lay-off due to double hip surgery.

In other fights, Dan Kelly lost to Elias Theodorou much to the disgust of the Sydney crowd who believed Kelly won the fight. Kelly’s name was cheered throughout the arena as he made his way back to the dressing room. Belal Muhammad also picked up a split decision victory over Tim Means.

Fight of the Night went to the always entertaining Damien Brown and Frank Camacho who had a bloody affair on the preliminary portion of the card.

Tai Tuivasa also pocketed 50k for his flying knee knockout victory over Rashad Coulter

Main Card Results:

  • Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura via Decision (Unanimous) (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Jessica Rose-Clark def. Bec Rawlings via Decision (Split) (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means via Decision (Split) (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic via Decision (Split) (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Elias Theodorou def. Daniel Kelly via Decision (Unanimous) (30-29, 30-28, 30-26)
  • Alex Volkanovski def. Shane Young via Decision (Unanimous) (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

Preliminary Card Results:

  • Ryan Benoit def. Mokhtarian via KO (Head Kick), Rd 3
  • Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via Submission (Guillotine), Rd 2
  • Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via KO (knee), Rd 1
  • Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via Decision (Split) (30-27, 29-28, 28-28)
  • Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
  • Eric Shelton def. Jenal Lausa via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
  • Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Fight Night Sydney Preliminary Card Recap: Tuivasa stuns Sydney crowd with flying knee KO

My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook.  I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.