Headlining the event is a featherweight bout between a pair of ranked contenders in Calvin Kattar (23-5) and Josh Emmett (17-2), and co-headlining is a welterweight showcase between Kevin Holland and Tim Means, as Donald Cerrone versus Joe Lauzon fell through on fight day for the second time in a row this spring.
Before the co-main event, a feature fight between Joaquin Buckley (14-4) and Albert Duraev (15-3) goes down. The American is trying to make it three wins in a row, while the Russian seeks his second win in the UFC.
This is a classic striker verse grappler. Buckley has 71% KO/TKO’s and Duraev has finished his opponents 60% of the time via submission. A win for one of these middleweights could get the victor in the top 15. These two fighters were training partners and the hostility boiled leading up to the fight.
Round-by-round action is described below!
Buckley gets right out to the center of the cage and the crowd immediately chants “USA”. Buckley throws the jab faint and lands a leg kick. Buckley lands a massive head kick that Duraev eats. Duraev eats a head kick also. Not many strikes landing by both fighters. Buckley rocks Duraev with a straight left hand. Forced Duraev to attempt a takedown that the American fought off. Buckley swarms Duraev with a flurry as the final seconds of the round concluded.
Buckley lands a left hand as Duraev goes for a takedown, and he continues to outstrike Duraev. Buckley kicked Duraev in the head as he went for the takedown, but he eats it and gets up. Duraev gets a takedown against the cage and Buckley defends and gets up using his back against the cage. The swelling in the left eye of Duraev is nasty. Buckley catches him again and dropped him. Duraev gets back up. Duraev goes for another takedown. The left eye of Duraev appears to be shut. Duraev gets a takedown with Buckley’s back against the cage. While on top, he’s not getting much done, and Buckley explodes back to his feet and works in the clinch against the cage before separating. Buckley blasts Duraev with a left dropping him to the canvas before the horn sounds ending round 2.
Round three starts and then a timeout is taken. The referee brings a doctor in and the fight is ended due to the swelling in the eye and not being able to see.
Official Decision: Joaquin Buckley Def. Albert Duraev via TKO in Round 3, at 0:10.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).