McGregor def. Siver: It’s all over. Conor McGregor annihilates Dennis Siver, finishing the fight by second-round TKO, before leaping over the cage to celebrate with the scores of fellow Irishmen in attendance and issue a challenge to UFC champ Jose Aldo.
That’ll do it for UFC Fight Night 59. Be sure to visit nesn.com/ufc for full post-fight coverage.
McGregor vs. Siver: McGregor dominated the latter part of the first round, pummeling Siver with punches and kicks doing his fair share of taunting. The German’s face is seriously mangled right now, but he survives until the horn.
McGregor vs. Siver: And they’re off. McGregor has predicted he’ll knock Siver out in less than two minutes. We shall see.
Cerrone def. Henderson: After an incredibly close bout between two good friends, the judges give the edge to Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision, ending Cowboy’s two-match losing streak against Benson Henderson. That was one heck of a fight, and Cerrone’s takedowns might have been what ultimately swayed the panel.
Now, it’s time for the moment everyone has been waiting for.
Conor McGregor. Dennis Siver. Let’s get it on.
Cerrone vs. Henderson: OK, now things are getting interesting.
Henderson connected on a number of kicks in the early part of the round, but Cerrone responded by landing a hard left hook immediately followed by a kick to the right side of Henderson’s dome. Cerrone followed up that sequence with the first takedown of the match, but Henderson was able to wriggle out of it.
To Round 3 we go.
Cerrone vs. Henderson: Neither fighter was able to gain much of an edge in Round 1, though Cerrone — the clear crowd favorite — was able to land a few nice kicks. Look for things to heat up in the second.
Hall def. Stallings: This one was all Uriah Hall.
Hall earned the victory at 3:37 of the first round after a power punch knocked Ron Stallings on his back and busted open cuts above and below Stallings’s left eye.
The fight continued for another few moments, but the referee examined Stallings wound and declared him unfit to continue.
Now, it’s time for a battle between two of the biggest names in MMA: Benson Henderson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Henderson already has defeated Cerrone on two occasions, and the former UFC lightweight champion will go for the three-peat here in tonight’s co-main event.
Tibau def. Parke: Well, that wasn’t the most thrilling way to start off the main card.
Neither Norman Parke nor Gleison Tibau came anywhere close to a submission or knockout, and even takedowns were few and far between. Boos rained down from the disgruntled crowd after the final bell, and the judges ultimately opted to give Tibau the victory by split decision.
Let’s hope for a better showing from middleweights Uriah Hall and Ron Stallings, who was a late addition to the card after replacing Louis Taylor.
Pendred def. Spencer: The bout between Cathal Pendred and Sean Spencer was a spirited and hotly contested one, but in the end it was Pendred coming away with the victory by unanimous decision. That verdict delighted the Garden crowd, which rained down chants of “Ole, Ole” throughout the three-round contest.
That wraps up preliminary action here on Causeway Street. Now, it’s time for the main card. Kicking that off will be lightweights Norman Parke and Gleison Tibau.
Larkin def. Howard: Yikes. That was not the showing John Howard or these fans wanted.
Lorenz Larkin rocked Howard in the quickest bout of the night so far, flooring the Boston native with a powerful right and pounding away until the referee stepped in to end things just 2:17 into the first round.
Cathal Pendred-Sean Spencer is our next bout, that one also in the welterweight division. Pendred hails from Dublin but actually was born in Boston, and he was a fan favorite at Saturday’s weigh-in for taking the stage in a Larry Bird jersey.
Wade def. Lipeng: The bout between Chris Wade and Zhang Lipeng wasn’t a particularly entertaining one, and it featured a fair amount of less-than-clean fighting.
The fight was stopped multiple times after Lipeng hit Wade below the belt, drawing choruses of boos from the Garden crowd. Wade soldiered on, though, and ultimately earned the victory by unanimous decision.
Another Boston boy will enter the octagon next, as John Howard — whose claim to fame is breaking the nose of Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a sparring session — squares off against Lorenz Larkin in a welterweight battle.
Holohan def. Howell: That was start-to-finish domination from Paddy Holohan, who put a pounding on Shane Howell. Howell lasted the duration, but Holohan was the winner by unanimous decision to the delight of the hordes of green-clad fans in attendance.
Up next, we have Zhang Lipeng and Chris Wade battling in the lightweight division.
Case def. Perez: Frankie Perez lasted into the third round despite spending the majority of the fight lying on his back and getting punched in the head, but the strikes of Johnny Case ultimately were too much for him.
Case walks away victorious after a third-round TKO, improving his professional record to 20-4.
Up next are two flyweights: Dublin native Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan — who received one of the loudest ovations from the Irish-heavy crowd at Saturday’s weigh-in — and Shane Howell.
Rosa def. Soriano: With less than 30 seconds remaining in the final round, Charles Rosa was able to lock up Sean Soriano along the cage, earning him the victory by submission.
Soriano didn’t seem particularly pleased with referee’s decision to call the fight, arguing that he did not, in fact, tap out, but the ruling stood.
Coincidentally, the TD Garden video boards displayed the latest Patriots score (14-0 New England after a James Develin touchdown) just as the ref put an end to the bout. Obviously, both were met with deafening cheers — cheers that only got louder when Rosa threw his personalized Bruins sweater back on for his post-fight interview.
We now jump up to the lightweight division, where Johnny Case and Frankie Perez will square off in Perez’s UFC debut.
Rosa vs. Soriano: Take a wild guess who the crowd is rooting for in this bout.
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O’Connell def. Van Buren: Sean O’Connell floored Matt Van Buren with a vicious left hook midway through the third round, and that was the beginning of the end for Van Buren.
O’Connell bounced Van Buren’s head off the cage with a few more hard shots, and the referee called the fight moments later, giving the 31-year-old Utah native the victory by TKO.
The next bout is sure to get this slowly filling Garden crowd fired up, as Peabody, Mass., native Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa goes up against Sean Soriano in the featherweight division. Soriano fights out of Boca Raton, Fla., but he has New England ties, as well, having grown up in Providence.
Speaking of New England…
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Sanchez def. Matsuda: Tateki Matsuda was unable to earn a win in front of his home crowd. The bout went the distance, but Joby Sanchez came away with a split-decision victory after dominating the third round.
Up next are two light heavyweights, Sean O’Connell and Matt Van Buren.
5:50 p.m. ET: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Fight Night in Boston.
TD Garden will play host Sunday night to UFC Fight Night 59 — a 12-bout slate culminating in a featherweight battle between fifth-ranked fan favorite Conor McGregor and No. 10 Dennis Siver.
McGregor and Siver won’t square off in the octagon until close to midnight, but there will be plenty of punches, kicks and submissions to keep fight fans occupied leading up to the main event.
It all gets started at 6 p.m., with Somerville, Mass., native Tateki Matsuda matching up against Joby Sanchez in a flyweight bout to kick off the preliminary card.
Here’s a quick rundown of all 12 fights, listed in order:
Tateki Matsuda (10-6) vs. Joby Sanchez (6-1)
Matt Van Buren (7-3) vs. Sean O’Connell (15-6)
Charles Rosa (9-1) vs. Sean Soriano (8-2)
Johnny Case (19-4) vs. Frankie Perez (9-1)
Paddy Holohan (10-1-1) vs. Shane Howell (13-8)
Zhang Lipeng (9-7-1) vs. Chris Wade (8-1)
John Howard (22-10) vs. Lorenz Larkin (14-4, 1 NC)
Cathal Pendred (15-3-1) vs. Sean Spencer (12-3)
Norman Parke (21-2-1) vs. Gleison Tibau (39-10)
Uriah Hall (10-4) vs. Ron Stallings (12-6)
Benson Henderson (21-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (26-6, 1 NC)
Conor McGregor (16-2) vs. Dennis Siver (22-9, 1 NC)
We’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute updates on each bout throughout the night, so stay tuned.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images