On Saturday, December 12, the UFC touched down in Las Vegas to bring fight fans UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In the night’s headlining fans witnessed the featherweight title unification bout between reigning champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor.

Aldo (25-1), who still stands as the only featherweight champion in UFC history, was last seen earning a unanimous decision over longtime rival Chad Mendes following their thrilling 25-minute war in the main event of UFC 179 in October. This victory not only pushed Aldo’s win streak to an astounding 18 straight but also marked his ninth straight title defense under the WEC. McGregor (18-2) recently earned his interim title with second round TKO over Chad Mendes at UFC 189 on Saturday.  The man known as ‘Notorious’ was scheduled to square off against Aldo in the nights main event before the champion pulled out with a rib injury. As a result, UFC officials named Mendes the replacement.

In the co-main event, undeafeated middleweight champion Chris Weidman will look to keep his perfect record in tact against former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold

Weidman (13-0) was last seen defending his title against Vitor Belfort after finishing the Brazilian with vicious ground and pout and UFC 187 last month.  This marked his first appearance in side the Octagon since his hard-fought decision win over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 last July. Rockhold (13-2) will be looking to earn up his fifth straight win inside the Octagon. In his most recent outing, Rockhold walked away with an impressive third round submission win over Machida at UFC on FOX 15 in April. This marked Rockhold’s third straight submission win with his previous two coming against Micahel Bisping and Tim Boetsch.

All this plus a middleweight fight between Yoel Romero and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, a welterweight contest between Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson as well as a featherweight bout between Max Holloway and Jeremy Stephens.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

(c) Jose Aldo vs. (ic) Conor McGregor- For Undisputed UFC featherweight title

With every single person in the arena on their feet, the two champions met in the center of the Octagon. Almost immediately, Aldo lunged in looking to exchange and into a left hook from McGregor, turning out the lights just 13 seconds into the fight.

Conor McGregor def. Jose Aldo by KO (punch). Round 1, 0:13 

(c) Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold – For UFC middleweight title

With the crowd erupting around them, both men touched gloves and immediately traded kicks in the center of the Octagon. After swining annd missing badly with a haymaker, Weidman lunged and quickly secured the takedown before climbing up Rockhold’s back, looking for the rear naked choke. Rockhold would eventually slip free, only to be takedown once again. Easily escaping from a kimura attempt, Weidman once again smothered his opponent into the cage, connecting with a vicious standing knee in the process. With Weidman shooting for a takedown, Rockhold snatched up Weidman’s neck, looking for the guillotine.  The referee would eventually stand the up due to inactivity. Connecting with crips kick, Rockhold masterfully reversed the takedown and secured top control to close out a very exciting opening round.

Rockhold opened up Round 2 with a blistering combo against the fence followed by a series of punishing kicks. In an attempt to avoid more damage, Weidman looked to clinch up against the fence. Rockhold would eventually escape and land a powerful straight right. After another big swing and miss from Weidman, Rockhold ate a hard kick to the body, smiling and shrugging it off to close out the second round.

After dropping the first round, Weidman looked to come out strong with a takedown against the fence. While Rockhold managed to climb back to his feet. With Weidman continuing to put the pressure on the challenger, Rockhold fired off a series of headkicks, only to absorb another body kick from the champion. Finally securing the takedown, Rockhold scrambled from back control to full mount, raining down a barrage of elbows to his bloodied opponent. Somehow, Weidman survived but slowly staggered to his feet, clearly dazed and ravaged from a severe beating.

With his opponent still feeling the effect from the previous fight, Rockhold secured the takedown early against the fence. Jumping right back into side control, Rockhold dropped a series of short elbows to the swollen face of Weidman. The wounded champion, struggling from the bottom, continued to shot after shot before seeing Rockhold secure full mount again. After a handful of short punches, the referee jumped in, declaring Rockhold the new UFC middleweight champion.

Luke Rockhold def. Chris Weidman by TKO (punches). Round 4, 3:12 – For UFC middleweight title

Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza

After rather lengthy feeling out process from the two middleweight contenders, Romero momentarily stunned Jacare with an overhand left against the cage. With neither man engaging, the boo birds started to slowly trickle down until Romero dropped Jacare with a whirling spinning back fist. With his back to the canvas, Jacare motioned for his opponent to jump into his guard. More than happy to oblige, Romero swarmed with a series of punches and elbows from the guard of Jacare. While the Brazilian momentarily threatened with a series of submissions from the bottom, the Cuban closed out the round with a barrage of ground-and-pound.

With Jacare struggling to stand Romero looked to work the body with a series of front kicks to the abdomen of his opponent. Shooting an ill-timed takedown, Jacare was simply shrugged away by the former Olympic wrestler. After a blatant fence hold from Romero, the referee called a pause to the action to berate Romero for the foul, threatening to take away a point. With ten-seconds left, Romero once again wobbled Jacare with a crisp inside leg kick.

Seemingly recovered from the first round beating, Jacare immediately took the center of the Octagon against the visibly exhausted Romero. After defending yet another takedown attempt, Romero followed up with a crisp one-two from inside the pocket before being rocked himself wit ha barrage of strikes against the fence. With his opponent reeling, Jacare finally secured the takedown and immediately began working for the armbar. With just under 10-seconds left, Romero scrambled back to his feet but couldn’t break free as time expires.

Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson

Right out of the gate, Maia looked to secure the takedown against the cage before Nelson quickly reversed and scrambled back to his feet. With both men struggling for position, Maia once again looked to bring the fight to the canvas. However, Nelson once again defended and landed on top, stepping over the former title contender.  With neither man in a dominant decision, Maia scrambled to Nelson’s back, looking to lock in the body lock. Nelson attempted to roll out but Maia simply transitioned to full mount, raining blows upon the head of his opponent. A bloodied nelson continued to attempt to squirm free, but to no avial as Maia blasted him with elbows from the back before switching to an armbar. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Nelson broke free and jumped to top position just as the opening frame came to an end.

Already down a round, Nelson was forced to defend several takedown attempts against the fence. After several warnings from the referee about his fence grabbing, Nelson gave way to Maia’s takedown. With his opponent struggling to break free, Maia dropped several short punches to his temple before transitioning to top position where he would remain for the rest of the round.

With the Irish crowd growing silent around them, Nelson staggered off the stool and right into another takedown from Maia. Knowing he would need a finish if he had any hope of winning, Nelson looked to lock on a guillotine before switching to the d’arce choke. Maia would calmly escape and jump right back into his opponents guard. Maia would continue to smoth his opponent with his world class grappling right up until the closing bell, giving him the dominant decision win.

Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25) 

Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens

Both fighters touch glove and Stephens fires a leg. Both fighters bounce around looking to find their range. Stephens throws a leg kick and misses and Holloway fires off a one two combination that finds its mark. Both fighters recent and Holloway begins to walk Stephens down looking for an opening. Both fighters still trying to find their range and get their rhythm. Holloway looks to be a bit more fluid landing his combinations when he pulls the trigger. Holloway moves and both fighters clinch against the cage. Stephens turns Holloway towards the cage and works a single but Holloway defends. Stephens continues and Holloway continues to defend before both fighters break. Holloway immediately presses forwarded looking to land his strikes. Both fighters trade shots before Stephens shoots in for a takedown as the round ends.

Round two starts with Stephens landing a combination but Holloway immediately answers with a combination of his own. Holloway continues to move forward stalking Stephens. Holloway continues to fire shots landing combinations, but Stephens isn’t going anywhere. Stephens clinches up and pushes Holloway towards the fence and again works for a takedown. Holloway defends nicely and gets the separation and immediately lands another combination. Stephens fires back, but Holloway eludes. Both fighters reset and fire off combinations that land. Stephens again goes for a takedown pushing Holloway against the cage. Holloway continues to defend nicely, creating separation and landing an elbow on the way. The round will come to an end with Holloway landing another combination.

Stephens comes out firing knowing that he needs a finish but Holloway ducks in clinches up and gets the takedown. Holloway immediately looks for submission forcing Stephens to give up his back. Holloway works for a rear naked choke and Stephens rolls back to his back and eats so elbows from Holloway for his troubles. Holloway is very calm in mount landing his shots forcing Stephen to give up his back. Holloway continues to look for a rear-naked choke but Stephens scrambles and both fighters are back to their feet. Holloway continues to land his shots as Stephens tries to push forward. Stephen lands a shot and then moves in for another takedown but again Holloway shows excellent defense and stuffs it. Holloway lands a spinning elbow as they break. Stephens corner at this moment is screaming at Stephens to give it all he has and Stephens presses the action, but it is too little too late as the round comes to an end.

Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Round 3

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD – Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET

Conor McGregor def. Jose Aldo by KO (punch). Round 1, 0:13 – For Undisputed UFC featherweight title
Luke Rockhold def. Chris Weidman by TKO (punches). Round 4, 3:12 – For UFC middleweight title
Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28) Round 3
Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25) Round 3
Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens by Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Round 3

PRELIMINARY CARD – FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET

Urijah Faber def. Frankie Saenz by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Round 3
Tecia Torres def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Round 3
Warlley Alves def. Colby Covington by Submission (Guillotine choke) 1:26 Round 1
Leonardo Santos def Kevin by TKO (strikes) 3:26 Round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET

Magomed Mustafaev def. Joe Proctor by TKO (strikes) 1:54 Round 1
Yancy Medeiros def. John Makdessi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Round 3
Court McGee def. Marcio Alexandre Jr. by unanimous decision (30-27, 29,-28, 29-28) Round 3

  • (c) – champion
  • (ic) – interim champion