The first of three big events in three days for the UFC went down Thursday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez.

In the main event, lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos looked to make his second title defense against former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez, long a fighter outside the UFC who many felt capable of winning UFC gold, was finally getting his shot, but could the ever-dangerous dos Anjos crush his dreams?

The co-main event featured a fan-friendly slug-fest between Roy “Big Country” Nelson, and “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis. Despite Nelson’s pedigree on the mat, this one was unlikely to go to the ground, or even last long, as both men like to hit and hit hard. Whose chin would hold up? Who would drop first? Fans were not doubt dripping with anticipation.

Also on the card: Ireland’s Joe Duffy met Mitch Clarke, while Mike Pyle, still plugging away in the welterweight division at age forty, met the undefeated Alberto “Soldier of God” Mina.

Come fight time check below for full results and a main card recap!

Main Card Summary

Rafael dos Anjos (c) vs. Eddie Alvarez

Round 1 — Alvarez landed first with an inside leg kick.  He added a second moments later, while the champ answered with a left hand. dos Anjos followed that up with a leg kick of his own. A body kick by RDA came next. Alvarez looked to change levels and just slipped a head kick, only to eat a punch. He shot for a takedown at the three minute mark but almost got caught in a choke. Getting back to their feet, dos Anjos landed a knee, then moments later would shoot for a takedown of his own. Alvarez would escape, and land an uppercut, then eat a kick. Alvarez tagged dos Anjos  next, wobbling him, then teed off with punch after punch, connecting at will. A stunned RDA escaped backwards and Alvarez followed with a flying knee only to land with dos Anjos on top of him. He escaped and began unloading again, until dos Anjos could no longer defend and ref Herb Dean waved off the fight! Wow! What a performance!

Eddie Alvarez def. Rafael dos Anjos by TKO (strikes), Round 1, 3:49- for the UFC lightweight championship

Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis

Round 1 — The co-main of the evening looked to be a “don’t blink” affair from the outset. They met in the middle. Lewis landed a kick early. Nelson with a big swing and a miss. The clinched and Nelson pushed Lewis up against the cage. Nelson worked a number of knees while Lewis held on to him. Big John stopped the action and restarted. Lewis with a pair of big kicks, but Nelson managed to hold on and drag Lewis down, scoring the takedown. Nelson was in half-guard. Lewis burst back up and landed some huge knees and punches while Nelson held on and looked for another takedown. The action was restarted again and Lewis began unloading with punches and head  kicks. Nelson scored another takedown at the end of the round.

Round 2 — Nelson pressed forward in the second, covering up when Lewis unloaded. Nelson with a leg kick, Lewis answered with one of his own. Lewis threw a head kick that Nelson easily backed away from. Lewis looked to have slowed a little in this round. Nelson with the overhand right, then they tied up along the fence. Nelson looked for a double leg and got it. He landed in side control. Lewis looked to try to buck him off. Lewis finally powered up with a minute left in the round only for Nelson to take him back down. Another big takedown followed by Nelson and again he moved to side control. Some ground and pound, and Lewis managed to get up just at the end of the round.

Round 3 — Nelson immediately tied the action up against the cage, landing some punches to the thigh of Lewis. Nelson looked for the takedown and got it again — at least five or six over the last two rounds. Nelson looked to posture up and land punches to the head as Lewis finally powered up. Nelson with another takedown. Ninety seconds were left in the round. Nelson just missed a knee to the head. Big John broke up the action with a minute left. Nelson slipped a punch and latched on for another takedown – Lewis landed a big shot at the end but not enough to take out Nelson.

Derrick Lewis def. Roy Nelson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad

Round 1 — Jouban and Muhammad both looked to find their range early in the first round. Jouban landed a kick that looked slightly low but Muhammad confirmed he was okay and the ref let the action continue without further interruption. Jouban then landed a left hook that looked like it stunned his opponent, and the action went to the ground. Muhammad made it back to his feet then managed to take Jouban down. A sweep by Muhammad followed but Jouban quickly popped to his feet. A huge head kick by Jouban floored Muhammad — Jouban followed with ground n’ pound punches and elbows but couldn’t finish the fight. Muhammad went into survival mode, rolling on the ground and covering up while trying to intelligently defend. Somehow, he made it back to his feet with 45 seconds left in the round and tied Jouban up against the fence, trying to recover.

Round 2 — Jouban no doubt wanted to press the action entering the second, but Muhammad appeared to have recovered. Muhammad pressed forward trying to be the more aggressive fighter. Jouban continued to throw kicks then connected with a huge left that dropped Muhammad. He made it back to his feet immediately and tied Jouban up against the fence. Once free, Jouban continued to land solid shots on the feet, with Muhammad now bloodied.  The round would end with a number of exchanges, with Jouban getting the better of most.

Round 3 — Another head kick from Jouban grazed Muhammad early. Muhammad answered back with a right hand. Muhammad shot in for a take down, but Jouban easily countered with a sprawl. Muhammad then tied Jouban up against the fence. Breaking free, Jouban continued to work in kicks and punches, utilizing his jab, push kicks, and high kicks. Muhammad threw a head kick that was blocked, and fanned on an upper cut attempt. With under two and a half minutes left Muhammad clipped Jouban with a number of solid punches that wobbled him. He managed to escape back but continued to look wobbly. Around the one minute mark Muhammad began to hit home, landing a number of punches as Jouban looked exhausted and rocked.  They began to trade along the fence, and went to the bell with Muhammad landing a spinning back fist at the buzzer. It would go to the scorecards, but that was a Fight of the Night contender!

Alan Jouban def. Belal Muhammad by unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-27)

Joseph Duffy vs. Mitch Clarke

Round 1 — The main card of UFC Fight Night 90 kicked off with Canada’s Mitch Clarke taking on Ireland’s Joe Duffy. Duffy fanned on a high kick early then dropped Clarke with a big right. He quickly took the back of Clarke, got the arm under the chin, and the tap came moments later. Blink and you missed it!

Joseph Duffy def. Mitch Clarke by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 0:25

Full Results

MAIN CARD:

Eddie Alvarez def. Rafael dos Anjos by TKO (strikes), Round 1, 3:49- for the UFC lightweight championship
Derrick Lewis def. Roy Nelson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Alan Jouban def. Belal Muhammad by unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-27)
Joseph Duffy def. Mitch Clarke by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 0:25

PRELIMINARY CARD:

Alberto Mina def. Mike Pyle by knockout (flying knee, punches), Round 2, 1:17
John Makdessi def. Mehdi Baghdad by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Anthony Birchak def. Dileno Lopes by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Pedro Munhoz def. Russell Doane via submission (Guillotine). Round 1, 2:08
Felipe Arantes def. Jerrod Sanders by submission (arm-bar) Round 2, 1:39
Gilbert Burns def. Łukasz Sajewski by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 4:57
Marco Beltrán def. Reginaldo Vieira by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 3:04
Vicente Luque def. Alvaro Herrera by submission (D’arce choke), Round 2, 3:52

PRELIMINARY CARD POST-FIGHT INTERVIEWS:

Vince Luque:

Marco Beltran:

Gilbert Burns:

Felipe Arantes

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.