Wednesday night, the UFC returned just days following its landmark UFC 200 event with UFC Fight Night 91, live from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The event marked the promotion’s first trip to the state, and featured a revamped headliner of Michael McDonald vs. John Lineker. That fight was promoted to the main event following any injury to Michael Chiesa, who was originally slated to fight lightweight contender Tony Ferguson. Ferguson was given a replacement fight against promotional newcomer Landon Vannata instead, and dropped to the co-main event slot.

Elsewhere on the card, Maine native Tom Boetsch faced what appeared to be a must-win situation against Ultimate Fighter vet Josh Samman. “The Barbarian” entered the night on a three fight losing streak, and was looking at a highly motivated foe in Samman. Also, Kyle Noke took on Keita Nakamura, and heavyweights Daniel Omielańczuk and Oleksiy Oliynyk battled it out. Oliynyk, who has flirted with the top 15 in the heavyweight division for some time, entered the night on an eleven fight win streak, but had not entered the cage since November 2014.

Check back come fight time (Fight Pass Prelims kick off at 6PM) for a main card recap and full results!

Main Card Summary

Michael McDonald vs. John Lineker

Round 1 — Front kick thrown by McDonald early. Lineker took a big swing and a miss about 45 seconds in. As McDonald closed the difference Lineker fired off a combo. Both men worked the body early. Another big swing and a miss by Lineker followed. Then another, that connects to the shoulder and drops McDonald, who eats an uppercut, then another, Lineker landing bombs but McDonald survives. Lineker follows and McDonald stuns Lineker! Lineker comes back and stuns McDonald again. Both men throwing and then Lineker, having unleashed numerous heavy hooks, lands a goodnight punch. McDonald is out!

John Lineker def. Michael McDonald by knockout (punches), Round 1, 2:43 

Tony Ferguson vs. Landon Vannata

Round 1 — Ferguson unloaded a kick early that was caught by Vannata. Ferguson with a spinning kick but Vannata landed with a punch. A low blow by Vannata halted the action. Ferguson would land a switch kick about ninety seconds in that caught Vannata, but Vannata in turn stunned Ferguson with a spinning back fist moments later. Vannata began landing several big shots rocking Ferguson, who would launch a spinning back fist to escape. Ferguson rocked again. Still standing. Vannata tried a spinning back fist, missed. Vannata continued to press the action, landed a solid kick to the body but Ferguson landed one punch, then a right cross, that forced Vannata to shoot in for some relief. Ferguson began to land next but Vannata rocked Ferguson, landing bombs, and sending him reeling. Ferguson scrambled all over the cage, rolling over and then finally attacking the leg of Vannata. Ferguson looked out on his feet! Incredible that he continued on. Vannata took top position with twenty seconds left but allowed Ferguson to latch onto his arm.

Round 2 — The action continued in the second, both fighters looking for the finish. Ferguson took a big wing and a miss. Landed a kick. Vannata with a big swing and a miss. Vannata landed a head kick, Ferguson with a big blow in return. Vannata opened up. Ferguson really coming on, then looks for the standing guillotine. Takes it to the ground, and Vannata taps to a D’arce! Great fight!

Tony Ferguson def. Landon Vannata by submission (D’arce choke), Round 2, 2:22

Tim Boetsch vs. Josh Samman

Round 1 — Samman tied the fight up alongside the cage early, but Boetsch was able to take the action to the mat and get in top position. Boetsch looked to land some ground and pound as Samman was very active from the bottom and utilized a half butterfly guard.  Samman managed to push back to his feet, and landed a left as they broke from the clinch. Samman again pinned Boetsch up against the fence, then attempted to climb and take the back of Boetsch as he was still standing. No dice. Towards the end of the round Samman grazed Boetsch with a head kick.

Round 2 — Boetsch pressed forward with the first attack early, but Samman would land some solid shots after pressing forward himself. Boetsch answered by taking Samman down. Boetsch looked to pass guard while Samman fought from the bottom. Boetsch landed some heavy shots that sent Samman into a scramble. Boetsch moved to side control and worked elbows to the thigh. He latched on to the arm of Samman next, working for a kimura. More elbows to the thigh of Samman followed, and Boetsch was then able to mount and rain down heavy ground and pound while Samman covered up. Samman showed great heart, but the ref eventually came in to make the save.

Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman by TKO, Round 2, 3:49

Daniel Omielańczuk vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk

Round 1 — Olinyk came out swinging immediately then as Omielanczuk returned fire looked for the takedown. A single leg got things to the ground, but Oliynyk had to work to ensure his opponent didn’t power back up, as he was low on the legs and unable to make it to mount. Oliynyk managed to move into half mount alongside the cage at long last, and began looking for a choke.  Omielanczuk grabbed on and locked his arms around his opponent to stifle the Russian’s progress. Oliynyk mixed in some ground and pound, but Omielanczuk finally got back to his feet with just over a minute to go in the round. After some shots traded at close range, Oliynyk again took his foe down. This time he managed to take the back and quickly got both hooks in. However, with just ten seconds left in the round, this would go to the buzzer.

Round 2 — Omielanczuk  started the round strong with a great elbow that stunned Oliynyk and allowed Omielanczuk to take top position, however, Oliynyk looked for a heel hook, then reversed and took top position, looking for a head and arm choke. Omielanczuk escaped, and landed some solid hows from the top as he moved back into a dominant position. He managed to have Oliynyk pressed up against the cage, but the Russian reversed, and began attacking the midsection of Omielanczuk. They worked their way back to the feet, with Oliynyk looking bloodied, but he landed a good left hook then pressed Omielanczuk up against the fence, scoring a takedown shortly after. He then rolled into an arm bar with just under a minute left, lost it and looked to lock in a triangle. During this sequence, Omielanczuk managed to land some heavy hammer fists, but a bloodied Oliynyk would survive the round.

Round 3 — Oliynyk opened the action pressing his opponent against the fence and looking for a single leg takedown.  Omielanczuk rained punches down from above and instead wound up in guard. Oliynyk would hang on while Omielanczuk tried to avoid having the fight stood up, but that wouldn’t last long and they were restarted on the feet.  Oliynyk ate a right while pushing opponent back to the cage. He again looked for the takedown, and this time was able to land it, get the back, and sink in both hooks. However, unable to sink in a rear-naked choke, he gave up position with Omielanczuk winding up in his guard looking for more ground and pound. Despite Omielanczuk working, the ref stood them up again and they would trade a few blows before Omielanczuk scored a takedown just before the buzzer.

Daniel Omielańczuk def. Oleksiy Oliynyk by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Kyle Noke vs. Keita Nakamura

Round 1 — For the second fight in a row there was a quick start as Noke came out with two smart jabs that stunned Nakamura. After some quick exchanges the fighters settled in. Noke seemed to be finding a home for his jab, while Nakamura was consistently rushing in with punches then retreating back, a dangerous gamble given he had already eaten some stiff jabs as a result. Nakamura with a good hook. He failed to land a head kick which was partially blocked, but moments later does connect cleanly with one. Noke continued on, but the fight seemec to be shifting towards Nakamura. This was put on pause as Noke scored a takedown, but his opponent was quickly back to his feet. Nakamura contined to press forward as time ticked down in the round.

Round 2 — Nakamura continued to press forward to start the second round.  Both fighters exchanged kicks, while Noke continued to have success with his jab. However, after sensing a possible finish in the first, Noke was no closer to putting Nakamura away, and the fight seemed much more even as it went on. Nakamura began to land, this time with a good combination. Noke responded with a takwdown to buy him some breathing room. Nakamura made it back to his feet, but Noke took his back, and threw some knees to the thigh. Noke landed a side kick. Moments later, Nakamura charged in with a combo then landed a big knee, sending Noke to the ground and allowing Nakamura to follow up with some vicious ground and pound. With the clock ticking down he locked in a rear naked choke, and got the tap with one second left in the round!

Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:59

Louis Smolka vs. Ben Nguyen

Round 1 — Nguyen came out guns blazing to start the round, and after some highly exciting exchanges, took the fight to the ground. After they returned to the feet, Smolka secured a takedown and top control. Nguyen transitioned to the back and managed to secure both hooks, looking for a rear-naked choke. Smolka turned into the choke to survive, but that allowed Nguyen to mount. Smolka rolled out while Nguyen looked for an arm-bar, and the transitions just got better and better. Smolka managed to get on top and land some heavy ground and pound with about two minutes left to go in the round. He then attempted a guillotine before switching to a D’arce choke. Nguyen escaped but Smolka managed to mount again and drop elbows and punches, opening up Nguyen. Nguyen would survive the round, much worse for the wear and possibly saved by the buzzer.

Round 2 — Smolka attempted another front choke against the cage early on, while Nguyen was still dripping blood from the first round. Smolka began landing more damage from the top once the fight went to the mat, and Nguyen appeared to have no answer. Smolka switched to a leg lock attempt but released it and moved back to half guard, working the body with punches then alternating to the face. A finish seemed like it would be inevitable if Smolka went all out with the GNP. Nguyen worked back to his feet only to be dragged back to the mat. Smolka pulled guard for a guillotine the next time Nguyen worked his way up, but didn’t have it. Smolka tried a triangle, Nguyen escaped. Smolka worked for a front choke on the mat next to the cage wall, then finally took the back and locked in a rear naked choke, getting it under the chin but somehow, Ben Nguyen managed to escape. Smolka mounted and began dropping elbows until Herb Dean took mercy on the bloodied Nguyen and waived off the fight.

Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen by TKO, Round 2, 4:41

Full Results

Main Card

John Lineker def. Michael McDonald by knockout (punches), Round 1, 2:43
Tony Ferguson def. Landon Vannata by submission (D’arce choke), Round 2, 2:22
Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman by TKO, Round 2, 3:49
Daniel Omielańczuk def. Oleksiy Oliynyk by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:59
Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen by TKO, Round 2, 4:41

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

Katlyn Chookagian def. Lauren Murphy by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sam Alvey def. Eric Spicely by submission (guillotine), Round 1, 2:43
Cortney Casey def. Cristina Stanciu by TKO, Round 1, 2:36
Scott Holtzman def. Cody Pfister by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Rani Yahya def. Matthew Lopez by submission (arm triangle), Round 3, 4:19
Alex Nicholson def. Devin Clark by knockout, Round 1, 4:57

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.