Conor McGregor starched Jose Aldo to unify the UFC featherweight title in a 13-second bout on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. McGregor dropped Aldo with a left hand as Aldo surged forward to land a hard right.
Fans had to wait for all of 2015 to see McGregor challenge featherweight champ Aldo. The two were set to meet in July in one of the most promoted UFC bouts in history when Aldo got hurt. McGregor claimed the interim title by knocking out Chad Mendes at UFC 189. Then McGregor coached The Ultimate Fighter opposite Urijah Faber so fans didn't get satisfaction until Saturday night.
Luke Rockhold took Chris Weidman's UFC middleweight belt in a brutal four round war. Rockhold managed to out-strike, out-wrestle and out-grapple the champ en route to a ground and pound stoppage.
Weidman came out aggressive early and quickly took Rockhold's back standing. Rockhold escaped though and ended the round in top position. In the second Rockhold tagged Weidman early, threatened with a guillotine and pounded the champ with kicks for the rest of the round. In the third, Weidman seemed to have more energy and began landing kicks and took Rockhold down. Towards the end of the round, Rockhold got Weidman down, took his back and then got mount. From there Rockhold rained down punishment without a break for the last 30 seconds of the round. Referee Herb Dean could easily have stopped the fight but did not.
A bruised and staggered Weidman entered the fourth round. He threw a couple of body kicks before Rockhold began to ragdoll him. Rockhold got the champ down again towards the end of the first minute. Rockhold reared up and began to rain down punishment. This time Dean stopped the fight.
Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero edged jiu-jitsu legend Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza by split decision in a fight he seemed to be running away with early. Romero dropped Jacare with a spinning backfist in the first and it was all Romero for the rest of the round. Souza was visibly staggered and woblbly when he stood up at the end of the round. The Cuban then coasted through the second round and let Jacare recover. In the final round, Jacare hurt Romero standing up against the fence and took him down. On the ground, Jacare camped out in Romero's half-guard and landed strikes from the top. Romero fought his way back to his feet just as the round ended.
Grapplers Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson mostly eschewed striking range in a bout that was overwhelmingly contested on the ground. And there Demian Maia showed Gunnar Nelson the enormous gulf between a very skilled black belt and one of the best grapplers in jiu-jitsu history. Maia dominated position, landed blows and searched for submissions for long stretches in every round. The scorecards reflected Maia's overwhelming dominance as he scored 30-25 on two judges' cards and 30-26 on the other.
Featherweight contender Max Holloway and Jeremy Stephens opened the pay-per-view card with a slow simmer rather than the hoped for potboiler. Holloway's slicker striking gave him the edge over the course of the fight and an extended period in top control put Stephens on ice as Holloway cruised to a unanimous decision.
Longtime bantamweight star Urijah Faber had a tough scrap with the unheralded Frankie Saenz in the featured fight of the Fox Sports 1 prelims. Faber had Saenz hurt badly in the second round but couldn't finish him. Saenz put up a tougher scrap than the unanimous decision would indicate. Nonetheless, Faber cruised to a win and talked up a potential title shot against either T.J. Dillashaw or Dominic Cruz.
Tecia Torres beat up Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision. Torres really opened up in the third round and battered Jones-Lybarger up against the cage. The game Jones-Lybarger took the punishment without falling and landed a hard shot of her own towards the end of the fight.
Brazilian Ultimate Fighter winner Warlley Alves submitted Colby Covington quickly in their welterweight bout. Alves caught Covington in his trademark guillotine and held on through a hard slam to get the tap.
Leonardo Santos knocked out Kevin Lee in the first round of the Fox Sports 1 preliminary opener. Santos caught Lee with a right hand that dropped him and then quickly followed up with ground and pound, forcing Ref. "Big" John McCarthy to stop the fight.
Dagestani Magomed Mustafaev demolished Joe Proctor with raw power, knees and punches to close out the Fight Pass portion of the card. The 27-year-old Mustafaev improves to 2-0 in the UFC and 13-1 overall.
Yancy Medeiros took a controversial split decision win over John Makdessi. Madeiros dropped Makdessi with a left at the very end of the third round, but announcer Joe Rogan and many fans felt Makdessi took the first two rounds.
In the Fight Pass opener, Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee came back from a long injury lay off to notch a unanimous decision win. His foe, Marcio Alexandre, Jr. dropped to 0-3 in the UFC and is probably on the chopping block.
UFC 194 Complete Results
Pay-Per-View Main Card
Featherweight: Conor McGregor def. Jose Aldo via KO (punch) at 0:13 of Round 1.
Middleweight: Luke Rockhold def. Chris Weidman via TKO (ground and pound) at 3:12 of Round 4.
Welterweight: Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25x2).
Featherweight: Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27x2,29-28).
Fox Sports 1 Preliminaries
Bantamweight: Urijah Faber def. Frankie Saenz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2).
Women's strawweight: Tecia Torres def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger via unanimous decision (30-27x3).
Welterweight: Warlley Alves def. Colby Covington via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:26 of Round 1.
Lightweight: Leonardo Santos def. Kevin Lee via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of Round 1.
UFC Fight Pass Preliminaries
Lightweight: Magomed Mustafaev def. Joe Proctor TKO (knee and punches) at 1:54 of Round 1.
Lightweight: Yancy Medeiros def. John Makdessi via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29).
Welterweight: Court McGee def. Marcio Alexandre Jr. via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2).