By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
DESPITE global concerns on the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night 170 pushed through in Brasilia, Brazil, on Sunday (Manila time) with Brazilian Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira topping American Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee in their lightweight battle.
Held behind closed doors at the Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, UFC Fight Night 170 forged ahead notwithstanding the suspension of large gatherings in Brazil because of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Mr. Oliveira (29-8) ruled the main event by defeating Mr. Lee (18-6) by submission (guillotine choke) in the third round.
The two fighters battled it out in the first two rounds, looking to get the traction they needed to swing the fight in their favor.
In the third round, Do Bronx held sway early, managing to catch his opponent in a guillotine choke and forcing Mr. Lee to tap 28 seconds onto the frame.
The win was the seventh straight for Mr. Oliveira while Mr. Lee fell to his third defeat in his last four matches.
“Tony Ferguson and Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I’ll be seating in front. I’m one of the best in the world and the belt is going to be mine,” said Mr. Oliveria, ranked number 13 in the division entering the contest, referring to the world lightweight championship fight between reigning champ Khabib and former interim champion Ferguson on April 18.
Also winning yesterday were welterweight Gilbert Burns over Demian Maia (TKO/punches); lightweight Renato Moicano over Damir Hadzovic (submission/rear-naked choke); light heavyweight Nikita Krylov over Johnny Walker (unanimous decision); and Francisco Trinaldo over John Makdessi (UD).
In the lead-up to UFC Fight Night 170, the UFC said it will be pushing through despite the COVID-19, with some of its events relocated to its facilities in Las Vegas and played behind closed doors.
Next for the UFC is UFC Fight Night 171 on March 21, headlined by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley against Leon Edwards.