Welcome to F4WOnline.com’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs. Lineker from the Danny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This event marks the first time the Octagon has traveled to the state of South Dakota.
The event is headlined by a five-round bout in the bantamweight division as former title challenger Michael McDonald takes on heavy-handed John Lineker, winner of four straight fights.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 6 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
UFC Fight Night 91 DFS Playbook
Coverage provided by Paul Fontaine
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 6 PM ET/3 PM PT)
DEVIN CLARK (6-0, 0-0 UFC) VS. ALEX NICHOLSON (6-2, 0-1 UFC) (Bobby Wombacher – ref)
Joe Martinez is doing the ring announcing after 3 shows in 3 days for Michael Buffer last week. It’s a nice change. I like Buffer but Martinez is really good as well. Clark gets a huge hometown pop as he’s from Sioux Falls. Crowd is sparse and people were getting their tickets upgraded without being asked.
Clark with the first punch combo 30 seconds in after they trade leg kicks. Nicholson controlling the Octagon early. Clark with a takedown at 1:00. Clark trying to advance while Nicholson works for a sub from the bottom. Clark with an arm triangle at 2:15. Nicholson uses the cage to escape and then gets to his feet at 2:45. Nicholson with a low blow that the crowd does not like. Clark drops Nicholson with one punch on the restart but he weathers it and gets to his feet. Clark takes his back standing at 3:30. Nicholson works him to the front but Clark still in control of the clinch on the cage. Punch combo from Clark at 4:15 as they separate. Nicholson drops Clark with a punch with less than 10 seconds left and the ref steps in to stop it quickly. Not a bad stoppage but he didn’t seem in any more trouble than Clark was earlier in the round when he got dropped. Crowd went deathly silent with the stoppage
WINNER – ALEX NICHOLSON (7-2) by KO (punch) at 4:57
RANI YAHYA (21-8 1 NC, 6-2 1 NC UFC) VS. MATTHEW LOPEZ (8-0, 0-0 UFC) (Bobby Wombacher – ref)
Lopes is off of Dana White’s “Lookin for a fight” series. A couple of great punch exchanges early until Yahya initiates a cage clinch 45 seconds in. Lopes takes control and ends up on top when Yahya goes for a takedown. Lopez stands up, obviously fearful of the Brazilian’s ground game. Yahya with a nice punch combo at 2:45 and almost drops him with a leg kick. Lopez drops Yahya with a punch and immediately follows him to the ground, going for an armbar. Yahya escapes and quickly gains top position and then side control at 3:45. Yahya with hard elbows to the head. Lopez escapes and reverses into top position but Yahya with a kneebar attempt and then an Oma Plata. Lopez escapes that and to his feet. Yahya tries to take him down again but Lopez ends up on top. Great grappling exchanges. 10-9 Lopez
Lopez with a takedown 45 seconds in. Yahya working for an armbar from the bottom. Lopez with an inverted triangle though after escaping. It looks tight but Yahya gives the thumbs up to the ref and then escapes at 1:30 and ends up in top position. Yahya quickly into side control. Lopez works him back into half guard but Yahya landing punches to the head and body. Yahya landing hard elbows to the head as well. Total strikes are 57-20 for Yahya. Yahya landing hard punches to the head and Lopez barely defending but manages to get to his feet. Yahya tries to take him down but but Lopez stuffs it. Yahya staggers Lopez with a punch and then gets a takedown. Lopez with a guillotine attempt on the way down but Yahya escapes easily and moves right into side control. Yahya into mount with 30 seconds left and secures an armbar. Lopez fighting it off desparately. Crowd really into this. Bell saves Lopez and the crowd gives an ovation. 10-8 Yahya, 19-18 Yahya
Yahya with an early takedown attempt but Lopez ends up on top. Lopez stands up quickly to avoid the ground game of Yahya. Yahya gets a takedown again at 1:00 but Lopez working for a choke, which Yahya quickly escapes from. Total strikes are 87-23 now for Yahya. Yahya landing punches to the body and head as he’s got Lopez trapped by the cage. Yahya lifts Lopez up and slams him back to the canvas before landing more head strikes. Lopez manages to get to his feet briefly but Yahya takes his back and drags him down again. Lopez sweeps and briefly gains top position but again Yahya gets top control. Yahya with a hard and arm choke and gets a quick tap. Great performance from Yahya
WINNER – RANI YAHYA (22-8-1) by submission (arm triangle) at 4:19 of the third round
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 7 PM ET/4 PM PT)
SCOTT HOLTZMAN (8-1, 1-1 UFC) VS. CODY PFISTER (12-5-1, 1-2 UFC) (Kevin MacDonald – ref)
They trade single shots for the first minute with Holtzman landing the harder shots. Holtzman with a flying knee that drops Pfister to his knees but Holtzman stays up. Pfister stuns Holtzman with a punch that cuts him and then clinches up on the cage. Pfister with a takedown attempt but stuffed by Holtzman. Holtzman with a nice punch/head kick combo at 2:15. Another cage clinch at 3:00 with Holtzman in control. Holtzman landing knees to the body. Holtzman with a trip takedown at 3:30. Pfister to his feet quickly after a guillotine attempt from Holtzman. Pfister already looking gassed. Total strikes are 30-13 for Holtzman. Pfister with a weak takedown attempt stuffed by Holtzman. Holtzman lands several knees to the head before the round ends. 10-9 Holtzman
Holtzman drops Pfister with a head kick 30 seconds in and immediately follows him to the ground. Pfister was almost out there. Holtzman into mount at 1:00. Holtzman with a head and arm choke attempt but Pfister escapes, just like he did against Sage Northcutt in December and ends up in top position. Holtzman to his feet but Pfister in control of a cage clinch at 2:15. Holtzman landing punches to the head as Holtzman trying to take him down and then Holtzman scores a takedown of his own at 2:45. Holtzman landing a ton of punches to the head and body. Holtzman into mount at 3:45 and landing more punches to the head and body. Again Pfister reverses and ends up on top at 4:15. Holtzman working for a triangle from the bottom. Pfister not doing much at all from the top. 10-9 Holtzman
Total strikes through two rounds are 83-34 for Holtzman. Despite this, Pfister’s corner told him that he may have won the first round. Holtzman sprawls out of a takedown attempt at 1:00 and then gets one of his own. Holtzman again landing punches to the head and body from the top. Pfister connects with an illegal upkick and gets a warning. Holtzman stands up at 2:30 but Pfister stays on his back briefly and then goes to his feet. Pfister with a takedown attempt and Holtzman secures a guillotine and brings him down. Pfister escapes easily and ends up in top position. Holtzman reverses into top position at 3:45. Significant strikes are 47-22 for Holtzman. Holtzman with punches and elbows to the head. 10-9 Holtzman, 30-27 overall. Can’t imagine any other score unless someone gives a 10-8
WINNER – SCOTT HOLTZMAN (9-1) by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2; 29-28)
CORTNEY CASEY (4-3, 0-2 UFC) VS. CRISTINA STANCIU (5-1, 0-1 UFC) (Bobby Wombacher – ref)
Great punch exchange to start. Casey with a takedown at 1:00 and moves right into mount after eating a couple body kicks. Casey lands a couple hard elbows to the head. Stanciu works her back into half guard at 1:45 and Casey stands up. Stanciu follows. Casey with another taekdown at 2:30 and right into mount again and then finishes her off with hard elbows to the head to get the quick stoppage.
WINNER – CORTNEY CASEY (5-3) by TKO (elbows) at 2:36
ERIC SPICELY (8-1, 0-0 UFC) VS. SAM ALVEY (26-8 1 NC, 3-3 UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
John McCarthy gets the pop of the night from the Sioux Falls crowd so far. And gets introduced as “Big John”, something Bruce Buffer has stated he will not do. Spicely shoots for a takedown early and they end up in a cage clinch. Separation at 1:00 after not much happens. They trade hard head punches at 1:15. Alvey staggers Spicely with a punch combo at 1:30 but he stays on his feet. Spicely slips after a kick attempt and tries for a takedown but Alvey defends it well. Alvey in control of a cage clinch at 2:00. Alvey with a standing guillotine and gets the quick tap.
WINNER – SAM ALVEY (27-8) by submission (guillotine) at 2:43
Alvey cut an amazing promo after the fight. He called out Holy War Angel and challenged the whole continent of Europe for a fight in Manchester. He predicted Dan Henderson would win the middleweight title, defend it more times than anyone in history and then lose it to himself. He reminded everyone that his baby is due in ten days and maybe he’s due for some sort of bonus. If you see nothing else on this card, seek out this promo.
(#13) LAUREN MURPHY (9-2, 1-2 UFC) VS. KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (7-0, 0-0 UFC) (Kevin MacDonald – ref)
Murphy controlling the Octagon early but Chookagian landing single shots from distance. Murphy initiates a cage clinch at 1:30. Chookagian gets control and then separates at 2:00. Nice punch exchange at 2:15. Murphy continuing to advance and starting to land more strikes, mostly to the head. Total strikes are 24-13 for Chookagian. Chookagian starting to land leg kicks in addition to the head strikes at the end of the round. Very close. 10-9 Chookagian
Second round starts the same, only that this time Murphy gets the takedown at 1:30. Murphy not doing anything but holding her down though. She lands a couple light punches to the head after being warned for lack of action. Murphy works her to the fence and lands a few more elbows and punches to the head and a series of body punches as well. Murphy postures up and lands some hard head strikes at 4:30. 10-9 Murphy, 19-19 after 2
Murphy advancing to start again. Chookagian landing strikes while backing up again, as she did in the first round through the first 90 seconds. Murphy with a nice punch combo at 1:45. Punch combo from Chookagian at 2:15. Chookagian mixing in leg kicks as well as Murphy is getting frustrated, even throwing her hands down at 3:00. Murphy bleeding from under the left eye and her face is all busted up from the striking of Chookagian. Chookagian with a hard knee to the body as Murphy shoots for a takedown at 4:15. Murphy clinches up on the cage for the rest of the round while Chookagian defends the takedown. 10-9 Chookagian, 29-28 overall. Round 1 will decide it.
WINNER – KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (8-0) by unanimous decision on scores of 29-28 x 3
MAIN CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 9 PM ET/6 PM PT)
(#12) LOUIS SMOLKA (10-1, 4-1 UFC) VS. BEN NGUYEN (16-5, 2-0 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
Herb Dean gets almost as big a pop as Big John got earlier and both of them have gotten bigger reactions than anyof the rights. Nguyen chasing Smolka around the cage to start and Smolka tries for a takedown but Nguyen ends up in top position. He’s a local product. Smolka works to his feet and then gets a takedown of his own at 45 seconds. Smolka quickly into side control but Nguyen works him back into guard. Nguyen manages to take Smolka’s back and working for a rear naked choke. He transitions into mount and working for an arm triangle. Only 1:45 in and this is a crazy fight already. Smolka escapes and ends up in top position. Amazing grappling exchanges. Smolka landing a series of punches and elbows from guard at 3:15. Smolka with a triangle choke at 3:30. 10-9 Smolka
Round very easily could’ve been a 10-8 and many on Twitter have it scored that way. Total strikes were 55-7 for Smolka. Smolka gets a takedown 15 seconds in. Nguyen bleeding from his nose. Nguyen tries to get to his feet and Smolka secures a guillotine. Ngueyn escapes but Smolka all over him. Smolka landing elbows to the head and punches to the body. Smolka just relentless with the punches and elbows and then goes for a footlock, which Nguyen escapes from. Smolka still in top position and landing a ton of punches. Both to their feet at 2:30 but Smolka takes him right back down. Smolka stands up and delivering punches and knees to the body. Smolka lets him up but still peppering him with punches. Smolka drags him down with another guillotine attempt. Nguyen escapes but Smolka with a triangle attempt. Nguyen escapes that and Smolka with a front choke. Smolka lets it go and moves into mount. Smolka takes the back and gets the rear naked choke at 4:00. Nguyen doesn’t give up. Smolka all over him with punches from mount though. Elbows to the head from Smolka. Dean stops it. That would’ve been a 10-7 round if Dean hadn’t stopped it. Nguyen’s corner actually threw in the towel at the same time Dean was stopping it.
WINNER – LOUIS SMOLKA (11-1) by TKO (elbows and punches) at 4:41 of Round 2
Smolka challenged Wilson Reis to face him for the interim flyweight title since Demetrious Johnson is injured.
KYLE NOKE (22-8-1, 6-4 UFC) VS. KEITA NAKAMURA (31-7-2 1 NC, 2-4 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
Noke stuns Nakamura with a couple early punches but he weathers it. Nakamura pushing the pace but running into single jabs from Noke. Nakamura with a punch combo at 2:30 and then a head kick. Another punch combo for Nakamura at 2:45. Noke with a takedown at 3:00 but Nakamura right back up. Significant strikes are 18-13 for Noke. Nice punch exchange at 4:00. The difference may be that Noke is landing kicks to the body. Nakamura with a punch combo right before the bell. 10-9 Noke
Nakamura advancing to start again. Nakamura with a takedown attempt but Noke stuffs him 30 seconds in. Noke continuing to land jabs from distance while Nakamura advances. Nakamura stuffed on another takedown attempt at 1:45. Significant strikes now 37-30 for Noke. Nakamura stuns Noke with a punch combo at 3:00. Noke with a takedown at 3:15. Noke pulls him up but stays in control of his back, landing knees to the legs. Noke separates but not after landing a hard head strike and Nakamura now bleeding from the nose. Nakamura backs Noke up with a punch combo. Noke down and Nakamura all over him with punches. Nakamura into mount at 4:45. Nakamura with a rear naked choke and taps right before the buzzer.
WINNER – KEITA NAKAMURA (32-7-2) by submission at 4:59 of the second round
ALEXEY OLEINIK (50-9-1, 2-0 UFC) VS. DANIEL OMIELANCZUK (18-5-1 1 NC, 3-2 UFC) (Kevin MacDonald – ref)
I’ve seen several different spellings for Oleinik’s name so I’m going with this one. Alexey lands a punch combo early and shoots for a takedown but stuffed by Daniel. Alexey ends up getting the takedown 45 seconds in from the clinch. Daniel seated with his back to the cage. Alexey not doing much damage but just trying to advance. Alexey into mount and working for an arm triangle at 2:00. Daniel works him back into guard but Alexey again working for the choke. Alexey with hard elbows to the head. Daniel to his feet at 3:30 but Alexey still controlling him. Alexey with another takedown at 4:15. Alexey takes his back at 4:45 and gets the body triangle but not enough time to do anything. 10-9 Alexey
Daniel ops with a punch combo and gets Alexey to the ground. Alexey busted open. Daniel on top and landing punches and elbows to the head. Alexey working for a kneebar and then a heel hook. Daniel escapes but Alexey into top position and gets a head and arm choke. Daniel works back into top position at 1:30. Daniel landing more elbows and punches to the head. Daniel now covered in Alexey’s blood. Ground strikes are 30-29 for Daniel. Alexey trying to get to his feet and ends up in top position as Daniel has his back to the cage. Both guys up at 3:00. Daniel with a nice punch combo that rocks Alexey. Alexey initates a cage clinch at 3:30. Alexey with a takedown. Alexey working for an Ezekiel choke. Alexy with an armbar attempt at 4:00. Daniel escapes and gets top position. Alexey with a triangle attempt at 4:15. Daniel landing hammer fists to the head. 10-9 Daniel, 19-19
Alexey immediately shoots for a takedown but defended by Daniel. Daniel landing punches to the head as Alexey holds on. Alexey pulls guard at 45 seconds. Alexey’s face is a bloody mess. Alexey continuing to look for submissions from the bottom but eating a lot of punches. Ref stands them up at 2:00. Alexey can barely stand. Alexey advancing for a takedown on the standup and initiates a cage clinch. Alexey gets the takedown at 3:00 and then takes the back. Alexey working for a rear naked choke. Daniel landing punches from behind. Alexey working for a choke but Daniel reverses into top position. Alexey landing light punches to the head from the bottom. Daniel just holding him down. Ref stands them up at 4:30. Alexey doesn’t want to get up. Alexey can barelly stand. Daniel with a takedown right before the bell. 10-9 Daniel, 29-28 overall. Sloppy third round
WINNER – DANIEL OMIELANCZUK (19-5-1) by majority decision on scores of 28-28, 29-28 x 2
TIM BOETSCH (18-10, 9-9 UFC) VS. JOSH SAMMAN (12-3, 3-1 UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
Samman with an early takedown attempt and they end up in a cage clinch. Boetsch landing punches to the body from behind and then gets a takedown at 1:00. Boetsch landing punches to the body from top position. Samman to his feet at 2:15. Samman with a punch combo at 2:45 and then goes right back to the clinch. He takes Boetsch’s back standing at 3:00 but Boetsch quickly fights him off. Total strikes are 36-10 for Boetsch. Samman still controlling the clinch. Separation at 4:00. Nice punch exchange at 4:15 and then Samman rocks Boetsch with a head kick but then goes right back to the cage clinch. Quick separation. Samman stalking Boetsch as the round ends. 10-9 Boetsch
Boetsch backs up Samman with a punch combo early. Head kick from Samman followed by a punch combo and Boetsch answers with a takedown. Boetsch postures up and lands elbows to the head. Boetsch with hard elbows to the body. Boetsch with an armbar attempt at 2:00. Boetsch all over him with punches and elbows at 3:15. Boetsch with full back mount and not letting up. Samman barely defending. Ref finally stops it.
WINNER – TIM BOETSCH (19-10) by TKO (punches) at 3:49 of the 2nd round
(#3) TONY FERGUSON (20-3, 10-1 UFC) VS. LANDON VANNATA (8-0, 0-0 UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
Vannata catches a kick early and lands a punch combo. Ferguson landing kicks from distance. Vannata tags Ferguson with a punch and then a low blow. Ferguson advancing. Vannata with another punch combo at 1:15. Ferguson stuns Vannata with a jab. Spinning backfist by Vannata rocks Ferugson at 1:30. Ferguson with a standing guillotine but Vannata escapes easily. Vannata with another punch combo, Ferguson in trouble. Ferguson comes back with a combo of his own. Vannata landing all kicks of spinning offence. Ferguson with leg kicks. Ferguson rocks Vannata with a series of jabs at 2:45. Vannata cut on the nose. Ferguson with a punch combo at 3:30. Vannata with a takedown attempt but Ferguson sprawls out. Vannata drops Ferguson with a punch. Ferguson is out on his feet. Vannata all over him. Ferguson weathers it. McCarthy easily could’ve stopped it. Ferguson with an inside heel hook attempt. Vannata escapes and in top position. Ferguson with an armbar attempt as the round ends. 10-8 Vannata
Vannata advancing to start and landing punches. Total strikes in round 1 were 50-42 for Ferguson. Vannata bleeding from cuts on the nose. Ferguson landing a lot more but Vannata doesn’t seem affected. Ferguson with hard body kicks. Ferguson with a Superman punch. Vannata eating hard shots now. Ferguson chasing him around the Octagon. Ferguson with a standing guillotine and drags Vannata to the ground and Ferguson transitions to a D’Arce choke. Vannata fights it off for awhile but eventually taps. Insane fight.
WINNER – TONY FERGUSON (21-3) by submission (D’Arce choke) at 2:22 of Round 2
Ferguson with a great promo after the fight. Puts over the crowd and says he hopes to come back. Says he missed getting hit in the face. Calls out Eddie Alvarez, saying that he knows that he doesn’t want to fight him. Says that if he wants an easy fight, he should fight Conor but if he wants a real fight, he should take on him. That could work for a fight with either guy.
(#5) MICHAEL MCDONALD (17-3, 6-2 UFC) VS. (#8) JOHN LINEKER (27-7, 8-2 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
They trade kicks while feeling each other out in the first minute. Lineker starting to establish Octagon control. McDonald with a punch combo at 1:30. Lineker stuns McDonald with a punch and all over him. McDonald down and Lineker pounces on him. McDonald somehow gets to his feet. Lineker chases him across the cage but McDonald firing punches back. McDonald with a punch combo of his own. Both guys throwing bombs at 2:30. Lineker drops McDonald with a punch. Florian calls it a KO and Lineker landed at least 7 hard punches after that point while McDonald was out cold. Bit of a late stoppage but Lineker was so fast it’s hard to blame the ref.
WINNER – JOHN LINEKER (28-7) by KO (punch) at 2:43
This was really one of the best cards of the year and worth going out of your way to see. Lineker did his whole promo with a translater but then called out Dominick Cruz in English. Hell of a promo and great way to cap off the card.