UFC 299 results, highlights: Sean O’Malley shines bright in Miami, retains title in rematch against Marlon Vera

KASAYA CENTER, FLORIDA — A massive Ecuadorian fan base took over the Kaseya Arena in Miami for UFC 299, hoping for a win for native Marlon Vera. Throughout the night, there were dueling chants by the 19,165 in attendance for America and Ecuador. Nothing bothered American Sean O’Malley, who blocked the noise and pulverized Vera for five rounds. 

O’Malley successfully defended the UFC bantamweight title for the first time after landing volume shots through five rounds against Vera. He holds a firm grip at bantamweight while avenging a loss from 2020. O’Malley even said at the post-fight press conference the Suga State Athletic Commission officially took away the loss from his recored after beating Vera.

It was a performance that matched his walkout entrance, Superstar by Lupe Fiasco. UFC CEO Dana White called O’Malley one of the biggest stars in bantamweight history.

Vera tried to land leg shots right away, a callback to their last fight. However, O’Malley halted the offense of Vera right away. He used jabs and a swift boxing offense to hurt Vera. In round two, he landed combinations that went through the defense of Vera. A knee to the face really got the crowd going, as O’Malley had the clear edge from that point on. 

MORE: Full list of confirmed bouts for UFC 300

O’Malley was in the driver’s seat in round three and he knew it. Still, he had to be wary of Vera’s reaching shots. He managed to work past them with combinations and body kicks. Vera landed a flying knee, but it wasn’t as effective as O’Malley’s. 

The last few moments of the fight saw O’Malley pour shots into the face of Vera, who was showing signs that he went through a one-sided battle. The crowd gave the fighters, especially O’Malley, a standing ovation.  

Per the UFC, O’Malley’s +141 significant strike differential ranked second-largest in a UFC bantamweight fight, behind O’Malley’s +160 against Kris Moutinho. O’Malley hasn’t lost a fight since the Vera fight in 2020, with six wins and a no-contest to his name. “Suga” wants to face Ilia Topuria for featherweight gold in Spain next. He may not get that, as he will likely defend the bantamweight belt against Merab Dvalishvili.

“Dana, get me a jet to Spain. I want Ilia Topuria. If you guys want me to knock out Merab, I’ll do that, too,” O’Malley said after the fight.

The rest of the card featured fights that delivered, and then some. The co-main event was supposed to go five rounds, but Dustin Poirier refused to let it go past two. “The Diamond” rocked Benoit Saint-Denis with combinations that dropped the French star. It looked like Saint-Denis had the edge after a wild first round, but Poirier dug deep and landed two big punches that forced Saint-Denis to bleed. Once he hit the floor, the fans erupted. 

Poirier gets a win back, while Saint Denis’ five-fight win streak and momentum ended.  

Michael “Venom” Page made his UFC debut against Kevin Holland. The former Bellator product looked like a star in the octagon, from his Undertaker-produced entrance to his performance against a game Holland. Page looked right at home, using an unorthodox offense to land vicious elbows and kicks. MVP is now on a two-fight win streak. 

MORE: MMA 25 Under 25

Jack Della Maddalena and Gilbert Burns engaged in a back-and-forth affair that saw the former land a vicious knee to Burns, the fan favorite, which dropped him. Before that, it looked as if Burns was going to win. The judge’s scorecards had him up two rounds. Della Maddalena may have just moved to the top ten in the welterweight rankings. 

Opening the main card, Petr Yan returned to form, beating Song Yadong in a pivotal bantamweight fight. Yan, the former UFC bantamweight champion, struggled early but recovered nicely with takedowns, his kryptonite for some time. 

The Russian ended a three-fight losing streak, while Yadong had a two-fight win streak snapped.  

The Sporting News provided full fight updates and analysis from UFC 299. Check it out! 

UFC 299 results, highlights

Sean O’Malley retains UFC bantamweight title against Marlon Vera

Round five: O’Malley continued landed significant strikes at a million miles an hour. He bombarded Vera with shots. Combinations had him by the cage. A kick had Vera in an uncomfortable position. O’Malley looked like the better fighter. He wouldn’t stop landing punches. Vera was in survival mode as O’Malley did whatever he wanted. Big knee connected. They slugged one another until the final bell. 

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 O’Malley (50-45 O’Malley)

Round four: Vera tried to form any offense, and landed a kick. O’Malley used his power to continue to punish Vera. Vera with a flying knee that landed. O’Malley battled back with more punches. Vera attacked him some more by the cage. O’Malley with a straight punch. Right hand by O’Malley barely missed. Jabs by O’Malley. O’Malley landed too many hard blows for Vera to block. 

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 O’Malley (40-36 O’Malley)

Round three: O’Malley was in the driver’s seat and he knew it. He landed a straight punch to the face of Vera. The champion with several boxing blows through the body of Vera. Vera landed combinations but O’Malley landed some in return. Combinations by O’Malley landed hard, and Vera couldn’t stop anything. Right hand by O’Malley. Knee by Vera landed. He then landed combinations and missed a high kick.

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 O’Malley (30-27)

Round two: Spinning high kick connected by O’Malley. Same with Vera. O’Malley with combinations. Body shot and a leg kick from the champion. He fainted and landed crisp punches. Leg kick from Vera. Combinations by O’Malley and the crowd was eating every shot up. Knee to the face of Vera, who was moving, connected. It rocked him. Jabs poured on the face of Vera. Vera came back with combinations. 

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 O’Malley (20-18)

Round one: They don’t touch gloves. Vera looked for leg kicks right away. O’Malley countered with some of his own. Spinning kick by O’Malley and a body kick connected. The champion landed a hard shot to the face. Vera returned the favor. O’Malley landed a sharp jab. He pushed Vera back some with a few more. Body shot by O’Malley, and another. 

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 O’Malley

The main event is up next. Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera for the UFC bantamweight title. 

Dustin Poirier rocks Benoit Saint-Denis, wins violent fight 

Round two: Poirier landed a right that rocked Saint-Denis and almost secured the guillotine. Saint Denis got out of it to the shock of the crowd. Now on Poirier’s back, Saint-Denis locked in a rear-naked choke. He didn’t get it fully in, and Poirier got back up. Saint-Denis landed elbows, knees, and body shots. They both exchanged shots and Poriier rocked him with a combo that put him down for good. 

Round one: It is a tense vibe. They both exchanged leg kicks. Saint-Denis put Poirier in the corner, but the latter refused to go down. Poirier got out of Saint Denis’s hold and started to move the fight back to the center. On the other side of the cage, Saint-Denis landed shots from the clinch. He landed elbows and a head kick. Poirier had a front guillotine locked in for a moment. Saint-Denis locked in an armbar but Poirier refused to tap. 

SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Saint Denis

Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint-Denis is up next. The entire upper deck of the Kaseya Center was full of French fight fans. It is a five-round co-main event.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the latest to join the UFC Hall of Fame. 

Michael ‘Venom’ Page wins his UFC debut with style against Kevin Holland

Holland dragged him to the floor only for Page to get back up. Kick and back elbow by Page. On the inside, Page would hit elbows. Holland looked a bit lost. Hard right by Page. They joked around until the final bell. 

11:50 p.m. ET: Spinning kick by MVP almost connected in round two. Holland landed a few shots that pushed Page to the cage.Page’s unorthodox offense to his advantage. However, a missed kick forced Holland to hold onto him and land hard blows down by the cage. Page got up after a period. An overhand shot hit and then a kick, which frustrated Holland. Page put Holland down right away in round three and apologized. What a guy.  

11:35 p.m. ET: Page tried to stalk Holland with his signature stance. Holland was reaching for shots as Page was patient. Page landed a clean blow while Holland landed a leg kick. Holland almost connected with a full force punch but opted to hold Page by the cage. Page landed a few combinations and a leg kick to the stomach. He slipped but recovered well. A counter right hand connected as Holland as reaching again. 

Michael “Venom” Page makes his UFC debut next. The former Bellator in MVP star gets a legit fight right away, facing Kevin Holland.

Jack Della Maddalena moves up in the rankings following KO win vs. Gilbert Burns

11:15 p.m. ET: Round two saw Della Maddalena get hit with hard kicks and get put into an awkward spot on the ground. Elbow to the face by Burns. Della Maddalena tagged Burns around the cage. He landed a body shot and a few leg kicks. Big shot by Burns connected followed by a takedown. Burns looked much more comfortable here compared to the Jorge Masvidal fight last time he was in Miami. Della Maddalena tagged him just as Burns went for the kick. Burns pulled him into the cage and forced the fight to the floor. He held onto Della Maddalena who landed a big knee and landed hard blows to Burns until the referee saw enough. 

11 p.m. ET: Della Maddalena landed a sharp jab that pushed Burns back. Burns had the support of the crowd as he landed a takedown and tried to submit Della Maddalena. Della Maddalena almost landed what appeared to be an illegal knee. A nice punch from Della Maddalena landed. He landed a few more shots, pushing Burns back. Burns landed a crisp body shot and followed it up with leg kicks and a takedown. 

10:50 p.m. ET: Gilbert Burns faces Jack Della Maddalena next. 

Donald Trump has arrived. 

Petr Yan returns to form, beats Song Yadong

10:45 p.m. ET: Spinning kick by Yan, and another. Yadong countered with one of his own.He hit Yan with combos that hurt the Russian. Back elbow for Yan connected. Yan got a takedown in the final minute of the fight. 

10:35 p.m. ET: Round two saw Yadong stalk Yan. Yan looked out of it following the takedown attempts. An uppercut landed by Yadong. Inside shot by Yan landed. They exchanged shots. Yan looked much more comfortable as he landed hard punches. Combinations took Yadong off his feet. Yan countered a takedown and the crowd ate it up. He landed a double uppercut and a shot to the body. Yan landed a takedown himself. Both fighters exchanged shots in round three as the crowd is very pro Yan. 

10:25 p.m. ET: Yadong went for the legs right away, pushing Yan back. Yan landed a straight punch to the face of Yadong. He was wary of takedown attempts. One can’t blame him following his last few fights. Yadong with combinations that looked like they hurt. He countered a leg kick into a straight punch. Taking Yan down, Yadong held onto the back and tried to pull him down through the rest of the round. 

10:15 p.m. ET: First fight of the main card is about to start: Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan vs. the rising Song Yadong. 

10 p.m. ET: The main card has started. 

9:45 p.m. ET: Almeida went for a takedown right away, which got stopped by the wrestler in Blaydes. The former did land on top, picked Blaydes up, and dropped him down. Impressive. Almeida started manhandling Blaydes. It was shocking as Blaydes looked lost. Round two saw more action, with Blades landing multiple blows on Almeida until the referee saw enough. A needed performance from Blaydes. He called out interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall after. 

9:35 p.m. ET: The last prelim fight of the night is Curtis Blaydes vs. Jailton Almeida. Almeida is red hot and Blaydes needs a win to remain a top contender.

9:25 p.m, ET: Cerminara went for the attack in round three, as she had a more aggressive side to her. Hard shot by Barber landed, and she continued her assault. Barber had Cerminara up by the cage, forcing the fight to slow down. Cerminara tried to stalk Barber and land crisp shots, but it only pushed Barber back. Barber took her down with ten seconds left in the fight. Barber won via decision, and may enter the top five at flyweight. 

9:10 p.m. ET: Katlyn Cerminara (former Chookagian) faces Maycee Barber. Barber came in hot right away with strikes. She took Cerminara by the cage and held her there. Swinging away, Barber put Cerminara down. Barber used elbows and her shoulders to hurt Cerminara. Front kick by Cerminara in round two pushed Barber back. Cerminara looked much more comfortable as the fight went on. Barber did take her down, but it was all for nought. By the cage, both tried to find some momentum. 

9 p.m. ET: Gamrot landed a hard kick in the second and dragged RDA down to the floor. He had much better control in the fight compared to the first. Gamrot continued to control the pace in round three, using more grappling. RDA tried to get back up, but could not muster any significant offense while there. Gamrot won via unanimous decision. 

8:45 p.m. ET: Up next is Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael dos Anjos. Gamrot tagged the former champion right away. dos Anjos caught Gamrot slipping and took him down. He continued to outsmart Gamrot at every turn in the first round. At one point, Gamrot was the -450 favorite while dos Anjos was the +340 underdog. Wild to think that now.

8:30 p.m. ET: Phillips looked cool, calm, and collected as Munhoz rushed into him, attempting to make the fight his. The former looked like a complete fighter in all three rounds. A few shots broke through to the chin of Munhoz. As time winded down, Munhoz could not combat the tricky offense of Phillips. Phillips got the decision win. 

8:15 p.m. ET: Pedro Munhoz faces Kyler Phillips in the opening contest. Phillips teased a spinning leg kick multiple times. The fifth attempt connected. 

8 p.m. ET: The prelims have started. 

7:45 p.m. ET: In the final early prelim of the night, Former PFL champion Philipe Lins faced Ion Cutelaba. Lins used his kicks to affect the.legs of “Hulk,” while both landed vicious shots to the face. Cutelaba landed an illegal shot to the back of the head of Lins, but didn’t get a point taken away. Lins won via unanimous decision.

7:20 p.m. ET: Michel Pereira submitted Michal Oleksiejczuk in round one. He danced his way to the octagon, landed savage body shots that put Oleksiejczuk by the cage. Pereira then held onto his opponent before the referee saw enough. Pereira did the Booker T Spinaroonie after the fight.

7:05 p.m. ET: Former Olympian Robelis Despaigne needed less than twenty seconds to take out Josh Parisian. The Cuban was an electric force from the moment he entered the cage.

6:50 p.m. ET: Kazakh Assu Almabayev defeated C.J. Vergara via unanimous decision. 

6 p.m. ET: The first fight of the night saw Joanne Wood beat Maryna Moroz via split decision. Wood, who retired after, stormed back after a Moroz round two and delighted the crowd with hard blows in round three. 

Build-up: Hello everyone, and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of UFC 299. Stay tuned as we take you through all the action.

UFC 299 results

Main Card

  • Sean O’Malley (c) def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision for the UFC bantamweight title (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)
  • Dustin Poirier def. Benoit Saint Denis via KO (2:32 into round two)
  • Michael “Venom” Page def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jack Della Maddalena def. Gilbert Burns via KO (3:43 into round three)
  • Petr Yan def. Song Yadong via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Prelims

  • Curtis Blaydes def. Jailton Almeida via TKO (0:36 into round two)
  • Maycee Barber def. Katlyn Cerminara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Mateusz Gamrot def. Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Kyler Phillips def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Early Prelims

  • Philipe Lins def. Ion Cutelaba via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Michel Pereira def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via rear-naked choke (1:01 into round one)
  • Robelis Despaigne def. Josh Parisian via KO (0:18 into round one)
  • Assu Almabayev def. C.J. Vergara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Joanne Wood def. Maryna Moroz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

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