The UFC’s first trip to the Czech Republic was a fun one, and it featured several impressive finishes, including two knockouts and one submission during the final three fights of the night. 

Let’s take a look at UFN 145’s main-card results!

Main Event: Thiago Santos def. Jan Blachowicz via TKO, Round 3, :39

After a competitive initial two rounds that seemed to point towards Jan gaining a cardio advantage in the championship periods, Santos came out strong in the third and floored Blachowicz with a thunderous hook and a number of follow-up strikes on the canvas, forcing the referee to intervene. 

This win confirmed what many fans already knew: Thiago Santos belongs at light heavyweight. Talks of his receiving a title shot have now become prominent, and it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve a crack at “Bones” or a number-one-contender bout. If he has to wait for a shot at gold—like if Jones wants a break after fighting Smith or if Smith wins and an immediate rematch is booked for Jones), a showdown with Alexander Gustafsson will be awesome. 

This setback is undoubtedly disappointing for Blachowicz, but he’s still in the top-five of a barren division; a couple wins would put him right back in title contention. He could always rematch Alexander Gustafsson (if Santos isn’t booked against him), as well as Anthony Smith if he isn’t able to dethrone Jon Jones.

Co-Main Event: Stefan Struve def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Arm-Triangle Choke, Round 2, 2:21

Longtime heavyweight contender Stefan Struve won big in UFN 145’s co-main event. 

“The Skyscraper” encountered some adversity early in the contest, as de Lima clipped him with a solid punch in the opening seconds and assumed top control. From there, the Brazilian was able to find a home for several harmful strikes. Struve remained calm, however, and he eventually had his moment on the canvas at about the halfway point of the middle round, when he sunk-in a textbook arm-triangle choke against his opponent. 

During his post-fight interview, Struve indicated that this may have very well been his final fight in the UFC and MMA. The high-level martial artist, although he’s only thirty-one years of age, has been signed to the UFC for a decade. Across twenty-two fights, he’s competed against the best heavyweights in the world—and managed to beat several of these individuals. If this really is the end of his MMA career, here’s to the next phase of his professional life; he’d likely make an excellent coach or UFC Europe ambassador. 

For de Lima, this disappointing win isn’t the end. While he’s always had some trouble with grapplers—his last four losses and all his UFC defeats have come via submission—he hits like a freight train and is fun to watch. How about a dance with Andrei Arlovski next time out? 

Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gian Villante via TKO, Round 1, 1:34

Apparently, Michal’s long layoff didn’t have too much of an impact on his skills or his state of mind, because he managed to defeat a durable and skillful light heavyweight, Gian Villante, in just over ninety seconds. Michal was moving well early, and Villante seemed to be having some difficulty timing and measuring his strikes, but few expected Michal to rip to the body and nab a stoppage in the way that he did. 

This triumph proves that Michal, at twenty-four years old, has a very bright future in the UFC. With his past mistakes behind him, the sky’s the limit. Sam Alvey might be riding a two-fight losing streak, but he’s experienced, skillful, and he always brings it; he’d be a great next fight for Michal. 

Gian Villante flew out to the Czech Republic, put it all on the line, and came up short. Anyone can get hurt by a body shot like the one he absorbed; this defeat, although disappointing, doesn’t mean that his skills have slipped. Villante’s had a killer schedule for quite a while now; whoever he fights next, it should probably be a relative newcomer—not a pushover, mind you, but probably not a near-undefeated prospect or a top-fifteen fighter, either. If title holders can defend their belts against lower-ranked opponents, there’s no reason Villante (and other contenders) can’t get a bit of a break. 

Liz Carmouche def. Lucie Pudiolva via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28x2)

This fun women’s flyweight match proved once again how durable and skillful Liz Carmouche is. The MMA veteran is now two-and-one at flyweight, and it’s irrefutably impressive that she traveled to “enemy territory” and did what was required to get her hand raised against Lucie Pudilova. Pudilova pushed hard for her strikes and, from her back, submissions, but the pressure and ground striking of Carmouche was simply too much to overcome. After fifteen minutes, Liz was awarded a unanimous decision. 

Liz Carmouche has quietly put herself in a position to vie for the flyweight belt. Jessica Eye is next in line, but a number-one-contender fight between Carmouche and Joanna Jedrzejczyk would make for a fantastic main event. Lucie’s only twenty-four; her current two-fight losing streak, including a “Fight of the Night” and this showing against Carmouche, will be a distant memory in the near future. Lauren Murphy would be a solid next opponent for Pudilova. 

Petr Yan def. John Dodson via Unanimous Decision (30-27x3) 

For as elite as John Dodson is, he wasn’t able to solve the riddle that Petr Yan presented. Across three rounds, Yan pushed forward and found a home for his damaging strikes; he seemed to possess a strength advantage in the clinch as well. Dodson had his moments, particularly with a couple nice counterstrikes, but Yan kept marching forward. He has a bright future at bantamweight. 

John Dodson’s recent setbacks have been disappointing, but he’s still a durable, well-versed bantamweight. The problem with someone like Dodson—at least for him—is that because he started on such a high note in the UFC (winning TUF and beating T.J. Dillashaw), racked-up countless excellent wins, and twice went to a decision with Demetrious Johnson, a tune-up fight is impossible; it’s going to be all contenders and prospects for Dodson while he’s signed with the promotion. A bout opposite Bryan Caraway would be intriguing. Yan is ready for a jump-up in competition; the winner of Cody Garbrandt versus Pedro Munhoz should be his next opponent. 

Magomed Ankalaev def. Klidson Abreu via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27x2) 

This loss (and missing weight) wasn’t the most positive development for Abreu, but the reality is that he fought a tough opponent on short notice and put in a respectable effort; there’s no shame whatsoever in that. Ankalaev has now won two of his last three UFC fights, and he’s looked very good while doing so. His next opponent can be someone close to or in the top-fifteen. Abreu, for his part, has earned a full fight camp against another solid prospect. 

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