The atmosphere inside UBS Arena was electric heading into what was expected to be a hard-hitting affair between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega on Saturday. Unfortunately, an early injury to Ortega halted any chance for a classic. Instead, Rodriguez potentially got one step closer to a featherweight title opportunity.
Rodriguez defeated Ortega via TKO in the main event of UFC Long Island after Ortega dislocated his arm while defending an armbar attempt by Rodriguez. If the injury requires surgery, it would be the third operation for Ortega over the past few years.
“We can run it back anytime,” Rodriguez said after the fight. “We can do this, but I’d rather do it for a championship rather than a situation like this. But whatever the UFC decides, I’m OK with whatever. It’s just unfortunate, bro.”
The fight did start off strong with jabs and high kicks. Rodriguez landed combinations, but Ortega’s chin was way too strong. Ortega took Rodriguez down to the floor, but the fight was over before it could truly begin thanks to Ortega’s shoulder.
Rodriguez, the UFC’s No. 3-ranked featherweight, was told he would get a title shot against Alexander Volkanovski with a win. Given how the fight ended, he could face the champion or another contender, Josh Emmett. UFC president Dana White said after the fight that Emmett-Rodriguez for an interim title could be a possibility.
Rodriguez is now 3-2 with one no-contest in his last six fights and 2-1 in his last three. Ortega is on a two-fight losing streak.
In the co-main event, Amanda Lemnos submitted Michelle Waterson-Gomez.
The fight card ended with eight finishes. One of the biggest fights of the day was a back-and-forth affair between Matt Schnell and Sumudaerji that included a second round for the ages.
The Sporting News provided updates from UFC Long Island’s main card. Here’s how it all went down:
UFC Long Island results, highlights
Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega via TKO (4:11 into round one)
Round 1: Ortega opens with a jab while Rodriguez counters with a straight right. Both fighters are playing it close to the vest. Rodriguez with a left, then a knee to the face. By the cage, Rodriguez is cut by the eye. Ortega tries to suffocate him by the cage, but Rodriguez holds his ground. Rodriguez uses his heel to halt Ortega’s momentum. Combinations land by Rodriguez. High kick lands, but Ortega’s chin is strong. Ortega takes Rodriguez down to the floor. Ortega’s shoulder pops out and the fight ends.
Ortega’s arm dislocated in an armbar defense retraction. A disappointing ending to what could have been a great main event.
4:45 p.m. ET: The main event is coming up: Brian Ortega will face Yair Rodriguez. Ortega is looking to rebound following a loss to UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Rodriguez could be the next contender for the title with a win.
Amanda Lemos submits Michelle Waterson-Gomez
4:30 p.m. ET: Front kick by Waterson in Round 2. Quick hands by Lemos and then she lands a guillotine. Waterson taps, but the ref doesn’t see it. Lemos says she won, and Waterson acknowledges the tap. Lemos wins via second-round submission (1:48).
4:20 p.m. ET: The co-main event is coming up, with Michelle Waterson-Gomez facing Amanda Lemos. Lemos is using her leg kicks to start the first round. She now lands a sequence of shots to Waterson-Gomez’s face. Overhand shots by Lemos land. Waterson-Gomez tries for the front kick. She then brings her down to the floor and lands hard shots to the face to end the round.
Li Jingliang drops Muslim Salikhov in the second round
3:55 p.m. ET: Li Jingliang vs. Muslim Salikhov in welterweight action is up next. Big spinning kick by Salikhov opens Round 1. Li counters with a leg kick, but Salikhov drops him with a takedown. Salikhov tries a spinning backfist. Big right hand by Salikhov to open Round 2. Salikhov continues to stalk Li. The crowd is restless following the great fight by Schnell and Sumudaerji. Massive right by Li, who is now advancing forward. Big right drops Salikhov. The fight is over 4:38 into Round 2.
Matt Schnell def. Sumudaerji in a Comeback and Round of the Year contender
3:45 p.m. ET: Schnell is hit below the belt to start Round 2. He then hits a leg kick that forces Sumudaerji to slip. Huge left by Sumudaerji drops Schnell. Schnell then lands some uppercuts. Big elbow drops Schnell to one knee. He lands a few more, but Schnell does not go down. He lands a few combinations to Sumudaerji’s face. Schnell now takes him down and lands a few elbows to Sumudaerji’s face. The crowd is on its feet and Daniel Cormier is going crazy on commentary. Triangle choke by Schnell and he submits Sumudaerji. A wild second round ends in dramatic fashion 4:24 in.
3:25 p.m. ET: Matt Schnell vs. Sumudaerji in a flyweight bout is up next. Schnell takes him down to the floor right away and starts to mount. He then takes Sumudaerji’s back. Sumudaerji lands a side slam to the floor. Schnell is able to recover.
Shane Burgos edges Charles Jourdain in a slugfest
3:10 p.m. ET: Burgos climbs on top of Jourdain to start Round 2. He shifts a few times to get good placement, holding onto the body triangle. Burgos with another rear-naked choke attempt. Burgos bashes Jourdain’s head to end Round 2. Both fighters connect with blows to open Round 3. Jourdain gets momentum and pulls Burgos by the cage, punching the body. He outlanded Burgos 60-20 at one point in the round. Jumping knee and uppercut by Jourdain and Burgos is bleeding. Burgos is taking a lot of damage but surviving. Big head kick by Jourdain to end the round. That third round was not enough for Jourdain; Burgos ended up winning via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Charles Jourdain out-landed Shane Burgos in significant strikes 113 to 42. The -71 differential is the third largest ever for the winner of a UFC decision. Vera over Font (-112 differential). Lawler over Condit (-84 differential).— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 16, 2022
2:55 p.m. ET: New York’s Shane Burgos is ready for action next against Charles Jourdain. Burgos has fought on a majority of UFC cards in New York since MMA became legal there. Jourdain with a big kick to start, but Burgos connects with a sharp left. Burgos now has him up by the cage. Jourdain tries for the guillotine but Burgos gets back up and is on his back. Burgos then tries a choke of his own but Jourdain battles out of it. Jourdain trips Burgos and then lands nasty left hooks. Flying knee for Jourdain to end Round 1.
It was just announced that Charles Oliveira will face Islam Makhachev for the vacant UFC lightweight title on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280.
Lauren Murphy back on track following win over Miesha Tate
2:40 p.m. ET: Tate’s eye is closed shut heading into Round 3, possibly from a clash of heads. She tries a takedown but Murphy fights out of it. Murphy lands knee strikes within the clinch. She then lands a huge elbow to Tate’s bad eye. Both start trading shots, to the delight of the crowd. Murphy ended up winning via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
"I'm gonna be in Paris, watching Andrade v Fiorot..."— #UFCLondon on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 16, 2022
"I want to fight the winner of that fight."
Lauren Murphy shoots her shot after a stunning performance against Miesha Tate at #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/tpGNdukYoo
2:25 p.m. ET: Round 2 begins with Murphy coming out with stronger shots. Tate, who has a busted nose, lands a huge right to Murphy’s face. Murphy drops Tate with a big takedown and punishes her by the cage. Tate presses forward for some offense but Murphy looks like the sharper fighter. Takedown attempt is blocked by Tate. Tate lands a huge elbow within the clinch, something she had success with the entire fight.
2:15 p.m. ET: Miesha Tate is back in action, this time in a new division. She fights Lauren Murphy in a flyweight bout. Murphy starts with a takedown attempt right away and lands a knee to Tate’s face. They trade shots in the center of the Octagon. Combinations by Tate land, while Murphy lands a few of her own. Murphy lands a takedown and now smothers Tate by the cage. Murphy used her hips to quickly get back up following a Tate takedown attempt. Both fighters are clinching, trying to find the ultimate edge.
2 p.m. ET: We are LIVE as the latest UFC fight night takes place on Long Island. On ABC, fans are already excited for a show for the ages.
Ricky Simon shocked the world by submitting fan favorite Jack Shore, while Punahele Soriano defeated Dalcha Lungiambula via knockout to end the prelims.
Herbert Burns could not continue and was basically crawling to his corner in his fight against Bill Algeo. Algeo survived a triangle choke attempt. Once Burns could not get to his corner in a timely manner, Keith Peterson called off the fight.
Justin Jacoby landed a vicious shot against Dwight Grant in the first round, improving his record to 9-0-1 in 10 contests.
UFC Long Island is underway. In the opener of the card, Invicta’s Emily Ducote defeated Jessica Penne via unanimous decision. Dustin Stoltzfus beat Dwight Grant via unanimous decision.
UFC Long Island: Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez fight card
- Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega via 1st-round TKO (shoulder injury) (4:11).
- Amanda Lemos def. Michelle Waterson via 2nd-round submission (1:48).
- Li Jingliang def. Muslim Salikhov via 2nd-round TKO (4:38).
- Matt Schnell def. Sumudaerji via 2nd-round submission (4:24).
- Shane Burgos def. Charles Jourdain via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
- Lauren Murphy def. Miesha Tate via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
- Ricky Simon def. Jack Shore via 2nd-round submission (3:28).
- Punahele Soriano def. Dalcha Lungiambula via 2nd-round KO (0:28).
- Bill Algeo def. Herbert Burns via 2nd-round TKO (1:50).
- Dustin Jacoby def. Da Un Jung via 1st-round KO (3:13).
- Dustin Stoltzfus def. Dwight Grant via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
- Emily Ducote def. Jessica Penne via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).