For the first time ever, the Octagon invaded South Dakota Wednesday night for UFC Fight Night 91.
John Lineker made a statement in the main event, knocking out former title contender Michael McDonald in the first round with a series of vicious shots. Lineker scored his fifth consecutive win and his third finish during his current streak.
Top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson survived a scare vs. Landon Vannata, earning a second round submission for his eighth consecutive win. Vannata, a standout on the regional circuit who stepped in for Michael Chiesa, nearly appeared to have Ferguson finished in the first round with a flurry of strikes.
But, the former Ultimate Fighter winner survived and thrived. Ferguson landed a Superman punch and caught Vannata with a standing choke that he tightened as he dropped to the canvas for his 21st career win. The loss was the first in Vannata’s nine-fight run.
Veteran Tim Boetsch turned back the challenge of upstart Josh Samman, finishing off The Ultimate Fighter veteran in the second round. Boetsch, who has faced several of the elite in the sport, used his experience to pick up his 19th career win.
Heavyweight Daniel Omielanczuk picked up a majority decision over Oleksiy Oliynyk, claiming two scorecards with the third ruling it a draw. With a second left, Keita Nakamura forced Kyle Noke to tap, earning himself a submission victory. Nakamura connected with a knee that rocked Noke, allowing him time to secure the choke.
Louis Smolka played the role of spoiler once again, kicking off the main card with a second round TKO over South Dakota’s Ben Nguyen. Smolka came out guns-blazing, blistering Nguyen with shot after shot. The Hawaiian landed 120 of 174 strikes compared to 8-for-12 by Nguyen, improving to 5-1 in the UFC overall.
In the prelim main event, it was Katlyn Chookagian remaining unbeaten with a decision win over Lauren Murphy. Chookagian was making her Octagon debut against the former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, who dropped to 1-3 over his last four.
Veteran Sam Alvey locked up a guillotine choke for his fourth Octagon win, submitting Eric Spicely in the first round. Alvey is now 8-3 over his last 11 fights, including five finishes.
Scott Holtzman claimed a decision over Cody Pfister to start the televised prelims, with Cortney Casey following with a first round finish of Cristina Stanciu.
Rani Yahya turned back the upset-minded Matthew Lopez, locking up a third round arm-triangle choke. Yahya improved his current win streak to three and is now 6-1 with one no-contest since 2012.
Alex Nicholson started things off with a thrilling first round finish of Devin Clark. Nicholson knocked Clark out with just three seconds left in the opening round.
Complete results can be found below:
John Lineker def. Michael McDonald via KO (strikes) at 2:43 of Round 1
Tony Ferguson def. Landon Vannata via submission (D’arce choke) at 2:22 of Round 2
Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman via TKO (strikes) at 3:49 of Round 2
Daniel Omielanczuk def. Oleksiy Oliynyk via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of Round 2
Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen via TKO (strikes) at 4:41 of Round 2
Katlyn Chookagian def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sam Alvey def. Eric Spicely via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:43 of Round 1
Cortney Casey def. Cristina Stanciu via TKO (strikes) at 2:36 of Round 1
Scott Holtzman def. Cody Pfister via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rani Yahya def. Matthew Lopez via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:19 of Round 3
Alex Nicholson def. Devin Clark via KO (strike) at 4:57 of Round 1