Makaha’s Yancy Medeiros pulled out a third-round TKO of Alex Oliveira in a fight of the year candidate on the preliminary card of UFC 218 tonight in Detroit.
Medeiros (15-4, 6-4) won a third consecutive fight for the first time in the UFC, outlasting Oliveira (17-4-1, 7-3), who entered the bout ranked No. 15 in the company at 170 pounds.
Medeiros busted up Oliveira’s nose with a straight left in the first round but was still dominated in the opening five minutes. Oliveira had multiple knockdowns and came close more than once to stopping the fight.
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Medeiros withstood the onslaught and fought back in round two, securing a takedown near the end of the round to even the fight.
Oliveira came out energized in the third round and scored two takedowns, but was eventually reversed on the ground.
As the two fighters got back up, Oliveira was clearly hurt and backed into the cage before absorbing a series of shots. He eventually collapsed to the mat, where he was finished at 2:57.
Oliveira landed 93 of 161 significant strikes and 98 total strikes, according to ufc.com. Medeiros landed 60 of 134 significant strikes and 64 total strikes.
“It’s cold over here, but I’ve never felt the warmest welcome,” Medeiros said in a postfight interview. “Hats off to Oliveira. He’s a cowboy and all cowboys are tough. What a war. I’m here to entertain and get to the top.”
Medeiros and Oliveira exchanged hugs at the beginning of the second and third rounds, and Medeiros wrapped Oliveira in the Hawaiian flag after the fight as the two again embraced.
Both fighters were sent to a local hospital after the fight, according to the UFC.
Earlier in the evening, Maui’s Cortney Casey lost a split decision to Felice Herrig in the first televised preliminary fight on Fox Sports 1.
Herrig (14-6, 5-1) won 29-28 on two judges’ scorecards, while the third had Casey (7-5, 3-4) winning two rounds to one.
The fight stats were even, with Herrig landing 75 of 295 total strikes while Casey landed 79 of 211. Herrig also had a takedown.
Waianae’s Max Holloway will defend his UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo in the main event scheduled for approximately 7:15 p.m. Hawaii time.