It may have been a night in Sweden where the main event was changed - and downgraded - last minute, but that doesn't mean UFC on FUEL TV 9 in Stockholm wasn't without its highlights. According to UFC President White, Conor McGregor earned Knockout of the Night, Reza Madadi was awarded Submission of the Night while Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton was named Fight of the Night. White announced the winners at the event's post-fight press conference. Each fighter will pocket $60,000 for their efforts.
Making his UFC debut, Ireland's Conor McGregor knocked out Marcus Brimage in the first round. Brimage stormed McGregor early, but the Straight Blast Gym featherweight stayed calm. Under pressure, McGregor used superior combination a series of uppercuts to badly hurt the former cast member of 'The Ultimate Fighter'. The end came officially at 1:07 of the first after an uppercut-hook combination sent Brimage crashing to the mat. McGregor followed up with a few more punches before the referee was forced to halt the action. McGregor moves to 13-2 in professional MMA while Brimage drops to 6-2.
In his third UFC bout and in front of his hometown crowd, lightweight Reza Madadi submitted 'The Ultimate Fighter' veteran Michael Johnson in the third round of a pitched battle that nearly saw him finished in the first frame. After a fairly even affair for most of the first round, Madadi ate a kick to the face that sent him crumbling to the mat and hanging on for dear life. Johnson wasn't able to put him away, but clearly won the round. From there, however, Madadi turned things around, using his wrestling background to score takedowns and control top position in scrambles. By the end of the third round, Madadi appeared to be setting up three quarter nelson stack when he transitioned to the anaconda choke. Madadi moved to his hips, locked up Johnson's legs and squeezed the tap from the Blackzillian at 1:33 of round 3.
Earning Fight of the Night were a pair of bantamweights, the American Mike Easton and Brit Brad Pickett. From beginning to end, the two evenly-matched fighters traded hard shots with inside boxing, a style of fighting rare in mixed martial arts. Yet, just as much as they exchanged, the two also put on a full display of a modern MMA fighter's arsenal, demonstrating strong offensive and defensive wrestling, hard scrambling, gritty clinch fighting and hard-fought positional control. Ultimately, however, it was Pickett who was able to land more in volume and get the better of the wrestling challenges. The judges ultimately award him the split decision victory, taking 30-27 on two of the judges' fight cards while Easton was given 29-28 on the third.
UFC on FUEL TV 9 was held at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. White announced the event pulled a $2.7 million at the gate witn 14,506 attendees.