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UFC 217 results: Curtis Blaydes beats Oleksiy Oliynyk in strange finish

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A bruising UFC 217 heavyweight matchup between Curtis Blaydes and Oleksiy Oliynyk ended in what at first appeared to be an outrageous stoppage, but ultimately ended up being the correct call.

Blaydes and Oliynyk were in the second round of a bruising and entertaining slugfest Saturday night at Madison Square Garden when Blaydes grazed Oliynyk’s left ear with a kick while the latter had a hand and knee on the mat, which would have been an illegal kick.

The bout was halted, then stopped. And while the crowd was initially furious, as the New York State Athletic Commission has developed a reputation for controversial calls, it turned out the call was correct: Oliynyk told the cageside doctor he was too wobbly to continue, so Blaydes was awarded the TKO at 1:56 of the second round.

“He was an awkward striker,” Blaydes said. “He wanted to brawl, and he wanted to take me down, I gave him his opportunity when I took him down. I know what he wanted, I just wanted to gas him out.”

Oliynyk left that cage and went back to the dressing room before the decision was announced, something which rubbed Blaydes the wrong way.

“I don’t respect that, bro,” Blaydes said. “To walk out of the cage like that, I can’t respect that. I just don’t.”

Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) has won three in a row, minus a no-contest. Oliynyk (52-11-1) had a two-fight win streak snapped.

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