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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Good evening, folks. Welcome along to our live coverage of UFC Fight Night 99 at Belfast’s SSE Arena.

There are 13 bouts on the way, beginning at 5.30pm with Charlie Ward’s UFC debut against Abdul Razak Alhassan.

Stick with us here and we’ll keep you up to speed right up until the conclusion of the night’s main event, which is a middleweight rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall.

Here’s the line-up in chronological order:

Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass, 5.30pm)

Charlie Ward vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
Brett Johns vs. Kwan Ho Kwak
Marion Reneau vs. Milana Dudieva
Zak Cummings vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Justin Ledet vs. Mark Godbeer
Anna Elmose vs. Amanda Cooper
Kevin Lee vs. Magomed Mustafaev
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Ali Bagautinov
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Jack Marshman

Main card (BT Sport 2, 9pm)

Artem Lobov vs. Teruto Ishihara
Timothy Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov
Ross Pearson vs. Stevie Ray
Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall

Let us know your thoughts throughout the evening by getting in touch on Twitter (@The42MMA), via e-mail (pauldollery@the42.ie) or in the comments section below.

We’re about to get underway. This card may not feature many big names but there are some interesting match-ups so let’s see if it can deliver in terms of entertainment…

This is just Charlie Ward’s fifth professional bout but his coach at SBG, John Kavanagh, believes he’s ready:

“As promoters over here know, he’s very difficult to match. He’s a hellish match-up for anybody. The strongest guy I’ve ever met in that weight class without a close second. He’s got solid hands, really tough wrestling and can wear anybody down.

“Conor [McGregor] definitely wedged the door open for him. He’s got to go in there against a difficult opponent and show that it’s justified. But anybody who has trained with Charlie and has seen him fight will know that you’ll never have it easy against him.

“At the end of the fight, if there are any naysayers out there thinking that he only got this opportunity because of Conor, I think they’ll see that he deserves this chance.”

Great atmosphere as the Portlaoise native is introduced. Marc Goddard is the referee for this one.

Wow! What a UFC debut for Abdul Razak Alhassan. He’s scored a swift knockout of Charlie Ward in the opening bout of the night.

Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Charlie Ward via KO after 0:53 of round one

With Conor McGregor in his feet in the crowd, the fighters were swinging from the fences from the outset in that one but Alhassan’s strikes were much more precise. He rocked Ward with a big right uppercut, the Portlaoise native recovered but Alhassan connected with the right hand twice more to send Ward crashing and take his professional record to 7-0.

Up next is a bantamweight bout and it features Brett Johns, a former Cage Warriors and Titan FC champion, who’ll be the first Welshman to fight in the UFC. He takes on Kwan Ho Kwak.

This has been a fantastic contest between Kwak and Johns as we near the end of the third and final round, but at the moment it’s looking likely to be a successful start for the Welsh in the octagon.

Brett Johns def. Kwan Ho Kwak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Marion Reneau versus Milana Dudieva is up next.

Marion Reneau def. Milana Dudieva via TKO (punches) after 3:03 of round three

Three bouts in and still 10 to go. Action from the welterweight division next as Alexander Yakovlev takes on Zak Cummings.

Technically this is a catchweight bout actually as Cummings missed weight by 1.8lbs yesterday.

It was far from a classic but Cummings suddenly pulls out a very impressive submission towards the end of the second round.

Zak Cummings def. Alexander Yakovlev via submission (armbar) after 4:02 of round two

Hitting the midway point of the prelims now and it’s a heavyweight bout between Justin Ledet and Mark Godbeer.

Ledet gets the submission inside the first round and it’s a disappointing UFC debut for Godbeer.

Justin Ledet def. Mark Godbeer via submission (rear-naked choke) after 2:16 of round one

Up next is a strawweight bout between TUF 23 finalist Amanda Cooper and Anna Elmose, who’s making the substantial move down from bantamweight.

Cooper was having the better of that first round until she was caught and knocked down by an overhand right by Elmose.

Cooper ends the second round with an armbar attempt but the buzzer saves Elmose. Heading into a third round. Fascinating contest.

Strong finish by Amanda Cooper. She edges it on our scorecard. That was a fun fight.

Amanda Cooper def. Anna Elmose via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Very enjoyable first round and it’s a 10-9 to Lee from where we’re sitting.

Lee puts Mustafaev to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Impressive performance.

Kevin Lee def. Magomed Mustafaev via technical submission (rear-naked choke) after 4:31 of round two

To a chorus of boos, Lee says he’ll “put [Conor] McGregor on his ass.”

Flyweight action next as two former title challengers, Kyoji Horiguchi and Ali Bagautinov, square off.

Very high-level contest so far between these two. Hard to understand why this isn’t on the main card.

Great fight and it’s going to the judges.

Kyoji Horiguchi def. Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 

Here’s what Kevin Lee had to say about Conor McGregor after his win earlier on:

“I don’t care about the Irish, I called Conor McGregor out because I want that fight. He’s the champ now in this division and doesn’t have anything but some years on me. He’s 28, I’m 24, I have years to catch up to him and I wanted him to know that I’m on that ass, that’s all that was about. He’s got that target on his back and I’m one of the guys that’s chasing him.”

You wait 23 years for a Welshman in the UFC and then two come along at the same time.

After Brett Johns’ victory earlier tonight, the Wales flag now passes to Jack Marshman for his clash with Magnus Cedenblad.

This is the final prelim of the night. After that we go to the main card at the top of the hour, which kicks off with Artem Lobov’s bout against Teruto Ishihara.

After being dropped by a big left hook early on, Cedenblad recovered well to dominate from top position and get the better of that first round.

Two out of two for the Welsh as Jack Marshman uses his superior striking to stop Magnus Cedenblad in the second round!

Jack Marshman def. Magnus Cedenblad via TKO (strikes) after 3:32 of round two

Marshman looks in Conor McGregor’s direction as he calls for a bonus: “Conor, you reckon that’s worth 50G  or what?”

Four fights remaining and we’re heading to the main card at the top of the hour, starting with Artem Lobov versus Teruto Ishihara.

Artem Lobov and Teruto Ishihara are in the octagon. Here we go…

Two good rounds for Lobov so far. He wobbled Ishihara with an overhand right towards the end of the second but the buzzer saved the Japanese fighter. Heading into the third.

But Lobov finishes strongly and Conor McGregor is in the octagon. They’re celebrating. Surely Lobov has done enough.

Artem Lobov def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Lobov keeps it short and sweet in his post-fight interview: “The Hammer is back! No one is safe!”

Heavyweight action between Alexander Volkov and Timothy Johnson up next.

Alexander Volkov def. Timothy Johnson via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

This has been a great fight so far as we head into the third round. Too close to call.

It’s going to the judges but we’re just about giving it to Stevie Ray. Let’s see…

Steven Ray def. Ross Pearson via split decision (27-30, 30-27, 30-27)

It’s time for the main event at UFC Belfast. Can Gegard Mousasi avenge his loss to Uriah Hall? We’re about to find out.

Here we go…

And it’s over already! Mousasi gets revenge against Uriah Hall via first-round TKO.

Gegard Mousasi def. Uriah Hall via TKO (punches) after 4:37 of round one

What a way to end 2016 for Gegard Mousasi, who’s now 4-0 since his defeat to Hall in September 2015. That puts him in a great position to push for a title shot going into next year.

That’s a wrap for our live coverage of UFC Belfast. Stick with us on The42 for reaction but good night for now!

Conor McGregor celebrates with Artem Lobov following his victory Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

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Paul Dollery

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