In his first title defense against the man he beat to win the belt, Holloway put on a masterful performance, in many ways outdoing his last outing against Aldo as he dominated from bell to bell before getting a third-round finish once again.
Aldo definitely looked ready to fight, just like the last time, but Holloway was brimming with confidence as he stalked the Brazilian around the Octagon, throwing combinations in succession and constantly popping the former champion with long jabs and then following up with hard punches to the head and body.
By the third round, Aldo was showing sights of exhaustion and that only made Holloway hit the gas that much more as he began pressing forward with even more aggression. Holloway battered Aldo until he finally got the fight to the ground, much like the first bout back in June.
From there, it was all Holloway as he poured on the punishment until referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight as the 25-year-old Hawaiian held on to his title with another picture-perfect performance.
While the first matchup between these two featherweight legends was very close according to fantasy players, the rematch saw a huge swing in Holloway's favor. The reigning champion had 78 percent of fantasy players picking him with another 75 percent picking him to win by knockout. Holloway came through with another win while also earning the players who picked him an extra 150 points because it was a title fight.
In the co-main event, Francis Ngannou secured his spot as the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division with a jaw-dropping first-round knockout over Alistair Overeem. The clubbing left hand that ended Overeem’s night was a knockout for the ages as Ngannou picked up the biggest win of his career and now awaits his chance to challenge heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Ngannou was a huge favorite going into the card, with 78 percent of fantasy players picking him and an overwhelming majority at 94 percent selecting him to finish the fight by knockout.
Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo enjoyed similar odds, with 75 percent of fantasy players picking him to defeat Sergio Pettis and that’s exactly what he did with a dominant performance over three rounds.
The first upset on the main card took place in the battle between Ultimate Fighter coaches as former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez handed Justin Gaethje the first loss of his career with a third-round TKO. Alvarez was selected by just 25 percent of fantasy players going into the event, but he certainly proved himself to be a formidable test with his performance on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Tecia Torres pulled off the other upset on the main card as she took out Michelle Waterson over the course of three rounds after just 36 percent of fantasy players picked her at UFC 218.
On the preliminary portion of the card, Paul Felder picked up his third straight win with a TKO against Charles Oliveira after 57 percent of fantasy players picked him. David Teymur and Felice Herrig followed suit as favorites on the prelims with 70 percent and 80 percent of fantasy players, respectively, picking them as they both came away victorious.
In the lone prelim upset, Yancy Medeiros earned Fight of the Night honors with his stunning performance in a back and forth war against Alex Oliveira after only 23 percent of fantasy players selected him.
Local favorite Amanda Cooper put on a dominant showing against Angela Magana on the early prelims with 77 percent of fantasy players picking her to win. Dominick Reyes remained undefeated with his lopsided victory against Jeremy Kimball with 73 percent of fantasy players selecting him at UFC 218. Justin Willis also put an exclamation point on his performance against Allen Crowder with a nasty knockout with 54 percent of players picking him in the opener.
Once the entire card came to a close, the favorites had a very impressive night at UFC 218 with a total of 10 fighters getting wins according to the picks made by fantasy players. Meanwhile, only three upsets occurred based on those same picks, which means the players who made those picks will definitely enjoy the points those fights afforded them.