Alexander Volkov finishes home hope Stefan Struve on a positive night for Great Britain's UFC contenders

 Two young British welterweights, Darren Till and Leon Edwards, picked up big wins at UFC Rotterdam on Saturday night

Alexander Volkov of Russia hits Stefan Struve of the Netherlands
Alexander Volkov of Russia hits Stefan Struve of the Netherlands

With Mayweather vs McGregor now in the rear-view mirror, the UFC got back to serious action on Saturday evening with UFC Fight Night 115 in Rotterdam, Holland.

The fight card lacked big names, but it proved to be a fruitful night for two young British welterweights, with Darren Till and Leon Edwards both picking up big wins.

Darren Till puts on a striking masterclass

One of the standout performances of the evening came from Liverpool’s own Darren Till. The tall welterweight dominated his fight with Bojan Velickovic from the opening bell and he showed off his wide array of striking techniques throughout.

Till dropped Velickovic in round one with an elbow that he later claimed “would have killed God,” but the Serb fighter somehow survived and managed to go the distance despite sustaining some serious damage to his face.

The Brit was simply too much for Velickovic throughout and the decision was only ever going to go one way. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 to Till and the Liverpudlian then proceeded to call out Argentinian fighter Santiago Ponzinibbio in his post-fight interview. Given both men’s striking capabilities, it would make for a very fan friendly fight.

Leon Edwards gets his fourth win in a row

Leon “Rocky” Edwards from Birmingham opened the main card and his fight with Bryan Barberena turned out to be one of the most competitive contests of the evening.

Edwards dominated round one and took Barberena down to the mat and work his way to his back with one-minute left on the clock. Barberena looked like he was in real trouble with Edwards applying a rear-naked choke, but the American fought out well and managed to survive the Brit’s submission attempts.

After spending most of the first-round defending, Barberena then went of the offensive and as the two exchanged on the feet he caught Edwards with a sweet, short uppercut then landed flush. Edwards dropped straight to the mat, but the covered up and well and managed to defend himself from Barberena’s follow up attacks without taking more significant damage.

Momentum was with Barberena heading into the third and decisive round, but Edwards did well early on to take his man down to the mat. From there he controlled the final five-minutes and he was unlucky once again not to finish the fight with another close rear-naked choke attempt.

It was a tense pause whilst the judge’s scorecards were collected, but it went the way most sitting cageside expected and Edwards was declared the winner via a unanimous 29-28 decision.

Volkov finishes Struve in front of his home crowd

The event was headlined by a heavyweight clash between the two tallest men on the UFC roster. 7 feet tall Stefan Struve faced the 6 feet 7-inch giant, Alexander Volkov in what turned up to be a back and forth striking battle.

Neither man backed down throughout the contest and they fought at very close distance given their incredible reach. The Dutch fighter appeared to be getting the better of the early exchanges, but after he cut Volkov under his eye, the Russian stepped it up and started to use his jab effectively to rock back the head of Struve repeatedly.

The finish came in round three when Volkov put together a fierce combination of punches that included an uppercut which landed flush. Struve fell to the mat and referee Marc Goddard called the fight immediately with the Dutchman defenceless.

It capped a great evening of fights in Rotterdam.

UFC Fight Night 115 Results

Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Struve via TKO (strikes), Round 3 - 3:31

Siyar Bahadurzada def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (Punches), Round 2 - 3:10

Marion Reneau def. Talita Bernardo via TKO (strikes) at 4:54, Round 3

Leon Edwards def. Bryan Barberena via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Darren Till def. Bojan Velickovic via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Mairbek Taisumov def. Felipe Silva via KO (punch), Round 1 - 1:24

Michel Prazeres def. Mads Burnell via Submission (north-south choke), Round 3 - 1:26

Rustam Khabilov def. Desmond Green via Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Aleksandar Rakić def. Francimar Barroso via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Mike Santiago via Submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2 - 4:22

Abdul-Kerim Edilov def. Bojan Mihajlovic via TKO (strikes), Round 2 - 2:32

Thibault Gouti def. Andrew Holbrook via TKO (Punches), Round 1 - 4:28

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