Current champion Francis Ngannou retained his UFC heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane in Anaheim on Saturday.
The Cameroon-born 35-year-old got the better of his former training partner Gane for the first victory by decision of his 17-3-0 UFC career.
Ngannou triumphed 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47, relying on grappling rather than his power to claim the win in his first title defence.
Gane utilised his movement and skill in the first two rounds to subdue Ngannou, who revealed after the bout he had torn his MCL and injured his ACL in training, limiting his agility.
Ngannou adopted a different strategy in the third round, taking down the surprised Gane to assume control. He utilised the same tactics to good effect in the fourth too.
Gane took down Ngannou in the fifth round but the current champion was able to sweep out and re-gain control.
“Three weeks ago I hurt my knee, tore my MCL completely," Ngannou said after the fight. "I wanted to call off the fight but couldn’t see myself retreating from this fight."
The victory may mark the end of Ngannou's time in the sport with his UFC contract due to expire and he admitted the lure of boxing remained.
“Boxing is always in the back of my pocket, it’s something I must do before the end of my career,” Ngannou said.
Figueiredo re-claims flyweight title
In the men's flyweight championship, the UFC's first Mexico-born champion Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision.
Figueiredo re-claimed the title he had lost to Moreno six months ago in the co-headline event with all three judges ruling 48-47 in his favour.
Michel Pereira beat Andre Fialho by unanimous decision in the welterweight division, while Said Nurmagomedov triumphed over Cody Stamann by first-round submission in the men's bantamweight.