Both men entered the bout known more for their striking, and the first round went according to the script, especially for McDonald. But just as Pickett seemed to be getting back into the fight on the mat, he ended up falling victim to his younger opponent's impressive submission game.
It was almost a quick night of work for "Mayday," as he caught Pickett with a flurry of punches early in Round 1. Amazingly, Pickett shook those off and more clean shots later in the frame and made it back to his corner.
Pickett managed a takedown a little more than a minute into Round 2, where he looked for elbows from McDonald's guard. One bad move spelled disaster, though, as he ended up trying to escape from both an armbar and a triangle choke. Pickett avoided the former but not the latter, tapping out with 1:17 to go.
Conor McGregor UD3 Max Holloway – Featherweight
McGregor entered his second UFC fight with tons of hype, and he demonstrated why he is so highly touted with a one-sided victory over Max Holloway. The Irishman controlled all three rounds and was awarded all of them on every card, including one 10-8 round.
Holloway had little answer for McGregor's speed and accuracy with both feet and both hands in the opening round. It was a question of volume with Holloway landing the occasional right hand but usually eating several strikes in return.
More McGregor left hands and kicks opened the middle frame. A caught kick put Holloway on his back with two minutes left, though he was able to effectively keep his opponent from doing too much damage from the guard.
Round 3 saw McGregor focus on takedowns — he blamed it on a mid-fight knee injury in his post-fight interview — where he controlled the action and was able to advance his position several times. But Holloway rarely looked to be in serious trouble, and he managed to make it to the final horn.
Steven Siler def. Mike Brown by KO at 0:50 of Round 1 – Featherweight
Former WEC champion Brown received a warm reaction from the fans in Boston, but it didn't help him once the action began. Siler scored the fifth-fastest stoppage in featherweight history with a KO in just 50 seconds.
Brown tries rushing in to negate Siler's height and reach advantages and got caught flush with a right uppercut. He avoided some hammerfists on the ground but not a pair of punches, and Yves Lavigne had no choice but to stop the fight.
Diego Brandao UD3 Daniel Pineda – Featherweight
A battle of two aggressive featherweights started quickly but petered out late. Brandao survived a scare in the middle round and managed to secure a one-point decision on all three cards.
Pineda went right after Brandao taking the center of the ring as soon as the horn sounded. That walked him right into a barrage of punches, kicks and flying knees, but Pineda was able to find the target with some of his own big right hands. Brandao scored a late takedown as the pace began to slow.
A change of tactics saw Brandao go for a quick takedown to begin Round 2. Yet it was Pineda who had the majority of success, working his way into mount and raining down elbows and punches from that position. He nearly got himself in trouble trying to stand up, but the round was clearly his.
Both fighters looked spent heading into the final frame, with Pineda putting up little resistance to Brandao's repeated takedowns. That was enough for all three judges to give him the nod, 29-28.
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