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Where Are They Now? UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs Lineker in Sioux Falls

Jerry Palleschi/ESPN 99.1
Jerry Palleschi/ESPN 99.1

One year ago the UFC brought its first event to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. Where are those fighters now?

It’s crazy to believe that it has been one year since the event took over Sioux Falls. In front of 5,671 fans, the UFC ended up providing a card that over delivered in many people’s eyes. We’ve seen fighters from the event move up the card, receive title shots, and even sign new deals in the UFC. Sadly, on the other side, one fighter on the card has passed away since the event, and another one has called it a career.

Here’s a look at where they are now.

Main Card

  • MAIN EVENT: John Lineker def. Michael McDonald
    • Lineker – Main evented another UFC Fight Night card and defeated John Dodson by decision (however Lineker missed weight). Lost to TJ Dillashaw at UFC 207 in December, 2016.
    • McDonald – Has not fought since loss to Lineker. Left UFC and signed with Bellator MMA. Has not yet made his Bellator debut.
  • Tony Ferguson def. Lando Vannata
    • Ferguson – Won Fight of the Night honors in his win vs. Rafael Dos Anjos at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. Was scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 207 but was cancelled due to Nurmagomedov getting hospitalized.
    • Vannata – Earned performance of the night in win vs. John Makdessi at UFC 206. Lost to David Teymur at UFC 209, but won fight of the night honors.
  • Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman
    • Boetsch – Defeated Rafael Natal by knockout at UFC 205. Lost to Ronaldo Souza by submission at UFC 208. Defeated Johnny Hendricks at UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee
    • Samman – Josh passed away on October 5, 2016. His last fight was in Sioux Falls.
  • Daniel Omielańczuk def. Oleksiy Oliynyk
    • Omielańczuk – Has lost three straight since fight in Sioux Falls. Loss to Stefan Struve by submission at UFC 204. Loss to Timothy Johnson at UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs Anderson. Loss to Curtis Blaydes at UFC 213.
    • Oliynyk – Rebounded from loss in Sioux Falls with two wins in the last year. Defeated Viktor Pesta at UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Penn. Defeated Travis Browne at UFC 213.
  • Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke
    • Nakamura – Loss by decision to Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos at UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson
    • Noke – Loss to Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson. Announced his retirement from MMA following loss.
  • Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen
    • Smolka – Lost his last three fights since his win vs. Nguyen. Loss to Brandon Moreno by submission at UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson. Loss to Ray Borg at UFC 207. Loss to Tim Elliott at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis.
    • Nguyen – The Sioux Falls native has rebounded since his loss in town with a win over Geane Herrera at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson, and a win over Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt.

Undercard

  • Katlyn Chookagian def. Lauren Murphy
    • Chookagian – Loss to Liz Carmouche at UFC 205. Defeated Irene Aldana at UFC 210.
    • Murphy – Has not fought since loss to Chookagian here in Sioux Falls.
  • Sam Alvey def. Eric Spicely
    • Alvey – 4-1 since the event in Sioux Falls. Will be fighting Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night: 14
    • Spicely – 2-1 since loss to Alvey. Defeated Thiago Santos at UFC Fight Night 95. Defeated Alessio Di Chirico at UFC On Fox 23. Loss to Antonio Carlos Jr at UFC 212.
  • Courtney Casey def. Cristina Stanciu
    • Casey – 2-1 over the last year with wins at UFC 202 and 211. Loss to top UFC Strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Noguiera II
    • Stanciu –  Has not fought since loss to Casey.
  • Scott Holtzman def. Cody Pfister
    • Holtzman – Loss by decision to Josh Emmett at UFC Fight Night: Van Zant vs. Waterson. Won by decision over Michael McBride at UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov.
    • Pfister – Was released by UFC following the loss. Debuted in Bellator MMA with a win over Johnathan Gary at Bellator 174.
  • Rani Yahya def. Matthew Lopez
    • Yahya – Defeated Michinori Tanaka by decision at UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg. Loss by decision to Joe Soto at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum.
    • Lopez – Defeated Mitch Gagnon at UFC 206. Defeated Johnny Eduardo at UFC 212.
  • Alex Nicholson def. Devin Clark
    • Nicholson – Lost to Sam Alvey at UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson. Lost to Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night: Gustafson vs. Teixeira.
    • Clark – Moved back to Light Heavyweight. The Sioux Falls native defeated Josh Stansbury at The Ultimate Fighter Tournament of Champions Finale. Most recently beat Jake Collier at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis. Signed new four-fight contract following win over Collier.

One year has gone quick. We’re hoping the UFC returns sooner rather than later.

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