UFC 266
Alexander Volkanovski retained his UFC featherweight title by unanimous decision over Brian Ortega in a wild and bloody brawl Saturday night at UFC 266 in Las Vegas. After the two fighters exchanged hard leg kicks early on, the action heated up in a third round that saw a battered and bloodied Ortega suddenly drop an off-balance Volkanovski with a punch then sink in a guillotine choke from mount. Volkanovski escaped but Ortega eventually snagged a tight triangle choke. Volkanovski again escaped and landed brutal punches that looked like they might stop Ortega.

Somehow the challenger survived and came out to take Volkanovski down in the 4th going for another guillotine. Volkanovski fought it off then delivered more vicious punishment to Ortega. Amazingly, Ortega carried the fight to Volkanovski in the last round hurting him with punches but it wasn't enough as the champion took the decision.

The co-main event saw Valentina Shevchenko put on an outstanding performance mixing punches, kicks, takedowns and top control on the ground to retain her women's flyweight title over Lauren Murphy. The end came in the 4th when Shevchenko hurt Murphy with punches then took her down and pounded her until the referee halted things.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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