UFC on ESPN 5: Covington vs. Lawler Full Report

Colby Covington was en route to a UFC Welterweight Championship last year, but due to injury had his shot taken away. In the main event of this fight night, Covington faced Robbie Lawler in a five round fight. With a win, he could put himself next in line for a title shot. Same goes for Lawler, who, while lower on the rankings than Covington, would be making a statement with the victory. Before that fight was 11 other bouts, so let’s look at how the prelims went down first.

Bout 1: Hannah Goldy (5-0) vs. Miranda Granger (6-0) (Flyweight)

Starting off the card we had two undefeated fighters put up their undefeated streaks. While small streaks, one fighter was expected to take their first pro loss. Goldy circled the outside of the octagon during the start of the bout. Both fighters would come in and exchange a few punches each and then distance themselves again. The second round was similar, with Goldy staying in the fight no doubt but getting hit with the harder shots. Granger kept coming forward with strikes until the bout ended. When going to the scorecards, all three judges favoured Miranda Granger (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Goldy 9 9 9 27
Granger 10 10 10 30

Bout 2: Cole Williams (11-1) vs. Claudio Silva (13-1) (Welterweight)

In the second bout, we had a welterweight battle between Cole Williams and Claudio Silva. Williams weighed in six pounds over the limit on the day before. Silva went to wrestling in the second minute of the fight. He took the back of Williams. After throwing some punches, Silva put in a rear naked choke which made Williams tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 3: Mara Romero Borella (12-5 2 NC) (#12) vs. Lauren Murphy (10-4) (#10) (Flyweight)

It’s seemingly a regular occurrence that ranked flyweights compete on the prelims of a card. This time around, it’s #12 ranked Mara Romero Borella and #10 ranked Lauren Murphy who competed. In the first round Murphy felt like the fighter landing the more meaningful punches. Borella scored the first takedown of the fight in the second round. She stood up and tried to crank a guillotine on Murphy. The hold was let go of eventually, with both fighters battling up against the cage for the rest of the round. In the final round, Murphy stopped a takedown and then started to land her punches. An uppercut had Borella backtracked. Another takedown was stopped, with Murphy grabbing her and landing a knee to the head which dropped her. The referee stopped the fight right after that.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Borella 9 9
Murphy 10 10

Bout 4: Matt Schnell (13-4) (#13) vs. Jordan Espinosa (14-5 1 NC) (#9) (Flyweight)

In another ranked flyweight bout; a men’s one this times, Matt Schnell fought Jordan Espinosa. Both of these guys seem tall and lanky for flyweights. Both fighters ate clean punches in the first few seconds. Espinosa shot for a takedown, with Schnell putting in an arm triangle which made Espinosa tap out.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Lucie Pudilova (8-4) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (7-1) (Flyweight)

The sister of Valentina Shevchenko, Antonina, fought Lucie Pudilova in a flyweight bout next. Pudilova went into a clinch immediately, with Shevchenko landing knees in the clinch. Continuing with the knees, Shevchenko put Pudilova against the cage. The referee separated them and brought them back to normal stand-up after Shevchenko did an accidental groin strike, although the fight went right back to that position. Finally, Pudilova made something of the clinch, landing elbows which made Shevchenko leave the clinch and pack up. Shevhcenko got a pretty bad cut from the elbow. Pudilova scored a takedown. On the ground, Shevchenko seemingly pully slipped in an armbar, but Pudilova got out. They got back up and went into clinch as the round ended. In the second, Pudilova got a single leg takedown, but quickly gave up her back and found herself in a rear naked choke. This time, she was not able to endure, with the referee ending the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pudilova 9
Shevchenko 10

Bout 6: Salim Touahri (10-3) vs. Mickey Gall (5-2) (Welterweight)

Going back up to welterweight, the next bout was Salim Touahri facing Mickey Gall. The crowd was cheering on Gall early on. Gall landed a good jab which shook Touahri in the opening minutes of the first. He tried for a takedown but Touahri stopped it. Standing up against the cage, Gall hopped on Touahri’s back. Gall landed knees, though there was a close call where the referee warned Gall not to knee the head (Touahri was grounded). Touahri shot for a takedown but it was Gall who got the best of it, taking his back. Gall threw some punches but couldn’t get anything done before the round ended. Touahri connected well with a hook in the second round. Gall tried for a single leg takedown but landed on his back. Touahri stood up and threw some punches. Gall stood up and threw some elbows in a clinch. In the final round, both fighters teed off with stand-up. As the round progressed, Gall started to out-trade Touahri. Gall tried to take the fight to the ground a few times. He scored a takedown in the final few seconds of the fight. The fight went the distance. All three judges saw it the same, giving the win to Mickey Gall (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Touahri 9 10 9 28
Gall 10 9 10 29

Bout 7: Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-1) vs. Darko Stosic (13-2) (Light Heavyweight)

In the heaviest fight of the evening, Kennedy Nzechukwu fought Darko Stosic in a light heavyweight contest. Stosic shot for a takedown in the first 90 seconds of the bout, but couldn’t get it. Stosic came forward with a flurry of punches in the final moments of round 1. It felt like that was the only notable part of the round. There was a clean kick to Nzechukwu’s groin at the start of the second round. Halfway through the second round, Stosic went after a double leg takedown which didn’t work. Nzechukwu was kicked in the groin yet again. This time, Stosic had a point taken away. Yet again in the third round, Stosic kicked Nzechukwu in the groin. A doctor was called in while the referee talked to the commission about either taking another point or disqualifying Stosic. Nzechukwu was willing to continue. Stosic was given another point deduction. When they resumed, Nzechukwu was advancing and landing good punches. Stosic landed three takedowns in the round. Another one was attempted but Nzechukwu was able to block it. The crowd voiced their displeasure as the fight ended. Going to the scorecards, Kennedy Nzechukwu won via unanimous decision (29-26. 28-27 & 28-27). Stosics performance minus the penalties likely would have gotten him a win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Nzechukwu 9 9 9 27
Stosic 10 9 9 28

Bout 8: Dong Hyun Ma (16-9-3) vs. Scott Holtzman (12-3) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the main card of the show was Scott Holtzman versus Dong Hyun Ma. Ma missed weight by two pounds for this bout. Holtzman knocked down Ma in the first round with a punch. Ma got a bruise below his left eye. He stayed in top position until the last few seconds of the round. Both fighters traded shots before Ma scored a takedown. They stood up in a clinch against the cage. When they took turns with punches again, Holtzman was dropped by a shot. Holtzman got a takedown in the final minute of the second round. Ma’s left eye was swollen fully shut at this point. Doctors came in to check on him and decided to call off the bout. While disappointing, the stoppage was completely justified.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ma 9 9
Holtzman 10 10

Bout 9: Gerald Meerschaert (28-11) vs. Trevin Giles (11-1) (Middleweight)

The next bout was Gerald Meerschaert versus Trevin Giles. In the first minute, Giles got a takedown. Meerschaert flipped over into top position after trying for an arm triangle. Giles took top position again after a minute or so. Meerschaert tried for a takedown in the second round. They went to the ground, but Giles was the one on top. Meerschaert took top position but didn’t do much. Both fighters traded leg kicks in the third round. After an unsuccessful takedown attempt, Meerschart landed a trip takedown. Meerschaert put in a guillotine which made Giles tap out, but referee Herb Dean did not see it. The fight ended when Giles was out cold.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Meerschaaert 9 10
Giles 10 9

Bout 10: Nasrat Haqparast (10-2) vs. Joaquim Silva (11-2) (Lightweight)

After a battle where the fighters had quite different records, a bout in Nasrat Haqparast and Joaquim Silva, who have nearly identical records, was next. While the first round was mostly a feeling out process, Haqparast started to heat up near the end with punches. In the second round, Haqparast landed a left hook which dropped Silva. Only a few strikes later, the referee ended the bout. Haqparast had a methodical start and a powerful finish.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Haqparast 10
Silva 9

Bout 11: Clay Guida (35-18) vs. Jim Miller (30-13) (Lightweight)

In the co-main event of the fight night, Clay Guida fought New Jersey’s Jim Miller. In an uneventful first few moments, Guida and Miller both landed good punches. Miller put Guida in a guillotine after he rocked him with a punch. Referee Herb Dean eventually stopped the bout after he realized the hold put out Guida.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 12: Colby Covington (14-1) (#2) vs. Robbie Lawler (28-13) (#11) (Welterweight)

The main event in New Jersey was Colby Covington versus Robbie Lawler. This fight was the only one which included ranked fighters, it was also five rounds. When given the opportunity to touch gloves, the two fighters, of course, did not. The fight was fast right from the start. Covington came in and tried for takedowns and punches. Covington scored a takedown after pursuing it for a minute. When they stood back up against the cage, Lawler landed an elbow to the head and tried for a kimura. Covington took Lawler back to the ground and got on his back. He tried for a rear naked choke for a minute or so, but Lawler escaped and got up with a minute left in the first. Covington got a trip takedown and went back to the rear naked choke position. Covington stood up and threw some punches before the round ended. Covington got another takedown after a combo of hooks in the second round. They went back to stand-up, but not for long as another takedown came in Covington’s favour. They spent the final two minutes of the round in stand-up, where Covington continued to out-class him. In the third round, Covington kept his pace in the third round, making it another decisive one for him. Lawler was still in the fight come the fourth, but was much more fatigued than Covington. The fight went the five round distance, with all three judges giving the fight to Colby Covington (50-44, 50-45 & 50-45). After the fight he called out Kamura Usman, who was present at the venue.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Covington 10 10 10 10 10 50
Lawler 9 9 9 9 9 45

On a finish-heavy show, scorecards were only needed four times. The UFC is currently on a nine week stretch of one show a week, with next week being the 8th event. Next week, UFC will head to the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay for a Fight Night, headlined by Valentino Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche. In a rematch fight, Shevchenko will attempt to defend her belt. The week after that, UFC 241 will take place, with Daniel Cormier facing Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight championship rematch.

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