UFC on ESPN+ 24: Blaydes vs. dos Santos Preview

Going head-to-head with Bellator this weekend, UFC will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, USA for a card on ESPN+. Headlining the show will be heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Curtis Blaydes. Both high ranked, the winner of this fight could move themself ahead in the line to challenge for Stipe Miocic’s UFC Heavyweight Championship.

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Prelims

Bout 1: Nate Landwehr (13-2) vs. Herbert Burns (9-2) (Featherweight)

Kicking off the preliminary card on ESPN+ at 5PM EST will be a featherweight battle between Nate Landwehr and Herbert Burns. The matchup is a double debut, with Burns getting a contract from Dana White’s Contender Series back in August. Burns had a 5-2 record in ONE FC and a 2-0 run in Titan FC prior ot the signing. Landwehr is on a seven-fight winning streak, with most of those wins from Russian MMA promotion M-1 Challenge.

Bout 2: Brett Johns (15-2) vs. Tony Gravely (19-5) (Bantamweight)

Another debuting Contender Series fighter is on this card in Tony Gravely, being put up against Brett Johns. Gravely stopped Ray Rodriguez in the third round on the show to earn his UFC contract and extend his winning streak to seven. Johns could be fighting for his future in the UFC on Saturday, as he is currently on a two-fight losing streak, his only two losses as a pro. He made his UFC debut in 2016, picking up three wins before losing to Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz.

Bout 3: Sara McMann (11-5) vs. Lina Lansberg (10-4) (Bantamweight)

Making her return after maternity leave, Sara McMann will challenge Lina Lansberg on the prelims. McMann’s last fight was in early 2018, losing to Marion Renau via triangle choke. After a late 2018 loss to Yana Kunitskaya, Lansberg has bounced back by getting scorecard wins over Tonya Evinger and Macy Chiasson. It’s safe to say that McMann will have a challenge in her comeback bout.

Bout 4: Montel Jackson (8-1) vs. Felipe Corales (9-1) (Bantamweight)

The next preliminary fight will see two more bantamweights compete. Montel Jackson and Felipe Corales, who are both coming off of wins in their short UFC careers thus far will be put against each other. Despite having similar records, Vegas heavily favours Jackson as a -600 favourite. Jackson was picked up via the Contender Series, going 2-1 since then. Corales is 1-1 in the UFC, recently going the distance for a unanimous decision win against Domingo Pilarte.

Bout 5: Justine Kish (6-2) vs. Lucie Pudilova (8-5) (Flyweight)

Justine Kish and Lucie Pudilova will both attempt to break their losing streaks on Saturday, but only one will prevail. Kish hasn’t been super active, with her last two fights taking place over the last two years, being losses to Felice Herrig and Ji Yeon Kim. Pudilova has been more active, with her last three fights, all losses, within the last year and a half. Most recently, Pudilova was stopped in the second round via rear naked choke against Antonina Shevchenko.

Bout 6: Arnold Allen (15-1) vs. Nik Lentz (30-10-2) (Featherweight)

The seemingly unstoppable Arnold Allen will be put against the much more experienced Nik Lentz in what should be an interesting matchup on Saturday. Allen has been undefeated since 2014, currently with six wins in his UFC run. His most recent win was easily his biggest challenge, being a decision win over Gilbert Melendez. Lentz is coming off of a loss to Charles Oliveira, however, there’s no doubt his advantage in this fight is having more octagon time, over doubling the number of professional fights that Allen has.

Bout 7: Bevon Lewis (6-2) vs. Dequan Townsend (21-9) (Middleweight)

The preliminary part of the card will be headlined be Bevon Lewis and Dequan Townsend. Lewis was signed to the UFC through the Contender Series but has yet to get a win in the octagon, falling to Uriah Hall and Darren Stewart before. Townsend made his UFC debut in 2019, having an unsuccessful outing against Dalcha Lungiambula.

Bout 8: Jamahal Hill (6-0) vs. Darko Stosic (13-3) (Light Heavyweight)

 

The main card will kick off with the sole undefeated fighter on the card, Jamahal Hill, fighting Darko Stosic. Hill impressed UFC brass in the fifth episode of the 2019 Contender Series season, stopping Alexander Poppeck in the second round with elbows. This fight will be his debut on the big stage. Stosic has something to prove as well, currently chasing the feeling he had when he had his one and only UFC win, back in July of 2018. He has since failed to prevail over Devin Clark and Kennedy Nzechukwu.

Bout 9: Hannah Cifers (10-3) vs. Angela Hill (10-7) (Strawweight)

Angela Hill was a busy fighter in 2019. After a run of taking four fights in seven months, Hill took an understandable break for the final quarter of 2019. She returns to the octagon on Saturday, fighting Hannah Cifers. Cifers is riding a two-fight winning streak, last winning over Jodie Esquibel at UFC 241.

Bout 10: Jordan Espinosa (14-6) vs. Alex Perez (22-5) (Flyweight)

In late 2018, Alex Perez tasted defeat in the UFC for the first time, taking many unanswered shots by Joseph Benavidez before the referee fully stepped in. That didn’t stop his momentum however, as he bounced back by beating Mark De La Rosa. Riding that momentum, Perez will fight Jordan Espinosa high up on this card. Espinosa sees himself in Perez’s position, attempting to come off his first loss in the UFC, which was also a first-round stoppage. On Saturday, another fighter will likely see their second loss in the big leagues.

Bout 11: Rafael dos Anjos (29-12) vs. Michael Chiesa (15-4) (Welterweight)

Michael Chiesa has been undefeated since making the switch from lightweight to welterweight back in 2018. He has defeated Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez, and now eyes to beat Rafael dos Anjos in the co-main event slot of this card. “RDA” has lost quite a bit recently, however it’s worth noting his losses have come to notable names in the division. He lost an interim Welterweight Championship fight to Colby Covington in 2018 at UFC 225. He then lost to current champion Kamaru Usman, going to decision. He has most recently lost to Leon Edwards, defeating Kevin Lee before then. While Chiesa is being pitted against someone who has lost more than they have won recently, dos Anjos is the biggest welterweight challenge he has gotten so far.

Bout 12: Curtis Blaydes (12-2) vs. Junior dos Santos (21-6) (Heavyweight)

Main eventing in Raleigh will be Curtis Blaydes and Junior dos Santos. The battle is one between one of the division’s rising stars and a more experienced veteran. Of course the star is Blaydes, with the more experienced being Santos. Blaydes holds an impressive 12-2 record, with the two defeats coming via fights against Francis Ngannou. He is on a two-fight winning streak, going through Justin Willis and Shamil Abdurakhimov. 

Santos’ last win gives him a way to relate to Blaydes, as he lost to Ngannou back in June. He failed to fight Alexander Volkov in November, falling victim to a bacterial infection. Santos is most known for his 2011 UFC Heavyweight Championship run, which saw him dethrone Cain Velasquez. After a defence against Frank Mir, Santos lost the belt in a rematch against Velasquez. Both Blaydes and Santos are highly ranked in the division, and a win could put them in closer reach to Stipe Miocic’s Heavyweight belt. With that being said, there are a lot of bidders for that title shot at the moment.

UFC will take next weekend off, returning on the 8th with UFC 247 in Houston, Texas, USA. Headlining that card will be Jon Jones putting his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on the line against undefeated Dominick Reyes.

UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens Full Report

UFC returned to Mexico City for the fourth time last weekend, headlined by Mexico’s own Yair Rodriguez facing veteran UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens. A large portion of the Mexican roster in the UFC was also featured on the card. While that was the case, a large amount of the prelims didn’t see any Mexican talent. The evening started on ESPN+ with a lightweight battle.

Bout 1: Marcos Mariano (6-5) vs. Claudio Puelles (9-2) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the evening of fights was lightweights Claudio Puelles and Marcos Mariano. Mariano started the fight by throwing a kick, but Puelles landed a takedown right after. Mariano tried for a kimura, but Mariano was able to avoid it. In the process of trying to put in the kimura, Mariano took over top position. With two minutes left in the first round, the referee stood them back up. It didn’t take much longer for Puelles to get another takedown. The round concluded with Puelles in top position. Within the first 10 seconds of the second round, Puelles got a double leg takedown. Puelles landed more strikes in top position this time. The final round opened with a slam takedown by Puelles. Puelles tried for the kimura again. Mariano was avoiding the kimura by holding onto his shorts. Puelles eventually gave up the kimura and went back to strikes. The fight went to the scorecards with Claudio Puelles getting a unanimous decision victory (30-25, 30-25 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Mariano 9 8 8 25
Puelles 10 10 10 30

Bout 2: Bethe Correia (10-4-1) (#15) vs. Sijara Eubanks (5-3) (#14) (Bantamweight)

It was still pretty early in the night, but the next fight was one between two ranked bantamweights, those fighters being Bethe Correia and Sijara Eubanks. Both fighters landed some decent punches in the first round. Eubanks scored the first takedown of the fight with two minutes left in the first round. Eubanks got tons of ground and pound in, but not enough to finish the fight. Correia had a better second round, landing good shots and keeping the fight on the feet. In a fatigued final round, it was Correia who was the busier fighter. They both traded strikes until the fight concluded. Looking at the scorecards, it was Bethe Correia who got the unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Correia 9 10 10 29
Eubanks 10 9 9 28

Bout 3: Paul Craig (11-4) vs. Vinicius Moreira (9-3) (Light Heavyweight)

The card went to the light heavyweight division for the next fight. Paul Craig and Vinicius Moreira faced off in the third fight of the evening. Early on, Moreira was putting the pressure on Craig, trying to a judo throw. Craig was actually the one who got the takedown, ending up in top position on the ground. When they got up in clinch, Craig landed two knees which floorded Moreira. He did more punches on the ground, and then put in a rear naked choke to finish of Moreira. Submitting Vinicius Moreira for the first time in his career, Paul Craig put together a great combination of moves to get the victory. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Craig
Moreira

Bout 4: Tyson Nam (18-9-1) vs. Sergio Pettis (17-5) (#5) (Flyweight)

Tyson Nam made his UFC debut in the next fight against the well-established Sergio Pettis. The first round had slow paced striking from both fighters. No real combos from either fighters, more just singular or pairs of strikes. Halfway through the second round the crowd started to become restless. The second round was another close one striking-wise. Pettis was out-striking Nam moreso in the final round than the two before. Looking to the judges to find a victor, it was Sergio Pettis walking away with the victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Nam 10 9 9 28
Pettis 9 10 10 29

Bout 5: Angela Hill (9-7) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (12-1) (Strawweight)

The show headed to the lightest division in the UFC, the strawweight division for the next fight. The very active Angela Hill fought Ariane Carnelossi in this fight. Carnelossi came forward with punches early on, but was put in a clinch up against the fence by Hill. Carnelossi was consistently the advancing fighter. Despite backing up a lot, Hill was landing shots more frequently and cleanly. The second round was a similar one in that both fighters held a fast pace of striking. There was a pause two minutes into the final round after an elbow opened a huge cut above Carnelossi’s left eye. The cut ended the fight, evening Angela Hill’s 2019 record (2-2).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hill 10 10
Carnelossi 9 9

Bout 6: Kyle Nelson (12-3) vs. Polo Reyes (8-7) (Featherweight)

In the sixth fight of the evening, the first Mexican fighter had their bout. Mexico’s Polo Reyes received a warm welcome before fighting Canada’s Kyle Nelson. Nelson got a trip takedown in the first minute of the fight, although they got back up moments later. Up against the cage, an elbow shook Reyes. Nelson landed many more punches before the referee stepped in to end the bout. Reyes never fell down, but was not answering back to the near dozen strikes which came his way.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Nelson
Reyes

Bout 7: Carlos Huachin (10-4-1) vs. Jose Quinonez (8-3) (Bantamweight)

Topping off the preliminary portion of the fight night was Mexico’s Jose Quinonez facing Carlos Huachin. The height and reach advantage went to Quinonez by quite a margin. In the first minute of the fight, Quinonez landed a right hook which dropped Huachin. Huachin’s fast-paced movement on the ground bought him time to recover and get back to his feet. Quinonez scored the first takedown of the fight in the second round. Quinonez got another one very early in the third round. Quinonez opened up with more strikes on the ground this time. Halfway through the round they returned to stand-up. When consulting the scorecards it was Jose Quinonez walking away with the victory.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Quinonez 10 10 10 30
Huachin 9 9 9 27

Bout 8: Steven Peterson (17-9) vs. Martin Bravo (12-2) (Featherweight)

Kicking off the main card was a battle between America’s Steven Peterson and Mexico’s Martin Bravo. Bravo scored a takedown in the first minute of the fight. They got back up moments after, going back to their fast pace of striking. Bravo was throwing the better combos. The fast-paced striking picked up where it left off in the second round. Early in the second Bravo got another takedown, but just like the first they got up shortly after. During the chaotic striking, Bravo threw a spinning elbow. It was countered with a spinning backfist by Peterson which knocked out Bravo cold. In nothing short of a highlight reel knockout, Steven Peterson earned his 18th professional MMA victory.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Peterson 9
Bravo 10

Bout 9: Vanessa Melo (10-5) vs. Irene Aldana (10-5) (#10) (Bantamweight)

Mexico’s Irene Aldana fought Vanessa Melo in the next bout. Aldana’s height and reach advantage was clear. As expected, the crowd was quite behind Aldana. While Melo was the advancing fighter throughout the round, Aldana landed the cleaner punches. The second round was another win for Aldana, who continued her precise and fast paced striking. While Vanessa Melo hung in the fight throughout, it was clear at the end that Aldana was the better striker. All three judges gave Irene Aldana the decision victory (30-26, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Melo 9 9 8 26
Aldana 10 10 10 30

Bout 10: Askar Askarov (10-0) vs. Brandon Moreno (15-5) (#9) (Flyweight)

The next main card fight saw undefeated Askar Askarov debut in the UFC against Brandon Moreno. The crowd favoured Moreno since he is Mexican. Within the first minute of the fight, Askarov attempted a takedown. It took him a while to secure it, but he did eventually secure it. Askarov took the back of Moreno. Moreno was able to transition into a top position, avoiding the possibility of a triangle choke or an armbar in the process. Moreno tried to rain down strikes from above but struggled to pass Askarov’s guard. When they got back on their feet, Askarov was eating hard punches. Askarov failed to get a takedown as the round ended. The second round started with Moreno throwing great strikes. Askarov was able to stop the flurry by landing a takedown. Askarov wrestled Moreno for most of the round, although they stood back up with a minute and a half left in the round. In the final minute of the second round, Moreno dropped Askarov with a leg kick. Askarov was able to hold Moreno on the ground until the round ended. Surprisingly, it was Moreno who got a takedown to open the final round. Moreno tried for a rear naked choke with two minutes left, but Askarov fought it off. Moreno stayed in the dominant position on the ground until the final 10 seconds of the fight. The scorecards were indecisive, with the result being a split draw (28-28, 29-28 Askarov & 30-27 Moreno). While Askarov didn’t take his first loss, he got his first draw added to his record.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Askarov 9 9 8 26
Moreno 10 10 10 30

Bout 11: Alexa Grasso (11-2) (#9) vs. Carla Esparza (15-6) (#8) (Strawweight)

The co-main event of the evening saw ranked strawweights Alexa Grasso and Carla Esparza battle. It was mentioned by the commentary that Grasso trained with Irene Aldana for her camp. Halfway through the first round, Esparza landed a takedown. Grasso almost reversed the takedown but Esparza ended up on top. They went back to stand-up, not before Grasso almost got a takedown. Grasso was able to stuff a takedown and put Esparza up against the fence in a clinch. Esparza did a judo throw and tried for a head and arm choke as the round was ticking down. They threw hard punches as the round concluded. Esparza got another takedown to open the second round. Esparza was pretty dominant on the ground, but they went back to their feet with 90 seconds left in the round. Esparza landed a double leg takedown as the round winded down. Early in the final round, Grasso hurt Esparza with punches. Grasso was able to keep it in stand-up, defending numerous takedowns. Grasso was able to reverse a takedown, trying for an armbar that was deep, but Esparza somehow escaped. They returned to the feet with 30 seconds left in the fight. They both traded punches as the fight concluded. The fans were on their feet after the final round expired. The scorecards read a majority decision, going in favour of Carla Esparza (28-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Grasso 9 9 10 28
Esparza 10 10 8 28

Bout 12: Jeremy Stephens (28-16) (#8) vs. Yair Rodriguez (12-2) (#7) (Featherweight)

Finally, the main event of the evening was Yair Rodriguez versus Jeremy Stephens. As expected, Rodriguez got a large reaction from the crowd. Within the first 15 seconds of the fight, there was a pause as Stephens was poked in the eye accidentally as Rodriguez was attempting to establish the distance. Referee Herb Dean lended him time before bringing in a doctor. When the doctor came over, Stephens couldn’t open his eye. After five minutes passed and Stephen’s still couldn’t open his eye, Herb Dean called off the fight. Only moments after, fans started throwing stuff in an around the octagon. When Rodriguez was rushed backstage, still with a shut eye, fans threw stuff at him and the people around him. The fight was ruled a no contest. Rodriguez was very emotional afterwards, snapping at commentator Michael Bisping, then apologizing after he cooled down a little.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Stephens
Rodriguez

UFC will return next Saturday on a busy weekend of MMA. The promotion will head to Copenhagen, Denmark for a main event with Jack “Joker” Hermansson and Jared Cannonier. Due to its location on the globe, it will be an early start, beginning at 11AM EST with the preliminary card, and 2PM EST with the main card.

UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens Preview

Continuing UFC’s current weekly streak of events, the promotion heads to Mexico City, Mexico this week for UFC on ESPN+ 17. The city is no stranger to UFC events, as this time it will be the promotion’s fifth appearance there. As expected, a large portion of UFC’s Mexican talent are booked for this show. That goes all the way up to the main event, where Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico’s own Yair Rodriguez will face Jeremy Stephens. Before looking at the main event, it’s worth going through the preliminary portion of the card which begins at 5PM EST on ESPN+ (on UFC Fight Pass in Canada for the first hour, switching to TSN2 at 6PM).

Bout 1: Claudio Puelles (8-2) vs. Marcos Mariano (6-5) (Lightweight)

The evening kicks off with a lightweight battle between Claudio Puelles and Marcos Mariano. Both fighters got off to a rough start in their UFC debuts, both losing. Mariano is coming off that loss, while Puelles was able to recover back in May of 2018, giving Felipe Silva a kneebar in the third round to win. While Mariano isn’t favoured to win, he has the advantage of being the fresher fighter, last competing seven months ago instead of the 16-month gap that Puelles has.

Bout 2: Sijara Eubanks (4-3) vs. Bethe Correia (10-4-1) (Bantamweight)

The thin women’s bantamweight division sees action on this card as Sijara Eubanks faces Bethe Correia. Eubanks has had an interesting past 12 months of her career. Last November at Madison Square Garden, it was originally announced that Eubanks would faced Valentina Shevchenko for the Flyweight Championship. That plan was cancelled, as the main event was replaced by Daniel Cormier defending his UFC Heavyweight Championship against Derrick Lewis. Instead, she beat Roxanne Modafferi via decision for the second time in her career (the other time being on The Ultimate Fighter Season 26). Eubanks is looking to come back after her first loss in the UFC, going three rounds against Aspen Ladd. Bethe Correia’s last win came in 2016, defeating Jessica Eye. Since then, she’s went 0-2-1, recently losing to Irene Aldana (who is also on this card) via an armbar.

Bout 3: Vinicius Moreira (9-3) vs. Paul Craig (11-4) (Light Heavyweight)

Vinicius Moreira entered the UFC in 2018, earning a contract after a victory through the Brazilian spinoff of Dana White’s Contender Series. Since then it hasn’t been easy for him, losing twice in a row, getting finished twice in a row. Risking taking his third loss in a row, he will face Paul Craig, who has taken turns in the win and loss column since his 2016 promotional debut. Recently losing via punches to Alonzo Menifield, Craig aims to even his UFC record (3-4 currently).

Bout 4: Sergio Pettis (17-5) vs. Tyson Nam (18-9-1) (Flyweight)

Longtime UFC fighter Sergio Pettis will take the role of a gatekeeper when facing Tyson Nam, who will be making his UFC debut. Pettis’ last loss came in 2018, losing via decision to Rob Font. On a two fight losing streak, Pettis last won against Joseph Benavidez through scorecards. Nam has recently fought in high level promotions like X-1 and Fight Nights Global, stringing together four wins with a loss in-between since 2017. Despite making his UFC debut this year, Nam has been involved in the sport since 2006. While Pettis has to prove that he still has it, Nam will aim to show UFC fans that he has it in the first place.

Bout 5: Angela Hill (9-7) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (12-1) (Strawweight)

Brazil’s Ariane Carnelossi has amassed an impressive MMA record since debuting in 2014. Her 13-fight record has only one blemish, which came in her debut against Amanda Ribas, who coincidentally is also on the UFC roster nowadays. Recently getting victories in Thunder Fight and Future FC, Carnelossi will make her UFC debut against Angela Hill on Saturday. Hill has had a busy 2019, already fighting three times. Coming off a loss, Hill has a 2019 record of 1-2, recently losing to Xiaonan Yan. While Carnelossi has the more impressive record, Hill’s experience at a higher level will put the stats to the test.

Bout 6: Polo Reyes (8-6) vs. Kyle Nelson (12-3) (Featherweight)

As the preliminary part of the card is near wrapping up, the card sees it’s first Mexican fighter in Polo Reyes make an appearance against fellow featherweight Kyle Nelson. Both fighters have had a rough 2019 so far, both on a two fight losing streak. Similarly, both fighters have also been finished in their respective losses. Nelson has yet to get a victory in the UFC while Reyes is entering his eighth UFC fight, picking up four wins along the way.

Bout 7: Jose Alberto Quiñones (7-3) vs. Carlos Huachin (10-4-2) (Bantamweight)

Starting it off will be Mexico’s Jose Alberto Quiñones facing Peru’s Carlos Huachin. Earlier this year Quiñones had his four fight winning streak broken by Nathaniel Wood, who finished him with a second round rear naked choke. Huachin also had a four-fight winning streak broken with his last fight, but it had more importance since it was his entrance in the promotion. Attempting to defeat Mexico’s own, Huachin will try to prove himself as the prelims conclude.

Bout 8: Martin Bravo (11-2) vs. Steven Peterson (17-9) (Featherweight)

At 8PM EST, the main card will begin on ESPN+ (and TSN3 in Canada). The start of the main card will see Mexican fighter Martin Bravo face Steven Peterson. Both fighters aim to snap a two-fight losing streak. Bravo has a 1-2 UFC record, last winning two years ago. Peterson has a 1-3 record, fighting in LFA prior to that.

Bout 9: Irene Aldana (10-5) vs. Vanessa Melo (10-5) (Bantamweight)

Irene Aldana and Vanessa Melo have equal records, but that won’t be the same after Saturday. Aldana is the most favoured to win Mexican fighter on this card, being around the -500 to -700 in Vegas odds. Melo is making her UFC debut, riding a five-fight win streak. Aldana is coming off a loss, to Raquel Pennington. It won’t be an easy entrance bout for Melo, as Aldana is currently ranked #10 within the division. Melo took this fight on short notice, possibly explaining her weigh in troubles on Friday, weighing in four pounds over the bantamweight limit (140 pounds).

Bout 10: Askar Askarov (10-0) vs. Brandon Moreno (15-5) (Flyweight)

Newcomer Askar Askarov and returning Brandon Moreno will clash high up on the Fight Night card. Askarov has attained a large amount of his wins within the high level Russian MMA promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB). Moreno was previously in the UFC, losing to Sergio Pettis two years ago before being release. He competed once in Legacy Fight Alliance (LFA), earning a win via TKO, and also earning his way back into the UFC.

Bout 11: Carla Esparza (14-6) vs. Alexa Grasso (11-2) (Strawweight)

The co-main event of the evening features two ranked strawweight fighters in Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso. Carla “The Cookie Monster” Esparza recently went three rounds against Virna Jandiroba to come back from a two-fight losing streak. Grasso picked up a win three months ago against the well known Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both fighters have a pretty experienced resume within the promotion now, with Grasso holding a 3-2 UFC and Esparza having the more experienced 5-4 record. 

Bout 12: Yair Rodriguez (11-2) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-16) (Featherweight)

The main event of the evening will see Mexican MMA pro Yair Rodriguez face Jeremy Stephens. Rodriguez’s last win was a polarizing win, knocking out “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung with an elbow in the final second of a five round fight. Rodriguez, who was arguably losing the fight before the finish, took Sung Jung’s lights out while in the process of ducking down. Fans argued whether the finish was pure luck or a telegraphed move. Nonetheless, it was a win, and brought the fighter back from a doctor’s stoppage loss to Frankie Edgar in 2017.

The opponent of Rodriguez, Jeremy Stephens has a much larger track record in the sport. As a matter of fact, Stephens’ 15-15 record just within the UFC still gives him more professional bouts than what Rodriguez had. While he holds the larger resume, he hasn’t seen success lately. Losing recently to Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov, Stephens hasn’t won since Josh Emmett in early 2018. Both ranked featherweights, a win could put them in the title picture within another fight or two.

UFC will have another ESPN+ exclusive event next week, when the promotion heads to the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark. Main eventing the card will be middleweights Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier. The card begins at 11 AM EST, with the main card kicking off three hours afterwards.

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens Among Fights Announced For UFC Fight Night: Mexico City

UFC’s Fight Night event from Mexico City has gotten a big wave of fights announced, lead by Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens. Along with six other bouts, the contest between the two featherweights was announced during UFC 240 on Saturday night.

Yair Rodriguez’s last fight was back in November, getting a buzzer beater finish over the “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, landing an elbow. Jeremy Stephens has fought more recently, losing to Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 235 in April. He attempts to snap a two-fight losing streak, as his previous loss was to Jose Aldo. Rodriguez is currently rank #7 in the featherweight division, while Stephens is #8.

Three high profile women’s fights were also announced, with one in the strawweight division and two other in the bantamweight class. #9 rank strawweight Carla Esparza will face #10 seeded Alexa Grasso. Unranked bantamweight Bethe Correia will face #14 ranked Sijara Eubanks. The other bantamweight bout announced was #9 Marion Renau versus #10 Irene Aldana.

The other fight that has two ranked fighters is a flyweight contest between #5 ranked Sergio Pettis and #10 ranked Alex Perez. Similarly, #7 Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov will compete in a flyweight bout. Also announced was a light heavyweight clash between Vinicius Moreira and Paul Craig.

In no specific order, this is the announced fights for UFC Mexico City:

  1. Yair Rodriguez (11-2) vs. Jeremy Stephens (26-16) (Featherweight)
  2. Carla Esparza (14-6) vs. Alexa Grasso (11-2) (Strawweight)
  3. Sijara Eubanks (4-3) vs. Bethe Correia (10-4-1) (Bantamweight)
  4. Sergio Pettis (17-5) vs. Alex Perez (22-5) (Flyweight)
  5. Morion Reneau (9-5-1) vs. Irene Aldana (10-5) (Bantamweight)
  6. Vinicius Moreira (9-3) vs. Paul Craig (11-4) (Light Heavyweight)
  7. Askar Askarov (10-0) vs. Brandon Moreno (15-5) (Flyweight)
  8. Angela Hill (9-7) vs. Istela Nunes (7-1) (Strawweight)
  9. Jose Alberto Quinones (7-3) vs. Carlos Huachin (10-4-2) (Bantamweight)

The card currently has five Mexican fighters scheduled to compete. The event is scheduled for September 21st, with the prelims at 5pm EST and the main card at 8pm EST.

UFC 238 Full Report: Henry Cejudo Becomes Double Champ

On Saturday, UFC came back with their PPV event “UFC 238.” The stacked card included two championship bouts, with Valentina Shevchenko battling Jessica Eye and Henry Cejudo chasing his second belt against Marlon Moraes. Before we get to those bouts lets look at the prelims.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Katlyn Chookagian (#2) (11-2) vs. Joanne Calderwood (#6) (13-3) (Flyweight)

The evening started with the first of five women’s fights on the card. Katlyn Chookagian faced Joanne Calderwood. Early on in the bout Calderwood was utilizing her leg kicks quite frequently. Chookagian was more focused on throwing punches and knees. She seemingly was trying for a takedown but never really committed to it. Calderwood landed a takedown in the first minute of the second, with both fighters standing up shortly after. Chookagian started to land strong combos of punches in the second. Calderwood shot for a takedown but was denied by Chookagian. She did land a slam after catching a kick a minute later though. The round ended with Calderwood in a top position while Chookagian was an armbar. A very large hematoma started to form on Chookagian’s forehead as the round concluded. In the third around another kick was caught and turned into a takedown by Calderwood. Once they got back up, Chookagian landed another hard two punch combination. Calderwood taunted Chookagian in the final minute of the fight. The fight went the distance with Katlyn Chookagian winning the fight unanimously (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Chookagian910928
Calderwood1091029

Bout 2: Eddie Wineland (23-13-1) vs. Grigorii Popov (14-2) (Bantamweight)

Despite a close age range between these two fighters, veteran UFC fighter Eddie Wineland fought newcomer Grigorii Popov in the next bout. Wineland was stalking down Popov right off the bat. He started to land good right hands that were shaking Popov. Popov got a cut around his left eye which was bleeding quite a bit. He landed a few good knees to the head in the round, although Wineland’s punches seemed to be more effective. Wineland tried for a takedown at the start of the second round although Popov denied it. Wineland got a takedown with two minutes left but was flipped back up in only seconds. With under a minute in the second round, Wineland dropped Popov with strikes. He tried for a guillotine but eventually gave up. With 30 seconds left in the round Popov was retreating. He took a knee after being dropped by more punches, making the referee step in and end the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Wineland10


Popov9


Bout 3: Bevon Lewis (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (9-4) (Middleweight)

The third early prelim bout was Bevon Lewis versus Darren Stewart. Early on in the bout Lewis was falling over when getting hit with leg kicks. He clinched up against the cage for a while afterwards. At the end of the first round both fighters landed quite a few punches after the horn. Lewis landed a knee mid-way through the second that looked good. The second round was a more inactive one from both fighters. The fight went the distance,w with the crowd booing them afterwards. The judges gave Darren Stewart the win (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Lewis910928
Stewart1091029

Bout 4: Yan Xiaonan (10-1) vs. Angela Hill (9-6) (Strawweight)

The final early prelim fight was Angela Hill facing Yan Xiaonan. In the first round Xiaonan was in top position but got caught in a triangle choke. Xiaonan survived the round, possibly being saved by the bell. The second round had some great striking from both figthers on display. Xiaonan landed a takedown in the finale minute of the round as well. The aggressive striking from both competitors continued through the third round. After the three roubnds, Yan Xiaonan won via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Xionan910928
Hill1091029

Bout 5: Ricardo Lamas (#10) (19-7) vs. Calvin Kattar (#15) (19-3) (Featherweight)

The first prelim on ESPN fight was Ricardo Lamas versus Calvin Kattar. Halfway through the first round, Lamas was hurt by a left jab. Before then, they both had some close striking, with not much landing. Kattar landed a two strike combo in the final minute of the first that folded Lamas.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Lamas



Kattar



Bout 6: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (#10) (13-4) vs. Alexa Grasso (#13) (10-2) (Strawweight)

Heading back to the strawweight division, Karolina Kowalkiewicz faced Alexa Grasso in the next bout. Early on it seemed like Grasso’s punches was landing consistently. Not only that, Grasso had a higher amount of punches thrown. At the end of the round Grasso clinched up against the cage. While Kowalkiewicz landed more in the second, Grasso’s success continued. In the final round, Grasso did a good combo of knees to the head while clinching Kowalkiewicz. Both fighters were swinging like crazy in the final seconds. Grasso put in a standing rear naked choke until the round ended. The crowd was very loud for the end of this bout. The judges gave Alexa Grasso the win unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Kowalkiewicz99

Grasso1010

Bout 7: Aljamain Sterling (#3) (17-3) vs. Pedro Munhoz (#4) (18-3) (Bantamweight)

Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz fought in an eliminator bout to continue the prelims. For most of the round Sterling had the more dominant striking, keeping a distance and coming in when he had something to throw. At the end of the round Munhoz landed a good knee that possibly shook Sterling. The second round was much closer, with Munhoz finding success with leg kicks. In the second half of the round Sterling was dropped by a kick. Munhoz tried for a guillotine from that position but let it go almost right after. Both fighters kept a fast tempo of strikes through to the end of the third round. Sterling was getting fired up at the end, shouting at Munhoz in-between strikes. The fight went the full three rounds with the judges giving it to Aljamain Sterling unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Sterling1091029
Munhoz910928

Bout 8: Tatiana Suarez (#2) (8-0) vs. Nina Ansaroff (#3) (10-5) (Strawweight)

Finishing off the prelims was a top contender bout for the strawweights. Not only 30 seconds into the first round, Suarez shot for a takedown on Ansaroff. She got the takedown, with the fighters standing up against the cage with three minutes left in the round. Suarez brought the fight right back down to the ground. Suarez stayed dominant throughout the first round. There was a pause in the second round as Ansaroff was hit win the groin. Suarez failed a takedown attempt in the third round. The final round was Ansaroff’s wheelhouse as it stayed stand-up the whole time. Ansaroff fired off a great combo of strikes at the end of the round. The judges all gave the fight to Tatiana Suarez (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Suarez1010

Ansaroff99

Main Card

Bout 9: Tai Tuivasa #11 (10-1) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (#13) (17-2) (Heavyweight)

Starting off the PPV was a heavyweight clash between Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov. Halfway through the first round, Tuivasa was tagged by Ivanov. Ivanov tried for a guillotine standing against the cage but Tuivasa escaped. Tuivasa got shook by some punches in the final seconds of the first round as well. Ivanov was the one retreating in the opening minutes of the second round. Ivanov put in a guillotine at the end of the round. Tuivasa tapped, but it was a second after the bell, whether it was to submit or to just tell him to get off of him. Ivanov tried for the guillotine once again but lost control of it. When he tried for the standing guillotine again, he landed knees to the head while doing so. The fighters were tremendously tired by the final round. The fight went the distance. Blagoy Ivanov was given the victory unanimously (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Tuivasa99927
Ivanov10101030

Bout 10: Jimmie Rivera (#7) (22-3) vs. Petr Yan (#9) (12-1) (Bantamweight)

The next bout was Jimmie Rivera versus Petr Yan. In the final seconds of the first round Rivera was dropped be a strike. He survived until the horn went. Rivera was knocked down at the end of the second after a close competition. Yan was dominating the fight. Yan did a great spinning move to escape a single leg takedown attempt in the third. A pause happened in the third round after Yan was eye poked. The fight went all the rounds, with the judges giving Petr Yan the win (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Rivera99

Yan1010

Bout 11: Donald Cerrone (36-11) (#4) vs. Tony Ferguson (25-3) (#2) (Lightweight)

In the final fight before title bouts, two people who don’t need an introduction, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson, fought. Both fighters had their moments in the first round although Cerrone was landing better shots. Cerrone’s nose started to bleed heavily in the second round. Cerrone landed a takedown with two minutes to go in the second. They went back to stand-up right after they went down. In the second round Ferguson landed tons of head strikes, making it a dominant round for him. Ferguson landed a right hand a second after the second round horn went. The crowd booed quite heavily for this. There was a pause before the final round was set to start because Cerrone’s right eye had completely swollen up. The doctors did not allow him to fight, ending the bout in-between rounds. They checked a replay and made sure the shot after the bell to make sure the strike wasn’t what caused the eye swelling. The fight ended due to a doctors stoppage and Tony Ferguson was given the victory. After the fight Ferguson told Joe Rogan to talk to Cerrone.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Cerrone109

Ferguson910

Bout 12: Valentina Shevchenko (Champion) (16-3) vs. Jessica Eye (#1) (14-6) (Flyweight Championship)

In the first of two championship belts of the evening, Valentina Shevchenko fought Jessica Eye for the Flyweight Championship. Shevchenko was landing body kicks early on. She landed a body lock takedown in the first minute of the bout. Shevchenko was dominant on top for the rest of the round, putting Eye in trouble a few times. At the start of the second round, Valentina Shevchenko landed a kick to the head that floored Eye and ended the bout. There was a lot of worry about Eye afterwards as she was on the ground for a long time.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Shevchenko10




Eye9




Bout 13: Henry Cejudo (14-2) (C) vs. Marlon Moraes (#1) (22-5-1) (Bantamweight Championship)

In the main event of the show, Henry Cejudo faced Marlon Moraes for the Bantamweight Championship. Moraes had quite striking at the start of the first round. Cejudo shot for a takedown after a minute or so but didn’t secure it. Moraes continued to have dominant striking through the first. Near the end of the second round Cejudo started to land some punches that looked to be damaging Moraes. Cejudo got much more aggressive. In clinch he landed knees to the head. Moraes shot for a takedown which was blocked. Both fighters were teeing off as the horn went. A timeout was called in the third round as Moraes was eye poked. Cejudo continued to see success with knees in a clinch in the third round. Cejudo put Moraes in a guillotine on the ground which looked pretty snug. He leg go of it, and did a knee to the body. Moraes tried for a submission hold that didn’t work either. Cejudo landed elbows from above in increments. He stood up and landed hammer fist strikes which made the referee end the bout. Henry Cejudo became one of the only people who have been a UFC double champion (Flyweight and Bantamweight). After the fight he called out Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt and Uriah Faber, and said he wants to move up to 145 pounds sometime.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Cejudo910



Moraes109



As UFC concluded tonight, Henry Cejudo and Valentina Shevchenko continued to reign supreme. UFC’s next event is on the 22nd, with Renato Moicano facing Chan Sung Jung AKA “Korean Zombie” in Greenville, South Carolina. Two events after that, UFC 239 will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas during International Fight Week.

Full coverage of UFC 238 can be found here

UFC on ESPN+ 8: Jacare vs. Hermansson Full Report

Last Saturday, Jacare Souza faced Jack Hermansson in a Middleweight clash in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Along with that matchup was 12 other bouts. Here’s a recap of what went down that evening at the BB&T Center last week.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Court McGee (19-7) vs. Dhiego Lima (13-7) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the evening was Court McGee versus Dhiego Lima. In the first round, Lima was circling the outside, trading blows with McGee. McGee would be the one advancing but would get hit when he would come too close. A takedown attempt was blocked by Lima with under two minutes left. Another takedown attempt by McGee was reversed by Lima. McGee did a judo throw, but Lima got back up, putting them both back against the cage. Lima continued out-striking in the second round, landing a good overhand right at one point. Lima was dominant for most of the final round as well. There was a moment with less than ten seconds left, where Lima actually got dropped by a shot but might have been saved by the bell. The judges gave Lima a split decision victory (30-27 Lima, 29-28 McGee & 29-28 Lima).

My Scorecard:

FightersRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Lima10101030
McGee99927

Bout 2: Angela Hill (8-6) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-4) (Strawweight)

Angela Hill took a short notice fight against Jodie Esquibel in the second bout. Hill had a big height and reach advantage over Esquibel. The first round had Hill showcasing her striking throughout. Hill had a good trip after catching Esquibel’s leg after a kick. Hills successful kickboxing continued in the second round. She finished strong at the end of the round. Early in the final round, Esquibel dropped Hill with a right. The fight had some exciting closing minutes, including a knee to the head that landed perfectly by Hill. The judges gave Hill a  Unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FightersRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Esquibel99927
Hill10101030

Bout 3: Jim Miller (29-13) vs. Jason Gonzalez (11-4) (Lightweight)

Jim Miller had his children at octagon-side for this bout. Miller landed a good left jab early on. Miller landed a takedown after a minute of competition. Miller put in a rear naked choke shortly after, which made Gonzalez tap out.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Gonzalez
Miller

Bout 4: Gilbert Burns (14-3) vs. Mike Davis (7-1) (Lightweight)

The preliminary section of the show started with Gilbert Burns and Mike Davis in a Lightweight matchup. Burns was utilizing his strong kicks in the first round. Davis did a good job blocking a takedown attempt. Upon the second attempt, Burns landed a takedown. Davis landed a good strike after getting back up that made Burns back up. Burns landed a second takedown in the final minute. Very early in the second round, Burns landed yet another takedown. He did lots of strikes and elbows while in top mount. Among some of the many strikes that Burns landed on the ground was palm strikes. With under a minute left in the second round, Burns locked in a rear naked choke that ended the contest. He was trying for the move for a while and was able to do so for good after some grinding.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Davis9
Burns10

Bout 5: Carla Esparza (13-6) vs. Vima Jandiroba (14-0) (Strawweight)

In the next bout, Carla Esparza faced UFC newcomer Vina Jandiroba. Esparza landed a takedown very early in the first round. They stood up a minute and some change later, but Esparza landed another successful takedown shortly after. They had a good battle during this exchange. Jandiroba landed a takedown in round two. Esparza did a good job at escaping the bottom position and moving back to stand-up. Esparza landed a takedown but found herself in a guillotine. Jandiroba let the move go eventually. Esparza got another takedown at the start of the third round. In the second half of the final round, Esparza connected with a kick to the head after a failed takedown attempt. The fight went all 15 minutes. This contest was a great grappling battle where both fighters had their moments. The judges gave Carla Esparza the Unanimous victory (30-27, 39-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Esparza1091029
Jandiroba910928

Bout 6: Andrei Arlovski (#15) (27-18) vs. Augusto Sakai (12-1-1) (Heavyweight)

In a Heavyweight clash, Andrei Arlovski fought Augusto Sakai. Arlovski got a decent reaction from the crowd when he was introduced by Bruce Buffer. The first round had both guys fight very conservatively in stand-up only. The second round was very much the same. There was a pause in the final minute of the second round as Sakai took a groin kick. The fight went the full distance and never made it’s way to the ground. The judges gave Sakai the win via Split Decision (29-28 Sakai, 29-28 Arlovski & 29-28 Sakai).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Arlovski9101029
Sakai109928

Bout 7: Ben Saunders (22-11-2) vs. Takashi Sato (14-2) (Welterweight)

Ben Saunders challenged former Pancrase fighter Takashi Sato in the next bout. Sato found himself backtracking after he was hit with a right hook in the first. It was clear that both fighters were interested in keeping this fight in stand-up. After a minute of the second round, Sato dropped Saunders with a left jab. He landed elbows on the ground that made the referee stop the bout. Saunders looked ugly with a cut on his head afterwards.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Saunders10
Sato9

Main Card

Bout 8: Roosevelt Roberts (7-0) vs. Thomas Gifford (17-7) (Lightweight)

The main card kicked off with Roosevelt Roberts facing Thomas Gifford. After a few minutes of stand-up, Roberts scored a takedown. Gifford tried a guillotine from the bottom position. When in top position, Roberts landed a few elbows. Roberts put together a good combo of punches at the start of round two. While Gifford was up against the cage he put in a guillotine but Roberts escaped. The two fighters found themselves in an interesting north-south position whilst being up against the cage. Roberts landed a good combo in the third and then went into a clinch, which ended benefitting Gifford as he got a takedown from it. Gifford was in a top position for a while, but they did eventually get back to stand-up. Roberts got a takedown and stayed in a top position for the rest of the final round. All judges gave Roosevelt Roberts the win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Roberts10101030
Gifford99927

Bout 9: John Lineker (#8) (31-8) vs. Cory Sandhagen (10-1) (Bantamweight)

#8 ranked Bantamweight John Lineker fought Cory Sandhagen in the next bout. Sandhagen had a clear size advantage over Lineker. Lineker was landing very powerful punches in the first round. Both guys were doing some good trading, staying completely stand-up in the first round. Sandhagen landed a takedown halfway through the second but couldn’t get any work done on the ground. The second round included more close stand-up. It felt like in the final round these guys heated up even more than before. After Lineker hit Sandhagen with a great combo, Sandhagen went for a desperation takedown. Lineker put in a guillotine and held onto it until the round ended. This was a great performance from both fighters, with Sandhagen getting the split decision win (29-28 Sandhagen, 29-28 Lineker & 29-28 Sandhagen). The crowd booed after hearing this.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Lineker1091029
Sandhagen910928

Bout 10: Glover Teixeira (28-7) vs. Ion Cutelaba (14-3) (Light Heavyweight)

The next main card contest was Glover Teixeira versus Ion Cutelaba. Cutelaba got in Teixeira’s face during the introductions. Cutelaba landed a good head kick early on. Even though Cutelaba did most of the work in the first round, he was given a cut beside his right eye. Cutelaba did a spinning back fist which dropped Teixeira. While he was hit with more strikes, Teixeira recovered and then tried for a standing guillotine. There were a couple of times in the fight where Cutelaba almost connected with an illegal kick. Teixeira’s strikes started to heat up more in the second round. He failed to land takedowns during the round but got Cutelaba down by shoving him. Teixeira put in a rear naked choke on the ground after a great sequence on the ground.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Teixeira9
Cutelaba10

Bout 11: Mike Perry (12-4) vs. Alex Oliveira (20-6-1) (Welterweight)

The next bout was Mike Perry versus Alex Oliveira. Both fighters showed off their dance moves during the walkouts. At the start of the first round, Oliveira was trying many types of kicks. He tried his spinning back kick many times. Oliveira landed some heavy fists and then went into a clinch against the cage. Perry landed a good combo in the final seconds of the first round which had Oliveira shelling up. Oliveira found himself on the ground after a minute of the second round, whether that was due to a strike or a shove isn’t clear. Perry slammed Oliveira, but he got up right after. Perry landed some good strikes on the ground as the second round had a minute left. Oliveira dislocated a toe at the end of the second round but got it “popped back in” in-between rounds, per Joe Anik. After a slow first half of the final round, Perry started to tg Oliveira with strikes. Perry started to pepper on right hooks as Oliveira was shelled up against the cage. The fight went the distance, with the judges giving Mike Perry the unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Perry910
Oliveira109

Bout 12: Greg Hardy (3-1) vs. Dmitry Smoliakov (9-2) (Heavyweight)

In the co-main event slot, Greg Hardy faced Dmitry Smoliakov, someone who’s been sent into the promotion to obviously take the fall. Hardy dropped Smoliakov with over three minutes left in the first. He landed a few more strikes before the referee stepped in to end the fight.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Hardy
Smoliakov

Bout 13: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (#4) (26-6) vs. Jack Hermansson (#10) (19-4) (Middleweight)

The main event of the card was Jacare Souza versus Jack Hermansson. Hermansson took the fight on short notice. The first couple of minutes in this fight was a feeling out process. Hermansson landed a combo of strikes that dropped Jacare, and then he tried for a guillotine on the ground. Jacare did a good job at escaping the submission move and then got back to his feet. After a minute if striking in the second round, Hermansson scored a takedown. From top position, Hermansson landed strikes frequently. The crowd started to lose their patience with the groundwork. At the start of round three, Hermansson tried for a takedown but was unsuccessful. Souza started to land more strikes in this round. Souza blocked a couple more takedowns in this round. Souza blocked yet another takedown attempt as round four started. Hermansson strung together some good punch combos at the start of this round. Souza showed some good head movement when he wasn’t getting hit. In the final round, Hermansson was aggressive from the start, landing a takedown after some strikes. Both guys started to connect with strikes in the final minute of the fight. Hermansson landed a takedown as the fight came to a close. The judges unanimously gave Jack Hermansson a victory (49-46, 48-47 & 48-47).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Souza99109946
Hermansson10109101049

UFC on ESPN+ 8: Jacare vs. Hermansson Preview

Two weeks before UFC holds it’s next PPV event in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, they are set to hold a smaller event in Sunrise, Florida. Live from the BB&T Center, the 13 fight card is main evented by Jacare Souza and Jack Hermansson. The main event underwent numerous changes, and now finds itself in a situation of a younger fighter facing a gatekeeper of the Middleweight division. But before we get more into that, let’s break down the preliminary card.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Court McGee (19-7) vs. Dhiego Lima (13-7) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the show will be Court McGee versus Dhiego Lima. Since he won season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2010, McGee hasn’t had an easy run in the promotion. Although this is true, he is heading into this fight after a decision win against Alex Garcia from October. Lima was a part of a season of The Ultimate Fighter as well, but found himself on the losing end of the finale on two occasions. His last fight was his most significant one in the promotion thus far, defeating Chad Laprise in one round at UFC 231. He still has room to prove himself after his entrance, exit and the return to the UFC.

Bout 2: Angela Hill (8-6) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-4) (Strawweight)

After he round one armbar loss in March, Angela Hill took a short notice fight against Jodie Esquibel for this card. The spot which was originally being held by Jessica Penne was vacated after she suffered an injury. Both fighters will be looking to recover from recent losses. Penne has lost to notable fighters in her last few bouts, those being Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Aguilar. Hill is also on a losing streak, but to smaller names like Randa Markos and Cortney Casey.

Bout 3: Jim Miller (29-13) vs. Jason Gonzalez (11-4) (Lightweight)

Jim Miller has been with the UFC since 2008, but a recent series of losses has booted him to a low spot on the prelims for this show. He has lost to the likes of Dustin Poirier, Anthony Pettis, Dan Hooker and Charles Oliveria in recent fight. He’ll be facing Jason Gonzalez, a fighter who has had a much shorter career within the promotion. Gonzalez has been absent from MMA since 2017, with his last loss being against Gregor Gillespie.

Bout 4: Gilbert Burns (14-3) vs. Mike Davis (7-1) (Lightweight)

Mike Davis won’t have an easy entrance into the UFC, as his first bout will be against Gilbert Burns. He competed in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in mid-2018, but has since fought twice more in the Island Fights promotion. He’s never won a fight via decision, which might make it a quick bout against Burns, who has gotten 12 of his 14 wins via stoppage. Like many people on this card, Burns had a different opponent originally, that being Eric Wisely.

Bout 5: Carla Esparza (13-6) vs. Vima Jandiroba (14-0) (Strawweight)

Now long-time UFC Strawweight fighter Carla Esparza will be welcoming newcomer Vima Jandiroba on Saturday, having the potential to take away her undefeated streak. Jandiroba got her most recent wins from the Missouri based promotion Invicta FC, fighting twice in 2018. Esparza has recently lost to Claudia Gadelha and Tatiana Suarez, two notable fighters in the division. Her original opponent for this weekend was Livia Renata Souza, but she pulled out due to injury.

Bout 6: Andrei Arlovski (27-18) vs. Augusto Sakai (12-1-1) (Heavyweight)

All of Andrei Arlovski’s recent bouts have followed a specific trend. They were against young talent, they went to decision, and they were all losses. He’ll be fighting young talent again on Saturday when he faces Augusto Sakai, but the finish and the winner is still to be found out. Sakai has fought for Bellator in the past, and had a win on the Contender Series which gave him a contract. He looks to continue his winning streak against a veteran Heavyweight.

Bout 7: Ben Saunders (22-11-2) vs. Takashi Sato (14-2) (Welterweight)

Finishing off the prelims will be Ben Saunders and Takashi Sato fighting in the Welterweight division. Sato is making his UFC debut in this fight. He came from Pancrase, getting a 14-2 record with his last fight being the main event of Pancrase 300. Saunders will be attempting to bounce back from a slump he’s been in, losing four of his last five bouts.

Main Card

Bout 8: Roosevelt Roberts (7-0) vs. Thomas Gifford (17-7) (Lightweight)

Starting off the main card portion of the show will be Roosevelt Roberts versus Thomas Gifford. Roberts will be putting his undefeated 7-0 record on the line in his second appearance after being scouted from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Thomas Gifford will be making his UFC debut. His last six fights include five wins and one no-contest bout.

Bout 9: John Lineker (31-8) vs. Cory Sandhagen (10-1) (Bantamweight)

Cory Sandhagen’s 16-month career in the UFC has been nothing short of successful, racking up three stoppage wins since his debut. He has never entered the third round whilst on the big stage. What could be his hardest fight is when he faces veteran John Lineker. Out of Lineker’s 15 UFC fights he’s only lost three. Lineker will try to prevent a fourth loss on Saturday.

Bout 10: Glover Teixeira (28-7) vs. Ion Cutelaba (14-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Since 2014, Glover Teixeira has been losing nearly just as much as he’s been winning. After his win against Karl Roberson in January, Teixeira hopes to break his multi-year pattern when he faces Ion Cutelaba. This was a matchup that was originally planned for January, but due to Cutebala being injured was thrown out. Cutebala, A.K.A “The Hulk” has won both of his last two fights via first-round stoppage.

Bout 11: Mike Perry (12-4) vs. Alex Oliveira (20-6-1) (Welterweight)

Both coming off a loss, Mike Perry and Alex Oliveira will have a main card clash in the Welterweight divison. With four career losses, Perry had received three of those losses in his last four fights. Oliveira, who was originally supposed to face Jingliang Li, is coming off a late 2018 loss to Gunnar Nelson, having a 2-2 record in his last four fights. Win or loss, Oliveria hasn’t seen a decision finish since 2016. Perry was originally scheduled to face

Bout 12: Greg Hardy (3-1) vs. Dmitrii Smolyakov (9-2) (Heavyweight)

Greg Hardy has been a fighter that the UFC has backed from the start. A former NFL player, Hardy made his pro debut on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. After two first round wins and one regional fight, Hardy made his official UFC debut in January versus Allen Crowder. His dominant performance was lost due to an illegal knee strike in the second round. This didn’t do any favours for his already controversial past, being involved in a domestic violence case in 2014, with charges being dropped when the victim didn’t attend an appealing of the court ruling. He will face Dmitrii Smolyakov, who will be making his UFC debut.

Bout 13: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (26-6) vs. Jack Hermansson (19-4) (Middleweight)

In the main event, Jack Hermansson will get the biggest challenge of his career so far when he faces Middleweight gatekeeper Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. He’s currently on a three-fight winning streak, with his last wins all coming via stoppage. His last win came just under a month ago when he choked out David Branch in under a minute. While Souza is coming off a win against Chris Weidman in November, he’s been 50/50 in his last four fights. Besides experience, another distinct difference between these two is a nine-year age gap.

The 39-year-old fighter Souza would have actually been the younger fighter if his original opponent, 41-year-old Yoel Romero didn’t pull out due to illness. The initial matchup would have been a rematch between the two Strikeforce alumni, with Romero getting the nod via decision in their first meeting. The main event underwent numerous changes, with the originally planned matchup between Romero and Paulo Costa falling through. Romero then fell ill when Souza stepped up, allowing Hermansson to step up.