UFC 245: Covington vs. Usman Live Report

UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year was a big one, with three championship fights on the card. Headlining the trio of fights was Colby Covington challenging Kamaru Usman for his UFC Welterweight Championship. Stay tuned throughout the night for live results.

Quick Results:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6PM EST)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano def. Oskar Piechota via KO (RD 1, 3:17)

Bout 2: Jessica Eye def. Viviane Araujo via Unanimous Decision

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via Unanimous Decision

Bout 4: Chase Hooper def. Daniel Teymur via TKO (RD 1, 4:34)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8PM EST)

Bout 5: Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders via TKO (RD 2, 4:55)

Bout 6: Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch via Unanimous Decision

Bout 7: Irene Aldana def. Kelten Vieira via KO (RD 1, 4:51)

Bout 8: Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry via TKO (RD 1, 1:30)

Main Card (PPV / 10PM EST)

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)


Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

In the first bout of the evening, undefeated Punahele Soriano made his UFC debut against Oskar Piechota. There was an exchange in the second minute of the fight where both fighters threw strikes. Piechota was hit with a left hook that dropped him. Soriano couldn’t finish on the ground with strikes. He got on Piechota’s back. As they got back up, Piechota tried for a kimura. He transitioned into a guillotine, throwing one knee while holding it. Soriano got out of it and took Piechota back down. They got back up and returned to striking with just over two minutes left in the round. Soriano was coming forward with punches, cornering Piechota up against the cage. He landed another left hook which knocked out Piechota to end the fight. Proving himself to be a good prospect, Punahele Soriano made a strong UFC debut. Piechota was emotional after the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

In the next fight, high ranked flyweights Jessica Eye and Viviane Araujo faced off. Since Eye came in over the 126 lb flyweight limit, she gave up some of her fight purse. Araujo landed a good hook in the first minute of the round. Araujo got a takedown off of catching a kick. They got back up with a minute left in the round. Eye was the more active fighter, including many strikes to the body. Araujo stopped a takedown, keeping it in stand-up.

The second round had more close striking. Araujo caught another kick, but this time she couldn’t get a takedown. Araujo got a well-timed double leg takedown with two minutes to go in the round. Eye got up after being down for only half a minute. Eye continued to be the more active and accurate striker.

The final round was similar to the ones before. Eye stopped numerous strikes throughout the round. This round was possibly the closest one for strikes. When going to the scorecard, Jessica Eye walked away with the win unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Eye 10 10 10 30
Araujo 9 9 9 27

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) (#5) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (#6) (Flyweight)

Staying in the flyweight division, two more ranked flyweights in Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France faced off. In the first few minutes of the fight, both fighters were swinging hard. Kara-France landed a good punch that hurt Moreno halfway through the round. Moreno connected with a solid head kick in the final minute. No doubt Moreno was in the fight this round, but getting clipped a few times put him behind on the scorecard.

Moreno had a good second round, coming forward with more strikes, putting pressure on Kara-France. Moreno was stringing together some great combinations. Kara-France started to show damage on his face.

The final round was, just like the rounds before, explosive. Moreno slipped backwards in the second minute. Both fighters took turns throwing combinations. Moreno kept taunting by throwing his arms up. Kara-France was pacing the outside of the octagon for most of the third round. They were swinging until the very last second of the fight. Both of them showed damage on their faces at the end. Heading to the scorecard, all three judges had it for Brandon Moreno (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard: 

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Moreno 9 10 10 29
Kara-France 10 9 9 28

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off Fight Pass Early Prelims, undefeated Chase Hooper fought Daniel Teymur. The small crowd that was inside the T-Mobile Arena sounded very supportive for Hooper. Hooper tried for a takedown early on, but Teymur locked in a guillotine choke. He got out of the choke, although it looked scary for him for a second. Hooper stayed on his back on the ground. He got up later and took the back of Teymur while standing up. They went to the ground, where Hooper tried for a rear naked choke when he wasn’t throwing punches. He had the choke under the chin, but Teymur did escape it eventually. Hooper got on top of Teymur and landed elbows and punches until the referee intervened. Escaping an early guillotine, Hooper went on to give a dominant performance in his UFC debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

In the first ESPN prelim fight, veterans Matt Brown and Ben Saunders fought. Brown got a trip takedown in the first minute of the fight. Saunders threatened a triangle choke from the bottom. Brown endured the hold, eventually escaping the position. They stayed on the ground until the round ended.

Brown landed a good high kick in the first minute of the fight. Saunders was packing up against the cage. Saunders pulled guard, taking the fight to the ground. He was bleeding significantly from the head. The referee stood them up with 30 seconds left in the round due to inactivity. Saunders dropped to the ground in the final seconds. Brown landed strikes from top position until the referee intervened.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brown 9
Saunders 10

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) (#10) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (#14) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, up and comers Ian Heinisch and Omar Akhmedov faced off. Heinisch shot for a takedown in the first minute but didn’t get it. Akhmedov got some good punches through after that. Akhmedov secured a good double leg takedown with just over a minute left in the round. They weren’t on the ground for too long.

Akhmedov continued to succeed in the second round with his counter-puncher role. With that being said, Heinisch landed some good shots as well. Akhmedov shot for another takedown, this time not fully getting Heinisch to the ground. Heinisch had Akhmedov up against the cage as the round closed out.

A knee to the body hurt Akhmedov halfway through the final round. A hook hit Heinisch that hurt him too. Spotting Akhmedov’s momentum, Heinisch landed a takedown. They got up and stayed in a clinch up against the cage. Heinisch got another takedown, this time taking the back of Akhmedov. Heinisch landed strikes from the position. They got up for the final 30 seconds, where Heinisch got hurt by more strikes. The fight all 15 minutes, with all three judges giving the nod to Omari Akhmedov (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Heinisch 9 9 9 27
Akhmedov 10 10 10 30

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) (#2) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (#10) (Bantamweight)

Continuing on the prelims, undefeated bantamweight Ketlen Vieira faced Irene Aldana. The winner of this fight would presumably be next in line for a bantamweight shot. The first round had a very close striking battle. Aldana started to bleed on the lower lip near the end of the round. In the final seconds of the round, Aldana scored a left hook which floored Vieira. She landed a right hand on the ground which took her out cold. Irene Aldana moved to the front of the bantamweight line by ending Ketlen Vieira’s undefeated record with a thunderous knockout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (#14) (Welterweight)

The final preliminary fight of the card was between Mike Perry and Geoff Neal. Perry got rocked by a head kick in the second minute of the fight. Neal dropped Perry with punches up against the cage, which was enough for the referee, stepping in and ending the fight. Perry was cut on the nose after the exchange. Handing Mike Perry his sixth loss as a pro, Geoff Neal should expect to climb up the welterweight rankings more. After the fight, Neal honestly admitted that he needs another fight or two before going for a belt.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) (#4) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (#12) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the main card, Urijah Faber came out of retirement to face Petr Yan. Faber landed a good knee early on. It was a slow and methodical start for both fighters. Faber caught a kick and initiated a clinch, but Yan spun out of it. Yan was landing good punches every once in a while.

Faber attempted a single leg takedown halfway through the second round which Yan avoided. Right after, Yan came forward with punches which sat Faber down. Faber was hit with more strikes, but recovered and got back to his feet. He landed a punch to Yan which hurt him. Yan threw an elbow which dropped Faber again. Faber was cut open badly at this point. There was huge swelling beside his left eye. He got back up again but was thrown down by Yan. The referee stopped the fight with a minute or so left so that a doctor could check on it. Boos from the crowd ended when they realized the fight would not get called off. They resumed with Yan in top position on the ground. They got back up, but Yan secured another takedown in the final seconds of the round.

In the final round. Yan hit Faber with a head kick which dropped him again and ended the bout. With dominant striking throughout the fight, Petr Yan finally ended the fight in the third round. After the fight, Yan called out Henry Cejudo.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yan 9 10
Faber 10 8

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (#1) (Bantamweight)

The final fight of the evening that was not for a championship was between Jose Aldo and Marlon Moraes. The fight was Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. Moraes landed a head kick in the first few seconds of the fight. He opened the fight with good strikes but calmed down once Aldo started to answer back. Moraes started to work the outside, pacing to the side or backwards. Aldo landed some solid punches in the final moments of the round. Moraes went into a clinch and threw Aldo to the ground.

Just like the round before, Aldo was the fighter constantly coming forward. Aldo had a much better second round, putting together head and body combinations. Moraes was more active in this round, but his pace had slowed down quite a bit compared to the round before.

Aldo continued to walk down Moraes in the third round, not landing much but doing the better job. He stopped a takedown attempt from Moraes in the final minute, eating a combination of punches in the exit. Going to the scorecards to find a winner, we had a split decision in favour of Marlon Moraes (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd was upset with the decision it seemed.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Aldo 9 10 10 29
Moraes 10 9 9 28

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (#1) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of three championship bouts in the evening was for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Attempting to defend one of her two belts, Amanda Nunes fought Germaine de Randamie in a rematch from 2013. Nunes caught a leg kick early on but couldn’t connect on a follow-up punch. Nunes scored a double leg takedown in the second minute of the fight. They got up shortly after, where Nunes put in a guillotine. They went back to the ground, where de Randamie popped out of the choke. They stood back up and went into a clinch against the cage. Nunes got another takedown. She did ground and pound more this time. She continued with the shots for quite a while. De Randamie threw a couple good upkicks. Nunes put in an arm triangle for a while. She let go and went back to hammerfist punches. Somehow, de Randamie survived the onslaught and made it into the second round.

At the start of the second round, de Randamie was landing some good punches. Nunes got another takedown in the second minute of the round. The referee stood them up due to inactivity eventually. De Randamie landed a good question-mark kick when they got up. In a clinch, de Randamie was throwing knees. Nunes got another takedown. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes got out of it quite quickly.

Nunes got her fifth takedown in the first minute of round three. After being in a dominant position for a while, Nunes started to open up with ground and pound. When Nunes got back up, she was hit with upkicks.

Nunes got yet another takedown at the start of the fourth round. All of her takedowns were perfectly timed, right when de Randamie couldn’t stop them. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes escaped then went back to her feet. Nunes threw de Randamie back to the ground. Nunes threw strikes every once in a while from top position until the round ended.

Before the final round, we were shown a crowd shot of championship boxer Claressa Shields. Similar to the rounds before, Nunes landed a takedown at the start of the final round. They stayed on the ground for many minutes. The fight ended in this position, going all 25 minutes. When consulting the scorecards, Amanda Nunes retained her UFC Bantamweight Championship (49-44, 49-46 & 49-45). After the fight, Nunes sent her condolences to Walt Harris’ family.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Nunes 10 10 10 10 10 50
De Randamie 8 9 9 9 9 44

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (#1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

In the co-main event of the evening, Alexander Volkanovski challenged for Max Holloway’s Featherweight Championship. The first round was a game of striking chess. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the final minute of the first round, but Holloway stopped it.

Holloway’s left leg was showing quite some damage early in the second round. Volkanovski continued to chip away at it. In the fourth minute of the round, Holloway switched his lead leg to his right leg. Holloway landed a good combination of strikes in the final minute of the round. They had Holloway’s leg heavily iced in-between rounds.

Volkanovski kept coming in for a punch or two then dipping out of distance. He caught a leg from Holloway and used that to come in for a right straight. Holloway landed a good shot halfway through the round which seemingly hurt Volkanovski. Just like the left leg, Volkanovski was consistently landing kicks to the right leg. Holloway got a good knee to the body in. The fight was heating up as the round was closing out.

In the first minute of the third round, Volkanovski had some good punches. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the second minute of the round, but Holloway stopped it again. Holloway was doing good counter-punching throughout this round. They got into a good trade of strikes in the final minute of the round, their most dangerous exchange yet.

At the start of the final round, each fighter took turns swinging on eachother. In the second minute of the final round, Holloway got a body kick that was damaging. Volkanovski had a good string of punches in the fourth minute. He failed to land a takedown. Volkanovski put on a body lock in the final few seconds of the fight. They completed all three rounds, needing judges to determine who prevailed. When going to the scorecard, Alexander Volkanovski won on every judge’s card (48-47, 48-47 & 50-45).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Holloway 10 9 9 10 9 47
Volkanovski 9 10 10 9 10 48

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Main eventing the pay-per-view, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman attempted to make his first ever championship defence against Colby Covington. The first round saw Usman dominant with striking at the start. Covington started to turn the tides halfway through the round. The tempo of strikes in the first round was amazing. Covington connected with a good left hook in the fourth minute. Usman did a body shot which hurt Covington. One round in, nobody landed a takedown.

Just like the round before, the second round was a kickboxing battle. Real jabbing battle in the third minute of the fight. Really testing each other’s chins. There was a pause with two minutes to go in the round was Usman was accidentally kneed in the groin. The crowd was in uproar over this. Covington was retreating in the final minute.

While the pace did slow down in the third round, both fighters were still landing hard shots. In the final minute of the third round, both fighters had strong surges of striking. When Covington was coming forward with punches near the end of the round, fingers got in the eyes of Usman. They paused the fight and had a doctor check on him. He was able to continue the fight. In-between rounds, Covington told his corner that he broke his jaw.

Covington had a powerful charge forward in the first minute of the fourth round. This round was mostly Usman, although Covington had an amazing combination of punches in the second half of it. In the final minute of the round, the referee paused the action to warn both fighters to keep it clean.

Heading into the final round, the fight had yet to go to the ground yet. Covington got stunned by a punched in the final two minutes of the fight. He started to circle the outside of the cage sluggishly. Usman dropped Covington with just over a minute left in the round. He got dropped again seconds later. Usman kept on Covington with hammerfist strikes for a few moments until the referee stepped in to end the bout. In a close, fast and epic battle, Kamaru Usman finally silenced his most promising challenger, via stoppage at that, to retain his Welterweight Championship.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Usman 9 10 10 10
Covington 10 9 9 9

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington Full Preview

In 2019 the UFC saw lots of title changes. Some were returns to power like Stipe Miocic’s win over Daniel Cormier. Others were, of course, a continuation of past success, like Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov. And of course, there were new names added to the mix like Israel Adesanya and Weili Zhang being crowned champions. Before the year concludes, the promotion will put on one last pay-per-view event, including three championship bouts.

Live from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, UFC 245 will be headlined by Colby Covington facing Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event of the card, Featherweight Champion Max Holloway will attempt to defend his belt against Alexander Volkanovski. Also on the main card is Amanda Nunes putting her Bantamweight belt up against Germain de Randamie. Along with the three championship fights are also 10 other fights.

Full Card:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6:30 PM EST)

  1. Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)
  2. Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (Flyweight)
  3. Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)
  4. Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8:00 PM EST)

  1. Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)
  2. Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)
  3. Kelten Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)
  4. Mike Perry (13-5) vs. Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Main Card (PPV / 10:00 PM EST)

  1. Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)
  2. Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)
  3. Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
  4. Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
  5. Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

Kicking off the evening on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims at 6:30PM EST will be Punahele Soriano and Oskar Piechota. Undefeated Soriano will be making his UFC debut, as he previously earned his contract through the last season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He had previously competed in well-known regional promotions like PFL, LFA and Titan FC. Piechota is 2-2 in the UFC, losing his last two.

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

When Viviane Araujo faced Talita Bernardo back at UFC 237, it was a short-notice appearance. At the same time, however, it was an impressive performance, putting eyes on her despite it being an early prelim performance. She has since won again, prevailing over Alexis Davis at UFC 240. This time she will challenge Jessica Eye, who is her biggest challenge in the promotion so far. Eye recently got her three-fight winning streak broken by a failed challenge to Valentina Shevchenko’s Flyweight Championship. She lost in the second round via a brutal head kick knockout. Attempting to bounce back from the loss, Eye finds herself on the early prelims of this show. Eye missed weight by five pounds for this fight, and will be fined 30% of her purse for going over the 126 pound flyweight limit.

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)

Keeping it in the flyweight division, red hot Kai Kara-France faces Brandon Moreno. France has had a great run since joining the UFC a year ago, going 3-0 in his appearances. Moreno recently fought his way back into the UFC with a win in regional promotion LFA. His previous UFC run finished with a record of 3-2. His returning fight to the UFC was a draw against Askar Askarov at UFC Mexico City. Moreno will aim to break into the win column finally at UFC 245.

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off the early prelims, undefeated prospect Chase Hooper faces off against Daniel Teymur. Hooper first appeared on Dana White’s Contender series at the age of 18. He has since fought in CFFC, Island Fights and Titan FC, and finally has gotten a chance in the UFC. His opponent, Teymur, recently picked up his first win in the UFC, snapping a three-fight losing streak.

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

The preliminary card will continue on ESPN 2 (TSN 5 in Canada) at 8PM EST with four more fights. The first of four is a battle between two UFC veterans that have struggled lately. Saunders is currently on a three fight losing streak, last losing to Takashi Sato. Matt Brown will be returning from a two-year layoff, with his last fight being a win over Diego Sanchez. Before then, he had his own three-fight losing streak. Brown battled back from a torn ACL this year, which pulled him from a 2018 bout against Carlos Condit.

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, Ian Heinisch will aim to bounce back from his first lost since joining the UFC, but it won’t be easy against someone like Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch has a 2-1 record in the promotion, recently losing via decision to Derek Brunson. Akhmedov has a far more experienced of 7-3-1, but has avoided defeat in his last five in a row.

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)

Five fights into her UFC career, Ketlen Vieira has yet to be defeated. She will be tested yet again on Saturday, going up against Irene Aldana. Aldana has been very active this year, with this fight being her fourth in 12 months. Aldana recently got a win over Vanessa Melo in September. Vieira hasn’t fought since 2018, with her last win being over Cat Zingano.

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Finishing off the preliminary portion of the card will be “Platinum” Mike Perry facing Geoff Neal. Perry has been 5-5 in his last 10, which isn’t the best record ever, but his entertaining fighting style and character has kept him at a high level. Neal of the other hand has been 4-0 since joining the UFC in 2017.

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the pay-per-view main card will be up and coming Petr Yan facing Urijah Faber. Yan surpassed five-straight wins in the UFC earlier this year, defeating Jimmie Rivera. This fight is Faber’s second since his return to MMA, which started in July when he beat Ricky Simon in under a minute. Placed as a large underdog for this fight, Faber winning this fight would turn a lot of heads in MMA.

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

The final non-championship fight on the card will be a high-level bantamweight clash between Jose Aldo and Marlon “Magic” Moraes. This fight is Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. In his last fight, Aldo lost via decision to Alexander Volkanovski. Moraes is also coming off a loss, failing to capture the vacant Bantamweight Championship against Henry Cejudo.

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of the triple header of fights features Amanda Nunes attempting to defend her bantamweight belt against Germaine de Randamie. Despite being the only two-division champion on the card and a fighter which many have argued is the best female mixed martial artist of all time, Nunes is being placed halfway through this main card. Nunes last defended her belt in July, defeating Holly Holm with strikes in the first round. She became a two-division champion just under a year ago, stopping Cris Cyborg with punches in under a minute.

This fight is a rematch, as de Randamie and Nunes first met in 2013 on a fight night card. In that matchup, Nunes won with elbows in the first round. However, that was the last time de Randamie has lost. She won the Featherweight Championship in 2017 against Holly Holm, but dropped it before defending it. Two wins later, de Randamie finds herself in another championship position. Whether she can follow through with the win again will be seen.

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volaknovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

For many years now, Max Holloway has been the king of the featherweight division. Earlier this year he flew too close to the sun when trying to compete in the lightweight division as well, losing to Dustin Poirier. But, in the featherweight division, Holloway has been undefeated since 2013. His more recent wins were against Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar. In the co-main event of UFC 245, Holloway will see another challenger in Alexander Volkanovski. 

The Australian with an impressive pro record has yet to lose in the UFC, with a record of 7-0, Volkanovski has become one of the top names in the division. He most recently defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 237.

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Colby Covington gets his well overdue Welterweight Championship shot against Kamaru Usman. Covington has been known more for his character lately as opposed to his fights. Known for outwardly showing his pro-Trump politics and flaunting things like girls on Instagram, Covington has made himself either genuine or ingenuine anti-hero. But whether his character is insufferable or not, his skill is undeniable. He defeated Rafael dos Anjos in 2018 to become the interim Welterweight Champion, but had that belt taken away from him when he couldn’t compete in a June fight due to injury. After a dominant win in August against Robbie Lawler, the fight against Usman was set.

Usman has been undefeated in his UFC run thus far. He took down longtime welterweight king Tyron Woodley back in March, going five rounds with him at UFC 235. Both with very scorecards depend backgrounds in wrestling, it will be interesting to see who puts on the better performance on Saturday.

UFC 245 is UFC’s second-last show of 2019, with its season finale taking place on December 21st in Busan, Korea, with UFC on ESPN+ 23.

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

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

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

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 on ESPN 4: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards Preview

While UFC has made numerous appearances on ESPN’s internet streaming service “ESPN+,” on Saturday the promotion will be making only it’s fourth appearance on the network’s flagship channel. Main eventing UFC on ESPN 4 will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Dos Anjos will arguably play gatekeeper against Edwards, who is on a seven-fight winning streak. Before the main event is a dozen other MMA bouts.

Bout 1: Domingo Pilarte (8-1) vs. Felipe Colares (8-1) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the evening will be a string of three bantamweight bouts. With equal records, Domingo Pilarte and Felipe Colares will open the night. Pilarte impressed Dana White on the second season of the Contender Series, earning a contract which will begin off this weekend. Colares is hoping to bounce back from his debut in February when he lost via decision, giving him his first career loss.

Bout 2: Mario Bautista (6-1) vs. Jin Soo Son (9-3) (Bantamweight)

The second bout will be a battle of two fighters hoping to come back from a debut loss in the UFC. Mario Bautista got his first professional L back in January, losing to Cory Sandhagen. Jin Soo Son lost to Petr Yan in his respective debut. Soo Son trains out of Korean Zombie MMA, who’s top talent is of course “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Mario Bautista trains at The MMA Lab. Prior to his UFC career, Soo Son was a veteran fighter in the JMMA promotion “DEEP.”

Bout 3: Ray Borg (11-3) vs. Gabriel Silva (7-0) (Bantamweight)

In the final men’s bantamweight fight of the night, Ray Borg will face the undefeated Gabriel Silva. Borg lost in March against Casey Kenney after struggling to find a fight throughout 2018. Kenney was actually the second replacement fighter for the bout, with Pingyuan Liu and Kyler Phillips being injured and pulled from the bout previously. Before then, Borg’s last fight was a championship loss to Demetrious Johnson. Gabriel Silva will defend his undefeated streak in his UFC debut. He got a quick round one win in his last fight in the LFA promotion.

Bout 4: Roxanne Modafferi (23-15) vs. Jennifer Maia (16-5-1) (Flyweight)

Roxanne Modafferi, one of women’s MMA’s biggest names, faces Jennifer Maia, who started her UFC run around this time last year. While Modafferi has fought since 2003, he UFC career started in only 2017, having a 2-2 record since. Similarily, Maia has a 50/50 win rate in the UFC, only fighting twice though. They’re both coming off of wins, both via decision.

Bout 5: Sam Alvey (33-12) vs. Klidson Abreu (14-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Entering his 18th UFC bout, Sam Alvey will face Klidson Abreu, who will only be experiencing his second walk to the octagon. Alvey will aim to break his two-fight losing streak, getting finished via punches two times in a row. Abreu will try to get his first victory in the UFC, losing to Magomed Ankalaev via decision in his first outing.

Bout 6: Raquel Pennington (9-7) vs. Irene Aldana (10-4) (Bantamweight)

Veteran UFC fighter Raquel Pennington will fight Irene Aldana in the next matchup. Pennington hasn’t won since 2016, losing to two high profile fighters in Amanda Nunes and Germain de Randamie, who have both main evented their last bouts. Meanwhile, Aldana sees herself attempting to improve to four wins in a row, turning her UFC career around after starting it off with two losses.

Bout 7: Alex Caceres (14-12) vs. Steven Peterson (17-8) (Featherweight)

The preliminary portion of the card will conclude with Alex Caceres and Steven Peterson. Throughout Caceres’ near decade long UFC career he has had a shaky record. He hopes to break even in his UFC career with a win, currently being 9-10 in the promotion. Peterson will also aim to break even, but with a much smaller record of 1-2 in the UFC so far.

Bout 8: Andrei Arlovski (27-18) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-11) (Heavyweight)

Both experienced fighters in the UFC, Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell find themselves in similar positions, attempting to snap losing streaks. Arlovski’s record has been 2-8 & 1 NC since the start of 2016. Arlovski hasn’t seen a victory in his last four fights, and has went to decision in his last seven. Rothwell is only on a two-fight losing streak, which ended his 2013-2016 run of victories, defeating names like Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett, all via stoppage.

Bout 9: Francisco Trinaldo (23-6) vs. Alexander Hernandez (10-2) (Lightweight)

Six months ago, Alexander Hernandez had a lot of eyes on him heading into a fight with Donald Cerrone. He was a big talker against “The Cowboy,” confident that he would win. The outcome ended up being anything but that, as Cerrone finished him in the second round with strikes. Hernandez makes his return after suffering his first UFC loss, facing Francisco Trinaldo. It’s another matchup of a younger Hernandez versus a veteran, although Cerrone was much more of a veteran than Trinaldo is. So far in 2019, Francisco Trinaldo has struggled to get a fight. He’s missed out on two different events so far due to opponents pulling out of getting injured. He hasn’t fought in just under 10 months, but his last fight was a victory over Evan Dunham.

Bout 10: James Vick (13-3) vs. Daniel Hooker (17-8) (Lightweight)

It has been seven months since Dan “The Hangman” Hooker has fought, and rightfully so. His recent loss to Edson Barboza was a beating of brutal proportions, even by MMA standards. He hung in the fight, but only by the smallest extent until it was ended. James Vick is on a two-fight losing streak. He lost a main event against Justin Gaethje last year, and wasn’t favoured in a decision against Paul Felder back in February. 

Bout 11: Greg Hardy (4-1) vs. Juan Adams (5-1) (Heavyweight)

Two very fresh heavyweights in Greg Hardy and Juan Adams battle on the main card. Controversy continues to follow Hardy through his UFC career, as many object to him fighting in the UFC due to his domestic violence case in 2014. He was found guilty of assault and communicating threats, with 18-months of probation and 60-days of jail. However, the sentence was dropped after the victim in the case didn’t appear in court during the appeal. Hardy avoided any punishment over the case. He has since come through the UFC series “Dana White’s Contender Series,” and has a 1-1 record in the promotion. Adams comes into the fight after facing his first career defeat to Arjan Bhullar. Before then he defeated Chris De La Rocha in his UFC debut. 

Bout 12: Alexey Oleinik (57-12-1) vs. Walt Harris (12-7) (Heavyweight)

In the co-main event slot is a heavyweight clash between Alexey Oleinik and Walt Harris. Harris is coming off his quickest victory ever, finishing Sergey Spivak in under a minute. He will face a much more experienced Oleinik, who is returning after a one round loss to Alistair Overeem. If you’re looking for a fight that will finish, it should be this one, as Oleinik has only went to decision eight times in his 70 fight career. Similarily, Edwards has only went to decision three times in his 20 fight career.

Bout 13: Rafael dos Anjos (29-11) vs. Leon Edwards (17-3) (Welterweight)

The main event of the show will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Anjos has had double the amount of professional bouts as Edwards, but his matchup with dos Anjos can be justified by his seven-fight winning streak. Dos Anjos defeated Kevin Lee in a four round battle back in May, which was a bounce back from two five round decision losses, losing to Kumaru Usman and Colby Covington. Edwards defeating dos Anjos would make it the highest profile victory of his career yet, with the biggest one besides that being a win against Donald Cerrone. Continued success in the welterweight division could lead Edwards to a bout with the Champion Kumaru Usman. If the fight were to be made, it would not only be a title shot, but also a chance for Edwards to avenge a loss from 2015.

Similar to many of UFC’s recent fight nights, the show will start at an earlier time than the usual PPV time (10PM E/7PM P). The main card will begin at 9 PM Eastern Time, with the preliminary card starting three hours prior to that. 

UFC 237 Full Report: Andrade Becomes New Strawweight Champion

UFC returned on Saturday with another one of their pay-per-view hallmark events. UFC 237 included a Strawweight Championship bout between defending champ Rose Namajunas and challenger Jessica Andrade. Andrade, like many names on this card, were fighting in the comfort of their passionate home country of Brazil. The card was booked accordingly, with 14 Brazilian fighters on the 12 bout card. Among them were Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva, two big names not only in Brazilian MMA but MMA in general. Let’s go through the whole evening of festivities, starting with the preliminary fights.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Talita Bernardo (#15) (5-3) vs. Viviane Araujo (6-1) (Bantamweight)

Kicking off the evening was a Brazilian versus Brazilian matchup, with Viviane Araujo debuting against Talita Bernardo. Araujo had a successful run in the Japanese promotion Pancrase in recent years. In this fight Araujo was constantly bouncing on her toes, coming in for combos or strikes and then backing out. In the final minute of the first round, Bernardo shot for a takedown which Araujo took control of, taking the top position. Araujo tries for a rear naked choke as the round concluded. Bernardo started to land more strikes at the start of the second. Araujo started to land her overhand right with great power. Another takedown was defended by Araujo. Araujo landed a takedown with roughly a minute left in the second round.  Bernardo landed a great combo as the round ended. In the first minute of round three, Araujo dropped Bernardo with a right hand. No extra strikes were needed to conclude the bout. She had previously fought at Strawweight in her career, and said after the bout that she plans to go back to that division.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 2: Raoni Barcelos (13-1) vs. Carlos Huachin (10-3-2) (Bantamweight)

The next bout was Brazilian Raoni Barcelos versus Carlos Huachin. Both fighters were throwing some heavy hands in the first round. The tempo of strikes thrown in the first was very fast. Barcelos tried for a takedown at the start of the second round but take up unsuccessful. Huachin was dropped by a right jab. Barcelos attempted to finish the fight on the ground, landing tons of punches. Huachin made himself vulnerable to many holds, with Barcelos trying things from many angles. In the final moments of the second round, Barcelos started to land elbows which made the referee step in and end the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 3: Priscila Cachoeira (8-2) vs. Luana Carolina (5-1) (Flyweight)

The Fight Pass Early Prelims finished with Priscila Cachoeira and Luana Carolina facing each other. Throughout the first round, Carolina was using a thai clinch to slow down offense or land strikes. Cachoeira was the fighter consistently walking down her opponent. Carolina got a cut under her eye. Cachoeira caught a kick at one point and then made Carolina fall by kicking the other leg off balance. Both fighters had great moments in the first round. After Cachoeira was eating strikes for quite some time, she was floored by a kick to the head. Carolina tried for a submission the ground afterwards, putting in an armbar that did not put away the fight. As they were about to go to their feet, Carolina landed a knee to a still grounded Cachoeira. There was a pause in the fight, but a point was not taken away. They went back to the ground for a little of the final minute of the second round. Carolina continued to outstrike a very fatigued Cachoeira in the final round. The judges gave Luana Carolina the win unanimously (30-26, 30-26 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 4: Clay Guida (34-18) vs. BJ Penn (16-13-2) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the prelims on ESPN was veterans Clay Guida and BJ Penn facing each other. Guida went into this bout as a -700 favourite. In the first round Penn was much more composed while Guida was doing his usual all around the place fight style. Guida shot for a takedown in the second round but wasn’t successful. Penn was getting hit consistently with punches in the final round. The judges gave Clay Guida a unanimous victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 5: Warlley Alves (12-3) vs. Sergio Moraes (14-4-1) (Welterweight)

Continuing on with the prelims, Warlley Alves fought Sergio Moraes in a Welterweight bout. In the first round, Moraes was landing good combos. Alves threw tons of kicks. There was a pause after Moraes said he got poked in the eyes. The kicks continued to be effective for Alves in the second round. In the final round he started to tee off with punches. After a very dominant performance throughout, Alves finally ended the fight in it’s final scheduled minute. A knee and an uppercut is what put away Moraes.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 6: Thiago Moises (11-3) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (17-6) (Lightweight)

It was a battle between two Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series fighters in the next bout. As many people will/have tonight, Holobaugh got boos from the crowd. Both fighters were hot out the gates, with Holobaugh shooting for a takedown up against the cage. He didn’t get it, with Moises keeping it was stand-up. He tried again a minute later but didn’t get a different result. Moises landed a takedown shortly after. He landed elbows while in half guard. At the start of round two, Holobaugh got hit with some hard punches but shook them off. He landed a double leg takedown and stayed on the ground for a short amount of time. Holobaugh started to string together some good combinations in the second half of the round. Holobaugh slipped in the third round after a kick to the leg, letting Moises take top position on the ground. Shortly after they got back up, Moises landed a single leg takedown. Moises put in a rear naked choke but couldn’t finish the bout with it. Holobaugh was on top for a minute or so on the ground. Moises landed a hard slam for a takedown, landing strikes on the ground until the final round ended. The judges all gave Thiago Moises the victory (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 7: Rogerio Nogueira (23-8) vs. Ryan Spann (15-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Finishing off the preliminary card for UFC 237 was Rogerio Nogueira facing Ryan Spann. Spann landed a takedown within the first minute, putting in an arm triangle that Nogueira escaped. Spann tried for another takedown but couldn’t land it. Spann dropped Nogueira with a left uppercut that ended the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Main Card

Bout 8: Irene Aldana (#11) (9-4) vs. Bethe Correia (#13) (10-3-1) (Bantamweight)

The main card started with Irene Aldana facing Bethe Correira. Corriera weighed in at 141 for this 135-pound bout, but Aldana agreed to continue on with the bout. She lost 40% of her fight purse due to not making weight in time. The first round was a slow one with Aldana finding success by using her reach advantage. Correira found ways to close the distance in the second round and land more of her own strikes. In the final round, Correira started to string together good combinations, consistently being the one who was advancing in the octagon. When the fight went to the ground with a takedown from Corriera, but Aldana showed good defence and put in an armbar and got a submission victory. Correira was bleeding heavily afterwards.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 9: Thiago Alves (23-13) vs. Laureano Staropoli (8-1) (Welterweight)

The next fight on the card was Thiago Alves versus Laureano Staropoli. The fight was mostly a close striking battle. The final round started with very aggressive swinging by both guys. Alves landed a takedown, but Staropoli got up moments later. They both had great pacing, still throwing with speed and power in the third round. Alves tried for a second takedown but was stopped. The fight went the distance with the judges gave Staropoli the win (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (#1) (28-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (#4) (19-1) (Featherweight)

Jose Aldo fought in his home country against Alexander Volkanovski in the next matchup. The first round was a striking battle, with both fighters being very methodical. Volkanovski seemingly landed more, but every time Aldo did anything the crowd would become unglued. Aldo was poked in the eye in the second, making a warning get issued to Volkanovski. The final round was the continuation of the dominant performance that Volkanovski was already putting on. All three judges gave Alexander Volkanovski the victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 11: Jared Cannonier (#10) (11-4) vs. Anderson Silva (34-9) (#14) (Middleweight)

In the co-main event slot of the PPV, Anderson Silva fought Jared Cannonier. The first round was somewhat close until Silva was dropped by a leg kick. He fell down and obviously injured his right leg. The fight was ended by referee Herb Dean. Cannonier was getting booed after the fight, and said that he didn’t respect the crowd since they aren’t respecting him.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 12: Rose Namajunas © (8-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (19-6) (#1) (Strawweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, “Thug” Rose Namajunas put her Strawweight Championship on the line against Jessica Andrade. In the first round, Namajunas was consistently hitting Andrade with jabs. Very early on Andrade had a cut around an eye. Andrade got ahold of Namajunas and slammed her down, but couldn’t get anything done before Namajunas brought it back to the feet. Namajunas landed a takedown as well, but both of them getting up almost right after. After Namajunas landed a knee, Andrade went to the ground in full defensive mode. The first round ended with Namajunas defending a takedown. Andrade showed more life in the second by throwing combinations. Near the end of the second round, Andrade slammed Namajunas on her head for a takedown, knocking her out and ending the bout. Jessica Andrade is the new UFC Strawweight Champion. Andrade and her corner were all very emotional afterwards.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total


UFC returns next weekend with “UFC ON ESPN+ 10” in Rochester, New York, with Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee main eventing. The next pay-per-view that the promotion is running is just under a month away, with Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes fighting for the Bantamweight Championship. Also on the card, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her Flyweight Championship against Jessica Eye.