Makhmud Muradov vs. Antonio Carlos Junior Off UFC on ESPN+ 28 Card

Main card fight between Antonio Carlos Junior and Makhmud Muradov is off of the UFC on ESPN+ 28 card which is set for March 14th.

Announced on Muradov’s Instagram and reported by Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie, it was found out on Monday that the fight would not happen.

The fight was scrapped after Carlos Junior had to pull out with an injury.

Carlos Junior was attempting to snap his two-fight losing streak, which started in 2019. He was originally meant to fight Brad Tavares on this card, but that fight also went out of the picture once Tavares faced injury.

Muradov is 2-0 in his short UFC run thus far, defeating Alessio Di Chirico and Trevor Smith in 2019. Those wins combined with previous ones makes his current winning streak 13 fights.

While the card currently does not have a main event announced for it, there is many fights booked already. Here’s the card so far, which will take place at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil:

Bout 1: Paige VanZant (8-4) vs. Amanda Ribas (8-1) (Strawweight)

Bout 2: Johnny Walker (17-4) vs. Nikita Krylov (26-7) (Light Heavyweight)

Bout 3: Elizeu Zaleski (21-6) vs. Alexey Kunchenko (20-1) (Welterweight)

Bout 4: Jussier Formiga (23-6) vs. Brandon Moreno (16-5-1) (Flyweight)

Bout 5: Demian Maia (28-9) vs. Gilbert Burns (17-3) (Welterweight)

Bout 6: Francisco Trinaldo (24-7) vs. John Makdessi (17-6) (Lightweight)

Bout 7: Mayra Bueno Silva (6-0) vs. Maryna Moroz (9-3) (Flyweight)

Bout 8: Veronica Macedo (6-3-1) vs. Bea Malecki (1-0) (Bantamweight)

Bout 9: Rani Yahya (26-10) vs. Enrique Barzola (16-5-1) (Bantamweight)


UFC on ESPN 7: Overeem vs. Rozenstruick Full Report

After three weeks out of the spotlight, UFC returned with another event. Live from the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C., USA, UFC on ESPN 7 was headlined by Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruick. Before the main event, there was 11 fights, including numerous bouts that featured ranked fighters.

Bout 1: Trevor Smith (15-9) vs. Makmud Muradov (23-6) (Middleweight)

The first preliminary fight of the evening was UFC veteran Trevor Smith facing Makmud Muradov, who was having his second fight in the promotion. Muradov displayed his jab early in the first round. Smith countered with a kick in the second minute, connecting with the groin of Muradov. They went back to fighting quite quickly. While Muradov mostly out-punched Smith in the first round, he tested out a flying knee and a kick in the closing moments.

Muradov kept a fast pace of strikes throughout the second round. Smith tried for a takedown in the final minute of the fight, although Muradov got back up in short time. Muradov landed a knockdown in the final seconds of the round, putting in a rear naked choke until the clock ran out. Smith could have easily been saved by the round ending.

It was another close round of striking for Muradov early on, keeping with the theme of the rounds before. Muradov landed right to the body, followed left and right hook that knocked Smith out cold to end the fight. Smith’s mouthpiece went flying out of the frame. Muradov finishes 2019 with six MMA wins.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Smith 9 9
Muradov 10 10

Bout 2: Virna Jandiroba (14-1) vs. Mallory Martin (6-2) (Strawweight)

Mallory Martin made her UFC debut on Saturday, facing Virna Jandiroba. Jandiroba got a takedown in the first minute of the fight. Jandiroba had quite the entrance, wearing an interesting hat and singing along to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Martin tried for a guillotine, which Jandiroba eventually popped out of. Jandiroba put in a triangle choke from top position which Martin escaped. Martin fought back to stand-up. Martin clinched up to Jandiroba against the cage. Jandiroba landed knees in the clinch. Jandiroba got another takedown in the final minute of the round, where Martin tried again for a guillotine. Jandiroba escaped before the round concluded.

In the first 20 seconds of the round, Jandiroba got another takedown. She took Martin’s back this time, trying for a rear naked choke. Jandiroba got the choke under the chin, with Martin tapping out eventually. Bouncing back from her first MMA loss as a pro, Virna Jandiroba got the win with a dominant performance.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Jandiroba 10
Martin 9

Bout 3: Matt Wiman (16-8) vs. Joe Solecki (8-2) (Lightweight)

The next fight was a fight between Dana White’s Contender Series winner Joe Solecki and Matt Wiman. Solecki scored a takedown in the first minute of the fight. Solecki took Wiman’s back and was dominant. He landed lots of strikes before trying for a choke. He stayed on the ground for the whole round, keeping Wiman in trouble.

Solecki got another takedown early in the second round. The referee stood them back up with over a minute left in the second round. Wiman tried for a guillotine choke on the ground as the round closed out.

As expected, Solecki got another takedown in the third round. Solecki got on Wiman’s back this time. Wiman was able to avoid chokes and strikes until the round ended. Wiman was shouting at Solecki while on the ground as the third round concluded. When going to the scorecards, Joe Solecki got his first win in the UFC via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Wiman 9 9 9 27
Solecki 10 10 10 30

Bout 4: Bryce Mitchell (11-0) vs. Matt Sayles (8-2) (Featherweight)

Undefeated “Thug Nasty” Bryce Mitchell fought Matt Sayles in the next preliminary fight. Mitchell got a single leg takedown early on. On the ground, Mitchell tried for an arm triangle choke which Sayles escaped. Mitchell put in a rare twister 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Jacob Kilburn (8-2) vs. Billy Quarantillo (12-2) (Featherweight) 

In a double debut, Jacob Kilburn and Billy Quarantillo competing in their call-up fight. Early on Quarantillo was striking in a clinch. On the ground, Quarantillo tried for a north south choke. Quarantillo went back to full mount, letting go of the choke. He started to let his hands go on Kilburn while in dominant positions. After landing many punches on the back of Kilburn, Quarantillo tried for a rear naked choke. Kilburn survived the five minutes, but took tons of damage.

Quarantillo got another takedown as the second round started. Quarantillo tried for a triangle choke but couldn’t get it. After some tweaking to the triangle choke, Kilburn tapped out. He was given a belt after the fight and also told everyone that tomorrow is his birthday. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kilburn 8
Quarantillo  10

Bout 6: Thiago Alves (23-14) vs. Tim Means (28-11-1) (Welterweight)

The preliminary card wrapped up with Thiago Alves facing Tim Means. Both fighters were attempting to come back from a previous loss. Both fighters got to some fast paced striking early on. Means shot for a takedown which Alves avoided by staying against the fence. Means landed some good strikes. He knocked down Alves with a left hook in the third minute of the fight. Means put in a guillotine choke on the ground which tapped Alves out. A slick combination of strikes brought Alves to the ground, and grappling did the rest to give Tim Means the win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 7: Rob Font (#10) (16-4) vs. Ricky Simon (15-2) (Bantamweight)

Kicking off the main card, Rob Font faces Ricky Simon. The last fight for Simon was his first loss since joining the UFC. Going into this fight, Font was ranked #10 in the featherweight division. Font got a double leg takedown in the first minute of the fight. They got back up, with Simon putting Font up against the cage. They split up shortly, going back to stand-up. Simon tried for his own takedown but Font stopped it. Simon had Font retreating after he landed a good combination. Simon got a takedown finally. When they got back up into a standing clinch, Simon landed some good knees to the head. Simon got another takedown, trying for a guillotine. Font stood up before escaping the choke. Font came forward with his own nice combination of strikes. Simon got another takedown in the final minute of the fight.

Font stuffed a takedown in the first minute of the second round. Font’s sharp striking, including a nice jab was showcased in the second round. Simon got a takedown in the third minute of the round, although it looked like Font was going to stop it for a second. They did get back up quite quickly. Font’s striking was showcased better in this round than the one before. Simon got another takedown in the final minute of the second round.

Both fighters had strong stand-up at the start of the third round. Simon got another takedown halfway through the final round. Font’s jab was further put on display. The fight went the distance and was praised by the crowd afterwards. By unanimous decision, Rob Font took the fight (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Font 9 10 10 29
Simon 10 9 9 28

Bout 8: Cody Stamann (18-2) (#9) vs. Song Yadong (15-4) (#13) (Bantamweight)

In the first bout of the evening that was a battle between two ranked fighters, Cody Stamann fought Song Yadong. In the first round, Yadong was the first one to come forward with good punches. Stamann got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. Yadong tried for a guillotine on the ground. While cranking the guillotine, Yadong landed a knee to the head which is not allowed since Stamann was grounded. After a point was deducted, the fight resumed. Back in stand-up, Yadong was the better striker. Stamann got a single leg takedown as the first round concluded.

In the opening minute of the second round, Yadong stopped a takedown and went back to stand-up. He got another takedown with just over a minute left.

Stamann’s wrestling continued in the third round, getting another takedown and just smothering Yadong. When Stamann got on Yadong’s back he really started to let his fists go. Stamann finished strong, throwing lots of punches before the horn went. Heading to the judges, the fight was decided to be a majority draw. (29-27, 28-28 & 28-28)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Stamann 9 10 10 29
Song 9 9 9 27

Bout 9: Aspen Ladd (8-1) (#5) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (12-4) (#7) (Bantamweight)

In the last of many bantamweight fights of the evening, Aspen Ladd fought Yana Kunitskaya in a ranked fight. They went into a standing clinch, with was broken after the referee saw Kunitskaya grab the fence. She put in another standing clinch only moments later. Ladd got a trip takedown with two minutes left in the round. Ladd got on the back of Kunitskaya and started to unload strikes. She did so until the round ended.

Ladd tried for a takedown in the second round, although Kunitskaya blocked the attempt. Ladd got a takedown upon another attempt. Just like the last round, Ladd stayed in top position until the round ended.

At the very start of the final round, Ladd dropped Kunitskaya with punches. Ladd went to the ground at took the back of Kunistkaya, throwing strikes until the referee stepped in. A dominant win for Aspen Ladd after suffering a tough first loss as a pro before.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ladd 10 10
Kunitskaya 9 9

Bout 10: Stefan Struve (29-11) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-12) (Heavyweight)

Coming out of retirement, Stefan Struve fought Ben Rothwell on the next bout of this show. Struve landed leg kicks to start off. Rothwell put Struve up against the cage in the second minute. Struve was hit in the groin as the round was more than halfway through. Struve was down for a while, and took many minutes to regain his composure. Struve eventually went back to the fight.

Rothwell was hit in the groin in the first minute of the second round, although it didn’t take long to resume. As Rothwell was throwing kicks later in the second round, Struve was hit with another kick to the groin. A point was docked from Rothwell this time. Rothwell started rushing Struve when they resumed. Struve was dropped with uppercuts and finished in the closing seconds of the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Struve 10
Rothwell 9

Bout 11: Cynthia Calvillo (8-1) vs. Marina Rodriguez (12-0-1) (Strawweight)

My recap of Cynthia Calvillo vs. Marina Rodriguez can be found at Fansided MMA.

Result: Cyntia Calvillo vs. Marina Rodriguez via Majority Decision (29-28, 28-28 & 28-28).

Bout 11: Alistair Overeem (45-17) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (9-0) (Heavyweight)

In the main event of the evening, UFC veteran Alistair Overeem faced up and comer Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Before the fight started, Overeem offered to shake hands but Rozenstruik did not respond to the offer. Overeem landed a trip takedown in the second minute of the fight after a pretty slow start of a couple of minutes. He focused on strikes while in half guard. Rozenstruick almost escaped bottom position, but Overeem stopped it, transition into side control. Overeem landed some elbows to the head from the position. 

Overeem went into a standing clinch in the second round. He put Rozenstruick up against the cage and landed strikes. With two minutes left in the fight, the referee brought the fighters back to stand-up. Rozenstruick ate lots of hard strikes in the round, not showing much weakness from it.

Rozenstruick opened the third round with some punches. Overeem tried for a double leg takedown in the first minute of the third round but didn’t get it. He tried for another one with two minutes left in the round, this time securing it after some fight.

Rozenstruick had his first jolt of offense in the fourth round. With under two minutes left in the round, Rozenstruick came forward with another good combination, including a head kick.

The pace of the striking in the final round was much slower. After the 10-second clapper hit at the end of the fifth round, Rozenstruick threw a right hook which dropped Overeem and ended the fight. The punch cut the top lip of Overeem very deeply. With the hard knockout win, Jairzinho Rozenstruick extended his undefeated record into double digits. The win was also his first that went into the fifth round. After the fight he called out Francis Ngannou.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Overeem 10 10 10 10
Rozenstruick 9 9 9 9

UFC returns next week with UFC 245, a pay-per-view headlined by three championship fights. Here’s how the card looks as of right now:

  1. Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (UFC Welterweight Championship)
  2. Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
  3. Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
  4. Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)
  5. Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)
  6. Mike Perry (13-5) vs. Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)
  7. Ketlen Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (Bantamweight)
  8. Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)
  9. Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)
  10. Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)
  11. Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)
  12. Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)
  13. Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

UFC on ESPN+ 18: Hermansson vs. Cannonier

On September 28, UFC travelled to Denmark for a collection of fights. Headlining the card was Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier, two very high ranked middleweights. The show also featured two fighters from Denmark.

Bout 1: Nohelin Hernandez (10-3) vs. Jack Shore (11-0) (Bantamweight)

The preliminary card started with bantamweights. The crowd was pretty filled up before the first fight even started. Nohelin “Suave” Hernandez and Jack Shore kicked off the night. Shore had clean striking early on, landing good jabs. Shore got a takedown via body lock halfway through the round. He took the back of Hernandez and tried for a rear naked choke but ran out of time.

Shore landed another takedown in the first half of the second round. They got back up halfway through the round, with Hernandez pinning Shore against the cage. Shore got another takedown before the round concluded.

Shore tried for another takedown in the very first seconds of the final round. Yet again he took the back of Hernandez. He slipped in a rear naked choke which made Hernandez tap out. Jack Shore kicked off the show by moving his professional MMA record to 12 wins.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Hernandez 9 9
Shore 10 10

Bout 2: Lando Vannata (10-3-2) vs. Marc Diakiese (13-3) (Lightweight)

The second preliminary fight was Lando Vannata and Marc Diakiese. From the very start, both fighters had very fast paced striking. Vannata slipped early in the fight, but the fight didn’t go to the ground. Diakiese was targeting the legs of Vannata with kicks. One of the leg kicks was a little off target, hitting Vannata in the groin.

Vannata tried for the first takedown in the second round, although Diakiese was able to keep it in stand-up. Vanatta started to bleed around the nose quite a bit in this round.

Diakiese got his first takedown of the fight in the final round. Vannata threw elbows from bottom position. With a minute left in the round, Diakiese tried to take Vannata’s back. They stood up, although Diakiese threw Vannata back down a few times. 

The fight went the distance, with Lando Vannata convincing all three judges that he won the contest (30-27, 30-27 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Vannata 9 9 9 27
Diakiese 10 10 10 30

Bout 3: Lina Lansberg (9-4) (#12) vs. Macy Chiasson (6-0) (#11) (Bantamweight)

Ranked bantamweights Lina Lansberg and Macy Chiasson competed in the next fight. Since Lansberg is Swedish, she got a warm reaction from the crowd. Chiasson had Lansberg up against the cage in a standing clinch in the first minute. Chiasson kept pinned to Lansberg until the round concluded.

Lansberg took control at the start of the second round, scoring a takedown. They got up into a standing clinch where Lansberg was still in control. Chiasson also had some moments in the clinch where she was in control.

Chiasson was given quite the cornering before the final round. Right off the bat in the first round, Chiasson put Lansberg against the cage again. Lansberg got a takedown from the clinch. When Chiasson got back up she was hit with a knee to the head still in the clinch. They fight concluded in the the standing clinch.

Looking to the judges to find the winner, Lina Lansberg picked up her 10th victory as a pro (29-27, 29-27 & 29-28). Lansberg was the biggest underdog on the show.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lansberg 9 10 10 29
Chiasson 10 9 9 28

Bout 4: Giga Chikadze (7-2) vs. Brandon Davis (10-7) (Featherweight)

The fourth fight of the evening was Georgian fighter Giga Chikadze face Brandon Davis. Chikadze had some crisp striking early on, but it was stopped when Davis scored a takedown. Chikadze was able to flip the position around with two minutes left in the round. He let off some strikes from top position. They returned to stand-up with 30 seconds left. Davis got a double-leg takedown before the round concluded.

Chikadze started the second round with more good striking. Davis was denied of a single-leg takedown. Davis got a takedown in the final minute of the round, after being dominated in stand-up. They stood up for the final seconds of the round.

Davis was the more active fighter in the final round, constantly advancing and throwing strikes. While Chikadze woke up in the second half of the round, Davis closed it out with a takedown. When consulting the judges, the first two went for a different fighter, with the third scoring a draw, making the fight a draw (29-28, 29-28 & 29-29).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Chikadze 9 10 9 28
Davis 10 9 10 29

Bout 5: Ismail Naurdiev (18-3) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (24-7-1) (Welterweight)

The next preliminary fight was between Ismail Naurdiev and Siyar Bahadurzada. The second minute of the fight saw a break as Naurdiev was poked in the eye. Naurdiev wsa getting off more and better shots in the first round. Bahadurzada clearly got hurt by a strike with a minute left. 

Bahadurzada had some decent striking as the second round started. Naurdiev scored a takedown halfway through the second round. He stayed in top position on the ground until the round concluded.

Naurdiev got another takedown halfway through the final round. He got on the back of Bahadurzada, who got up but was slammed back down. The fight ended on the ground with Naurdiev in top position. As expected, Ismail Naurdiev got the win with three approving scorecards (30-26, 30-25 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Naurdiev 10 10 10 30
Bahadurzada 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Makhmud Muradov (22-6) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (12-3) (Middleweight)

Makhmud Muradov and Alessio Di Chirico fought in the middleweight division in the next fight. Muradov had the better start in the round, landing singular jabs and hooks. Di Chirico woke up with two minutes left in the round, starting to approach with more strikes. Di Chirico got a cut on his hairline in the final minute of the round. Muradov tried for a takedown in the last 10 seconds of the round.

The second round had some pretty close stand-up, with both of them having their moments. Muradov seemed to be the smoother fighter when it came to movement.

As the final round was nearing it’s finish, Di Chirico had Muradov standing against the cage. Muradov dropped his mouthpiece when blocking a strike. Di Chirico was applying good pressure to Muradov and landing hard shots. The fight ended as they were standing and throwing strikes. While Di Chirico had a good closing round, it was Makhmud Muradov who walked away with the win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Muradov 10 10 9 29
Di Chirico 9 9 10 28

Bout 7: John Phillips (21-9 1 NC) vs. Alen Amedovski (8-1) (Middleweight)

Before the main card started, we had a middleweight war between John Phillips and Alen Amedovski. Both fighters were swinging hard right off the bat. You could tell someone was going to fall any second. Amedovski got dropped by a punch and got up, but was dropped yet again seconds later, with the referee stepping in moments later. John Phillips wasn’t kind to those who blinked during his fight, winning in the first minute of the bout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 8: Alex Oliveria (19-7-1 2 NC) vs. Nicolas Dalby (17-3-1 1 NC) (Welterweight)

Starting off the main card was welterweights Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira and Nicolas Dalby. While Oliveira is often a fan favourite, Denmark’s Dalby had an overwhelming amount of support. After a standing clinch which changed control many times, Oliveria got a takedown in the fifth minute of the fight. Dalby reversed the takedown in the final second of the round.

A pause came early in the second round as Oliveira was poked in the eye. When they resumed, Dalby was charging forward with strikes. After clinching for a few seconds, Dalby landed a takedown. Dalby mostly landed strikes on the ground. They got up with over a minute left in the second round. Oliveira was getting hit with more punches, clinching against the cage in an attempt to stop it. Oliveira got a judo throw takedown, but Dalby was able to flip it over and take top position. The referee intervened as Oliveira did an upkick, resuming the fight on the feet although it could be argued that Dalby had the better position.

Oliveira seemed very tired in-between rounds. Oliveira got a takedown in the second minute of the final round. After a few minutes on the ground the referee stood them up. They went back to the ground where Oliveira tried for a triangle. Dalby escaped the triangle and took top position. Dalby tried for a choke and landed strikes as the fight came to a close. The crowd was appreciative as the fight ended. When turning to the scorecards it was Nicolas Dalby who got the win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd let out an impressive roar when he won.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Oliveria 10 9 9 28
Dalby 9 10 10 29

Bout 9: Ovince Saint Preux (23-13) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (14-2 1 NC) (Light Heavyweight)

The second main card fight saw UFC veteran Ovince Saint Preux face Michal Oleksiejczuk. From the very start it was Oleksiejczuk who was the faster fighter. He was picking apart Saint Preux even dropping him with a left straight at one point. Saint Preux was fighting like a gassed third round fighter except he was in the first round. Oleksiejczuk was much slower as the round was closing out.

In-between rounds the corner of OSP did one of the many memorable corners of this show. Saint Preux got a takedown halfway through the round. On the groun, Saint Preux went for a von fluke choke to win the fight. After a lackluster first round, Ovince Saint Preux earned yet another win with his famous von fluke choke.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Saint Preux 9
Oleksiejczuk 10

Bout 10: Khalil Rountree (9-3 1 NC) vs. Ion Cutelaba (14-4 1 NC) (Light Heavyweight)

Staying in the light heavyweight division, the next fight was between Khalil Rountree and Ion Cutelaba. During the introductions, Cutelaba tried to get in Rountree’s face but didn’t phase him. Early on both fighters cracked each other with a good shot. Cutelaba got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. He landed some hard elbows from top position. Cutelaba kept Rountree on the ground and threw elbows until the referee stepped in. Ion Cutelaba backed up his fight week antics with a dominant performance which only lasted one round.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 11: Gilbert Burns (16-3) vs. Gunnar Nelson (17-4-1) (Welterweight)

The next contest was between Gilbert Burns and Gunnar Nelson. The commentary was billing this as a real grappling showdown. Nelson tried to catch a leg kick and turn it into a takedown in the first minute but was denied. Burns landed some good leg kicks early on. Each fighter seemed very wary of the other’s stand-up power. Burns put Nelson into a clinch up against the cage, although it was Nelson who got a trip takedown. Nelson didn’t do much work from top position before the round ended.

Nelson had a better second round, putting Burns against the cage and having sharp striking. Nelson tried for a takedown with a minute left but was countered by a hip toss from Burns. They ended up in stand-up, where Burns landed a knee and then was taken down. Burns tried for a choke before the round concluded.

The final round included a lot of Nelson pinning Burns against the cage. Burns landed a takedown in the final minute of the round, taking the back of Nelson but only for a second. The fight went all three rounds with Gilbert Burns getting the unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Burns 10 10 10 30
Nelson 9 9 9 27

Bout 12: Danilo Belluardo (12-4) vs. Mark O. Madsen (8-0) (Lightweight)

The co-main event of the show saw Denmark’s Mark O. Madsen face Danilo Belluardo. Madsen got a takedown in the first minute of the fight. He landed tons of strikes while in top position. He kept going with elbows until the referee stopped the bout. In his UFC debut, Mark O. Madsen did more than enough to prove why he should be in the promotion.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 13: Jared Cannonier (12-4) (#9) vs. Jack Hermansson (20-4) (#5) (Middleweight)

Finally the main event of the evening was between two ranked middleweights in Jared Cannonier and Jack Hermansson. Worth mentioning that in Cannonier’s corner was Benson Henderson, who fought on a Bellator card the day before. Hermansson went for leg kicks right off the bat. He tried for a takedown which Cannonier defended. Upon second attempt, Hermansson got a suplex, taking the back of Cannonier. Cannonier escaped the position in a short amount of time. Cannonier started to open up his striking more in the second half of the round.

Early in the second round Cannonier hurt Hermansson with a punch. He was quick to start with the ground and pound, throwing punches until the referee stepped in. Jared Cannonier’s sudden yet dangerous win over Jack Hermansson left the crowd stunned as the show ended.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Cannonier 10
Hermansson 9


UFC on ESPN+ 18: Hermansson vs. Cannonier Full Preview

This upcoming weekend is a busy one for combat sports. With two Bellator shows, a UFC Fight Night and a boxing prize fight, there will be an event on at almost every time of the day. Following Bellator’s Friday event, UFC will hold “UFC on ESPN+ 18” will take place live from Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday morning. Headlining the show will be middleweights Jack “The Joker” Hermansson and Jared Cannonier. Both ranked middleweights are up-and-coming within the division, with this fight being a test for them. Before the main event however, there is 12 other fights, with the card kicking off at 11AM EST on ESPN+ (on UFC Fight Pass for Canadian viewers).

Bout 1: Nohelin Hernandez (10-3) vs. Jack Shore (11-0) (Bantamweight)

The first bout of the evening is the debut of a prospect from the British scene in Jack Shore against Nohelin Hernandez. Shore comes into the UFC with an 11-0 record, picking up a large amount of those wins within the Cage Warriors promotion in the UK. The Wales fighter will face Hernandez, who lost his UFC debut against Marlon Vera in July.

Bout 2: Marc Diakiese (13-3) vs. Lando Vannata (10-3-2) (Lightweight)

While Marc Diakiese and Lando Vannata have settled into their positions in the UFC, their records don’t reflect that. Vannata holds a 2-3-2 record since joining the promotion, with Diakiese sporting a 3-4 record. Both fighters are coming off a victory. Whoever wins this fight will be starting their first winning streak in a couple or more years. 

Bout 3: Macy Chiasson (5-0) vs. Lina Lansberg (9-4) (Bantamweight)

Macy Chiasson has had a short professional MMA career, but she has been flawless throughout. After winning Season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter, Chiasson has went on to get finishing victories over Gina Mazany and Sarah Moras, making her record 5-0. She will go up against Lina Lansberg, who has taken turns with wins and losses since her UFC debut. The Swede took Tonya Evinger to a decision three months back, getting a victory unanimously. In a tough fight for both fighters, Lansberg will aim to break the undefeated record of Chiasson.

Bout 4: Giga Chikadze (7-2) vs. Brandon Davis (10-7) (Featherweight)

Giga Chikadze will be making his UFC debut on Saturday, attempting to continue a current two-fight winning streak when he faces Brandon Davis. Just a month after his loss to Kyung Ho Kang, Davis will be attempting to rebound with this fight.

Bout 5: Siyar Bahadurzada (24-7-1) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (18-3) (Welterweight)

Continuing on the preliminary card, welterweights veteran UFC fighter Siyar Bahadurzada will fight Ismail Naurdiev. Naurdiev has fought twice before in the UFC, picking up a win against Michel Prazeres and most recently a loss against Chance Rencountre. His opponent this time around, Bahadurzada, is a veteran of the highest promotion. Although he has been with the UFC since 2012, he only holds a record of 4-3. Bahadurzada most recently fought at the end of 2018, taking a decision loss to Curtis Millender.

Bout 6: Alessio Di Chirico (12-3) vs. Makhmud Muradov (22-6) (Middleweight)

Makhmud Muradov’s entrance into the UFC this weekend will come against Alessio Di Chirico. Almost everything indicates it to be a win for Muradov. He’s the more experienced fighter, the bigger fighter and currently on an 11-fight winning streak. Di Chirico is coming off a decision loss to Kevin Holland.

Bout 7: Alen Amedovski (8-1) vs. John Phillips (21-9) (Middleweight)

Wales fighter John Phillips will potentially fight for his spot in the UFC on Saturday, attempting to snap a current three-fight winning streak that started with his promotional debut. His opponent Alen Amedovski’s situation is less severe, currently attempting to bounce back from his debut loss against Krzysztof Jotko five months ago. Amedovski has fought at a high level before, getting two first round finish wins in Bellator.

Bout 8: Alex Oliveira (20-7-1) vs. Nicolas Dalby (17-3-1) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the main card at 2PM EST on ESPN+ will be Alex Oliveira and Nicolas Dalby. The fight will be a return to the UFC for Dalby. After leaving the promotion in 2016 with a record of 1-3-1, Dalby turned to the Cage Warriors promotion to go 3-1 1 NC. Now returning to the UFC with the goal of having a better run than last time, it won’t be an easy entrance against Oliveira. While the last two fights for Oliveira were losses, they came against big opponents in Gunnar Nelson and “Platinum” Mike Perry.

Bout 9: Ovince St. Preux (22-13) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (14-2) (Light Heavyweight)

The next fight has a clear storyline: the up-and-coming fighter versus a gatekeeper of the weight class. Heading into his 20th UFC fight, Ovince St. Preux has been matched against Michal Oleksiejczuk, who has a 2-0-1 record since joining the UFC back in 2017. A win against St. Preux would be the biggest one in the career of Oleksiejczuk so far.

Bout 10: Ion Cutelaba (15-4) vs. Khalil Rountree (8-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Ion Cutelaba and Khalil Rountree are two of the biggest light heavyweight names that aren’t ranked. Bouncing back with a win against Eryk Anders earlier this year, Khalil Rountree will look to crash the rankings after beating Ion Cutelaba. Cutelaba on the other hand recently lost to Glover Teixeira, getting choked out in the second round. A win for either fighter could mean seeing their name on the top 15 list next week.

Bout 11: Gunnar Nelson (17-4-1) vs. Gilbert Burns (16-3) (Welterweight)

Just over a month after his last victory, Gilbert Burns is booked for another fight. His opponent this time around is Gunnar Nelson. Both fighters were on the same UFC 231 card in December last year where they both picked up a win. Since then, Burns has went 2-0 in MMA fights, defeating Mike Davis and just last month breaking the undefeated streak of Alexey Kunchenko. Nelson has only fought once within the same timeframe, losing to Leon Edwards.

Bout 12: Mark O. Madsen (8-0) vs. Danilo Belluardo (12-4) (Lightweight)

The under-represented Denmark will at least see a debuting fighter in the co-main event of the evening. Coming into the promotion with an undefeated record, Mark O. Madsen will face Danilo Belluardo, who is 0-1 within the promotion. Coming in as a huge favourite, Madsen’s prior notable wins came from unofficial UFC feeder promotion Cage Warriors.

Bout 13: Jack Hermansson (20-4) vs. Jared Cannonier (12-4) (Middleweight)

The main event of the evening will see highly ranked middleweights Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier face off. Hermansson is the higher ranked fighter (#5) while Cannonier is in a somewhat lower spot (#9). While a win from either fighter likely wouldn’t blast them up to a title contender position, they would be within a fight’s distance likely of being the top contender. Before getting to the title, they would have to defeat a top contender like Paulo Costa, Kelvin Gastelum, the loser of Israel Adesanya versus Robert Whittaker or even Yoel Romero, who is a step below the others.

Jack Hermansson is currently on a four-fight winning streak, stopping three of his opponents. His most recent win was a dominant five round fight against Jacare Souza back in April. The Swede debuted in the UFC in 2016, only losing twice since then. Cannonier has won two in a row, stopping both David Branch and Anderson Silva (although the win over Silva came via leg injury). If you’re interested in further reading, ESPN did a good piece talking about how Cannonier went from heavyweight to middleweight.

UFC has a big event next weekend live from Australia. Starting at 6:30 PM EST with the main card at 10PM EST, UFC 243 will be headlined by Robert Whittaker putting his UFC Middleweight Championship up against interim Champion Israel Adesanya. The show will also feature other prominent Australia and New Zealand based-UFC fighters.