UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cerrone Full Coverage

UFC held it’s first event of 2020 on Saturday, featuring easily their biggest star of the past decade: Conor McGregor. In his returning fight, “The Notorious” returned to face fan-favourite fighter “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. The show included 11 fights in total, with six preliminary bouts. Here’s the full report of the show.

Quick Results:

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo def. JJ Aldrich via Decision, Split

Bout 2: Aleksa Camur def. Justin Ledet via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 3: Drew Dober def. Nasrat Haqparast via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 1:10)

Bout 4: Askar Askarov def. Tim Elliott via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 5: Sodiq Yusuff def. Andre Fili via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 6: Roxanne Modafferi def. Maycee Barber via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 7: Diego Ferreira def. Anthony Pettis via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:46)

Bout 8: Brian Kelleher def. Ode Osbourne via Submission, Guillotine (RD 1, 2:49)

Bout 9: Alexey Oleinik def. Maurice Greene via Submission, Armbar (RD 2, 4:38)

Bout 10: Holly Holm def. Raquel Pennington via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 11: Conor McGregor def. Donald Cerrone via TKO, Punches (RD 1, 0:40)

Full Coverage

Bout 1: JJ Aldrich (8-3) vs. Sabina Mazo (7-1) (Flyweight)

The UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims started with a flyweight fight between JJ Aldrich and Sabina Mazo. It was clear when seeing the fighters that Mazo had the height advantage. The fighters had a close stand-up battle to start the fight. Aldrich was coming in with small combinations of punches. Mazo was consistently backing up, but overall she was landing the better shots.

Mazo picked up the pace a little with her punches at the start of the second round. This round looked way better for Mazo, as not only was she constantly advancing but also landing more. Aldrich still had her moments with punches. Mazo started to bleed around her nose. Mazo landed a good knee in the clinch in the final minute of the fight, as well as a head kick in the closing seconds.

Mazo opened the final round with a clinch up against the cage. When they returned to stand-up, it was clear that Mazo was working a faster pace that Aldrich. Initiating another clinch, Mazo got a lot of strikes in. Aldrich had blood on her face, but it was hard to see if the blood was from her or Mazo. The referee separated them and brought them back to stand-up with just over a minute to go. The fighters survived all three rounds, going to the decision. When they went to the scorecards, Sabina Mazo won with a split decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Aldrich 10 9 9 28
Mazo 9 10 10 29

Bout 2: Justin Ledet (9-2) vs. Aleksa Camur (5-0) (Light Heavyweight)

Making his UFC debut after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Aleksa Camur faced Justin Ledet in the next fight. Camur tried for a spinning kick right off the bat. He did not connect with it. Ledet landed a combination of punches in the second minute which rocked Camur a little. The round was very back-and-forth. 

Camur was seemingly having cardio issues early on in the fight. He landed good one or two-piece shots in this round. Ledet had his shots as well. With Ledet against the cage in the final minute, Camur had a good combination of punches.

The final round was a slow paced one as both fighters were clearly tired. Camur got a takedown as the round ended, doing some very exhausted ground and pound. When going to decision, Aleksa Camur got the unanimous decision win (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ledet 9 9 10 29
Camur 10 10 9 28

Bout 3: Nasrat Haqparast (11-2) vs. Drew Dober (21-9) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the ESPN preliminary card was a lightweight battle between Nasrat Haqparast and UFC veteran Drew Dober. Dober landed a good jab to start the fight. Haqparast landed a good combination of strikes, but slipped at the end. Dober landed an overhand punch which dropped Haqparast. Dober followed up with numerous punches on the ground until the referee stepped in. The stoppage was way late, but nonetheless a great performance by Drew Dober.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 4: Askar Askarov (10-0-1) (#12) vs. Tim Elliott (15-9) (#7) (Flyweight)

In the first fight of the evening that featured ranked fighters, undefeated Askar Askarov fought Tim Elliott. Elliott’s outside of the box movement made him hard to hit, but Askarov landed a shot which rocked him hard in the second minute. Askarov took top position on the ground after the knockdown. Elliott tried for a guillotine choke from the bottom position. Askarov did some ground and pound from top position. They stayed on the ground until the round ended.

Elliott got a judo throw at the start of the second round and tried for a guillotine on the ground, but Askarov slipped out and stood back up. Askarov put Elliott against the cage, failing to get a takedown before they went back to stand-up. Elliott landed another throw takedown. Askarov tried for an armbar for a moment but didn’t commit to it. Elliott went into side control, escaping a possible triangle choke. Despite Elliott putting them on the ground, it felt like he was fully playing defence in the position. They went back to stand-up in the final minute. Elliott shot for another takedown but did not get it.

Askarov was connecting with some punches early in the final round. Elliott was egging on Askarov, telling him to do more and putting his hands down. Elliott was landing, but getting hit just as much by a backpedalling Askarov. They were in a clinch for a bit of the final minute, with Elliott getting them to the ground for a moment. They went the distance, clearly both tired at the end. When going to the scorecard, Askar Askarov saw the victory (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Askarov 10 9 10 29
Elliott 9 10 9 28

Bout 5: Sodiq Yusuff (10-1) vs. Andre Fili (20-6) (Featherweight)

Continuing into the second hour of the prelims, Sodiq Yusuff fought Andre Fili. Both fighters were swinging hard punches right from the jump. Yusuff was connecting good with a jab. Fili tried for a takedown in the second minute of the fight, failing to take the fight to the ground. He tried again a minute later, getting the takedown this time. Yusuff was quick to get back to his feet. Fili’s face was starting to turn red from strikes. Fili got another takedown, although Yusuff got back up in a clinch. Fili landed his best shot of the round in the fourth minute, almost dropping Yusuff with a shot. He got a takedown on the rocked Yusuff, although they got back to their feet. They went back down as Yusuff put in a kimura. It looked good, but Fili escaped eventually. Fili tried for an armbar from bottom position but let go as Yusuff lifted him up and possibly tried to slam him.

Yusuff caught a leg kick by Fili, sweeping him to the ground in the first minute of the second round. Yusuff was in control on the ground, landing some knees to the body while in side control. When Yusuff got up, Fili threw some upkicks. Yusuff went back down to the ground into full mount. They got back up with a minute left in the round. Fili got a double leg takedown, but Yusuff stood back up again. They went into a standing clinch up against the cage.

In the third round, Yusuff was connecting with powerful singular shots again. Fili got a good counter-punch in the round. The whole round was slower pace striking, with nobody ever landing anything that showed particular damage. The fight went to the scorecards with Sodiq Yusuff earning the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yusuff 10 10 10 30
Fili 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Roxanne Modafferi (23-16) (#7)  vs. Maycee Barber (8-0) (#9) (Flyweight)

Finishing off the preliminary card, undefeated prospect Maycee Barber was pitted against MMA veteran Roxanne Modafferi. Ben Askren was in the corner of Barber. After landing a few punches, Modafferi got a takedown from a clinch. Modafferi did short little punches from half guard. From bottom position, Barber tried for a guillotine choke, but Modafferi’s head popped out eventually. Modafferi got on Barber’s back for a moment, but ended on her back on the ground as the round ended.

Modafferi dropped Barber with a leg jab at the start of the second round. Modafferi went to the ground and took side control. She went into full mount, and started to do some ground and pound. Modafferi started to throw some elbows. Barber was able flip the position, taking control on the ground. It was clear that the elbows cut Barber open. Modafferi was able to get back in top position, focusing on strikes. She took Barber’s back, trying for a rear naked choke for a moment. Barber flipped around again, with Modaffering in half guard. Barber was really bleeding at this point. When Barber got up at the end of the round, it was clear her left leg was injured, limping badly. 

A timeout was called at the start of the final round, letting a doctor check out her left leg. The doctor said she has an ACL tear, but she’s fine. When the third round started, Barber was having tons of trouble moving around. Modafferi was landing some good punches, knocking Barber back quite a bit. Modafferi got another takedown, where Barber tried for a guillotine at the bottom. Barber flipped into top position, trying for an americana. They eventually got out of the position. Modafferi went back into top position for the rest of the round. Barber didn’t bleed as much this round, but did start to bleed more near the end of the round. Upsetting the Vegas oddsmakers, Roxanne Modafferi went on to get a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Modafferi 10 10 10 30
Barber 9 9 9 27

Bout 7: Diego Ferreira (16-2) vs. Anthony Pettis (22-9) (#11) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the main card, ranked fighter Anthony Pettis fought Diego Ferreira in a lightweight fight. Ferreira shot for a takedown in the first minute but did not get it. He tried again halfway through the round, getting it to the ground on the back of Pettis. They returned to stand-up a minute later. Ferreira got a second takedown in the final 30 seconds of the first round. From side control he landed a couple of short elbows.

Ferreira caught a kick at the start of the second round, getting a takedown and hopping on the back of Pettis on the ground. Pettis moved around, but Ferreira got back on the back of Pettis. After throwing lots of punches, Ferreira committed to the rear naked choke, which made Pettis tap out. Diego Ferreira should expect to crash the rankings, stopping Anthony Pettis in the second round and extending his winning streak to six in a row.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ferreira 10
Pettis 9

Bout 8: Ode Osbourne (8-2) vs. Brian Kelleher (19-10) (Bantamweight)

Contender Series success story Ode Osbourne debuted against Brian Kelleher in the next fight. This matchup was originally meant for the preliminary card, but after some changes, found itself pushed up two slots. Right at the start, Osbourne landed an odd jumping punch. Kelleher’s stance seemed very shelled up, while Osbourne had his arms out quite often. Kelleher got a takedown in the first minute. He did some ground and pound from top position. Kellher put in a guillotine choke which made Osbourne tap out eventually. Bouncing back from a two-fight losing streak, Brian Kelleher got a fast win against the still learning Ode Osbourne.

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 9: Alexey Oleinik (57-13-1) (#12) vs. Maurice Greene (8-3) (Heavyweight)

In the next fight, MMA veteran Alexey Oleinik fought Maurice Greene. Oleinik got dropped right off the bat from a kick. He got back up immediately. Dodging a kick, Oleinik clinched up and took him down. He took side control on the ground. Green tried for a triangle from bottom position, but Oleinik escaped quickly. The crowd was booing the whole time they were on the ground. They got up for a second but went back down where Oleinik was in full mount. He went into side control and tried for a head and arm choke. Greene endured for a while, eventually throwing some hammerfist punches too. He survived the choke until the round ended.

At the start of the second round, Oleinik seemed fatigued. He was eating lots of strikes from Greene, including a head kick. Oleinik walked down Green, starting another clinch. Greene got out, throwing more punches. Oleinik tried for a takedown, eventually getting it. Oleinik tried for a choke from top position again. The crowd went back to booing. Greene tried for a kimura from the bottom position. Oleinik, who was now bleeding a bit on his forehead, tried for an armbar in the final minute. He was really huffing and puffing while trying for this hold. Eventually, Greene tapped out, giving Alexey Oleinik another win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Oleinik 10
Greene 9

Bout 10: Raquel Pennington (10-7) (#5) vs. Holly Holm (12-5) (#3) (Bantamweight)

In the co-main event of the evening, high ranked bantamweights Raquel Pennington and Holly Holm collided. The first two minutes of the fight were slow. Holm charged in and put Pennington put against the cage in the third minute. Holm landed many strikes in the clinch. Holm was controlling up against the cage until the end of the round, trying for a guillotine as it closed out.

Holm put Pennington up against the cage early in the second round. They went back to stand-up with two minutes left. The crowd cheered for that. Holm put Pennington back up against the cage moments later, to the crowd’s displeasure.

The third round was slow paced with more clinch work. It felt like this was Pennington’s best round, throwing lots of shots when they did stand-up. The referee separated a clinch near the end of the round. The fight went the distance, with Holly Holm getting the unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pennington 9 9 10 28
Holm 10 10 9 29

Bout 11: Conor McGregor (21-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-13) (Welterweight)


The main event saw the return of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor against fan-friendly fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The welterweight fight was not for a championship but was for five rounds. The crowd was heavily in favour of McGregor, although there wasn’t much hostility towards Cerrone. McGregor came charing at Cerrone right off the bat, throwing strikes in the clinch. When they left the clinch, it was clear damage was done to Cerrone’s nose. He threw a leg kick which had Cerrone retreating. He then got dropped by punches. McGregor kept with punches until referee Herb Dean stepped in and ended the fight. Winning in under a minute, Conor McGregor had a successful return to MMA. 

My Scorecard:

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

UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy Preview

UFC prefers to have the main events of their high-tier cards with a championship belt attached. You see that nearly every time there’s a pay-per-view. But, sometimes, they make exceptions. Sometimes due to the main event being scrapped last minute, and other times due to large star power. This was seem in November, with Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz fighting in Madison Square Garden for an imaginary belt, “The Baddest M*****F*****” belt. Masvidal’s explosive mainstream rise in 2019 allowed him to pair himself with Diaz, and draw a fair amount of viewers.

This exception will be made yet again this weekend, with arguably the biggest UFC star in the last decade, Conor McGregor, making his octagon return against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The fight is easily the lowest-caliber one McGrgeor has seen in a long time, although a good test for a star who has lost more than he has won in recent years.

With those losses lies a question of when the diamond that is McGregor will lose his value. Can McGregor afford to lose again, better-yet to a fighter who is a gatekeeper to the division? Well, to answer that question would be getting ahead of ourselves, because it’s not a relevant question unless he actually loses. And that will be found out this weekend in the main event of UFC 246.

As it is a pay-per-view event, the card features many recognizable names to UFC fans throughout. Live this Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, let’s preview this weekend’s UFC 246 card.

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (7-1) vs. JJ Aldrich (8-3) (Flyweight)

The evening will begin at 6:30PM EST with three fights on the UFC Fight Pass early prelims. The first of the trio is between flyweights Sabina Mazo and JJ Aldrich. Two fights into her UFC career, Mazo has a 1-1 record, recently winning over Shana Dobson via decision. Aldrich has much more experience in the big leagues, with a 4-2 record since joining the UFC in 2016.

Bout 2: Ode Osbourne (8-2) vs. Brian Kelleher (19-10) (Bantamweight)

Dana White’s Contender Series winner Ode Osbourne will see his UFC debut in a fight against Brian Kelleher, who will try to break his two-fight losing streak. Osbourne finished Armando Villarreal with an armbar within a round on the Contender Series to earn his contract. Kelleher last lost to Montel Jackson in late 2018. He was absent throughout 2019, as a scheduled fight in May against Mitch Gagnon was cancelled due to an injury.

Bout 3: Aleksa Camur (5-0) vs. Justin Ledet (9-2) (Light Heavyweight)

The fight following Osbourne versus Kelleher is one that feels like the exact same scenario. Aleksa Camur, who got a UFC contract through the Contender Series will face Justin Ledet, who is on a two-fight losing streak. Camur has won all five of his pro fights via strikes, being undefeated as a pro and amateur. Ledet’s last fight saw him fall victim to the unpredictable striking of Johnny Walker, back in February.

Bout 4: Nasrat Haqparast (11-2) vs. Drew Dober (21-9) (Lightweight)

At 8PM EST, the preliminary card will switch to ESPN (TSN 3 in Canada) for four more bouts. The first of the group is a lightweight bout between Nasrat Haqparast and Drew Dober. After a road bump UFC debut against Marcin Held, Haqparast has won three in a row, most recently over Joaquim Silva. Dober has much more experience in the UFC, fighting for the promotion since 2013. His most recent win saw him stop Polo Reyes in just over a minute.

Bout 5: Tim Elliott (15-9-1) vs. Askar Askarov (10-0-1) (Flyweight)

In September, Askar Askarov made his UFC debut, wagering his undefeated record. And while he remained undefeated, he did not see the satisfaction of a win, going to a draw against Brandon Moreno. This time around he will face Tim Elliott, who has a 2-3 record in the UFC, recently losing to Deiveson Figueiredo. In a thin division like the flyweight one, a win could bring either fighter into higher relevance.

Bout 6: Andre Fili (20-6) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (10-1) (Featherweight)

Since winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Sodiq Yusuff has been flawless in the UFC at 3-0. Now, he will see the biggest challenge of his career so far, facing Andre Fili. The now-UFC veteran has a 7-5 record within the promotion.

Bout 7: Maycee Barber (8-0) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (23-16) (Flyweight)

Still undefeated three fights into her UFC career, Maycee Barber could easily be the top flyweight prospect. However, her next matchup should be a good text, as she will face Roxanne Modafferi. “The Happy Warrior” has been fighting since 2003, with a current 2-3 record in the UFC. There’s no doubt that Modafferi’s advantage in this matchup is experience. However, experience means nothing until it’s used in competition. Many have written off Modafferi, with Vegas odds having her as a heavy underdog.

Bout 8: Anthony Pettis (22-9) vs. Diego Ferreira (16-2) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the card at 10PM EST will be Anthony Pettis and Diego Ferreira. Brazil’s Ferreira has been on fire lately, on a five-fight winning streak. Pettis is coming off a loss, going to decision against Nate Diaz. In the fight before that, Pettis became the first fighter to knock out Stephen Thompson, landing a superman punch in the first round.

Claudia Gadelha versus Alexa Grasso was meant to also be on the main card, but was cancelled due to the fighters not being within a three pounds of eachother. Grasso couldn’t make the 116-pound strawweight limit, coming in at 121 pounds.

Bout 10: Alexey Oleinik (57-13-1) vs. Maurice Greene (8-3) (Heavyweight)

With a 3-1 record so far in the UFC, Maurice Greene could be described as a prospect for the heavyweight division. However, similar to the Barber/Modafferi matchup earlier in the card, he will face the extremely experienced Alexey Oleinik in his next fight. Oleinik has been finished in his last two fights, those being losses to Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. After a three-fight winning streak, Greene saw his first UFC setback in October when he lost to Sergey Pavlovich.

Bout 11: Holly Holm (12-5) vs. Raquel Pennington (10-7) (Bantamweight)

The co-main event of the evening will see Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington compete. The fight is Holm’s return after losing to Amanda Nunes in July, failing to take the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Pennington got a split decision in the same month over Irene Aldana, snapping her losing streak. Like most of this card, this fight hasn’t gotten much attention in the media. That could be because there’s no real angle or explicit implications for whoever wins this.

Bout 12: Conor McGregor (21-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-13) (Welterweight)

Finally, the main event will be between “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. Like mentioned before, this fight is one for McGregor that skill-wise is the lowest quality opponent he’s gotten in a while. However, it’s not sure where his skill lies too, so this bout could be a good litmus test for him.

McGregor’s last fight was a failed attempt to win the UFC Lightweight Championship in October of 2018, tapping out to a rear naked choke in the fourth round. His last mixed-martial-arts fight before then was in fall of 2016, winning over Eddie Alvarez. Since his last fight, McGregor has found himself entrenched in controversy outside of the octagon. In August, McGregor plead guilty to assault, following an incident where he punched a man in a Dublin bar. He was given a 1,000 euro fine for the incident.

Also during the layoff, the New York Times reported that two investigations for sexual assault were launched on McGregor. When the allegations were brought up at a press conference on Wednesday, the crowd and panelists reacted negatively.

Cerrone has fought five times since McGregor last fought. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak, dropping to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Before then however, Cerrone won three in a row, notably going five rounds with Al Iaquinta.

The fight is held at welterweight, which is uncommon for McGregor. Cerrone has fought in welterweight before, but not in recent bouts.

Following UFC 246, the next UFC event will be on January 25th, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, going head-to-head with Bellator’s show in California. The next pay-per-view event by the UFC is on February 8th, with Jon Jones attempting to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Dominic Reyes.

UFC on ESPN 5: Covington vs. Lawler Full Report

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

UFC on ESPN 5: Covington vs. Lawler Preview

UFC will ditch their usual start time on Saturday when UFC Newark takes place. With prelims starting at Noon Eastern Time and the main card three hours after, the sun will not go down before all winning arms are raised in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Along with 11 other fighters, ranked Welterweights Colby Covington and Robbie Lawler will face off in the main event of the card which will air on ESPN. Let’s look at the card from start to finish.

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

The night will kick off with a bout with high stakes involved. Both in their UFC debut, Hannah Goldy and Miranda Granger will put up their undefeated streaks. Goldy fought three times before being scouted on the ongoing season of the Tuesday Night Contender Series, earning her contract. Granger didn’t come through UFC’s star-finding show but recently fought in CFFC, a promotion which broadcasts on UFC Fight Pass. In her professional career, Granger has never gone into the final round, with numerous submission victories.

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

Heading into his fifth UFC fight, Claudio Silva has seen success so far, racking up four straight wins. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for his slip up in his pro debut, Silva would still be an undefeated fighter. But, most people eventually lose the big O on their record. He will be stacked up against Cole Williams, who similarily, has only taken one pro loss early in his campaign. Williams established himself in Iowa, fighting frequently in the Pinnacle Combat promotion. It was reported a few weeks back that Williams would replace Ramazan Emeev on this card after visa issues stopped the original pairing. On Friday, Williams failed to make weight, weighing 176 pounds over the 170 limit.

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

In the second flyweight matchup of the afternoon, Mara Romero Borella and Lauren Murphy will battle each other. Borella holds a 2-1 record within the UFC, while Murphy has had a less lucky 2-4 record (with an exhibition loss against Nicco Montano on The Ultimate Fighter). Murphy was pulled out of a fight against Ashlee Evans-Smith earlier in 2018 after she suffered an injury. Nearly six months later, Murphy will see her first matchup in 14 months.

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

In another flyweight bout, two fighters on a hot-streak will collide. Matt Schnell, who is on a three-fight winning streak in the UFC, will face Jordan Espinosa, who has won five times in a row including one UFC victory. Schnell turned around his unsuccessful UFC career, not winning The Ultimate Fighter Season 24, and taking two pro losses. Since then, he has gotten three wins over Marco Antonio Beltran, Naoki Inoue and Louis Smolka. Espinosa is on a longer win streak, however, most of them have come outside of the UFC. Winning twice in 2017 and in 2018, Espinosa came in hot in his UFC debut, getting a decision victory over Eric Shelton. Someone’s momentum may come to a halt on Saturday.

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

In the Shevchenko family, it’s “Bullet” Valentina Shevchenko who is more well known. While this is the case, nowadays chances are that people might be talking about Antonina Shevchenko as well. Debuting in the UFC in late 2018, Shevchenko has defeated Ji Yeon Kim and lost to Roxanne Modafferi, handing “The Panther” her first pro loss. She will face Lucie Pudilova on Saturday, who is on a two-fight losing streak, albeit against formidable opponents in Irene Aldana (bantamweight bout) and Liz Carmouche. Pudilova has had a longer stint within the UFC, debuting in 2017 and having an overall 2-3 record.

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

While young in his career, Mickey Gall is a name that most MMA fans will remember. His decisive win over former WWE wrestler CM Punk back in 2016 put many eyes on the then 24-year-old MMA fighter with a 2-0 record prior to the competition. He has since fought four more times, overall having a 4-2 record within the promotion. His recent loss came against UFC veteran Diego Sanchez, who got his first stoppage win in over a decade. In his next fight, Gall will be replacing Zelim Imadaev due to injury. Like some of his recent fights, Gall will be facing a more experienced fighter in Salim Touahri on Saturday. Touahri will attempt to snap his two-fight losing streak, which has been in place since his UFC debut.

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

Starting off the main card, the show will have it’s heaviest bout on the card. Darko Stosic and Kennedy Nzechukwu will compete in a Light Heavyweight bout, as the broadcast flips to ESPN at 3 PM Eastern Time. Stosic and Nzechukwu haven’t started their UFC career in the way they necessarily wanted, with Stosic having a 1-1 record and Nzechukwu holding a 0-1 record. Although, one will likely see success on Saturday, turning the tide for their career.

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

In the first of three lightweight bouts of the afternoon, two experienced UFC fighters in Scott Holtzman and “Maestro” Dong Hyun Ma will compete. Holtzman has fought eight times before in the UFC, currently with a 5-3 record in the promotion. Hyun Ma has fought six times, with an even record of 3-3. They have both lost recently, breaking their three-fight win streaks before. If Hyun Ma were to win on Saturday, it would be a real indictment for the UFC to not book him on the UFC Fight Night in Busan, South Korea set for December 21, 2019. Dong Hyun Ma weighed in at 158, going three pounds above the lightweight limit.

Bout 9: Gerald Meerschaert (29-11) vs. Trevin Giles (11-1) (Middleweight)

Gerald Meerschaert and Trevin Giles will compete in the next bout. The experience differential is large, with Giles having the same number of wins as Meerschaert has losses. Giles took his first pro loss in May, losing to Zak Cummings in his third UFC bout. Meerschaert is on a two-fight losing streak, making his current record in the UFC 4-3.

Bout 10: Joaquim Silva (11-1) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (10-2) (Lightweight)

Joaquim Silva and Nasrat Haqparast have the same amount of MMA bouts each, but a win for Haqparast on Saturday will make their wins and losses equal. Heading into his fourth UFC bout, Haqparast is 2-1 in the UFC, coming back after an eight-month layoff, defeating Thibault Gouti in a 2018 bout. Joaquim Silva is also coming back after a similar time of absence, beating Jared Gordon in December. Silva currently has a 4-1 record in the UFC.

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

In the co-main event will be a battle between two very experienced UFC fighters. Clay Guida and Jim Miller have fought in the UFC since 2006 and 2008 respectively, making them some of the longest standing active UFC fighters. Both fighters have won already in 2019. Miller had a quick first-round rear naked choke win over Jason Gonzalez in April. Guida fought fellow veteran BJ Penn for three rounds in May, taking all three scorecards to get his victory.

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

Back in June of 2018, Colby Covington seemingly sealed his fate as the next in line for a UFC Welterweight title shot, defeating Rafael dos Anjos and becoming the interim champion. That was the plan at least, until a nasal injury sidelined him from a bout, and also took away his expected title shot. He now finds himself scheduled to face fellow ranked fighter Robbie Lawler in a main event, but no belts are involved.

Robbie Lawler attempted to spoil Ben Askren’s UFC debut in March, but lost in a controversial stoppage due to a bulldog choke. Before then, he lost to Rafael dos Anjos in a decision. Before he beat Donald Cerrone in 2017, his last win, he lost in just over two minutes to Tyron Woodley, former Welterweight Champion. Whilst a much more experienced UFC fighter than Covington, he’s lost to people Covington has beat, and more importantly, has been losing much more lately.

Colby Covington’s personality, specifically online, has made him a polarizing figure. Through his Instagram videos and sponsored content, he often flaunts his lifestyle and mocks his viewers with terms like “snowflakes” and “nerds.” Despite his stripping of the interim belt, Covington has continued to carry a championship in his photos and videos.

Covington has also never been afraid to share his political values, being a vocal endorser of current President of The United States Donald Trump. He often wears Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats in posts and visited the White House shortly after his Interim Championship victory. It was announced earlier in the week that two sons of the President, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. would be present for the main event on Saturday.

All antics will be put aside on Saturday when Colby Covington and Robbie Lawler face off in the main event. Covington currently sits in #2 in the Welterweight rankings, with Lawler at #11. A win for Covington could mean a now long-awaited title shot, with Lawler also being put in the conversation if he comes out victorious.