Maycee Barber Suffers Torn ACL After UFC 246 Bout

It was found out Sunday that Maycee Barber suffered a torn ACL in her left knee during her fight against Roxanne Modafferi on the UFC 246 undercard on Saturday, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

Barber’s leg was examined in-between rounds two and three during her fight on Saturday, with the doctor at the time claiming it was a “partial ACL tear.” Barber went on to lose the fight via unanimous decision.

The fight on Saturday was the first pro MMA loss for Barber, racking up eight wins prior to the defeat. She came in as a heavy favourite for the fight based off of Vegas odds.

Read the full report of UFC 246 here.


Laying Down Leather #8: UFC 246

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Laying Down Leather, the casual blog post discussing my thoughts on events throughout the past week. Happy Martin Luther King day.


I watched three MMA events this weekend, those being Future MMA 11, LFA 80 and of course UFC 246. I’ll get to UFC in a second.

Future MMA was a fun card with some real exciting fights. Honestly, LFA wasn’t worth watching, mostly because of the horrible reffing throughout.

UFC was a weak card on paper, but in general was fun to watch. Maybe I am giving it more credit cause I haven’t watched a UFC show in quite a while. It’s possible.

Three Stars

Star 1: Conor McGregor

Many people were confident that Conor McGregor would come back and beat Donald Cerrone. With that being said, not many predicted that he would win in 40 seconds. Actually, Straight Blast Gym member James Gallagher got it perfectly right a few months back, but besides him not many saw it ending that way. Without a scratch on him, McGregor should be seen again in 2020

Star 2: Drew Dober

Drew Dober was the most discussed name from the UFC 246 undercard, stopping Nasrat Haqparast in the first round. The impressive win deservedly gave him some press. Unfortunately, the referee gave Haqparast one too many chances at the end, letting him eat more than 10 unanswered shots.

Star 3: Alexey Oleinik

The gassed and slow moving Alexey Oleinik had some trouble against Maurice Greene, but nonetheless got it done within two rounds. I can’t put it any better, so I’ll borrow the words of Mike Bohn by saying he’s the “Vince Carter of MMA.”

Fight of the Night: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber

The classic veteran versus up-and-comer booking for Roxanne Modafferi versus Maycee Barber proved to be entertaining. Upsetting the Vegas odds which put her at +550, Roxanne Modafferi beat Maycee Barber in a bloody and dominant fashion. Also, props to Barber, who endured a torn ACL and becoming a mess, showing pure toughness. With that being said, a case could be made that her corner or Barber herself should have thrown in the towel. For the many possible first losses a fighter could experience, Barber went through a pretty good one.

This week, I’ll have some articles leading up to Bellator 238 and UFC on ESPN+ 4, which take place this weekend. And of course expect coverage of those events afterwards as well. Sadly, not live due to work.

A little side note. No more cryptic stuff, folks. Next week on Laying Down Leather, I’ll announce the next big project I’ll be undertaking, which starts in February. Stay tuned.

Have a great week.

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 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 230: Daniel Cormier Successfully Defends Heavyweight Championship via Submission

On Saturday UFC put on their third show inside Madison Square Garden. This has become something of a tradition for the brand, with the MSG events being a supercard. Two years ago UFC made their New York City debut when Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in the the second round at UFC 205. Last year at UFC 217 George St. Pierre defeated Michael Bisping on a three title card. This time around it’s Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis for the Heavyweight Championship.

This card was something that was originally set to be a supercard, but didn’t become such a thing after many fights falling through. The biggest of fight cancelled was Nate Diaz versus Dustin Poirier in what could be considered a fan friendly fight. There was also another championship bout that was originally planned for this card, being Valentina Shevchenko versus Sijara Eubanks for the Flyweight Championship. This did not happen because Shevchenko was rebooked for a fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk on the December Toronto card. Eubanks was given Roxanne Modafferi in a prelim bout on this card instead.

The main event of the evening was Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis. Lewis is fighting in a miraculous turnaround time from his last bout at UFC 229 against Alexander Volkov. In that bought Lewis was seconds away from losing on the scorecards when he got a stoppage win on Volkov. Lewis received a spike in Instagram followers, around triple the amount he had before after giving an entertaining post fight interview. Cormier is coming off a summer victory against Stipe Miocic. He broke the Heavyweight fighter’s streak of title defenses with a first round knockout. Some say that Miocic deserved the rematch before others due to his dominance as a champion before his loss.

Below the main event was 11 other bouts. Starting off the PPV was Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Adesanya has put on dominant performances lately, with his last one coming at  The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale against Brad Tavares. In the co-main event slot for the evening was Chris Weidman versus Jacare Souza. Weidman fought on the 205 card two years ago and made his return to his home state with this bout. Before any of this happened, the evening began on UFC’s OTT service UFC Fight Pass with the Early Prelims.

  1. The first fight on the Early Prelims was slightly delayed since the second bout between Brian Kelleher versus Montel Jackson was cancelled. Opening the show was Marcus Rogerio de Lima versus Adam Wieczorek. Both heavyweights were on the ground for the majority of the first round. De Lima had top position most of the time and started to land strikes in the final 20 seconds. The second round was mostly stand-up, with de Lima landing more shots. By the end of the second round Wieczorek was wobbling around the place. The commentary team took a liking to de Lima’s leg kicks throughout the second. The final round went in the way of de Lima but did not have any noteworthy action. All three judges had it 30-27 for de Lima.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
De Lima 10 10 10 30
Wieczorek 9 9 9 27
  1. Continuing on with the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims, Kurt Holobaugh had his second fight in his current run in the promotion. Holobaugh was a pickup from the Contender Series, but his fight from the series is no longer valid due to a drug test. Since then he has also lost a fight. He faces Shane Burgos who is coming off his first loss since coming into the UFC. Both fighters were absolutely swinging for the first two minutes of the bout. Holobaugh seemed to have the advantage in the stand-up field. Burgos got dropped two minutes in from a punch but seemed to recover quickly from it. When Holobaugh went to the ground to land more punches he found himself in an armbar that ended the bout. It was an amazing turn of events for Burgos.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
  1. Finishing off the early prelims was Matt Frevola versus Lando Vannata. Frevola is a new UFC fighter who lost his debut fight after winning a Contender Series bout. Vannata hasn’t won in a long time, losing two fights and tying one since 2017. Both of these fighters were absolutely explosive in the first round. Frevola got dropped from a kick but recovered very quickly. He was also given some breathing room as the fight was paused for his mouthguard to be put back in. With under two minutes left in the first Vannata looked like he was in trouble when he got tagged with a right. In the final seconds of the round there was absolute chaos. Frevola landed an amazing flurry of strikes then tried for a Guillotine in the final moments. Vannata escaped the Guillotine before time ran out. Early in the second round Frevola got tagged hard with kicks, then dropped with a right moments later. Frevola showed an amazing chin, being able to recover and stay up despite being continually pelted. Frevola tried for a takedown in the final moments of round two but fell into a Guillotine. Lucky for him the time in the round ran out. In the third Vannata caught Frevola’s leg for a takedown but took 3 or so punches clean to the head on the way down. Frevola got a takedown of his own with just over a minute left, but Vannata got up very shortly after. The fight went the distance leaving the judges to decide. This could have went both ways, so it did. The judges scored it a draw (29-28, 28-28 & 28-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Frevola 10 9 10 29
Vannata 9 10 9 28
  1. Starting off the UFC Prelims on FS1 was Lyman Good versus Ben Saunders. This fight was close until Good landed uppercuts in a clinch that took Saunders out. This was a very quick finish that caught me off guard.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
  1. After the quickest finish of the night, the next bout was Julio Arce versus Sheymon Moraes. In the first minute of the fight Arce got dropped hard by a right hook. He was able to recover on the ground and make his way back to his feet. Later in the round Arce mounted Moraes and kept trying for a Rear Naked Choke. In the second round Arce started bleeding heavily, which had the commentators worried. With just over a minute left in the second, Arce floored Moraes with a strike. Both of these guys were so bloodied that it was disgusting. The fight went the distance after a close strictly kickboxing final round. The judges gave Moraes the win via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Arce 9 10 9 28
Moraes 10 9 10 29
  1. The next bout was a rematch from The Ultimate Fighter. Sijara Eubanks fought Roxanne Modafferi for the second time in their careers. Eubanks did not make weight the day before, but this fight was still on. The first minute and a half of the first was striking where, while nobody was doing visible damage, Eubanks was more dominant. Eubanks landed a takedown, making most of the first round stay on the ground. Modafferi continued to look not that confident in stand up in the second round. Eubanks seemed to have more power in her strikes. Modafferi had decent ground game at the end of round 2 as both fighters were very tired. Modafferi looked the best striking-wise in the third because she landed much more shots. Eubanks ended up out-powering in the third similarly to how she did in the first, except with less power. The fight went to the judges who tallied it in favour of Eubanks Unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#4 Eubanks 10 9 10 29
#7 Modafferi 9 10 9 28
  1. Finishing off the preliminary card was Jason Knight versus Jordan Rinaldi. The first round was mostly on the ground with Rinaldi on top. While Knight had more significant strikes in the round, Rinaldi had control for the majority of the time. In the second round Rinaldi was dominating and trying for moves on the ground but Knight was able to defend. Rinaldi put in a Rear Naked Choke in the third round that Knight somehow found a way out of. The fight went the distance with both guys being very tired by the end. The judges gave the fight to Rinaldi by quite the margin (30-27, 30-25 & 30-26)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Knight 9 9 8 26
Rinaldi 10 10 10 30
  1. The PPV portion of the show kicked off with Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Leading up to this fight the idea was that it would be the experienced kickboxer Adesanya versus Brunson who is the much better boxer. Very early on in the first round Brunson clinched up and went to the fence. Brunson got taken off the cage after grabbing Adesanya’s shorts twice. Adesanya flipped off Brunson while referee Herb Dean was talking to Brunson. There was the option to take away points because of this, but it didn’t happen. Adesanya guarded a takedown attempt well, but Brunson went to the cage on another attempt right after. Adesanya landed a flurry of kicks, knees and punches in the final minute that had Brunson in a defensive mode. Brunson got dropped over and over until the fight got stopped with ten seconds left. What gave Adesanya the win wasn’t his stellar kickboxing but rather his ability to keep the fight in his own wheelhouse. After this fight the newly signed fighter from ONE Championship Ben Askren was shown in the crowd.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#6 Brunson
#9 Adesanya
  1. In what feels like a main card bout that was swept under the promotional rug, Karl Roberson fought Jack Marshman. In the first round Roberson was moving and swinging faster than Marshman. Marshman got clipped mid-way through the round but stayed standing. Near the end of the round the commentary team pointed out that the volume of punches from Roberson had significantly dropped off. Through round two and three Marshman continued to get hit but at a much slower pace than round one. It was consistently the left hand that Roberson was landing. With two and a half minutes left Roberson landed a takedown. The final round ended with most people already considering Roberson the winner. Judges gave Roberson the win Unanimously (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Roberson 10 10 10 30
Marshman 9 9 9 27
  1. The tenth fight of the evening was Dave Branch versus Jared Cannonier. Cannonier had quite the confident walkout. Branch got a pop from the crowd after being billed out of Brooklyn. Branch landed a takedown but didn’t stay on the ground for long. Cannonier was landing more strikes throughout the round and had decent ground defence. At the start of the second round Branch got absolutely floored by a right, and took a few more shots on the ground before the ref stopped it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#7 Branch 9
Cannonier 10
  1. The co-main event of the evening was Chris Weidman facing Jacare Souza in a Middleweight bout. The crowd was wildly in favour of Weidman, but that’s no surprise because he is one to wear his home state on his sleeve. The fight was very neutral in the first round until Weidman landed a combo with his hands clean. After this moment it seemed like both guys started to open up much more. Souza started to throw and connect more in the second round. Souza was bleeding from the nose badly in the second. Souza slipped and fell after throwing a kick in the final minute of the second. Souza and Weidman were clinched against the cage until the final moments of the round when they went back to stand up. With over two minutes left Souza dropped Weidman with a strikes. You could tell from the moment Weidman was down that he was out. Souza stared at Weidman who was down, not throwing any extra punches because he assumed it was over. The referee didn’t end it and Weidman clutched Souza’s foot, so Souza did four more shots before the ref ended it. Souza looked disappointed that the referee did not end it. This was quite the comeback as Souza was down 2-0 heading into the third. The whole third round Souza was being more aggressive than the two before.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#3 Weidman 10 10
#5 Souza 9 9
  1. Up next was the main event of the evening in Madison Square Garden. Double champion Daniel Cormier defended his Heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis, who achieved stardom after his viral victory against Alexander Volkov. In the first minute of the fight Cormier landed a takedown. Lewis got up with over two minutes left in the first, still pinned against the cage by Cormier. Cormier landed a trip which brought Lewis back to the ground. They stayed on the ground until the first round ran out. Similar to the first, Cormier spent a minute closing a distance in the second and then landed a takedown. On the ground Cormier put in a Rear Naked Choke that made Lewis tap quickly. The commentary team knew almost immediately that it was over once it was put in. After the fight Cormier called out Brock Lesnar, telling him to bring his WWE Universal Championship if he faces him.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
© Cormier 10
#2 Lewis 9

UFC wraps up 2018 with two December PPV cards. The first of the two takes place in Toronto with Max Holloway and Brian Ortega in the main event. Also in another title fight is Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko fighting for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship. UFC 232 is the company’s final event of the year, with Jon Jones returning to face Alexander Gustafsson in a Light Heavyweight Championship bout. Below them is also Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes fighting for the Featherweight Championship.

Next week UFC heads to Denver, Colorado for Fight Night #139. It’s the finale of UFC’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, with the event taking place in the same city that the first UFC event was held in. The main event is “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung versus Yair Rodriguez. The co-main event is equally entertaining as it has Donald Cerrone versus Mike Perry.

Luke Rockhold Off UFC 230 Due To Injury

UFC 230 lost it’s co-main event again. This time the fight between Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman has been scrapped. Earlier this evening ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the story that Rockhold had withdrawn from his bout due to injury. In the tweet that reported the story he also added that UFC is currently “shuffling things around” because of this.

What was one of the first bouts announced for the show, Nate Diaz versus Dustin Poirier, was also thrown away due to an injury to Poirier. Injuries aside, this card has seen its fair share of shuffling around. Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks were set to fight for UFC’s vacant flyweight championship, but Eubanks has been re-booked to fight Roxanne Modafferi on the prelims, with Shevchenko fighting for the belt against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231.

People have become wary of undisclosed injuries lately due to the USADA’s new policy. In September it was announced that USADA will no longer announce drug test violations until the case is closed. Fighters now only have to notify the public about their violation if they want to. Recently Sean O’Malley did this once he was taken off of the UFC 229 prelims. While Rockhold’s injury may very well be legitimate, people won’t hesitate to speculate on the situation (and they haven’t).

UFC’s last two appearances at Madison Square Garden came with fewer bumps in the road, with each being supercards in their own right. The promotion’s debut at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” in 2016 consisted of three title fights, with Conor McGregor defeating Eddie Alvarez in the main event. The next year the venue would see another three title event, with George St. Pierre returning to MMA for the first time in four years in the main event.

Currently the main event of 230 is Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis, who received a huge boost in popularity after UFC 229. On that show he performed a last minute knockout in a bout he would have otherwise lost. Alongside that performance he was praised online for his comedic post-fight interview. As a result, he shot up from around 300 thousand Instagram followers to over a million before the weekend was over.