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

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

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

My Scorecard:

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

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

UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UFC on ESPN+ 10: Dos Anjos vs. Lee Full Report

In UFC’s sixth consecutive weekly show, they returned to Rochester, New York for a Welterweight clash between Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee. Both fighters are coming off main event losses, going all 25 minutes in their respective bouts. Will they see another scorecard showdown, or will they see a stoppage? We’ll find out, but first let’s look at the other 12 bouts on the card.

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Julian Erosa (22-8) vs. Julio Arce (15-3) (Featherweight)

The first fight was a Featherweight showdown between Julian Erosa and Julio Arce. The first few minutes of the bout were slow with neither fighter really showing their skills. They started to heat up in the final minute, with Erosa seemingly falling after getting hit with a left jab. It was hard to score the round. Erosa’s punches proved effective in the second round. Erosa was the one walking down his opponent, but he was the one getting hit as well. The fight seemed to speed up as it progressed. At the start of the third round, both fighters were doing some good striking exchanges. Arce landed a left leg kick to the head after a two punch combo which dropped Erosa and ended the bout. What seemed like a potentially dull bout became a fun one near the end.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 2: Trevin Giles (11-0) vs. Zak Cummings (22-6) (Middleweight)

The next bout of the evening was Middleweights Trevin Giles and Zak Cummings competing. Similar to the fight before, the first round was very slow and methodical striking. Cummings got a cut above his right eye in the first. The was a pause in the second after Giles accidentally got Cummings in the groin with a kick. Giles’ striking continued to work for him through the second round. In the final round, Cummings tried to bring the fight to the ground for the first time. He wasn’t successful in doing so. In the final two minutes of the fight, a left hook made Giles fall. Cummings used this chance to bring the fight to the ground, putting in a rear naked choke that made Giles tap out.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 3: Ed Herman (24-14) vs. Patrick Cummins (10-6) (Light Heavyweight)

Moving up even further in weight classes, Ed Herman and Patrick Cummins fought in the Light Heavyweight division. From the very start of the fight both of these guys were landing hard blows. Cummins was stunned by a knee in a clinch and then was finished on the ground by Herman.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 4: Grant Dawson (13-1) vs. Michael Trizano (9-0) (Featherweight)

In the fourth preliminary bout, Michael Trizano put his undefeated streak on the line against Grant Dawson. Dawson fought for a takedown up against the cage shortly after Trizano was showing his speedy stand-up. Dawson wasn’t able to land the takedown, despite trying for nearly a minute. Halfway into the round Dawson scored a takedown. He took Trizano’s back while Trizano was standing up. They eventually went back to stand-up. Dawson landed a second takedown as the round came to a close. Dawson had a cut near his right eye after the first round. Dawson got a takedown in the first minute of the second round. He tried for a rear naked choke, with Trizano tapping out after a short amount of time. Dawson extended his record to 14-1, and put the first blister on Trizano’s.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 5: Michel Pereira (22-9) vs. Danny Roberts (16-4) (Welterweight)

The next fight had debuting fighter Michel Pereira face Danny Roberts. Pereira had an emotional walkout, crying on the way to the octagon. He’s Road FC alumni, making the rounds online in the past when he has done moonsaults off of a cage. He did breakdancing when announced. Pereira landed a strong overhand right in the first seconds. He jumped off the cage with one foot but didn’t connect anything off of it. He tried to do a front roll kick, but didn’t land it. After doing a weird foot movement, he tried for a superman punch. The fight came to a close after Pereira landed a flying knee and then a right jab which dropped Roberts. This was a real fun one to watch. Pereira seemingly is a perfect mix between goofy and intelligent.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 6: Charles Jourdain (9-1) vs. Desmond Green (22-8)  (Lightweight)

In the next bout, Desmond Green fought in front of his home crowd against Canadian promotion “TKO” alumni fighter Charles Jourdain. The crowd was very alive for when Green landed strikes. Green landed a takedown with a minute and a half left in the first round. He landed some strikes from above until Jourdain got up and ran away. Both fighters slowed down their speed significantly in the second round. They hugged at the start of the third round. Green landed a final takedown in the second half of the final round. Jourdain tried getting up but was thrown back down. This happened again, with Jourdain finally separating on the third attempt. The fight went to the judges scorecards, with all three judges giving it to Desmond Green (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Bout 7: Sijara Eubanks (5-2) vs. Aspen Ladd (7-0) (#6)  (Bantamweight)

Finishing off the preliminary portion of the show was Sijara Eubanks and Aspen Ladd battling in a rematch of a Bantamweight bout. Ladd went into the fight undefeated with a 7-0 record. In the first minute of the fight Eubanks slammed Ladd to the ground. Eubanks found herself in a guillotine after trying for a single leg takedown. Ladd was completely dominant in the second half of the round until Eubanks landed a good combo of punches at the end. Ladd landed a takedown after clinching against the cage in the second round. She put in a rear naked choke but couldn’t secure it. Ladd was consistently on the attack for this round. The final round showed nearly four straight minutes of striking, with Ladd putting Eubanks up against the cage during the final minute. They traded strikes for the final time as the bout came to a close. The judges gave to Aspen Ladd in quite dominant fashion (30-26, 29-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total

Main Card

Bout 8: Justin Hubbard (10-2) vs. Davi Ramos (9-2) (Lightweight)

The main card started with Lightweights Justin Hubbard and Davi Ramos competing. A rare moment happened in the first round where seemingly both guys got kicked in the groin. There was also an eye poke from Hubbard later. Ramos looked like he was doing more damage in the stand-up between these two. He landed a takedown in the final minute, trying for a rear naked choke before the bell went. Ramos was the better grappler on the cage and on the ground throughout the second round. After being on the ground for quite some time in the third, both fighters were stood up. This did not please Ramos. A knockdown landed in the final minute of the fight, with Hubbard landing a punch after dodging a spinning kick. The fight went all fifteen minutes. The judges gave Davi Ramos the win, all with matching scorecards (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 9: Nik Lentz (30-9-2) vs. Charles Oliveira (26-8) (#15) (Lightweight)

In their trilogy fight, Nik Lentz battle Charles Oliveira. The first round had close striking. Oliveira landed a front kick in the final two minutes of the first round which opened a big cut on Lentz’s head. Lentz landed a takedown right after taking the kick. Oliveira tried for a guillotine but couldn’t fully get it. The first round ended with both fighters landing punches. At the start of trhe second round, Oliveira landed a few good strikes and then took the fight to the ground, trying for the guillotine once again. He let go and get fighting but was stopped by the referee after Oliveira did a kick from to the head from the bottom position. Lentz opted to not lose the position, so they went back to the ground. They stood up almost right after the fight resumed. Oliveira dropped Lentz with a right hook, ending the fight with hammerfists on the ground right after. This makes Oliveira up 3-0 in his rivalry against Lentz.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 10: Derrick Krantz (24-10) vs. Vicente Luque (15-6-1) (#15) (Welterweight)

Despite the extensive record, Derrick Krantz made his UFC debut in this bout against Vicente Luque. Krantz came out swinging, but found himself in a standing guillotine shortly after. The brought the fight to the ground and escaped the hold. Krantz tried for a rear naked choke and transitioned into a guillotine, but didn’t find success with either. At the halfway point of the round, they went back to stand-up. Luque landed some punches that had Krantz backing up. He was hit more and more, on all fours until the referee stepped in the end it.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 11: Felicia Spencer (6-0) vs. Megan Anderson (9-3) (Featherweight)

In what was touted as a long-awaited clash between to former Invicta FC Champions, Felicia Spencer battled Megan Anderson next. In the first round, Spencer was dominant, being on Anderson’s back for a long time. She put in a rear naked choke and eventually got a tap from Anderson to end the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total


Bout 12: Ian Heinisch (12-1) vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (11-2) (#12) (Middleweight)

In the co-main event slot of this fight night was Ian Heinisch and Antonio Carlos Junior. After some striking, Carlos Junior landed a takedown in the first round. When Heinisch tried getting up, Carlos Junior made sure he would go back to the ground shortly after. Heinisch was out-wrestled for the whole first round. Carlos Junior took it the to the ground in the second and stayed in control once again, though Heinisch was landing more strikes. Heinisch did land some strikes on the ground in the final minute of round two. There was a stop in the third round after Carlos Junior landed a knee to the groin. A USA chant broke out during this. The third round was Heinisch’s best, showing off better grappling and utilizing striking on the ground. The fight went it’s allotted time, with all three judges giving Ian Heinisch the win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Carlos Junior1099

Bout 13: Kevin Lee (17-4) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (28-11) (#3) (Welterweight)

In his Welterweight debut, Kevin Lee faced Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event of the fight night. In the first minute of the scheduled five round fight, Lee got a takedown after dropping Dos Anjos with strikes. Dos Anjos stood up, but Lee was on his back. They went back to stand-up where both guys landed good strikes. Lee tried for another takedown but did not get it. Instead, they fought against the cage in a clinch for a couple of minutes. Dos Anjos landed a takedown in the final minute of the first round. Lee tried for a takedown in the first minute of the second. Dos Anjos tried for a guillotine against the cage, with Lee doing a slam before escaping the hold. Lee was working way harder than Dos Anjos in the first two rounds. This would be a good thing if he got a finish, but since he didn’t it was just rough pacing. Dos Anjos kept trying for a kimura when standing up against the cage. Dos Anjos landed a flying knee at the very start of round three. He landed a takedown attempt in the first minute of the third round too. When Dos Anjos was trying for another takedown, Lee did a good reversal that gave him Dos Anjos’ back on the ground. Lee accidentally kicked Dos Anjos in the groin in the first minute of the fourth round. Shortly after they resumed, Dos Anjos kicked Lee’s left leg, making him drop to one knee. Lee made a face downplaying the strike afterwards. Dos Anjos got top position off of Lee’s sloppy takedown attempt in the final two minutes. He put in a arm triangle choke which made Lee tap out. He did not call out anyone in particular after the fight

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total

Dos Anjos999

UFC takes a week off next weekend, but returns on the first of June with a card from Stockholm, Sweden, with Alexander Gustafsson facing Anthony Smith in a five round bout. A week after that, UFC will host UFC 238, with Bantamweights Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes fighting for the Championship of the weight class. Under them on the card will also be Valentina Shevchenko defending her Flyweight Championship against Jessica Eye. Although there is not a show next week, there is many big matchups on the horizon for MMA’s top promotion.

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.