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 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 Full Report

In one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, Stipe Miocic will attempt to take the Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Cormier in a rematch. The former champ was stopped in one round against Cormier a year ago. He attempts to take back his belt after a year’s layoff. Also on the card is the return of Nate Diaz after almost three days of a layoff. In his return, he’ll face Anthony Pettis. Along with those two fights is 10 other fights. Stay tuned on this post for updates throughout the night.

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (6-1) vs. Shana Dobson (3-2) (Flyweight)

Starting off the evening was a flyweight bout between Sabina Mazo and Shana Dobson. Dobson has been absent from MMA for a year due to injury, making her return with this fight. Very early in the fight, Mazo hurt Dobson with a kick to the mid-section. She came forward with punches, and then landed a takedown. After Mazo landed punches from above for a while, Dobson tried to take her back. It worked for a second before Mazo brought them back to the position they were in. They stood up in clinch up against the cage, but Mazo took them back down shortly after. Mazo utilized her kicks quite a bit at the start of the second round. Dobson searched for a takedown but couldn’t get one, being put in a standing clinch against the cage. With two minutes left in the second round, Mazo got a takedown. They went back to stand-up as the round concluded. Halfway through the final round, Dobson was put up against the cage and was getting hit with tons of knees. Referee Frank Trigg was getting closer, warning Dobson that she needs to fight back. Mazo got a trip takedown with just for 90 seconds left. The fight ran out of time as Mazo landed punches from above. The judges gave Sabina Mazo the win in very decisive fashion (30-24, 30-25 & 30-25).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Mazo 10 10 10 30
Dobson 9 9 8 26

Bout 2: Brandon Davis (10-6) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (15-8) (Bantamweight)

The next fight was a bantamweight battle between UFC veteran Kyung Ho Kang and Brandon Davis. In the first round, Kang was landing good jabs. Davis was targeting the left leg. Kang rocked Davis with a right jab, then took his back with a minute left in the round. Kang switched over into full mount before the round concluded. In the second round, Davis tried for an armbar to counter a takedown attempt by Kang. That didn’t work, with Kang taking top position moments later. When they went back to stand-up, Davis was swinging for the fences. His fought without his mouthguard for a minute or so. They went to the groudn early in the final round after Davis slipped and fell after throwing a kick. When they were on the ground in side control for a minute or so, the referee stood them up. The commentators seemed to be in disbelief about that. Kang got another takedown moments later. Davis got up and threw some punches before Kang landed a third takedown. The fight ended with Kang in top position. In a split decision, Kyung Ho Kang got the victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

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

Bout 3: Hannah Cifers (9-3) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-5) (Strawweight)

Finishing off the Fight Pass early prelims was Hannah Cifers and Jodie Esquibel in a strawweight fight. The first round of the fight was a slow one from both fighters. It was strictly stand-up. Esquibel got a takedown early in the second round. They were stood back up, although Cifers got another takedown right after. Cifers tried for an omoplata but couldn’t get it. They went back to stand-up with a minute left in the round. Halfway through the final round, Esquibel got another takedown. The fight went the distance with Hannah Cifers getting the victory (30-28, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Cifers 10 10 9 30
Esquibel 9 9 10 27

Bout 4: Manny Bermudez (14-0) vs. Casey Kenney (12-1-1) (Catchweight 140lbs)

Kicking off the prelims on ESPN, Manny Bermudez put his undefeated record up against Casey Kenney in a 140 pound fight. Bermudez got a takedown after a minute of the first round. Both fighters had a fair share of control on the ground in the round. With more close ground fighting in the second round, Kenney tried for a choke. It was obvious that both fighters preferred being on the ground. Near the end of the second round, Bermudez had some good striking when they went back to stand-up. Kenney started to look very fatigued. Bermudez brought it to the ground and tried for a choke but Kenney got out and took top position as the round ended. On the ground in the final round, Bermudez tried for a guillotine but couldn’t get it. All three judges had it in favour of Casey Kenney (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). Throughout it was a close competition on the ground.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bermudez 10 9 10 29
Kenney 9 10 9 28

Bout 5: Drakkar Klose (10-1-1) vs. Christos Giagos (17-7) (Lightweight)

Continuing on the prelims was Drakkar Klose versus Christos Giagos. The first round was a quiet one, with Giagos doing most of the work. Klose landed a good shot right at the for at the end of the first round. On the ground in the second round, Klose was put in a rear naked choke. When they went back to stand-up, Klose was landing tons of punches. He got a trip takedown and took top position with a hammerfist. In the final round Klose looked like the fresher fighter. Klose continued to apply the pressure in the final round with striking. With a minute left in the final round, Klose picked up Giagos and did quite the ceremonial slam to the ground. Both fighters traded punches as the final round ended. The judges all were in agreement that Drakkar Klose had won the fight (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Klose 9 10 10 29
Giagos 10 9 9 28

Bout 6: Raphael Assuncao (27-6) (#3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (11-1) (#9) (Bantamweight)

In the first fight of the evening with ranked fighters, Cory Sandhagen fought Raphael Assuncao. Sandhagen was frequently the fighter coming forward with strikes in the first round. Assuncao wasn’t doing much in the first round, although he didn’t leave himself open to a ton of strikes. In the second round, Assuncao caught a leg kick and turned it into a takedown. Sandhagen was able to take control for most of the time on the ground in the second round. Assuncao got another takedown after a minute of the final round. They got back up immediately. Assuncao got a few more takedowns as the round continued, but they never stayed on the ground. The fight went in favour of Cory Sandhagen (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28). This was the highest profile win that Sandhagen got in his career up until this point.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Assuncao 9 9 10 28
Sandhagen 10 10 9 29

Bout 7: Devonte Smith (10-1) vs. Khama Worthy (14-6) (Lightweight)

Finishing off the preliminary section of the card was Devonte Smith and Khama Worthy in a lightweight competition. Worthy came into this fight was a steep underdog. This was also his UFC debut. Halfway through the first round there was a pause because Worthy was poked in the eye. The crowd started to boo as the first round was closing out. Both fighters were very methodical through the first few minutes. Worthy landed a combo of punches which dropped Smith, then finished the fight on the ground. The fighter who took the fight on less than a week’s time made a lot of underdog betters happy tonight. He asked for a performance bonus in the post-fight interview since he’s the first finish of the evening. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 8: Derek Brunson (19-7) (#8) vs. Ian Heinisch (13-1) (#10) (Middleweight)

The PPV started off with middleweight gatekeeper Derek Brunson facing up and coming fighter Ian Heinisch. Right off the bat, Heinisch opened with punches and a clean head kick which had Brunson in trouble. Brunson clinched up which stopped the momentum from the very start. They went back to stand-up. Brunson tried for a takedown with over a minute left in the round. Heinisch stayed hopping on one foot while throwing punches. He was able to avoid being taken to the ground. Brunson failed to score another takedown as the round ended. Heinisch tried for a takedown in the second round but Brunson stuffed it. Heinisch looked more tired in the second round, getting hit more in stand-up. In between rounds the crowd erupted with boos as Colby Covington walked into the venue. Both fighters were quite tired in the final round. Brunson was dictating the fight through the final round. The fight went all 15 minutes, with Derrick Brunson getting the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brunson 9 10 10 29
Heinisch 10 9 9 28

Bout 9: Sodiq Yusuff (9-1) vs. Gabriel Benitez (21-6) (Featherweight)

In the next main card fight, Sodiq Yusuff, a prospect from the Contender Series fought Gabriel Benitez. Yusuff was in control from the start, with powerful strikes making Benitez backtrack. Halfway through the round Benitez landed some strikes that had Yusuff in trouble. It seemed like both fighters were taking turns dictating the fight. With a minute left in the round, Yusuff landed a right hook which dropped Benitez. He landed lots of shots on the ground before referee Herb Dean stepped in. He was in trouble during moments in the fight, but his power to finish the fight got him the win. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 10: Yoel Romero (13-3) (#2) vs. Paulo Costa (12-0) (#7) (Middleweight)

In a real middleweight division superfight, Yoel Romero faced Paulo Costa in the next bout. Romero landed a high kick in the first minute and then got a takedown, but Costa got up right after. Romero was clipped with a punch after a minute of the fight, but when he got up he dropped Costa with a punch. He stood back up and went back to stand-up. Romero stayed on the outside of the octagon while Costa was coming forward. After being up against the cage for a while, Romero came forward with a flurry of punches. The action was paused after Romero was kneed in the groin. They resumed after a minute or two of a break. Romero tried for a takedown but it was blocked, with Costa landing punches to the body while stuffing it. Back on the feet, both fighters were eating hard shots. Costa seemed to be controlling the second round Romero was backtracking throughout the round. Romero threw a lot of jabs. Romero scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds of the second round. The crowd was cheering in appreciation before the final round started. There was a pause due to Costa getting poked in the eye. After they traded punches for a few minutes, they started taunting. Costa saluted Romero and stuck his tongue out. Romero had strung together some good combinations. Romero got a takedown again in the finale seconds of the round. The fight went the distance, with the crowd cheering quite a bit when it ended. The judges all favoured Paulo Costa (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd was booing after the result was announced. He called out the winner between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Romero 9 9 10 28
Costa 10 10 9 29

Bout 11: Nate Diaz (19-11) vs. Anthony Pettis (22-8) (#7) (Welterweight)

In a long awaited return, Nate Diaz fought Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of the evening. Diaz’s last fight was his sequel bout against Conor McGregor, in the summer of 2016. Pettis has stayed active through that time, recently defeating Stephen Thompson via superman punch. Diaz took a takedown with 90 seconds left in the round, thought Pettis tried for a guillotine from it. Diaz got out of it in short time. Diaz took the back of Pettis twice. He was completely dominant on the ground. After a couple minutes in the second round, the referee paused the fight so that a doctor could check an eye of Diaz. He said he was fine, so they resumed. Diaz landed a good knee to the head and then a hard elbow in clinch. Up against the cage, Pettis was getting hurt by strikes. Diaz was landing punches until the last moment of the round. Up against the cage again, Diaz was landing punches and knees that dropped Pettis. Diaz took the back of Pettis, but Pettis flipped around. Diaz continued to be in control on the ground. With 30 seconds left, he tried for a rear naked choke. Pettis escaped as the fight ended. Diaz was cut around his right eye. Nate Diaz walked away with a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28). After the fight, Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal, saying he’s a gangster but not like him.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Diaz 10 10 10 30
Pettis 9 9 9 27

Bout 12: Daniel Cormier (22-1) © vs. Stipe Miocic (#1) (18-3) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

Finally, in the main event of the evening, Daniel Cormier faced Stipe Miocic in a fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. This rematch is the second time DC attempted to defend his Heavyweight Championship. Both fighters threw leg kicks in the first minute. Cormier started to dip into the pocket with some punches, then backing up. He shot for a single leg takedown after a few punches. Cormier held Miocic up high for a few moments before dumping him onto the canvas. In top position, Cormier landed punches to the mid-section. On the back of Miocic, Cormier landed hammerfists. Cormier would land punches after grabbing the hands of Miocic. Cormier started coming forward more, but started get clipped with punches. They clinched against the cage after both fighters landed hard shots. Miocic started to utilize his reach advantage more with jabs. Upon replay it became obvious that Miocic was poked in the eye during the round. Miocic tried for a takedown in the opening minute of the third round but couldn’t secure it. They continued to practically take turns landing shots. Miocic put Cormier up against the cage in a standing clinch. Miocic got a takedown later in the round. They got back up wand went back to striking with a minute left in the round. Both fighters seemed very fatigued. Miocic was coming forward throughout the fourth round. Miocic hurt Cormier with a with a punch which stunned him, then dropped him with a few more. After numerous strikes, referee Herb Dean stepped in to end the fight. Stipe Miocic has gotten his UFC Heavyweight Championship back. Cormier said that he has to make an educated decision about his career moving forward.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Cormier 10 10 9
Miocic 9 9 10

UFC’s next show is on the 31st in Shenzen, China, with Weili Zhang challenging UFC Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade. That show will be broadcasted on the ESPN+ platform. Before then, UFC’s final two episodes of the Contender Series will air on Tuesday at 8 PM Eastern Time.

UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 Preview

In one of the UFC’s biggest shows of the year, Daniel Cormier will attempt to repeat history, beating Stipe Miocic for the second time. Last year in the summer, Cormier earned a first-round KO victory over Miocic, ending the Ohio raised fighter’s two-year reign over the heavyweight division. In a well-deserved rematch, Miocic will try to take back the belt that he had for quite some time. Also on the card is the return of Nate Diaz. The polarizing fighter from Stockton will face Anthony Pettis after a few days short of a three-year absence from MMA. Along with those two fights are 10 other fights on the UFC 241 PPV card. Let’s start by looking at the preliminary card for the show.

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (6-1) vs. Shana Dobson (3-2) (Flyweight)

Starting off the evening will be a flyweight competition between two fighters with small records. Mazo is coming back from her first pro loss, which came in her UFC debut against Maryna Moroz. Before then, she was a success story from the LFA promotion. Shana Dobson is coming back from a near year and a half layoff, losing to Lauren Mueller. Both early in their UFC runs, these fighters have something to prove on Saturday.

Bout 2: Brandon Davis (10-6) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (15-8) (Bantamweight)

The second fight of the show is a battle between two fighters who are no new faces to the UFC. Kyung Ho Kang joined the UFC in 2013 and since has racked up the respectable record of 4-2 1 NC. His recent win came over Teruto Ishihara in the February PPV in Australia. The placement of Kang on this card makes the timing work out that he can be on UFC’s end of year show in Korea. While Davis has spent less time in the UFC, his record is of a similar size, with 2-3. He’ll look to even his UFC record on Saturday against Kang.

Bout 3: Hannah Cifers (9-3) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-5) (Strawweight)

Jodie Esquibel’s run in the UFC has so far been unsuccessful. Entering the promotion with a record of 6-2, Esquibel has since lost three in a row. In what’s likely her last chance to stay in the UFC, she will face Hannah Cifers, who has a 1-1 record in the UFC. With Cifers being the favourite to win the bout, Esquibel will try to beat the odds on Saturday evening.

Bout 4: Manny Bermudez (14-0) vs. Casey Kenney (12-1-1) (Bantamweight)

Ending the early prelims and moving to the prelims on ESPN, two big bantamweight prospects will face off. Casey Kenney, a fighter who has only faced defeat once in his career, will face the undefeated Manny Bermudez. Kenney took his loss in 2017 on the Dana White Contender Series. He since then went off to LFA, where he earned four straight wins. He got signed to the UFC, and most recently in March got a win over Ray Borg. Bermudez has had quick submission losses throughout his career. With 14 wins, he has only left the first round four times. In his three-fight UFC career, he has stopped all of his opponents within two rounds. In what could be an explosive fight, these two bantamweights will likely put on a show.

Bout 5: Drakkar Klose (10-1-1) vs. Christo Giagos (17-7) (Lightweight)

Both Drakkar Klose and Christo Giagos have been successful recently in their MMA career. Klose, who has been in the UFC for a few years now, is riding a two-fight win streak currently. Same is the case for Giagos. All of those aforementioned wins came from decision. Actually, neither fighter has seen a stoppage victory since they joined the UFC. Both fighters have gotten their first UFC win, but one of them might get a first in a stoppage on Saturday. What’s more likely though is that someone’s streak will end.

Bout 6: Raphael Assuncao (27-6) vs. Cory Sandhagen (11-1) (Bantamweight)

Cory Sandhagen has had an undefeated run in the UFC thus far but will meet his biggest challenge on Saturday when he faces Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao is currently coming off a loss from Marlon Moraes, but his decade of high-level MMA experience gives him an edge over Sandhagen. With a 4-0 UFC record, Sandhagen has gotten wins via strikes, submissions and decisions. His recent win came over John Lineker in April. Who will prevail on the prelims with near perfection faces a veteran of the sport.

Bout 7: Devonte Smith (10-1) vs. Khama Worthy (14-6) (Lightweight)

Finishing off the prelims of the card on ESPN is Devonte Smith versus Khama Worthy in a lightweight bout. Smith came from the Contender Series and has gotten two first-round victories since his debut. He’s a tall order for Worthy, who will be making his UFC debut. While he’s coming in as a huge underdog, Worthy is on a five-fight winning streak, all within a two year period.

Bout 8: Derek Brunson (19-7) vs. Ian Heinisch (13-1) (Middleweight)

Starting off the main card of UFC 241 is Derek Brunson facing Ian Heinisch. Brunson is coming off a victory of Elias Theodorou, which was a bounce back from losses to high profile fighters in Jacare Souza and Israel Adesanya. Heinisch is heading into his third UFC fight, coming from the Contender Series back in 2018. Heinisch has quickly established himself in the middleweight division. A win over Brunson would make it his first win over a real gatekeeper/contender fighter.

Bout 9: Sodiq Yusuff (9-1) vs. Gabriel Benitez (21-6) (Featherweight)

Before the AKA gym puts their focus on Daniel Cormier’s fight, they’ll have duty watching Gabriel Benitez face featherweight prospect Sodiq Yusuff. Making his UFC debut in 2014, Benitez has a record of 5-2. Yusuff has been perfect since his arrival, with 2 wins, one of them coming via first-round punches. He impressed in 2018 on the Contender Series, earning his contract. While Yusuff’s record in MMA is small, his success arguably makes him a fair opponent for Benitez, who hasn’t been doing too bad for himself either.

Bout 10: Yoel Romero (13-3) vs. Paulo Costa (12-0) (Middleweight)

In a fight that has been a long time coming, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa will finally face off on Saturday. This matchup was first planned for November, but couldn’t happen as Romero wasn’t cleared to fight. Romero was then matched up with Jacare Souza, but pulled out of the bout due to pneumonia. Costa was offered to fight as a replacement in that bout but turned it down. Now, with tons of cancelled bouts, these two are paired up once again. Both fighters haven’t competed in over a year, but are both still valued highly in the middleweight division. Costa will be putting his undefeated record in the bout. Romero’s last fight was a championship loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 225. Will Costa continue his slow but steady climb up the middleweight division, or will Romero prove he deserves another shot at the title?

Bout 11: Nate Diaz (19-11) vs. Anthony Pettis (22-8) (Welterweight)

In the co-main event, the fan-friendly fighter Nate Diaz will make his long-awaited return against Anthony Pettis. Diaz’s last two fights were his famous original and sequel bout against Conor McGregor. Since then, he’s faded into the background of the UFC. He was expected to face Dustin Poirier back in the fall, but Poirier pulled out with an injury, he was benched once again. Pettis has remained busy as of late, recently knocking out Stephen Thompson with a superman punch in a fight night main event. He took a loss to Tony Ferguson in the Fall, defeating Michael Chiesa before then. Those two fights were lightweight bouts. While Pettis won’t have the concern for ring rust like Diaz might, he is still testing the welterweight waters.

Bout 12: Daniel Cormier (22-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (18-3) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

In the main event of the PPV, Daniel Cormier will attempt to defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship against Stipe Miocic. He earned the belt in their first meeting, knocking out Miocic with an elbow while in a clinch. Cormier has since fought once, defeating Derrick Lewis to make the first defence of his belt. Miocic hasn’t fought since last summer.

The first fight with Miocic was an uphill battle for Cormier, being the short fighter by quite the length. His win proved that he can hang with Miocic, though the sudden fashion of the victory opened speculation about if he could do it again. On Saturday he’ll have the chance to prove it wasn’t a fluke, while Miocic will have the opportunity to do the opposite.

UFC will take a week off next weekend after having many consecutive weeks of events. The promotion will come back at the end of the month, with Weili Zhang facing Jessica Andrade for the Strawweight Championship in Shenzen, China. While there will be no fight night next weekend, the promotion will air the second last episode of Season 3 of the Contender Series on Tuesday. The show will conclude on the following week.