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411’s UFC 201 Report 7.30.16

July 31, 2016 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Tyron Woodley

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 201. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Tonight marks the end of July, and I for one am somewhat happy to say farewell as this will be the sixth UFC event of the month and I’m personally looking forward to returning to at most a once a week schedule. This card suffered a couple of set backs, the original main event was to be a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis, Johnson suffered an injury and had to pull out early in the month. Reis remains on the card here and assuming he can win and not take any substantial damage that fight could be rescheduled without too much issue. Also two days ago we lost a flyweight fight between Ian McCall and Justin Scoggins when Scoggins suffered complications during his weight cut that forced him out of the fight, he also announced that he’ll be moving up to bantamweight for his next fight. We’ve still got the original main event though, Robbie Lawler going for his third consecutive title defense which would bring him into a tie with strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for second longest active title defense streak. Across the cage from Lawler will be Tyron Woodley, a top contender with strong wrestling and serious power in his right hand. The current co-main event will have some serious impact on the next title challenger in the strawweight division as with a win either Karolina Kowalkiewicz or Rose Namajunas could wind up with a date taking on Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the strawweight title. This event comes to us from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Fun fact, this is the UFC’s first PPV event in the Eastern time zone since UFC 186 back in April of 2015 though there have been several Fight Night’s in that time zone since then. We’ve got the usual PPV duo of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan on commentary tonight.

Cesar Arzamendia had a very inauspicious debut when he was knocked out by Polo Reyes in the first minute of their fight, but he has a good overall record and will be looking to show his skill set tonight and get the all important first UFC win. Damien Brown also lost his UFC debut, in his case a decision to Alan Patrick, but had won five in a row before that set back and tonight he has the chance to bounce back from that loss and return to the winning side of things.

Lightweight Bout: Cesar Arzamendia (7-2, 155 lbs.) vs. Damien Brown (15-9, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arzamendia has an inch of height and two and a half of reach on Brown. Touch of gloves to get things going. Arzamendia tries a jumping round kick that’s mostly blocked. Arzamendia lands a bit of a left and eats a counter right. Arzamendia lands a knee to the head and one to the body. Brown is pressing forward, Arzamendia looking to counter. Brown lands a hard right that drops Arzamendia, he’s on the mat with him now looking to finish. Brown lands a couple of elbows, Arzamendia goes for a heel hook, he’s got it locked but Brown is able to spin out of it and Arzamendia gets back to his feet and they separate. Both men miss punches in close. Arzamendia lands a left hook. Jabs are traded, Arzamendia is still a little wobbled. Another counter right, then another floors Arzamendia, a few too many hammer fists on the mat prompt the stoppage. A tad late on that stoppage from where I was sitting but not criminal.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damien Brown via KO, punches, 2:27 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Brown for his work this evening. Mic time for Brown after that wonderful finish. He says he feels amazing after winning, he thanks his coaches and sponsors, his wife and then gives a message to veterans that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Brown served in the Australian military, making that a somewhat emotional moment for him. He talks us through the finish, says this was the representation of all the work he’s done and that he plans to stay.

Michael Graves is undefeated as a professional fighter including being 2-0 in the UFC. He’s trying to remain perfect here and start making the difficult transition from prospect towards contender. Bojan Velickovic has a five fight winning streak going including winning his UFC debut, a win here over a prospect like Graves would be a big one for his career.

Welterweight Bout: Michael Graves (6-0, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Bojan Velickovic (14-3, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Velickovic has two inches of height and five of reach on Graves. Touch of gloves, Velickovic fighting southpaw. Graves misses a high kick. Graves lands an oblique kick to the lead leg of Velickovic. Both men feinting a lot, just getting a feel for each other so far. Velickovic lands an inside leg kick. Another inside leg kick from Velickovic. Graves lands a body kick. Velickovic lands the inside leg kick again. Velickovic has a high kick blocked. Velickovic lands a bit of a left, Graves tries a high kick that’s blocked. Graves tries a double leg, it stalls out on the fence and Velickovic spins him against the cage. Velickovic with some body work from the clinch. They separate without much incident. Velickovic just misses a straight left, both men still getting a feel for the distance. Graves misses a windmill right hand. Velickovic lands a left to counter a body kick. Velickovic lands the inside leg kick again. Velickovic lands an outside leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Velickovic

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Velickovic lands an inside leg kick. Graves in on a single leg attempt, Velickovic defending against the fence and lands a couple of elbows before Graves gets him down. Velickovic tries to get up, Graves gets the rear waist lock and then sits down to get the back of Velickovic. Graves only has one hook in though and Velickovic working to spin into him. Velickovic defending the choke and Graves gets the second hook in. Velickovic on his feet now, trying to shake Graves off but Graves adjusts to remain in position. Graves lands some punches, Velickovic able to spin off of the fence and wind up with full guard. Graves can’t control Velickovic, Velickovic back up but Graves again drags him down from the back with just one hook in. Graves has both hooks in now and is working for the choke. Graves still after the choke, Velickovic defending well so far though. Graves bails on the choke and lands a couple of punches to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Graves, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves to start the final round. Velickovic lands a heavy inside leg kick. Velickovic tries a single leg, that stalls out on the fence. Velickovic switches to a double leg and gets the takedown. Graves up, Velickovic tries to take his back but Graves spins into him and winds up on top in half guard. Velickovic has a double wrist lock, bails on it to try and stand but Graves is able to sit backwards and drag him down again. Just one hook for Graves again, Velickovic tries to spin into him, gets to his feet and slips Graves off of his head and regains his feet. Velickovic lands a left and a body kick. Graves tries a single leg, again it stalls out on the fence. Velickovic defending this one, lands a couple of punches to the face while defending. More short punches from Velickovic, then he spins Graves to the cage and breaks free. Velickovic lands a left and an inside leg kick. Graves checks an inside leg kick. Velickovic lands a bit of a left then an outside leg kick. Velickovic lands another left and they clinch again. Graves pushes Velickovic into the cage, Velickovic lands some body shots and spins Graves. Velickovic drops for a double leg that he can’t quite finish before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Graves, 29-28 Graves overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Majority DRAW (30-27, 28-28 x2)

Huh, weird scores there. If you gave Graves a 10-8 second round and Velickovic the first and third I guess I can see that, Velickovic could have taken the third. Strange scores, I’d love to see the individual cards from the judges on that one.

That wraps up the Fight Pass portion of the prelims, we’re on Fox Sports 2 for the rest of the prelims. If you’re like me and can’t find Fox Sports 2 I can recommend Fox Sports Go as a solution if you’re on your computer. I’m not paid for that either, I just know some of you have had problems with that channel’s availability and that’s the solution I’ve been using lately.

Wilson Reis was supposed to challenge for the flyweight title tonight, but after Demetrious Johnson got injured he elected to remain on the card though now he’s fighting a promotional newcomer. If Reis wants to remain in the title discussion he absolutely must win here as a loss would kill any hopes of rescheduling his title shot. Hector Sandoval brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut and if he can keep that streak alive with a win here for a top contender like Reis he’ll immediately launch himself towards the top fifteen of the division.

Flyweight Bout: #7 Wilson Reis (20-6, 126 lbs.) vs. Hector Sandoval (12-2, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Reis has two inches of height and one of reach on Sandoval. Reis fighting southpaw. Sandoval lands a body kick and eats a counter right. Sandoval lands an inside leg kick. Sandoval is winging punches, blocks an attempted takedown from Reis. They trade again and Reis hits a double leg takedown, Sandoval back up quickly but Reis has his back standing, elevates and takes him down but Sandoval spins into top position, Reis backup immediately and pushing Sandoval against the fence. Reis hits a trip takedown from the clinch and gets full back mount. Sandoval is flattened out, now back to his knees but Reis is digging for the choke. Reis gets the arm under the chin, applies the squeeze and Sandoval has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Wilson Reis via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:49 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Reis for his contributions this evening. That’s also the fastest submission win in UFC flyweight history, not sure how long that record will stand but it’s certainly a feather in the cap of Reis. Mic time for Reis now. He says losing the title shot hurt, he was upset that they couldn’t just reschedule because Johnson is fighting the winner of the next season of The Ultimate Fighter but hopes to get a title shot after that whole thing. He talks us through the finish, thanks his coaches, and mentions he’s been doing jiu-jitsu since he was 14 and feels very confident on the mat with anyone.

Here’s the finish to that fight in case you missed it the first time around.

Anthony Hamilton has been trading wins and losses during his UFC run, which stands at 2-3, and he’s looking to avoid the first losing streak of his career here and bring his UFC record back to the .500 mark. Damian Grabowski lost his UFC debut when he was stopped by Derrick Lewis but he could get back on the winning track tonight with a win over Hamilton.

Heavyweight Bout: Damian Grabowski (20-3, 256 lbs.) vs. Anthony Hamilton (14-5, 258.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hamilton has four inches of height but just one of reach on Grabowski. Touch of gloves to get things going. They both miss rights, Hamilton lands a couple of them and keeps landing rights until Grabowski turtles up and falls over and the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Hamilton via KO, punches, at :14 of Round 1

At least it was fast, and the First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Hamilton for his work this evening. The downside to that is another big wait between fights. Mic time for Hamilton now. He says he came into this fight meaning to work hard, puts over Grabowski as a tough guy, thanks his coaches for getting him prepared. He says his corner told him to have fun tonight and that’s what he did, and thanks God for the moment to close out the interview.

Here’s the finish for the heavyweights, it’s really the whole fight, if you missed it.

This next fight started out as Siyar Bahadurzada taking on Claudio Silva, but Silva got injured and was replaced by Jorge Masvidal then Bahadurzada got injured on July 12th and was replaced by Ross Pearson. Jorge Masvidal has had a rough go of it recently, he’s on a two fight losing streak though both of those were split decisions to Benson Henderson and Lorenz Larkin and needs to rebound with a win here to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak. Ross Pearson is taking this fight at welterweight, his welterweight debut in the UFC, and is coming off of a loss to Will Brooks. Pearson has been trading wins and losses recently and is trying to avoid what would be the first losing streak of his professional career.

Welterweight Bout: Jorge Masvidal (29-11, 171 lbs.) vs. Ross Pearson (19-11 1 NC, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Masvidal has three inches of height and five of reach on Pearson. Touch of gloves to start things off. Pearson tries a left high kick that misses. Masvidal circling, Pearson lands an inside leg kick. Masvidal checks a leg kick. They trade inside leg kicks then Masvidal lands a jab. Pearson just misses a left hook, Masvidal lands a bit of a high kick. They both miss lead hand punches, Pearson slips a one two from Masvidal. Masvidal lands a one two combination, he’s working to keep this fight long where he’s got the edge. Masvidal lands a counter left after fading an uppercut. Masvidal lands a bit of a left high kick, and a right to follow. Masvidal working the jab, tries a jumping knee that Pearson avoids then trips him down and gets on top in his guard. Masvidal lands an up kick and regains his feet then spins Pearson to the fence. Masvidal lands some knees to the body and an elbow before he breaks. Pearson lands an inisde leg kick then eats a jab. Masvidal with a left body kick. Masvidal lands a counter left as Pearson tried a jumping knee. Pearson really struggling with the range of Masvidal so far. Masvidal lands a leg kick then a bit of a one two combination. Pearson misses a left and a right, then hits a bit of an inside leg kick to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Masvidal

ROUND TWO: Masvidal working the jab early, Pearson lands a bit of an inside leg kick. Masvidal lands a left hook. Masvidal lands a jab. Masvidal lands a body kick. Masvidal lands a left then a left hook that drops Pearson. Masvidal in his guard and throwing a huge flurry of blows. Elbows and punches, Pearson tries to turtle but eats more blows. Pearson up but Masvidal suplexes him, Pearson back up and Masvidal hits him to the body and head before Pearson gets off of the fence. Masvidal lands a leg kick. Masvidal lands a couple of jabs. Pearson lands a bit of a left body kick. Another quick couple of lefts land for Masvidal. Masvidal lands a body kick and a one two, Pearson fires back with a body kick. Pearson lands a bit of a left, Masvidal lands a front kick to the body that drops Pearson, Pearson back up quickly. Masvidal lands a body kick, Pearson catches it and gets a takedown but Masvidal wall walks very quickly. Masvidal wit a slow spinning back kick to the body that lands. Masvidal with a left hook. Pearson lands a left hook but eats a counter one two. And the round comes to a close with a jab from Masvidal.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Masvidal, borderline 10-8 depending on how close you think that was to being stopped, 20-18 Masvidal overall

ROUND THREE: Masvidal opens the third with a left then a bit of a high kick. Pearson lands a bit of a right, then a left to the body. Masvidal trying out the southpaw stance now, misses a high kick and goes back to orthodox. Masvidal lands a jab, Pearson lands a counter left hook though. Masvidal with another couple of jabs and a left body kick. Pearson still not finding the target often enough, his punches are consistently falling short. Masvidal lands a right uppercut then a couple of jabs. Pearson lands a leg kick after blocking a body kick. Masvidal again lands a jab, then a right but Pearson lands a left to the body. They both slip some punches, good head movement from both men. Masvidal lands a couple of jabs, Pearson with a left body kick then an inside leg kick. Masvidal lands a quick jab and cross combination, Pearson lands a bit of a counter left hook. Masvidal lands a jumping knee to the body then a body kick as well. Pearson really going with the left hook now, Masvidal lands a right body kick, Pearson lands a body kick and time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pearson, 29-28 Masvidal overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Not a bad fight there. Masvidal gets an interview now. He says he was surprised that Pearson survived that flurry in the second, he thought the ref was going to stop it, but puts over Pearson for being tough and still trying to fight. He thanks God for the experience and the journey, then also thanks God for helping him look this good after 50 something fights and says he’ll be back in five or six weeks so watch out for him.

Nikita Krylov recently cracked into the top fifteen of the light heavyweight rankings on the strength of his current four fight winning streak and if he can best the longtime UFC veteran Ed Herman here and run that streak to five one has to imagine he’d climb even higher in the rankings. Ed Herman has been with the UFC for a little over a decade and won his last fight when he returned to the light heavyweight division and defeated Tim Boetsch, tonight he’s looking to get his first UFC winning streak since 2012 going.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ed Herman (23-11 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Nikita Krylov (20-4, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Krylov has an inch of height and half an inch of reach on Herman, Herman is also eleven years older than Krylov. Touch of gloves to start the round. Krylov lands a left body kick and a jab. Krylov with a front kick to the body. Herman tries a right that’s blocked. Krylov lands a spinning back kick to the body, Herman lands a leg kick. Krylov lands a left and a body kick then pushes into the clinch. Krylov with some knees to the body. Herman lands a knee to the body. Krylov with knees to the body and thigh. Herman lands a knee to the body. They break without incident. Krylov lands an inside leg kick then a left body kick. Herman lands a counter left. Krylov lands a bit of a jab. Krylov lands a jab then a cross. They both land rights. Krylov lands a leg kick then Herman lands a counter right and hits a takedown into the guard of Krylov. Herman passes to half guard. Krylov bridges up and lands a left high kick that wobbles Herman. Krylov lands some knees in the clinch, Herman fires back with a knee and they break. Krylov lands another left high kick and a few blows in close. Krylov lands a jab. Krylov lands a hard right then a left and a right to follow up. On the outside Krylov is chewing up Herman. Krylov lands a body kick. Krylov has a left high kick blocked, goes to the body with a couple of front kicks then avoids a takedown attempt. Krylov with another left body kick. Krylov lands an overhand right to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Krylov, one sided enough of a round to consider going 10-8

ROUND TWO: Krylov snaps out a jab to start the second. He’s still got some bounce in his step, Herman lands a bit of a knee to the body. Krylov lands a right and a spinning back kick to the body. Krylov has a spinning back fist blocked, they trade in close and Krylov lands a left head kick that ENDS the night of Ed Herman.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nikita Krylov via KO, head kick, at :40 of Round 2

BOOM… light heavyweights! Krylov on the mic with his translator now. He says this was the most experienced opponent he’s ever fought, gives respect to Herman, and says he feels good. He says his base is karate so his kicking game is one of his best attributes, then jokes with Joe Rogan about his shirt to close the interview.

And for good measure, here’s that head kick finish to close out the prelims and move us onto PPV for the main card.

Fredy Serrano was supposed to fight Ray Borg here, but Borg got injured and was replaced by Ryan Benoit. Serrano is the best wrestler to ever come out of the country of Colombia, he represented his country in the 2008 Olympic games, and is undefeated as a professional fighter and looking to remain that way here. Ryan Benoit is 1-2 in the UFC and coming off of a loss to Ben Nguyen he’s got a chance to get back on the winning side of things here and avoid the first losing streak of his career.

Flyweight Bout: Ryan Benoit (8-4, 126 lbs.) vs. Fredy Serrano (3-0, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Benoit has two inches of height and three inches of reach on Serrano, he’s also ten years younger. They touch gloves to get things going, Benoit fighting southpaw. Circling to start, Serrano lands a body kick. Serrano lands a haymaker of a right hand after slipping. Serrano lands a bit of an ax kick. Serrano lands a body kick then eats a bit of a left. Benoit lands a body kick but Serrano catches it and hits a huge elevated slam and lands in side control. Benoit holding the head of Serrano, he’s able to get to half gaurd but Serrano tries an arm triangle choke, Benoit is able to bridge and escape. Benoit lands a right and a left that hurts Serrano, Serrano gets a big double leg takedown into side control again. Benoit again holding the head, Serrano doesn’t seem to know the Von Flue choke otherwise he’d be putting Benoit in serious jeopardy. Serrano lands a couple of rights, Benoit bridges again and regains his feet and they’re in the clinch. Benoit lands a right, Serrano lands a knee to the body and they both miss hooks as they separate. Serrano lands a bit of a right. Benoit lands an outside leg kick. Serrano tries a double leg, they stall out on the fence and Serrano lands a bit of a right as they break. Benoit misses a left high kick. Benoit lands a leg kick, he’s switching between orthodox and southpaw now. Serrano lands a front kick to the body, Benoit lands a right then tries to chase Serrano as the round comes to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Serrano

ROUND TWO: Serrano reaches for a single leg early, decides against it. Serrano lands a bit of a right. Serrano just misses a spinning back fist. Benoit lands a short left. Serrano goes for a takedown, stalls out on the fence and Benoit is holding the head threatening with a possible guillotine. They spin and break, Serrano lands a right ax kick. Serrano gets a double leg, Benoit tried a guillotine but lost it on the slam to finish the takedown. Serrano with some rights to the head, Benoit is controlling his posture though. Serrano passes to half guard, Benoit able to bridge and throw him over and regain his feet. Serrano is bleeding from the forehead. Benoit lands a left hook. Serrano tries a single leg, Benoit lands a couple of punches then Serrano lands a right as he bails on the attempt. Serrano just misses a wheel kick and Benoit lands a leg kick. Serrano shoots a double leg and gets Benoit down again, again into side control. Serrano into north/south now, lands a few body shots. Benoit gives up his back for a moment then rolls back into half guard. Serrano lands a couple of punches before Benoit kicks him off and they both land short punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Serrano, 20-18 Serrano overall

ROUND THREE: The touch gloves for the last round. Serrano immediately gets a double leg into the guard of Benoit. Serrano with a couple of arm punches to the head. The ref stands them up after they stall out. Serrano tries a very low single leg, just avoids a knee from Benoit and Benoit gets on top of him in his guard. Benoit quickly passes to half guard. Serrano up and they separate. Serrano tries a front flip, nothing comes of it. Serrano lands a glancing right. Benoit lands a leg kick, Serrano tries for a clinch but Benoit breaks free with a bit of a spinning back fist. Serrano misses a double leg then lands a body kick. Benoit lands a body kick, Serrano catches it and Benoit lands some short uppercuts before Serrano disengages. Serrano lands a body kick. Benoit lands a leg kick. Benoit gets the clinch on the cage, he lands some lefts to the body. Benoit lands an elbow and a right as they break. Serrano misses a single leg attempt as time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Benoit, 29-28 Serrano overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ryan Benoit via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

No real issues with the scoring, Benoit had a big moment in the first round. Benoit gets an interview now, he thanks God and says Serrano hit him with goofy kicks and it took him a while to get going. He talks about taking the fight on short notice, puts over Serrano as a tough guy, puts over his coaches specifically Ricky Lundell. He says he anticipated the wrestling of Serrano and that he had to dig deep as he was gassed basically starting in the first round but he was prepared mentally. He thanks his friends and family to close his time on the mic.

Francisco Rivera is just 1-4 in his last five fights, that win a knockout over Alex Caceres, and is riding a two fight losing streak coming into this fight. He’s trying to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak and breathe some life back into his career. Erik Perez was thought to be a future title contender when he debuted, and while that talk dropped off recently with a couple of losses he’s coming off of a win and looking to build a winning streak and move back towards title contention.

Bantamweight Bout: Erik Perez (15-6, 135 lbs.) vs. Francisco Rivera (11-6 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Rivera has two inches of reach on Perez, Perez is also eight years younger. Touch of gloves to get things going. Both men circling early, feinting to get a read on each other. Rivera lands a bit of a right. Rivera lands a bit of a left hook. Perez lands a leg kick. Rivera again lands a counter left hook. Perez lands a bit of a right, then has a high kick blocked. Rivera blocks another high kick. Perez lands a right to the body, they both block high kicks. Rivera lands a leg kick. Rivera lands a bit of a right and a leg kick. Perez lands an inside leg kick then a body kick, Rivera lands a body kick as well. Rivera lands a body kick but Perez catches it and lands a couple of rights before Rivera pulls his leg free. Perez lands a right to the body then tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Perez with some rights to the body and head and a knee to the body as he separates. Perez lands a jumping knee to the body and a left hook. Perez lands a bit of a right, River just misses the left counter and they both miss punches as the clock winds down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perez but a very close round

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Perez lands an inside leg kick. Rivera flashing the jab, lands a leg kick but he ate an inside leg kick that dropped him for a minute and Perez landed a couple of punches before Rivera regained his feet. Rivera lands an inside leg kick. They trade some body kicks, Perez using a higher volume approach this round. Perez lands a spinning back fist. Rivera blocks a double leg, lands a bit of a right. Perez lands a spinning elbow, Rivera is bleeding from around the right temple, not sure what caused that. Perez lands a right then ducks a counter right from Rivera. Perez lands a body kick, catches a kick from Rivera and tries a takedown but Rivera avoids it. Perez tries a jumping kick but eats a left for his trouble. Rivera lands a leg kick then eats a bit of a right. Rivera lands a leg kick. They trade lefts, and Perez lands a jab. Perez lands an inside leg kick. Perez goes for a double leg against the fence and gets Rivera down. Perez mounting the legs while Rivera is sitting on the fence. Perez lands some rights to the body and head as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perez, 20-18 Perez overall

ROUND THREE: They both come out swinging this round, both men using hoosk and Perez goes down for a moment but he’s back up. They trade hooks toe to toe, they both get wobbled and Rivera falls over from a combination of poor weight distribution and exhaustion. Rivera up quickly and Perez hits a double leg against the fence. Perez with some short right elbows. Perez with rights to the body and head. Perez passes to half guard. Perez still working punches to the body and head. Rivera now sitting on the fence, Perez still landing blows as Rivera tries to get enough energy to regain his feet. Perez mounts the legs and keeps landing rights to the body. Rivera to a knee now, and up to his feet but still in the clinch. Rivera lands a knee to the body, Perez lands an elbow and they break. They trade some more punches, both landed lefts, Perez lands an inside leg kick then slips a high kick as time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perez, 30-27 Perez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Erik Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26 x2)

I can see a 10-8 round 3 for Perez. Perez gets an interview. He says he’s learned that he has to fight with his mind as well as heart, he wants to stay in the UFC so he can’t just fight with his heart all the time. He talks about the start of the third, wanting to be crazy and then deciding he wanted to be sure he won and got the takedown to dominate the rest of the round.

Jake Ellenberger is in the must win situation of all must win situations, just 1-5 in his last six with that win being over Josh Koscheck and on a two fight losing streak coming into this fight. If Ellenberger loses here it will be his second three fight losing streak in the UFC and one has to imaging that would lead to his release from the promotion. Matt Brown is 3-3 in his last six fights but is coming off of a loss to Demian Maia and looking to defend his top fifteen ranking and remain a relevant fighter towards the top of the division.

Welterweight Bout: #9 Matt Brown (20-14, 171 lbs.) vs. Jake Ellenberger (30-11, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brown has three inches of height and three and a half of reach on Ellenberger. Ellenberger opens up with a massive right that drops Brown. Brown trying to recover, he’s got half guard and working to the fence. Brown sitting on the fence, Ellenberger with a knee to the body while he tries to get a cradle. Ellenberger stands and lands another right, Brown trips him up to get distance. Ellenberger lands a body kick, Brown lands a couple of knees to the body. Brown lands a left and a right. Ellenberger eats another right and a left, Brown stalking him. Ellenberger lands a hard left body kick that drops Brown, Ellenberger swarms him with hammer fists and the ref saves Brown from further punishment.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jake Ellenberger via TKO, body kick, at 1:46 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club welcomes Mr. Ellenberger back into their good graces. Ellenberger on the mic now, he puts over Brown as tough and his new camp at Kings MMA. He talks about the durability of Brown then jokes that he told himself he’s got to stop being nice in the cage. He again puts over the coaches at Kings MMA for preparing him for this, then notes that it’s his first sons first birthday so he wishes his young son a happy birthday.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz is undefeated as a professional including being 2-0 in the UFC and a win here over the number three contender would almost certainly get her a title opportunity next. Rose Namajunas is on a three fight winning streak and if she can run that to four here and knock off another possible contender in Kowalkiewicz she’ll be the clear number one contender for the strawweight title.

Women’s Strawweight Bout: #5 Karolina Kowalkiewicz (9-0, 114.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Rose Namajunas (5-2, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Namajunas has two inches of height and one of reach on Kowalkiewicz. They touch gloves to get things going. Namajunas lands a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a leg kick and just slips a counter right. They trade rights. Kowalkiewicz lands a body kick but eats a bit of a counter right from Namajunas. Kowalkiewicz lands a leg kick but eats another counter right. Namajunas doing a lot of circling here, lands a bit of a leg kick. Namajunas slips a right and lands a left. Namajunas lands a bit of a right. Another right lands for Namajunas. Kowalkiewicz really struggling to effectively close the distance here. They both land rights, Kowalkiewicz lands a pretty good left hook as well. Namajunas lands a leg kick, Kowalkiewicz lands a right and a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a left high kick and eats a counter right. Namajunas lands a counter left hook, Kowalkiewicz just lands a leg kick. Namajunas lands a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a bit of a right, and a body kick behind it. Kowalkiewicz lands a right, they clinch and Kowalkiewicz lands several knees to the body, an elbow as they break. They clinch again and Namajunas gets a throw but Kowalkiewicz nearly has the back off of it. Namajunas adjusts and ends the round on top in half guard.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Namajunas

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Namajunas lands a bit of a right. Kowalkiewicz lands a right and a leg kick. Namajunas lands a glancing right, Kowalkiewicz pushes into the clinch and lands some nasty knees to the body and an elbow before Namajunas gets to the fence. Kowalkiewicz with more knees to the body. Namajunas lands a left, Kowalkiewicz lands an elbow and another hard knee to the body. They trade some more body shots, Kowalkiewicz lands an elbow as well. Kowalkiewicz lands another elbow, and another one. They both land knees to the body, Namajunas tries to slip around to the back while standing. Kowalkiewicz easily turns into that, lands a knee to the head and a couple of elbows as Namajunas breaks free. Namajunas lands a hard one two. Kowalkiewicz lands two hard leg kicks. They both land rights, Namajunas lands a front kick to the body and a right. Kowalkiewicz lands a right in close, then blocks a double leg attempt and lands a knee to the body as Namajunas pushes her into the fence. Kowalkiewicz lands an elbow from the clinch, then they trade knees to the body and separate. Kowalkiewicz lands a hard right. Kowalkiewicz lands a left. They clinch and Kowalkiewicz lands knees to the body from the Thai clinch before Namajunas gets free. They clinch briefly and Kowalkiewicz lands a knee to the head before they break. Kowalkiewicz lands a knee to the body and an elbow, Namajunas lands a bit of a right. Namajunas misses a jumping knee. Kowalkiewicz lands a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kowalkiewicz, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. They both land rights in close. Kowalkiewicz still pushing forward, misses a spinning back kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a jab. They clinch and again Kowalkiewicz lands a couple of hard knees to the body before Namajunas breaks free. Namajunas lands a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a stiff jab. They trade in close, Namajunas is missing wide punches and eating body shots. Namajunas lands a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz lands a bit of a one two combination then Namajunas lands a counter right. They trade rights, Namajunas tries a takedown that’s stuffed. Kowalkiewicz pushes Namajuans over, lands a couple of hard knees to the body from the clinch and a right. Namajunas drops to her back and eats a hard elbow while getting to her guard. It’s half butterfly guard at the moment, she tries for an armbar that Kowalkiewicz stands out of and lands several rights. Kowalkiewicz with more rights as she stands and passes to half gaurd. Namajunas able to get to guard again. Kowalkiewicz with some rights to the body and head. Kowalkiewicz stands and lands a couple of lefts. Namajunas tries for an oma plata, Kowalkiewicz easily rolls with it and lands more punches. Namajuans rolls to her knees, Kowalkiewicz in the ride position and lands rights as Namajunas regains her feet, they both swing wildly for the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kowalkiewicz, 29-28 Kowalkiewicz overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Karolina Kowalkiewicz via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Surprised that someone gave Namajunas the second, must have valued her having Kowalkiewicz on the fence despite eating tons of blows from that spot. Kowalkiewicz on the mic now, says she’s happy and wants a fight for the belt and says she feels on Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s level. She says she’s strong in the clinch, talks us through a few of those exchanges. Asked about her upcoming title shot, she puts over Jedrzejczyk as the best but she wants to beat the best.

Wait, I found a picture and statement from the judge who scored that fight for Namajunas.

 photo Foghorn clucky_zpsidsltk9q.jpg

Ah Clucky, how nice to see you again.

Tyron Woodley is on a two fight winning streak but hasn’t fought since January of 2015 when he won a split decision against Kelvin Gastelum and tonight has his first shot at UFC gold, and he likely knows how rare those are and that this could wind up being his only shot at the title if he loses. Robbie Lawler is the UFC welterweight champion and riding a five fight winning streak that includes winning the belt and two title defenses. Lawler is looking to continue forging his championship legacy here with a third consecutive title defense.

Welterweight Title Bout: (c) Robbie Lawler (27-10 1 NC, 170 lbs.) vs. #4 Tyron Woodley (15-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lawler is two inches taller than Woodley but their reach is identical. Lawler fighting southpaw, as per his usual. Woodley circling right along the cage, Lawler moving forward. Woodley bulls forward with a right that misses and gets the clinch on the fence. The ref breaks them quickly after they just stall out. Lawler lands a body kick. Another body kick from Lawler lands. Lawler patiently circling so far, Woodley lands that big right hand, Lawler falls and Woodley flurries on the mat to finish the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Welterweight Champion – Tyron Woodley via KO, punches, at 2:12 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Woodley for his work this evening. That’s the seventh title change this calendar year, not a good year to hold gold. Woodley on the mic now. He says he was very relaxed for this fight, puts over Lawler as being tough and says this wasn’t the fight he’d pick but he’s been seeing the belt around his waist for his entire life and wasn’t going to be stopped. He thanks his family for their support. He says he knew Lawler would be well prepared for a takedown so he worked on blitzing with the right hand and he felt that punch would be open for him. Rogan puts him over a little to close out the interview.

Lawler gets an interview now. He says it is what it is, talks us through the finish and says this was basically what he expected but he was sitting back too much and not moving enough.

That wraps up UFC 201, some really good finishes out of this one. We’ll be talking about this event and previewing next week’s UFC Fight Night 92 this Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time on the 411 Ground and Pound radio show. That show takes callers at (323) 657-0901 if you’ve got a question or comment you’d like addressed. I’ll be back next week for UFC Fight Night 92, hope you’ll all come back and join me here again but until then keep checking 411mania for all your pop culture needs.

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