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411’s Live UFC on ESPN+ 18 Coverage

September 28, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 18

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MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 2 p.m. ET)
#5 Jack Hermansson (185 lbs.) vs. #9 Jared Cannonier (185 lbs.)
Danilo Belluardo (156 lbs.) vs. Mark Madsen (155 lbs.)
Gilbert Burns (171 lbs.) vs. Gunnar Nelson (171 lbs.)
Ion Cutelaba (205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (205 lbs.)
Michal Oleksiejczuk (205 lbs.) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (206 lbs.)
Nicolas Dalby (171 lbs.) vs. Alex Oliveira (171 lbs.)

Alen Amedovski (185 lbs.) vs. John Phillips (186 lbs.)
Alessio Di Chirico (186 lbs.) vs. Makhmud Muradov (185 lbs.)
Siyar Bahadurzada (171 lbs.) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (171 lbs.)
Giga Chikadze (146 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (146 lbs.)
#11 Macy Chiasson (136 lbs.) vs. #12 Lina Lansberg (136 lbs.)
Marc Diakiese (155 lbs.) vs. Lando Vannata (155 lbs.)
Nohelin Hernandez (136 lbs.) vs. Jack Shore (135 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 18. The UFC is making their promotional debut in the country of Denmark here and they’ve brought a card that isn’t the sexiest on paper but has a few hidden gems. The main event is a relevant middleweight clash as the surging Jack Hermansson battles the also rising Jared Cannonier, and while the winner isn’t necessarily next in line for a title shot they could be slotted in depending on availability. Grappling experts Gunnar Nelson and Gilbert Burns will square off when Burns steps up on short notice to replace Thiago Alves, Nelson vs. Burns is a better fight anyway. There’s a couple of light heavyweight fights about which the less said the better, but further down the card Lando Vannata is almost always worth watching, potential prospect Ismail Narudiev takes on veteran Siyar Bahadurzada. Plus there’s always the caveat that fights looking dull on paper can be exceptional in practice, so let’s all hope for one of those.

UFC on ESPN+ 18 comes to the world from the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark. On commentary we have John Gooden, Paulf Felder and Dan Hardy. We’re under the new rules and have instant replay for a fight ending sequence but once used a fight cannot be restarted. I think that means we’re using the most recent definition of a grounded opponent, so you need only one palm or fist but it has to be flat on the mat to be considered downed. The language around scoring is more encouraging of 10-8’s as well.

Jack Shore is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, and he’s looking to remain that way with a successful and memorable fight. Nohelin Hernandez lost his UFC debut earlier this year to break a four fight winning streak, now he’s trying to rebound and get his first UFC win under his belt. The odds are with Shore at -210 to a +175 comeback on Hernandez.

Bantamweight Bout: Nohelin Hernandez (10-3, 136 lbs.) vs. Jack Shore (11-0, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hernandez is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Shore opens with a leg kick. A lot of probing offense from Shore so far, Hernandez not doing much yet. Hernandez avoids a double leg attempt after taking a couple of kicks. Jab from Shore lands then a leg kick. Hernandez lands a jab. Shore lands another leg kick. Bit of an overhand right from Shore, then he tries another double leg but Hernandez defends until they hit the fence and stall out. Body lock takedown from shore, he lands in half guard. Shore gets the back as Hernandez tried to get to his base, and a full body triangle for Shore as well. A few punches and elbows from Shore, he’s mostly trying to open up submission opportunities but he’s staying busy. Lefts from Shore but time will run down before he can do anything else with the dominant position.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Shore but a borderline one

ROUND TWO: Hernandez needs to turn things around in a bad way, I’m not sure he landed anything of relevance in the first round. Shore back to jabbing, Hernandez goes southpaw for a bit. More kicks from Shore. Hernandez lands a bit of a right. Shore lands a one two then gets a double leg when Hernandez tried a leg kick. Full guard for Hernandez, Shore lands an elbow. Shore moves to half guard without much issue. Hernandez is able to fight up but he eats a couple of knees from a front headlock position before they wind up clinched on the fence. They break and split lefts. There’s a bit of a firefight for a couple of seconds and both men land punches. Shore with jabs and a glancing right. Hernandez misses a few punches. Double leg from Shore, he’s not driving once he makes contact and that’s allowing Hernandez to stall a bit. They hit the fence and Shore gets a throw into half guard and gets the back again just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shore but numerically could be another 10-8, 20-17 Shore overall

ROUND THREE: Shore immediately shoots a double leg and gets Hernandez down. Half guard for Shore and he’s working in short elbows while trying to set up another pass. Shore gets the back again, locks up a body triangle and settles in. Hernandez is hand fighting, Shore moves to full mount. Shore lands a couple of elbows and moves to the back again as Hernandez is trying to shrimp. Another body triangle for Shore, that leads to body shots and hammer fists while he’s after the choke. Shore finally sneaks the arm under the chin and is able to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Shore via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:51 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Shore for his work this morning. Great debut from Shore, that was a very lopsided fight. Mic time for Shore who says he’s been dreaming about this for ten years then expresses hope that this is just the start of bigger things to come. He talks about his gameplan and feeling he was better on the mat, then puts over his new gym that he just opened and hopes people will come by.

Nothing fancy, just solid fundamental technique. Of note is the angle, Shore can’t get his arm all the way around the neck so instead of trying to punch through he uses shoulder pressure to add a crank to the neck and compress the other side of the neck that way as a nice adjustment.

Lando Vannata is coming off of his first win since 2016, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running with a win here. Marc Diakiese just broke a three fight losing streak when he bested Joe Duffy, now he’s trying to get a UFC winning streak going as well. Diakiese is your favorite at -165 to +135 for Vannata.

Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (13-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Lando Vannata (10-3-2, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Diakiese is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. Touch of gloves to get us going. Diakiese lands a calf kick, then another one. Vannata is looking to land side kicks to the thigh. Diakiese misses a jumping knee and barely avoids a counter right. Another calf kick from Diakiese, Vannata goes southpaw and lands a body kick but is off balanced and Diakiese goes into his guard. You can visibly see marking on the left calf of Vannata, who gets back up without much issue now. Both men showing some stance switching. Vannata lands a body kick but eats a couple of counter punches. Diakiese with another calf kick that drops Vannata for a second. Vannata lands an inside leg kick after blocking a high kick. Diakiese tries an inside leg kick that audibly hits the groin of Vannata so we’ve got time out for him. Vannata is good to continue after a minute or so. Check hook lands for Vannata then Diakiese lands a body kick. Vannata lands a blitz attack to the body. Both men try rights in close. They feint away the final ten seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Diakiese, arguable 10-8

ROUND TWO: Vannata is looking to engage more this round, he lands a couple of punches. Diakiese blocks a spinning back fist. Side kick from Diakiese then a right and he blocks the counters. Calf kick from Diakiese lands, Vananta is bleeding from the nose after that last exchange. Vananta lands a body kick. Diakiese lands a body kick. Another body shot lands for Vannata. Diakiese is jabbing the body a bit, and has a head kick blocked. Vannata lands a right hook. They clinch up and hit the fence, Vannata grabs a single leg but can’t finish it and they resume clinching. Vannata spins free and lands a left to counter a body kick. Diakiese blocks a high kick then lands a right. Vannata lands an inside leg kick. They clinch again, Diakiese slips to the back and they wind up getting to the fence while Diakiese holds a rear waist lock. Vannata gets free and separates. Diakiese avoids a wheel kick. Diakiese lands a right then has a high kick blocked at the end of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Vananta is coming forward this round, Diakiese with a couple of body kicks. Vannata lands a right hook, tries another one and barely avoids a left hook counter. Front kick from Vannata, Diakiese lands an inside leg kick. Body kick from Diakiese then he shoots a double leg and gets Vannata down. Full guard for Vannata, who’d doing more off of his back than Diakiese is on top right now. Elbows from Vannata. Diakiese lands a left. A few more punches from Diakiese, Vananta looks to stand but gives up his back from a knee. Vannata is up, Diakiese holds a clinch and is looking for mat returns from the back. Diakiese gets a few of them but Vannata keeps bouncing back up despite not being able to get free. Diakiese gets a mat return and moves to side control for a moment, he’s just going to ride out the clock.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marc Diakiese via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)

No issues with a 10-8 for Diakiese. Mic time for Diakiese, he says he’s been working really hard for this and puts over his team for working with him through the hard times and keeping him improving. He calls out Vannata because of the excitement factor, and mentions that he’s got his mind focused now. He plans on taking things one fight at a time and isn’t trying to rush anything.

Macy Chiasson is undefeated including three wins in the UFC, she’s looking to move from prospect towards contender with another win. Lina Lansberg has been trading wins and losses while going 3-3 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win though and could get her first UFC winning streak at the expense of a recognized prospect in Chiasson. The odds are heavily with Chiasson at -450 while a Lansberg win would payout at +325.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #11 Macy Chiasson (5-0, 136 lbs.) vs. #12 Lina Lansberg (9-4, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chiasson is four inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach over Lansberg. They touch gloves to get us going. Chiasson working jabs and a right cross. Body kick from Chiasson, Lansberg forces a clinch and gets pushed into the fence. Lansberg has a body lock briefly, Chiasson is able to break that and work for her own body lock. Knees from Chiasson. Chiasson looking for a single leg, Lansberg is defending so far. Lansberg can’t get off of the fence and is taking some knees to the body. Chiasson tries another single leg but can’t finish it, though she retains the clinch. Another couple of knees from Chiasson to the body, those are starting to add up. Bit of an elbow from Lansberg. More knees from Chiasson but she still can’t finish a takedown. Lansberg with a glancing elbow. They trade knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chiasson, might be a 10-8 argument in there

ROUND TWO: Both women come out punching. Chiasson tries a back elbow, Lansberg is able to get the back standing and Chiasson tries to roll under for a leg lock but can’t complete the scramble and winds up on her back. Lansberg is in full guard, Chiasson is trying to set up a triangle attack. Chiasson is fishing for a kimura but can’t get the wrist position. Lansberg lands a few lefts. Chiasson tries to base up as Lansberg looks to pass, they’re up and Lansberg lands a knee while holding a front headlock. Chiasson gets her head free and they’re clinched again. Knees from Chiasson, Lansberg with a few of her own. They trade punches, Chiasson lands a combination then they clinch again. They break, Chiasson lands a bit of a knee as Lansberg forces another clinch. Chiasson lands some body shots and then knees. Lansberg lands a knee, and the round will end in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lansberg but a close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Chiasson comes out punching and they get to trading before clinching up again. Knees from Chiasson to the body as she gets Lansberg on the fence. They break, trade punches again and clinch up. Lansberg gets a takedown from the clinch into half guard. Chiasson keeps fishing for a kimura grip. Lansberg lands a couple of short punches. A few more punches from Lansberg and she moves to the ride position as Chiasson wall walks. Lansberg has a body lock and lands a knee to the head. Chiasson is fading, then lands a knee to the body but she doesn’t have sustained energy. Lansberg with knees now. That position on the fence is where the clock will run down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lina Lansberg via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

I can see a 10-8 argument in the third, it’s borderline but it’s there. No interview for Lansberg.

Brandon Davis has gone 2-4 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision loss to Kyung Ho Kang, now he’s trying to avoid his second two fight losing streak and hopefully get a little more job security with a win. Davis is also back at featherweight after going 1-1 at bantamweight. Giga Chikadze brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s looking to score that all important first UFC win and announce his arrival to the fan base. The odds lean towards Davis at -170 to +140 for Chikadze.

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze (7-2, 146 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (10-7, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chikadze has two inches of height and reach on Davis. They circle to start, Chikadze looking to establish his jab. A bit of stance switching from Chikadze as well now. Davis misses a leg kick. Right then a left from Chikadze. Stiff jab from Chikadze. Davis grabs a clinch and is looking for a takedown, Chikadze has to grab the fence to remain upright but does for a moment. Davis sticks with the takedown and gets it into half guard along the fence. Nearly full mount for Davis, Chikadze works to half guard and is looking to wall walk. Full mount now for Davis and he lands an elbow. Chikadze pushes off of the fence and gets on top in the guard of Davis. Chikadze lands hammer fists and an elbow while posturing up. Body shots from Chikadze then a hard elbow. Hammer fists from Chikadze, his striking from top position is impressive. More elbows and punches from Chikadze while Davis escapes to his feet with swelling under his left eye. Davis tries another double leg, they hit the fence and he’s able to get it but Chikadze is sitting on the fence. That position will be where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chikadze

ROUND TWO: They start the second round circling again. Chikadze lands a leg kick. They trade a few jabs but Chikadze’s is much better. Stiff right from Chikadze stuns Davis for a second. They trade rights. Chikadze lands a couple of hard jabs. Davis reaches for a single leg and Chikadze limp legs free then jabs him again. Wicked left body kick from Chikadze, Davis ate it but that landed flush. Chikadze lands another jab. Bit of a right from Davis. They trade rights but Chikadze is still landing jabs. Davis lands a calf kick. Left hook from Chikadze stuns Davis but he’s able to avoid the follow ups. Chikadze lands a left that wobbles Davis then a left body kick. Chikadze is really flowing and Davis is entering zombie mode. Davis tries a double leg and gets Chikadze down on the fence. Davis lands a knee to the body as Chikadze regains his feet and separates. A couple of left kicks from Chikadze land, Davis forces another clinch where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Chikadze but a marginal one, 20-17 Chikadze overall

ROUND THREE: Chikadze comes out jabbing, Davis looking to exchange now. Both men land rights. Davis lands a calf kick, Chikadze lands a couple of leg kicks. More leg kicks go back and forth but Chikadze has a higher volume. Chikadze lands a right. Davis is trying to goad Chikadze into a brawl. Chikadze lands a left. Davis blocks a high kick but that was a thing of beauty. Chikadze lands a body kick and avoids a takedown attempt. Davis pushes into a clinch on the fence, Chikadze circles free after taking just a single knee to the body. Davis avoids a punch and lands a right. Chikadze avoids a punch and lands a leg kick. Chikadze lands a right then a head kick that Davis just eats. A combination of punches from Chikadze then a left body kick. Davis tries a single leg on the fence but can’t get it and they break. Chikadze lands a right knee to the head, Davis has a heck of a chin. They punch in close, Davis gets a takedown to side control but there’s only seconds left and he wont get anything off of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chikadze, 30-26 Chikadze overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: DRAW, split (28-29, 29-28, 29-29)

Wow, that’s some BS. Clucky is definitely in Denmark. Even commentary is baffled by this.

Siyar Bahadurzada just had a three fight winning streak snapped when he lost a decision to Curtis Millender, he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and avoid his second UFC losing streak. Ismail Narudiev just had a three fight winning streak snapped in his second UFC bout, still he’s showed promise in both of his UFC appearances and he’s hoping to rebound with a memorable win against a tough veteran opponent. Narudiev is your -210 favorite to +175 for Bahadurzada.

Welterweight Bout: Siyar Bahadurzada (24-7-1, 171 lbs.) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (18-3, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bahadurzada is a full twelve years older, he’s got one inch of height on Narudiev while Narudiev has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Narudiev is coming forward early, showing the jab and evading the hooks from Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada avoids a high kick. Narudiev is drawing out the punches from Bahadurzada and looking to counter. Bahadurzada trying to get his jab going, Narudiev lands jabs to the body. One two from Narudiev but he got poked in the eye so we’ve got time out for him. Narudiev has a visible scratch down the right side of his face but he’s good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Narudiev is working front kicks to the body and hip. Bahadurzada comes forward and misses a couple of punches. Narudiev lands a leg kick. Right from Narudiev lands then a front kick to the knee. Bahadurzada is trying to come forward but he’s eating jabs and front kicks at a pretty constant rate. More front kicks to the body from Narudiev then a high kick that lands. Bahadurzada hits a left body kick. Narudiev with a body kick that hurts Bahadurzada but Bahadurzada covers up and circles away. Narudiev looking to go back to the body with kicks, Bahadurzada is swinging counters now that are getting him to back off. Bahadurzada tries a few kicks, Narudiev with a leg kick just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Narudiev, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Narudiev lands a leg kick. Bahadurzada with a bit of a body kick. Narudiev is moving and striking very well so far, just the technically better fighter so far. Jabs from Narudiev and he’s evading most of the punches from Bahadurzada. Body kicks, leg kicks, and a left to the body from Narudiev. Narudiev lands a left body kick. Bahadurzada pushes forward and has a few hooks blocked. Narudiev lands a right, glancing counter from Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada lands a left hook but Narudiev avoids the follow ups. Narudiev avoids a punch and gets a double leg into side control. Knees to the body from Narudiev. Short elbows land for Narudiev, and a few to the body as well. Narudiev with a couple more knees to the body. More elbows to the body from Narudiev, Bahadurzada is just trying to hold his head and control posture rather than escape. Bahadurzada is able to get half guard, he’s playing for a stand up more than anything else. Narudiev gets his posture and lands a few elbows. Bahadurzada grabs his wrist and controls the arm for the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Narudiev, 20-17 Narudiev overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Narudiev gets back to jabbing quickly and avoids a few punches. Leg kicks as well from Narudiev. Narudiev lands a left hook then tries a right high kick that’s mostly blocked. They trade some jabs then Narudiev lands a leg kick. Narudiev lands a left to the body. Double leg from Narudiev straight into side control. Knees to the body from Narudiev, and elbows to the body as well. Bahadurzada isn’t doing a whole lot from the bottom, his attempts to get up are singular and explosion based rather than technique based. Narudiev is landing blows at a pretty good clip, Bahadurzada is just holding on. Bahadurzada moves to his knees and Narudiev gets to the back but can’t get both hooks in, he has to settle for an elevated mat return and landing blows from the ride position. Narudiev lands more punches as Bahadurzada goes to his back and gives up side control. That position is where the fight will end.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Narudiev, 30-25 Narudiev overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ismail Narudiev via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)

Wipeout for Narudiev, who does not get an interview.

They announce that there was a tabulation error on the Chikadze vs. Davis fight and Chikadze actually won a split decision. Even a split decision is bad, I don’t think Davis won a round. Commentary tells off the judges for their failure on math, good on them.

Alessio Di Chirico just had a two fight winning streak snapped, he’s gone 3-3 overall in the UFC and he’s hoping for a win here to get his UFC record above the .500 mark. Makhmud Muradov is the first Uzbek fighter to make his way to the UFC and brings a massive eleven fight winning streak with him, now he’s looking to prove himself on the biggest stage the sport offers. Muradov is the favorite at -150 to +120 for Di Chirico.

Middleweight Bout: Alessio Di Chirico (12-3, 186 lbs.) vs. Makhmud Muradov (22-6, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Muradov is two inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach over Di Chirico. They touch gloves to get things going. Di Chirico coming forward early, Muradov circling. Di Chirico blocks a couple of punches. Bit of a left from Muradov, then a right. Another overhand right from Muradov is partially blocked. Di Chirico tries a right but eats a right to the body. Muradov nearly lands a left high kick. Di Chirico lands a right after avoiding an overhand. Muradov lands to the body. Front kick to the body from Muradov then a left body kick. Di Chirico misses a right. Muradov has a right blocked. Di Chirico fakes a takedown and tries a right that seemed to be glancing, Muradov retreats. Muradov lands a right. Bit of a left from Muradov, Di Chirico tries a single leg but Muradov defends and separates. Di Chirico is blocking a lot of Muradov’s offense but he’s not countering much yet. Di Chirico lands a right after avoiding a flying knee. We get some close quarters brawling, Muradov gets a double leg just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Di Chirico but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Muradov is looking for his jab this round, and lands a right because of it. More jabs from Muradov, who’s also doing a bit of stance switching. Muradov with more jabs and he avoids a few hooks. Di Chirico lands a leg kick but that’s been his only real offense this round. Muradov lands a right back fist after missing a right. Left then a right from Muradov and a right to the body. Di Chirico lands a left hook. Muradov back to the jab, which has been very successful for him this round. Both men block hooks. Di Chirico is cut around the left temple, it opened up at the very end of the first and it’s leaking again now. Muradov lands a right. Di Chirico with a bit of a left hook but his follow up hooks are too wide and wild to land. Muradov tries a left high kick that’s blocked. Di Chirico misses a spinning kick, Muradov lands a front kick to the body to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Muradov, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Muradov back to jabbing and moving, Di Chirico is pushing forward more looking to engage. They punch into a clinch and Muradov starts landing knees while his back is on the fence. They jockey for position and trade knees then break with a jab from Muradov. Di Chirico lands a left hook but Muradov fires back with a combination. Muradov is showing an up elbow strike, he lands to the body as well. Di Chirico misses a couple of punches, then avoids the counters and lands a right. Muradov avoids a single leg and lands a punch. Right to the body then a left hook from Muradov land. Di Chirico lands another left hook. Di Chirico pushes to a clinch and lands a bit of an elbow. Muradov with knees to the body as he gets a body lock and forces a break. One two from Muradov, he tries a takedown but Di Chirico is able to defend. Di Chirico lands a left hook. Di Chirico lands a right that stuns Muradov for a second and they clinch up. Muradov lands an elbow as they break. Muradov is visibly tired but still fighting. Di Chirico lands a left hook then a knee. Muradov lands a counter right. Left hook from Muradov. They trade again, both men are fatigued and just kind of swinging. Di Chirico lands a right hook then a knee but Muradov is still upright. Muradov misses a jumping knee, Di Chirico punches to a clinch and time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Di Chirico, 29-28 Di Chirico overall but it’s going to come down to the first round

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Makhmud Muradov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

No issues at all with Muradov getting the first, I’m not standing by my scorecard for that round. No interview for Muradov.

Alen Amedovski lost his UFC debut and his undefeated record in April of this year, now he’s trying to put that setback behind him and score his first UFC win. John Phillips is also looking for his first UFC win though he’s gone 0-3 in the promotion and is likely going to be cut if he drops his fourth bout in a row. The odds lean slightly towards Amedovski at -135 to +105 for Phillips.

Middleweight Bout: Alen Amedovski (8-1, 185 lbs.) vs. John Phillips (21-9 1 NC, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Phillips has an inch of height and reach over Amedovski. Phillips fighting southpaw, and we get some brawling early. Amedovski gets cracked, dropped, and finished giving Phillips his first UFC win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – John Phillips via KO, punches, at :17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Phillips for his work this morning. Mic time for Phillips, he plays a bit with the crowd and hopes he just won a post fight bonus. He says this is the happiest day of his life so far, then talks us through the fight and says it was just his night. Asked what he’d like next he wants a quick turnaround.

Here’s the entire fight. The downfall of Amedovski is his head, notice how he keeps it straight up and on the center line which makes it an easy target for Phillips.

That’s it for preliminary action though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Nicolas Dalby is returning to the UFC after getting cut in 2016, he’s coming off of one of the weirdest fights you’ll see when he and his opponent bled so much the ref correctly ruled the surface of the mat unsafe to continue fighting on. He’d won three fights in a row before that though and he’s hoping to maintain that momentum and get his first UFC win since 2016. Alex Oliveira is on a two fight losing streak, dropping a decision to Mike Perry most recently, he’s looking to avoid a three fight skid. The odds are with Oliveira at -160 to a +130 comeback on Dalby.

Welterweight Bout: Nicolas Dalby (17-3-1 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs. Alex Oliveira (19-7-1 2 NC, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Oliveira has two inches of reach on Dalby. Both men circling a bit early, Oliveira lands a leg kick. Dalby lands a leg kick of his own. Dalby with a bit of a left hook. Body kick from Dalby lands. They trade leg kicks. Oliveira lands a right to counter a jumping knee. Both men back to probing with leg kicks, Dalby avoids a right as well. Oliveira misses a wheel kick. Dalby misses a spinning back kick then Oliveira lands a right. Long combination from Dalby is partially successful. Oliveira covers up on a blitz attack and then misses a couple of counters. Dalby avoids a punch and tries a double leg but that stalls out on the fence. They jockey for position and trade knees. Oliveira gets a kind of knee tap and gets Dalby down along the fence. Dalby is looking to wall walk, Oliveira lands a right and Dalby decides to lock up his full guard. Oliveira postures up and looks to tee off, they scramble a bit just before the round ends and Dalby gets a reversal.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oliveira but a close one

ROUND TWO: Both men come out looking to engage and we get some time out as Oliveira complains of an eye poke. He’s OK to continue and we’re back to fighting. Calf kick from Dalby lands. Both men clash, Dalby lands a head kick and Oliveira gets a clinch off of it. Dalby hits a switch and gets on top in the guard of Oliveira. Half guard for Dalby, he’s looking to pass again as Oliveira gets to a hip. Punches from Dalby as Oliveira looks to wall walk. Elbow from Dalby. Dalby lands a few more rights to the face, Oliveira gets back up and they resume clinching. Oliveira misses a spinning elbow as they break. Dalby with rights and knees to the body, a lovely combination really. Rights from Dalby in close as they clinch up again. Dalby with a few more knees to the body, Oliviera hits a trip but slips off the back of Dalby and lands an illegal up kick that gets the ref to halt the action. The ref restarts them on the feet, an error by the ref as they took away a good position for Dalby after Dalby was fouled. They trade left hooks as the last blows of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dalby, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men showing the jab early, Dalby lands a leg kick. Dalby misses a head kick then lands a jab. Double leg attempt from Dalby stalls out on the fence in another clinch. Dalby has a body lock but Oliveira breaks it and spins him to the fence. Oliveira is after a takedown, he really has to work for it but does get it and lands in side control. Half guard for Dalby but Oliveira is keeping him pinned on the cage. The ref stands them up after the stall out a bit, not sure I agree. Oliveira misses a right and tries a double leg, Dalby tries the switch again but this time Oliveira is wise to it. Dalby slips around and gets on top in the guard of Oliveira. Half guard for Dalby now as he then moves to mount. Punches and elbows from Dalby, he’s trying to set up an arm triangle choke but wont get it just yet. Dalby bails on that and lands punches to the face. Full on gift wrap for Dalby now and he lands elbows and punches but the clock is going to save Oliveira.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nicolas Dalby via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Enjoyable scrap there, and a good return win for Dalby. Mic time for Dalby, he plays with the crowd who’s been vocally in his corner all fight. He says it’s taken a lot of work to get back here, and thanks everyone who’s supported him along the way. He feels he could have done better but it doesn’t matter too much now, he wanted to be conservative but still put on pressure, then notes he might have injured his knee in the third round. Unprompted he calls out Mike Perry for a fight later this year in Vegas.

Michal Oleksiejczuk hasn’t lost since 2014 and has three appearances in the UFC, he’s finished his last two opponents and is looking to break through the thin ranks of light heavyweight with another win here. Ovince Saint Preux is on a two fight losing streak and is just 1-3 in his last four fights, he’s on the verge of becoming a mostly irrelevant fighter if he drops his third fight in a row here. The odds are with Oleksiejczuk at -250 to a +200 comeback on Saint Preux.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Michal Oleksiejczuk (14-2 1 NC, 205 lbs.) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (23-13, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saint Preux is three and a half inches taller, has a whopping six inches of reach advantage, and is a full twelve years older. Southpaw for Oleksiejczuk, he’s coming forward quickly and working punches to the body and head. Oleksiejczuk wobbles Saint Preux with a left, he’s also going to the body quite well so far. Another left staggers Saint Preux into the fence, he turns off of it and tries to move but Oleksiejczuk is all over him. Saint Preux has had enough of this and gets a clinch looking for a takedown. Oleksiejczuk is able to fight to a 50/50 position and separate. Right then a left, and another left from Oleksiejczuk drops Saint Preux. Saint Preux tries a kimura but Oleksiejczuk gets free and resumes punching him as they get up. More body shots from Oleksiejczuk then a left to the head as Saint Preux grabs some wrist control. Oleksiejczuk swings a couple of more lefts to the body then a left to the head. Saint Preux is totally flummoxed. Oleksiejczuk lands a left then a left uppercut. Saint Preux lands a bit of a right uppercut. Counter rush from Saint Preux mostly misses but he’s got Oleksiejczuk thinking a bit. Oleksiejczuk lands a left to the body. Body kick from Saint Preux. Oleksiejczuk goes to the body again, and they clinch up. Saint Preux is stuck on the fence, they’re just tying up with wrist control then break. Oleksiejczuk misses an uppercut as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Oleksiejczuk

ROUND TWO: Oleksiejczuk is back to forward pressure, Saint Preux lands a side kick to the body. They clinch up then break without issue. Body kick from Saint Preux. Oleksiejczuk with a bit of a left. Another body kick from Saint Preux, Oleksiejczuk lands a left. Oleksiejczuk lands a left to the body. Both men land power hand punches then both miss lefts. They get close and Saint Preux lands a knee to the body and a few short uppercuts. Saint Preux lands a front kick to the body, Oleksiejczuk pushes close to another clinch. Elbows from Saint Preux as they break, he’s having a much better round. Saint Preux gets a takedown into half guard and looks to lock up Von Flue choke. He moves to side control and is after the choke, Oleksiejczuk has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ovince Saint Preux via Submission, Von Flue choke, at 2:14 of Round 2

Olekiejczuk should consider a move to middleweight, he’s just a small guy for the division. Mic time for Saint Preux, he says everyone keeps giving him the Von Flue choke and puts over his opponents pace and pressure but noted he was slowing down as time went on. He talks us through the finish and mentions that he might have been dropped by the punches in the first earlier in his career but his weight cut was dialed in and he could take the blows this time.

Watch the right hand of Saint Preux, he gets wrist control and decides he wants to lock up this choke and feeds the arm around the back to grab it up and then moves to side control to lock up the choke.

Ion Cutelaba just had a two fight winning streak snapped when he was submitted by Glover Teixeira, he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first ever losing streak. Khalil Rountree is coming off of a win over Eryk Anders, he’s hoping to finally find consistency in the UFC and get his second UFC winning streak up and running. This fight closed as a -115 pick ’em affair.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ion Cutelaba (14-4 1 NC, 205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (8-3 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Rountree has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rountree, and they start out circling. Both men feinting a bit with the hands but nothing much coming of it so far. They trade rights, Rountree gets a body kick but Cutelaba takes him down and gets him to the fence. Rountree works his way up but Cutelaba trips him down after eating an elbow. Short punches from Cutelaba then a knee as they get up, Rountree lands a couple of elbows and they break. Rountree avoids a punch and lands a counter left. Superman punch lands for Cutelaba then he ducks under a wild left and gets a double leg takedown. Elbow from Cutelaba, then another couple of them as Rountree closes his guard. More elbows from Cutelaba, Rountree wall walks but is dumped again and Cutelaba just unloads on him until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ion Cutelaba via TKO, punches and elbows, at 2:35 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Cutelaba for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Cutelaba and his translator, he opens with some broken English to play with the crowd then thanks his opponent and puts him over back in his native language. He says he worked hard on his wrestling and wanted to display his well rounded skills. He thanks everyone who helped him get to ready, he promises to show that the Hulk is the best next time.

Rountree never addresses that Cutelaba has his leg/ankle and that lets Cutelaba hit several takedowns, this last one he remains on his feet and just reigns down punishment as Rountree is unable to do anything about it.

Gunnar Nelson has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, he’s coming off of a loss to Leon Edwards though and is hoping to avoid his first ever losing streak. Gilbert Burns is on a three fight winning streak and is looking for his second win in a row at welterweight. Burns took this fight on short notice but could make a case for himself as an elite level fighter at welterweight if he gets another win. The odds are with Burns at -120 to -110 for Nelson.

Welterweight Bout: Gilbert Burns (16-3, 171 lbs.) vs. Gunnar Nelson (17-4-1, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nelson has an inch of height and reach on Burns. They touch gloves to get us going. Burns is probing with leg kicks early, Nelson is doing some stance switching now. Burns lands a body kick. Leg kick from Burns. Nelson lands a calf kick. Burns misses a right after landing a jab. Burns lands another leg kick. Nelson lands a right. Burns lands a leg kick. There’s a near clinch but Burns lands a knee to the body and then separates. Burns lands a leg kick. Nelson lands a side kick to the body. Burns lands a good counter right then a left body kick. Burns punches into a clinch and has Nelson on the fence. Knees from Burns and he looks for a trip but Nelson counters and gets on top. Burns looks to go inverted, Nelson stays in his guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burns but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Burns is back to leg kicking as the round begins. Nelson lands a side kick to the body. Hard leg kick from Burns. Nelson lands a calf kick of his own. Nelson punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Knees from Burns as they break. Nelson lands a right and clinches again. Burns lands an elbow but gives up double under hooks. Nelson looks to change levels, can’t get it and Burns gets free then lands a leg kick. Burns lands a right and they clinch up again. More knees from Burns then they break. Nelson tries a takedown, gets the back standing and eats an elbow as they hit the fence. Burns with a hip toss, Nelson scrambles up and Burns lands a jumping knee then avoids a takedown attempt with a front headlock. Burns rolls for an anaconda, Nelson bases out to help stop him getting rolled and Burns bails on it to get a modified cradle position. Burns gets on top in the butterfly guard of Nelson and lands some offense as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Burns lands a calf kick, Nelson responds with a jab. Inside leg kick from Burns, he’s backing Nelson to the fence. Nelson avoids a punch and gets the back standing on the fence. Burns turns into him and we’re fighting in the clinch again. Both men land some punches, Burns lands an overhand right. They separate then Nelson pushes into another clinch. Double leg attempt from Nelson but Burns blocks it and they trade uppercuts then break. Nelson dives into another clinch. A few lefts from Nelson then they break. Nelson lands a left to the body but eats a counter right. Left from Nelson lands, Burns lands a calf kick. More leg kicks from Burns then he misses a high kick. Burns kicks the calf again, and Nelson clinches up again. Burns gets a double leg and moves to the back but can’t get hooks and Nelson is back up. Another takedown attempt from Burns on the fence winds up just being another clinch, where the clock will wind down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nelson but who knows, 29-28 Burns overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

No issues with Burns winning, might have to watch that again to decide if I stand by my scoring. Mic time for Burns, he plays with Denmark a bit, says he loves them even though they boo him and says he’s staying at welterweight. He says he felt great and puts over Nelson as a high level opponent then wishes Happy Birthday to his parents. Asked about how he’d look with a full training camp he calls out Neil Magny for December. I’m down for that fight.

Mark Madsen is undefeated coming into his UFC debut. If you’re wondering why a debutante that you’ve probably never heard of is getting the co-main event slot, Madsen is a native Dane and represented Denmark in Greco-Roman wrestling at three consecutive Olympic games and took the silver medal in 2016. Madsen is looking to remain perfect and score a memorable UFC debut win in his home country. Danillo Belluardo had a six fight winning streak snapped when he lost his UFC debut earlier this year, now he’s looking to spoil the debut of Madsen and get his first UFC win. Madsen is the biggest favorite on this entire card at a whopping -650 to +450 for Belluardo.

Lightweight Bout: Danilo Belluardo (12-4, 156 lbs.) vs. Mark Madsen (8-0, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Belluardo is four inches taller but only has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Belluardo fighting southpaw. Madsen misses some punches but gets a clinch and starts looking for a takedown against the fence. It takes a few times but Madsen does get him down and lands rights as Belluardo looks to get to the fence. Elbows from Madsen, also rights, and Belluardo is just covering up sot he ref ends things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mark Madsen via TKO, punches, at 1:12 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Madsen for his work this afternoon. Squash match went off without a hitch, and Madsen on the mic says he really wanted that first round finish and says this is a very gratifying moment. He thanks his coaches and support staff, then switches to Danish to play a bit with the crowd. He talks us through the finish then says again that this moment is amazing as the crowd chant his name. To close he wants to get back to work but feels there’s a new hardest worker in the room.

Belluardo had noting for Madsen, this is a mauling.

Jack Hermansson is on a four fight winning streak, three of those finishes, and just scored the biggest win of his career when he stepped in on short notice to best Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in April of this year. Hermansson is hoping to get into the title picture, and if he can get to five in a row here it will be tough to deny him at a minimum a top ranked opponent next. Jared Cannonier is undefeated since dropping to middleweight and has stoppage wins over Dave Branch and Anderson Silva, he’s looking to prove himself the next relevant contender by knocking off the surging Hermansson. The odds for the main event favor Hermansson at -280 to a +230 payout on Cannonier.

Middleweight Bout: #5 Jack Hermansson (20-4, 185 lbs.) vs. #9 Jared Cannonier (12-4, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hermansson is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Hermansson tries kicking early, then he shoots a double leg that hits the fence. Cannonier is defending so far and breaks the grip then separates. Cannonier looking to establish his jab. Leg kick from Cannonier, Hermansson gets his back standing and hits a German suplex then gets the back with one hook in. Cannonier gets that hook out and scrambles back to his feet int he clinch. Hermansson tries a trip but Cannonier flattens him out, regains his feet and lands a glancing uppercut as they break. Both men showing the jab now, they seem to have settled down a bit after a frantic first few minutes. Hermansson lands a leg kick. Cannonier blocks a single leg attempt. Bit of a counter right from Cannonier. Cannonier lands a calf kick. Another leg kick from Cannonier. They split a few jabs then Cannonier avoids a takedown attempt but Hermansson lands a knee to the body. More leg kicks from Cannonier, Hermansson lands a body kick. Another leg kick wobbles the leg of Hermansson. They split jabs then Cannonier misses a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cannonier but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Cannonier checks a leg kick and then drops Hermansson with an uppercut. Cannonier gets on top and looks to tee off, he swings punches as Hermansson just covers up and the ref has to wave the fight off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jared Cannonier via TKO, punches, at :27 of Round 2

That’s a massive win for Cannonier, who’s undefeated at middleweight and hasn’t gone more than six minutes in any single fight. Mic time for Cannonier, he says fighting is mind over matter and he works hard not to let anything bother him then mentions a couple of people who passed on this year and tells their families that they’re in his heart. He puts over the city and people and thanks them for being more hospitable to him than the Brazilians were and thanks Hermansson for taking the fight even though it was down in the ranks and puts him over as a fighter. To close he says he gets overlooked because he doesn’t run his mouth, and warns everyone they’ll have to watch to see what he’s about, and would love to fight for the title in the immediate future.

Hermansson gets an interview as well, he says people told him not to take this fight but he wants to be the best and he was shown that he’s not the best yet. He apologizes if he let anyone down and promises to get back to work.

You can see Hermansson duck into that right uppercut, it wobbles and off balances him then Cannonier gets on top and never gives him a chance to recover.

Alright, that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 18. Thanks for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all the results from this card Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast as well as preview next weeks UFC 243 which I am quite hyped for. I’ll be back next Saturday for UFC 243 and I hope you’ll be here as well. Until then thanks again for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 18, Robert Winfree