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411’s UFC 230 Report 11.03.18

November 4, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Daniel Cormier UFC

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 230. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this event, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. UFC 230 has been an odd card, it’s been on the schedule most of the year but languished without a main event as every fight the UFC wanted to headline their return to Madison Square Garden fell through. At one point they floated a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks as the main event, after the fan base reacted badly to that (and I count myself among those who reacted badly) they finally put together a last minute heavyweight title fight.

Current light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is going for his first defense of his newly won heavyweight title here. Cormier was hesitant to be on this card as he’s still nursing a hand injury but either the UFC offered him more money or the chance to headline MSG in one of his final fights was too much to pass up. Opposite the double champ is Derrick Lewis, who’s in the spot largely because heavyweight isn’t a good division and he’s a fun character in addition to being a successful fighter.

The rest of the main card is all middleweights all the time as we’ve got a frankly overdue bout between former champion Chris Weidman and perennial top middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, David Branch fighting Jared Cannonier in Cannonier’s middleweight debut, and a bit of a grudge bout between Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya. During the write up for this part it was announced we lost a prelim bout as Brian Kelleher fell ill (early reports indicate food poisoning) and his bout with Montel Jackson is off. The rest of the prelims are decent on paper and hopefully they’re even better in practice.

As mentioned above the UFC is back in New York for UFC 230, specifically Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Paul Felder. While I believe that trio has been on the mic together before this will be Felder’s first PPV broadcast, hopefully he maintains the level of excellence he’s been bringing so far. New York has adopted the new Unified(?) Rules of MMA so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee or on your seat of course), extending fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact being made, and the language around scoring is clearer as well as encouraging more 10-8 scores. We will also have the use of instant replay for a fight ending sequence if the officials desire it, but once used the fight cannot be restarted.

Adam Wieczorek has gone 2-0 in the UFC and is coming off of the second omoplata win in UFC history, now he’s trying to keep that momentum going and continue moving towards an official ranking. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has had a real up and down UFC career, going 5-3 in the promotion but missing weight for his last two bouts has caused him to try his hand back up at heavyweight where he could make a quick impact with a win here. It’s worth noting that Wieczorek took this fight on really short notice. The odds lean towards Wieczorek -205 at against a +180 comeback for de Lima.

Heavyweight Bout: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (15-5-1, 253.2 lbs.) vs. Adam Wieczorek (10-1, 232.2 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wieczorek is four inches taller and has six inches of reach on de Lima but de Lima is heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. De Lima opens with a leg kick. Wieczorek is circling, de Lima is the one pressing forward so far, he’s definitely the heavier puncher but Wieczorek gets a body lock takedown into half guard. Wieczorek is looking to pass and simultaneously threaten the far arm of de Lima. De Lima reads a pass attempt and is up in a clinch then uses that to get a takedown of his own into half guard. There’s almost a bit of a lockdown from de Lima on top, which is odd as it removes your mobility. De Lima hasn’t thrown much offense from top position yet, a few punches but there’s a lot of pressure with little else. The crowd responds by “woo-ing”, to my personal chagrin. De Lima gets his posture up and lands a couple of punches as Wieczorek gets full guard. Small flurry from de Lima to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Lima

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again, and de Lima lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from de Lima then a left hook. Wieczorek tries a trip but they clinch up and start looking for throws. Neither man gets an advantage so they wind up with Wieczorek on the fence. They break without much happening and de Lima is stalking forward again. Wieczorek is really obvious about his game, he wants no part of the striking and de Lima kicks him in the calf. Both men miss punches and clinch up, this time it’s de Lima with his back on the cage. Felder calls for elbows, I agree with him but I’d like someone to start a counter on how many times he does that over the event. They jockey for position, can’t get anything out of it then break apart. Wieczorek is limping a bit on his lead leg, so de Lima kicks it again. One two from de Lima but he gets too close and they clinch up, he should have stayed in the pocket rather than look to close that much distance. The ref quickly breaks them this time and we’re back to fighting. Body kick from Wieczorek but he took a hard leg kick for it. Wieczorek gets in on a double leg but has no drive, de Lima gets a standing guillotine with his back on the fence. Now Wieczorek gets his head out and they resume some clinch fighting. De Lima lands a bit of a body flurry as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Lima, 20-18 de Lima overall

ROUND THREE: There’s some pretty gnarly bruising on Wieczorek’s lead calf. De Lima lands a bit of a leg kick, Wieczorek is limping but coming forward for a clinch. De Lima obliges the clinch then pushes Wieczorek into the cage. I’m a little surprised at just how safe de Lima is playing this, a little distance in the pocket and he could really destroy Wieczorek’s lead leg and get a finish. Wieczorek tries a judo toss, ill advised as de Lima reads it and gets on top in side control. Neither man is doing a whole lot here, and now de Lima takes full mount. Wieczorek scrambles and gets up and they’re back up. De Lima lands a right, it off balances Wieczorek and de Lima follows him to the mat. Full guard for Wieczorek, he’s trying to set up the omoplata again but he’s got no real estate against the fence to pull it off. Wieczorek lands a few elbows but the ref stands them up because they weren’t doing much. Wieczorek lands a leg kick but there’s very little on it. It seems like de Lima wants to coast and Wieczorek just doesn’t want to be finished. Another body lock to inside trip from de Lima into full guard, he’s just running clock at this point. Both men with a few rabbit punches and the round ends in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Lima, 30-27 de Lima overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marcos Rogerio de Lima via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Generic heavyweight fight, no interview for de Lima.

Shane Burgos has gone 3-1 in the UFC but is coming off of that loss to Calvin Kattar, now he’s trying to rebound and avoid his first ever losing streak. Kurt Holobaugh just had a four fight unbeaten streak snapped when he was stopped in his UFC debut, he’s looking for that first UFC win as well. Burgos is your -340 favorite against +250 on Holobaugh.

Featherweight Bout: Shane Burgos (10-1, 145.6 lbs.) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (17-5, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Burgos has a significant five and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to start us off. Both men probing with leg kicks and Holobaugh lands a short uppercut in close. Burgos lands a jab, both men are rather stationary and looking to land punches. Right from Burgos lands. Jabs and leg kicks from both men, Burgos lands an uppercut in close. More jabs go back and forth, Burgos also lands a front kick to the body. They trade hooks but it’s Burgos who gets dropped and Holobaugh jumps on him then Burgos grabs an armbar, rolls to his back and cranks the arm then forces the tap. That was a pretty wild sequence.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shane Burgos via Submission, armbar, at 2:11 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Burgos for his work this evening. Mic time for Burgos, he says he expected that wild of a fight then says he’s happy he won but pissed that he got dropped. He talks us through the finish and says people sleep on his ground game all the time, then closes by expressing love for a few people, I’d guess his wife and daughter or just daughters.

Here’s the finish, including the knock down. Burgos traps the arm of Holobaugh quickly and throws his legs up, Holobaugh steps over the head but doesn’t get his hips around or actually rotate his elbow out of danger so as they hit the mat it’s still being hyper extended and he has to tap once Burgos starts spinning towards the perpendicular angle.

Matt Frevola lost in his UFC debut (something of a theme for the prelims it seems) when he was starched by Marco Polo Reyes, he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak while getting that first UFC win. Lando Vannata is in a really odd spot, he’s a dismal 1-3-1 in the UFC but has had impressive fights all the way. Vannata hasn’t won since December of 2016 and desperately needs to break that streak here if he wants to maintain his roster spot, consistently entertaining fights or not. Vannata is your favorite at -285 to a +225 comeback on Frevola.

Lightweight Bout: Matt Frevola (6-1, 155.4 lbs.) vs. Lando Vannata (9-3-1, 155.4 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have identical height and reach measurements. They touch gloves to get us going, Vannata opens southpaw but does some stance switching. Frevola lands a bit of a right. Vannata misses a wheel kick. Quick one two from Frevola lands then an inside leg kick. Now they trade rights. Body kick from Vannata, then he lands a head kick that drops Frevola but Frevola is back up eating punches then separates. Body kick from Frevola. Another missed wheel kick from Vannata. Frevola lands a right. Another right from Frevola, and another. Vannata isn’t setting up the leg kick and Frevola is countering it well now. Now a right from Vannata lands. Frevola lands a jab. This time it’s Frevola who tries a wheel kick, it misses but he lands a one two that off balances Vannata. Vannata is back up and Frevola lands a body kick. Frevola avoids a single leg attempt then avoids a high kick. Vannata misses the wheel kick again then gets stunned but a left hook from Frevola and a jumping knee but he stays upright. Frevola blocks a takedown attempt and tries for a mounted guillotine, Vannata gets his head free as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frevola but a pretty great round

ROUND TWO: Frevola with a spinning back kick to the body to get this round going. Vannata returns it. Leg kick from Frevola. Vannata lands a right then a front kick to the face but Frevola absorbs it. Hard body kick from Vannata then a right that drops Frevola. Frevola back up and Vannata punches him again, a solid one two that wobbles Frevola and Vannata is looking to stalk and finish him. Left to the body then a right from Vannata, Frevola tries a takedown that stalls out on the fence. They break, Vannata lands a right. More patience from Vannata than normal, he lands another left to the body that hurts Frevola. Wheel kick from Vannata but Frevola just eats it. They split jabs, Vannata lands a body kick. Smart body work from Vannata. Left from Vannata lands but Frevola seems to have his legs back under him. Double leg from Frevola but Vannata blocks it and throws a head kick that’s blocked. Vannata grabs a guillotine attempt off of a double leg as the round ends but nothing comes of it.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Vannata, 19-18 Vannata overall

ROUND THREE: Frevola comes out jabbing, he looks fresh now that his brains aren’t as scrambled. Spinning back kick to the body from Frevola. Vannata lands a right then a bit of a head kick. Frevola lands a right to the body. Right then some lefts from Frevola in close but Vannata gets a takedown and Frevola immediately escapes to his feet. Solid leg kick from Frevola. Bit of a right from Frevola. Vannata lands a left hook. Frevola lands another leg kick. Right from Frevola, Vannata responds with a right to the body then a left hook. Counter left from Vannata then an uppercut. Vannata misses a wheel kick. Double leg from Frevola, Vannata granby rolls free and we’re still upright. Frevola with a bit of a one two and Vannata misses a wheel kick. Vannata might have set a record for most missed wheel kicks in a fight. Frevola lands a right, then avoids a brawl thinking he’s done enough to win the round and hence the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frevola, 28-28 DRAW overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – DRAW – Majority (29-28 Frevola, 28-28 x2)

Rogan interviews both guys, and seems to agree with the draw decision. Vannata says you can’t tell if you’ve done enough to win in the fight, then says he was hit but not terribly hurt in the first. Frevola says he got dropped but didn’t get hurt and they both express some love for New York. Vannata simply asks for Fight of the Night and Frevola wishes Happy Birthday to someone. In fairness to Vannata’s point, that’s absolutely the Fight of the Night so far.

That’s it for Fight Pass, to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the prelims.

Ben Saunders had a bit of a run going when he returned to the UFC but has gone just 1-3 in his last four and that win was over Jake Ellenberger so it counts only in the technical sense. Saunders needs a win here to avoid his second losing streak in his last five fights. Lyman Good has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a split decision loss that could have gone his way, he’s trying to get his UFC record above .500 and take a recognizable veteran in Saunders. Good is a hefty -605 favorite against a +490 payout on a Saunders win.

Welterweight Bout: Lyman Good (19-4 1 NC, 169.6 lbs.) vs. Ben Saunders (22-10-2, 170.4 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saunders is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Good. Saunders fighting southpaw, Good lands an inside leg kick. Good misses a head kick but he’s surprisingly fast. Saunders lands a body kick. Inside leg kick from Good, Saunders lands another body kick. Stiff left from Saunders then a body kick. Good pushes to the fence and they clinch, Sanders with knees and Good lands some hard uppercuts to the body and head. A couple of uppercuts drop Saunders and a few hammer fists on the mat put him out cold.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lyman Good via KO, punches, at 1:32 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Good for his work this evening. Good definitely gets an interview after that one, he says he’s been training hard but hasn’t fought in a while and had a lot bottled up then mentions he’s from the area and it was great to fight here. He talks us through the finish and says the uppercuts in the clinch were part of his game plan given Saunders’ history then thanks his coaches.

Here’s the finish. A few things of note, Saunders does over commit to the Thai clinch for knees to the body but the real trouble for him starts when Good retains inside control. Good’s hand is the one inside of Saunders’ and once he breaks Saunders’ posture with that superior hand/arm position those uppercuts become even more of a problem, a few land flush then Saunders drops and it’s all over but the shouting.

Julio Arce is on a seven fight winning streak and has gone 2-0 in the UFC, he’s trying to continue that momentum and move towards a top fifteen opponent for his next bout. Sheymon Moraes has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and is looking to assert himself as a prospect of note by taking out a similarly positioned fighter. Arce is your favorite at -250 against +200 for Moraes.

Featherweight Bout: Julio Arce (15-2, 145 lbs.) vs. Sheymon Moraes (10-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Moraes is an inch taller and has two inches of reach on Arce. Moraes fighting southpaw. Arce showing the jab early, mostly looking to get a read on Moraes. Blitz attack from Arce and he lands a right hook at the end of it. Stiff counter right from Moraes floors Arce and he’s on top landing punches but Arce is trying to tie him up. Moraes postures through the legs and is looking to rain down more punishment. There’s a reverse triangle attempt from Arce, it’s not tight but enough motion is generated to regain his feet and hold a clinch on the fence. They spin a few times on the fence and Moraes lands a knee to the body as Arce gets a body lock but can’t finish the takedown. Arce gets the back standing and jumps to the backpack position with both hooks in. Arce is after the choke but Moraes is hand fighting well so far. Moraes still hand fighting but Arce is starting to get each attempt closer and closer to the neck. Arce with one more choke attempt as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Moraes but there might be an argument for Arce

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round, now it’s Arce southpaw, I might have been wrong initially on the stances. Bit of a head kick from Moraes, Arce gets a clinch and nearly gets a takedown before they hit the fence. Short elbows from Moraes then a knee to the body as well. More elbows from Moraes, Arce is bleeding badly from a cut as he holds a body lock. They break, I’m shocked the ref hasn’t had the cut at least looked at because Arce is leaking all over the place. Arce is still fighting but takes a hard body kick. Right to the body from Moraes. Moraes pushes out of a clinch attempt and lands a bit of a right. Bit of a body kick from Moraes, then another right floors Arce again and Moraes looks to land more ground and pound. Moraes decides the ground game isn’t helping him and makes Arce stand back up. They clinch up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Moraes, might be 10-8, 20-18 Moraes overall

ROUND THREE: The cut on Arce is near the temple in the hairline, it’s not bad but is bleeding still as the round starts. Moraes misses a high kick then lands a right to the body. Arce lands a front kick to the body. Body kick from Moraes but he’s squaring up a bit too much and Arce might be setting up a counter. Elbow from Moraes. Bit of a head kick from Arce, more of a chest kick. Arce lands a couple of punches. Straight left lands for Arce. They clinch up and trade knees to the body then break with an elbow from Moraes. Moraes lands a head kick. Arce just misses a left hook, he’s game if nothing else. Moraes catches a kick and lands a hard body kick. Arce lands a left in close, then a right to the chin. Another knee to the body from Moraes then a right. Arce lands a jab then a front kick to the body. Moraes lands another knee to the body and they clinch. Elbows from Moraes before they break then he misses a kick as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arce, 29-28 Moraes overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sheymon Moraes via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-26)

Total bloodbath fight. I’m a little surprised at the split there, especially since there could be a 10-8 in the second. Moraes on the mic now, says he always wants the knockout but he’s just happy with the win for his son. Rogan mentions he’s never seen this much blood all over the Octagon, and it is pretty impressive, Moraes puts over the fight and fighting in New York.

Sijara Eubanks missed weight for this fight, her second time having a weight issue in the UFC as her debut was to be against Roxanne Modafferi for the inaugural women’s flyweight title had to be called off due to her weight issues. Eubanks is trying to lay claim to a title shot with a win, or at least stave off being forced up to bantamweight due to the tough weight cut she has for this weight class. Roxanne Modafferi is a veteran of the sport and is coming off of her first UFC win when she stopped Barb Honchack, now if she can get another win here she could find herself fighting for the flyweight title again. After that weight gaff the odds are with Eubanks at a significant -600 to +400 on Modafferi.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #4 Sijara Eubanks (3-2, 127.2 lbs.)* vs. #7 Roxanne Modafferi (22-14, 124.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Modafferi is three inches taller and has two inches of reach on Eubanks. Also Eubanks missed weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Both women showing the jab, Eubanks lands a leg kick. Bit of a right from Modafferi, Eubanks lands a left to the body. Right lands for Eubanks. It’s pretty clear that Eubanks is the bigger woman and packs a lot more fire power in the striking. They trade some punches, Eubanks gets a single leg into the guard of Modafferi. Modafferi lands a few elbows from her back before closing her guard. More short elbows from Modafferi, Eubanks postures up but can’t pass the guard yet. Eubanks stands again but is still struggling to pass the legs of Modafferi. Modafferi back up but Eubanks drives her back down this time landing in half guard but she doesn’t control the hips and that allows Modafferi to get full guard back. A few more armbar attempts from Modafferi, Eubanks lands a couple of punches but can’t get around the knee shield of Modafferi yet. Now Modafferi to her knees and Eubanks lands blows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Eubanks

ROUND TWO: Again both women flashing the jab, Modafferi lands a right but she’s suffering from a lack of power. Eubanks lands a left hook. Right from Modafferi lands, she’s game and trying to make up for her lack of power with volume. Eubanks lands a right to the body. Jab from Eubanks lands. Modafferi lands a few punches but eats a head kick that badly rocks her, Eubanks drops her with punches but Modafferi tries to tie her up on the mat to survive. Modafferi is inverted but Eubanks gets free and makes Modafferi stand again. There’s a rush from Modafferi and she gets a clinch, Eubanks might be tiring. Eubanks lands a right and a knee, Modafferi seems to be in a combination of survival and “make her work” mode then is hoping for a big third round. They’re hanging out in the clinch, Eubanks gets a body lock but walks her weight into a hip toss from Modafferi who’s on top in half guard now. Short punches from Modafferi now. Modafferi looking for a knee slice pass but Eubanks shuts it down. A few elbows from Modafferi as Eubanks grabs a double wrist lock to try and get a sweep going. Eubanks can’t get the sweep, she’s tired, and Modafferi stays on top landing some hammer fists as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Both women flashing the jab again, Eubanks digging to the body when they hit the pocket. A few rights go back and forth. They trade punches again, Modafferi tries a double leg but Eubanks avoids it. They trade rights again, Modafferi is all about pace and pressure now hoping that Eubanks breaks and gives her an opening. Again they split rights, then Modafferi lands a follow up right. body lock from Eubanks and she gets an outside trip into half guard. Modafferi trying to shrimp but Eubanks is reading that and keeping her on the mat. Eubanks is mostly running out the clock here as Modafferi gets her guard back then tries a Curo Curo sweep but can’t get on top with it. Smash pass to half guard from Eubanks. A few lefts from Eubanks land as Modafferi gets to her knees and Eubanks has the ride position. Rights from Eubanks as Modafferi wall walks to her feet. Modafferi tries a takedown but can’t finish it, they stay in the clinch as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sijara Eubanks via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Meh fight made worse by Eubanks missing weight. Mic time for Eubanks, who’s getting booed, but puts over Modafferi as a tough opponent. Rogan asks about her missing weight, she says she’s been working hard on her weight cut getting ready for the division and seems to blame her menstrual cycle. Asked about moving up to bantamweight she doesn’t really answer noting that she’s had a crazy thirty days but doesn’t seem totally opposed to it and says her health is the most important thing. To close she tells anyone booing to go cut more than twenty pounds then talk to her. I can understand the sentiment there, but at the same time it’s your job to actually make weight.

Jason Knight was thought to be a possible player in the division before hitting the three fight skid he’s currently on. Knight needs a win badly as a four fight losing streak could spell the end of his UFC run. Jordan Rinaldi has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss when he was smashed by Gregor Gillespie, Rinaldi is dropping to featherweight for the first time in the UFC and hoping that the move breathes some life into his career. The odds are with Knight at -270 against a +210 comeback for Rinaldi.

Featherweight Bout: Jason Knight (20-5, 145.8 lbs.) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (13-6, 145.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Rinaldi has an inch of reach on Knight. They touch gloves to get us going. Knight comes out with a combination that mostly lands. Stiff right from Knight, Rinaldi is trying to get close and he lands a right to the body. Left hook from Rinaldi lands flush, Knight eggs him on. Inside leg kick from Rinaldi then a bit of a head kick. Rinaldi hits a single leg and moves to side control almost immediately but Knight hip escapes to full guard. A few elbows from Knight and Rinaldi moves to half guard and lands punches as Knight wall walks up. Rinaldi is after a double leg and gets Knight down again then lands an elbow. Knight gets rubber guard working but Rinaldi is passing to the weak side looking to get to half guard. Rinaldi slips out of an omoplata attempt and gets half guard then lands a few punches as Knight hits a hip escape and gets a body triangle from his back. Another right lands for Rinaldi then a few short elbows. Rinaldi moves to half guard again and looks to cross face Knight flat onto his back. A few elbows from Rinaldi but Knight gets rubber guard again. More elbows from Rinaldi and Knight’s right eye is swelling. The round ends as Rinaldi moves to full mount.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rinaldi

ROUND TWO: Bit of a body kick from Rinaldi and Knight lands a counter right. Both men feint a few kicks. Knight misses a few punches then Rinaldi gets a double leg into side control. Rinaldi towards north-south looking for a kimura, he’s landing body shots trying to expose the arm, they scramble a bit and Rinaldi gets the back with a full body triangle. A few punches from Rinaldi but he’s mostly after the choke. Rinaldi is switching from the body triangle to traditional hooks, that’s impressive really given how many guys just commit to one or the other. Knight lands a few punches but he’s just trying to get anything going while Rinaldi controls him. Rinaldi still after the choke but he’s only ever got one arm free at a time. Rinaldi finally gets both arms free and is after the choke but Knight defends and gives a finger wave to the crowd. The round ends in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Rinaldi is circling looking for an angle for the takedown, Knight misses a spinning back kick. Knight lands an uppercut then sprawls away from a double leg attempt. Leg kick from Knight and he gets the back standing then gets a roll to force this to the mat and he’s got top position but Rinaldi hits a kimura sweep. Rinaldi holds the kimura and is looking to finish but can’t get the arm free and settles for taking the back again. Seriously the back control from Rinaldi is impressive, he just wont be moved or lose hooks. Rinaldi gets the arm across the chin and looks for the choke but Knight is fighting to get free and Rinaldi bails on the choke to land body shots. More punches and another choke attempt from Rinaldi but he’s not really in a position to finish yet. Knight to his knees and stands but Rinaldi keeps the backpack then Knight tries to slam free but nothing doing, he’s still in the same position. A few more punches from Knight but he’s just expressing general frustration as Rinaldi holds the back and time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jordan Rinaldi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-26)

I can see a 10-8 for Rinaldi in the third. Rinaldi jokes that he gets to meet Joe Rogan as his interview starts. He gives glory to God and preaches a bit to the fans, doesn’t go over that well in New York. He says Knight was a tough fight but he figured he’d get the wrestling advantage then exploited it once he knew how to deal with the rubber guard. Asked about the cut to featherweight he says it was great and says he didn’t cut one pound the morning of the weigh ins, then plays a bit with Felder as Felder is a very large lightweight and he just didn’t want to fight giants anymore.

That’s it for prelims, to PPV for the main card.

Derek Brunson has gone 2-3 in his last five fights but is still considered a top shelf middleweight, and in fairness to him those losses are to Robert Whittaker, Anderson Silva (a fight he should have won), and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Brunson is coming off of that loss to Souza and needs a win to hold onto his spot in the rankings. Israel Adesanya is undefeated including being 3-0 in the UFC and is poised to become the next big contender in the division, if he can get by Brunson here he’ll almost certainly be in line for a title eliminator bout next year. The odds are with Adesanya at a surprisingly high -300 to a tempting value of +230 for Brunson.

Middleweight Bout: #9 Israel Adesanya (14-0, 184.8 lbs.) vs. #6 Derek Brunson (18-6, 185.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Adesanya has three inches of height and reach on Brunson. Southpaw to start for Adesanya but he does a bit of stance switching if necessary. Brunson is circling, tries a single leg but settles for a clinch then body lock against the fence. Adesanya breaks the grip and looks to spin but Brunson is controlling him with an under hook. There’s a break, Brunson twice grabbed the shorts and now loses the position because of it and the ref warns him sternly. Brunson tries a side kick to the leg. Adesanya lands a jab, Brunson tries a high crotch but Adesanya avoids it then tries a rush that allows Brunson to clinch up. Adesanya spins free but eats a couple of lefts and Brunson is back into the clinch. Brunson loses the grip and Adesanya spins free. They’re circling but Adesanya is struggling to really land, and lands a right as I type that. Brunson is southpaw now and Adesanya is orthodox. Leg kick from Adesanya lands and he avoids a bad shot from Brunson. Glancing head kick from Adesanya and Brunson gets a clinch yet again that hits the fence. Adesanya is doing a good job of getting free but he’s not really hurting Brunson at distance to negate the control of Brunson as a scoring criteria. Brunson can’t keep the clinch and Adesanya lands a knee on the break. Adesanya lands punches and a couple more knees that drop Brunson for a moment. Brunson back up but eats another head kick and punches that drop him again, again he’s up but Adesanya just snipes him down with punches and the ref stops this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Israel Adesanya via TKO, knees and punches, at 4:51 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Adesanya for his work this evening. That was a big big win for Adesanya against arguably his best level of opposition. Mic time for Adesanya who gives himself a B- grade, then says this was a walk in the Garden, Madison that is. He says he thought Brunson would just bum rush him but played patient and he forced Brunson to be sloppy. He reiterates that he’s got wrestling and jiu-jitsu, puts over his coaches and the finishing sequence as something he picked up on in training. To close he says he doesn’t throw and hope, he aims and fires then calls out the top five but plans on a specific call out after the rest of the fights tonight. Pay attention to that man guys, love him or hate him he’s darn good and isn’t going anywhere.

This doesn’t include the finish but is what set up the whole thing, and the finish was just more punches at distance and Brunson falling over. Brunson gets predictable with reaching for a takedown, this time Adesanya reads it and lands a hard knee right up the middle that wobbles Brunson and then he never lets him off of the hook.

Karl Roberson has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss to Cezar Ferreira, now he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak. Jack Marshman has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, now he’s trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. The odds are with Roberson at -305 against +235 for Marshman.

Middleweight Bout: Jack Marshman (22-7, 185.4 lbs.) vs. Karl Roberson (6-1, 184.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Roberson has an inch of height and reach on Marshman. Touch of gloves to get us going, Roberson is fighting southpaw. Bit of a high kick from Roberson that’s blocked. Stiff left from Roberson lands. High kick from Roberson mostly lands, he’s obviously the more accomplished striker. They clinch up off of a low kick from Marshman and hit the fence. A couple of lefts land for Roberson on the break. Marshman is really struggling with the distance whereas Roberson seems to already have it mastered. Roberson lands a couple of clean left hands to the jaw of Marshman. Another counter left from Roberson lands. Jab from Marshman lands but he took a hard body kick, and now Roberson avoids a series of punches with just head movement. Another body kick from Roberson then a left and he’s looking to flurry but Marshman throws back and lands a right that gets Roberson to rethink the flurry option. Roberson lands a body kick. This is scarcely competitive in terms of pure striking, Roberson is schooling Marshman. Inside leg kick from Roberson and he blocks the counters. Marshman lands a body shot. Marshman blocks a high kick. There’s a body shot from Marshman that lands. They stare away the last couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Roberson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Roberson pushing forward more this round, he was more the counter striker lands round. Left lands for Roberson. Marshman lands a body kick then throws a bunch of punches that are mostly blocked. One two from Roberson wobbles Marshman for a moment. Left from Roberson again, commentary is questioning the left foot of Roberson and there might be something to that. Roberson lands a jab. High kick from Roberson is blocked. Roberson lands a left, Marshman is throwing back but he needs a brawl as he’s losing technically. Marshman is cut under the left eye. A few punches go back and forth then Roberson hits a double leg in to side control. Marshman is trying to control posture as Roberson lands some short punches to the head. Now Roberson lands a few short elbows as Marshman tries to get an empty half guard. For his part Roberson is trying for a mounted crucifix. The round ends in that spot before anything comes of the position.

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

ROUND THREE: Between rounds Roberson mentioned his left leg being hurt, so credit to Felder for calling that out last round. Hard counter left lands for Roberson. Marshman has a heck of a chin, and Roberson lands a body kick. High kick from Roberson is blocked but he’s not throwing that leg as hard as he used to. Another wicked left from Roberson that Marshman just eats like a pancake. Roberson lands another hard left, Marshman is bleeding badly from the mouth and might have a jaw issue from all those lefts he’s eaten. Roberson lands that pull back left again, a lesser man than Marshman would have been down long before now. Double leg from Roberson and he’s in side control. Marshman still controlling posture, Roberson lands an elbow as Marshman tries to leverage himself off of the fence. More elbows from Roberson and he’s after an americana but can’t lock it up. Now full mount for Roberson and he’s looking to posture up and drop bombs. Marshman is fighting to control posture, Roberson lands a few rights. Roberson tries on flurry as time runs out but Marshman survives.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Roberson, 30-26 Roberson overall

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

Just a superior technical striker putting that to great use against a brawler. Roberson on the mic now, he says he was dealing with a bit of a knee injury that got tweaked when Marshman kicked his lead leg, then clarifies that his lead leg was hurt, not his rear. He says he wasn’t surprised that Marshman just ate those shots and puts him over as tough then puts over his training partner Corey Anderson for getting his wrestling up to snuff.

David Branch has gone 2-1 since returning to the UFC and has just one loss at middleweight dating all the way back to 2012 and that was to Luke Rockhold. Branch is looking to build his first UFC winning streak off the back of a win over Thiago Santos. Jared Cannonier took this fight on relatively short notice and is making his middleweight debut, he’s lost his last two fights and is hoping dropping down to 185 gives his UFC run a new lease on life. The odds are with Branch at -400 against a +300 payout for Cannonier.

Middleweight Bout: #7 David Branch (22-4, 185.6 lbs.) vs. Jared Cannonier (10-4, 184.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Branch is two inches taller but has just half an inch of reach on Cannonier. Branch opens things up with an inside leg kick, Cannonier lands a leg kick that’s much better. Double leg from Branch gets Cannonier down against the fence, Cannonier wall walks immediately but Branch gets him back down. Branch moves to the back now but can’t keep it and Cannonier is back up in the clinch. Knee from Cannonier then a right as they break. Jab from Branch at distance, then he avoids a counter right. They’re splitting jabs then Branch is after another takedown that he gets. Cannonier looking to wall walk again, this time Branch gets the back with one hook in before he can as Cannonier gets to his knees. Branch lands some lefts while stripping away the posts as Cannonier tries to get up. Cannonier back up but Branch has a rear waist lock, now Cannonier gets chest to chest and lands an elbow on the break. A few rights go back and forth. Cannonier avoids a takedown then Branch lands a leg kick. Branch is getting his jab going now, Cannonier lands a right but Branch shoots a double leg against the fence and gets Cannonier down. Cannonier wall walks almost immediately and spins Branch into the cage. They trade knees in the clinch and Cannonier lands some rights on the break. Branch pushes into another clinch, fails on a trip attempt and eats some short shots as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Branch but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Cannonier coming forward this round and lands a couple of jabs then a hard leg kick. Both men miss rights, then Branch lands a right. Cannonier blocks a double leg and lands a right that drops Branch, now he’s on top looking to land blows from the ride position and the ref jumps in to stop this. Slightly early stoppage I think but not at all unjustified.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jared Cannonier via TKO, punches, at :29 of Round 2

Solid debut at middleweight for Cannonier, Branch is no joke. Cannonier gets an interview after that, he says it feels good to win on the biggest stage in the biggest arena and is grateful to be in position to do so. He says he knows he’s one of the best in the world and this was just an opportunity to make good on that. He talks us through the stoppage and says he’s only getting better then puts over his team and his wife for making the weight cut easy, he says he can do this anytime any day. To close he thanks his wife and team again, then thanks the people of New York and runs down the hits of New York and thanks two people by name that he’d like to meet.

Chris Weidman is a former middleweight champion but hit a nasty skid recently where he lost three fights in a row and was finished in all of them, he’s coming off of a win over Kelvin Gastelum but that was in July of 2017 as injuries have kept him out of action. Weidman is looking to solidify himself as the number one contender with a win over another elite level middleweight. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has long been one of the best middleweights in the world but has also hit a bit of a skid lately, he’s just 1-2 in his last three including the first time he was finished since 2018 when Robert Whittaker head kicked him into semi-consciousness. Souza is also looking to solidify a title shot despite losses to both the champion Whittaker and next contender Gastelum with a win over Weidman. As for the odds they’re with Weidman slightly at -170 to a +140 underdog status on Souza.

Middleweight Bout: #5 Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (25-6 1 NC, 185.4 lbs.) vs. #3 Chris Weidman (14-3, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Weidman is an inch taller but has a surprisingly large six inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Souza stalking forward, Weidman giving ground so far. One two from Weidman lands, Souza lands a leg kick. Another jab from Weidman and he avoids the counter. Bit of a right from Souza, Weidman circling more now looking for an angle he likes. They clinch up and Souza lands an uppercut as they break after nearly tossing Weidman down. Weidman avoids a leg kick and has a right miss the target. A right from Weidman wobbles Souza for a moment but Souza fires back and gets him to back off. Souza lands a left to the body, and another one. Another leg kick from Souza but he eats a couple of counters this time. Souza lands another leg kick. Weidman’s technique has come up a lot but he’s not got a lot of power on display yet and he’s leaving his chin a bit high. Weidman lands a combination and Souza is bleeding from the nose. Souza lands a hard leg kick then a right. Another left to the body from Souza then a knee in close and they both got rocked as Weidman landed a right. Weidman lands a jab. They circle away the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Weidman

ROUND TWO: Let’s see who adjusts after that, Weidman’s jab was working well while Souza landed to the body and leg. They touch gloves for the second round and Souza lands a leg kick. Weidman with a leg kick of his own, his volume and distance management seem to be troubling Souza. Another leg kick from Weidman, Souza lands one of his own. Weidman lands a right to the body, Souza pushing forward and lands a knee then a right. Souza is trying to brawl, digs the body again before Weidman gets free and has distance. Leg kick from Souza, his brawling is starting to work and make Weidman back up and reassess. More lefts to the body from Souza and a clinch where they trade knees. They break with a bit of a right from Souza. Weidman lands a cracking right and Souza is backing up looking to recover. Again Souza lands a left to the body then a couple of hooks. This fight is pretty crazy, it’s turning into a slug fest from the two of the best grapplers in the division. Souza’s nose is badly broken and but he’s digging the body still and looking to fight. Weidman lands a bit of a right around the guard of Souza. Bit of a body kick from Souza. Weidman blocks a head kick and off balances Souza, he’s in the clinch now on the fence. They trade arm punches and knees, and Weidman gets away with a fence grab. Weidman gets a quick takedown, Souza rolls and Weidman has to scramble free then separate to avoid being on bottom. They stare away the last ten seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: It’s a shame this isn’t five rounds. Souza coming forward, lands a leg kick. Right from Weidman and a body kick to go with it. Souza lands to the body in close then a leg kick. Right from Souza and we get a brawl along the fence where Weidman gets tagged a few times. Weidman lands a knee, he’s still volume striking and it’s working well so far. More body work from Souza then Weidman lands an uppercut and a right. Souza lands a right but Weidman rolled with that one then Souza kicks the body. Front kicks to the body from Souza, Weidman with punches but he gets countered this time. Leaping left hook from Souza then he digs the body and lands a right. Another left to the body from Souza and a right, Weidman falls like a board and the ref doesn’t stop it immediately, Souza protests the non-stoppage and hits Weidman a few more times to get it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via TKO, punches, at 2:46 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Souza for his work this evening. Bad stoppage job from the ref there but another big win for Souza, who’s in the title picture again. Mic time for Souza and his translator, he answers in English but doesn’t seem to understand it that well and says his nose isn’t broken just damaged from years of abuse and puts over Weidman as a legend of the sport and a great guy and almost feels bad about doing this to him in his home town. Rogan asks about the non-stoppage, he says the sport needs more sportsmen who respect each other but will go to war in the cage like they just did. He says he trains all areas of the game and puts over Weidman again, then plays with the crowd a bit.

Derrick Lewis despite being in largely forgettable to awful fights has only lost three times in the UFC and is currently on a three fight winning streak. Lewis is getting his first title shot here and looking to score a significant upset while claiming the big gold belt. Daniel Cormier is one of the finest fighters MMA has seen and is the current heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, though the latter title will likely be stripped from him ahead of UFC 232 at the end of the year. Cormier is coming off of winning the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic, he’s looking for his first defense of that title while still angling for a money fight with former champion Brock Lesnar at some point next year. Cormier is a near prohibitive favorite at -500 while the +390 comeback on Lewis likely tempts those gamblers who like to live dangerously.

Heavyweight Title Bout: (c) Daniel Cormier (21-1 1 NC, 251.2 lbs.) vs. #2 Derrick Lewis (21-5 1 NC, 264.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lewis is the much larger man, he’s four inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach on Cormier plus Lewis cuts weight to 265 and is likely around 280 or so now. They touch gloves to get us going. Some slow circling, Cormier doing a bit of feinting. Lewis lands a left body kick. Cormier half checks a leg kick and he’s backing Lewis towards the fence. Lewis misses a head kick, Cormier jabs into the clinch and is after the snatch single leg and gets Lewis down with it. That takedown from Cormier is like butter, and he’s on top in half guard now. Lewis trying to control posture, Cormier breaking that grip with a cross face and looking to land elbows. Short hammer fists from Cormier and the crowd gets restless. Lewis rolls to his knees, Cormier settles for a ride rather than taking the back and lands rights as Lewis wall walks but stays in the clinch. Almost effortless single leg from Cormier and he’s back on top in half guard. Cormier working methodically from top position but nothing crazy yet, he seems content to slow Lewis down and reduce all of the risk he represents. Hard punches from Cormier and Lewis tries to roll, Cormier in the ride position landing more punches looking to get the back. Cormier can’t get the back but gets knee on belly and slams more rights to the head of Lewis as Lewis kneels against the fence. Rogan confuses that having a knee on the mat still makes you downed, utter shame for your commentator to be that ill-informed, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Cromier, total domination

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Cormier is much more mobile, feinting a bit with his hands looking to close distance. Body kick from Cormier and Lewis lands a bit of a counter right. Lewis misses that jumping switch kick again. Cormier avoids a couple of punches, he’s making Lewis move and expend energy when he’s out of range. Single leg again from Cormier, elevates and sweeps the post leg this time then Lewis wall walks but is stuck in a front head lock. A few knees from Cormier and he drags Lewis back down and picks the ankle to get on top in side control. Lewis to his knees, Cormier gets the back this time and has the choke to force the tap. Academic domination from Cormier from start to finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Heavyweight Champion – Daniel Cormier via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:14 of Round 2

Cormier just out classes the majority of this division, if not the entirety of it. Cormier also made some history there, he’s the first champion in UFC history to successfully defend titles in two different titles. On the mic Cormier, who’s got both belts on his shoulders and seems overjoyed, calls this history and history in the making as well as calling himself one of the greatest of all time. He says Lewis punched him in the eye on the way in for that last takedown and he was hurt for thirty seconds and puts over Lewis as a hard hitter and a great guy. He says more people need to understand that he’s been fighting at the championship level for eight of the nine years he’s been fighting, a punchers chance against him is basically no chance and if you’re not the best in the world you’re not really going to beat him. Rogan asks about a possible Brock Lesnar fight, Cormier says Lesnar can bring the WWE belt with him so he can be a triple champ, then kisses Joe Rogan on the cheek.

No interview for Lewis, Cormier has both of his kids in the cage with him and gives a belt to each of them and plays around with them a bit for a really great visual before we cut away.

That wraps up UFC 230, which was about as good on paper as you’d expect and in this case that’s not an insult or even a backhanded compliment. We’ll be reviewing UFC 230 and previewing UFC fight Night 139 (their 25th anniversary show) when Yair Rodriguez steps in on short notice to take on The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung. Tune in for the full show as usual. If you’ve got a question or comment you’d like addressed on air please leave it below, or feel free to tweet me @WinfreeMMA if you do the twitter thing. Until next time guys and gals, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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