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411’s UFC 231 Report 12.08.18

December 9, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Max Holloway UFC 218

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 231. 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 231 has a great top of the card, in fact I’m of the opinion that the main event is one of the best fights on paper in all of MMA. Featherweight champion and pound for pound staple Max Holloway is after his second title defense as well as extending his absurd twelve fight winning streak against the undefeated top contender Brian Ortega. Ortega isn’t just undefeated, he’s finished all of his UFC opponents and was most recently seen knocking out the durable former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. It should be a heck of a fight. The co-main is also incredibly compelling when former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk moves up to flyweight to battle Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant women’s flyweight title, which would make Jedrzejczyk the first woman in UFC history to hold titles in different weight classes.

The rest of the card is quietly solid as the all action Alex Oliveira battles Gunnar Nelson, Thiago Santos tries to continue his assault on the light heavyweight division, Olivier Aubin-Mercier takes on Gilbert Burns in what could be a sleeper bout for Fight of the Night honors, and Claudia Gadelha battles Nina Ansaroff for position in the strawweight division. Now it could turn out that these fights are duds in practice but on paper this is a solid offering.

UFC 231 comes to the world from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and UFC lightweight contender Paul Felder. This trio was pretty solid the last time they were assembled, and Felder’s commentary is generally awesome. We’re under the old rules tonight as Ontario has not verified the new rules, so anything besides the soles of your feet on the mat means your downed and the language around scoring is needlessly nebulous. We will have the use of replay for fight ending sequences but once used the fight cannot be restarted.

Devin Clark has gone 3-2 in the UFC and 3-1 since moving up to light heavyweight, now he’s looking for his second two fight winning streak and hoping to begin moving up the ranks rather than just treading water. Aleksandar Rakic is on a ten fight winning streak including being 2-0 in the UFC, he’s looking to get that to three in a row and make a case for himself as a top prospect in a division still badly in need of them. Rakic is a significant -600 favorite while the +425 payout on Clark has to tempt a few degenerate gamblers.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Devin Clark (9-2, 205 lbs.) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (10-1, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rakic is four inches taller and has three inches of reach on Clark. Clark comes out quickly and lands a right to counter a body kick and gets a clinch after Rakic was off balanced. They’re on the fence, and we’ve got “woo’s” already, Rakic spins free and lands a right to the body. Leg kick from Rakic, and another one. Rakic is working leg kicks early, trying to keep distance as Clark wings a few punches at him bu they fall short. Another leg kick from Rakic and Clark is a little hesitant on that leg already. Clark lands a left hook that Rakic circled right into and he’s down but he’s back up. Rakic has both hands down and Clark is landing illegal knees, the ref proves himself a total moron by ignoring the blatant fouls. They’re under the old rules, literally anything besides the soles of your feet means your down. Rakic somehow survives and spins Clark into the fence then starts landing knees of his own to the body. Man that ref screwed up, horrible. They break free and Rakic lands a heavy leg kick. Rakic is dropping his lead hand to parry the kicks of Clark, that’ll give him more problems if Clark picks up on it. More leg kicks from Rakic, Clark is definitely a little worried on that lead leg. Clark bulls forward but eats a right back fist of the rare non spinning variety, Clark goes down on his knees, Rakic gets to the ride and just mauls him with rights until he’s out. The ref further prove’s he’s useless with a late stoppage as Clark was out for at least three or four hard punches.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Aleksandar Rakic via TKO, punches, at 4:05 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rakic for his work this evening. Mic time for Rakic, he’s asked about the illegal knees and says he was surprised at the lack of proper officiating but he figured he’d have to escape and then knock out his opponent. He talks us through the finish, says he doesn’t do back fists in sparring but is happy it worked and notes that anything can happen in MMA. He thanks Toronto and wants to be back home with his family soon, then says he wants a name opponent next.

Here’s the finish. Rakic lands a pretty solid leg kick and Clark tries to bum rush off of it, but that allows Rakic to simply transition to southpaw and fire a back fist that catches Clark on the jaw and he doesn’t see it. From there Rakic doesn’t let him off the hook and pounds him into the mat. I’ll also let you decide for yourself if that stoppage was late or not.

Carlos Diego Ferreira has gone 4-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking to take a crack at a top twenty or so opponent with another win here. Kyle Nelson took this fight on very short notice but does have a six fight winning streak to his name, suffice it to say a win here would be the biggest of his career. Given the short notice nature of this fight it’s no surprise that Ferreira is a big -550 favorite to a +400 payout for Nelson.

Lightweight Bout: Diego Ferreira (13-2, 155.75 lbs.) vs. Kyle Nelson (12-1, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nelson is two inches taller but Ferreira has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men feinting, bit of a check hook from Nelson. Leg kick from Ferreira but he stays too upright and Nelson lands a couple of counter hooks. Body kick from Nelson. Nelson hurts Ferreira with body work, then lands a head kick as he blocked a takedown attempt. Another front kick from Nelson to the body, Ferreira is hurt to the body and tries to pull guard but Nelson pulls free and makes him stand back up. Ferreira seems to have recovered, he’s coming forward and lands punches to the head and kicks to the body. Both guys landing body work, Nelson lands a right to the jaw and this is breaking down then Ferreira gets a double leg into top position. Nelson trying to survive but Ferreira is quickly into half guard. Ferreira is after a kimura, he’s got the double wrist lock and is nearly into full mount. Now Ferreira is switching between kimura attempts and straight armbars but Nelson is able to get his wrist free. Ferreira decides to just land elbows to the body and head while setting up to attack the arm again. Nelson is cut on the top of the head form these elbows. Speaking of elbows, Ferreira lands move and moves to full mount. Full back mount now for Ferreira dn he’s looking to pound out Nelson. Nelson will survive until the end of the round though.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ferreira

ROUND TWO: Given how superior Ferreira was on the ground I wonder how long before he shoots another takedown. The answer is not long, he landed a body kick then shot a knee tap variant and gets on top immediately. Ferreira moves to leg drag position, then to side control but loses that trying to mount as Nelson gets half guard. Ferreira smash passes to full mount, and he’s landing punches now with impunity. The control from Ferreira is too much, he lands punches and as Nelson is unable to really defend or improve his position the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlos Diego Ferreira via TKO, punches, at 1:23 of Round 2

Solid stuff from Ferreira, he was just better on the ground and exploited that advantage. Ferreira gets an interview, he thanks Nelson for the short notice fight as well as thanking the UFC brass and Canada generally. He says he got caught by the body shot but persevered and felt Nelson was gassing on the ground and knew he could win.

Chad Laprise has gone 3-3 in his last six fights and just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Vicente Luque. Laprise is hoping to avoid his second UFC losing streak. Dhiego Lima is on his second UFC run but is on an overall three fight losing streak including dropping his two UFC fights, he’s trying to win and avoid being cut from the promotion for a second time. Laprise is your -400 favorite against a +300 comeback on Lima.

Welterweight Bout: Chad Laprise (13-3, 171 lbs.) vs. Dhiego Lima (12-7, 170.25 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lima is four inches taller, which mirrors his reach advantage of four inches. They touch gloves to get us going. Laprise is coming forward early, Lima doing some stance switching and Laprise is landing leg kicks. Bit of a left from Lima, Laprise lands another leg kick. Neither man has a good feel for the range yet, they’re landing punches to the arm mostly. Laprise lands a leg kick but eats a short left from Lima. Lunging left hook from Lima catches Laprise cold and absolutely ends his night with one punch.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dhiego Lima via KO, punch, at 1:37 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lima for his work this evening. Lima gets an interview, he feels great and thanks God for his position right now. He talks us through the finish, thanks his boxing coach and feels that he got his legs under him and once he did he got that finish. He says he’s got three kids and petitions for a post fight bonus for Christmas.

It doesn’t get much cleaner than this one guys. Lima with a text book leaping left hook that Laprise doesn’t read properly, the punch lands to the jaw and Laprise drops.

Brad Katona won his weight class on the 27th season of The Ultimate Fighter and is undefeated overall, now he’s looking to prove he can succeed in the UFC away from the auspices of that particular show. Matthew Lopez has gone 2-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak at the moment, he’s hoping to avoid a three fight skid with a win here. The odds are with Katona at -170 while Lopez’s comeback sits at +140.

Bantamweight Bout: Brad Katona (7-0, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lopez is an inch taller but has a notable edge in reach of four and a half inches. Lopez fighting southpaw, and misses a couple of lefts to get us going. Leg kick from Katona, then Lopez catches a kick and lands a couple of hooks. Katona tries a high kick that’s blocked. Inside leg kick from Katona, Lopez lands a stiff left hand then a body kick which prompts a clinch and Lopez blocks a takedown attempt. Katona lands a body kick of his own. Another inside leg kick from Katona, he’s the more mobile fighter so far but Lopez is pressuring forward. Left from Lopez lands. One two from Lopez lands. Lopez lands a right hook, Katona responds with a right of his own. Another left to the body from Lopez but he’s starting to reach for that and is leaving himself vulnerable to counters. Katona blocks a takedown attempt. Body shot from Katona lands, Lopez lands a left to the head. Double leg now from Lopez and he’s got Katona down in full guard. Katona throwing a few elbows from his back, Lopez lands a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lopez but a close round

ROUND TWO: Katona is kicking to start this round but the kicks are blocked so far. Lopez lands a left then catches a kick and takes Katona down. Katona back up quickly after eating some punches and they disengage. Lopez lands a left, Katona lands a bit of a right. Body kick from Lopez. Katona is getting his bounce back in his step now, he’s looking for the angle to attack from. Lopez digs the body, Katona responds with a hook to the head. Inside leg kick from Katona but Lopez takes him down into half guard. Katona with an impressive hip escape and he’s back up and lands a body shot on Lopez. Another body shot from Katona then an inside leg kick. Katona is really moving well and finding his angles, Lopez seems to be slowing down. They trade rights but Katona’s landed better. They just circle away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Katona, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: More bounce from Katona to start this round, Lopez is trying to get his jab working. Lopez lands to the body with a left then has a head kick blocked. Katona is working forward more this round, looking to pressure Lopez and make him work. Inside leg kick from Katona. Left to the body from Katona but Lopez lands a counter right. Katona lands a right. Lopez lands a left to counter a kick and Katona responds with a couple of punches. Katona lands a right and avoids a takedown attempt. Another right from Katona lands, then he swings a right to the body. Lopez lands a right as Katona defends a takedown attempt. Katona tries a single leg, can’t get it and lands rights as they break. Another takedown from Lopez, Katona switches to an Imanari choke from a ride position and locks it up, but the round ends. Lopez actually went out and it should be ruled a techncial submission at the end of the round.

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

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

For the record, you can’t be saved by the bell in MMA but the ref isn’t call it a finish. Same ref that missed those obviously illegal knees earlier. Mic time for Katona, he believes the fight should have been ruled a stoppage but says it’s not his call to make. He thanks Canada, then says he was hoping to make a statement in the division but hopes to make a better one in his next fight.

Here’s the final exchange, I’ll let you decide if you agree with me on that being a technical submission.

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

Elias Theodorou has a stellar overall UFC record of 7-2 and is currently on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking to defend his top fifteen spot and earn a shot at someone ranked above him next. Eryk Anders was through of as a top prospect but that seems to have cooled a bit recently, he’s just 1-2 in his last three fights and is coming off of a loss to Thiago Santos. Anders is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and move back into the top fifteen rankings. The odds are close but lean towards Theodorou at -130 against an even +100 on Anders.

Middleweight Bout: Eryk Anders (11-2, 186 lbs.) vs. #14 Elias Theodorou (15-2, 184.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Theodorou has a slight half inch reach advantage. They touch gloves, Anders fighting southpaw. Some stance switching from Theodorou as Anders pressures him towards the fence and they clinch up. Knees from Theodorou, Anders returns them as they break. Anders still coming forward, Theodorou circling and kicking to try and keep distance. Bit of a left from Theodorou, boy does he look awkward when striking. hard knee form Anders in close, Theodorou lands one of his own as they break. Body kick from Theodorou. Theodorou lands another body kick. Anders lands a left and they clinch up. Theodorou gets a body lock on the hip and lands a few knees to the thigh and moves to the back then the chest again. A few more knees from Theodorou land as they break. Theodorou is reading Anders because Anders is doing a lot of the same thing over and over again. Anders catches a kick and drives Theodorou into the fence, then they trade knees and break. Anders lands a left to the body and a right hook as the last blows of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Theodorou

ROUND TWO: More movement from Theodorou, Anders lands a punch but he’s getting out worked and out pointed by Theodorou. Anders lands a left and they clinch up. Knees go back and forth then Anders lands a left as they break. Theodorou lands a body kick and some uppercuts in close before he separates. Inside leg kick from Thedorou. Anders lands a left and a body kick, then Theodorou lands a knee and a right as they break from a clinch. Stiff lefts from Anders in close, Theodorou just eats it but those landed. Better work from Anders now, Theodorou is slowing down a bit. Short uppercuts from Theodorou in close but he’s struggling to keep up his pace. Bit of a left from Anders, and another one wobbles Theodorou. Theodorous is hurt and on the fence, Anders swings lefts to the body. Body kick form Tehodorou but Anders lands a couple of counter lefts that hurt him. Jab from Anders and a left uppercut, Theodorou is hurt but backing away and surviving. Another left from Anders drops Theodorou for a moment but he’s back up and still wobbled. Anders isn’t going nuts here, he has a high kick blocked as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the last round. Anders still coming forward, Theodorou seems to have his legs back under him but isn’t moving as well as he did earlier. Left from Anders lands. Theodorou lands an uppercut but he’s still backing up and circling. We get time as Theodorou complained of an eye poke, both guys had taken some small ones in the second. Theodorou is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Another left from Anders in close lands. Two more lefts land and they clinch but nothing comes of it before they break. Theodorou is trying to up his out put but he’s slowing down and Anders lands a right uppercut. Another couple of lefts from Anders land. Anders lands a left, Theodorou lands an uppercut. Another bit of an uppercut from Theodorou, he thinks about a takedown but bails on it. Spinning inside leg kick from Theodorou lands. Anders lands an uppercut. Theodorou lands a body kick, Anders lands a left and that will end the fight as time runs out.

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

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

Meh, if you’ve seen one Theodorou fight you’ve seen ’em all at this point. Mic time for Theodorou who jokes about his unorthodox nature then acknowledges that he got hit hard but wasn’t out of the fight at any point. He puts over Anders but notes that he has a great chin, he wants to fight for medical cannabis next, Joe Rogan will give him all day for that, and he talks a bit about it before his time runs out.

Katlyn Chookagian is on a three fight winning streak in addition to being 4-1 overall in the UFC, she’s hoping another win here will solidify her as the number one contender to the women’s flyweight title. Jessica Eye broke a four fight losing streak this year and has won two fights in a row coming into this bout, she’s likewise hoping a win gives her the number one contender status. Chookagian is your -200 favorite against a +165 comeback on Eye.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #3 Katlyn Chookagian (11-1, 125.75 lbs.) vs. #9 Jessica Eye (13-6 1 NC, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chookagian is three inches taller and has two inches of reach on Eye. Eye coming forward early, Chokagian circling and lands a left hook. Both women miss punches, neither has a real read on the distance yet. Eye lands a right in close after Chookagian missed a front kick. They both have rights mostly blocked. Eye is winging an overhand right that’s sloppy but is getting through a bit. Chookagian lands a body kick. Another counter right from Eye lands. A few inside leg kicks from Eye, Chookagian lands a counter left hook. Eye’s wild and frankly sloppy counter rushes are being moderately effective because Chookagian isn’t countering them yet. Body kick from Chookagain and she avoids the counters. Eye lands a leg kick, Chookagian lands one of her own. Chookagian lands a right uppercut. Bit of a side kick from Chookagian, then a counter left hook. Leg kick from Chookagian then she lands a bit of a high kick. Chhokagian counters a knee tap with a throw and wind sup just on top as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian

ROUND TWO: Eye pumping the jab to start this round, Chookagian lands a body kick. They clinch up and Chookagian lands knees to the body then gets Eye on the fence. Eye spins free but is struggling to get anything going this round. Jabs from Chookagian land. Bit of a right from Eye. Left hook lands for Chookagian. Leg kick from Chookagian but Eye lands a counter right. Another counter left hook from Chookagian lands, there’s swelling under the right eye of Eye. They trade body kicks then Eye lands a knee to the chest as they break. Stiff jab from Chookagian then a bit of a high kick. Body kicks go back and forth. Body shot from Chookagian. Eye is chopping with inside leg kicks, Chookagian lands a left hook then a front kick to the body. Eye lands a right then a right elbow in a brief clinch. Neither one will land a blow before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Eye but a close round, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: eye flashing the jab to start the round. Chookagian misses a few punches then lands a leg kick. Side kick to the face from Chookagian. Jumping knee from Chookagian is mostly blocked but Eye’s output is mostly gone for a moment. Sharp right from Chookagian then Eye fails on a takedown and Chookagian is in the ride position landing punches. Eye is trying to get up, she’s looking for a double from her knees now but Chookagian is up and they’re on the fence in a clinch. Knees from Chookagian and they break. One two from Chokagian, Eye lands a bit of an uppercut. Another side kick to the face from Chookagian. Eye lands a body kick. Missed jumping kick from Chookagian. Eye lands a bit of a right to the body. They trade arm punches in close. Another uppercut from Chookagian and they trade knees in close. Chookagian stuffs another takedown attempt and lands short elbows as the round ends.

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

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

I disagree but the fight sucked. Eye grabs the mic and says she wants her title shot, she says she’s lost before but is a winner now and wants people to start believing in her. Asked about the title picture she wants whoever the winner is.

Olivier Aubin-Mercier just had a four fight winning streak snapped by Alexander Hernandez, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Gilbert Burns is also coming off of a loss, his to Dan Hooker, and is hoping to avoid his first losing streak. The odds are with Aubin-Mercier at -145 against +115 for Burns.

Lightweight Bout: Olivier Aubin-Mercier (11-3, 155.75 lbs.) vs. Gilbert Burns (14-3, 155.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Burns is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Aubin-Mercier fighting southpaw. Burns misses a few kicks. bit of a left from Aubin-Mercier, Burns lands a body kick. Burns lands a right that gets Aubin-Mercier to back off then lands a body kick. Left from Aubin-Mercier lands. Burns tries a single leg that hits the fence and stalls out. Aubin-Mercier is defending the takedown well so far but Burns hits a high crotch and gets him down. Aubin-Mercier has full guard, well butterfly guard and Burns is pressing him into the fence. Now Aubin-Mercier is looking to wall walk, Burns picks an ankle and keeps him on his seat against the fence. Burns nearly gets the back but Aubin-Mercier keeps an under hook and is back up then spins Burns into the fence. Knees from Burns and Aubin-Mercier is able to separate. Counter left hook from Burns floors Aubin-Mercier and he’s all over him on the mat with hammer fists looking for a finish. Brutal punches from the ride position then Burns gets the back with a body triangle locked in. Burns is fishing for the choke but Aubin-Mercier is defending so far. Burns switches to a double hooks position instead of a body triangle, then gets the body triangle on the other side.Burns sells out for an armbar attempt, nearly gets it but the round ends as Aubin-Mercier rolls through and tries to regain his feet.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burns, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Hard body kick from Burns to start the round. Bit of a right from Burns, Aubin-Mercier lands a right of his own. They punch into a clinch and find themselves on the fence. They break without incident. Aubin-Mercier’s abdomen is red from the body kicks. Burns lands a bit of an uppercut then lands another body kick. Aubin-Mercier tries a high kick that’s blocked. Burns lands a right. Aubin-Mercier fires a body kick of his own but Burns stuns him with a counter right. Burns seems to have a serious edge in power while Aubin-Mercier is keeping a higher out put. Aubin-Mercier has punches blocked and Burns lands a right to the body. Bit of a right from Burns, Aubin-Mercier lands a right uppercut and they clinch again. They break with an elbow from Aubin-Mercier. Burns trying his right again but he’s not finding the range reliably. They trade lefts, Burns hits a double leg, Aubin-Mercier back up and Burns gets the clinch on the fence. Nice outside reap from Burns and he’s on top in side control landing a few elbows as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round, and Burns fires a one two that misses. Bit of a right form Burns but he took a finger to the eye. On the restart Burns lands another right. Aubin-Mercier lands a knee to the body and gets a clinch. Bit of a throw from Burns then he clips Aubin-Mercier with a hook along the fence. Burns lands a right to the body then Aubin-Mercier lands a head kick. Aubin-Mercier is stepping in with elbows, and walks into a straight right form Burns. They trade body kicks at distance. Burns ducks under a jab and gets a single leg, then switches to a double leg and he’s on top of Aubin-Mercier in half guard. The top pressure from Burns is nuts, there’s no space between him and his opponent. Burns lands a few rights while fighting to get the back. Burns has the back but no hooks as Aubin-Mercier is trying to wall walk. Now Burns gets both hooks in and gets a body triangle, he’s after the Suloev stretch but Aubin-Mercier rolls through to avoid it. Hard elbows from the back by Burns and he’s looking to open up the choke. Burns is doing everything to open up the neck but Aubin-Mercier is protecting his neck well so far. Aubin-Mercier is able to slip out the back door and regain his feet, they trad punches and this gets wild for the last ten seconds or so but no finish materializes.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burns, would be 10-8 under the new rules, 30-27 Burns overall

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

Not sure about giving Aubin-mercier a round, but no interview for Burns. Even commentary is surprised by the 29-28 score card.

Claudia Gadelha has been a top strawweight for years but two losses to former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk stalled her title aspirations before Rose Namajunas became champion. Gadelha is coming off of a win over Carla Esparza and is hoping to solidify her spot as the next challenger in line after Jessica Andrade presumably fights for the title. Nina Ansaroff is on a three fight winning streak but despite that is making her return to strawweight here, she could jump near the title picture immediately with a win over Gadelha. The favorite is Gadelha at -320 against +240 for Ansaroff.

Strawweight Bout: #11 Nina Ansaroff (9-5, 115.25 lbs.) vs. #3 Claudia Gadelha (16-3, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ansaroff is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Gadelha lands a right to counter a leg kick. More rights from Gadelha, she’s looking to scrap. Ansaroff looking for leg kicks but they’re naked and she’s asking to be countered. They both land punches into a clinch and Gadelha is looking for a body lock takedown. It takes a bit but Gadelha is successful and moves to half guard almost instantly. Gadelha lands body shots while looking to open up a passing opportunity. Ansaroff kicks Gadelha upright but can’t get up before Gadelha lands a right and returns to half guard. Body to head punches from Gadelha, Ansaroff is looking to control posture and ride this out at the moment. Ansaroff hits a sweep and is able to roll Gadleha off of her and get back up. Ansaroff coming forward but isn’t landing anything yet. Sneaky side kick to the face from Ansaroff. Ansaroff lands an uppercut but eats a counter elbow. Gadelha pushes into the clinch and lands a right but can’t keep Ansaroff on the fence. Another single leg attempt from Gadelha but Ansaroff stays upright and gets free. Bit of a right from Gadelha, Ansaroff lands a leg kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gadelha

ROUND TWO: Ansaroff lands an uppercut and a kick into a right hand. Gadelha tries a takedown but Ansaroff shucks her off. It’s clear that Gadelha is already slowing down a bit and Ansaroff is pressing forward. Leg kicks from Ansaroff, she’s managing the distance where Gadelha isn’t. Jabs from Ansaroff, Gadelha lands a right to the body but gets countered again. Gadelha is coming forward now but she’s following and can’t close distance, she’s not even feinting at this point. Calf kick from Ansaroff lands. That lead hand from Ansaroff is troubling Gadelha, who shoots a takedown and gets it into side control, she needed that badly. Ansaroff is trying to shrimp, and gets half guard back. They both fire punches to the head. Gadelha throws hammer fists to the body but she’s not doing much with this position yet. Gadelha stands but wont do anything else before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ansaroff, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves, Gadleha tries a double leg that Ansaroff blocks. Another takedown attempt but again Ansaroff blocks and this time lands a couple of hooks. Body work from Ansaroff as she’s looking to angle on Gadelha. The jab from Ansaroff is working, and she’s landing calf kicks again as well. Ansaroff lands a leg kick and a jab. More calf kicks from Ansaroff, Gadelha’s movement is a bit compromised. Right uppercut from Ansaroff and more jabs. Gadelha has no answer to that jab and leg kick. Ansaroff with a steady stream of calf kicks and jabs, she avoids a sloppy takedown attempt from Gadelha. Gadelha is a big moving target at distance, Ansaroff is striking with near impunity. Right to the body from Ansaroff. They split jabs but Ansaroff is landing collow up offense and Gadelha is just plodding forward. More leg kicks from Ansaroff. Gadelha lands a right but eats an uppercut. Another calf kick from Ansaroff will bring the clock all the way down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ansawoff, 29-28 Ansaroff overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nina Ansaroff via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I was worried that late takedown would muddy the waters, good on those judges. Gadelha should try out flyweight, her gas tank at strawweight always seems to die at the seven minute mark. No interview for Ansaroff as we’re out of broadcast time.

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

Jimi Manuwa remains a top ten light heavyweight despite a two fight losing streak because the division kind of sucks at the moment, he’s trying to avoid a three fight skid and reaffirm his ranking. Thiago Santos is on a two fight winning streak and was successful in his move up to light heavyweight a few months ago, now he’s looking to take out a top contender and prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with in this division. The odds on this one favor Santos at -190 to a +155 for Manuwa.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #7 Jimi Manuwa (17-4, 204.75 lbs.) vs. Thiago Santos (19-6, 205.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Santos is an inch taller but Manuwa has three and a half inches of reach on him. They touch gloves to get us going. Body kick from Santos and he clips Manuwa with a right, then a left and Manuwa is hurt. Santos goes for a guillotine in transition then lands uppercuts in a clinch, knees go back and forth but Manuwa is holding a clinch buying himself time to recover. Manuwa misses a left as they break. More punches from Santos as Manuwa gets another clinch, he’s getting hurt when Santos touches him. Knee to the body from Manuwa. There’s a right in close from Manuwa then an elbow as they break. Both men land lefts and Santos kicks the body. Bit of a head kick then a left from Santos and he gets a takedown against the fence. Manuwa quickly wall walks and they’re fighting in the clinch again. Knees and elbows from Manuwa, his dirty boxing is superior and he lands knees and uppercuts, then Santos with a hail may left hook to stun Manuwa and we’re in the clinch again. This is sloppy but nuts. Manuwa with knees to the body, Santos lands one of his own. Knees to the thigh from Santos then an elbow from Santos on the break. Santos misses a wheel kick then they punch each other in the face a few times and clinch again. Manuwa with a wicked left hook on the break that wobbles Santos and he slips on a stupid spin kick then Manuwa looks to get on top. Santos with a loose triangle attempt, Manuwa postures through it and moves to the ride position and lands a few lefts as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Santos but a crazy round

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Jab from Santos lands and they trade body kicks then clinch again. Manuwa lands an elbow but Santos clips him with a knee and a series of elbows before they break. Uppercut and a straight left from Santos cause Manuwa to face plant and this one is over.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Thiago Santos via KO, punches, at :41 of Round 2

Well that was a great way to break up all those decisions. Fun stuff there. Mic time for Santos and his translator, he says the game plan was to prove he can hit hard and that he’s here to stay. He talks us through the finish, says he loves making his opponent feel pain until they can’t take it anymore. He sends love to Brazil, to his son and some friends back home, then thanks Canada in English.

Here’s the finish. They were both trading in close and on the break Santos wobbles him, he then winds up with an uppercut from hell that’s blocked, he goes back to it and when it lands he forces Manuwa back to the fence then the left hook follows it up starches him.

Hakeem Dawodu has gone 1-1 in the UFC but did win his last bout and is looking for his first UFC winning streak here. Kyle Bochniak has traded wins and losses while going 2-3 in the UFC, he’s looking to avoid his first ever losing streak. Dawodu is a slight -170 favorite against a +140 comeback on Bochniak.

Featherweight Bout: Kyle Bochniak (8-3, 145 lbs.) vs. Hakeem Dawodu (8-1-1, 145.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dawodu is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Bochniak. Bochniak doing some stance switching and circling around Dawodu. Leg kick from Dawodu. Bochniak avoids a bunch of flashy stuff and lands a leg kick. They trade some leg kciks, neither man has landed much with the fists yet. Bochniak lands a right then another leg kick. Dawodu is digging the body in close as Bochniak is trying to angle around him. Leg kick from Dawodu and Bochniak counters with a right. Another leg kick from Bochniak. Nice duck under to a double leg from Bochniak, Dawodu is back up but Bochniak is on him and driving him into the fence with a body lock. Dawodu is able to force a separation. They circle away the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bochniak but a close round

ROUND TWO: Dawodu showing the lead hand this round, he lands a leg kick then a left to the body. Bochniak lands a leg kick of his own. They trade leg kicks then Bochiniak gets a takedown but Dawodu rolls through and regains his feet quickly. Bochniak lands a right. Elbow from Bochniak in close and a few more leg kicks. Dawodu is landing the better strikes but he’s slowing down. Body kick from Dawodu and Bochniak lands a counter left hook. They clinch up and Bochniak drives Dawodu to the fence. They break and Dawodu lands a jab then a one two. Leg kick from Dawodu, that was a hard one. Another clinch to the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawodu, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Bochniak avoids a one two to get the round going. Leg kick from Dawodu. Knee from Dawodu in close and Bochniak misses an elbow. They trade leg kicks then Dawodu kicks the body but Bochniak catches it and gets him to the fence. Dawodu spins free and lands to the body. Right to the jaw from Bochniak and Dawodu responds with an elbow. They trade a bit, Dawodu’s striking is much more powerful and crisp. Bochniak gets a double leg under a punch and moves to half guard immediately and looks to land elbows. Dawodu looking to wall walk, he’s upright but Bochniak is after the takedown again but can’t keep control over Dawodu and he moves free. They trade knees in the clinch then Bochniak shoots again but again stalls out on the fence. Dawodu is able to force separation then lands a left to the body. Jumping front kick to the body from Dawodu lands. More body shots from Dawodu then a left body kick and Bochniak is backing up, seems like he’s just hoping to see the end of the fight. Left to the body then a front kick to the body from Dawodu. Daodu blocks a knee tap and lands a knee to the body as they separate. Stiff left hoooks from Dawodu and a final front kick to the body that doubles Bochniak over just as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Hakeem Dawodu via split decision (28-29, 30-27 x2)

No issues with Dawodu taking all three rounds, not sure how Bochniak could have taken the second or third. Mic time for Dawodu, he says he’s tough and gritty as well as experience and you can’t beat him with just toughness. He says that no one stands in front of him, all the aggressive guys wind up backing up. Asked who he wants next, he wants to talk it over with his manager as he’s young and has a lot of fight left in him.

Alex Oliveira is one of the more reliable action fighters in the UFC right now, he’s 4-1 in his last five fights and is on a two fight winning streak. Oliveira is trying to get to three in a row for the first time since 2015 and start moving up the ranks at welterweight. Gunnar Nelson was last seen in July of last year when he was starched by Santiago Ponzinibbio, he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. The odds are close but lean towards Nelson at -150 to a +120 comeback for Oliveira.

Welterweight Bout: #14 Gunnar Nelson (16-3-1, 170.25 lbs.) vs. #13 Alex Oliveira (19-5-1 2 NC, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Oliveira has four and a half inches of reach advantage. Nelson fighting southpaw, Oliveira opens southpaw but will change stance if he feels like it. Leg kick from Oliveira. Nelson lunges into a clinch and Oliveira lands elbows as Nelson tries for a takedown. They fight in the clinch for position and things seem to settle with Oliveira’s back on the cage. Nelson is after a high crotch, Oliveira grabs the fence to stop the takedown, the ref gives him a hard warning and resets them in the clinch. Knee to the body from Oliveira. Nelson switching to a double leg and gets Oliveira down then gets the back with a body triangle, slick transition from Nelson. Oliveira has wrist control and is looking to turn into Nelson and get on top but Nelson is working to block him. They trade punches and Nelson moves all the way to the back. Oliveira lands more punches and is working to turn into Nelson again, he’s on top and lands elbows. Hard right from Oliveira then elbows to follow up as he moves to half guard. Hammer fists from Oliveira and more punches while Nelson tries to get control over his posture. Full guard for Nelson now and he closes it but he’s struggling to mute the offense from Oliveira. Oliveira postures up and lands more punches. More punches from Oliveira, Nelson’s composure is unreal, he looks relaxed despite taking damage. Oliveira lands to the body but Nelson gets a kuro-kuro sweep into a 50-50 guard and is after a leg lock but there’s not much there. The round comes to a close in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oliveira

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Nelson is still bouncing around on his toes but his hands are at his waist. Oliveira lands a leg kick and pushes into the clinch along the fence. Nelson has his back on the fence right now and Oliveira is landing short lefts to the face of Oliveira. There’s blood coming from the nose of Nelson and his left eye is swelling. Oliveira is looking for a high crotch and landing lefts as he’s looking to get him on his back again. Nelson reverses the position and gets a double leg into half guard then immediately knee slices into full mount. Oliveira has some control over Nelson’s posture and Nelson is being very patient with his positioning. Elbow from Nelson lands. Another elbow from Nelson lands. Oliveira is bleeding now, he gives up his back and Nelson gets the back then forces the tap as Oliveira bleeds like a stuck pig.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gunnar Nelson via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:17 of Round 2

That cut would have stopped the fight even if Nelson hadn’t got the submission I think. Mic time for Nelson, who says the end was what he thought but the fight was a scrap all the way through. He says he got a little off balance from some of the damage but eventually he got on top and finished things. He talks through the reversal from the first round and plans on being more safe in that position in the future. We get a replay of the finish, that’s a horrible amount of blood that just came flowing from Oliveira’s face, and Nelson talks us through the finish to close his interview.

The finish for that one. Well placed elbow from Nelson, getting cut between the eybrows especially near the bridge of the nose is one of the worst spots in terms of blood flow. Another example would be Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva the first time. From there Oliveira’s head isn’t in the game as blood flows over him and Nelson gets the rear naked choke.

Valentina Shevchenko is looking for her first UFC title in this bout, she dropped to flyweight after a controversial split decision loss in her bid for the bantamweight title. Shevchenko has been highly respected in the combat sports world but this would be the biggest win of her MMA career by far. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the former long time strawweight champion but after losing her title and then failing to reclaim it she’s looking for greener pastures up at flyweight. Jedrzejczyk defeated Tecia Torres earlier this year and is trying to make history in this bout by becoming the first woman in UFC history to win titles in two different weight classes. The odds for this fight favor Shevchenko at -350 against a +270 comeback for Jedrzejczyk.

Women’s Flyweight Title Bout: #1 Valentina Shevchenko (15-3, 123.5 lbs.) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-2, 123.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jedrzejczyk is an inch taller while Shevhcenko has an inch or reach on her. Shevchenko fighting southpaw. Jedrzejczyk flashing the jab, Shevchenko lands a leg kick. More counter leg kicks from Shvechenko, she’s out of range for Jedrzejczyk but is landing counters. Left from Shevchenko lands. They clinch up, trip from Shevhcenko and she’s on top in side control. Shevchenko sneaks in a few elbows and is looking for the mounted crucifix. Jedrzejczyk rolls through and is up but eats a knee on the way up. They battle for position in the clinch a bit, Shevchenko has a body lock and is after trips but can’t get them yet. Jedrzejczyk is staying upright but can’t get out of the clinch. They trade knees to the body. Elbow from Shevchenko as they break. Jedrzejczyk still kind of shadow boxing, she’s not really close enough to land anything and is trying to read Shevchenko more than anything. Jedrzejczyk lands a right to the body after taking a leg kick. Left from Shevchenko to counter a body kick will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko

ROUND TWO: Jedrzejczyk comes out jabbing again but again isn’t in crange. Shevchenko lands a front kick to the face then a leg kick. Spinning back fist lands for Shevchenko on the counter. body kick from Jedrzejczyk but Shevchenko lands a couple of counters. Shevchenko avoids a right and lands a right of her own. Body kick from Shevhcenko lands. Another counter right from Shevhcenko lands as she avoids a right from Jedrzejczyk. Inside leg kick from Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk is coming forward but she’s missing most of her offense and Shevhcenko is countering her well. Quick couple of punches from Shevchenko land. body kick from Jedrzejczyk lands. Hard right from Shevchenko wobbles Jedrzejczyk for a second but she recovers almost immediately. body kick from Jedrzejczyk is caught and Shevhcenko rides her to the fence and lands short rights in the clinch the hits a body lock takedown. Side control for Shevhcenko and she’s landing shoulder strikes and elbows. Shevcheno is after the mounted crucifix again, she’s landing elbows along the way. Jedrzejczyk tries to shrimp but Shevhcenko is controlling her. Jedrzejczyk wall walks but eats a hard knee to the face and Shevhcenko trips her down again the ends the round from the ride position.

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

ROUND THREE: More jabs from Jedrzejczyk but Shevchenko lands a front kick to the face then a body kick. Jedrzejczyk has no feel for the range in this fight, Shevhcenko is reading her and avoiding everything. Spinning back kick to the face of Jedrzejczyk from Shevhcenko, on the counter as well. Body kick from Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk is bleeding from the nose, or ate least it’s swelling. Shevchenko lands a hard inside leg kick then misses a wheel kick. Shevchenko catches a kick and tries a takedown but this time Jedrzejczyk doesn’t let her get control and stays at distance. Jedrzejczyk lands a right. Shevchenko lands another inside leg kick, Jedrzejczyk lands a high kick but Shevchenko eats it and lands a left. Another inside leg kick from Shevchenko, Jedrzejczyk lands a body kick. Counter right from Shevchenko lands after Jedrzejczyk landed to the body. They clinch up, Shechcenko lands a knee to the face as they break. Body kick from Shevchenko. bit of a Superman punch from Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk lands a body kick but eats a jab. Shevchenko eats a spinning attack and lands another knee to the face. Shevchenko catches another kick and gets the clinch on the fence and knees the face of Jedrzejczyk. Another knee to the face from Shevchenko ends the round.

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

ROUND FOUR: Jedrzejczyk jabbing again, Shevchenko lands a few leg kicks and maintains distance. Jedrzejczyk is trying to pick up the pace, lands a leg kick of her own but is struggling to be consistent with her offensive efficacy. They trade leg kicks and Shevchenko misses a left. They clinch and Shevchenko lands knees to the body then an elbow as they break. Jab lands for Shevchenko then she lands a body kick. Another kick from Jedrzejczyk is caught and Shevchenko gets a sweep into top position side control again. Jedrzejczyk gets half guard but eats punches doing so. Shevchenko keeps the clinch as they stand and hit the fence. They’re on the fence again, Shevhcenko is holding a headlock to keep Jedrzejczyk from slipping out to her back. They wind up chest to chest again and trade knees. Shevchenko has a body lock again, Jedrzejczyk can’t get free but is staying upright so far. They break without incident. Jedrzejczyk avoids a few kicks. Shevchenko is coming forward more instead of countering. Hard couple of rights from Shevchenko and she avoids some punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 40-36 Shevchenko overall

ROUND FIVE: Jabs from Shevhcenko to start this round. Jedrzejczyk lands a right. Front kick to the body from Jedrzejczyk. Shevhcenko lands an inside leg kick. A few leg kicks go back and forth. They clinch up and hit the fence again. Shevchenko’s control is impressive but her pace is slowing just a bit. Knees from Shevhcenko as she’s got Jedrzejczyk’s posture broken at the moment. Jedrzejczyk throwing some short punches and the ref separates them as they’d kind of stalled out. Jedrzejczyk lands a right. Left from Shevchenko lands flush. Body kick from Jedrzejczyk. Hard leg kick from Shevchenko. Stepping jab from Shevchenko then a spinning back kick to the body. Shevchenko avoids a kick and lands a leg kick. Knee to the body from Shevchenko after Jedrzejczyk landed a body kick of her own. Another jab from Shevchanko lands. Spinning back fist from Shevhcenko lands then she avoids one from Jedrzejczyk and gets a clinch on the fence. Knees from Shevchenko but she’s also got a body lock going and is controlling Jedrzejczyk again. Elbow from Shevhcenko on the break and a knee from Jedrzejczyk. Another spinning back kick to the body from Shevhcenko then a right in close. They both try spinning back fists and clinch up again, which is where the fight will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevhcenko, 50-45 Shevhcenko overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion – Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Jedrzejczyk could have taken the 4th I guess, but a solid fight from Shevchenko overall and she gets an interview. She says she’s been working for this for a long time, calls over her sister to stand with her and puts over her entire team for all the work they’ve done to get her to this point. She thanks everyone who has been a part of her journey to this moment, thanks her native Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Peru. Asked about her conditioning she puts over Jedrzejczyk for being a professional and ensuring the fight would take place and she’s honored to have won the title against an opponent of Jedrzejczyk’s caliber. She speaks Spanish to her friends and family in Peru, then does her own translation to Russian for her fans in that part of the world. That is a ridiculously talented woman.

Brian Ortega is undefeated as a professional and has finished all of his UFC opponents, he’s coming off of the biggest win of his career to date when he became the first person to stop Frankie Edgar. Ortega is looking to not only remain perfect but to win his first UFC title at the expense of another one of the best fighters in the world. Max Holloway has an absurd twelve fight winning streak going on, he hasn’t lost since Conor McGregor wrestled him to a decision in 2013. Holloway is coming off of back to back finishes of long time featherweight king Jose Aldo, now he’s looking for his second title defense and is trying to further solidify himself not only as one of the best right now but one of the best ever. The odds have moved around a bit on this one but favor Ortega at -120 against a -110 comeback for the champion.

Featherweight Title Bout: (c) Max Holloway (19-3, 144.5 lbs.) vs. #1 Brian Ortega (14-0 1 NC, 144.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holloway is three inches taller but their reach is identical. Both guys do a lot of stance switching, Ortega more in open space whereas Holloway does it in transition and will spend time in space in one stance if he likes the feel of it. They touch gloves to get us going. both men showing the jab early, just getting a feel for each other. Holloway jabs the body. Another jab from Holloway and he avoids a counter jab from Ortega. Ortega lands a glancing left but Holloway was rolling with it. Leg kick from Ortega lands. Holloway coming forward lands a long one two combination. They trade rights. Jabs to the body from both men, Holloway lands a couple of rights and eats a bit of a counter left. Left body kick from Ortega lands. Jab from Ortega lands. Holloway lands to the body but eats a counter right hook from Ortega. More body work from Holloway but Ortega has a counter for most of them that he just hasn’t timed right yet. They trade rights but Holloway’s output is superior. Ortega lands an elbow, Holloway applauds the effort and lands a right of his own that stuns Ortega for a moment. Double leg from Ortega and he’s got Holloway down but Holloway is back up and free very quickly. Both men land punches but Holloway’s chin seems better so far. The pressure from Holloway is already increasing, he lands a combination but Ortega just eats it. Knee from Ortega in close then a head kick, these two have crazy chines ans neither man has really been wobbled yet. Ortega tries a single leg but can’t finish it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Holloway coming forward, lands a bit of a jab. Leg kick from Holloway, that was a hard one. Combination from Holloway lands. They trade punches but Holloway lands to the body as well. Holloway lands another leg kick then a double jab to a right hand. Ortega swings a right to the body, Holloway lands a right to the face. Another right from Holloway, Ortega is trying to shoulder roll but he’s not doing it properly and Holloway is landing on him. Ortega is bleeding form the nose rather badly. More punches from Holloway, Ortega lands a right then a right hook but he’s slowly drowning under this offense from Holloway. Holloway lands a glancing head kick, Ortega is still here and throwing back but he’s out of his depth in a pure striking battle. another leg kick from Holloway then a right hand. Ortega lands a couple of jabs of his own but Holloway is still coming after him. Holloway slips a right and lands an elbow strike. More jabs to the nose from Holloway then a right and he avoids the counters. More rights from Holloway then a left to the body but he ate a right. Ortega lands another right, he’s not going away if nothing else. They clinch and Ortega lands a right as they break. right from Ortega is the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway, nearly 10-8, 20-18 Holloway overall

ROUND THREE: Another touch of gloves at the start of the round. There’s some swelling around the left side of Holloway’s face, not bad but worth noting. Body kick from Ortega then a left hook. Right from Holloway as they separated from a clinch. Holloway lands to the body but eats a hard right and Holloway is backing up. Ortega is coming forward, he hits a double leg along the fence and nearly gets the back before Holloway slide shim off and gets free. Ortega lands another right, he’s finding that punch now. Hard spinning elbow from Ortega and a leg kick. Holloway lands a right but eats another counter. Holloway lands a calf kick, Ortega lands a leg kick. Right from Holloway, he’s slipping the counter hooks. Ortega lands an uppercut but eats a right. I can’t believe the chins on these two. Lefts and rights from Holloway and they clinch up on the fence. Holloway is on the fence, Ortega is looking for a trip but Holloway slips free and lands a right. Combination from Holloway lands and he’s coming forward now. Ortega lands another right as Holloway is along the fence. Right from Holloway lands, Ortega misses an uppercut and takes another right. This fight is nuts. Another takedown attempt from Ortega hits the fence but the action stalls as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ortega, 29-28 Holloway overall

ROUND FOUR: Both men are busted up around the face. Holloway lands a one two and digs the body, he’s on a mission this round. Left from Holloway lands then a counter combination. He’s making Ortega miss and landing counters. Kidney shots from Holloway, that’s legal but just mean. Short right from Holloway in close, Ortega lands a right. Ortega digs the body, Holloway lands a left, they’re just throwing technical haymakers at each other. Body work from Holloway and a c combination of hooks. Ortega is on the fence and Holloway is landing to the body and head, he’s breaking Ortega down but Ortega is firing back and wont go away. Holloway lands punches in close. Holloway lands a combination from Holloway but Ortega is able to get a clinch on the fence. Knees from Holloway as he avoids being taken down, Ortega tries to pull guard but gets punches for his effort and they break. Ortega’s left eye is a mess, and Holloway digs to the body and head, he just wont stop. They get close and Holloway grabs a front headlock but wont engage on the mat. They’ll stop this between rounds based on that left eye of Ortega. Holloway lands more punches, Ortega after a single leg and Holloway is defending. body shots from Holloway on the break then a right and Ortega pulls him into mount. Ortega tries to roll under for a leg lock, Holloway rolls through and we’re back up. Another combination from Holloway, Ortega fires back along the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Holloway, 39-36 Holloway overall

ROUND FIVE: They stopped it between rounds, not sure if it was his corner or the doctor but Ortega’s left eye is a mess.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Featherweight Champion – Max Holloway via TKO, doctor stoppage, at 5:00 of Round 4

Man that was great stuff. Not the Fight of the Year, still Whittaker vs. Romero 2 but that’s your runner up. Holloway on the mic, he thanks God then says if there’s anyone else please step forward. he says he called his shot between rounds 3 and 4, says Ortega is tough and that they’ll likely meet again. Asked about the odds and him being a slight under dog he says his fans got rich and again asks for a UFC event in Hawaii. Next Rogan asks about his future in the division, he says he just wants to be the best pound for pound, be that up at lightweight or even against Daniel Cormier then says a king must defend his title and tells anyone to come for his throne.

A small segment of highlights from Holloway’s performance. I can’t believe Ortega took all of this offense and never fell over.

On that note, UFC 231 comes to an end. Great fight to end the event on. We’ll be breaking down all of the action from this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show, feel free to leave questions or comments below. We’ll also be previewing UFC on FOX 31, the last UFC on FOX event, when Kevin Lee gets a rematch with Al Iaquinta plus a great fight between Edson Barboza and Dan Hooker. I’ll be back next week for that event, until then thank you all for being here, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.