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411’s UFC Fight Night 138 Report 10.27.18

October 28, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Anthony Smith UFC

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night 138. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this card, relaying all of the action just as I see it. I’m not going to lie guys, this card sucks on paper. There’s three light heavyweight fights on the main card, which at this point I think is some kind of human rights violation especially since one of them involves Gian Villante and Ed Herman. That’s just wrong.

The main event is decent despite being in the aforementioned division, former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir tries to rebound from his failed title bid against rising contender Anthony Smith. Smith is undefeated at light heavyweight and after starching two former champions in the first round he’s trying to solidify himself in the title picture here.

Next down there’s a featherweight fight between Artem Lobov and Michael Johnson, which came together on short notice when Lobov’s original opponent wound up in promotional hot water based on his involvement in the post fight melee from UFC 229, which likely led to Johnson missing weight. Beyond that this card is mostly hoping to over achieve because on paper it’s just uninspired.

This is the UFC’s debut in New Brunswick, specifically they’re in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada in the Avenir Centre. On commentary we have the first time trio of Brendan Fitzgerald, Jimmy Smith, and Dan Hardy. I’m curious as to how this trio will gel, though if it’s a train wreck that might just fit the card. As for the rules we have the new rules in effect here, so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed, scoring criteria is a bit clearer and encouraging of 10-8’s, and we’ll have the use of replay for fight ending sequences if the officials want to use it.

Stevie Ray had a really good run going until recently as he’s hit a two fight skid, though in fairness I seem to recall thinking he won his last fight. Ray is trying to avoid a three fight losing streak and regain a bit of positive momentum. Jessin Ayari has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss to Darren Till over a year ago, now he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak by dropping down to lightweight. The odds are with Ray at -165 to +135 for Ayari.

Lightweight Bout: Jessin Ayari (6-4, 155 lbs.) vs. Stevie Ray (21-8, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ayari is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Ray. They touch gloves to get us going, Ray fighting southpaw. Ayari doing a bit of stance switching, Ray seems to be favoring the inside leg kick to attack the base of Ayari. Ray is visibly smaller than Ayari, which might have been part of his thinking in using leg kicks as they help make up the distance. More inside leg kicks from Ray then a left but Ayari lands a counter right. Short one two from Ray then a bit of a long left. Ray with a couple of more inside leg kicks then a bit of a left. Bit of a left from Ray but Ayari lands a counter uppercut then a right. If Ray misses that left Ayari is getting a feel for that counter right, Ray should be setting up that punch with his leg kicks as he’s done a great job of squaring up Ayari with it. The pressure from Ayari is working in his favor, he slips a left and lands a counter right. Hard side kick to the body from Ray. Body kick from Ayari and they trade power hand punches. Ayari’s combination work seems to be the biggest difference so far. Ray lands an inside leg kick, Ayari responds with a leg kick of his own. There’s a quick clinch but nothing comes of it. Ayari blocks a high kick and they clinch again, this time Ayari gets Ray to the fence and holds him there for the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ayari

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round and Ayari is back to pressing forward. Ray lands a bit of a blitz attack then lands an inside leg kick. More of those leg kicks from Ray, Ayari is starting to react to those. Ray misses a hook kick then they trade rights. Ray lands a long left then another one. That sequence got Ayari to slow down his offensive pace just a bit. A couple of one twos sneak through for Ayari, Ray lands a straight left. Again that lack of volume from Ray is biting him, he lands a good shot here or there but they tend to be one and done blows. More inside leg kicks from Ray. Ray lands another long left, and another. bit of a right from Ayari and Ray lands a leg kick. Short right from Ayari in close, might have been more of an elbow. Ray lands another inside leg kick then they trade in close to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ray, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Ray lands an inside leg kick. Ayari lands a leg kick. There’s a left from Ray then an inside leg kick and a left to the body. Another inside leg kick from Ray, and another. Ayari blocks a high kick, he’s gesticulating a lot but not doing much. Both men missing a lot recently, though they’re both upping the output as well. Ayari lands a couple of jabs and avoids a left. Ray with an inside leg kick to a left that lands flush, only took him most of the fight to put that combination together. Ray lands another left but eats a counter right. Uppercut from Ayari lands and Ray lands a couple of inside leg kicks. Ayari lands a one two combination. Ray with a left to the body but eats a counter right. Counter left hook from Ayari lands, his counter game is dialed in for the final bit of this round. Ray lands a counter right hook and tries to goad out a slug fest, Ayari wont oblige him and time runs down.

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

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

Interesting scoring but I don’t think it’s wrong, all the rounds were close enough to possibly go either way. Ray on the mic, he says his plan was to fight simple and keep working. He mentions getting knocked out by Felder and that for some reason now everyone’s forgotten about him and he notes that if he lost this fight it was probably the end of his career and that he’s happy to have won after all the work he’s done in his life. He says all he’s got in his life is fighting, thanks a bunch of people including his new team at TriStar MMA and he can’t wait to be back at home with his family then plays to the crowd a bit.

Arjan Bhullar is coming off of his first profession loss when he tapped to an omoplata (lol) and now he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things. Marcelo Golm is also coming off of his first professional loss and looking to rebound with a win. Bhullar is the favorite at -160 against a +130 comeback for Golm.

Heavyweight Bout: Arjan Bhullar (7-1, 242 lbs.) vs. Marcelo Golm (6-1, 255.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Golm is two inches taller but the reach is identical, and Golm is a little over thirteen pounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men probing with the jab, Golm lands a leg kick. Jabs are still going back and forth, Golm is getting backed up and Bhullar is trying to pin him on the fence. Golm with more leg kicks, those are starting to add up early as Bhullar is heavy on the his lead leg. They clinch and Golm pushes Bhullar free then lands a leg kick. Hard leg kick from Golm takes the balance from Bhullar but he bounces back up. Bhullar’s jab is starting to work but he’s eating a lot of leg kicks and his movement is suffering. Bit of a right from Golm. Bit of a right from Bhullar but he takes another leg kick and an uppercut counter. They clinch up and trade uppercuts as Bhullar gets them to the fence then Bhullar starts looking for a takedown. Golm circles free and separates. A couple of jabs from Golm, then Bhullar lands a counter right. Leg kick from Golm, Golm’s face is bleeding but his leg is swelling and starting to lock up a bit on him. They clinch again and Golm is on the fence. They break without incident and Golm lands a jab. Another leg kick from Golm and a jab will be the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Golm but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Bhullar jabbing to start the second and moving forward. Golm lands a jab of his own but Bhullar gets him on the fence and lands a right before Golm circles free. Leg kick from Golm then a knee to the body that seems to have stunned Bhullar, now Golm has the clinch and drives Bhullar to the fence. They trade knees to the thigh and Bhullar is able to reverse position on the fence. Bhullar after a single leg but Golm limp legs out of it and lands a bit of a right. Another leg kick from Golm, this one hits the rear leg as Bhullar tires to check on the lead leg. Jumping knee to the chin and a couple of hooks to follow up from Golm then he lands another leg kick. Bhullar turned his leg out on that kick, so they went shin to shin. They clinch and we get a close up of Bhullar’s left shin and calf is badly swollen. Another calf kick from Golm and Bhullar falls into the clinch on the fence. Some clinch fighting along the fence but not a whole lot is happening beyond positional jockeying. The round comes to a close in the clinch.

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

ROUND THREE: Golm’s right foot is swollen a bit after that checked calf kick when Bhullar just turned his shin out to meet it. Sheesh, just got a close up and that foot is visibly swollen, upgraded from “a bit”. Bhullar coming forward looking to jab and close distance. They clinch up after Bhullar punched into that distance and hit the fence. Some foot stomps to the swelling from Bhullar, nasty but I appreciate it. Golm circles free and resets at distance. Body kick from Golm then they trade rights. Bhullar gets a double leg takedown into the guard of Golm. Golm closes his guard, Bhullar looking to get his posture under him. Bhullar tries for some short elbows but he’s not getting much on them yet. Another short elbow from Bhullar. Bhullar passes to half guard, Golm hip escapes to full guard. Golm seems to be content to ride out the round on bottom, now he’s looking to wall walk. Bhullar is sneaking in some rights while looking to pass but Golm is able to wall walk. They’re still clinched and that’s where time will run down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bhullar, 29-28 Golm overall but will likely go to Bhullar

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

Under the new rules there might be an argument for a 10-8 third round. Bhullar on the mic, says his lead leg is fine and never to underestimate the heart of a Singh. He says he’s the biggest and baddest, he plans on coming for the title, then reiterates he doesn’t even feel the damage to his lead leg.

Te Edwards is making his UFC debut here on the back of a successful fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series where he won in less than thirty seconds, now he’s trying to extend a five fight winning streak and get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Don Madge is also making his UFC debut and brings a four fight winning streak with him, he likewise knows how important getting that first UFC win is and wants to be successful. Edwards is your favorite at a nearly prohibitive -500 against a sizable +350 comeback on Madge.

Lightweight Bout: Te Edwards (6-1, 156 lbs.) vs. Don Madge (7-3, 154 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Madge is four inches taller but has just half an inch of reach on Edwards. They touch gloves, Madge fighting southpaw. Body kick from Madge and we’ve got a bit of a firefight already. Edwards lands a right, eats a counter left and gets dropped but Edwards goes to a double leg and gets it against the fence. Edwards looks to pass but can’t secure it and Madge goes full butterfly guard. Now full guard for Madge, I’m surprised that he’s only looking for wrist or biceps control because it’s letting Edwards keep him down. Armbar attempt from Madge, he’s got it locked in, nearly finishes it but Edwards walks over the head and settles back into guard but that elbow got yanked on hard and is likely compromised. Madge tries for an omoplata sweep, Edwards stands up over him and eats an up kick while debating how to return to the mat. A few kicks to the knee from Madge then Edwards dives back into full guard. There’s a triangle possibility for Madge, Edwards is trying to posture through it and Madge is looking to cut an angle for an armbar if Edwards gets sloppy. Edwards stands free again but doesn’t do anything and the ref stands them back up. They trade punches then Madge lands a knee and a body kick into a clinch. No one told Madge that he was just here to make Edwards look good apparently. They hit the fence in the clinch and stall out there as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Madge, even from his back he was the dominant party all round

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves and Madge lands a body kick while pushing forward. Head kick from Madge, then another head kick from the other leg and Edwards crumples to the ground and the ref halts this fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Don Madge via KO, head kick, at :14 of Round 2

Nice pace, wild fight, and a great finish. Finally a little life from this card. Madge on the mic, says he should be nicknamed Happy Feet and promises to send the entire lightweight division to sleep. He talks us through the finish, notes that a lot of wrestlers exit exchanges with their hands lower and it opens them up to the head before exclaiming that South Africa is here.

Here’s the finish. Edwards blocks the left high kick but still feels it a bit and when he tries to circle to his left he does so with his hands low expecting the body kick and instead gets hit in the head and drops like a rock.

That’s it for Fight Pass fights, we’re on to Fox Sports 2 for the rest of the prelims.

Sarah Moras has been trading wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is hoping to rebound and avoid her first losing streak. Talita Bernardo has gone 0-2 in the UFC and desperately needs to avoid an 0-3 start as that likely means an end to her UFC run. The odds are with Moras at -165 to a +135 comeback on Bernado.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Talita Bernardo (4-3, 133 lbs.) vs. Sarah Moras (5-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Moras is three inches taller while Bernado has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Leg kick from Bernado as Moras is coming forward. Moras lands a right and Bernado lands another leg kick. Right then a left from Moras to counter a leg kick. Bernado lands an inside leg kick then a bit of a left. Body kick from Bernado then a leg kick. Moras lands a right but the diversity of Bernado’s striking is obvious relative to hers. Bernado tries a takedown but Moras is able to block it. Overhand right lands for Moras. Bit of a high kick from Bernado wobbles Moras but they clinch up and Bernado finds herself on the fence. A few knees from Bernado while they jockey for position along the fence. Bernado has her hands locked and is able to get a trip into a takedown. Moras has full guard and is landing some elbows while working a high guard. Bernado passes to side control but Moras gets half guard back immediately. A few blows land for Bernado then Moras gets a sweep but left her neck out for a guillotine attempt when the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bernado

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. They trade rights but neither land flush. Bernado looking to score with kicks and keep distance, Moras seems to be focusing on her punches. Bit of a one two from Moras. Body kick from Bernado. Counter right from Bernado lands, Moras is leaving her hands down after her punches and Bernado is starting to tag her. Jabs from Bernado as she circles while Moras either misses or has her punches blocked. Right then a body kick from Bernado and a bit of a head kick. Moras is just being out gunned on the feet. Another clinch off of a Moras right and Bernado gets a trip takedown into side control then looks for full mount but Moras gets half guard from it. Bernado is setting up an arm triangle position from a gift wrap spot but is struggling to pass the half guard of Moras. Side control again for Bernado but Moras nearly catches her with her legs, Bernado passes that and is back to half guard with top pressure as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. Counter right from Bernado but Moras gets a double leg into half guard from Bernado. Moras nearly has mount but Bernado hits a sweep into half guard of her own. A few elbows from Moras as Bernado hops to the other side for side control then moves to north-south position. Side control again for Bernado, this is an example of traditional jiu-jitsu pressure passing smothering and shutting down a more contemporary funky style of jiu-jitsu. Bernado is after a kimura from what is essentially a reverse mounted triangle position. Moras gets her arm free and now has a really loose style of half guard, Bernado punches her and looks to pass again. Moras kicks Bernado off and stands up, now she’s swinging lefts coming forward and reverses a takedown then gets the back. Only one hook for Moras as she’s after the choke and Bernado gets her body free then settles into top position and tries to pass again. Moras threw her Hail Mary there and couldn’t finish it. Side control for Bernado who stands and eats a couple of punches. Moras coming forward and landing punches into the clinch but can’t get anything from said clinch and the round ends.

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

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

Not sure which round went to Moras. Bernado does not get an interview, the fight was just a way to kill half an hour of air time because Fox Sports seems to live for these cards taking an eternity.

Calvin Kattar just had an impressive ten fight winning streak snapped by Renato Moicano, now he’s trying to rebound from that setback and return to his winning ways. Chris Fishgold is making his UFC debut here but has a seven fight winning streak going and could make a relatively big splash immediately as Kattar has been emerging as a legitimate prospect in the division. Kattar is your -260 favorite against a +200 payout for Fishgold.

Featherweight Bout: Chris Fishgold (17-1-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Calvin Kattar (18-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kattar is three inches taller and has four inches of reach on Fishgold. They touch gloves to start, and Fishgold lands a couple of hard leg kicks. Quick spinning double leg from Fishgold, Kattar back up and separates quickly. Fishgold lands a right, he’s trying to flurry and Kattar seems to be struggling withe aggression of Fishgold. They clinch up on the fence before Kattar circles free. Fishgold lands a leg kick. Bit of a jab from Kattar. Fishgold lands a counter right then lands a leg kick and tries a flurry of hooks that are mostly blocked. Uppercut from Kattar but he eats a couple of counters for his effort. Jumping knee from Kattar but he eats a glancing counter right. Kattar lands a jab. Some jabs from Kattar have the nose of Fishgold leaking like a faucet. Another jab from Kattar and he avoids a single leg attempt. Fishgold might have punched himself out a bit. Fishgold lands a right hook but he’s visibly slowing and Kattar lands a counter uppercut. Solid leg kick from Fishgold then Kattar drops Fishgold with a right. Kattar into the guard of Fishgold and he unloads until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Calvin Kattar via TKO, punches, at 4:11 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Kattar for his work this evening. Kattar gets an interview after that one, he says his plan was to come out and fight as he’s on the last fight of his contract and wanted to show the UFC and the fans that he deserves to be here and that he’s on his way to the top of the division. He talks us through the finish, says you should listen to your corner and that his was calling for that combination. Asked what’s next he says he wants a top fifteen guy next and plans to keep knocking people out.

In case you missed the finish. Kattar noted that Fishgold constantly slipped to the same side, this time he adjusts his right cross to land behind the ear of his opponent and drops him with it then pounds him out for the finish.

Thibault Gouti has had a really bad run in the UFC, he’s just 1-4 overall and is coming off of a loss to Sage Northcutt, if he drops another fight here one has to imagine his UFC run will come to an end. Nasrat Haqparast has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win over Marc Diakiese and is looking for his first UFC winning streak. As for the odds, they’re with Haqparast at a massive -950 while the +575 payout for Gouti has to tempt a few degenerate gamblers.

Lightweight Bout: Thibault Gouti (12-4, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (9-2, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Gouti has half an inch of reach on Haqparast. They touch gloves, Haqparast is fighting southpaw. Haqparast lands a right hook, Gouti is coming forward but he’s getting countered. There’s time as Haqparast got poked in the eye but he quickly recovers and we’re back to fighting. Gouti is probing with the right but he’s not finding much success. Sharp counter right from Haqparast sends Gouti wobbling for a second. The hand speed of Haqparast is giving Gouti all kinds of problems so far. A couple of hooks land for Haqparast, and a strong left as well. Bit of a right from Gouti lands. Hard left from Haqparast drops Gouti, he’s back up but Haqparast is all over him trying to get him out of there. Body kick from Haqparast and a left but Gouti is still trying to fight back. Gouti lands a right to the body. Another right to the body from Gouti, Haqparast’s guard is high and leaves his body vulnerable. They trade a few punches and Gouti lands another right to the body. that body shot is Gouti’s best punch so far. Both men feint to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Haqparast

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Haqparast circling, Gouti probing with the right and committing to the right to follow it up. A couple of rights sneak through for Gouti, Haqparast lands a looping left. Left to the body from Haqparast. Right to the body from Gouti, Haqparast lands a counter left. Haqparast might be fading, he’s slowed down a bit so far this round if nothing else. Bit of an uppercut from Gouti and Haqparast misses some wide hooks. Haqparast lands a left but Gouti just eats it and resumes coming forward. Left to the body from Haqparast and he tries to follow up but mostly misses. They trade inside leg kicks but Gouti’s have more pop on them. Haqparast lands a left but again Gouti is unphased. The jab of Gouti is still landing but Haqparast is missing the counters. Haqparast lands a body kick that stuns and hurts Gouti, Haqparast trying to follow up but he’s head hunting instead of returning to the body. Another left from Haqparast but Gouti keeps countering and applying pressure. Haqparast lands a couple of lefts. Gouti avoids for the last few seconds, he complained of an eye poke but the ref ordered him to continue.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gouti but there’s an argument for Haqparast, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Inside leg kick from Haqparast but Gouti fires back some counters. Gouti lands a couple of straight rights, Haqparast lands a looping left. Hard left from Haqparast wobbles Gouti and he’s backing up while Haqparast digs body shots. Gouti off the fence and lands a right of his own. Another left body kick from Haqparast and Gouti doubles over, Haqparast digging lefts to the body then another couple of body kicks, he’s chasing Gouti around the cage. Gouti falls down and Haqparast gets on top and is landing punches to the head but Gouti is recovering and Haqparast slows to regain himself. Closed guard from Gouti, Haqparast postures up and lands punches while passing. Haqparast swings some hammer fists and short elbows. Half guard now for Haqparast, Gouti is still trying and gets guard back but he’s just praying for the bell. Gouti back up and throwing punches but walks into a left from Haqparast. Haqparast is moving away, lands a body kick and Gouti keeps coming forward with body work of his own. We get a series of wild kicks and knees from Gouti that miss as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Haqparast, 29-27 Haqparast overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)

Fun slug fest between those two, that’s Fight of the Night so far. How you don’t give Haqparast a 10-8 third under the new rules is utterly beyond me. Mic time for Haqparast who says he broke his hand in the first round and puts over Gouti’s toughness and says this is what he loves about the sport, anyone can win at any time regardless of the odds. He puts over Gouti again and thanks his coaches for their work then predicts that he’ll be in the top fifteen by this time next year.

Nordine Taleb has had an up and down UFC run, he’s 3-2 in his last five fights but is coming off of a loss to Claudio Silva and is hoping to avoid his first losing streak here. Sean Strickland has gone just 1-2 in his last three fights and is coming off of his first time being finished, he’s also looking to avoid his first losing streak. The odds closed at a -115 pick ’em.

Welterweight Bout: Sean Strickland (19-3, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Nordine Taleb (14-5, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Taleb has an inch and a half of reach advantage, Strickland is a full ten years younger than Taleb. Strickland coming forward while Taleb snipes with inside leg kicks. Both men probing with the lead hand, trying to bait a counter they can capitalize on. Taleb lands a right. More leg kicks, both inside and outside from Taleb. Strickland is still coming forward but Taleb is walking him onto stuff and avoiding the offense. Right from Strickland but he eats a bit of a counter left. Leg kick from Taleb then a left hook. Strickland lands a jab but can’t follow up. Taleb lands another leg kick. Another leg kick from Taleb, this one partially checked by Strickland but that lead leg is getting tender. Hard left to the body from Taleb then a couple more inside leg kicks to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Taleb, numerically might have been 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Strickland back to probing with the lead hand and Taleb is back to circling and countering him. Another inside leg kick from Taleb, and another one. Strickland lands a jab but misses the follow ups. Taleb lands another inside leg kick then a body shot. Another leg kick from Taleb but this time he ate a jab before landing it. Taleb lands another leg kick then a body kick is blocked. A one two lands for Strickland then a follow up right that drops Taleb but Taleb regains his feet quickly. Strickland tries another right but walks into a front kick that forces him back a bit. Taleb’s back is on the fence and Strickland is looking to tee off, lands another couple of rights and Taleb is down again and Strickland is in his guard looking to finish. Hard right from Strickland, another one then the ref stops it despite Taleb’s complaints.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean Strickland via TKO, punches, at 3:10 of Round 2

Borderline stoppage but a fair one and I’d rather see slightly early stoppages as opposed to late ones. The crowd didn’t like the stoppage, fair given that Taleb is the Canadian. Mic time for Strickland, he says this was the last fight on his contract and he knew he needed to confirm his spot and that he felt his work slipping away between rounds. He says the leg kicks hurt but he just worked through it and kept hunting for the chin then puts over Taleb’s toughness. Asked what he wants next in the UFC he says he doesn’t care, he just loves being in the UFC, then he plays with the crowd a bit.

Here’s the finish so you can judge for yourself if it was a good one. The more I watch it the more OK with it I am. As for the finish, Taleb’s hands started coming down a bit and Strickland straightened out his right hand and found the target enough to hurt Taleb and then never let him recover.

That’s it for Fox Sports 2, apparently one of the college football games ended early and the end of that fight was on Fox Sports 1 which is where we’ll be for the main card.

Alex Garcia has been trading wins and losses recently and is 5-4 overall in the UFC, he’s hoping that pattern holds for at least this bout as he’s coming off of a loss and trying to avoid his first losing streak. Court McGee has had a rough go of it recently as he’s just 1-3 in his last four and is on a two fight losing streak, now he’s trying to avoid a three fight skid and hopefully retain his roster spot. The odds are with Garcia at -225 to a +175 comeback on McGee.

Welterweight Bout: Alex Garcia (15-5, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Court McGee (18-7, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: McGee is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. McGee coming forward early, lands a bit of a body kick. Garcia misses a left hook but that had some heat on it. McGee lands a calf kick. Counter right from McGee lands after he slipped under a left hook. Jab lands for McGee, he’s fighting cautious as Garcia has big power. Another calf kick from McGee then a knee as Garcia closed distance but Garcia gets the clinch along the fence. Garcia has the back standing with a rear waist lock and is looking to switch for a double leg but McGee tosses him then they fight back to the feet and stay in the clinch. McGee with a trip but can’t get control and Garcia gets the back with one hook in as McGee stands for the backpack position. Garcia is about to slide off the hip of McGee, does so and McGee lands body shots as they break. Garcia lands an overhand right but there wasn’t enough on it. Bit of a one two from McGee. McGee with a side kick to the body then a body kick. Garcia lands a counter right but McGee just eats it. McGee misses a couple of hooks. Another leg kick from McGee lands. Double leg from McGee into a loose half guard and he lands some body shots as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Garcia but a close one

ROUND TWO: McGee lands a left body kick to start the second round. Garcia misses a one two. They get close and trade hooks in close and McGee lands a leg kick. Stiff jabs from McGee drop Garcia and he’s on top in half guard now looking for elbows. McGee looking to pass, Garcia trying to get his guard but McGee settles for securing half guard. Full guard now for Garcia, McGee landing some body shots but Garcia is tying up his body and stalling for a stand up. A few lefts land for McGee then a short elbow. McGee gets free and lands a few elbows then body shots. Another elbow from McGee and another. The ref stands them up as Garcia had stalled things out but he looks gassed on the reset. Garcia after a double leg, he gets it but McGee is up and they’re in the clinch. McGee lands knees to the thigh and is after a double leg of his own. McGee finishes the double leg and lands a few short elbows from half guard. Body shots from McGee and short uppercuts bring the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McGee, 19-19 overall

ROUND TWO: Both men feinting a bit to start the third round. Garcia coming forward, eats a leg kick and misses a one two. Another leg kick from McGee lands. Single leg attempt from Garcia, McGee defends then shoots back on him and they hit the fence with Garcia’s back to the cage. McGee goes for a double leg but Garcia sprawls on it, McGee still after the takedown and Garcia tries a switch but McGee is nearly finished with the takedown. Garcia is out and after a takedown of his own, McGee looking to counter and lands elbows but Garcia finishes the takedown. Garcia after the back now, he’s got both hooks in and is after the choke but McGee is defending and gets one of the hooks free. Counter from McGee and he tries to turn into top position but the fence stalls that out and Garcia keeps the back. McGee still after that reversal and he gets on top and lands elbows. Half guard for McGee and he lands a few more short elbows but needs to mount more offense to steal the round. McGee stands then punches down while returning to the ground. Half guard again for McGee and he’s landing body and head punches while looking to posture up. More elbows from McGee as Garcia is looking to sit up. McGee lands more elbows then tries a top position guillotine as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McGee but watch this go to Garcia, 29-28 McGee overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-28, 29-28 x2)

I can see a 10-10 in there for the first hence the 30-28. McGee on the mic, says he doesn’t watch tape but allows his coaches to guide him and do the tape study for him. He puts over his new team and is just happy to be here and fighting. Asked what he needs to do he says keep getting better and keep winning one fight at a time.

Gian Villante is just 1-3 in his last four fights and all of those have been, well to put it kindly less than fan friendly. Villante is trying to avoid his second losing streak in five fights. Ed Herman is also 1-3 in his last four fights and is on a two fight losing streak, he was last seen losing to CB Dollaway and is trying to avoid his first three fight losing streak. The odds are with Villante at -235 against a +185 payout for Herman.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ed Herman (23-13 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.) vs. Gian Villante (16-10, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Villante is an inch and a half taller but Herman has an inch of reach advantage. A little feinting from both guys, Villante lands a bit of a right. Leg kick from Herman. Both guys seem willing to brawl but Villante seems better on his feet. Body kick from Villante but Herman catches it and lands a counter. They split rights and start swinging but Villante is disengaging before things get too crazy. A few jabs are traded then Herman lands a left hook. A few more jabs from Villante land. Defense is not a concern for either man. There’s a really weird pace for this fight, they pace and circle, pace and circle, then clash with hooks and repeat. Herman eats a right hook but puts his back on the fence and goads the brawl, Villante doesn’t want to go 50-50 with Herman and Herman lands a right that gets Villante to reset and look for a better spot. Both men land rights but they’re more placing than throwing. Herman lands a left to the body. They split jabs. Both men miss punches and Herman lands a couple of jabs that have Villante backing up. Right from Herman then they trade some jabs as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Villante

ROUND TWO: The ref wants the doctor to check the small cut under the eyebrow of Herman, the doctor has no issues with the fight continuing so we get the round underway. Villante jabs the body. both men miss punches then Villante lands a left hook. Herman jabbing now, Villante is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. Bit of a knee from Herman in close and Villante might be stunned. Body kick from Villante and Herman lands a right. Herman lands a jab. The forward pressure is from Herman now and they’re both jabbing, though that’s a somewhat charitable definition of the punch at this point. Left hook from Herman lands. They trade jabs but neither man lands a follow up. Herman lands a leg kick. Villante lands a bit of a right and is coming forward again as Herman misses a few left hooks. Herman lands a leg kick and they split jabs again. Some more of that oddly timed sloppy brawling, Villante lands a bit of a right. Now Herman lands a bit of a right and Villante lands a counter left. Leg kick from Herman and Villante is windmilling that right hand trying to counter. Herman lands a right in close that off balances Villante for a second. Right then a left from Villante, Herman fires back wiht a body kick. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Herman, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Villante lands a leg kick. They’re back to splitting jabs and missing follow ups. Herman lands a bit of a right. More jabs being split, their odd timing is continuing. A few more jabs but again, there’s nothing landing to follow up. Herman lands another jab after they both miss power punches or land to the shoulders. More jabs and missed power hand punches, you could set your watch but the timing of these two but neither wants to adapt. Villante avoids a double leg attempt. Now Herman avoids a double leg and Villante fails on a clinch throw, they tie up then break without much happening. More missed punches on both sides. Bit of a left to the body from Herman and they trade some weak kicks as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW, 29-29 DRAW overall

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

What a dull boring affair. For some reason Villante gets an interview, he puts over Herman who’s been in the UFC for twelve years and laments the string of split decisions he’s had. Herman is right there and he thinks he won and calls the judges morons, hard to disagree on principle, then he puts over Villante but still thinks the decision sucks. Cut both of them, that was rather dreadful.

Andre Soukhamthath is just 1-3 in the UFC and coming off of a loss, he’s trying to avoid another two fight losing streak in the UFC and salvage his career in the promotion. Jonathon Martinez brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut and his lone professional loss was a DQ, he’s trying to make a positive impression to the UFC audience here. The odds are with Soukhamthath to the tune of -160 against a slight +130 comeback for Martinez.

Bantamweight Bout: Jonathan Martinez (9-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (12-6, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Soukhamthath is an inch taller while the reach is identical. Martinez fighting southpaw and lands a solid inside leg kick to get us going. Martinez working front kicks and body kicks, he doesn’t want to be in boxing range. Soukhamthath lands a left to the body and Martinez lands an inside leg kick. More inside leg kicks from Martinez, he’s just distance managing with those kicks but it’s working so far. Soukhamthath catches Martinez with a right when Martinez went orthodox and drops him, now he’s holding a front headlock on the mat with a possibility for an anaconda choke. Knee to the body from Soukhamthath as Martinez gets up and pushes him into the fence. Short elbows from Martinez but Soukhamthath spins him into the fence. We get time as Martinez took a knee to the groin in the clinch. Martinez walks it off almost immediately and we’re back to fighting. Soukhamthath digs the body in close and hurts Martinez with them before clinching up. Knees to the leg from Soukhamthath as they jockey for position. Soukhamthath digging to the body in close whle controlling the smaller man along the fence. They break without incident and Soukhamthath digs a left to the body, in close he’s just overwhelming Martinez with superior strength and punching power. More body shots from Soukhamthath and an elbow then a spinning elbow that lands. Soukhamthath lands a right and a left but despite dropping Martinez badly with those the clock saves Martinez from a possible fight ending sequence.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Soukhamthath

ROUND TWO: Martinez fires a couple of body kicks but Soukhamthath pushes forward with punches and gets the clinch. They break after a bit and Soukhamthath lands an elbow then more body shots, Martinez is hurt to the body and Soukhamthath is taking it to him along the fence. More knees and we get a false time out from the ref for a low knee. Badly handled by the ref but they restart immediately and Soukhamthath resumes kneeing the body as they clinch. Horrible call by the ref as he likely saved Martinez there. Martinez gets a body lock takedown into half guard. A few elbows from Martinez and Soukhamthath doesn’t really seem to understand how to get up. He’s not doing anything right. More offense from Martinez land as he’s looking to pass. Soukhamthath to his knees, Martinez to the ride position and is looking for the back. A few downward elbows from Martinez to the shoulder of Soukhamthath, nasty but legal as Soukhamthath gets up in the clinch. They trade there then break. Martinez lands a couple of body kicks. Elbow from Martinez and Soukhamthath is coming forward again. Body shots from Soukhamthath along the fence and an elbow of his own. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez, 19-18 Soukhamthath overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. They trade kicks as Soukhamthath comes forward and digs the body before they clinch up. Martinez has Soukhamthath on the fence and is looking for a takedown. Soukhamthath has the grip broken and lands to the body then a couple of elbows as Martinez covers up but he keeps throwing elbows in close. Martinez lands an elbow of his own then more body work goes back and forth before they clinch again. Some foot stomps from Martinez but Soukhamthath spins him around to the fence. Single leg from Soukhamthath into side control, Martinez back up instantly and we’re still clinched on the fence. They spin a few times trying to find an advantage then Soukhamthath gets a single leg again into side control and this time establishes some control over the position. Knees to the body from Soukhamthath then a few short elbows. Martinez to his knees, Soukhamthath tries for the back but got sloppy and Martinez gets on top and is landing short hammer fists. Soukhamthath back up and we’re clinched again. Another takedown from Soukhamthath this time into the ride position and he keeps the back standing as they regain their feet. Soukhamthath has a standing arm triangle position as time runs down on the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Soukhamthath, 29-27 Soukhamthath overall

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

Again I think under the new rules the first is a solid 10-8. Mic time for Soukhamthath, he says he thought he was finishing Martinez but Martinez kept covering up and fighting back then puts him over as someone who’ll do damage in the future. He plays a bit with the crowd then says he wants to spend time with his kids and offers words of support and love for the people of Laos.

Misha Cirkunov was on his way to becoming a top contender in the division before back to back losses completely derailed his hype train. Now Cirkunov is trying to rebound and show that he still has what it takes to be a force in the talent starved light heavyweight division. Patrick Cummins is just 2-3 in his last five fights and both of those wins were somewhat dubious decisions, now he’s trying to avoid another losing streak and prove he’s still a relevant fighter in the division. Cirkunov is your -350 favorite against a +265 payout on Cummins.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #11 Misha Cirkunov (13-4, 205 lbs.) vs. #14 Patrick Cummins (10-5, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cirkunov is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach on Cummins. They touch gloves, Cirkunov fighting southpaw. Both men paw a bit with the lead hand, Cirkunov lands a counter left and grabs an arm in guillotine position to try and block a takedown from Cummins. They’re hanging out on the fence, Cummings really after this takedown but he can’t finish it. Cirkunov is landing arm punches to the body while stalling out this position. They wind up chest to chest in a 50-50 pummel trading knees to the body. Cummins tries an inside trip but Cirkunov reads it and avoids it then lands more knees to the body. Cummins tries a throw but Cirkunov reverses it and lands in full mount, bad spot ofr Cummins. Cirkunov immediately after an arm triangle, hops over to side control tightening it up and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Misha Cirkunov via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 2:40 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Cirkunov for his work this evening. Cirkunov gets an interview and and puts over Cummins then says he worked hard on his striking and countering the takedowns so when Cummins really committed to ti he was ready. He says not to doubt him and that he’s Cirkunov 2.0 now. He talks us through the finish then says he wants a rematch with Oezdemir.

Michael Johnson just broke a three fight losing streak when he got an uninspired decision over Andre Fili for his first win at featherweight, now he’s trying to get his first winning streak going since 2015. It’s worth noting that Johnson took this fight on short notice and subsequently missed weight. Artem Lobov has gone just 2-4 in the UFC and is on his second two fight losing streak, he’s trying to avoid his second professional three fight losing streak and justify his spot on the roster beyond being a friend of Conor McGregor. Johnson is a significant -650 favorite against a +425 comeback on Lobov.

Featherweight Bout: Michael Johnson (18-13, 147 lbs.) vs. Artem Lobov (13-14-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson is an inch taller but has a whopping eight and a half inches of reach on Lobov. They touch gloves, Johnson fighting southpaw. Both men circle and feint to start things. Johnson jabs the body. More jabs to the body from Johnson, Lobov lands a bit of a body kick. Lobov lands a few body kicks, Johnson lands jab to the body. Johnson lands a left. A few more jabs land for Johnson then a leg kick. Counter left from Johnson lands but Lobov lands a couple of leg kicks. Body kick from Lobov but Johnson lands a counter left. The jab from Johnson is going to the body and head now. They trade leg kicks and Johnson lands a left that backs up Lobov. Right to the body from Lobov after he faked a takedown. Body kick from Lobov, that’ll be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson

ROUND TWO: Lobov is bleeding around the right side of the bridge of his nose. Leg kick from Johnson lands and he jabs the body as well. Left to the body from Johnson then one to the jaw. A few kicks go back and forth. Bit of a left hook from Lobov lands. Left to the chin from Johnson lands, he’s content to touch Lobov while Lobov is swinging for the fences with everything. More lefts to the body from Johnson. They trade power hand punches. Lobov swings a right to the body then misses a bunch of punches. Straight left from Johnson off balances Lobov but he recovers quickly. More lefts to the chest and chin from Johnson, Lobov lands a body kick. Bit of a right hook from Johnson, Lobov responds with a right of his own. Left hook from Johnson in close lands, then we get a bit of a brawl. Leg kicks from Lobov, Johnson responds with a one two as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Johnson with some leg kicks and jabs to the body. Lobov lands a calf kick. bit of a head kick from Johnson but Lobov is unconcerned. Left to the body again from Johnson, there’s visible damage on Lobov’s torso. Left to the chin from Johnson and Lobov lands a leg kick. Another left lands for Johnson. Johnson lands the left to the head this time, he seems to have his second wind after slowing down in the second. Another left lands for Johnson, Lobov’s right eye is a bit messed up. A couple of hooks land for Johnson, Lobov drops his hands and waves Johnson on. Some jabs from Johnson land then a leg kick. Johnson lands a left to the body then a left to the head. Lobov blocks a head kick then eats a left punch. Johnson staggers Lobov with a jab and they trade leg kicks. Lobov swings a right to the body but he’s out of whatever ideas he came into the fight with. Double leg from Johnson into the guard of Lobov and Johnson starts landing short elbows. They’re just going to ride out the last seconds in that position.

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

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

Well that was tedious. Johnson gets an interview, he says it’s been a long week and he had to cut thirty pounds in a week and got as close as he could. He says Lobov is a tough opponent and puts him over as tough and is glad they put on a show for the fans. Asked who he wants next he doesn’t really answer but wants to fight in December and will fight anyone on that date in Australia.

Volkan Oezdemir just had a five fight winning streak snapped when he was soundly beaten in his bid to capture the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier. Oezdemir is trying to bounce back from that loss and possibly earn another shot at the belt. Anthony Smith has gone 2-0 since moving up to light heavyweight, though this wins are over past their prime fighters and he’s hoping that a win over Oezdemir here proves to be a more relevant one that could propel him into the title picture. As for the odds they’re with Oezdemir at a slight -170 against a +140 payout on Smith.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #2 Volkan Oezdemir (15-2, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Anthony Smith (30-13, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smith is two inches taller and has an inch of reach on Oezdemir. They touch gloves to get us going. Oezdemir coming forward, and lands a leg kick while Smith circles. Double leg attempt from Smith isn’t successful and they hit the fence and begin dirty boxing. A few knees are traded while they look for an angle to move from. They break without incident and reset. Oezdemir lands a left and looks to flurry but Smith fires back then covers up and lets him hit his arms. Smith lands a left hook. They trade leg kicks then Oezdemir lands a right, Smith responds with a left hook. Both men are wading forward with punches, and Oezdemir took a finger to the eye so he’s got time to recover. Replay confirms the eye poke, Smith gets a warning and Oezdemir is good to continue. They touch gloves on the restart then Oezdemir lands a bit of a high kick and left but Smith responds with a left of his own. Smith lands an elbow over the top but eats a couple of counters. Oezdemir is bleeding from the nose but lams home a couple of leg kicks then punches into a clinch. They end the round clinched on the fence.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oezdemir but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Oezdemir opens with some leg kicks, Smith lands a right. Inside leg kicks now from Oezdemir and Smith responds with a series of rights that land. Another leg kick from Oezdemir who’s bleeding from the nose again. Bit of a right from Smith but Oezdemir gets a takedown from a clinch then looks to pass immediately. Oezdemir winds up in half guard, tries to move to mount and Smith gets a leg entanglement but Oezdemir gets a spin through and lands some rights from the ride position. A few knees to the body from Oezdemir while Smith tries to break his grip and facilitate a stand up. Now Oezdemir gets a hook in to establish a little more control and sneaks a few rights in to the face of Smith. They’ll end the round in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oezdemir, arguable 10-8, 20-18 Oezdemir overall

ROUND THREE: Oezdemir coming forward early, Smith lands a jab. They split kicks then Oezdemir blocks a right. Oezdemir misses a left and eats a jab. Short left from Smith lands. Smith lands a left but misses the follow ups. Sharp right lands for Smith, then another couple as Oezdemir covers up. Now Oezdemir lands a right. A right from Smith then a body kick after they traded in close. Smith keep grabbing a quick Thai clinch and landing knees, he sweeps the legs of Oezdemir and they trade elbows as Oezdemir regains his feet. this is braking down already, technique is going away rapidly. Smith lands a right then gets a double leg into side control then he sits for the back quickly. Only one hook in for Smith, now he’s got both in and is after the choke. He’s around the chin but Oezdemir isn’t hand fighting and instead using the position to his advantage. Smith sits back for the choke and really commits to it, now Oezdemir tries to hand fight but Smith switches his grip to the other arm and Oezdemir has to tap this time.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Smith via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:26 of Round 3

Thank heavens that ended when it did, it was getting ugly and round four would have been catastrophically bad. Mic time for Smith, who can barely stand he’s so tired and his lead leg is hurt, he says Oezdemir kicks hard and that his lead leg is banged up. He says the first couple rounds were going to e ugly because Oezdemir is strong and tough but he knew he could weather the storm and take over the later rounds. Asked what he wants next he says he’s been fighting since he was seventeen and all he wants is to is to be able to stand here in the Octagon and ask with confidence for a title shot, which he does. To close he thanks Canada.

Oezdemir also gets an interview, he says he felt the momentum shift a few times but felt his nose break and thinks he cam back too soon from a broken nose because it wasn’t solid. He puts over his training and wants to fight again as soon as he can.

Well that finally brings UFC Fight Night 138 to a close. It clocks in at 6 hours 43 minutes by my reckoning from first prelim until sign off. Ugh. Anyway we’ll break down the action from this card Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show as well as talk about the major news of the week and preview UFC 230 which comes out way next Saturday. If you’ve suffered with me for this long I hope you’ll be back next week for UFC 230 when heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier takes on Derrick Lewis and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza fights Chris Weidman in what could be a title eliminator pending the outcome of Robert Whittaker’s title defense against Kelvin Gastelum sometime next year. Until then thanks again for reading, Lord knows you’ve got a lot of places to get this same kind of content, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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