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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Fiziev Stops Dos Anjos

July 10, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 39 Image Credit: UFC

MAIN CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET)
#7 Rafael dos Anjos (156 lbs.) vs. #10 Rafael Fiziev (155 lbs.)
Caio Borralho (185.5 lbs.) vs. Armen Petrosyan (185.5 lbs.)
Said Nurmagomedov (135.5 lbs.) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (135.5 lbs.)
Chase Sherman (253 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (263.5 lbs.)
Ricky Turcios (135.5 lbs.) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (135.5 lbs.)
Michael Johnson (155.5 lbs.) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (155.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
Cody Brundage (185.5 lbs.) vs. Tresean Gore (185.5 lbs.)
Cortney Casey (126 lbs.) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.)
Garrett Armfield (145 lbs.) vs. David Onama (145.5 lbs.)
Kennedy Nzechukwu (205 lbs.) vs. Karl Roberson (202.5 lbs.)
Saidyokub Kakhramonov (136 lbs.) vs. Ronnie Lawrence (135.5 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 39, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. On the heels of a pretty good PPV event the UFC is back on ESPN and we’ve got a pretty solid main event. Two top lightweights will square off when rugged veteran and former champion Rafael dos Anjos battles the surging contender Rafael Fiziev. We’ve also got a bantamweight clash between perpetual tough out Douglas Silva de Andrade and rising prospect Said Nurmagomedov. Beyond that this isn’t the prettiest card on paper but it’s relatively solid, so let’s hope the action holds up as well.

UFC on ESPN 39 comes to the world from the Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Former WWE backstage personality Charly Arnolt will be the roving reporter for the event while commentary will be provided by Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. As for the rules we’re using most of the newer ones but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We do have the use of instant replay, an extra official outside the cage who can request replay be used, and the fight can be restarted after replay is used if that’s applicable to the situation.

A couple of hours before the event was to start we got news the Cynthia Calvillo vs. Nina Nunes is off due to illness on the part of Nunes.

Ronnie Lawrence has gone 2-0 in the UFC and is on a four fight overall winning streak, now he’s trying to extend that success and firmly establish himself as a notable prospect in a talent rich division. Saidyokub Kakhramonov is on a three fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut last year, he’s likewise trying to establish his prospect status and build his first UFC winning streak. The odds are close but favor Lawrence at -120 to an even +100 on Kakhramonov.

Bantamweight Bout: Saidyokub Kakhramonov (9-2, 136 lbs.) vs. Ronnie Lawrence (8-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Kakhramonov has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men come out jabbing, Lawrence starts showing some stance switches. Kakhramonov lands a right hand, Lawrence responds with a calf kick. They clinch up, Lawrence gets a front headlock but Kakhramonov scoots to the back and hits a mat return then lands punches as Lawrence wall walks. Another takedown from Kakhramonov, Lawrence wall walks but then is hit with a seo nagi and Kakhramonov gets on top in full guard. Kakhramonov postures up and passes to half guard. Lawrence gets his guard back and Kakhramonov lands a punch. Short elbows from Kakhramonov then a left hand. Kakhramonov passes to half guard but Lawrence quickly gets his guard back. A few body shots from Kakhramonov then a punch to the head, Lawrence kicks him off and scrambles up but Kakhramonov gets the clinch again and spins Lawrence down with a body lock and gets on top in side control. Lawrence scrambles back to his feet and they hit the fence. Kakhramonov lands a knee to the body then takes Lawrence down again. Side control from Kakhramonov and he lands a few punches. Lawrence’s right eye is swelling up. Short elbows from Kakhramonov as Lawrence looks to shrimp. Lawrence is able to get half guard, Kakhramonov lands a couple of hammer fists. The round comes to a close on the mat.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kakhramonov

ROUND TWO: Kakhramonov misses a wheel kick. Bit of a head kick from Lawrence. Bit of a right from Lawrence. Lawrence lands an uppercut then a calf kick. Kakhramonov hits a double leg against the fence and lands punches as Lawrence wall walks into a clinch. Body lock takedown from Kakhramonov and he gets on top in half guard. Lawrence gets full guard but he’s on the wrong end of the strength and wrestling equation. A few punches from Kakhramonov land as he looks to pass. Half guard for Kakhramonov now, he resumes landing short blows but he’s keeping a good pace with his offense. Now Kakhramonov looks to isolate an arm and land punches, Lawrence is good about getting his arm back but he’s kind of stuck on the bottom when they’re in space. More punches from Kakhramonov then Lawrence gets full guard. Kakhramonov passes to half guard again and continues finding space for his offense. Elbow and punches from Kakhramonov, Lawrence fights to his feet and tries a body lock but Kakhramonov sweeps him and they wind up back on the fence clinched. The round ends as Kakhramonov lands a glancing head kick.

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

ROUND THREE: Spinning back kick from Lawrence to start the last round. Kakhramonov forces a clinch then gets a takedown into full guard. Body shots from Kakhramonov as Lawrence tries to set up a wall walk. Kakhramonov passes to half guard and lands more short blows. Lawrence keeps trying to shrimp but he’s being controlled and beaten up. Lawrence tries to wall walk, Kakhramonov scoots to the ride position and drags him back to the mat. Lawrence is able to regain his feet, Kakhramonov is on his back standing and kicks out his legs to resume working from the ride. Again Lawrence gets up, Kakhramonov attacks his legs and mat returns him again this time getting on top in north-south. Kakhramonov moves to side control and lands shoulder strikes. Lawrence is able to get full guard, Kakhramonov lands a few more punches to the body and head. Kakhramonov lands more punches as the clock runs out.

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

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

Mic time for Kakhramonov, he felt he was disrespected during the build here before giving love to his team and family.

Kennedy Nzechukwu has gone 3-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he’s trying to get a win here just to get his UFC record above the .500 mark. Karl Roberson has been up and down in the UFC but he’s just 2-3 in his last five fights and is on a three fight losing streak, now he could well be fighting for his job. Nzechukwu is the favorite at -155 to a +135 comeback on Roberson.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Kennedy Nzechukwu (9-3, 205 lbs.) vs. Karl Roberson (9-5, 202.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nzechukwu is four inches taller with a whopping nine inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to start, southpaw for Roberson and he lands a body kick to start the fight. Nzechukwu tries to return the kick but catches Roberson in the groin so we get a brief time out. Roberson doesn’t want a long break, on the restart he tries a single leg but Nzechukwu is defending as they hit the fence. The size difference is very apparent as they’re tied up. They fight for position in the clinch, Roberson lands a few knees to the body. Nzechukwu trips Roberson down and lands in half guard. Roberson looks to wall walk, Nzechukwu gets to the ride position and grabs at the choke but can’t find a good bite on the choke. Roberson is kind of stuck under the bigger man here as Nzechukwu keeps fishing for the choke from the ride position. None of these attempts are that close right now, but Roberson needs to get up. Nzechukwu moves off of the ride position, Roberson wall walks but Nzechukwu trips him back down. Nzechukwu moves to the ride again, he keeps reaching for a choke but he’s not close with the attempts and he can’t quite capitalize on the defensive movements of Roberson. Roberson wall walks, takes a knee to the groin that the ref didn’t see. Nzechukwu gets the back standing but can’t find a mat return. They get chest to chest and Roberson lands some body shots then tries a double leg as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nzechukwu

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Roberson lands a couple of lefts. Uppercut and body kick from Roberson land. Another body kick from Roberson, Nzechukwu has had enough of this and forces a clinch then takes Roberson down against the fence. Once again Nzechukwu moves to the ride position and resumes controlling Roberson. Some short punches from Nzechukwu as Roberson wall walks but Nzechukwu pulls him back to the mat with ease. Full mount for Nzechukwu as Roberson sits on the fence. Nzechukwu lands some body shots. Roberson is almost at a loss here, he’s being controlled and smacked around. Nzechukwu moves to the ride again and continues controlling Roberson against the fence. Nzechukwu lands a knee to the body. Roberson wall walks but he can’t get free and Nzechukwu rides him down to his knees again. Nzechukwu moves back to the ride position and tries to attack the choke. Roberson just kind of holds on from bottom as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nzechukwu but a borderline 10-8, 20-18 Nzechukwu overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Roberson lands body shots then an uppercut. Inside leg kick from Roberson. Nzechukwu is coming forward, Roberson is circling away from the fence this time so as not to get clinched. Eventually Roberson gets against the fence, and Nzechukwu immediately takes him down into full mount. Nzechukwu has a high mount going, Roberson gives up the back and tries to sneak out the back, he can’t get fully free though. Back to full mount for Nzechukwu, he attacks an arm triangle choke but the fence is complicating things for him. Nzechukwu bails on the choke and lands elbows as he gets back mount. More punches from Nzechukwu, Roberson is pretty much done here and Nzechukwu keeps unloading until the ref intervenes.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kennedy Nzechukwu via TKO, punches and elbows, at 2:19 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Nzechukwu for his work this evening. Mic time for Nzechukwu who gives glory to God first and foremost then says he’s worked hard on starting faster and overwhelming his opponents. He thanks his coaches for all of their work on his game, and puts over Roberson’s defense on the mat.

By this point Roberson is tired and physically overmatched, Nzechukwu is able to pour on offense in ways he couldn’t earlier as maintaining the position now has become easier. Nice elbow work from Nzechukwu as well.

David Onama has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and now looks to build his first UFC winning streak. Garrett Armfield brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut and he’s trying to capitalize on the only chance you get to make a good first impression. Onama is the biggest favorite on the card at a whopping -800 to a +575 comeback on Armfield.

Featherweight Bout: Garrett Armfield (8-2, 145 lbs.) vs. David Onama (9-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Onama is five inches taller with four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Armfield looks to establish the jab as they circle. A few stance switches from Onama. Both men probing at first, just picking at each other. Armfield forces a clinch and gets things to the fence. Onama is able to spin Armfield into the fence, trips him down then gets the back standing as Armfield regains his feet. Armfield granby rolls on a mat return and comes up on the back of Onama as they clinch. Onama tries a kimura as he’s taken down, Armfield escapes that and gets on top in full guard. Onama is able to escape to his feet but Armfield is on his back clinched up. Armfield lands some punches to the head then they break. Armfield ducks under a hook and lands a couple of punches. Bit of an uppercut from Armfield then he wobbles Onama with a left hook. Onama lands a jab. Body shot from Armfield then a right hand in close. Onama misses some more hooks, he’s swinging quite wide and needs to straighten his offense out. Bit of a jab from Onama then a body kick. Armfield lands a couple of rights in close and gets a clinch on the fence. Armfield moves to the back standing and lands a few punches. Onama tries to block a single leg then lands a left hand. Jab from Onama. Onama lands a combination to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Onama

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Both men are throwing jabs, then Armfield lands a left hook. A few body kicks from Onama land. Armfield lands an inside leg kick then a right hand. A left and a right from Armfield then a body kick. Bit of a right from Onama but Armfield gets in on a double leg, Onama sprawls away and moves to the ride position. Armfield looks to wall walk, he’s upright but Onama double legs him and gets on top in half guard. Elbow from Onama and he moves to the ride position again. Back mount for Onama but Armfield scrambles and Onama has to settle for half gaurd. Arm triangle attack from Onama, he passes to side control and locks the choke up, Armfield is defending at the moment but Onama keeps working the choke. Armfield wont tap and after another adjustment he goes to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – David Onama via Technical Submission, arm triangle choke, at 3:13 of Round 2

Mic time for Onama, he puts over some sponsors first then thanks Armfield for taking the fight on less than a weeks notice and puts him over as having improved since their fight as amateurs. Asked about the future he says he’ll fight next week if possible. He talks us through the finish and puts over his coach for talking him through the details of finishing the choke.

Sadly this clip doesn’t include the small adjustments Onama made to combat the defenses Armfield used, but you can see when Onama really sinks the choke in and makes the small changes to really finish the position.

Antonina Shevchenko has been up and down in the UFC but she’s currently riding her first losing streak and looks to halt that skid here. Cortney Casey has gone just 2-3 in her last five fights but she’s coming off of a win and could get her first winning streak since 2016 up and running with a win here. The odds are with Shevchenko at -170 while Casey’s comeback sits at +145.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Cortney Casey (10-9, 126 lbs.) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (9-4, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shevchenko is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Shevchenko. Both women paw with the lead hand, and they trade some leg kicks. Bit of a jab from Shevchenko. A lot of circling and range finding thus far. Casey lands a body kick, Shevchenko counters with a jab. Shevchenko lands a body kick. Casey avoids an ax kick. Bit of a leg kick from Casey, Shevchenko lands a combination to counter. Casey lands a right hand. Shevchenko with a side kick to the body. Bit of a jab from Shevchenko. Shevchenko avoids a takedown attempt. More jabs and side kicks from Shevchenko, then Casey catches a kick and lands an elbow but she slips and Shevchenko gets on top in full guard. Shevchenko lands some punches to the body and head. A few more punches from Shevchenko. Casey fires some elbows from her back. Shevchenko stands and lands a couple of leg kicks to the downed Casey as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Casey but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Shevchenko continues to jab and side kick as the round gets going. Casey has a high kick blocked. Inside leg kick from Casey then Shevchenko lands a left hand. Shevchenko lands a leg kick. Bit of a head kick from Shevchenko. Casey eats some side kicks, then lands a bit of a right but fails on a clinch attempt. Shevchenko with more lead leg kicks as she circles. They trade rights but Casey landed much better. Shevchenko with more side kicks to the body and knee. Bit of a hook kick from Shevchenko. Casey avoids a wheel kick. Another side kick from Shevchenko lands. Casey misses a few rights then Shevchenko lands a body kick. Casey forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Shevchenko spins free rather quickly. Casey slips on a kick, and Shevchenko lands a kick as Casey regains her feet. More side kicks from Shevchenko, she’s just staying busy with these blows on the outside. Casey forces a few punches to land, then lands a right to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko but another close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Shevchenko gets back to long range sniping, she lands a hook kick. Casey tries to force a brawl, they tie up and trade in the clinch then they break. One two from Shevchenko. More side kicks from Shevchenko. Casey with a right hand then a left hook. They trade punches in close. Casey misses a right hook. Spinning back fist from Shevchenko, but Casey is able to force a clinch off of it and they hit the fence. Some punches from Shevchenko in the clinch as Casey keeps trying to get a body lock takedown. Casey finally gets the takedown and lands in side control. Elbows from Casey as Shevchenko hip escapes to half guard. Some more short elbows from Casey, she starts digging them to the body as well. Shevchenko kicks Casey off and regains her feet but Casey is all over her and gets another clinch. Elbow from Casey as they break. Shevchenko lands a body kick. Bit of a right from Casey, Shevchenko lands a left of her own. They trade power hand punches again, then Casey forces a clinch. Shevchenko tries the head lock throw, that went poorly as Casey smothers it and lands on top in full mount. Casey is too high as Shevchenko regains her feet and Shevchenko lands knees to the body from the clinch. Casey lands a left hook as they break. Double leg from Casey and she lands on top along the fence. Side control for Casey as the round ends.

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

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

The first two were close, so I’m not upset about 29-28 either way but the third round was the easiest to score and went to Casey. Mic time for Shevchenko, she feels she won the first two rounds and mentions she likes using her lead leg.

Cody Brundage has gone 1-1 in the UFC though he was successful in his last outing and is looking to build his first UFC winning streak. Tresean Gore lost his UFC debut back in February and now looks to score that all important first UFC win. Gore is your favorite at -155 to a +135 payout for Brundage.

Middleweight Bout: Cody Brundage (7-2, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Tresean Gore (3-1, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Gore has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Gore shows the jab, then lands a leg kick. Brundage shoots a double leg, they hit the fence and he’s able to finish the takedown then moves to the ride position as Gore tries to wall walk. Gore is able to regain his feet with Brundage on his back. They break and Gore blocks a head kick. Elbow from Brundage then Gore lands a leg kick. A couple of jabs from Gore. Another leg kick from Gore. Brundage lands an elbow then a body kick. Right hand from Brundage lands. Gore lands a couple of lefts. Brundage lands a jab. Both men miss rights. Brundage ducks under a hook. Gore lands a calf kick. Brundage has a few punches blocked. A right from Brundage drops Gore, he jump son top into full mount and unloads, putting Gore out on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cody Brundage via KO, punches, at 3:50 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Brundage for his work this evening. Mic time for Brundage, he says his brain kind of turns off when fighting and he felt his hands were working so he stayed on the feet. He talks us through the finish and notes Gore keeps his head on the center line when he low kicks so he could find a right hand, then says he wants a post fight bonus. Asked about the future he says he’s always ready.

Well that’s it for preliminary action, time for the main card.

Michael Johnson just broke a four fight losing streak in May when he bested Alan Patrick, now he’s trying to build his first winning streak since 2018. Jamie Mullarkey has gone 2-3 in the UFC and was last seen being finished by Jalin Turner, now he’s trying to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark at the expense of a UFC veteran. The odds are rather heavily with Mullarkey at -230 while the +195 payout on Johnson might tempt a few bettors.

Lightweight Bout: Michael Johnson (20-17, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (14-5, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mullarkey is two inches taller with half an inch of reach advantage, he’s also nine years younger. Southpaw for Johnson, and they touch gloves to get us going. A bit of feinting from both men, then Mullarkey lands a leg kick. Both men keep probing with the jab. Johnson blocks a head kick. Body shot from Mullarkey. Bit of a left from Johnson. Mullarkey lands a calf kick then a right hand. Bit of a right from Mullarkey and he avoids the hooks of Johnson. Johnson misses some more punches, he’s still got very fast hands though. Body kick from Mullarkey. Mullarkey lands a jab. Johnson lands a left to the body. Another body shot from Johnson. Mullarkey lands a jab and a leg kick. Johnson lands a left hand that drops Mullarkey, he gets on top but is stuck holding a front headlock as Mullarkey gets to his knees. They fight up and separate. Johnson avoids a front kick. Mullarkey lands a leg kick. Johnson blocks a head kick but Mullarkey drops him with a left hook, Mullarkey gets on top and unloads but Johnson fights to his feet and they trade knees. Both men miss hooks in close to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mullarkey but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Mullarkey is pressing forward as the round begins. A few jabs from Mullarkey land. Bit of a right from Mullarkey then a leg kick. Mullarkey lands another leg kick. Johnson lands a jab, Mullarkey punches him in the body. Mullarkey lands a right hand. Johnson lands a left to the body. Head kick from Mullarkey but Johnson just eats it. Mullarkey lands another leg kick then a right to the body. Front kick from Mullarkey then a one two but Johnson lands a left hand counter. They trade power hand punches then Mullarkey lands a head kick. The pressure and pace of Mullarkey is getting to Johnson at this point. Mullarkey lands a leg kick then a knee and a right in close. Johnson is still swinging back but he’s melting, Mullarkey gets a clinch and unloads with knees and elbows before Johnson gets free. Another leg kick from Mullarkey. Stiff jab from Mullarkey. Mullarkey lands a right hand. Body shot from Mullarkey, he’s got Johnson swinging at air most of the time. Johnson is cut around the right eye from all those jabs and elbows. Bit of a left from Johnson. Mullarkey lands a leg kick. Another jab from Mullarkey lands. Mullarkey lands a left hook then avoids a takedown and lands knees from the clinch as they fight up off of the mat. Head kick from Mullarkey wobbles Johnson. Mullarkey lands an uppercut then a knee but Johnson lands an elbow. Johnson lands a left hand but his power isn’t quite there anymore. Mullarkey lands a jab as the last blow of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Mullarkey lands a jab, Johnson counters with a left hand. Mullarkey avoids some jabs and lands one of his own. Both men fall short with some punches. Mullarkey avoids punches then lands a body kick. Johnson lands a left to the body. They trade some jabs. Mullarkey lands a right to the body. Right hook from Johnson connects. Mullarkey lands a left hook. Inside leg kick from Mullarkey, Johnson lands jabs as they reset. Bit of a right from Mullarkey. Mullarkey lands a left hook. Head kick from Mullarkey connects then a leg kick. Mullarkey lands a body kick. Another body kick from Mullarkey but Johnson lands a left hand to counter. Another left from Johnson lands. Mullarkey lands a right hand. Johnson avoids a poorly set up double leg attempt. Both men slip punches then Mullarkey lands a leg kick. Johnson sprawls away from a double leg, they clinch up and Mullarkey lands knees as they hit the fence then break. Mullarkey lands a right hand. Another head kick from Mullarkey. Johnson lands a left hand, Mullarkey lands a right. They trade power hand punches then split jabs. A couple of lefts from Johnson land then they get close and just swing for the final seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, 29-28 Mullarkey overall

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

No issues with 29-28 either way, that’s your Fight of the Night so far. Mullarkey puts over Johnson to begin his interview and knew he was in for a war tonight. He admits to being hurt in the first round and he went into survival mode and again thanks Johnson for the fight. He plays with the crowd to close the interview, then thanks his coaches.

Aiemann Zahabi has gone 2-2 in the UFC and while he got a win in his last fight he’s been out of action for over a year, though a win tonight would earn him his first UFC winning streak. Ricky Turcios got a win in his UFC debut last year and now he looks for his first UFC winning streak. Turcios is the -195 favorite against +165 for Zahabi.

Bantamweight Bout: Ricky Turcios (11-2, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (8-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Turcios is an inch taller with two and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Turcios, and they touch gloves to get us going. Zahabi avoids some long range attacks. Turcios starts switching his stance as he looks to pressure Zahabi. Bit of a front kick from Turcios. Zahabi misses a right hand. Some kicks from Turcios are blocked. Zahabi lands a jab. Body kick from Zahabi. Zahabi lands an inside leg kick. Turcios avoids some punches then eats a left hand as he defends a takedown. Turcios misses a few kicks, then lands a right hand. Inside leg kick from Zahabi lands. Zahabi lands a body kick. Turcios misses a wheel kick. Both men miss offense as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Zahabi but a close one

ROUND TWO: Turcios misses a kick to start the round. Zahabi lands a body kick. Calf kick from Zahabi. Bit of a high kick from Zahabi. Turcios has a head kick blocked then Zahabi lands a leg kick to counter. Turcios starts working his jab. Zahabi lands an inside leg kick. Zahabi avoids a wheel kick. Bit of a left from Zahabi. Zahabi lands a jab. Both men block kicks. Double jab from Zahabi. Zahabi lands an inside leg kick. Turcios lands a right hand. Zahabi keeps flaring his elbows when he goes to engage, if Turcios can read that there are counters available to him. Turcios is generally coming forward thus far but he’s getting countered. Zahabi lands an inside leg kick. A few kicks from Turcios fall short. Zahabi lands a few jabs. Turcios tries to force a brawl as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: More pressure from Turcios, Zahabi lands a leg kick. Turcios lands a side kick to the leg. A bit more forward pressure from Zahabi now, he lands a calf kick. Turcios has punches blocked, he’s really struggling to find meaningful offense. Another calf kick from Zahabi. Zahabi lands a couple of inside leg kicks. Another inside leg kick from Zahabi. Turcios still can’t find the target with his punches, they’re either short or easily blocked. Zahabi lands another leg kick. Bit of a body kick from Turcios. Zahabi lands a calf kick but Turcios counters with a combination. Zahabi lands a few stiff jabs. Inside leg kick from Zahabi then another jab. Both men miss rights. Zahabi lands a leg kick. Turcios misses some more punches. Zahabi misses a right hand then lands an inside leg kick. Jab from Zahabi, he avoids kicks then misses a left hand as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Aiemann Zahabi via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Mic time for Zahabi, he says the game plan was to make Turcios miss and make him pay then dedicates the win to his muay thai coach who passed today. To close he puts over his brother’s online learning classes.

Jared Vanderaa has gone 1-4 in the UFC and is on a three fight losing streak, he needs a win badly here to have a little bit of job security. Chase Sherman is on his third stint with the UFC and is on a four fight losing streak, he likewise needs a win pretty badly just to justify his spot on the roster. While setting the odds for this one must have been difficult they settled into favoring Vanderaa at -200 to a +170 comeback on Sherman.

Heavyweight Bout: Chase Sherman (15-10, 253 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-8, 263.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Vanderaa is heavier and has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men probe with the jab as they move around. Bit of a one two from Sherman. Sherman jabs the body. Hard right from Sherman. Vanderaa lands a left hook. A lot of lead hand work from Vanderaa now. Sherman lands a leg kick. Leg kick from Vanderaa. Both men land jabs then Sherman lands a leg kick. Vanderaa lands a leg kick of his own. Little combination from Sherman in close. Another leg kick from Sherman. Sherman lands a left hook. Body kick from Sherman. Some jabs from Vanderaa then an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Sherman. Sherman lands a combination then a leg kick. Vanderaa lands a right hand in close that definitely got Sherman’s attention. Leg kick from Vanderaa. They clash on leg kicks then trade jabs. Vanderaa with a leg kick then a body jab. Sherman digs a left to the body. Right hand from Sherman. Sherman with a one two to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sherman

ROUND TWO: Both men come out jabbing, then Vanderaa lands a leg kick. Sherman checks a leg kick, that hurt me just looking at it. Sherman lands a jab. They trade jabs for a bit. Vanderaa’s lack of head movement is a real problem, but Sherman only seems to move his head when he’s in space not when he’s throwing. Vanderaa lands a leg kick. They split jabs a few times. Sherman lands a right hand. Leg kick from Sherman. There’s a small cut under the right eye of Sherman, it’s more on the cheek than truly under the eye. Both men land punches in close. Bit of a right from Sherman. Vanderaa lands a jab then a body shot. Sherman with a leg kick. Both men land jabs again then Sherman lands a right hand. Sherman lands a right hand in close. Vanderaa lands a leg kick. Bit of a left from Vanderaa but Sherman counters with a right hand then a left hook behind it. Jabs from Vanderaa, then both men miss rights. They both land punches in close. Sherman lands a couple of rights. They split jabs again. Vanderaa lands a body kick, Sherman counters with a blitz to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sherman but a close one, 20-18 Sherman overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Sherman lands a left hook, Vanderaa lands a leg kick. Vanderaa lands a jab then a body kick. Some jabs go back and forth. Vanderaa lands a leg kick. They split on jabs then trade left hooks. Both men land lefts again. Vanderaa lands a right hand but they both miss punches after that. Another right from Vanderaa lands. Vanderaa lands a right, Sherman returns it. A few punches from Vanderaa land, he’s starting to find consistent success. Sherman lands a one two. Vanderaa lands another right. Body shot from Vanderaa. A right from Vanderaa taggers Sherman for a second. Both men land rights in close. Sherman with a right hand. Left then a leg kick from Vanderaa. They get close and both men land punches but Sherman lands a right that wobbles Vanderaa and Sherman then unloads along the fence, Vanderaa tries to cover up and throw back but Sherman overwhelms him and the ref has to step in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chase Sherman via TKO, punches, at 3:10 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Sherman for his work this evening. Mic time for Sherman, he says he got a little hurt to the body early and had to dig deep. He says the win feels good and he notes he’s had 13 fights in the UFC and hasn’t done anything so he needs to get off the mic and back to work. He thought he was ahead on the scorecard when informed that Vanderaa was technically up, but he’ll have to watch the fight back.

Credit where it’s due to Sherman, he recognizes that Vanderaa is hurt and is able to capitalize on the opportunity.

Said Nurmagomedov has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, now he’s looking for three in a row and to earn another step up in competition as he looks to make the difficult transition from prospect to contender. Douglas Silva de Andrade has gone 2-0 since returning to bantamweight last year and if he can turn back a rising prospect like Nurmagomedov it could well be de Andrade who finds himself opposite ranked opposition next time out. Nurmagomedov is the heavy -460 favorite to a +370 payout for de Andrade.

Bantamweight Bout: Said Nurmagomedov (15-2, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (28-4 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nurmagomedov is an inch taller with an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. De Andrade lands an inside leg kick. Nurmagomedov with a spinning back kick, de Andrade forces a clinch and they hit the fence. De Andrade is on the back in the clinch, Nurmagomedov forces things chest to chest. Some knees go back and forth as they jockey for position. Bit of an elbow from de Andrade then Nurmagomedov with a hip toss and a knee as they separate. Nurmagomedov misses a head kick. De Andrade avoids a head kick. Inside leg kick from Nurmagomedov. Head kick from Nurmagomedov catches de Andrade off balance. De Andrade avoids a wheel kick, then avoids a spinning back kick. Nurmagomedov is starting to switch his stance, he’s feeling a bit mor relaxed now. There’s a cut around the left eyebrow of de Andrade, the head kicks from Nurmagomedov are getting through a bit it seems. Body kick from Nurmagomedov, de Andrade didn’t like that one. De Andrade misses punches, he’s struggling with the distance. Bit of a left from de Andrade, Nurmagomedov responds with a right hand then a knee to the head. Nurmagomedov misses a spinning back fist, then tries a double leg and is able to get de Andrade down just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nurmagomedov

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Inside leg kick from Nurmagomedov. Bit of a wheel kick from Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov lands a right hand. Hard calf kick from Nurmagomedov. De Andrade lands a bit of a right but eats a counter right. Calf kick from de Andrade, but there’s a cut on his right shin from an earlier checked kick. Body kick from Nurmagomedov. De Andrade lands a body kick. Nurmagomedov checks a leg kick. Head kick from Nurmagomedov then a wheel kick, both were partially blocked. Nurmagomedov lands a body kick. De Andrade is trying to press forward but he’s still having a hard time landing offense. Bit of a left from de Andrade, Nurmagomedov then catches him with a jumping knee. Hard right from Nurmagomedov then he lands follow up punches as they clinch up. Knee from Nurmagomedov then they break. De Andrade lands a right to the body. Bit of a head kick from Nurmagomedov. De Andrade lands a spinning back fist that drops Nurmagomedov, he gets on top and looks to unload but Nurmagomedov ties him up. De Andrade stands over Nurmagomedov as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Andrade, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: De Andrade gets a clinch, hits a mat return but Nurmagomedov pops up right away though he’s still clinched. Some back elbows from Nurmagomedov as de Andrade is on his back in the clinch. Nurmagomedov breaks the grip around his waist then lands a knee as they break. Hard calf kick from Nurmagomedov then a left hook to follow up. Spinning back fist from Nurmagomedov is blocked. De Andrade tries a spinning back kick, it hits the groin of Nurmagomedov and we’ve got a time out. Replay confrims the groin shot and we’re back to fighting after 30 seconds. Nurmagomedov tries a single leg, he’s able to get de Andrade down and starts working from full guard. Elbows and punches from Nurmagomedov, de Andrade scrambles back to his feet but he eats a head kick on the way. De Andrade lands a body shot, then Nurmagomedov hits a head kick. Nurmagomedov tries another spinning attack but de Andrade shoves him over and gets on top in full guard. De Andrade lands a few short elbows before Nurmagomedov kicks him up to a standing position. Some up kicks from Nurmagomedov but things are stalling here. More up kicks from Nurmagomedov, he’s actually landing a bunch of these. De Andrade lands some leg kicks but the ref has finally had enough of this and resets them on the feet. De Andrade lands a right hand. Bit of a head kick from Nurmagomedov then a right hand behind it. Double leg from Nurmagomedov but de Andrade defends it. Nurmagomedov lands a head kick and they clinch then break with a right from Nurmagomedov. De Andrade slips trying a spinning back fist to end the round.

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

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

Mic time for Nurmagomedov and his translator, he thanks the fans and puts over de Andrade as a tough opponent. Asked who he’d like to fight next he would love to fight a ranked opponent next.

Caio Borralho is on a ten fight unbeaten streak including a win in his UFC debut back in April, he’s looking to take out a fellow prospect here and prove he’s a prospect of note in the division. Armen Petrosyan is on a three fight winning streak including a somewhat controversial split decision win in his UFC debut, now he’s looking for a more emphatic performance as he finds his footing in the UFC. The odds are with Borralho at -240 while the +200 comeback on Petrosyan might tempt a few bettors out there.

Middleweight Bout: Caio Borralho (11-1 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Armen Petrosyan (7-1, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Petrosyan is five inches taller with four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, southpaw for Borralho. A few side kicks from Borralho, then Petrosyan lands an inside leg kick. Left hand from Borralho connects then he hits a double leg against the fence and lands in half guard. Petrosyan tries to set up a wall walk but Borralho is all over him. Borralho gets the back with both hooks in and starts fishing for the finish. Petrosyan is able to strip one of the hooks but Borralho gets it back then grabs at a Suloev Stretch but can’t find it. Body triangle now for Borralho and he starts landing some punches while trying to open up the choke. Petrosyan is hand fighting thus far but he’s struggling to address the overall position. Borralho lands some more punches. Petrosyan starts working to break the body triangle, he gets one of the hooks out with effective leg pummeling but Borralho gets it back. Borralho’s control is impressive, he’s never been all that close to losing the position. Some punches from Borralho close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Borralho

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Petrosyan pressures forward and lands an inside leg kick. Borralho lands a front kick to the body. Both men miss hooks. Double leg from Borralho and he tips Petrosyan over with surprising ease. Borralho moves to side control rather quickly and lands a few short blows. Full mount for Borralho now and he lands some short punches as Petrosyan tries to shrimp to get his guard back. Petrosyan is able to spin into Borralho, Borralho grabs at a guillotine but loses the grip and Petrosyan stands free then lands a leg kick. Petrosyan stands over Borralho for a bit, then the ref restarts them on the feet. Bit of a right from Petrosyan. Borralho lands a left hand. Front kick from Borralho then he hits a double leg into side control. Petrosyan’s takedown defense is surprisingly ineffective. Now Borralho moves to the back, he gets one hook in then is able to get the second one in. Petrosyan tries to hand fight but Borralho is getting closer with his choke attempts. The round ends with Borralho still on Petrosyan’s back.

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

ROUND THREE: Petrosyan comes forward to start the round. Some jabs from Petrosyan then he lands a right hand. A few leg kicks go back and forth. Borralho lands a right hook. Left form Borralho then he tries a double leg but that stalls out on the fence. They trade some knees as Borralho works for a body lock. Petrosyan is able to stay upright but he can’t get off of the fence. More short knees go back and forth, then Borralho slips around to the back of Petrosyan. Petrosyan avoids being mat returned and lands some leg kicks to the downed Borralho. The ref lets this go for a bit before resetting them. Bit of a right hook from Borralho. Petrosyan lands a right hand. Double leg from Borralho and he finishes this one. Petrosyan quickly wall walks this time but he’s still clinched on the fence. Borralho lands some knees in the clinch but he’s mostly running out the clock. The round ends with them breaking the clinch and Petrosyan landing a body kick.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Petrosyan, 29-28 Borralho overall

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

I don’t object to Borralho getting the third even if I disagree. Mic time for Borralho, he puts over Petrosyan and knew he needed to grapple him to win. Asked about the future he says this is his fourth fight in 10 months so he needs a couple of months to recover but when he comes back he’d like to fight Dricus Du Plessis.

Rafael dos Anjos is a somewhat overlooked legend of the sport, he’s a former UFC lightweight champion who’s been with the promotion since 2008. Dos Anjos is on a two fight winning streak since returning to lightweight and a win here could position him higher in the top ten and might begin a move back towards title contention. Rafael Fiziev has gone 5-1 in the UFC and is on a five fight winning streak which has seen a fair bit of hype start to build around him as well as earning a top ten ranking. Fiziev now faces the highest profile opponent of his career and a win over a rugged and proven fighter like dos Anjos would position Fiziev nicely around the title picture. Fiziev is your favorite at -205 while a dos Anjos win would payout at +175.

Lightweight Bout: #7 Rafael dos Anjos (31-13, 156 lbs.) vs. #10 Rafael Fiziev (11-1, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Fiziev has an inch and a half of reach advantage, Fiziev is also eight years younger. Southpaw for dos Anjos, and they touch gloves to get us going. Body kick from Fiziev. Both men are feinting and probing with the lead hand. Fiziev lands another body kick, this time dos Anjos returns it. Bit of a head kick from Fiziev then a right hand behind it. Dos Anjos lands a left hand. A fair bit of forward pressure from dos Anjos. Dos Anjos tries a takedown and they hit the fence as Fiziev defends. Some knees to the leg from dos Anjos. Fiziev lands a couple of knees to the body. Fiziev is able to spin free after a bit then lands a right hand. Some stance switching from Fiziev now. Dos Anjos lands a body kick, Fiziev returns it. Knee from Fiziev almost lands then a stiff jab. Bit of a left to the body from Fiziev then a right hand behind it. Dos Anjos lands a body shot then a calf kick. Dos Anjos tries another double leg, again they hit the fence and stall out. Elbow from dos Anjos as they break. Fiziev lands an elbow. A couple of rights from Fiziev land then a body kick and a left hook behind it. A combination from Fiziev lands to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fiziev but a close one

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Dos Anjos lands a body kick. Fiziev lands a couple of body shots. Dos Anjos lands another body kick, Fiziev catches it but doesn’t do anythnig with it. Fiziev lands a body kick, and we get a break as dos Anjos took a finger to the eye. Replay confirms the thumb of Fiziev glanced over the eye, and we’re back to fighting after 30 seconds. Bit of a head kick from Fiziev then a left hook. Dos Anjos lands a left hand. Fiziev defends a takedown but dos Anjos spins around to his back in the clinch. They wind up chest to chest and dos Anjos lands a few knees to the leg and body before Fiziev spins free. Jab from dos Anjos. Fiziev lands a right to the body then a body kick. Uppercut and a left hook from Fiziev lands. Left hook from Fiziev lands, he’s not throwing at full power but he’s landing pretty regularly. Dos Anjos lands a body kick and tries a takedown but Fiziev counters with a whizzer kick and they end up clinched on the fence with Fiziev in control. Some body shots from Fiziev in the clinch then he lands an elbow as they break. Dos Anjos misses a left hand and they clinch again then hit the fence. Fiziev gets dos Anjos on the fence now and they break. Dos Anjos lands an uppercut then a left hand. Fiziev lands a left hook. Solid left from Fiziev connects. Uppercut from Fiziev, he’s got fast hands with good accuracy. Dos Anjos lands a jab. Fiziev lands a body kick, his body work seems to be adding up. Dos Anjos misses a hook to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Dos Anjos is cut on the right elbow from blocking the high kicks. Now dos Anjos forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Dos Anjos slips around to the back in the clinch and forces Fiziev to the mat. Fiziev wall walks into the clinch immediately. Dos Anjos tries to change levels for another takedown, but Fiziev limp legs away from the single leg. Jab from Fiziev then a front kick to the body. Fiziev lands a left hook then dos Anjos shoots again but again they stall on the fence. Fiziev gets dos Anjos on the fence, they trade knees then break. Both men avoid leg kicks. Body kick from Fiziev. Fiziev lands a right hand. Dos Anjos misses a couple of punches then clinches, and Fiziev gets him on the fence. Knees are traded in the clinch, Fiziev is getting the better of them at the moment. They break without incident. Fiziev lands a right hand then a body kick. Dos Anjos lands an inside leg kick. Jab from dos Anjos. Fiziev lands a couple of body shots. Both men evade punches. Fiziev lands an inside leg kick then a body kick. Dos Anjos lands a left hand. Fiziev lands a body kick then they trade punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fiziev but another close one, 30-27 Fiziev overall

ROUND FOUR: Fiziev comes out kicking, then lands a right hand. Front kick from Fiziev. Dos Anjos forces a clinch then eats an elbow as they break. Double leg from dos Anjos stalls out on the cage again. Fiziev spins free quickly and they reset. Bit of a right from Fiziev. Combination from Fiziev partially lands. Dos Anjos tries a single leg, Fiziev defends and pushes dos Anjos into the fence. They break without incident after a bit. Dos Anjos with a jumping knee then a left hand. Fiziev blocks a takedown and again pushes dos Anjos into the fence. Some knees from Fiziev land. Dos Anjos is struggling to get off the fence, but eventually they separate. Fiziev lands a body kick. Dos Anjos avoids a punch but Fiziev defends his double leg. Dos Anjos lands a couple of punches. Fiziev lands a right hook then they clinch and Fiziev lands a right as they break. Body shot from dos Anjos then he hits a double leg into half guard. Fiziev immediately looks to wall walk, dos Anjos is keeping him on his seat though. Things are stalling out, Fiziev is able to stand and dos Anjos lands an elbow as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 39-37 Fiziev overall

ROUND FIVE: Dos Anjos lands a left hand, Fiziev responds by flooring him with a left of his own then a couple of punches on the mat prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rafael Fiziev via KO, punches, at :18 of Round 5

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Fiziev for his work this evening. Mic time for Fiziev and his translator, he jokes we know who the best Rafael is in the UFC but wants to know who the best Rafael in the world is and challenges Rafael Nadal. He says he’s worked hard on his wrestling and get ups, then realizes his nose is probably broken and is a little sad about that. Asked about the future and who he wants next he tells Sean Shelby to just do his job, but a last round knockout should earn him a top five opponent.

Here’s the finish. The switch step on the knee from Fiziev messes with the distance, his follow up right distracts dos Anjos then dos Anjos seems to think the left is coming lower because he kind of reaches down to block instead of staying high behind his lead shoulder. Really nice sequence from Fiziev.

On that note UFC on ESPN 39 comes to a close. Thank you all for reading, and we’ll unpack all of the fallout from this card on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast, plus look ahead to next week when the UFC has an early morning event from New York on ABC. I’ll be back here for that event and I hope you will as well. Until next time thank you again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.