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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Kattar Injures Knee in TKO Loss to Allen

October 30, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 71 Image Credit: UFC

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
#5 Calvin Kattar (146 lbs.) vs. #6 Arnold Allen (145.5 lbs.)
Max Griffin (170.5 lbs.) vs. Tim Means (170.5 lbs.)
Waldo Cortes-Acosta (260.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (259 lbs.)
Josh Fremd (185 lbs.) vs. Tresean Gore (185.5 lbs.)
#13 Dustin Jacoby (204 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (205 lbs.)

Roman Dolidze (186 lbs.) vs. Phil Hawes (185.5 lbs.)
Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs.) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (261 lbs.)
Joseph Holmes (185.5 lbs.) vs. Junyong Park (185 lbs.)
Steve Garcia (146 lbs.) vs. Chase Hooper (145 lbs.)
Cody Durden (126 lbs.) vs. Carlos Mota (125.5 lbs.)
Christian Rodriguez (136 lbs.) vs. Joshua Weems (139.5 lbs.)*

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 71, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. The UFC is back to just keeping the machinery turning with this card after the very big UFC 280 last week, but we’ve got a very solid featherweight main event. Top contenders Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen square off, Kattar trying to maintain position while Allen looks for arguably the biggest win of his career and the featherweight division is pretty open at the moment so a quality win has a lot of value. The co-main event isn’t too bad either as veteran Tim Means looks to halt the budding momentum of Max Griffin. Beyond that it’s pretty weak, Dustin Jacoby vs. Khalil Rountree might be fun though. On the prelims Andrei Arlovski looks to tie Jim Miller for most UFC wins overall when he takes on Marcos Rogerio de Lima, and Chase Hooper is after his first UFC winning streak. Mostly we’re hoping for good action from some less than compelling fights on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 71 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Brendan Fitzgerald, Michael Bisping, and Dominick Cruz will be providing commentary. As for rules, we’re mostly under the newer set but you do still need only one hand on the mat to be downed, and we do have instant replay plus the ability for the fight to be restarted after replay is used. Keep in mind we’re in the smaller 25 foot cage as well.

Christian Rodriguez suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut back in February, now he’s back in action and looking for that all important first UFC win. Joshua Weems took this fight during fight week when Garrett Armfield had to withdraw due to illness, this led to him missing weight but he’s on a two fight winning streak and will be trying to get his UFC career going with a win. The odds are heavily with Rodriguez at -410 to +300 on Weems.

Bantamweight Bout: Christian Rodriguez (7-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Joshua Weems (10-2, 139.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Weems is an inch taller while Rodriguez has two and a half inches of reach advantage, plus Weems missed weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Bit of a body kick from Weems as he starts switching his stance. Rodriguez lands a left hook. Weems lands a body kick, Rodriguez lands a counter back fist though. Bit of a right from Rodriguez. The tie up and hit the fence, Weems lands an elbow in close. Bit of a combination from Weems as they break, then he clinches again looking for a takedown. Rodriguez looks to be defending thus far. A lot of positional jockeying, Weems lands a few knees then hits a body lock takedown into side control. Rodriguez scrambles back up right away but he’s still in the clinch. A couple of punches from Weems, then he re-clinches and winds up pulling guard as they move away from the fence. Elbow from Rodriguez then he stands free and makes Weems reset on the feet. Weems lands a left hand but Rodriguez doesn’t seem to care. Spinning elbow from Weems but he gives up his back standing and Weems gets a takedown. Rodriguez grabs an anaconda choke as they scramble, and Weems has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Christian Rodriguez via Submission, anaconda choke, at 4:07 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rodriguez for his work this evening. Mic time for Rodriguez, he feels good after getting back in the win column. He says he’s not just a striker and works hard on his game so he can finish wherever the fight goes.

Here’s a look at the finish, nice little sequence from Rodriguez where he threatens the guillotine and butterfly hook to induce movement then transitions to grabbing the anaconda choke when Weems doesn’t address the grip around his neck.

Carlos Mota brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s looking to extend that here and capitalize on his only chance to make a good first impression. Cody Durden has gone 2-2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win though and is trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Mota is your favorite at -165 against Durden’s +140.

Flyweight Bout: Cody Durden (13-4-1, 126 lbs.) vs. Carlos Mota (8-1, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Durden is three inches taller but Mota has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Mota avoids a head kick. Circling from Durden, Mota lands a calf kick. Hard right from Durden and he gets a takedown off of rocking Mota and lands in side control. Mota rolls towards his belly, but Durden keeps him on his back though Mota gets half guard. Full guard now for Mota and he looks to wall walk. Durden looks to posture up, and lands a couple of punches. Mota tries an armbar, then thinks about a triangle choke but Durden defends against both and returns to the guard. Durden moves to half guard. A few short rights from Durden land. Durden lands a few more rights while avoiding some guard play. Some short elbows from Durden land, then he stacks up Mota and lands another punch to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Durden

ROUND TWO: Both men come out striking, then Durden tries a takedown against the fence. Mota is defending thus far by splitting his base and turning his hips. Durden finally gets his hands together and hits the double leg into half guard. A few punches from Durden land as Mota gets his full guard. Mota is cut around the right eyebrow, doesn’t look bad but there’s a bit of blood there. Durden lands another couple of elbows. Pretty good right from Durden lands and he moves towards half guard again. Mota tries another armbar, this one’s pretty close but Durden drops his weight onto him to collapse the arm and prevent extension then lands some punches as Mota bails on the attack. Durden avoids another armbar attack and lands a short elbow. The round ends in that position on the mat.

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

ROUND THREE: Durden lands an inside leg kick. Mota is jabbing at the body and looking to pressure forward. Front kick from Mota, but Durden tries a single leg and after a bit of work he’s able to finish it though Mota is now inverted looking for a leg attack. Mota bails on the leg lock and Durden starts working from the ride position. Durden moves to the back, only one hook in at the moment though. Second hook in now for Durden and he starts fishing for the choke. Durden gets a body triangle on and resumes looking for choke attempts. Mota moves to his knees, and Durden flattens him out the starts transitioning between back mount and full mount while landing punches. Mota keeps scrambling and winds up on top then stands free and forces a reset. They split some jabs then Durden avoids a right hand. Durden forces a clinch that hits the fence then looks for a double leg and gets Mota down to his knees. Durden continues out wrestling Mota and moves to the ride position now with Mota on his knees. Mota tries to invert for a leg lock, but Durden moves with him and they start trading punches while in a modified 50/50 guard. Durden winds up on top, Mota attacks a heel hook but there’s no time and Durden kicks him off then they end the round on the mat.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Durden but the closest round of the fight, 30-27 Durden overall

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

No issues with Mota getting the third. Mic time for Durden, he puts over a few sponsors first then puts over Mota as a tough opponent for taking the fight. Durden says he’ll never run from a fight, then says the armbars weren’t quite there but he was aware of them for sure.

Chase Hooper has traded wins and losses while going 3-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win though and is trying to get his first UFC winning streak going tonight while proving he’s found his footing in the promotion. Steve Garcia has gone 1-2 in the UFC only besting Charlie Ontiveros, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. Hooper is a solid -295 favorite to a +245 payout on Garcia.

Featherweight Bout: Steve Garcia (12-5, 146 lbs.) vs. Chase Hooper (11-2-1, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hooper is an inch taller while Garcia has an inch of reach advantage. Both men come out southpaw, and we get a touch of gloves. Garcia lands a couple of lefts that wobble Hooper, then he avoids a tie up. Hooper eats a another couple of lefts and is dropped this time. Garcia stands over Hooper then lets him back up. Calf kick from Garcia then a left that drops Hooper again and again he makes him stand. Hooper can’t get out of the way of that left hand from Garcia. Garcia lands another couple of punches, Hooper’s face is busted up already. Garcia slips a left and lands a left that drops Hooper, he follows him this time and lands enough hammer fists to get the ref to step in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Steve Garcia via TKO, punches, at 1:32 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Garcia for his work this evening. That was a beating. Mic time for Garcia, he says he gave his life up to God a long time ago and now just wants to represent his family and team the best he can. He puts over Hooper as a tough opponent then thanks his coaches for getting him ready. He says when he hurt Hooper early he had to keep up the pressure. Asked about the future he’ll talk things over his team going forward.

This was the fourth or so knockdown of the round, Hooper’s defense was really lacking and once Garcia got a read on it he just bludgeoned him into the mat.

Junyong Park has gone 4-1 in his last five fights, only falling to Gregory Rodrigues. Park won his last fight and is trying to build another winning streak. Joseph Holmes 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. The odds favor Park at -215 to the +185 underdog Holmes.

Middleweight Bout: Joseph Holmes (8-2, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Junyong Park (14-5, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holmes is a significant six inches taller with a whopping seven inches of reach advantage. Park comes out circling, and lands a calf kick. Holmes lands a leg kick. Some jabs go back and forth, both men still getting a feel for things. Leg kicks from Holmes. Park is pushing forward and looking to engage. Holmes lands a right hand. Bit of a calf kick from Park. Park catches a body kick but can’t do much with it. Bit of a right from Park but Holmes forces a clinch. Elbow from Holmes as they break. Park catches another body kick and off balances Holmes then he jumps on the back on the mat. Only one hook in for Park, and Holmes turns into him and starts looking to wall walk. Some punches land for Park as he’s working to keep Holmes from building a base. Both hooks in now for Park and he starts looking for the choke. Choke attempt from Park, but Holmes is hand fighting and prevents it from finishing. Holmes spins into top position then gets the back himself as Park looks to wall walk. Elbow from Holmes then he lands punches from the back as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holmes

ROUND TWO: Park ties up then moves to the back standing. Now Park pulls Holmes down to the mat with a crab ride and gets to full mount right away when Holmes tries to scramble. Nice move from Park. Park lands some short punches against the fence, Holmes is struggling to build his base at the moment as Park keeps stripping his posting arms away. Holmes is able to spin into Park and get half guard but Park passes and gets the back again. Park has Holmes flattened out and grabs at the choke, Holmes is able to break the choke but gives up full mount in transition. Now Park lands punches while moving from full mount to back mount. Park flattens Holmes out again and tries the choke, this time it’s in and Holmes taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Junyong Park via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:04 of Round 2

Mic time for Park and his translator, he planned on boxing Holmes originally but with the way Holmes was moving he found the takedowns and used the motion on the ground to get the choke.

Here Park reaps the rewards from breaking down his opponent with positional work and harassing punches as Holmes has essentially given up before Park even gets the choke locked in.

Andrei Arlovski has been around forever but despite his age and mileage he’s on a four fight winning streak and last lost to Tom Aspinall, if he’s able to find a win here he’ll tie Jim Miller for most total UFC wins. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has gone 2-2 in his last four fights and is coming off of a loss to Blagoy Ivanov, now he’s looking to take out a genuine legend of the sport and start moving up the heavyweight ranks. De Lima is your favorite at -255 while that +215 payout on Arlovski has to be a tempting value bet given his recent track record.

Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (34-20 2 NC, 241 lbs.) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-8-1, 261 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arlovski has two inches of height and reach over de Lima, de Lima is also of course 20 pounds heavier. De Lima lands a leg kick to start things off. Both men have rights blocked. They get close and trade, de Lima drops Arlovski with a right hand and gets on top in full guard. De Lima moves to half guard, then full mount. Some punches from de Lima, he’s after a neck crank as he gets the back. Neck crank from de Lima, he’s under the chin now and Arlovski taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:50 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. de Lima for his work this evening. Mic time for de Lima and his translator, he puts over Arlovski as a legend then puts over his team and feels he’s a heavy hitter even by heavyweight standards. He talks us through the finish then says he’d like to be on the upcoming UFC event in Rio de Janeiro.

Pretty decent example of how to re-attack by de Lima here, Arlovski defends the first couple of attacks but de Lima misdirects his defense and reattacks to get the finish.

Phil Hawes has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a career best performance when he absolutely battered Deron Winn, he’s looking to build another winning streak here and prove he’s found his stride in the UFC. Roman Dolidze has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, a win here would get him to to an important milestone in terms of win streaks and might get him a shot at higher ranked opposition next time out. This one is a bit closer than our previous fights, Hawes sits at -175 to a +150 comeback on Dolidze.

Middleweight Bout: Roman Dolidze (10-1, 186 lbs.) vs. Phil Hawes (12-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dolidze is two inches taller while Hawes has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Dolidze, and they touch gloves to get us going. A bit of range finding from both men as they get a feel for the fight. Hawes avoids a high kick. They trade some punches in close. Hawes avoids another head kick and lands a body kick. Dolidze has started switching his stance a bit, he’s more comfortable southpaw but he’ll show orthodox. Hawes lands a right hand. They tie up, and Dolidze rolls onto his back to pull guard then starts landing elbows from his back. Those elbows from Dolidze are pretty mean, he then throws up an armbar then switches to a leg attack. Dolidze is after a kneebar, he cranks the leg at a very awkward angle and there’s a pop to the right leg of Hawes but he fights up to his feet and Dolidze looks at the ref to check but Hawes wants to continue. Some jabs from Dolidze then a high kick. That right leg of Hawes is definitely compromised, but he seems to be getting back into rhythm. Right hand from Dolidze, then another in close that ENDS Hawes.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Roman Dolidze via KO, punches, at 4:09 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Dolidze for his work this evening. Mic time for Dolidze, he jokes that Bisping’s commentary on one fight where he did a ton of wrestling inspired him to strike more and he’s happy to say that to Bisping. He talks us through the leg attack, he knew it was bad and thought the fight was over but if you wont tap out he’ll knock you out. He calls for better fights going forward and wants a top fifteen opponent next.

Here’s the finish, nice tight hooks from Dolidze in close once Hawes was compromised.

Dustin Jacoby hasn’t lost an MMA fight since 2015 and has gone 6-0-1 since returning to the UFC in 2020, now he’s looking to defend his ranking and potentially improve on it with another win here. Khalil Rountree Jr. has gone 2-2 in his last five fights but he’s on a two fight winning streak and a win here could see him take a spot in the top fifteen for the first time in his UFC career. Jacoby is favored at -175 while Rountree’s underdog status sits at +150.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #13 Dustin Jacoby (18-5-1, 204 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (10-5 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jacoby is two inches taller while Rountree has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, Rountree fighting southpaw. Jacoby shows some front kicks as they hand fight. Rountree counters a leg kick with a left hand. Jacoby avoids a right hook then lands a leg kick. Right hook from Rountree lands. Bit of a head kick from Jacoby. Rountree checks an inside leg kick. Jacoby avoids a couple of wide hooks. Jacoby lands a calf kick, he’s starting to make Rountree miss and then counter. Body kicks from Jacoby now. Rountree misses another right hook. Bit of a left hook from Jacoby. A fair bit of stance switching from Jacoby now, he lands a couple of lefts from southpaw. Front kick from Jacoby. Rountree has stopped using his feet to close distance when striking and Jacoby is making him miss consistently. Jacoby lands another leg kick, he’s being very patient and methodical in his attack. Bit of an elbow from Jacoby. Hard body shot from Jacoby then he avoids a left hand. One two from Jacoby, he’s starting to open up a bit now. They trade punches in close, Jacoby’s combination work is generally better though. Jacoby lands a right to the body. Rountree lands an inside leg kick. Jacoby stalks forward, lands an elbow in close. Rountree lands a left to the body to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jacoby

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Jacoby lands a calf kick. Rountree lands a calf kick of his own. Jacoby avoids a left hand but misses the counter. They split some jabs as Jacoby pushes forward. Jacoby avoids some hooks and lands a few punches, he’s just wearing down Rountree. One two from Jacoby lands. Jacoby lands a left hand. Rountree’s arms are becoming a bit gassed, he’s not usually a high volume guy and Jacoby is making him do a lot of work. Jacoby lands a combination in close then he avoids the counters. Hard calf kick from Jacoby. Jacoby lands a couple of more calf kicks then a right hand. Solid left from Jacoby, he’s got a read on everything Rountree is throwing at him. Some jabs from Jacoby land. Jacoby lands a jab but eats a counter leg kick. Rountree misses a couple of hooks. Jacoby lands a left hand. Another left from Jacoby lands. Rountree lands a left of his own. Jacoby forces a clinch on the fence then they break without much happening. A few more jabs from Jacoby land. Body shot from Jacoby then a left hook to the head. They trade rights. Bit of a head kick from Jacoby. Rountree lands a front kick as the last blow of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Jacoby is back to his activity and pressure. Body shot from Jacoby. They trade some leg kicks. Jacoby lands a right to the body then a calf kick. Rountree still has power, he lands a left to the body, but he’s only throwing 2 at a time at most. Hard left from Rountree lands and backs up Jacoby. Jacoby tries a head kick then lands a calf kick and avoids the counters. Jacoby lands a hard calf kick. Jabs from Jacoby are landing now, then a calf kick. Rountree lands to the body again but he’s still struggling to actually build a combination. One two from Jacoby. Jacoby lands a couple of rights in close. Bit of a left from Rountree then they trade rights. Knee from Rountree in close after Jacoby landed some body shots. Stiff jab from Jacoby. They trade jabs again. Rountree lands a knee in close. Jacoby lands a few jabs but his face is pretty busted up at this point. Left hand from Jacoby. Jacoby lands an inside leg kick but eats a counter left. Knee from Jacoby, then Rountree lands a body kick. Rountree defends a single leg and lands a couple of punches. Jacoby lands a jab. Bit of a knee from Jacoby. Rountree lands a left hand that seems to wobble Jacoby a bit. Jacoby lands a hard one two of his own. They feint away the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rountree, 29-28 Jacoby overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khalil Rountree Jr. via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Well I don’t agree with that at all, Rountree had a good third but shouldn’t have taken the first. Rountree gets an interview, he’s way out of breath but feels OK with the split decision win. He knew he needed to turn it up in the third. He knew the fight would be tough and puts over Jacoby’s toughness. To close he thanks everyone for their support, and tells the UFC brass he’s not fighting again until he’s in the video game.

Josh Fremd dropped his UFC debut earlier this year when he took on Anthony Hernandez on somewhat short notice, now with a full camp and against a lower level of opposition he’s looking to showcase his skill set to the UFC audience. Tresean Gore has gone 0-2 in the UFC, now he’s trying to get that all important first UFC win as an 0-3 start could end his run. This one is pretty close but the odds favor Fremd at -155 against a +135 comeback for Gore.

Middleweight Bout: Josh Fremd (9-3, 185 lbs.) vs. Tresean Gore (3-2, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fremd is four inches taller with an inch of reach advantage. Fremd comes out jabbing. Gore tries a single leg, which he finishes as Fremd threatens a guillotine. Gore moves to half guard so there’s not much choke attack anymore. Fremd scoots to his knees, Gore grabs a front headlock for control purposes as Fremd stands. They wrestle from that position for a bit but Fremd slips free and they wind up clinched. Gore drops for a double leg and gets a big takedown then grabs the back with both hooks in. Fremd looks to spin into Gore, and they wind up scrambling to the feet. Calf kick from Fremd. Gore lands a jab. Both men show the jab as they circle, Fremd working some front kicks as well. Bit of a right from Fremd. Calf kick from Fremd. Gore lands a calf kick. A couple of rights from Fremd then a flying knee into a clinch. Bit of an elbow from Fremd in the clinch then a knee to the body. Gore gets a body lock and spins Fremd into the fence. They trade knees then break with a left from Gore. Fremd avoids a left hook. Right hand from Fremd then a calf kick and a jumping knee into a clinch. Another knee from Fremd lands to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fremd but a close one

ROUND TWO: Fremd gets back to working volume at distance. Gore lands a calf kick. A couple of punches from Fremd land, then he tries a single leg against the fence but Gore counters with a guillotine attempt and he rides Fremd down with a guillotine from essentially side control while standing and he puts Fremd to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tresean Gore via Technical Submission, guillotine choke, at :49 of Round 2

Mic time for Gore, he gives glory to God first then says he’s learning on the job given how early he is in his career. He puts over his coaches and partners for helping him get to this point. He talks us through the finish and says he does that in the gym pretty consistently and is happy to prove it in the cage now. To close he gives love to his family.

Here’s the finish. Gore gets the choke so deep that traditional defenses don’t work, he just follows Fremd around still holding the choke position as they hit the mat and he’s able to get serious leverage on the choke with his base under him. You don’t see these too often, but it’s a brutal finish.

Waldo Cortes-Acosta is undefeated coming into his UFC debut and looks to make a good first impression with his only chance to do so. Jared Vanderaa is on a four fight losing streak and has an overall UFC record of 1-5, a loss here should probably send him out of the promotion. Cortes-Acosta is your -195 favorite to the +165 of Vanderaa.

Heavyweight Bout: Waldo Cortes-Acosta (7-0, 260.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-9, 259 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Vanderaa has two inches of reach advantage. Both men showing the lead hand early. Vanderaa lands a calf kick. Cortes-Acosta shows the jab as he stalks forward. Right to the body from Cortes-Acosta. Vanderaa lands another calf kick. Bit of a leg kick from Vanderaa. Some forward pressure from Cortes-Acosta but he’s struggling to find offense as he’s very over hand right heavy. Cortes-Acosta lands a right hand and lands a couple more in close. Jab from Cortes-Acosta. Vanderaa lands another calf kick. A lot of circling and feinting. Cortes-Acosta lands a couple of body shots, he’s working his way in closer more reliably now. Hard calf kick from Vanderaa. Vanderaa lands another calf kick, those are starting to add up. Cortes-Acosta is limping a bit on that lead leg. Vanderaa avoids a lunging attack. Another calf kick lands and Cortes-Acosta is going southpaw now. Vanderaa lands another calf kick, he’ll happily kick either leg it seems as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vanderaa as those calf kicks were really adding up but probably went the other way

ROUND TWO: Cortes-Acosta comes out with a right hand that misses. Vanderaa is looking to attack that leg again, and lands a calf kick. Cortes-Acosta goes southpaw again for a bit, he’s clearly struggling with the leg kicks. Vanderaa is starting to come forward, he lands a hard calf kick. More calf kicks from Vanderaa, Cortes-Acosta has had enough of this and starts swinging rights while pushing forward but he falls into a clinch. They trade punches then break. Vanderaa keeps chopping at the legs, inside and out. Cortes-Acosta is angry now but he can’t answer the leg kick. Vanderaa with another calf kick. Cortes-Acosta checks a calf kick, finally. Vanderaa lands a body kick. They clinch up and Vanderaa slips to the back and lands punches and knees. Elbows from Vanderaa land before they break the clinch. Cortes-Acosta lands a jab then his own calf kick. Vanderaa is stalking forward and lands a leg kick. Cortes-Acosta misses some jabs. Some jabs go back and forth. Inside leg kick from Vanderaa. Vanderaa lands a calf kick then a body kick after avoiding a clinch attempt. Right hand then a left hook from Vanderaa. Both men land rights then they clinch and trade knees. They trade rights one last time to end the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Vanderaa starts stalking forward again. Some lead hand work from both men. Vanderaa lands a calf kick. Bit of a right from Cortes-Acosta. Vanderaa lands an inside leg kick, but he’s got to build something off of that by this point. Cortes-Acosta avoids some punches then lands a left hook. Both men land punches in close. Vanderaa lands a couple of more calf kicks, he’s worked both legs over. They split jabs for a bit. Cortes-Acosta lands a right hand in close. More jabs from Cortes-Acosta, Vanderaa is kind of just eating them. Vanderaa avoids a few punches then lands a body shot. More leg kicks from Vanderaa. Bit of a right from Vanderaa. Cortes-Acosta lands more jabs while circling, the man has fast hands when he gets going. Vanderaa lands a calf kick, leading to Cortes-Acosta dancing to show it didn’t hurt. Now Vanderaa dances back, then lands a calf kick. They trade in close. Vanderaa and Cortes-Acosta trade some leg kicks. Cortes-Acosta avoids a head kick, then misses a couple of punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cortes-Acosta, 29-28 Vanderaa overall but again probably went the other way

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Waldo Cortes-Acosta via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

30-27 doesn’t make much sense to me as I think Vanderaa had the second, but I’m not too surprised at the overall winner. Mostly the fight sucked. Mic time for Cortes-Acosta and the translator, he puts over Vanderaa’s game plan and felt they both came with their best stuff and he came out the winner. He says he feels great and looks forward to fighting more in the UFC.

Max Griffin just had a three fight winning streak snapped via a close split decision loss to Neil Magny, now he’s looking to avoid a losing streak and prove he’s still a valuable member of the division. Tim Means lost a three fight winning streak in his last fight as well, he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and maybe start one final attempt at the top of the division. Griffin is a rather heavy -190 favorite while that +160 payout for a Means win might tempt a few bettors out there.

Welterweight Bout: Max Griffin (18-9, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Tim Means (32-13-1 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Means is three inches taller while Griffin has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Means. Griffin lands a leg kick. They trade punches in close then Means lands a front kick. Griffin lands a leg kick then a right to the body. Another right to the body from Griffin, Means lands a left counter but Griffin slips to the side and drops Means with a right hand followed by a left hook. Griffin gets on top looking to finish but Means ties up his hands then scrambles back up and they wind up clinched. Some knees go back and forth then they break. Both men miss punches. Leg kick from Means. Griffin starts working the jab as they move around, then he lands a right hand. Hard couple of rights from Griffin, then a right to the body. Body kick from Means. Means lands a left to the body. Hard right from Griffin. Griffin lands a right to the body. Means misses a few kicks. They trade power hand punches in close then Griffin tries a double leg which hits the fence, Means is able to remain upright as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Griffin

ROUND TWO: Both men land body shots to start the round. Means with a few short punches to counter a right to the body. Bit of a left from Means. Griffin lands a right to counter a body shot. Again Griffin lands a right to the body. Means works some leg kicks. Front kick from Means. Griffin lands a calf kick of his own. Griffin needs to build some combinations, his single shot strategy isn’t working anymore. Means lands a left to the body. Front kick from Means. They trade power hand punches in close. Griffin tries a single leg but Means defends. Another leg kick from Means. A right from Griffin seems to stun Means, Means sinks down and Griffin jumps on top in full guard. They trade some strikes on the mat, where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Griffin but much closer, 20-18 Griffin overall

ROUND THREE: Means lands a left hand and tries a double leg, they wind up on the fence and Means lands a knee to the body. Griffin turns the clinch and hits a double leg into full guard. Means lands some heel strikes to the calf, that’s just mean. Griffin lands a few rights. Some rights from Griffin land as he’s got Means shoved into the fence. Means looks to start a wall walk but Griffin keeps his base down on the mat. Hammer fists and punches from Griffin, Means kicks him off though and they fight up into the clinch. Griffin looks for another double leg, he’s able to finish it and drop Means to his seat. Means looks for another wall walk, he’s able to get up and lands a knee but he’s still clinched. Another knee from Means lands then he looks for his own takedown. Griffin can’t stay upright and Means starts landing punches in close as they’re on the mat. Knee to the body from Means as Griffin fights up. They end the round with a double leg from Means into side control.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Means, 29-28 Griffin overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Max Griffin via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

That 30-27 seems very wrong, but 29-28 either way is fine. Mic time for Griffin, he says the fight is about his coach who’s got ALS and couldn’t make the trip then puts over his crowdfunding effort for his coach dealing with that disease. He puts over Means as a tough opponent and feels he broke his hand at some point but had to go to wrestling to get it done. Asked about the future he wants to fight again sooner rather than later.

Calvin Kattar has gone 3-2 in his last five fights and was last seen dropping a controversial split decision to Josh Emmett, now he’s looking to defend his top ranking against a fellow ranked fighter and retain his position near the title picture. Arnold Allen has actually been with the UFC since way back in 2015 (the man is technically pre-Reebok) and he’s yet to taste defeat in the UFC going 9-0 in the promotion. Allen is looking for maybe the biggest win of his career here as well as his first time winning twice in a year since 2014 while he tries to force his way into the title picture. This one is is a -110 pick ’em.

Featherweight Bout: #5 Calvin Kattar (23-6, 146 lbs.) vs. #6 Arnold Allen (18-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kattar is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Allen. Kattar looking to jab while Allen looks for leg kicks, both men just getting a feel for things. Allen lands a leg kick. Both men fall short on power hand punches. Front kick from Kattar. Both men miss power hand punches again. Allen lands a left hand. Body kick from Allen, Kattar lands a right to the chest. Inside leg kick from Kattar. Bit of a combination from Allen, mostly blocked but he’s starting to build his offense up. Kattar lands a front kick. Allen blocks a knee. Left hand from Allen lands, then another one. Allen with a flurry against the fence, mostly successful but Kattar fires back then slips off the fence. Front kick from Kattar. Allen lands a couple of body shots. Lead hand work from both men, then Allen lands a left hand. Allen lands a combination, he’s got a feel for the timing now. Both men miss stuff, then Kattar tries a jumping knee but drops clutching his knee after the landing. Allen jumps on top of him and grabs at an anaconda choke but Kattar defends as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Allen

ROUND TWO: Kattar acknowledged the knee issue to his corner, and the ref gets the doctor to check on the leg between rounds but Kattar says he can continue so we’re going to fight on. Allen lands a lead leg calf kick and Kattar takes an awkward step and drops again holding the right knee and the ref waves this one off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Arnold Allen via TKO, knee injury, at :08 of Round 2

Unfortunate in a lot of ways, but Allen was looking quite good before the injury. Mic time for Allen he says this isn’t the statement he wanted to make and can’t ask for a title shot now, but would like an interim deal if possible. He wanted to try for five rounds but it is what it is and thinks he might have hurt his right hand again. Asked what he’d like next on his 10 fight winning streak in the UFC he says if Volkanovski is going to be up at lightweight for a bit he’ll take an interim title fight against anyone.

Here’s the jumping knee in the first that injured Kattar, look at how twisted up he is and where his weight is going relative to his knee. An injury from that kind of position is basically inevitable.

Well on that somewhat depressing note, UFC on ESPN+ 71 comes to a close. We’ll be unpacking all the fallout from this event on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus looking ahead to UFC on ESPN+ 72, which is not a great card on paper but I will be here covering it. So please do stop by again next week. As always thank you for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.