mma / Reports

411’s UFC Fight Night Review: Rodriguez Upsets Dern

October 9, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 52

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
#4 Mackenzie Dern (114.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Marina Rodriguez (115 lbs.)
Randy Brown (170.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Gooden (174 lbs.)*
#9 Tim Elliott (125.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Matheus Nicolau (125.5 lbs.)
Mariya Agapova (125 lbs.) vs. Sabina Mazo (125 lbs.)
Felipe Colares (136 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (135 lbs.)

Alexandr Romanov (260 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (265.5 lbs.)
Damon Jackson (145.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Rosa (145.5 lbs.)
Loopy Godinez (115.5 lbs.) vs. Silvana Juarez (114 lbs.)
Steve Garcia (155 lbs.) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (155.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 52. I’m Robert Winfree, your usual host for these things. Tonight the UFC is keeping the wheels turning, they’ve stacked UFC 267 and UFC 268 at the end of October and start of November respectively and a bunch of the intervening events have wound up a little uninspired on paper. Fortunately they can still be good in practice. Our main event tonight is a very relevant strawweight clash between two top contenders when Mackenzie Dern takes on Marina Rodriguez, the winner might get the next title shot assuming there’s no weirdness around the Zhang and Namajunas rematch. There’s also a relevant flyweight fight as surging contender Matheus Nicolau looks for the biggest win of his career against former title challenger Tim Elliott. Beyond that it’s a bit sparse, but Felipe Colares and Chris Gutierrez should have a fun scrap and heavyweight prospect Alexandr Romanov is back in action.

UFC on ESPN+ 52 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Jon Anik and Paul Felder will be calling the action. As for the rules, Nevada uses a hybrid system that has adopted most of the newer rules but still uses the old definition of a downed fighter. We do have the use of instant replay as well as a second replay official who can request its use, and the fight can be restarted after the use of instant replay if that’s applicable.

Steve Garcia had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when he was bested by Luis Pena, now he’s trying to rebound and get that all important first UFC win. Charlie Ontiveros suffered a pretty bad loss in his UFC debut when he suffered a neck injury taking a slam almost a year ago, but that was a fight up at middleweight and now he’s hoping to show more of his quality back at his more natural weight. Garcia is a fairly heavy favorite at -335 to a +260 comeback on Ontiveros.

Lightweight Bout: Steve Garcia (11-4, 155) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (11-7, 155.5)

ROUND ONE: Ontiveros is two inches taller while Garcia has an inch of reach advantage. Both men fighting southpaw. They quickly trade lead hand punches but Ontiveros catches Garcia with an ax kick that wobbles him. Ontiveros lets him up, and they trade lead hand punches again and again Garcia gets staggered by he commits to a double leg and gets the takedown. Garcia is in side control now, Ontiveros is holding the head and could get Von Flue’d if Garcia knows the position. It doesn’t seem like Garcia knows that, or just doesn’t like the position and settles for a few short elbows. Ontiveros gets to half guard, then full guard but he takes punches along the way. Garcia lands a few more punches, Ontiveros wall walks but gets taken back down and eats an elbow. Ontiveros has full guard, but Garcia has his left arm partially handcuffed. Garcia lands a few rights to the head, but he’s prioritizing the wrist control. More short blows from Garcia and he passes to north-south. Garcia lands an elbow, that one has Ontiveros bleeding from the head though I can’t see where specifically. Body shots and elbows to the body from Garcia. Ontiveros rolls to his back and takes more abuse as the round ends.


ROUND TWO: That cut is right on the corner of the right eye of Ontiveros, that’s a bad spot but they’re letting him continue. Garcia lands a leg kick then a left hand. They get close and trade punches, Garcia gets cracked hard but he gets a double leg and is back on the mat. Half guard for Ontiveros but Garcia passes to full mount with minimal resistance. More elbows from Garcia, Ontiveros is a bloody mess. Body to head punches from Garcia, he unloads and prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Steve Garcia via TKO, punches and elbows, at 1:51 of Round 2

Mic time for Garcia, he acknowledges he was hurt a bit in the first but never gave up on himself and started protecting his chin then fought though the adversity. He figured he’d have to use the ground at some point given the size difference, and knew he struggled a bit with the distance and went to that plan. Asked about his future he feels good at lightweight despite fighting much lower in the past, he thanks his coaches and his family as well as the UFC brass for keeping the fights going and finally gives love to medical personnel and first responders.

Here’s the finish, Ontiveros is beaten down from the first round and here Garcia gets full mount and is able to unload with solid ground and pound to force the stoppage.

Lupita Godinez suffered her first professional loss in her UFC debut when she lost a split decision to Jessica Penne, now she’s trying to rebound and score her first win inside the UFC. Silvana Juarez took this fight on just a few days notice after Sam Hughes tested positive for COVID, but she’s on a three fight winning streak and will be trying to capitalize on this unexpected opportunity. With that short notice call up for Juarez it shouldn’t be a surprise that Godinez is the favorite at -335 against a +260 for Juarez.

Strawweight Bout: Loopy Godinez (5-1, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Silvana Juarez (10-2, 114 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Juarez is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage though Godinez is 8 years younger. They touch gloves to get us going. Juarez showing the jab as they both try to get a feel for things. Godinez lands a counter right and backs Juarez to the fence. Double leg from Godinez then she moves to the ride position as Juarez tries to wall walk. Juarez is up but still clinched with Godinez on her back. Short trip from Godinez and she lands a few punches as Juarez wall walks again. Godinez is working mat returns and using control from the back. One hook in now for Godinez, but Juarez clears it and stands again. Godinez with another mat return and moves to the crucifix this time. Juarez is back up again and eats a knee before they separate. Front kick from Godinez then a one two. Juarez lands a right but gets flat after and Godinez gets a low single leg and has Juarez down against the fence again. Godinez on the back again, just one hook but she’s looking for the choke. Both hooks now for Godinez and Juarez starts hand fighting. Godinez grabs an armbar as Juarez tries to spin into her, and Juarez has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lupita Godinez via Submission, armbar, at 4:14 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Godinez for her work this afternoon. Godinez gets an interview after that, she knew her wrestling was going to be a big part of the fight. She talks us through the finish, noting she trains with a lot of high level guy and dedicates the fight to the father of her coach who’s very ill at the moment.

Armbars from the back are almost criminally underused in MMA, Juarez doesn’t do the right things defensively in far as how she turns on the ground but it’s still solid technique from Godinez to get this. Hopefully more people realize the value in this technique.

Charles Rosa has traded wins and losses his entire UFC run, he’s coming off of a win though and will be trying to get his UFC record above the .500 mark for the first time. Damon Jackson has gone 1-1 in his current UFC run, he scored an upset in his debut before falling to rising prospect Ilia Topuria in his last fight. Jackson is trying to rebound and avoid his first ever losing streak. The odds are with Jackson at -195 while the +165 payout on Rosa might be a tempting value bet.

Featherweight Bout: Damon Jackson (18-4-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Rosa (14-5, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson has two inches of height and reach over Rosa. Some feinting from both men, then they swing rights that miss and clinch up. Jackson has pushed Rosa into the fence and starts looking for a takedown. Rosa is able to pummel in and land a knee to the groin so we’re getting a break. The ref wants replay to confirm, the replay shows it glanced off the cup but Jackson wants to get back to it so we don’t take too much time. Both men miss punches, but Jackson lands a head kick. Rosa is doing some stance switching now, and he lands a few calf kicks. Knee to the head from Jackson, Rosa keeps dipping his head predictably and Jackson is keying onto it. Jackson avoids a punch and gets a clinch on the fence. Rosa is defending well on the fence, Jackson lands a few knees and they separate. Both men are switching stance constantly now. Jackson lands a right then a leg kick. Rosa misses a few hooks and Jackson gets a double leg. They scramble and Rosa goes for a kneebar but Jackson gets on top and lands punches from 50/50 guard. A few more punches from Jackson land, Rosa inverts and grabs at the kneebar again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson

ROUND TWO: Rosa avoids a head kick as the round starts. Jackson keeps after that kick, partially lands it. Both men working the jab but not really landing. Rosa lands a calf kick but Jackson off balances him and punches into a clinch. They scramble to the mat and Jackson gets on top after Rosa tripped him down. Rosa to his knees and wall walks but Jackson is on his back looking for a mat return. Jackson kicks a leg out from under Rosa and he gets into the ride position. Rosa wall walks again but can’t get away from Jackson’s grip. Another mat return from Jackson and he lands in side control. Rosa to his knees again, and again Jackson moves to the ride position. Rosa back to a knee along the fence, he’s back up but Jackson is constantly mat returning him. Jackson moves to get a hook in, can’t keep it as Rosa stands. Elevated mat return from Jackson and he gets the back this time with a body triangle and a little over a minute to work. Jackson is working for the choke, he moves towards the mount with the body triangle and starts unloading with punches and elbows. Rosa gives up his back again and is able to hip escape to half guard. Jackson threatens an arm triangle as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Rosa lands a hard spinning elbow as they start, but Jackson grabs a no hooks rear naked choke and drags things down. That cut is bleeding badly as Jackson gets one hook in and starts working for top position. Half guard on top for Jackson now, he starts working to the ride position. We get time as they stand on the fence and the doctor is going to check that cut. That cut is vertical along the right side of the eyebrow, the doctor looks and says he can continue and they reset in the clinch with Jackson on the back. Rosa gets chest to chest, Jackson slips towards the back again and gets a mat return. Jackson to the back, Rosa wall walks but still can’t get free. Front headlock from Rosa and he moves to the crucifix but Jackson steps over and gets to the back yet again. Both hooks in for Jackson this time and he scrambles with Rosa as Rosa moves to the top. Rosa is working from a leg ride, Jackson gets wrist control and starts fighting up as Rosa looks for a crucifix. Jackson walks around the crucifix and gets on top in side control. Rosa shrimps to full guard and Jackson lands some rights. Jackson passes to side control, then the ride position as Rosa wall walks. Rosa tries to granby roll but Jackson is with him and works on top as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rosa, 29-28 Jackson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damon Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27)

Not sure I agree with a 10-8 for Jackson, but the right guy won. Mic time for Jackson, he says the elbow didn’t hurt but he felt the impact and then felt the blood flowing out of him and mentions Rosa had solid defense. He thinks his legs went out after taking some calf kicks in the first and he couldn’t quite get his hooks working on the ground because of it. He felt he was in control but that doesn’t always help you with the scores and he wanted to get more offense off than he did. Asked who he’d like next he’d like to fight one more time this year, I’m not sure that cut will allow that, but doesn’t have a specific name at the moment. To close he thanks the UFC for bringing him back and calls his return to the UFC life changing.

Alexandr Romanov is undefeated overall including three wins in the UFC, though the last was a very dubious split technical decision. Romanov is trying to remain perfect and begin the difficult transition from prospect to legitimate contender. Jared Vanderaa has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and hoping to score his first UFC winning streak at the expense of the more hyped Romanov. Romanov is the biggest favorite on the card at -525 while a Vanderaa win would payout at +385.

Heavyweight Bout: Alexandr Romanov (14-0, 260 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-5, 265.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Vanderaa is two inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Romanov and they touch gloves to get us going. Body kick from Romanov. Vanderaa is working outside calf kicks while they circle. Vanderaa blocks a high kick. Romanov misses a left hand. Another calf kick from Vanderaa. Those Vanderaa calf kicks might be adding up, they’re not hugely powerful but they keep connecting. Romanov forces a double leg, can’t finish it as Vanderaa uses a guillotine threat to defend. They break and Romanov gets a double leg, then a mat return as they stand. Vanderaa back up but can’t quite break the grip of Romanov yet. They scoot to the fence and Vanderaa wall walks. Romanov is still on the back in the clinch and gets another mat return the looks for a ride but Vanderaa gets to the fence again and begins building up. Vanderaa wall walks and gets chest to chest this time and lands a knee to the body before they separate. Romanov looks very flat on his feet now, he tries a head kick but that’s blocked. Vanderaa lands another calf kick. Another Vanderaa leg kick connects. They get close and trade hard punches, Vanderaa lands a knee as well just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Romanov

ROUND TWO: Vanderaa is starting to push forward a bit more, Romanov forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Romanov gets an outside trip and lands in side control. Vanderaa gets half guard. Romanov to full mount, his passing game is strong when he can actually establish control. Some short elbows from Romanov, and I think Vanderaa is cut around the bridge of the nose. A series of elbows from Romanov land, Vanderaa is trying to move but he can’t attack the mount. Vanderaa eventually scrambles to break the mount but Romanov retains top position, this time in side control. Romanov lands some body shots as Vanderaa is trying to move, then short elbows. Knee on belly for Romanov, he unloads with elbows as Vanderaa rolls through and starts wall walking again. Romanov is still on the back of Vanderaa, he lands a few more punches. Vanderaa avoids a choke threat but moving back to the mat and Romanov lays in more punches to the face and moves to full mount again. Romanov unloads with punches and hammer fists to force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexandr Romanov via TKO, punches and hammer fists, at 4:43 of Round 2

Mic time for Romanov, he says this is the result of his teams work and notes how hard he’s worked on his cardio after his last fight. He puts over Vanderaa as a strong guy with good fence wrestling, but his team has worked hard with him and this is the result. Asked what he’d like next he doesn’t care he’s just here to fight.

Here’s a look at the finish. Look at Romanov’s left leg, he uses it at first to keep the right leg of Vanderaa pinned to the mat then slides it through to full mount and is able to just tee off and get the win. Romanov could use a step up in competition next.

That ends the prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Chris Gutierrez has gone 4-1-1 in the UFC and hasn’t lost since November of 2018, he’s hoping to extend that success tonight and start looking to get bigger name fights going forward. Felipe Colares has traded wins and losses going 2-2 in the UFC, but he’s coming off of a win and looking to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Gutierrez is a notable favorite at -225 to a +185 comeback on Colares.

Bantamweight Bout: Felipe Colares (10-2, 136 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (16-4-2, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gutierrez is an inch taller while Colares has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Colares starts showing his lead leg kick, Gutierrez responds with a calf kick. Both men are falling a bit short with offense, they’re still getting a feel for the range. Gutierrez avoids a few kicks, then slips a right hand. Gutierrez lands a spinning back kick to the body. Colares with a left body kick. Gutierrez goes southpaw and cracks Colares with a left hand. Colares eats a calf kick, but punches his way into a clinch and then slips to the back. Gutierrez gets chest to chest and a body lock as well. They break without incident. A lot of kicks from Colares at distance, Gutierrez lands an uppercut and they clinch again. Gutierrez is after a takedown but can’t find it, though he sneaks in a few lefts along the way. They jockey for position, Gutierrez lands knees to the body and head. Colares tries a headlock takedown but Gutierrez defends and they break. Gutierrez lands a left at distance then a calf kick. Colares misses a wheel kick, then Gutierrez misses a spinning back fist as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gutierrez but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Both men throwing long range kicks as the round begins. Gutierrez lands a calf kick, then another one. Colares is coming forward still, he lands a bit of a left. Body kick from Colares. Gutierrez lands a left, then he fades a right and lands a right hand counter. Leg kick from Gutierrez, he’s starting to land more consistently this round. They clinch then break without anything really happening. Gutierrez is jabbing and moving now, Colares still has the forward pressure but he’s walking into offense more often than not. Another couple of lefts from Gutierrez then he checks a leg kick. Colares lands a body kick but eats a couple of counter punches. Gutierrez lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a head kick from Gutierrez, then a calf kick. That Gutierrez jab is working nicely, Colares can’t seem to get out of the way of it when he closes distance. Colares lands a body kick. Gutierrez defends a takedown against the fence then separate and get back to jabbing. Another left from Gutierrez lands. Bit of a right from Gutierrez. Gutierrez lands a leg kick and a right hand. Colares lands a few punches but eats a counter uppercut. Gutierrez with a right then a left, he then tries a silly kick and slips as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Gutierrez goes back to leg kicking as the round begins. Colares lands a body kick but eats a counter left hand. Hard left from Gutierrez lands. Colares misses punches and tries a takedown but they hit the fence and Gutierrez is able to defend. Gutierrez gets a body lock and spins Colares into the fence then separates. Gutierrez avoids some punches then lands a right to the body. Colares lands a body kick. Body kick from Gutierrez then some jabs as he keeps circling. Gutierrez lands a calf kick. More jabs from Gutierrez, then a hard calf kick. Gutierrez with an inside leg kick then left hand. Colares tries a takedown, the first effort stalls on the fence but he locks his hands and is able to get a takedown into full guard. Gutierrez with some elbows off of his back as he’s scooting towards the fence. Colares lands an elbow. Gutierrez is able to roll under and kick Colares off then lands a spinning elbow. Leg kick from Gutierrez then a few more punches. Gutierrez wants a brawl, he starts clubbing Colares with punches and stuns him with a right. Colares obliges the brawl and they sloppily trade punches, then Gutierrez hits a double leg and is swept by Colares as the round ends.

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

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

I can see Colares taking the first, not sure about the third. Mic time for Gutierrez, he puts over Colares as a tough fighter and says he kept his promise to his coach. Last night he and his coach had a long talk, and he thanks his coach for saving his life and all he’s done and then the two embrace. Genuinely lovely moment. He wasn’t too worried about the third round, and knows he’s been working on his wrestling lately because that’s been a bit of a weakness for him in the past.

Sabina Mazo has gone 3-2 in the UFC, she’s coming off of an ill-fated attempt to move up to bantamweight but now back at flyweight she’s looking to extend a three fight divisional winning streak and start moving toward ranked opposition. Mariya Agapova has gone 1-1 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first losing streak. Mazo is your favorite at -190 to +160 for Agapova.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Mariya Agapova (9-2, 125 lbs.) vs. Sabina Mazo (9-2, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mazo is an inch taller and has an inch of height and reach on Agapova. Southpaw for Agapova. Both women probing with long range strikes early. Bit of a left from Agapova. Mazo lands an inside leg kick and they trade power hand punches. Body kick from Mazo. Agapova lands a left to the head. Mazo’s lack of head movement is a problem thus far. Agapova lands another left but Mazo counters this one with a right hand. A left hook from Agapova in close stuns Mazo. Mazo lands a bit of a right but she’s struggling with the range. Body shot from Agapova. Mazo forces a clinch on the fence and starts working knees before Agapova slips free. Both women land punches in close. Mazo lands a body kick. Agapova lands a bit of a left, that’s been her money punch so far. A right hook from Agapova lands, then a body kick. Agapova lands a left to the body then a glancing head kick. Mazo lands a right but she badly needs to switch things up. Agapova lands a few more punches, then a left body kick that hurts Mazo. Spinning back fist from Agapova mostly misses. They clash on kicks, then Mazo tries a head kick but eats a counter left as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Agapova

ROUND TWO: Agapova back to circling and sniping. Both women land leg kicks. Combination from Agapova lands. Agapova lands a body kick. Another left from Agapova connects. Mazo lands an inside leg kick but eats a counter left. Both women miss kicks, Agapova is only circling to her left and Mazo hasn’t found a way to punish that yet. Agapova lands a left to the body. Mazo is bleeding from the nose now, and Agapova lands another left hand. Agapova lands a body kick. Bit of a body kick from Mazo. Mazo forces a clinch with about a minute left. Agapova fishes for a standing guillotine and uses that to get free. Mazo lands a body kick. Agapova avoids a few kicks, then lands a left. Mazo lands a right and they both flurry to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Agapova, 20-19 Agapova overall

ROUND THREE: Mazo coming forward again, but Agapova is just circling and sniping. Agapova lands a body punch. A right hook from Agapova drops Mazo, she jumps on her back and locks up the rear naked choke to get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mariya Agapova via Submission, rear naked choke, at :53 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Agapova for her work this evening. Mic time for Agapova, she talks us through the finish and puts over her coach for the game plan. She thanks a lot of people for their support ahead of this fight. She puts over Mazo’s toughness and calls this a tough fight. Asked what she wants next she wants a fight with Maryna Moroz, but expects Moroz to be too scared to fight her.

Here’s the finish. Agapova lands a nice left to the body then a chopping right hook to follow up that drops Mazo, from there she decides the back is open and dives on a choke to get a tap from the rocked Mazo. Nice stuff from Agapova, especially after her last fight.

Tim Elliott is a longtime veteran of the sport, he’s currently on a two fight winning streak and is looking to defend his top ranking while climbing up the flyweight rankings. Matheus Nicolau has gone 6-1 in the UFC and is currently on a three fight winning streak, tonight he’s looking for his biggest win to date which could launch him into the top rankings and possibly even the title picture. Despite being ranked lower the odds are with Nicolau at -180 to +155 for Elliott.

Flyweight Bout: #9 Tim Elliott (17-11-1, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Matheus Nicolau (16-2-1, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elliott is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Elliott does a lot of stance switching. Nicolau circling to start, he jabs the body. Elliott with a jab, but takes another shot to the body. Nicolau lands a left to the body. Solid right from Nicolau, Elliott responds with a flurry and Nicolau trips against the fence. Nearly an illegal kick from Elliott as Nicolau gets up but they just wind up resetting. Nicolau blocks a kick and lands a right hand. Elliott keeps coming in behind a raise lead leg, it’s a weird look but he’s making it work at the moment. Some front kicks to the body from Elliott as he’s pressuring forward. Nicolau lands a punch but gets taken down and Elliott slips to his back. Elliott works knees to the thigh from Elliott as Nicolau has wall walked up. Nicolau fights chest to chest and lands some short punches. Nicolau avoids a few trip attempts and slips free. Bit of a left from Nicolau. Elliott eats a couple of punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Elliott

ROUND TWO: Elliott immediately goes for a knee tap, Nicolau defends and they run into the fence. They break without much incident. They trade calf kicks then Nicolau lands a left hook. Nicolau avoids a few punches, he seems to have a better feel for the range. Nicolau lands a calf kick then a left hook. Elliott misses a left. Counter right from Nicolau lands, he might have figured out the timing on Elliott now. Nicolau lands a left to the body. Hard calf kick from Nicolau. Nicolau lands a right to the body and defends a double leg when they hit the fence. This time Nicolau quickly slips free and digs another left to the body. That body work from Nicolau is solid. Elliott avoids a few punches and lands a jab. Nicolau avoids a wild punch and hits the body again. Front kick to the body from Nicolau, Elliott counters with a jab. Nicolau lands a right. Elliott gets a takedown but Nicolau springs right back up and digs the body. Elliott lands a calf kick but eats a counter left. Nicolau defends a takedown attempt as the last significant action of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nicolau, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Nicolau quickly back to the body. Elliott is back to hopping in with his lead leg raised. Elliott lands a left. Bit of a right from Nicolau, then a calf kick behind it. Nicolau lands an inside leg kick and they both trade punches in close. Nicolau digs the body and Elliott forces a clinch into the fence. Both men work short blows in close before they separate. Nicolau jabbing the body again, and digs a left down there as well. Double leg from Nicolau hits and he lands in full guard. Elliott just looks to lock things up and stall, Nicolau punches him to the body while trying to slam open the lockdown Elliott is using. More slams from Nicolau, he finally does break the grip Elliott is using and lands to the body. Elliott goes for rubber guard, but he can’t get anything working and Nicolau keeps working to land tot he body and head with punches. Nicolau looks to pass, but Elliott scrambles up and they trade punches one final time as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Matheus Nicolau via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fun little fight. Mic time for Nicolau and his translator, he starts answering in English and says it’s important to be in a good camp with good people and his team made him work out of bad positions every day then puts over Elliott as a legend. He mentions Elliott being inactive on the ground on bottom, feeling he was just stalling but his control and damage were enough to get the round and the win. Asked who he’d like next he wants to become champion eventually and knows he needs to just take the next step, and will fight whoever is ranked above him.

Randy Brown has been rather up and down in his UFC tenure, but he’s 3-1 in his last four fights and coming off of a win over Alex Oliveira. Brown is hoping to start moving towards ranked opposition and getting another winning streak up and running tonight would be a good step towards that goal. Jared Gooden missed weight for this fight, never a good thing, but is also 1-2 in the UFC and while he is coming off of a win if he loses her combined with that weight miss he could be looking at a pink slip. The odds are with Brown at -265 to a +215 comeback on Gooden.

Welterweight Bout: Randy Brown (13-4, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Gooden (18-6, 174 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brown is three inches taller but has only one inch of reach advantage. Gooden misses a leg kick to get us going. Brown starts working his jab, then misses a question mark kick. Gooden jumps on Brown as Brown slipped, but Brown wall walks and lands a knee as they separate. Brown is still working that lead jab, then lands a front kick to the face. Gooden misses an overhand right, he doesn’t have a feel for the range yet. Bit of a calf kick from Gooden. More leg kicks from Gooden, a smart decision given the length of Brown. Brown flicks out more jabs, he’s picking up the feinting game now too. Brown lands a right to the body. Gooden lands a calf kick that stumbles Brown for a second. Another calf kick from Gooden, those are going to be a real problem if Brown doesn’t deal with them. Brown lands a body kick. Another body kick from Brown connects. Gooden jabs the body then lands another calf kick. Brown with an uppercut as he slips punches. Gooden avoids a spinning back fist. More leg kicks from Gooden, Brown starts side kicking the thigh. Gooden with one more calf kick as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brown

ROUND TWO: Gooden chops Brown down with a calf kick, Brown back up and misses a flying knee. Brown lands a side kick to the body. Another calf kick from Gooden. Brown lands an uppercut but he might be slowing just a bit. Gooden lands a right to counter a body kick. Brown lands a few lefts, then a one two. Brown with an uppercut, he’s looking to continue but there’s something wrong with his foot. There might be some injured toes on Brown. Gooden lands a leg kick. Those leg kicks are adding up now, Brown’s leg is visibly swelling in places. Gooden blocks a left high kick. Gooden lands a left hook. Brown is working long punches, successfully but he takes a calf kick to halt that momentum. Another calf kick from Gooden. Brown lands a stiff right that hurts Gooden, he looks to unload but Gooden is able to evade him for the final seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: Both men miss punches to start the round. Brown starts jabbing again and they trade left hooks. Gooden lands a body kick, Brown returns it. Brown lands a jab, he seems to be back on point this round. They trade jabs, and Gooden lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Gooden. Bit of a right from Gooden, but Brown threatens him with a jumping knee to get him to back off. Brown lands some jabs then a right hand. Gooden chops another leg kick home. Brown lands a body shot but he’s slowing down again. Gooden lands a leg kick. Jumping knee from Brown then a right hand. Brown digs body shots in close then knees but Gooden clinches and they trade knees then break. Gooden lands a leg kick. Left hook from Brown. Both men avoid punches in the pocket. Gooden lands a body shot but he’s getting touched up. They clinch and trade knees. Another knee from Gooden, they hit the mat and trade strikes as the round closes.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Randy Brown via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Gooden might have had the second except for that last flurry from Brown, but the other two were fairly clear. Mic time for Brown, Felder asks him about his foot and Brown says he dislocated his big toe on the front kick to the face. He thought about grappling at some point but was having fun in there. He says he’s giving away his fight kit, and gives love to his father who’s watching live for the first time while he’s incarcerated and then gives love to Jamaica. His father being able to watch live means a lot to him and he gives love to his father. Asked who he wants next he says anyone can get it, the fans have seen him have good times and hard times but now he’s ready for anyone.

Mackenzie Dern has gone 6-1 in the UFC and is on a four fight winning streak that has seen her crack the top five contenders in the strawweight division. The title picture is a touch cloudy at the moment with the unnecessary rematch between Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas coming up, but if Dern is able to score an impressive win tonight she’ll have made as good a case as she can to get the next title shot. Marina Rodriguez has only suffered one loss in her career, that a contentious split decision, and brings a two fight winning streak into this fight. If Rodriguez can upset Dern tonight it could well be she that stakes a claim at the next title shot. This one is close by the odds, but Dern is your -190 favorite to +160 for Rodriguez.

Strawweight Bout: #4 Mackenzie Dern (11-1, 114.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez has two inches of height and reach advantage. Both women work long range tools at first, just range finding so far. Bit of a leg kick from Rodriguez. Dern avoids some punches. Both miss rights, then Rodriguez avoids a clinch attempt. There’s an exchange of rights. Rodriguez is starting to land leg kicks now. Dern punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Rodriguez lands a knee. Dern looks for a single leg, Rodriguez is defending thus far. Dern switches to a hip toss but can’t finish it and they resume clinch fighting. Rodriguez lands a knee to the body and is able to slip free. Body kick from Rodriguez, then a right to the body as well. Stiff left from Dern, Rodriguez counters with a right hand. Spinning back fist from Dern lands. They tie up, Rodriguez lands a knee to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez

ROUND TWO: Dern punches while backing up Rodriguez and gets a clinch. Rodriguez gets free quickly. Dern lands a few rights and clinches, tries a hip throw but has to settle for pulling 50/50 guard then sweeping into top position. Dern’s grappling is so smooth. Knee on belly for Dern, she lands a few elbows while riding. Rodriguez keeps trying to scramble, she’s after a d’arce from the bottom but Dern doesn’t seem too bothered. Dern lands body shots and moves to north-south to release the pressure. Rodriguez to her knees, Dern grabs the crucifix and lands hammer fists and punches. Dern is fishing for an Imanari choke but can’t quite find it. They scramble some more, Dern is transitioning to the back and gets both hooks in. Dern rides between back mount and full mount, she lands punches along the way and moves her mount higher. More punches from Dern, Rodriguez is just hoping for the round to end at this point. Dern tries a mounted triangle as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Rodriguez showing the jab again as the round starts. A few kicks to the leg from Rodriguez. Dern lands a left hook. Rodriguez misses a right hand. Bit of a right form Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a leg kick. Dern misses a few punches. Bit of a head kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a right. More leg kicks from Rodriguez, Dern seems to be taking the round off at this point. Dern lands a right but Rodriguez counters with a left. Rodriguez lands a left to the body. Dern misses a few punches. Rodriguez lands a body kick. Dern tries a takedown, they hit the fence and clinch up. Rodriguez lands a knee, Dern tries a single leg and Rodriguez lands hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez, borderline 10-8, 28-28 DRAW overall

ROUND FOUR: Rodriguez lands a one two. Dern is coming forward again, lands a bit of a right. Dern lands a leg kick, Rodriguez lands a kick but that one went into the groin so we’ve got a timeout. We take less than a minute and then we’re back to fighting. Rodriguez lands a leg kick. Rodriguez avoids a clinch and lands a leg kick. Bit of a right from Dern. Rodriguez lands a right then a knee to the body. Dern’s lack of output is a problem, she’s not chaining attacks together. Rodriguez lands a spinning back kick to the body. Hard right from Rodriguez. Bit of a right for Dern. Rodriguez misses punches but lands a leg kick. Rodriguez avoids a right and lands a body kick. Bit of an elbow from Rodriguez, Dern is fading and Rodriguez is starting to string her offense together. Front kick to the face from Rodriguez, Dern trips her up and spins to get on top in full mount. Some strikes from Dern, she’s after a finish but Rodriguez can hold on until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez, 38-37 Rodriguez overall

ROUND FIVE: They touch gloves for the last round. Dern starts pressing forward, but Rodrigues is able to avoids a clinch. A lot of forward pressure from Dern, she lands a bit of a left. Front kick from Rodriguez to the body, then a leg kick. There’s still no second effort from Dern, and that’s a problem. Rodriguez lands a left hook then a leg kick. Dern gets a trip, Rodriguez bounces back up and slips away from her. Bit of an inside leg kick from Dern. Rodriguez lands a front kick to the knee. Bit of a right from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a right. Dern gets a clinch, only a minute left though. They hit the fence and things stall out. Rodriguez lands a knee to the body and they break. A flurry from Rodriguez closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez, 48-46 Rodriguez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marina Rodriguez via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Seriously, not giving Dern a 10-8 second seems flat out wrong. Mic time for Rodriguez and her translator. She says she was never in danger of being tapped but Dern landed hard blows on top and she had to be conscious of that. She says part of the strategy was to stay at range and snipe as well as work all five rounds. Asked who she’d like next she feels she’s been ready for the title since she got in here and will be ready for a quick ask on a title fight if necessary. To close she goes into English and thanks the fans and her coaches.

article topics :

UFC Fight Night, Robert Winfree