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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 24 Report: Blaydes Wins

January 25, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 24

Main Card (8 pm ET on ESPN+)
#3 Curtis Blaydes (248 lbs.) vs. #4 Junior dos Santos (247 lbs.)
#5 Rafael dos Anjos (170 lbs.) vs. Michael Chiesa (170.5 lbs.)
#11 Jordan Espinosa (126 lbs.) vs. #12 Alex Perez (125.5 lbs.)
Hannah Cifers (114.5 lbs.) vs. Angela Hill (116 lbs.)
Jamahal Hill (205.5 lbs.) vs. Darko Stošić (205 lbs.)

Preliminary Card (5 pm ET on ESPN+)
Bevin Lewis (186 lbs.) vs. Dequan Townsend (185 lbs.)
#15 Arnold Allen (145.5 lbs.) vs. Nik Lentz (146 lbs.)
Justine Kish (126 lbs.) vs. Lucie Pudilová (126 lbs.)
Montel Jackson (135.5 lbs.) vs. Felipe Colares (135 lbs.)
#10 Sara McMann (135 lbs.) vs. #11 Lina Länsberg (135 lbs.)
Brett Johns (136 lbs.) vs. Tony Gravely (135 lbs.)
Herbert Burns (146 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (146 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 24. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the event, relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. The UFC is back in North Carolina for this event, and they brought a fairly mediocre card in all honestly. To be fair this event lost a cracking bantamweight fight between Frankie Edgar and Cory Sandhagen when Edgar moved up to fight Chan Sung Jung at the end of 2019 and got smashed. The main event is still a relevant fight as rising contender Curtis Blaydes looks for one of his bigger wins against former champion Junior dos Santos. The co-main is a solid fight as former lightweights Rafael dos Anjos and Michael Chiesa battle it out for welterweight position. Other than that, on the prelims the featherweight clash between Arnold Allen and Nik Lentz stands out for the potential. Besides those fights, we’re just kind of in wait and hope mode, because in practice the fights could still be awesome.

UFC on ESPN+ 24 comes to the world from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping with Trevor Wittman contributing on occasion and Megan Olivi handling on site reporting. We are under the newer rules tonight, so you need one palm or fist flat on the mat to be considered downed and the scoring criteria is clearer and more encouraging of 10-8’s.

Herbert Burns, brother of UFC veteran Gilbert Burns, brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, most recently a win on the Contender Series that earned him his shot here. Burns is trying to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Nate Landwehr brings a seven fight winning streak into his UFC debut, the last five of which came from the M-1 promotion in Russia, including capturing their featherweight title. He’s also trying to leave a positive first impression to the UFC audience. Landwehr is a slight -125 favorite to -105 on Burns.

Featherweight Bout: Herbert Burns (9-2, 146 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (13-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Burns has and inch and a half of reach advantage. Both men split jabs early, Burns coming forward early. Burns slips on a kick but Landwehr doesn’t follow him down. Double leg from Burns and he’s got Landwehr down then looks for a d’arce, he’s adjusting and cranking on it. That’s getting tighter, Landwehr seems to be defending at the moment but this is getting worse by the second. Another adjustment for Burns but he still can’t get his legs in play yet, and Landwehr is back up but his head is still in the position. Landwehr attacks the choking grip, breaks it and has his head free. They break after a shoulder strike from Landwehr. Punches now from Landwehr into the clinch, but Burns floors him with a knee and he’s out as he hits the ground.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Herbert Burns via KO, knee, at 2:43 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Burns for his work this evening. Heck of a way to kick off the card, Burns is now with Cormier for his interview. He says people underestimate his striking, and that he came here to make a statement and feels he did so. Asked about the choke he thought the choke was going to end it but he started losing the grip and decided not to burn his arms out chasing it. He notes the knee to the body was there, and he knew the one to the head was there as well. He wants to fight on the upcoming May 9th card in Brazil, and to close swaps to Portuguese for a moment to dedicate the fight to his friend’s young daughter who passed away recently then his roommate who passed away in a car accident very recently.

Landwehr comes in aggressively, but he doesn’t mind his defense on the break as he keeps his hands extended to maintain contact instead of blocking. Burns sees that, grabs the back of the head briefly, and brings up the knee to land flush on the chin.

Slightly different angle of just the last knee so you can see how well it’s placed.

Tony Gravely is on a seven fight winning streak including a win on the Contender Series, he’s looking to extend that streak here and get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Brett Johns was on a hot streak for a while but is currently on a two fight losing streak and hasn’t fought since August of 2018, now he’s trying to halt that streak and remind the fans that he’s a prospect worth paying attention to. The odds closed at a -115 pick ’em.

Bantamweight Bout: Brett Johns (15-2, 136 lbs.) vs. Tony Gravely (19-5, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johns has two inches of height and reach on Gravely. Leg kick from Gravely to open. Gravely with a spinning back kick to the chest. Johns lands a short elbow and grabs a front headlock, he’s adjusting to a front choke but Gravely drops lower and hits a takedown into half guard. Gravely lands a few rights as Johns wall walks. Johns is up to his feet, but Gravely still has him clinched and is on his back. They wind up chest to chest, Johns hits a cross body judo throw and again gets a front headlock position. Gravely breaks that grip, Johns is after the takedown now against the fence. Johns gets the double leg, and jumps to the back as Gravely looks to wall walk, he gets just one hook in though as they stand but Johns is in the backpack spot. Gravely is hand fighting as Johns gets the other hook in. They trade some punches, Johns lands an elbow just trying to open up the choke. A couple more elbows from Johns. Gravely looks to bend over and shake him off, Johns threatens a Suloev stretch to get him to adjust and Johns then flattens him out. Body triangle now for Johns, Gravely back up to his feet still with Johns on his back. Johns is after a choke again, he gets under the chin finally but can’t get the choking arms connected and Gravely survives as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Johns after that near choke at the end

ROUND TWO: Gravely lands a right and they clinch, then Gravely lands a knee. More rights from Gravely as he punches Johns to the fence. Both men land uppercuts as they fight in the clinch. Johns tries a single leg, but Gravely defends and retains the clinch. Johns attemps that judo throw again, this time Gravely defends with a whizzer and then hits a double leg slam. Johns back up but still clinched and Gravely gets another double leg and gets the back with one hook in. Gravely has a cradle for a second, tries to get the other hook in but loses the position in transition and Johns winds up in the ride position. Johns looks for the back again but loses it and they wind up standing again still clinched up. Pretty wild exchange of positions there. Johns gets another inside trip along the fence, he lands a couple of rights as Gravely looks to wall walk. Johns gets one hook in but Gravely slips out the back and gets a body lock as they’re standing. Double leg from Gravely, Johns is now sitting against the fence. Johns wall walks back up, Gravely has the back standing and lands some knees to the thigh. They wind up chest to chest again and trade punches before Johns gets a double leg. Gravely back up immediately and they trade some knees then punches as they break and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gravely, 19-18 Johns overall

ROUND THREE: Both men come out punching. Gravely lands a body kick but Johns gets a clinch on the fence. Headlock throw from Gravely and he gets on top of Johns, nice move. Johns however counters with a high crotch from his knees and they wind up on the fence clinched again. Single leg from Johns and he’s got the back again with a body triangle locked in. Johns is after the choke but Gravely is hand fighting at the moment. Johns is really after the choke, his arm isn’t under the chin yet though. Gravely winds up belly down and Johns pounds on him for a bit. Johns with the choke now that Gravely is defending the choke, this one is in deep and Gravely has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brett Johns via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:53 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Johns for his work this evening. Good first couple of fights to get us going tonight. Mic time for Johns, he says it’s been a tough road back and jokes that he hasn’t counted the 700 plus days since his last win. He thanks the fans of his opponent for coming out, thanks his opponent for pushing him and for being a gentleman. The usual thanks go out to his coaches and family, then he even thanks Cormier. Talking us through the finish he notes that Gravely finally slowed down a bit in the third round, and says after he lost the Sterling fight he went back to the drawing board and finally feels like he’s back. To close he says anyone can get it in 2020.

Using strikes to set up the fight ending submission, nice stuff from Johns.

Sara McMann is an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling as well as a former UFC title challenger but she’s on a two fight losing streak now and hasn’t fought since February of 2018 due to pregnancy and injury. If McMann wants to make another move on the top of the division she cannot afford a loss here. Lina Lansberg is on her first UFC winning streak, she’s trying to capitalize on that momentum and take another step up the ranks of a somewhat depleted division. Despite the layoff McMann is the -155 favorite to +125 for Lansberg.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #10 Sara McMann (11-5, 135 lbs.) vs. #11 Lina Länsberg (10-4, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lansberg is an inch taller while McMann has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both women doing some circling and feinting. Single leg from McMann, and she gets Lansberg down into half guard. The “woo’s” have started up, shame on those fans. McMann is working to pass to full mount and threatening an arm triangle choke. Body shots from McMann. More rights to the body, McMann is trying to do damage to set up a pass. Lansberg is doing a good job of stifling the pass attempts, but McMann keeps up the pressure. Lansberg to her knees, McMann usees a front headlock to roll her back down then locks up a d’arce choke position. McMann adjusts the grip, Lansberg is keeping her hips moving to try and keep this from tightening up. Lansberg winds up getting half guard again, McMann now threatens a kimura. McMann gets to side control now and is really selling out for the kimura, she cranks it a bit but time will run out on it forcing hte submission.

SCORECARD: 10-8 McMann

ROUND TWO: Lansberg comes out showing the jab, McMann misses a couple of punches. Body kick from Lansberg. They clinch up, and McMann with an inside trip to land in guard. McMann moves to half guard quickly. Lansberg is locking down the guard to try and keep McMann from passing. McMann lands more rights to the body. The lack of passing diversity from McMann is becoming a problem for her, she’s trying the same thing over and over. McMann winds up in half guard on the other side as Lansberg tried to elevate her, let’s see if she’s better on the other side. Lansberg is controlling posture but not much more than that at the moment. McMann into full mount finally, but there’s only ten seconds left in the round so she’ll just hold on until then.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McMann, 20-17 McMann overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Another clinch, and McMann with an easy body lock takedown into side control. McMann is looking to get full mount again, she uses that threat to get Lansberg to roll to her knees and McMann has the back with both hooks in. Lansberg winds up belly down, McMann lands blows looking to open up the choke. Punches and hammer fists from McMann. Lansberg is just going to defend and hold on at this point, McMann is landing offensive blows on occasion but wont find anything that will force the stoppage before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 McMann, 30-25 McMann overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sara McMann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

McMann now has the most takedowns in women’s bantamweight history at 20, passing Amanda Nunes’ 19. We’re under the new scoring system and some judge didn’t give McMann a single 10-8? Ridiculous. Mic time for McMann, she jokes that she’s been competing for 25 years and if she doesn’t get it by now there’s no hope for her and felt she had to work hard to make sure everything was on given the layoff. She mentions getting back to her wrestling for this fight instead of striking on the feet, which she’d done in her last couple of fights.

Montel Jackson has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, now he’s trying to get that to three in a row and start the difficult transition from prospect to contender. Felipe Colares has gone 1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win though and is trying for his first UFC winning streak. Jackson is the biggest favorite on the entire card at -650 while the +450 payout for Colares likely tempts a few bettors out there.

Bantamweight Bout: Montel Jackson (8-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Felipe Colares (9-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackso is two inches taller and has a significant six inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Jackson fighting southpaw. Jackson lands a jab then a one two. Body kicks are traded. Again they trade body kicks, then clinch up and Jackson gets Colares on the fence. Jackson picks the ankle and gets Colares down, Colares wall walks but is still tied up. Jackson gets a body lock takedown, Colares wall walks again though. They’re still fighting in the clinch, and Jackson gets him down again. Jackson goes for the Dagestani handcuff but can’t secure wrist control and Colares wall walks yet again. Another takedown for Jackson, this time away from the fence and he settles into the ride position. Colares tries to roll under for a kneebar, the motion lets him regain his feet but Jackson looks for a double leg. Colares threatens a guillotine and Jackson sets him back down on his feet so they’re still clinched. Colares lands a knee to the body then an elbow. Jackson lands an elbow then a right hook. Jackson unloads along the fence, Colares is still on his feet but he ate a series of punches before Jackson clinches again. They break, Jackson lands a left hand. One two from jackson then a left, he looks to unload but the horn will save Colares.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Jackson

ROUND TWO: Jackson might have punched himself out a bit but Colares got beat up there. They touch gloves for the round. Colares lands a couple of body kicks then Jackson counters one with a left that drops him. Jackson follows him down, briefly gets full mount but Colares gets his legs in play and ties things up in awkward positions. Colares comes out on the back, Jackson spins free and settles into half guard. Colares back to his feet, he hops to standing guard for a guillotine position but winds up on a hip. Jackson is looking to defend, the arm is in and Colares needs to adjust how he’s applying pressure to finish it. Jackson strips the grip and gets free, Colares wall walks and they’re back in the clinch. They jockey for position, trade knees to the body then Jackson gets a body lock takedown. Colares again looks to wall walk, Jackson keeps the clinch and defends a judo throw attempt but they’re still clinched. Another takedown from Jackson into side control this time and he lands punches but gives up his own back and Colares tries to get hooks in but can’t before Jackson is up. Jackson with a foot sweep, Colares face planted there and we’ve got brawling. Jackson landed a lot of punches but Colares keeps punching back in addition to having a granite chin. Jackson hits a double leg against the fence. Colares sits for a guillotine again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson, 20-17 Jackson overall

ROUND THREE: Jackson looks really gassed. Leg kick from Colares. Jackson reaches for a left, and Colares lands a spinning elbow to counter but they’re clinched up again. They break without incident, then Jackson lands a jab. A couple of lefts from Jackson, Colares tries a head kick but it’s blocked and they clinch again. Colares gets the back standing, Jackson pummels in and gets chest to chest then hits an outside trip into side control. Colares scoots to the fence quickly and he’s back up but still clinched. Arm spin from Colares and he’s on the back without hooks. Jackson back up but still clinched. Bit of an elbow from Jackson as they break then he lands a one two. Colares misses an elbow and gets taken down but Colares is back up and on the fence again. Jackson thinks about a takedown, Colares jumps for a guillotine and really sells out for it. That’s tight, and Jackson is working to defend and gets his neck safe but Colares is still squeezing with everything he’s got despite the choke not being in as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson, 30-26 Jackson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Montel Jackson via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2)

Fun scrap, and a lot of credit to Colares for surviving tough spots. No interview for Jackson though.

Justine Kish has gone 2-2 in the UFC but is currently on a two fight losing streak including a loss in her return to flyweight, now she finds herself in a near must win situation. Lucie Pudilova has gone just 2-4 in the UFC and is currently on a three fight losing streak, the fact that two of those three losses won Fight of the Night honors has likely given her some cushion but at this point a fourth loss would probably end any legitimate aspirations she has in the UFC. Pudilova is the favorite at -165 to a +135 comeback on Kish.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Justine Kish (6-2, 126 lbs.) vs. Lucie Pudilová (8-5, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pudilova is three inches taller and has three and a half of of reach over Kish. Circling to start, both women doing some feinting as well. Neither woman doing much yet yet. Bit of a jab from Pudilova. Both women miss some punches. They both miss punches into a clinch and trade knees once they’re there. Body kick from Pudilova is caught but she keeps landing punches as Kish drops it. Kish with a bit of a left and a leg kick. Some sloppy brawling then they clinch again and trade blows there then break. Kish lands a leg kick. Pudilova misses a superman punch. Kish lands a leg kick but Pudilova’s jab is starting to land more now. Left lands for Pudilova after Kish landed an inside leg kick. A leg kick from Kish closes out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kish

ROUND TWO: Back to some circling. Kish catches a kick and they start trading in the clinch as they hit the fence. Both women with knees, Kish lands a couple of elbows as they break. Leg kick from Kish. Kish tries a high kick that’s mostly blocked. The shadow boxing has been good at least so far. They clinch but nothing comes of it before they break. Counter one two from Pudilova lands. Pudilova lands a left hook. Pudilova lands another left to stifle Kish coming forward. Another jab from Pudilova. A couple of punches land for Pudilova. Another exchange of punches, Kish misses a spinning back fist as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pudilova, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Pudilova opens with a three punch combination. Kish has very awkward movement, and Pudilova keeps moving so far away from her motions that she’s always out of range for counters. Jab from Pudilova as she takes an inside leg kick. Kish with another leg kick. I wish I had something to say here guys, but there’s just not a lot to talk about. Kish lands a spinning back fist after taking a body kick. Bit of a left from Pudilova. Pudilova blcoks a couple of kicks. Leg kick from Kish after she got punched in the face. They clinch, Kish gets a trip takedown into the guard of Pudilova. Elbows from Pudilova, Kish passes to side control and lands some punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kish, 29-28 Kish overall but who knows

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Justine Kish via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Terrible fight. No interview.

Arnold Allen is on an eight fight winning streak including six wins in the UFC, he’s now looking to transition from young and promising to being a genuine threat to the upper echelon of the division. Nik Lentz has gone 3-2 in his last five fights but is coming off of a loss to Charles Oliveira, he’s dropping back down to featherweight for the first time since 2015 here and hoping to derail a young up and coming opponent. Allen is a -250 favorite to a tempting value payout of +200 on Lentz.

Featherweight Bout: #15 Arnold Allen (15-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Nik Lentz (30-10-2 1 NC, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Allen has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Allen as we get going, but Lentz will switch his stance up. Both men with glancing punches. Allen falls short with a few punches. Bit of a right from Lentz after Allen missed an uppercut. Allen slips off of the fence and lands a jab. Bit of a jab from Allen, Lentz with a left hook. Jabs from Allen, Lentz lands a body kick. One two from Allen lands, Lentz with a body kick. Allen lands a clean left. Lentz lands an inside leg kick, they clinch up then and Lentz gets Allen on the fence. Lentz around to the back standing and lands a knee to the thigh. Trip from Lentz, Allen back up but still clinched. Another takedown from Lentz, he lands a couple of lefts as Allen gets back up. They wind up clinched chest to chest, Lentz lands a left as they break. Allen lands a couple of jabs then a one two. Allen’s jab is starting to light up Lentz, Lentz responds with a left of his own. More jabs from Allen, then a power left that Lentz returns. Uppercut from Allen lands this time. Lentz lands a body kick. Clubbing left from Allen, Lentz fires back. Another left from Allen brings the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Allen

ROUND TWO: Lentz trying to establish his kicking game this round. Allen with a front kick to the body. Allen with more jabs, Lentz using the leg kick now to try and counter them. More jabs from Allen. Lentz lands a left, Allen responds with a counter combination that lands flush. Jab from Lentz, Allen lands a counter left. They clinch up, and hit the fence after a bit. They break without incident. Allen back to jabbing at distance. Body kick from Lentz. Left in close from Allen and Lentz is bleeding from the bridge of the nose now. Double jab from Allen, who also has great footwork going so far. Allen lands a one two, Lentz with another body kick. More jabs, then a left from Allen. Allen slips a coupel of punches and circles back to the center of the cage. Lentz forces a clinch, and punches as they break. Allen back to jabbing and moving, then a left to the body. Knee to the body from Lentz then an uppercut that Allen returns. Lentz lands a right and gets a clinch along the fence. They fight in the clinch, trade knees as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Allen still moving well, he avoids a few punches. Lentz has a couple of kicks blocked. One two from Allen and he avoids the counters. Left from Allen, Lentz with a counter right this time. Left from Allen off balances Lentz for a second. Allen avoids a takedown attempt and lands a right. Lentz avoids a high kick. They clinch, and Allen gets Lentz on the fence. They separate, Lentz tries a takedown and they clinch again. Lentz’s face is kind of a mess. Knees to the thigh from Allen then they break. Allen lands a left. Both men block punches. Uppercut from Allen, and he blocks a high kick. Another left from Allen will be the last blow of the round.

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

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

Great showing from Allen, who’s definitely deserving of a top contender next. No interview though.

Bevon Lewis has yet to win in the UFC, and he needs a win badly as an 0-3 start could easily spell the end of his UFC run. Dequan Townsend took his UFC debut on short notice up at light heavyweight and came out on the losing end of things, now back at middleweight he’s trying to get his first UFC win and showcase when he can in his preferred weight class.

Middleweight Bout: Bevin Lewis (6-2, 186 lbs.) vs. Dequan Townsend (21-9, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wow, I got hit with a wild technical issue there and apparently missed the whole first round, but Lewis seems to have won. My apologies guys.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lewis

ROUND TWO: Lewis opens with a hard leg kick. Right from Lewis, then a clinch and Townsend is on the fence. Knees are traded, Lewis lands a right as they separate. Jab from Lewis. Townsend lands a body kick. Lewis is favoring his left leg, not sure what caused that. Lewis lands a three punch combination then clinches up and lands a knee to the body before they hit the fence. Punches from Lewis in close, Townsend fires back and we get some brawling for a second. Townsend is backing Lewis up, Lewis ducks under an ugly right hand and gets a clinch. Knee from Townsend. Knee from Lewis, and they both land knees then break. Right from Lewis to counter a jab that missed. Both men miss punches. Leg kick from Lewis lands. They trade jabs. Lewis catches a kick and they clinch up again. That’s where the round will end.

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

ROUND THREE: They both come out punching, Lewis lands a one two. Townsend avoids a series of punches. Leg kick from Townsend, Lewis gets a clinch off of it though. They jockey for position and Lewis is after a takedown along the fence but Townsend defends. Lewis is interested in keeping this clinch. Lewis slips around to the back, Townsend is able to force a break though. Townsend is stalking forward, both men swing leather but Lewis gets a clinch again. Body shots from Lewis. Townsend can’t get out of this spot, he finally does though and separates. Bit of a right from Townsend. Lewis reaches for and gets another clinch. Townsend gets free quicker this time and keeps coming forward while Lewis circles. Body kick from Townsend, and Lewis gets another clinch. A few punches land for Townsend, Lewis is looking for a takedown but wont get it before the fight ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Townsend, 29-28 Lewis overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bevon Lewis via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Lewis is badly limping, his knee is jacked up. No interview for Lewis as we’re short on time. That does it for prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Jamahal Hill is undefeated coming into his UFC debut including a win on the Contender Series, now he’s looking to stay perfect and make good on the opportunity presented to him here. Darko Stosic has gone 1-2 in the UFC and currently finds himself on a two fight losing streak, even in a division as thin as light heavyweight a three fight skid is a really bad thing and he needs to reverse his career trajectory here. Hill is your favorite at -130 to an even -100 on Stosic.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jamahal Hill (6-0, 205.5 lbs.) vs. Darko Stošić (13-3, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hill is four inches taller and has three inches of reach over Stosic. They touch gloves, southpaw for Hill. Stosic is moving forward. Hill trying to keep things long, Stosic lands a left hook. They clinch then break and Stosic wound up somersaulting backwards but nothing really comes of it. Kicks from Hill then a left knee to the body. Stosic swings a few punches and lands a right. Body kick from Hill but Stosic wades forward with punches until they clinch. They break, and Stosic misses a head kick. Hill with a stepping knee to the body. They trade body kicks, both men landed hard. Hill lands a left to the body. Again they trade body kicks. Stosic is still walking forward, he has a couple of punches blocked. Hill with a couple of knees to the body but that second one is caught and Stosic gets a takedown into the guard of Hill. Hill escapes to his feet but eats a left hook. Stosic resumes his forward pressure, Hill lands a series of punches. Front kick to the body from Hill, who also avoids a punch. Stosic times a left hook that lands. Hill has some punches blocked. Bit of a left from Hill, Stosic responds with a left of his own. A missed left from Stosic will end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Hill punching, lands a right to the body but eats a left hook. One two from Hill. Straight left from Hill, Stosic tries a counter right that partially lands. Stosic grabs a single leg, can’t finish it but lands a right. Hill with a couple of knees to the body then a few punches. More knees from Hill, and a combination to follow it up. Jabs from Hill then a left to the body. Hill lands a left then has a head kick blocked. More one twos from Hill, Stosic is blocking a fair bit but he’s always out of range on his counters. Knee from Hill and he avoids a left hook. More body shots from Hill, who is rapidly running away with this round. Knee from Hill then a jab. Another knee, Stosic misses a left hook. Takedown from Stosic, Hill back up but eats a left hook as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Hill, 20-17 Hill overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Hill back to kicking to the body and thigh. One two from Hill lands. Stosic lands an inside leg kick. Double leg from Stosic is successful, he’s got Hill down against the fence. Stosic lands lefts, Hill is trying to wall walk and does so. They break and Hill misses a knee. They both land kicks, then Hill misses an ugly right. Hill lands a jab. Left to the body from Hill then a jab lands. Another takedown from Stosic, Hill back up quickly but is still clinched on the fence. Hill slips free and lands a left. Inside leg kick from Hill, and another one. A few jabs from Hill. They trade rights. Stosic with another takedown, he moves to half guard quickly and lands a few lefts. Hill gets full guard but is just scooting around rather than using it. Stosic lands a couple of lefts, Hill wall walks but can’t get free. The fight will end with one more takedown from Stosic.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stosic, 29-27 Hill overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jamahal Hill via unanimous decision (29-27 x3)

Mic time for Hill after that win. He says he believes in himself and everyone around him. He expected to have this kind of advantage but didn’t expect Stosic to take all of that and puts him over. Asked when we can see him next he says whenever they offer him a fight and says he’ll show everyone what it’s like when you let a lion into the dog house.

Hannah Cifers has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak, she’s looking to make that three in a row here and possibly earn a step up in class for her next bout. Angela Hill took this on somewhat short notice but she’s 2-3 in her last fight, though she is coming off of a win and could get her first UFC winning streak with a win. Hill is the -200 favorite to +170 for Cifers.

Strawweight Bout: Hannah Cifers (10-3, 114.5 lbs.) vs. Angela Hill (10-7, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hill is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach over Cifers. Cifers lands a leg kick to start. Both women miss rights. Bit of a leg kick from Cifers. Hill lands a left. They both land punches in close. Leg kick from Cifers. Hill lands a right to the body. Jab from Hill. Both women are looking to punch but they’re not finding the target in close yet. Some flurries in the pocket from both women. Bit of a right from Hill. They trade rights, Hill follows up though. Bit of a right from Cifers. Glancing right from Hill, Cifers responds with a body kick. They clinch up and hit the fence. Knees from Hill, Cifers lands a right as they break. Hill lands a jab. Another clinch, knees from Cifers adn they hit the fence and begin jockeying for position. Cifers punches as they break and lands a bit. Hill lands a body kick, Cifers land a body shot. Hill lands a right. Spinning back fist from Hill and they tie up just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Hill looking to jab now, Cifers lands a leg kick. Both women land lefts. Bit of a right form Cifers. Leg kick from Cifers lands. Hill with a right then Cifers lands a body kick. Cifers lands a right, Hill returns fire. Leg kicks from Cifers. Knees are traded, they clinch up and Hill hits a foot sweep into side control. Hill is after an arm triangle choke, she moves to 3/4 mount and starts to land punches. Full mount now for Hill and she lands elbows. Cifers is trying to hold on and control posture but Hill breaks it and lands more blows. Hill looks to tee off with more elbows, she’s looking to force a stoppage here. Cifers is still trying to move but she’s not able to actually improve and the ref finally has to stop it and save Cifers.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Angela Hill via TKO, elbows, at 4:26 of Round 2

Mic time for Hill after that, she plays with the crowd a bit who were really invested in Cifers. She mentions that her first professional fight was in North Carolina and she’s got great memories of the state. Asked about getting more finishes lately she says she got robbed last year by the judges and feels she has to finish to guarantee wins and she’s been training harder in all aspects. When Cormier asks how soon she’ll be back she says that depends on when someone gets injured.

Hill gets really high in the mount here, and the elbows rain down from above.

Jordan Espinosa just had a five fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when Matt Schnell submitted him, he’s trying to bounce back and score his first UFC win. Alex Perez has gone 4-1 in the UFC, only losing to top ranked Joseph Benavidez, he’s coming off of a win and is hoping to make a move in a wide open division with a win. Perez is the favorite at -260 while an Espinosa win would pay out at +210.

Flyweight Bout: #11 Jordan Espinosa (14-6, 126 lbs.) vs. #12 Alex Perez (22-5, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Espinosa has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men showing punches early but no one landing much. They trade leg kicks. Perez is backing Espinosa up, Espinosa blocks some punches but they wind up clinched and Perez gets a takedown into half guard. Perez uses an arm triangle threat to land body shots and elbows to the thigh. Back to the arm triangle attack but he’s locked down in half guard on the wrong side so far. More elbows to the thigh trying to set up the pass. Perez has a heck of a squeeze going, he actually bases up a bit and Espinosa goes out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Perez via Technical Submission, arm triangle choke, at 2:33 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Perez for his work this evening. Mic time for Perez after that one, he thanks everyone for coming out and his coaches. He talks us through the finish and puts over his jiu-jitsu team and that this is what happens when you work hard. Asked who he’d like next, he can’t remember the name of Askar Askarov but that’s the guy he calls out. I’d be down for that fight.

There’s a couple of things to go over here. Conventional wisdom holds that you should pass to the same side as the choke to finish it, which is usually true; however, if you get a slightly different frame going with your arms and can base up you can finish it like this. Perez gets all the way around with the arm under the head and then in addition to his squeeze he’s able to get up on his toes and leverage down as well to lock up the choke and puts Espinosa to sleep.

Rafael dos Anjos seems like one of those guys doomed to be a forgotten great, he’s just 1-3 in his last four fights which is somewhat mitigated by the fact that those three guys were Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and Leon Edwards. Dos Anjos is coming off of the loss to Edwards though and if he wants to make any kind of move towards the title picture again he needs a win here. Michael Chiesa is on a two fight winning streak since moving up to welterweight, now he’s looking to add a respected scalp to his collection and make a case for getting a shot at a top contender next. The odds are with dos Anjos at -220 to +180 on Chiesa.

Welterweight Bout: #5 Rafael dos Anjos (29-12, 170 lbs.) vs. Michael Chiesa (16-4, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chiesa is five inches taller and has five and a half inches of reach advantage. Both men southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Chiesa circling around the outside, both men showing the jab. Both men still looking to figure out the range. Chiesa keeps getting closer and closer to the fence, dos Anjos lands a right to the body then a follow up left but Chiesa surges forward to get a clinch. Chiesa gets around to a hip and has one hook in. They wind up on the mat fully, Chiesa gets both hooks in. Dos Anjos winds up belly down, Chiesa is after the choke but dos Anjos gets back flat and defends. Chiesa gets a body triangle locked in. Chiesa is after the choke, but dos Anjos defends and he’s able to get to his hips and force Chiesa to half guard. Elbows from dos Anjos, Chiesa looks to step over and get the back again but dos Anjos slips out and they’re on the feet clinched again. This time it’s dos Anjos on the back but they wind up separating. Body kick from dos Anjos lands. Then a calf kick from dos Anjos lands. Chiesa avoids a left and gets a double leg, moves to the back as dos Anjos wall walks and they’re clinched again. They’ll wait out the last of the round in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chiesa

ROUND TWO: Dos Anjos backing Chiesa up again. Chiesa misses a right hook, dos Anjos lands a leg kick. Forward pressure from Chiesa now, he avoids a punch and gets a clinch. Dos Anjos spins Chiesa into the fence then separates. Body kick from dos Anjos, Chiesa is off balanced but he fights up as dos Anjos clinches, then decides he doesn’t like the spot and breaks. Chiesa dives forward for a takedown along the fence, dos Anjos gets down to a knee and fights back up to his feet. Dos Anjos separates and looks to punch again. Calf kick from dos Anjos lands again. Another calf kick lands, those are adding up rapidly. They clinch again, Chiesa looking to knee as he’s got dos Anjos on the fence. Both men land knees, dos Anjos gets a body lock and spins him into the fence. Dos Anjos is after the takedown now, he gets Chiesa down briefly but Chiesa is looking to counter and get around to the back from his knees. They wind up standing and separated. Dos Anjos after the calf kick again as he’s backing Chiesa up. Another leg kick from dos Anjos lands. Dos Anjos lands a left to the body. Calf kick from dos Anjos lands. Chiesa after a double leg, gets it against the fence but he can’t secure the position and dos Anjos is looking to wall walk again. Chiesa gets the back standing but can’t retain it, dos Anjos defends a single leg but Chiesa gets his back standing again just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men miss punches. Bit of a left from Chiesa, dos Anjos kicks the calf and Chiesa gets a clinch. Chiesa gets the body lock takedown into half guard. Dos Anjos is trying to work a sweep, he’s using a kneebar threat to get motion but Chiesa defends and retains top position. Chiesa is threatening a kimura now, he’s got the double wrist lock but can’t keep it. Dos Anjos uses a heel hook attempt to get motion going, he’s after the inside heel hook now but Chiesa is defending and keeping him on the bottom. Chiesa gets his leg back and is out of danger now. Dos Anjos adjusts his legs, but can’t scramble back up and Chiesa is still on to pin full guard. Chiesa works some body shots, and body to head blows. A few elbows from dos Anjos but he’s got to get a finish at this point. Dos Anjos tries to attack an armbar but loses the position and Chiesa moves to half guard. Chiesa will just grind out the final few seconds here in this position.

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

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

Dos Anjos’ continues to slide, Chiesa got a big win here arguably his biggest. Mic time for Chiesa, he just says he’ll see Colby Covington in July and walks off.

Curtis Blaydes has only ever lost to Francis Ngannou, he’s on a two fight winning streak and is looking to score one of the biggest wins of his career here by taking out a former UFC champion. Junior dos Santos just had a career resurgence stopped by Francis Ngannou, he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak with a win here as well as possibly getting into the title picture given the state of heavyweight. The odds are with Blaydes at -300 to a +240 comeback on dos Santos.

Heavyweight Bout: #3 Curtis Blaydes (12-2 1 NC, 248 lbs.) vs. #4 Junior dos Santos (21-6, 247 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Blaydes has three inches of reach despite them being the same height. Blaydes is coming forward early, dos Santos with a right then he defends a single leg attempt. Dos Santos lands a jab. Leg kick from Blaydes, then he reaches for a takedown but dos Santos easily defends. Dos Santos is keeping his back off of the fence very studiously so far. Blaydes lands a body kick. They trade leg kicks. Dos Santos misses an uppercut. They both miss rights. Jabs are traded as dos Santos slides away from the fence. Blaydes goes southpaw, tries a double leg but that stalls out on the fence. Blaydes lands a punch that goes into the groin of dos Santos and we’ve got time out for him. Dos Santos takes a bit of time but he does recover and we restart at distance. Both men miss rights, dos Santos then lands a leg kick. Blaydes tries a rush, dos Santos slips and circles away. Bit of a right from dos Santos, Blaydes lands a right of his own. Both men with rights, then Blaydes misses a right. Single leg attempt from Blaydes but dos Santos defends and separates. Bit of a body kick from Blaydes. Dos Santos misses an uppercut, eats a bit of a counter just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blaydes

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Blaydes misses a right. Right from Blaydes lands flush, dos Santos then defends a takedown attempt. High kick from dos Santos is mostly blocked. Another takedown attempt from Blaydes is stuffed. One two from Blaydes wobbles dos Santos and he swarms along the fence to get the standing TKO.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Curtis Blaydes via TKO, punches, at 1:06 of Round 2

Big win for Blaydes, who’s still unfortunately living with the shadow of Francis Ngannou. Mic time for Blaydes, he feels great and puts over dos Santos as a legend and the moment for winning in this kind of spot. He talks us through some highlights, then when asked who he’d like next he wants the next title shot. He’s being interviewed by the presumptive next contender in Cormier, so that’s a little awkward.

Throwing an uppercut is usually a risky move, leading with it blindly to counter every perceived takedown attempt is just asking for this.

OK everyone, that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 24. Thank you all for being here, it is always appreciated. There’s no UFC event next Saturday, but in two week we have UFC 247 when Jon Jones tries to defend his title again against undefeated Dominick Reyes. We’ll have a review of this event and a preview of UFC 247 this Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, which you can find on all podcasting apps and whatnot. Until next time stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 24, Robert Winfree