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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 27 Report: Figueiredo stops Benavidez 2.29.20

February 29, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 27

#1 Joseph Benavidez (124.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Deiveson Figueiredo (127.5 lbs.)** – for vacant flyweight title
Zarah Fairn (146 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (145 lbs.)
Magomed Ankalaev (204.5 lbs.) vs. Ion Cutelaba (204.5 lbs.)
Megan Anderson (145 lbs.) vs. Norma Dumont (146 lbs.)
Grant Dawson (149.5 lbs.)* vs. Darrick Minner (145.5 lbs.)

Kyler Phillips (135.5 lbs.) vs. Gabriel Silva (135.5 lbs.)
Brendan Allen (185.5 lbs.) vs. Tom Breese (185 lbs.)
Serghei Spivac (234 lbs.) vs. Marcin Tybura (246 lbs.)
Steve Garcia (155.5 lbs.) vs. Luis Pena (154.5 lbs.)
TJ Brown (145.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Griffin (145 lbs.)
Spike Carlyle (145.5 lbs.) vs. Aalon Cruz (145.5 lbs.)
Sean Brady (170 lbs.) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (170 lbs.)

Hello everyone, and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 27. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Happy Leap Day everyone, I fully expect the UFC to his this opportunity to kill the flyweight division until the next leap year. Before we go any further, just take a look at that card on paper. It’s a total dog. Now my usual caveat still applies, it could be a wild night of fights in practice, but boy is that just uninspiring. The main event is for the vacant flyweight title when former two time title challenger Joseph Benavidez gets his third crack at UFC gold, this time against hard hitting Devieson Figueiredo. Unfortunately we got a wrinkle yesterday when Figueiredo missed weight, meaning only Benavidez will be eligible to win the title for this fight. I’d bet money that if there’s a draw or a Figueiredo win the UFC will just fold the division for a few years. As for the rest of the card, I’ve got basically nothing. Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba will probably be crazy, but not necessarily in the good kind of way. Honestly the second best fight on this card (on paper) is the first one between Sean Brady and Ismail Narudiev.

UFC on ESPN+ 27 comes to the world from Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping while Brett Okamoto does on site reporting and Trevor Wittman will be chiming in from time to time. We are under the newer rules tonight, so the superior scoring criteria is in effect and you need only one palm or fist flat on the mat to be downed, we also get instant replay for fight ending sequences if so desired.

Ismail Narudiev has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak. Sean Brady is undefeated including a successful UFC debut last year, now he’s looking to continue that streak and take out a fellow prospect. The odds are with Narudiev at -130 to a -100 comeback on Brady.

Welterweight Bout: Sean Brady (11-0, 170 lbs.) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (19-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Narudiev has two inches of reach advantage. Narudiev stalking forward early while Brady circles. Leg kick from Narudiev. Brady finds himself along the fence but is still moving. Some jabs from Narudiev. Both men miss some hooks, still just getting a feel for the range. Narudiev lands a leg kick, Brady catches it and they clinch. Some knees then an elbow from Narudiev and they break. Bit of a left hook from Brady. Narudiev shows southpaw and they trade body kicks. Brady avoids a few punches then eats a body kick. Narudiev lands a right then a jumping knee into a clinch. More knees from Narudiev before they break. Brady tries a knee tap, Narudiev defends then lands a body kick. Double jab then a right land for Brady. Narudiev keeps showing different stances, it doesn’t seem to be confusing Brady much yet. Spinning back kick from Narudiev is blocked but he got that up to the head level. More jabs from Narudiev as he keeps backing Brady up. Bit of a left hook from Brady. Brady lands a right after missing a left hook. Narudiev lands a leg kick then a body kick. Narudiev defends a takedown attempt, and they clinch up. They’ll end the round in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Narudiev

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Both men showing jabs again, Brady still the one giving ground. Narudiev with front kicks and jabs, Brady tries to blitz but only lands a leg kick. Right uppercut then a left hook from Narudiev. Narudiev blocks a double leg attempt and lands knees to the body from the clinch before they hit the fence. Brady is looking to change levels, Narudiev defending. Brady ducks around behind Narudiev and rides him down to a knee along the fence. Sneaky little trip from Brady and he lands on top nearly with the back. Narudiev to a knee but Brady is riding him so far. Brady lands some lefts and knees to the thigh. Narudiev turns into Brady, Brady grabs a front headlock for continued control. Narudiev back up and they’re still clinched. Brady defends a takedown attempt and gets Narudiev back on the fence then hits a double leg. Brady basically landed in half guard on that and lands a few short elbows. A nice flow of offense from Brady, nothing crazy but he’s consistent. The round will end with Brady on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brady, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Narudiev is pushing forward again, and they trade lefts. Brady lands a left hook. A couple more power punches land for Brady, he’s closing the distance better now. Narudiev misses a jumping knee and Brady takes him down with relative ease and is on his back again. Brady lands knees to the thigh as he rides Narudiev to his seat along the fence. Some nice riding technique from Brady, he’s landing on Narudiev while keeping him in bad positions. Narudiev to a hip, and Brady moves into proper half guard. Narudiev wall walks but is still in the clinch. Brady gets a trip down into half guard again. Narudiev keeps trying to grab the fence to get up, the ref warns him. Now Narudiev gets to his knees, Brady to the ride position and resumes landing blows. Narudiev keeps trying to wall walk but Brady keeps dragging him back down. Hammer fists from Brady, who is smothering and landing blows consistently. Brady keeps looking to really unload but Narudiev is doing enough defensively. Brady sits for a guillotine as Narudiev tries to wall walk but time runs out before anything can come of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brady, possibly a 10-8, 29-28 Brady overall

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

I don’t really agree with giving Brady the first. Mic time for Brady, he says he feels good despite the slow start and knew he could take over as the fight went on. He puts over Narudiev on the feet and says he was always going to work the ground game here.

Aalon Cruz brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s trying to extend that streak and get that all important first UFC win. Spike Carlyle also brings a four fight winning streak into his debut, and is likewise hoping to get his UFC run off on the right foot. Cruz is the -180 favorite to +150 on Carlyle.

Featherweight Bout: Spike Carlyle (8-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Aalon Cruz (8-2, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cruz is four inches taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach over Carlyle. Southpaw for Carlyle, who’s backing up and circling. Cruz is showing kicks early, nothing landing flush yet but that seems to be his preferred weapon. Some stance switching from both men now. High kick from Carlyle lands. Cruz didn’t like that, he clinches up but Carlyle with elbows and hammer fists and Cruz falls down, basically pulling Carlyle into full mount where he continues to unload until the ref stops it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Spike Carlyle via TKO, punches, at 1:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Carlyle for his work this evening. Carlyle gets an interview after that, he says he’s only got three things to say. He gives glory to God, says the future is now, and wants to put 187 on the 666 then just heads out.

Have a look and listen to this one. Carlyle finds a great angle and target for the first elbow, he lands to the temple/behind the ear and Cruz is badly wobbled. From there he just continues to unload until Cruz falls over.

TJ Brown has a four fight winning streak going that includes a win on the Contender Series, he’s hoping to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Jordan Griffin has gone 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win badly if he wants to remain with the promotion. Griffin is a slight -140 favorite to +110 for Brown.

Featherweight Bout: TJ Brown (14-6, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Griffin (17-7, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Griffin has an inch of height and reach over Brown. Southpaw for Griffin as they touch gloves to get us going. Brown lands a counter right that staggers Griffin almost immediately. Brown ducks under a punch and gets a single leg takedown, Griffin thinks about a guillotine but instead moves to wall walk. Some punches from Brown as Griffin fights up into the clinch. Brown with short elbows and knees then he drops and gets a double leg. Griffin is looking to wall walk again but is taking punches to the body and head while he’s trying to do so. Brown flattens Griffin out and lands elbows. Griffin tries to wall walk again but Brown is still working him over. Back up now but still clinched and Brown gets another takedown with near ease. Some lefts from Brown, Griffin trying to wall walk again. Griffin is kind of stuck here, even when he gets up Brown is able to get him back down and resume landing blows. Brown has mounted the legs and lands punches. Griffin trying another wall walk, he’s up but eats a knee then body shots. Brown goes for a double leg, Griffin reaches around for a rear naked choke and forces a scramble, they trade punches ont he feet then Brown with a double leg. Griffin tries a guillotine but loses the grip and Brown lands punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brown

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Both men swing punches, Brown lands a jab then a head kick. Griffin with a head kick of his own that lands, Brown lands a left hook. Brown lands a right, tries an ankle pick and gets it to land on top in the guard of Griffin out in the middle of the cage. Some elbows from Brown and body shots. Griffin is trying to get wrist control but Brown keeps getting free. Both men land some strikes. Brown moves to half guard, Griffin is trying to come up on a double leg and uses that to get full guard. Griffin tries to throw his legs up, Brown passes to side control and they scramble up but wind up clinched on the fence. Brown lands lefts and a left elbow. More short punches and body shots then a double leg from Brown. Griffin is back up but he can’t get free. Brown lands another elbow then gets a double leg. Griffin tries the guillotine again but Brown is all the way around into side control so he’s probably safe. Griffin adjusts his grip a bit I think, the ref wants a thumbs up from Brown but Brown doesn’t respond and the ref stops it as Brown is out cold.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jordan Griffin via Technical Submission, guillotine choke, at 3:38 of Round 2

That’s a rarity to finish that choke from that kind of position. I need a look at the grip he was using, because it clearly worked as Brown was unconscious. Mic time for Griffin, he says he’s been waiting ten years for his first UFC win and knew he’d have to let Brown wear himself out a bit but then he could capitalize. He mentions the type of takedowns Brown was using were giving him his neck and he finally was able to get it.

Here’s a look at the finish. Sadly we don’t get a view on the grip Griffin is using, because getting that kind of a bite on your squeeze from that position is very uncommon. Still a heck of a comeback for Griffin.

Luis Pena has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss and hoping to avoid his first losing streak. Steve Garcia took this fight on very short notice and normally fights all the way down at bantamweight, but he could take out a somewhat recognizable name here and start his UFC run off with a bang. Pena is a -280 favorite to a +230 payout for Garcia.

Lightweight Bout: Steve Garcia (11-3, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Luis Pena (7-2, 154.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pena is three inches taller but the reach is identical. Both men fighting southpaw. Garcia lands a few stiff jabs then a leg kick. Pena lands a short left. Garcia lands a left then a body shot. Pena has had enough of this and ties up. Pena lands a knee but it’s caught and Garcia gets a takedown into the ride position. Pena fights up and gets the back standing then rides Garcia down into the ride position. Garcia looking to wall walk but Pena gets both hooks in. Pena goes to one hook but has the back almost fully and is landing blows to try and open up a choke attempt. Some hammer fists from Pena, he’s after the choke now but only has one hook in. Pena bails on that to land some more punches. Both hooks in for Pena, Garcia breaks them. More choke attempts from Pena, they’re getting closer each time but he still can’t fully wrap it up. Pena gets both hooks in, then goes to the body triangle while looking for choke attempts. Elbows from Pena as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pena

ROUND TWO: Garcia blitzes Pena and lands a flurry but Pena ties up and gets the back standing again. Pena jumps for the back, gets one hook in then the other to take the backpack position. Body triangle for Pena. Pena keeps landing hammer fists and elbows, he’s just trying to open up choking opportunities. Some elbows from Pena. Pena still after the choke but can’t find a good one yet. Pena now looks to transition to an armbar, thinks better of it and goes back to the body triangle. Both men swing wildly for a few seconds before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Garcia slips early as Pena charges him but then Garcia wraps up a triangle choke on the mat. Pena is trying to survive but that choke is locked in fully. Garcia is trying to adjust, tries to switch to an armbar as Pena is pulling away but loses the grip and now Pena jumps back to his back again. Another body triangle for Pena now. Pena is still after the choke but struggling to finish it. Garcia fights to his knees and looks to turn into Pena but can’t finish that motion so he’s still stuck. Pena keeps trying for the choke but he can’t get it. They donkey kong at each other for the final couple of seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Luis Pena via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

I thought Pena had a 10-8 in the second, but the outcome was never in doubt. Mic time for Pena, he feels that isn’t the way he wants to fight and apologizes to the fans but he had to get the win for the paycheck. He puts over Garcia especially on short notice for making him fight a different style. He thanks everyone who’s reached out to him as he recently found his birth mother and feels that he might have found a higher purpose he can use this platform for.

Marcin Tybura is just 1-4 in his last five fights, has been finished in three of those losses and is on a two fight losing streak. Tybura badly needs a win here, even at heavyweight that kind of record can get you cut. Sergey Spivak has gone 1-1 in the UFC, dropping his debut but rebounding by submitting Tai Tuivasa. Spivak is looking for his first UFC winning streak at the expense of a guy who’s been in the UFC since 2016. Spicac is a slight -120 favorite to -110 for Tybura.

Heavyweight Bout: Serghei Spivac (10-1, 234 lbs.) vs. Marcin Tybura (17-6, 246 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have identical heights and reaches, the big difference is weight where Tybura is twelve pounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. Tybura misses a right. A jab from Tybura lands. Spivac with a one two that’s mostly blocked. Left hook from Spivac lands. Tybura lands a right. Both men are blocking a fair number of shots, but they’re swinging for sure. Spivac lands a bit of a knee in close. Tybura gets a body lock takedown into the guard of Spivac. Some elbows from Tybura. Spivac is just kind of hanging out on his back while Tybura is landing to the body and head. Hammer fists from Tybura as well as elbows. Spivac doesn’t seem to have much to offer off of his back, and Tybura is going to keeps squishing him with blows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tybura

ROUND TWO: Some jabbing as the round starts. Spivac has the more technical hands thus far. They clinch up, Spivac lands a knee and they break. Tybura gets a body lock along the fence. Knees from Tybura to the body and head. More knees from Tybura but that doesn’t seem to be enough for the ref who restarts them. Spivac back to trying to punch. Bit of a combination from Spivac and he blocks a high kick. Another clinch but Tybura tosses Spivac down and gets the ride position along the fence. Spivac tries to reverse with a single leg but winds up giving up his back. Some bits of offense from Tybura, Spivac just wants to ride out the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They resume circling, Spivac is able to get out of a clinch attempt. Spivac with a punch combination that’s mostly blocked. Tybura reaches for a knee tap but it stalls out on the fence. They break with an elbow from Tybura. Spivac lands a knee in close. Some lefts from Spivac. Tybura lands a right as he failed on a knee tap. Bit of an uppercut from Spivac. Slight left from Tybura, neither man is really landing flush reliably. Ah, there are the “woo” people. I was hoping they were dead. Tybura gets a takedown into half guard. Spivac might as well be a turtle off of his back. More short elbows and punches from Tybura, at least he’s staying somewhat busy. Time runs out in that spot.

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

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

Not sure which round could have gone to Spivac. No interview for Tybura, which is fair as that fight was boring.

Brendan Allen is on a five fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut, now he’s looking for his first UFC winning streak at the expense of a former top prospect. Tom Breese was once thought to be a blue chip prospect for the sport, but several health issues and layoffs later and now he’s something of an afterthought. Breese last fought in May of 2018 when he bested Dan Kelley, before that his most recent fight was June of 2016. Breese is hoping for his second UFC winning streak as well as looking to reclaim a bit of his hype. Breese is a slight -155 favorite to a +125 comeback on Allen.

Middleweight Bout: Brendan Allen (11-3, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Tom Breese (11-1, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Breese is an inch taller while Allen has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Breese. They punch into the clinch and Allen gets a body lock takedown but Breese fights back up though still in the clinch. Some knees and foot stomps from Allen. Breese is able to get Allen on the fence, then he tries a body lock takedown but Allen is able to reverse part of it and nearly lands in half guard but Breese also nearly has his back. Allen is able to win that scramble and get on top in half guard. Some body shots from Allen as he’s looking to set up a kimura. Breese is defending so far then Allen passes to side control. Some hammer fists and rights from Allen as he’s looking to isolate an arm. Elbows from Allen, still looking to isolate some kind of submission threat. Steady offense from Allen, Breese is able to shrimp to half guard, he nearly gets the back but loses it thinking about an armbar. From north-south position now and Allen lands hammer fists while Breese slides around looking for a triangle choke. Allen is free of that and lands some punches from side control. Breese is just covering up while Allen unloads on him and that will prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brendan Allen via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:47 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Allen for his work this evening. Mic time for Allen, he says he wanted to stand with Breese but the chance to work on the mat presented itself. He was surprised by Breese looking for the takedowns but he adjusted and then puts over Breese as a tough guy. Asked what’s next for him he wants to fight Trevin Giles on international fight week.

Here’s a look at the finish. Breese is covering up, but he’s not doing anything else and as more offense keeps coming from Allen and he doesn’t respond the ref waves it off.

Gabriel Silva suffered his first professional loss when he was defeated by Ray Borg last year, now he’s hoping to rebound with his first UFC win. Kyler Phillips is making his UFC debut here, and hoping to make a good first impression. Silva is a slight -125 favorite to Phillips’ -105 comeback.

Bantamweight Bout: Kyler Phillips (6-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Gabriel Silva (8-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Phillips is two inches taller and has one inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves. Silva coming forward early and lands a couple of rights. Phillips tries a wheel kick but they wind up clinched. Knees from Phillips and they break. Silva lands a leg kick. Phillips lands a leg kick. Right from Phillips and Silva lands a counter left. They clinch up on the fence. They break with an elbow from Phillips but he misses the follow up hooks. spinning back kick from Phillips. Silva lands a jab. Silva punches Phillips to the fence and lands punches. Phillips is still moving, he lands a calf kick. Right from Phillips but Silva is walking him down. Phillips lands a left hook, Silva is a little stunned and Phillips looks to unload but Silva recovers. Phillips lands a left and Silva misses a spinning back fist. Silva has forward pressure but Phillips is the one landing first and more often. Phillips lands a right and misses an elbow. Power hooks in close then an elbow from Phillips, he’s staying very busy. Silva tries a takedown, he sweeps the legs from Phillips and gets on top. Phillips back up and they scramble just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Phillips

ROUND TWO: Both men back to scrapping immediately. Phillips lands a right. Silva is coming forward and lands a right then clinches up. Silva slips around to the back standing. Phillips winds up picking the ankle an reversing the position. Silva fights back up, and Phillips gets his back standing. More reversals, Phillips is back up but Silva is looking for a single leg. Phillips gets a body lock but Silva winds up throwing him and landing in the guard. Phillips is trying to get his guard in play but Silva just passes. They scramble back up and Silva has the back standing again but as they hit the mat Phillips gets on top, nice reversal. Phillips spins around to the back, but Silva inverts for the kneebar, Phillips spins with him and moves to full mount. That was really nice stuff. Silva gets to half guard and starts working for a sweep but Phillips is retaining top position. There’s a kneebar attempt from Phillips, he bails to pass and land some elbows. Silva is the one fishing for a kneebar now but Phillips is keeping weight on that leg. Silva extends the leg but Phillips pushes him down and off of the knee joint with his other foot. Hammer fists from Phillips while Silva is fishing for a leg lock as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Silva walking forward but still eating some punches. High kick from Phillips mostly lands. Silva has gone southpaw but he just eats a right then a wheel kick off of it. Double leg from Phillips into the guard of Silva. Phillips lands a left. Silva is looking to tie up the arms of Phillips, Phillips gets his arms back and lands a few punches. Silva looks to invert for a kneebar, Phillips smothers that motion with a front headlock. D’arce attempt from Phillips but Silva gets free of the choke and is upright. Elbow from Phillips in the clinch before they break. Silva lands a bit of a knee and swings some hooks. Phillips gets a double leg and lands in half guard. There’s an arm triangle position for Phillips but he can’t get anything off of it. Silva is still trying to work from bottom, to his credit. Phillips gets his arm away from a kimura attempt and lands some elbows. Body shots from Phillips. Silva looks to slip out the back door, but Phillips reads the motion and retains top position. Phillips is in side control now, and he moves to full mount with punches. Silva shrimps towards a hip, Phillips just lands punches and elbows while Silva gets half guard back. Silva to his knees, Phillips spins to the ride position and nearly lands an illegal knee. Silva back up holding a single leg, Phillips lands a couple of punches as the clock runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kyler Phillips via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

That’s probably the best fight so far tonight. Mic time for Phillips, he puts over Silva then says he’s grateful to all of his preparation work. He dedicates the win to his grandfather who recently retired from the Army and to his grandmother who passed away when he was on The Ultimate Fighter.

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

Grant Dawson is on a five fight winning streak with two wins in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that to three here and start making the move from prospect towards contender. Dawson did miss weight for this fight, never a good thing. Darrick Minner is making his UFC debut here on short notice, but could take a prospect and announce his arrival in a big way with a win. Dawson is a heavy -425 favorite to +335 on Minner.

Featherweight Bout: Grant Dawson (14-1, 149.5 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (24-10, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dawson is three inches taller and has two and a half inchs of reach advantage. Southpaw for Minner, actually he’s stance switching. Some calf kicks from Minner. Dawson tries a kick, Minner catches it and gets a front headlock sequence and looks for a guillotine. Dawson gets his head free and settles into guard. Minner throws up an armbar attempt, Dawson avoids it and lands some hammer fists. Some more hammer fists from Dawson, Minner tries an armbar but loses it. Minner is able to reverse the position then jumps for a guillotine and uses that to get top position this time. Another guillotine attempt from Minner, Dawson gives up top position trying to fight it off and does get on top in side control on the safe side. Minner bails on the choke attempt, Dawson is after an arm triangle as Minner gets half guard. Bit of an elbow from Dawson. Dawson is attacking a kimura but can’t get his arms together. A few blows land for Dawson. Minner fishes for another guillotine but again Dawson moves to side control on the safe side and attacks another arm triangle. Dawson is caught in half guard, now he passes into full mount and unloads with punches. Minner gets to his knees and will survive until the round ends despite a close rear naked choke attempt.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. A few kicks from Minner fall short. Dawson is backing Minner to the fence, then he jumps for a guillotine but again can’t control the body of Dawson who lands in side control. Dawson moves to full mount and gets his head free. Some rights from Dawson as he figure fours the legs. Dawson gets the back with a body triangle and is attacking the neck. There’s the choke, more of a crank but there’s enough squeeze to get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Grant Dawson via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:38 of Round 2

Impressive stuff from Dawson, who’s now on the mic. He says he wasn’t going to tap to a choke and would rather go to sleep than tap to a choke. He says he wanted to keep pressure on and did so despite a few scares with the choke.

Here’s the finish. Solid technique from Dawson, he’s not really under the chin but he’s got a squeeze going and then changes the angle as well to help force the tap.

Megan Anderson has gone 2-2 in the UFC, but she is coming off of a win and looking for her first UFC winning streak. Norma Dumont is undefeated coming into her UFC debut, she’s hoping to knock off one of the few genuine featherweight women the UFC has to make a good impression on the audience. The odds are with Anderson at -280 to a +230 comeback on Dumont.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Megan Anderson (10-4, 145 lbs.) vs. Norma Dumont (4-0, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Anderson has five inches of height and reach on Dumont. Dumont misses a leg kick. Some stance switching from Anderson now. Both women miss some punches. Bit of a right from Anderson, then Dumont falls short with punches. Jab from Anderson but Dumont forces a clinch. Dumont gets a body lock and starts working for takedown. Knees from Dumont now to try and off balance Anderson. Bit of an elbow from Dumont, Anderson starts looking to pummel. Anderson lands a knee. Dumont is retaining superior head position and Anderson isn’t addressing that yet. Single leg from Dumont but Anderson forces a scramble and they’re back up but still clinched. Elbow from Anderson as she finally gets free. Dumont may have gassed herself out, she basically leans into a straight right that floors her and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Megan Anderson via KO, punch, at 3:31 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Anderson for her work this evening. Mic time for Anderson, she says it took her a while to get to this point but she always knew she was capable of this kind of performance. She talks us through the finish, then plays with the crowd a bit to say she’s the only featherweight on a win streak and would like to fight Amanda Nunes at UFC 250.

Watch how Anderson slips her head and shoulders off of the center line here, that makes Dumont’s punch miss while Anderson’s goes right into the face and jaw to sit her down.

Ion Cutelaba has gone 4-3 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win though and is looking for another winning streak that could get him a bigger opponent next. Magomed Ankalaev has gone 3-1 in the UFC but is on a three fight winning streak and could take a step up to ranked opposition if he can get that streak to four in a row. Ankalaev is your favorite at -220 to a +180 payout on Cutelaba.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Magomed Ankalaev (13-1, 204.5 lbs.) vs. Ion Cutelaba (15-4 1 NC, 204.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ankalaev is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Ankalaev. Cutelaba lands an inside leg kick. Ankalaev lands a left then a head kick and some follow ups. A trio of head kicks from Ankalaev, Cutelaba is basically out on his feet swaying and the ref steps in to wave things off as Ankalaev was landing a few more punches.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Magomed Ankalaev via TKO, head kick and punches, at :38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ankalaev for his work this evening. Cutelaba really doesn’t like that stoppage, and I can’t say I disagree with him. Mic time for Ankalaev as the crowd showers everyone with boos. He says it wasn’t his call to stop the fight, and doesn’t really have an opinion beyond knowing he’d landed some blows on Cutelaba. He doesn’t seem opposed to a rematch when that’s brought up.

Here’s the stoppage, a lot of the kicks are being partially blocked but Cutelaba’s body language is really bad. That said there are a few things here that key you into this being a bad stoppage. First is Cutelaba’s eyes, he’s almost always still looking at his opponent and is throwing back with actual intent not just pushing his arms out there. Reffing is a tough job, and this is a tough call in real time, so I’m not throwing the ref under the bus but this is a bad stoppage.

Felicia Spencer has gone 1-1 in the UFC and was last seen on the losing end of a fight with Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Spencer is hoping to rebound here and possibly force a title fight given that featherweight is a nonexistent division. Zarah Fairn was submitted by Megan Anderson in her UFC debut, she’s hoping to rebound and get her first UFC win. Spencer is the biggest favorite on this card at -850 while Fairn’s +550 payout has to tempt those who’ll bet on long shots.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Zarah Fairn (6-3, 146 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (7-1, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fairn is two inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Spencer opens with a body kick. Some arm punches from both women that miss the target. Fairn lands a right uppercut. Spencer lands a right. Lunging left hook from Spencer lands. A right from Fairn lands. Spencer lands a left high kick but Fairn catches it and they wind up clinched on the fence. Spencer works some knees to the thigh. Fairn is able to remain upright after a trip attempt but she can’t get free. Spencer gets an outside trip and lands in full mount. A few punches land for Spencer as she moves her mount up higher on the body. Elbows from Spencer, Fairn looks a little lost here and Spencer is unloading with punches and elbows. Fairn gives up her back, then gives up mount again. Spencer is just floating and smashing Fairn right now. More punches and elbows from Spencer prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Felicia Spencer via TKO, punches and elbows, at 3:37 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Spencer for her work this evening. Mic time for Spencer, she is happy to take whatever she can get in a fight but did want to show off her potential for violence. Asked about where she feels she is in the division she thinks with her win over Anderson she’s in a perfect spot to challenge for the belt.

Here’s a look at the finish. Fairn doesn’t have much of an answer for the mount and Spencer just unloads until the ref has to save her.

Deiveson Figueiredo really screwed himself for this fight when he missed weight. Figueiredo will be ineligible to win the title, but he’s only lost once in his entire career and has gone 6-1 in the UFC overall. While he can’t win the title he doesn’t want to compound his gaffs by losing the fight. Joseph Benavidez has been around the sport forever and has twice before challenged for the flyweight title, falling short to Demetrious Johnson both times. Benavidez is looking for his first UFC title here and possibly make a case for the division to continue existing. Benavidez is the -155 favorite to +125 for Figueiredo.

Flyweight Title Bout: #1 Joseph Benavidez (28-5, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Deiveson Figueiredo (17-1, 127.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Figueiredo is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men open southpaw but will do some stance switching. some posturing and feinting early, Figueiredo checks a leg kick. Figueiredo catches a kick and takes Benavidez down, they wind up scrambling and Figueiredo has a reverse triangle then switches to an armbar. Benavidez is scrambling but winds up in spiderweb position then Figueiredo yanks on the arm but Benavidez gets free and they’re back up. Forward pressure from Benavidez now, Figueiredo doesn’t seem too concerned yet. Figueiredo lands a right. Benavidez is swinging a little wild with his hooks right now, and Figueiredo is avoiding most of them. A few more punches miss for Benavidez. Figueiredo lands a jab and eats a calf kick. There’s a few body shtos from Benavidez. Figueiredo lands a jab. Forward pressure from Figueiredo now, and he sprawls away from a double leg then avoids a punch. Right from Figueiredo lands. Benavidez with a bit of a left, then a takedown attempt but they wind up clinched. They break without incident. All of Benavidez’s combinations are the same shifting left and Figueiredo seems to have a read on them at this point. Left from Figueiredo, Benavidez lands a right. Figueiredo lands an uppercut. They clinch up and then break as Benavidez swings a few punches that miss. Benavidez lands a couple of body shots. Figueiredo lands a hard right to the body. Both men land rights then Figueiredo off balances Benavidez and they swing to the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Figueiredo but a very close round

ROUND TWO: Minor technical issues, the ESPN+ player isn’t working. OK, I missed the entire round leading to the finish. I am pissed. Backing up the player now to see what happened. More feinting from Benavidez and he misses a leg kick. Figueiredo lands a spinning back kick to the body. Right from Figueiredo lands flush but Benavidez just eats it. A few body kicks from Benavidez. Figueiredo lands a right to counter a body kick. Both men with body kicks now. Benavidez lands a left hook in close. Figueiredo shrugs off a clinch and unloads with a right that flat lines Benavidez.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Deiveson Figueiredo via TKO, punches, at 1:54 of Round 2

Excuse me over here while I die laughing at that result, I’m just making s’mores while the world burns. Mic time for Figueiredo, he says he’s a big fan of Bisping to get things going. He apologizes for missing weight but says he promised a good show with a big finish and feels he delivered on that. He talks us through the finish then gives love to his family back home in Brazil, he then thanks Benavidez for being a great guy and great champion. Bisping asks about the reality of him missing weight not being the champion right now, he says he’s here to fight for the people and the belt is secondary but will be his eventually.

Benavidez gets an interview as well, there’s a bad cut on his hairline from a clash of heads. He says this doesn’t feel real yet, and that it’s kind of a nightmare. He says he had visions of what this interview would be like but none of it was like this, and life is just tough for everyone, he notes that everyone has ups and downs but his are public. He says he worked his ass off for this but is at least lucky to be alive then thanks the crowd.

Here’s a look at the finish, and a clash of heads that occurred a bit before that. Benavidez has a documented habit of lunging forward with that shifting left and leading with his head. Cejudo had that same kind of ducking head position to counter the lunge, which is technically illegal but no one in MMA calls it as such. Then we also get a look at the finishing punch, Benavidez is circling to his own left, Figueiredo slips along with him and lands a hard straight right that splits the guard and timing of Benavidez. From there it’s all over but the shouting.

On that somewhat chaotically hilarious note, UFC on ESPN+ 27 comes to a close. It was a dog of a card on paper, and mostly a forgettable slog in practice but we’ll be going over all of that on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow. We’ll also be previewing UFC 248 which comes our way next week and is a banger of a card on paper, including two title fights. The middleweight champion Israel Adesanya takes on Yoel Romero, and newly crowd strawweight champion Zhang Weili goes for her first title defense against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. I’ll be back here next week for that event, hopefully you will as well. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.