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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 29 Report: Glover Teixeira Wins

May 14, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Glover Teixeira

MAIN CARD (ESPN+)
#4 Anthony Smith (205 lbs.) vs. #8 Glover Teixeira (205.5 lbs.)
Ben Rothwell (265 lbs.) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (240.5 lbs.)
Drew Dober (156 lbs.) vs. #15 Alexander Hernandez (155 lbs.)
Ray Borg (135.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (135 lbs.)
Andrei Arlovski (238 lbs.) vs. Philipe Lins (236 lbs.)
Michael Johnson (156 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (155.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+)
#15 Sijara Eubanks (136 lbs.) vs. Sarah Moras (136 lbs.)
Gabriel Benitez (155.5 lbs.) vs. Omar Morales (155.5 lbs.)
Hunter Azure (145 lbs.) vs. Brian Kelleher (145.5 lbs.)
Chase Sherman (253 lbs.) vs. Ike Villanueva (232 lbs.)

*Roberson missed the middleweight limit and will be fined a percentage of his purse TBC.


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 29. Or is it 33? It’s the 29th event to air but the 33rd scheduled given all the events that were canceled. Let’s go with 29 for the moment but that’s something of an open question I guess going forward. Anyway I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be providing you with all of the updates tonight per usual. This event comes on the heels of UFC 249 from last Saturday as the UFC tries to make up all the events they missed before the end of the year. This event isn’t all that great on paper, the main event is a relevant light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira and while the winner probably isn’t the next title challenger the loser will be out of that picture for the immediate future. The rest of the card, well Ray Borg and Ricky Simon has a fair bit of potential and Drew Dober vs. Alexander Hernandez is a pretty solid lightweight affair. There’s a couple of heavyweight fights, because of course there are. Mostly we’re in “hope it’s better in practice than on paper” mode for this one.

A bit of late breaking news, Roberson vs. Vettori has been called off after Roberson wound up in the hospital related to his weight cut. I think that’s the third fight in a row canceled for Vettori.

UFC on ESPN+ 29 comes to the world from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Paul Felder, and Daniel Cormier while Megan Olivi does the sideline thing. As for the rules we’re under the newer set so you need only one hand down but has to be fully palm or fist down (or be on a knee of course), and the scoring criteria is better and more encouraging of 10-8’s. We will have the use on instant replay for a fight ending sequence if so desired but per usual the fight cannot be restarted once it is used. Also we are still totally without a crowd.

Oh nuts to this, the first fight isn’t for an hour after that fight fell through and the UFC had to adjust their broadcast. Well, that’s certainly something. The broadcast updates us on the Roberson and Vettori fight falling out. Still, a full hour of nothing but hype pieces? They have to find some kind of creative way to fill that gap.

Chase Sherman was cut from the UFC in 2018 after a three fight losing streak, now he’s coming with the promotion again on the back of a three fight winning streak and looking to make his second UFC stint more memorable. Isaac Villaneuva is making his UFC debut on the back of a four fight winning streak and is hoping to extend that here while getting that all important first UFC win. The odds are with Sherman at -185 to a +150 comeback on Villanueva.

Heavyweight Bout: Chase Sherman (14-6, 253 lbs.) vs. Ike Villanueva (16-9, 232 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sherman is three inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men feint with the hands early. Sherman lands an inside leg kick. Hard calf kick from Sherman. Villaneuva misses a rush. Villaneuva lands a left hook in close. Sherman is jabbing the body, Villaneuva keeps showing a counter left. Villaneuva lands a right. Left then a leg kick from Sherman. Right to the body from Sherman. A couple more body shots then a leg kick and a left hook from Sherman, nice combination. Villaneuva lands a right. Stiff jab from Sherman. Sherman with a body kick. Bit of a right from Villaneuva and Sherman lands a counter left. Villaneuva’s left calf is already bruising badly. Both men swing in close but no one lands flush. Sherman lands a right to the body then a body to head combination of punches. Sherman looks to unload, lands a knee but Villaneuva stands firm. Another leg kick from Sherman. Both men land punches in close. Villaneuva lands a left as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sherman

ROUND TWO: Sherman back to leg kicking, both men land punches then Sherman lands a knee to the head. The diversity of Sherman’s offense is keeping Villaneuva off balance. Another leg kick from Sherman and a combination, now a left elbow against the fence and Villaneuva is down which prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chase Sherman via TKO, elbow and punches, at :49 of Round 2

Well at least it didn’t take too long. Mic time for Sherman, he says there are always unknowns around a debuting fighter and puts Villaneuva over a bit but says ultimately the pace was his. He talks us through the finish, noting he wanted to angle a bit more while clinching in the pocket rather than just back up in a straight line. Asked how it feels to get back after being cut and his life going badly he says this is like ordering a 10 piece wing and getting 11.

Here’s the finish. Sherman has beat up the lead leg of Villanueva, forcing a bad rush. On the counter Sherman backs him up with a clean right and then unloads with a vicious left elbow.

Hunter Azure is undefeated including a successful UFC debut against Brad Katona, he’s trying to remain perfect and start making his way up the UFC ranks. Brian Kelleher has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a win earlier this year and is hoping for his second UFC winning streak. Kelleher normally fights at bantamweight but is keeping busy up a weight class. Azure is the -205 favorite to +165 for Kelleher.

Featherweight Bout: Hunter Azure (8-0, 145 lbs.) vs. Brian Kelleher (20-10, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Azure is two inches taller and has three inches of reach on Kelleher. Both men circling early. Bit of a left from Azure then a leg kick. Kelleher is starting to switch his stance, mostly looking for an opening. Azure with a leg kick abut can’t quite find the follow up punches. Kelleher lands a calf kick. They clinch up but nothing comes of it. Body kick from Kelleher. Azure with a right to the body. Uppercut from Azure. Kelleher reaches for a takedown but can’t secure it. Azure stuffs another takedown attempt. Short left from Azure then a left to the body as well. Kelleher lands a right and avoids the counters. Left hook from Azure lands. A few jabs from Azure land, the size disparity is really starting to show itself. Kelleher gets a clinch while looking for a takedown along the fence. They wind up breaking without incident. Azure lands a left then a right to the body. More body shots from Azure, Kelleher lands a left. Now they trade calf kicks, things are getting fast in there. Both men have head kicks blocked. They trade blocked kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Azure

ROUND TWO: Back to action, both men showing the lead hand. Kelleher lands a right, then eats a counter left. Azure lands a leg kick then a left to the body. Kelleher lands a calf kick. They clinch up and Azure lands a right as they break. Azure lands a leg kick. They trade lefts and Kelleher lands a front kick to the body. Azure digs a right to the body. Another right to the body from Azure. Bit of a knee from Azure. Kelleher gets a bit of an uppercut off before they clinch and Azure has him on the fence. They break and Kelleher blocks a head kick. Azure leg kick, then a left from Kelleher and a head kick as well. Kelleher is slowly breaking things down, then lads a left hook that folds Azure up and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brian Kelleher via KO, punch, at 3:40 of Round 2

Nice stuff from both men, good fight. Mic time for Kelleher, he says he’s a bit of a slow starter but once he finds his range and confidence the fight is completely different. He talks us through the finish and then tells Dana White to stop protecting Sean O’Malley and get him in the cage before saying he actually wants tie dye shorts for that O’Malley fight.

Here’s the finish. Wonderful timing on that hook, he head and shoulder feints to draw out a motion from Azure then lands the lunging left hook about as clean as you can.

Gabriel Benitez has gone 2-2 in his last four fights but he’s coming off of a loss and is hoping a move up to lightweight will revitalize his career. Omar Morales is undefeated including a win in his UFC debut, he’s trying to take out a more established name and move up the ranks quickly. Morales is the -175 favorite to +145 for Benitez.

Featherweight Bout: Gabriel Benitez (21-7, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Omar Morales (9-0, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Morales is three inches taller but has just two inches of reach over Benitez. They touch gloves, Benitez fighting southpaw. Inside leg kick from Benitez. Both men still circling, Morales starting to feint with the hands. Benitez avoids a couple of rights. Morales with a side kick to the knee. Benitez lands a body kick then blocks a high kick. Both men miss power hand punches but Morales is putting Benitez on the fence fairly consistently when he’s going forward. Morales tries a high kick and barely misses. Now Morales is looking to establish his jab as a set up weapon. Benitez blocks a head kick but there’s a lot of force there for Morales. Benitez slips in close and lands a left. Both men have high kicks blocked then Benitez lands a left. Morales lands a right. Benitez with a knee and a left but Morales fires back with a right then misses a head kick. Jab from Morales lands. Morales checks an inside leg kick then lands a body kick. Benitez lands a left to the body then a right hook. Both men are starting to fall short with their punches. Morales pushes close and lands a knee to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Benitez but a competitive one

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Benitez lands an inside leg kick. Body kick from Benitez. Bit of a jab from Morales. Another jab, and Benitez is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. They trade kicks again, Morales is targeting the body and checking most of the leg kicks. Both men throw body kicks that are blocked. Bit of a right from Morales in close, he’s getting Benitez back to the fence again. Morales lands a body kick. A lot of back and forth exchanges from these two. Morales lands a right. Straight right from Morales staggers Benitez then he lands a body kick. Benitez is backing up looking to recover. Body kick from Benitez but Morales fires back with a partially successful head kick. Body kick from Morales. Benitez blocks a high kick, his left shin is leaking a lot of blood. Both men clash, then Benitez takes a low blow but he doesn’t want much time off. Benitez avoids a wheel kick and gets a mat return from the back just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morales, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: That cut on the shin of Benitez is nasty. Both men firing punches early, Morales lands a body kick then a right. Morales with a straight right. Benitez misses a high kick but does land a bit of a left. Benitez lands a straight left. Inside leg kick from Benitez then an outside one. Morales lands a left hook. Body kick from Morales, then another one. Both men with clubbing hooks in close. Benitez lands a left to the body. Morales with another right kick to the body. Benitez with a left to the body. There’s a left from Benitez in close then he blocks a high kick. Morales checks an inside leg kick. Benitez lands a left. Jumping knee from Morales is mostly blocked. They trade body kicks. Benitez lands to the body again, he’s moving well. Morales with a right then a blocked high kick. Body to head combination from Morales. More body work from Benitez, Morales with a couple of body kicks and they brawl a bit to close out the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Benitez but all three were pretty close, 29-28 Benitez overall

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

No issues at all with that, fun little fight. Mic time for Morales and his translator, he says this was what he expected out of a Mexican fighter and he came ready for a tough fight. He thanks his coaches, family, and sponsors. He says he was preparing for Alexander Hernandez but had to deal with Benitez after they changed the fight on him and he knew he’d have to find the right moments to counter.

Fair warning if you’re squeamish, but here’s the absolute gash that was on the leg of Benitez after the first round.

Sijara Eubanks has gone just 2-2 in the UFC, she’s on a two fight losing streak since moving up to bantamweight and needs a win rather badly to get her career back on the right track. Sara Moras just broke a three fight losing streak but missed weight in the process, now she’s hoping to fully move beyond that by getting her first UFC winning streak up and running. The odds are with Eubanks at a hefty -400 to a +300 comeback on Moras.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #15 Sijara Eubanks (4-4, 136 lbs.) vs. Sarah Moras (6-5, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Moras is three inches taller but the reach is identical. Moras showing the lead hand early, Eubanks lands an inside leg kick. Leg kick from Moras. Bit of a right from Moras, Eubanks lands a counter left hook. Right from Eubanks then another one. Eubanks lands an overhand right. Moras with a right and a left of her own. Body kick from Eubanks. Eubanks avoids a couple of punches. Body shot from Eubanks. Left hook from Eubanks, she’s countering well so far as Moras is struggling to find the range. Eubanks with an overhand right. Body kick from Moras. That will basically end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Eubanks

ROUND TWO: They tie up rather quickly and Moras starts working knees before they break. Inside leg kick from Moras. One two from Moras, Eubanks looks much flatter on her feet this round. Eubanks lands a left body kick. Moras is coming forward looking to accelerate the pace and wear Eubanks out. A few jabs from Moras are starting to get through. Both women land some punches. Moras with another inside leg kick then a right and a blitz attack. Eubanks lands a right hook. Another clinch and Moras lands a few elbows and knees to the body while getting Eubanks towards the cage. Both women with some knees to the body then an elbow from Moras. Eubanks with some knees, Moras with another elbow then tries a trip but Eubanks defends and they remain clinched. Body lock takedown from Eubanks, Moras immediately to a high guard with elbows working. Moras is looking for an armbar but Eubanks gets the arm free and passes to half guard. Moras looks to reclaim her guard, Eubanks punches through that attempt. Some lefts from Eubanks now and she moves to side control then towards mount. Moras gives up her back but the round will end before that reallly develops.

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

ROUND THREE: They clinch fairly quickly and Eubanks gets Moras on the fence. Moras is able to fight free. Eubanks lands a right. Moras lands a left in close. Stiff right from Eubanks then they split jabs. Jabs from Eubanks then body shots and a clubbing right. Knee tap from Eubanks and Moras is down. Moras is throwing from her back as she gets full guard. Moras tries an armbar, she’s got the angle and has a grip but is struggling to extend the arm. Eubanks is working her arm free, and she’s out and passing to side control. Some hammer fists from Eubanks as she looks to unload while Moras tries to shrimp. More rights from Eubanks, now lefts as time runs down.

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

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

There’s my first real technical glitch, I missed Eubanks’ interview but the scoring for that fight is just fine.

That’s it for preliminary action, but we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Michael Johnson is just 2-5 in his last seven fights and is on a two fight losing streak including dropping his return to lightweight, now he badly needs a win if he wants to be a relevant player in the division. Thiago Moises has gone just 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss to Damir Ismagulov, he’s looking for a win to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. The odds for this one closed at a -115 pick ’em.

Lightweight Bout: Michael Johnson (19-15, 156 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (12-4, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson is an inch taller and has three inches of reach over Moises. Southpaw for Johnson as we get going. Moises has a high kick blocked. Body kick from Moises lands. Johnson lands a left to the body. Johnson sprawls away from a double leg. Another sprawl from Johnson, Moises is too far away from Johnson when he’s starting those attempts. Bit of a left from Johnson. Moises keeps showing the head kick, Johnson is blocking so far. Body kick from Johnson. Johnson has Moises along the fence and is working the straight left quite well. Body shot for Johnson, Moises doesn’t have a real answer to the hand speed of Johnson. Johnson lands another body kick. Moises still just backing up and covering up. Johnson with combination work now to the body and head, he’s flowing very well. Bit of a right from Moises, Johnson lands a left to the body. They clinch up to ice the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, arguably a 10-8 numerically

ROUND TWO: Quick bit of forward pressure and a takedown from Moises, then Moises winds up in on a leg lock rather quickly when pulling guard. Moises is rolling under and gets the straight ankle lock, hits an angle with it instead of only going straight and Johnson taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Thiago Moises via Submission, Achilles lock, at :25 of Round 2

They announced that as a heel hook, I don’t think that’s accurate as the heel wasn’t hooked. Mic time for Moises, he puts over Johnson and says this win proves he belongs near the top of the division. He talks us through the finish, yeah that’s a straight ankle/Achilles lock not a heel hook. Asked what he’d like next he says he’s fought a lot of tough guys and would like to welcome Anthony Pettis back to lightweight.

Have a look at the finish. Moises falls back on the straight ankle lock, pinches the thigh of Johnson with his legs and hits an angle while yanking back on it. Straight ankle locks get a bit of a bad rap in MMA but when done properly they’re very dangerous.

Andrei Arlovski has gone just 1-4 with 1 No Contest in his last six fights, he’s coming off of a loss Jairzinho Rozenstruik and is hoping to rebound while avoiding another losing streak. Philipe Lins is making his UFC debut here, he won the PFL heavyweight tournament in 2018 before missing all of 2019 and now he’s looking to take out a former UFC champion and legend of the sport. The debuting Lins is the -200 favorite while an Arlovski win pays out at +160.

Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (28-19 2 NC, 238 lbs.) vs. Philipe Lins (14-3, 236 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arlovski is an inch taller while Lins has an inch of reach advantage. Both men moving the hands early and feinting a bit. Leg kick from Arlovski, Lins returns it. Some stance switching for both men going on. Inside leg kick from Lins. Both men miss punches then Arlovski avoids a combination. They punch into the clinch then punch out of it with Lins landing the better blows. Right from Lins stands Arlovski up for a second. Lins is coming forward more consistently now. Arlovski lands an inside leg kick, he’s hanging out southpaw a lot right now. Right from Lins lands. Lins lands a left hook in close. Inside leg kick from Lins. Arlovski lands a left to the body. They clinch up and hit the fence, Arlovski is on the cage. Arlovski slips free rather quickly and separates. Spinning back fist for Arlovski lands. They trade leg kicks then a left hook lands for Lins. Arlovski ducks under a right hook. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lins

ROUND TWO: Lins back to forward pressure while feinting with the hands. Body kick from Lins as Arlovski switches his stance to southpaw. Lins barely misses a right then avoids a rush from Arlovski. Arlovski lands an inside leg kick. Both men land rights in close. They clinch then break without incident. The pressure of Lins is stifling most of Arlovski’s offense. Another clinch then they break as Arlovski misses an elbow. Bit of a leg kick from Lins. Another leg kick from Lins. They get close and trade rights, Arlovski landed better. Another inside leg kick from Arlovski. Lins tries an inside leg kick, this one hits the groin of Arlovski and we’ve got time. Arlovski winds up on his knees as the replay confirms the toes dug into the groin area. Arlovski is taking his time, and I don’t blame him one bit after seeing the replay of that kick. He can continue, the ref gives Lins a stern warning and we’re back to fighting. Leg kick from Arlovski. Body kick from Lins then they both miss punches. Arlovski lands a body kick and they trade hooks in close. Another pocket exchange and Arlovski disengages. Lins has the faster hands, that is clear. Lins falls short on a combination, Arlvoski lands an inside leg kick and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Arlovski showing the lead leg kick now, then goes southpaw again. Lins is moving forward, he lands a left then a right as Arlovski tried to close distance. Body kick from Arlovski, Lins returns it. Bit of a right from Lins. Some kicks from Arlovski, his left leg is doing most of his offensive work so far. Lins with hooks in close, the pocket is his friend. Arlovski still circling, Lins is following him more than cutting him off, something he should try to change. Arlovski lands a left, Lins cracks him with a right. Lins grabs a front headlock and lands a knee to the body before Arlovski gets free. Inside leg kick from Lins. Both men land in close again but nothing super clean. Arlovski lands a right. Lins lands a right hook. Arlovski lands an inside leg kick. Inside leg kick from Arlovski then he avoids a right. Both men posture a bit and feint as the clock runs all the way down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lins but I could easily be wrong there, 29-28 Lins overall

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

I don’t agree with Arlovski getting the first, that seems completely wrong but I don’t mind him getting the decision. Arlovski on the mic, he puts over Lins then thanks God and his team. He thanks his coaches again and credits them with helping him adjust between the first two rounds. Asked about the future he says he’s sick of losing and feels like he’s turning a corner and still thinks he’s evolving.

Ricky Simon had a good streak going for a while but has lost his last two fights and finds himself in need of a win to regain the hype he used to have. Ray Borg is back up at bantamweight, and somehow made weight despite the restrictions on facilities because of the pandemic. Maybe I should be harsher on other fighters if Borg can do it. Borg is on a two fight winning streak and looking to get that to three in a row here. Simon is a slight -165 favorite to +135 on Borg.

Bantamweight Bout: Ray Borg (13-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (15-3, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: I missed the tale of the tape, but Simon looks to be the bigger fighter for sure. Simon comes out punching, Borg blocking and looking flatter on his feet thus far. Inside leg kick from Simon. Some lefts from Simon and an uppercut, Borg fires a right. They trade rights then Simon gets a double leg against the fence. Half guard for Simon and he starts landing body shots. Full guard for Borg, Simon unloads with lefts then hits a mat return, Borg back up and then gets after a double leg of his own. Simon defends but can’t get out of the clinch. Simon gets Borg down again still against the fence. Borg back up, and they separate. Borg lands a right uppercut. Simon checks a leg kick. Left to the body from Simon, Borg fires back one of his own. Borg blocks some punches. Front kick from Simon lands. A couple of body shots from Simon, Borg with body shots of his own and they clinch then Simon gets a takedown. Borg to his base against the fence, knees to the body from Simon. Borg up to his feet but still clinched. Simon with more knees to the thigh and kidney area before getting a single leg into guard. Simon’s top pressure is impressive, he’s not allowed Borg to scramble much at all. Side control for Simon and he unloads with elbows, Borg fires back as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon

ROUND TWO: Simon showing the jab early and backing up Borg. Borg coming forward now, Borg lands a right. Bit of a body kick from Simon. Borg punches into a clinch but nothing comes of it. Simon knees then hits a double leg into half guard against the fence. Borg is able to wall walk and get free. Some lefts and rights from Simon, mostly blocked but he’s staying active. Spinning back fist from Borg mostly misses. Borg lands a left, Simon with an inside leg kick. Bit of a jab from Simon then a right to the body. Another body shot from Simon. Stiff left from Simon as Borg was trying to leap into him. Simon lands a left to the body then tries a single leg but Borg defends. Both men land lefts, then Borg lands a right. Simon gets a rear waist lock, Borg granby rolls but Simon hangs on and gets the back. Borg stands but is still clinched on the cage. Simon slips around to the back again, Borg granby rolls and this time can get free. Right from Borg lands. Uppercut then a left to the body from Borg. A jab from Simon closes out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon but a closer one, 20-18 Simon overall

ROUND THREE: Simon comes out punching. Bit of a right from Borg. Borg lands a left. Simon lands a jab, Borg with a left to the body. Another liver shot from Borg. They trade jabs. Simon lands a left to the body. Simon working his lead hand, he gets a body lock takedown into side control. Elbow from Simon, Borg bridges and gives his back but then spins to get on top. Simon now scrambling from underneath and he’s up then hits a single leg but Borg bounces up still clinched. Borg is trying to get free, Simon drops for a single leg and lands an elbow before they break. They trade lefts. High kick from Borg partially lands. Simon avoids a spinning attack. Borg avoids a takedown. Bit of a jab from Simon. Jumping knee lands for Simon. Simon with a left, Borg lands a right. Borg with a left to the body. Both men land lefts and we get some brawling for the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Borg but I’m not sure at all, 29-28 Simon overall

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

Fun fight. Mic time for Simon, he says he was nervous about the decision as he’s on a skid and needs the paycheck. He says he’s taking tough fights against tough opponents and then puts over his coaches for getting him ready. He says he’s a fake striker but a real wrestler. Asked about the loss of his mullet he jokes he got married recently and he wants to have kids and so he needs bedroom privileges from his wife.

Alexander Hernandez has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a solid win over Franciscon Trinaldo, he’s hoping to build another UFC winning streak and take aim at the top ten of the division. Drew Dober has gone an impressive 5-1 in his last six fights, only dropping to Beneil Dariush, and is currently on a two fight winning streak most recently knocking out Nasrat Haqparast. Dober is hoping to take out a ranked opponent and possibly earn a top fifteen spot himself. Dober is the slight favorite at -130 to an even +100 for Hernandez.

Lightweight Bout: Drew Dober (22-9, 156 lbs.) vs. #15 Alexander Hernandez (11-2, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hernandez is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. Dober comes out southpaw. Hernandez showing kicks early. One two from Hernandez, he’s coming out fast. Dober lands a left to counter a leg kick. Body kick from Hernandez. Left hook then a right from Dober are mostly blocked. Leg kick from Dober. Hernandez reaches for a single leg, it takes a bit but he does get Dober down. Dober looking to wall walk, he’s up but still clinched. They break with a right from Hernandez. Dober pressing the action now, he lands a left to the body. Dober lands a left and Hernandez is backing up. Hernandez lands a right. Both men fall short on power hand punches. They trade lefts. Dober ducks under a right. Hernandez is after a double leg, Dober defends and separates. Dober lands a jab. Hernandez avoids a high kick. Body kick from Hernandez. A couple of rights then a left land for Dober. Hernandez lands another body kick. Dober lands another jab. Left from Dober, they clash just as the round ends and Hernandez complains of an eye poke.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dober but a close one

ROUND TWO: Hernandez gets his left eye checked on as the round starts, the doctor says he can continue and we’re back to fighting. They clash and apparently Dober got poked in the eye. Dober can continue and we’re fighting again. They trade punches, Hernandez lands a good right. Right from Dober stumbles Hernandez for a second. Dober defends a takedown and lands a knee. Both men jabbing now. Dober has backed Hernandez to the fence again and lands a leg kick. Hernandez lands a right. Dober lands a left in close. They trade power hand punches and Hernandez is the one who backs down. Dober slips a few punches. Inside leg kick from Dober. Left from Dober, and another one. Hernandez lands a left hook. Right from Hernandez. A flurry from Dober, he lands to the body and Hernandez doesn’t like that. Left and a right from Dober but Hernandez gets a double leg to stem the tide of offense. some elbows go back and forth. Dober is able to hit a technical get up and they’re on the feet. Right hook and a left from Dober, Hernandez is trying to clinch up but Dober is unloading. Double leg from Hernandez but Dober defends and lands more lefts while Hernandez stands and backs into the fence. Dober lands again and the ref waves it off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Drew Dober via TKO, punches, at 4:25 of Round 2

Heck of a finishing sequence from Dober. Dober gets an interview now, he likes adjusting his style to be more mobile and Hernandez forced that out of him. He says he was trying to just make contact rather than kill his opponent with every punch and puts over Hernandez as physically strong. Asked who he’d like next he just wants another striker someone like Paul Felder or another top ten guy.

Heck of a sequence here from Dober, he picks his shots carefully, quickly separates once taken down and then resumes dishing out punishment.

Ben Rothwell just broke a three fight losing streak by taking out Stefan Struve in December, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak since 2016 going with another win here. Ovince Saint Preux just broke a two fight losing streak last year but now moves up to heavyweight in hopes of finally finding consistent momentum. Saint Preux is a slight -140 favorite to +110 on Rothwell.

Heavyweight Bout: Ben Rothwell (37-12, 265 lbs.) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (24-13, 240.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rothwell is half an inch taller while Saint Preux has the reach advantage of an inch and a half. Circling to start. Southpaw for Saint Preux, he’s showing kicks with his rear leg. Rothwell stalking forward, Saint Preux with a front kick to the body. Rothwell lands a short uppercut in close. Saint Preux is falling short with a lot his offense. Rothwell lands a right and another in close. Another couple of short rights in close land for Rothwell. Saint Preux is going orthodox now. Saint Preux blocks a few punches but can’t seem to get off the fence. Rothwell tries a body kick, partially blocked. Saint Preux avoids a left hook and moves but for some reason doesn’t actually get away from the cage. Saint Preux lands a head kick but Rothwell catches it and off balances him, grabbing a gogo choke in the process. Saint Preux is defending from his knees so far, Rothwell doesn’t have the full grip yet. Some hand fighting going on, both men looking to adjust. Saint Preux breaks the grip and Rothwell remains leaning on him. Rothwell lands some rights to the head and body. Saint Preux back up and pushes free. Both men feint kicks, and stare away the last 15 seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rothwell

ROUND TWO: Saint Preux trying to keep moving, Rothwell backing him up again. Bit of a high kick from Saint Preux. Another left kick from Saint Preux. Rothwell avoids a looping left hook. Body kick from Saint Preux lands. Combination from Rothwell lands, Saint Preux separates and circles. Rothwell punches into another clinch and gets it. Saint Preux is able to slip free before taking any real damage. Both men miss punches. Rothwell lands an inside leg kick. Front kick from Saint Preux then a bit of a left. Body kick from Rothwell lands. Right from Rothwell lands, then another into the clinch. Saint Preux with some punches, Rothwell turns him and lands knees to the head and body. Saint Preux pushes free but he’s slowing dealing with the weight of Rothwell. Rothwell tries a high kick that’s blocked. A couple of body shots from Rothwell, Saint Preux lands a left. Rothwell with another right and he clinches up. Saint Preux is losing the head position battle badly right now. A few knees to the thigh from Rothwell. Rothwell lands an uppercut as they break. Saint Preux tries a high kick, mostly blocked. Saint Preux lands a left after avoiding a left and Rothwell is off balanced, they clinch up though. both men with some knees to the body and a short right from Rothwell as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saint Preux but based only on that last punch he landed, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Rothwell back to forward pressure. Both men miss punches then Saint Preux jogs away. Saint Preux lands a left, Rothwell with a heavy inside leg kick. Rothwell bulls forward and gets a double collar tie. Knees from Rothwell before Saint Preux slips free. Both men land punches as Rothwell comes forward. Combination from Rothwell and Saint Preux is trying to get away. body shot from Rothwell then knees from a collar tie. Another clinch and Rothwell with a hard knee to the body. Rothwell lands some body shots in the clinch. More lefts from Rothwell to the body. Saint Preux tries to escape but he’s going into the underhook side and Rothwell keeps him on the fence. Saint Preux does slip free and separates. They trade lefts. High kick from Saint Preux is partially blocked. Saint Preux lands an uppercut but Rothwell lunges forward and lands a couple of rights. Rothwell will not give Saint Preux time to rest or reset despite the technique going out the window. Another clinch and Rothwell with knees. More short punches from Rothwell, he’s icing the round here with control positions. Saint Preux finally gets free with twenty seconds left. Saint Preux lands a couple of punches but Rothwell lands a right. They get close and swing wild punches to close out the time.

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

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

Well that definitely lasted a long time. Mic time for Rothwell, who says hearing split decisions announced is nerve wracking. He thinks his knees in the clinch were one of the big difference makers and felt he was off balanced more than hurt by Saint Preux. He says Saint Preux is a legit heavyweight but he got the win. Asked who he’d like next he says with all due respect he wants Aleksei Oleinik. Not sure that’s big enough for Oleinik after beating Werdum but hardly the craziest fight to make.

Not a whole lot from that last fight, but here’s the final ten seconds or so of brawling.

Anthony Smith has gone 4-1 since moving up to light heavyweight, only dropping a fight to champion Jon Jones and most recently he submitted and retired Alexander Gustafsson about a year ago. Smith is trying to take out another ranked opponent and force another title fight to come his way. Glover Teixeira is on a three fight winning streak, though I thought he lost the Krylov fight, and could likewise find himself in another title fight with a win here. Smith is your favorite at -200 to a +160 comeback on Teixeira.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ben Rothwell (37-12, 265 lbs.) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (24-13, 240.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smith is two inches taller but the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Smith opens with a right and a front kick to the body. Calf kick from Smith and he avoids a right from Teixeira. Some jabs from Smith while he’s moving around. Stiff jab from Smith. Right from Smith behind the jab. Teixeira is getting stabbed with that jab over and over again. Another one two from Smith splitting the guard of Teixeira. Teixeira lands a body shot but then eats a combination. Smith avoids a rush and lands a right then gets off of the fence. We’ve got time as Smith took a shot to the groin, actually a left punch from Teixeira as shown on the replay. Smith can continue and we’re back to fighting. Jabs again from Smith and a right behind it. Teixeira avoids some punches then dodges a knee but eats a right. Leg kick from Teixeira, and another one. Combination from Smith including a front kick to the body. Right from Smith lands, Teixeira is rolling a bit with these punches but they are making contact. High kick from Smith is mostly blocked. Smith still jabbing, Teixeira lands a leg kick. Right then a left from Smith. Smith with a calf kick. Lunging left hook from Teixeira lands. Slow motion spinning kick from Teixeira misses, they clinch up and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Smith

ROUND TWO: Teixeira has a cut on the bridge of his nose. They touch gloves for the second round. Smith back to jabbing. Teixeira avoids a couple of rights but starts backing off. Smith lands a jab. Teixeira lands a couple of body shots. More jabs from Smith then a right. Teixeira lands a leg kick. Smith lands a right. Uppercut from Smith lands then he misses a spinning elbow. Teixeria punches in close but can’t do anything with it. Smith with a front kick to the body. Jab then a right from Smith. Another right from Smith then a front kick. Smith is just picking Teixeira apart with constant straight punches. Stiff right from Smith and Teixeira is backing up and his left eye is nearly shut almost immediately. Teixeira gets close and flurries on Smith, he knows his eye is bad. Smith defends and lands a few more jabs trying to keep things off of him. Teixeira lands to the body. Smith blocks a high kick but they trade in close. Bit of a right from Smith then an inside leg kick. Body kick from Teixeira lands. Smith with a right then a left. Elbow from Smith and Teixeira lands a left hook. Spinning back kick from Teixeira. Some more jabs from Smith close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Smith but closer, 20-18 Smith overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Smith lands a left hook. Leg kick from Teixeira, then another but Smith catches it and takes him down. Teixeira back up quickly though and they’re at distance. Smith avoids a right. A couple of shots from Teixeira land, a right uppercut and Smith is backing up and covering up. Left hook from Teixeira and Smith is down along the fence. Teixeira on the back now, now nearly the mount. Teixeira looking to unload, full back mount from Teixeira now. Punches from Teixeira, Smith trying to move and get him off but Teixeira’s mount is rock solid right now. Smith wall walks over and breaks the mount but he can’t really get up yet. Teixeira is still on his back in the ride position. Some punches from Teixeira. A few knees to the kidney from Teixeira as Smith is hanging out on the cage. Lefts from Teixeira and he’s looking to get the back mount again. Smith’s left ear is bleeding, the cauliflower seems to have ruptured. Teixeira with some more right hammer fists while looking to open up a choke. Smith to his back now and he will see out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Teixeira, 28-28 overall

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again. Teixeira with jabs then an uppercut and Smith backs up covering up. Smith with front kicks then an elbow. They get close and Smith lands another elbow but Teixeira lands a knee. Smith pushes Teixeira into the fence and they trade punches but an uppercut from Teixeira stuns and wobbles Smith. Smith reaches for a leg and Teixeira sprawls away. Some punches from Teixeira as he spins to the back. Teixeira looking for the choke while having one hook in. Rights from Teixeira, Smith fighting for two on one wrist control. Teixeira lets Smith back up and wants to strike again. Now Teixeira jabs, Smith lands a right. Bit of an elbow from Smith. Teixeira lands a right, Smith with a left. Right from Smith but Teixeira counters then hits a double leg into half guard. Elbows from Teixeira looking to set up a pass. Teixeira is looking to posture up and land elbows, he lands a left hand as well. Teixeira is trying to set up an arm triangle, he loses that but keeps top position. Some hammer fists from Teixeira, he gets full mount, now half guard where the round closes.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Teixeira, 38-36 Teixeira overall

ROUND FIVE: They touch gloves for the last round. Teixeira working the jab again. Smith reaches for a single leg, Teixeira counters and gets on top again in full guard. Elbows from Teixeira, and he passes to side control then full mount. Just stop this already. Teixeira keeps punching and finally the ref stops it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Glover Teixeira via TKO, punches, at 1:04 of Round 5

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Teixeira for his work this evening. Smith’s corner should have stopped that between the fourth and fifth round, that just wasn’t necessary and Smith said his teeth were falling out between rounds 4 and 5. Mic time for Teixeira, who just wont let the young guys at 205 take over. He says just like Rocky it’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep coming forward. He says he was hoping Smith would slow down because he hit so hard, then he says he trains hard and puts over one of his training partners as a future gold medalist in 2021 after the games got postponed. He says he’d like to fight Cormier and jokes he’s glad Cormier is a heavyweight and puts over the 40 year old club for still kicking butt in the cage. He wants another run for the title, then gives love to his family.

Well that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 29, thanks everyone for reading be that live or after the fact. There is an event Saturday, UFC on ESPN 9 that I’ll be back here covering again. I hope you’ll be back as well. 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+ 29, Robert Winfree