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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 4 Report: Junior dos Santos wins

March 10, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree

ESPN+ Main Card:
#3 Derrick Lewis (265.5 lbs.) vs #8 Junior Dos Santos (246.5 lbs.)
#14 Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.5 lbs.) vs Curtis Millender (170 lbs.)
Tim Means (171 lbs.) vs Niko Price (170.5 lbs.)
#15 Blagoy Ivanov (254.5 lbs.) vs Ben Rothwell (264.5 lbs.)
Beneil Dariush (156 lbs.) vs Drew Dober (156 lbs.)
Tim Boetsch (185 lbs.) vs Omari Akhmedov (184 lbs.)

ESPN+ Prelims:
Anthony Rocco Martin (170.5 lbs.) vs Sergio Moraes (171 lbs.)
#6 Marion Reneau (134.5 lbs.) vs #9 Yana Kunitskaya (135 lbs.)
Grant Dawson (145.5 lbs.) vs Julian Erosa (145 lbs.)
Maurice Greene (264.5 lbs.) vs Jeff Hughes (254 lbs.)
Louis Smolka (135.5 lbs.) vs #15 Matt Schnell (135 lbs.)
Alex Morono (170.5 lbs.) vs Zak Ottow (171 lbs.)
Alex White (154.5 lbs.) vs Dan Moret (155.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 4, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the proceedings. Tonight the UFC makes its debut in another state, this time Kansas and have brought a fair number of heavyweights because a market more used to their presence probably wouldn’t stand for that. In the main event former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos looks to continue his somewhat improbable career resurgence against former heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis. The entire heavyweight title scene is currently muddied by champion Daniel Cormier’s minor injury, the possibility of Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC, and a few other key players like Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic being in a kind of limbo. Beyond that there’s some serious violence potential between Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Curtis Millender, and the return of Ben Rothwell from his suspension as he takes on Blagoy Ivanov.

Going further down the card it’s just what stands out to you personally. For me Tim Means vs. Niko Price has some ugly violence written all over it, Anthony Rocco Martin continues his march at welterweight when he meets Sergio Moraes, and Louis Smolka battles Matt Schnell for position at bantamweight. Not the best card on paper, but there’s always the chance that in practice it will be fun so let’s all hope for that.

As mentioned above the UFC is making their first trip to Kansas. In this instance specifically the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik and Paul Felder, nice to have Felder back after his collapsed lung issue. As for the rules, it’s nearly the wild west with what rules we have again and I will update you as soon as I know which set we’re operating under tonight.

Alex White has gone just 3-5 in the UFC and is on his second two fight losing streak, he’s very likely fighting for his spot on the roster. Dan Moret lost his UFC debut when he took on the highly respected Gilbert Burns, now he’s looking to rebound from that loss and get his first UFC win. The odds are with White at -140 against a +120 comeback for Moret.

Lightweight Bout: Alex White (12-5, 154.5 lbs.) vs Dan Moret (13-4, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Moret has an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves, both men fighting southpaw. Moret lands a left and then drives White into the fence in a clinch. There’s already “woo’s” coming out, God help us all. A few knees to the thigh from Moret as he’s after a takedown. Moret is after a trip or a reap but he’s constantly either losing the leg position or doesn’t understand how to use the position he does have. Elbow from Moret and he’s after another takedown. Single leg now from Moret, switches to a high crotch but gives up a guillotine in transition and White locks up the standing guillotine. Moret gets his head free and lands a straight left then is after another double leg. This time Moret gets enough backward motion to trip up the heels of White and get on top in butterfly guard. Moret lands an elbow and moves to half guard. A few more short elbows from Moret, White kicks him off and is up but he’s bleeding now from those elbows. White is after the takedown now but they’ll just stall out on the fence until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Moret

ROUND TWO: That’s a pretty gnarly cut above the right eyebrow of White, it’s not the biggest but it’s fairly deep. They wind up clinched quickly and Moret is on the fence. White lands a few knees as they jockey for position. Elbow from Moret and they break the clinch. Moret lands a leg kick. Left from Moret, Moret lands a counter and then grabs a standing guillotine as Moret was after a takedown. White is really after that standing choke but he keeps losing the angle, now he drops for a double leg but Moret is defending against the fence. Moret is fighting to pummel now, White’s cut has started leaking again. They break without incident, White then lands a couple of punches but his arms are pretty slow now. At distance White is landing a few punches, Moret is doing everything on straight lines and that’s stifling his offense. Moret shoots a single leg into the fence and gets White in another clinch. Bit of a right from Moret as they break. White thinks about a spin but fails and Moret lands a few counters, White fires back. Both guys are visibly tired at this point. Moret misses a left and White lands a few counters. White avoids a left as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 White, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Moret tries a double leg, nearly gets it but they hit the fence and are clinched up again. White is able to spin Moret into the fence and gets a takedown of his own, Moret wall walks immediately but is still in the clinch. They trade punches and break. Moret jumps into a clinch and has White on the cage again. There have been a few fence grabs from Moret to keep the position, he moves to a single leg but can’t get it and settles into another chest to chest spot. A few knees go back and forth, White is after the takedown now but Moret sprawls, White keeps after it though and gets a double leg against the fence. Moret back up almost immediately but still in the clinch. White lands a knee but Moret spins him into the cage. Double leg attempt from Moret, White is able to hit a switch to nullify it and they resume clinch fighting. White lands an uppercut as they break, now full on Road House action for the last ten seconds or so.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex White via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Generic fight, hopefully that’s the worst of the evening. Mic time for White, he says he feels good and knows he started slow and hopes to work on that, then mentions he’s finally training full time and puts over a few different gyms he’s worked at lately. Asked about the change between rounds 1 and 2, he jokes that no one makes him bleed his own blood. I appreciate a good Simpsons reference.

Alex Morono has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in his last four fights, he is coming off of a win though and is after his second ever UFC winning streak. Zak Ottow has traded wins and losses during his entire UFC tenure, he’s 4-3 overall in the promotion but is coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak. The odds are with Morono at -185 to a +155 payout for Ottow.

Welterweight Bout: Alex Morono (15-5 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs Zak Ottow (17-6, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have the same height and reach. Both men flashing the lead hand to get us going. Ottow looking to work inside leg kicks, and he’s doing some stance switching. Morono is very light on his feet so far, lots of bounce in his step and he lands a counter right. Bit of a right from Ottow then a jab as they reset. Body kick from Ottow and he ducks under a looping right then lands another body kick. Morono lands a front kick to the body. Both men miss punches, there’s a lot of reading going on as both men look to get the timing of the other. They trade rights, and Morono lands a spinning back kick to the body. Double leg from Ottow, he’s got it but Morono wraps up a guillotine then rolls to mount with it and starts landing blows. Morono riding Ottow, gets the back and starts throwing offense and prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Morono via TKO, punches and elbows, at 3:34 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Morono for his work this evening. Mic time for Morono, he says he started training just because he liked watching UFC and getting a TKO win in the UFC is one of his life goals, then thanks his coaches for all of their work. He talks us through the finish briefly to close out his mic time.

Here’s the finish, Morono wraps up a fairly tight guillotine as Ottow trips up the back of his knees, Ottow has to roll to his back to release the pressure and Morono just rides him as he moves and lands a consistently flurry of punches and elbows until the ref stops the fight.

Louis Smolka returned to the UFC late last year and seems to be finding himself at bantamweight given that the UFC is likely doing away with flyweights. Smolka is on an overall four fight winning streak including a win when he returned to the UFC, now he’s looking for his first UFC winning streak since 2016. Matt Schnell has gone 2-2 in the UFC and while he’s on a two fight winning streak this will be just his second ever fight at bantamweight and he’s 0-1 at 135 thus far. Smolka is your -120 favorite against a +100 comeback on Schnell.

Bantamweight Bout: Louis Smolka (15-5, 135.5 lbs.) vs #15 Matt Schnell (11-4, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smolka is an inch taller but Schnell has an inch and a half of reach on him. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men working the lead hand early, Schnell coming forward and lands a leg kick. Schnell’s punches are much straighter and he seems to have quicker hands. Smolka lands a couple of leg kicks. Schnell lands a couple of jabs and a left hook. Hard right from Schnell and Smolka is backing up. Smolka lands a left hook but eats a couple of counters. They get close and land hooks in the pocket then separate. Schnell gets a body lock takedown against the fence into side control. Knee on belly from Schnell, he rolls for a guillotine and locks it up, Smolka on top but locked in the choke. Smolka is looking to relax, Schnell trying to adjust his grip and leg position but loses the grip and has to switch to a triangle choke attempt. The triangle isn’t locked in and Smolka pulls out but Schnell throws it back up and this time locks it up tight and Smolka has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Matt Schnell via Submission, triangle choke, at 3:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Schnell for his work this evening. Mic time for Schnell, he says it’s good to finally feel comfortable in the cage and hopes to stay busier going forward as he’s been out for eight months. He reiterates that point, he feels that he can fight with anybody in the world, says he could become flyweight champion someday if that division sticks around. He talks us through the finish to close out his interview.

Speaking of the finish, here’s the video. This is pretty slick of Schnell, he loses the grip with his legs on the first attempt when Smolka pulls his head back free but when he returns to the guard he doesn’t really get around the legs and Schnell gets the position again. This time Schnell has hooked the left leg of Smolka with his arm to reduce the mobility, gets the legs in proper position and if you like the details check out the feet. When you’ve got a triangle choke you want to flex your calves and do so by pulling back with your feet/toes instead of pointing and it just tightens up the muscles to increase pressure on the choke.

Maurice Greene was on one of the more recent seasons of TUF, 28 to be precise, and did win in his UFC debut when he submitted Michel Batista. Greene is looking to prove he’s a UFC level fighter after the show. Jeff Hughes has defeated Greene in the past at an LFA event, tonight is his UFC debut and he’s looking to extend a four fight winning streak while making a good first impression. AFter winning their first fight Hughes is your -240 favorite while Greene’s comeback sits at +190.

Heavyweight Bout: Maurice Greene (6-2, 264.5 lbs.) vs Jeff Hughes (10-1, 254 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Green is five inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, Greene doing stance switching. Both men working the jab so far, Greene is working some kicks as well but neither man has done a whole lot thus far. A bit of a body kick from Greene. Hughes lands a leg kick but eats a couple of counter punches. Bit of a right from Hughes, Green lands a counter right. Greene lands a body kick. Greene pushes forward and lands a couple of elbows before Hughes gets off of the fence. The distance management from Greene is giving Hughes all kinds of problems. They clinch up and Greene works knees to the body and elbows before Hughes can spin free. Hughes misses some punches into a clinch and he’s after a takedown against the fence. He can’t finish it though and they separate without incident. Hughes jabs the body and misses a right. Greene is walking forward with his hands down, Hughes lands a couple of punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Greene

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. The way the ref is talking to both guys I’m thinking we’re under the new rules. Hughes lands a couple of jabs. Counter right from Hughes lands in close, and another. Greene lands a front kick to the body. Missed spinning back kick from Greene. Greene is going southpaw for a bit, Hughes lands a right in close. The distance management from Greene is failing now, Hughes is getting into the pocket and lands a body shot that locks up Greene against the fence. Hughes looks for a takedown, shame as Greene was visibly hurt to the body, Greene defends and they separate. Stiff jab from Greene lands. Hard left hook from Greene drops Hughes to a knee for a second, Hughes fires back to get him to back off. They trade lefts, Greene then eats a right as they back off. Body kick from Greene. Things are slowing down a bit, Greene lands a leg kick. Hughes isn’t getting into the pocket as much now, that’s letting Greene fight at a comfortable range. Greene lands a spinning back kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hughes but could go to Greene, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Hughes lands a leg kick. Greene coming forward, lands a body kick. Hughes is starting to close distance again, Greene trying to work kicks to keep distance. Another hard leg kick from Greene. Hughes lands a jab. Bit of a counter right from Hughes. They split jabs a few times, then Hughes lands a right to counter a body kick. The striking is getting sloppier now, both men fatigued visibly. Hughes lands a head kick as Greene was ducking, Greene is backing up now but Hughes is struggling to really capitalize on that moment. There’s a missed spinning hook kick as the round ends.

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

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

No issues with that, the whole thing comes down to the second round and both men had pretty solid arguments for taking it. No interview for Greene.

Grant Dawson brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, but he’s been out of action over a year. In fact his last fight was a winning effort on Dana’s Contender Series in August of 2017, now he’s hoping to get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Julian Erosa just had a three fight winning streak snapped in his return to the UFC when he was stopped in less than a minute, now he’s looking to get his first UFC and avoid his first ever losing streak. Dawson is your -210 favorite against a +175 comeback for Erosa.

Featherweight Bout: Grant Dawson (12-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs Julian Erosa (22-6, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Erosa is three inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Dawson. They touch gloves to get us going. Dawson coming forward early, Erosa backing up. Double leg from Dawson is successful and he’s got Erosa down in the open space away from the cage. Erosa quickly tosses up a triangle attempt and lands some elbows while Dawson works to pull his head free. Dawson does get his head free but Erosa gets back up quickly. Quick double leg attempt from Dawson again, they hit the fence again and Dawson gets a single leg then slips behind Erosa as they’re back up. They get chest to chest and Dawson gets a takedown and lands punches. Erosa back up quickly but still on the fence as Dawson punches into another double leg. This time Dawson mounts the legs and looks to land offense. Erosa has full guard rather quickly, the long limbs of Erosa are stifling a lot of Dawson’s offense. Erosa is back up, Dawson with a high crotch but Erosa is still upright and Dawson moves to a double leg attempt. Dawson gets his hands under the hips and elevates then dumps Erosa down in the middle of the cage and has half guard. Side control for Dawson now, but he moves into half guard and Erosa gets full guard. A few punches land for Dawson, Erosa is keeping his legs in play though and that’s making a lot of offense miss. They’ll end the round on the mat in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawson

ROUND TWO: Quick takedown from Dawson, he’s in the guard of Erosa and working punches. Erosa moves to the cage and wall walks but he’s still in the clinch. There’s a pretty gnarly scratch on the side of Dawson, I think from the toenails of Erosa. Dawson is going back and forth between takedown attempts, he lands a knee to the body then they separate. Leg kick from Dawson. Erosa lands a few front kicks to the body, Dawson lands a calf kick. They clinch up, Erosa lands a few knees to the body before Dawson drops for a takedown then moves to the ride position from their knees. Erosa is up, Dawson is chain wrestling on him and wont give him space to breathe. They separate and Erosa lands a right, Dawson lands another calf kick that gets a stumble from Erosa. Erosa lands a calf kick of his own. Another clinch, Dawson might be fading a bit. Erosa lands a punch, Dawson lands a back fist as they break. Front kick to the body then another calf kick from Erosa takes Dawson down for a second. Erosa ducks under a punch and lands a knee to the body. Dawson lands a knee to the body and misses some follow up punches. They get close and Dawson wobbles Erosa with a right and looks to continue the pressure. Erosa lands a spinning back elbow but is off balanced by a punch. More forward pressure from Dawson, misses a spinning elbow and Erosa lands a few punches to counter. Punches land for Erosa and a knee. Dawson has a spinning back fist blocked as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Erosa but a close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug briefly to get the last round going. Erosa lands a front kick to the body then avoids a takedown attempt. Dawson lands a calf kick, Erosa lands a winging right. Dawson gets a single leg but Erosa is after an omoplata to sweep, Dawson passes to side control. They scramble and Dawson winds up in a ride position then gets both hooks in to take the back. Erosa is trying to move, there’s an arm triangle possible for Dawson but he bails on it. Erosa hip escapes to full guard, Dawson keeps him flat and moves to the back when Erosa tries to escape to his feet. Full back mount for Dawson, he moves to the ride instead to help keep control, now back to double hooks and he’s after a choke. Erosa breaks the grip and Dawson starts landing punches and hammer fists while Erosa shrimps and looks to scramble. Dawson is riding well and landing more punches from half guard. Another arm triangle attempt for Dawson but Erosa is on a hip and negating a lot of the choking potential. Dawson bails on the choke and lands an elbow as Erosa gets to full guard. Some body shots from Dawson, he’ll unload with one more flurry as time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Grant Dawson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)

No issues with a 10-8 in the third for me under the new rules, Dawson won it by a wide enough margin. Mic time for Dawson, he says he’s here and the win is what matters and feels he belongs in the UFC. He was surprised by the get ups from Erosa and knows he needs to work on his control, puts over his coaches and promises to be better next time.

Marion Reneau just lost her four fight unbeaten streak when she lost to Cat Zingano, now she’s trying to bounce back and avoid her second UFC losing streak. Yana Kunitskaya has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win in her return to bantamweight, now she’s after her first UFC winning streak while battling for divisional position. Kunitskaya is your -190 favorite while a Reneau win pays out at +160.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #6 Marion Reneau (9-4-1, 134.5 lbs.) vs #9 Yana Kunitskaya (11-4 1 NC, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Kunitskaya has half an inch of reach, Kunitskaya is also 12 years younger. Both women showing the jab early. Bit of a high kick from Kunitskaya. Reneau bulls forward and lands a bit of a right. Kunitskaya jabs into a takedown and gets Reneau down against the fence. Reneau gets her guard into play but she’s stuck against the fence. A few body shots from Kunitskaya, Reneau threatens with some arm attacks and Kunitskaya gets free then lands a few leg kicks and punches into another clinch as Reneau wall walks. Knees to the body from Kunitskaya as she’s got Reneau on the fence. More knees from Kunitskaya, Reneau is kind of stuck. They break, Reneau has some swelling under her right eye. Kunitskaya misses a spinning back fist after eating a right. Jabs and an inside leg kick from Kunitskaya, Reneau counters with a couple of punches. Spinning back fist lands for Kunitskaya but Reneau just eats it. Body kick from Kunitskaya but gets taken down because of it and Reneau is on top. Reneau lands a right, Kunitskaya goes inverted looking for a knee bar as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kunitskaya

ROUND TWO: Kunitskaya opens the round with a leg kick. Reneau lands a right but eats a counter left. Kunitskaya pushes into a clinch and has Reneau back on the fence. Knees from Kunitskaya to the body and leg, Reneau is able to spin free and lands a right. Reneau blocks a spinning back fist and takes a glancing head kick. Kunitskaya with kicks to the leg, and a few thrust kicks to the knee. Reneau lands a body shot but eats a left. There’s some swelling around the left eye of Kunitskaya, she’s working front kicks to keep the punches of Reneau away from her. Kunitskaya lands a body kick but eats a counter right. Jabs from Kunitskaya land. More leg work from Kunitskaya and a few jabs. Another body kick from Kunitskaya. Reneau digs a left to the body but she’s struggling with the distance again. Another body kick from Kunitskaya lands. Kunitskaya is turning up the volume on her offense as the round draws to a close.

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

ROUND THREE: That last flurry from Kunitskaya has caused swelling around the face and upper lip of Reneau. Jabs and low kicks from Kunitskaya to get the last round going. Kunitskaya working body kicks again, Reneau lands a counter right. Leg kick from Kunitskaya, she’s just working at a higher pace and is out working Reneau. They trade lefts but Reneau lands a right as well. Another left hook from Reneau, Kunitskaya is bleeding from the nose now. Kunitskaya lands a counter left hook. Kunitskaya pushes into a clinch but this time Reneau circles free quickly. Both women land some jabs, Kunitskaya lands a few leg kicks as well. At this point I’m also calling BS on the listed heights, Kunitskaya has to be taller. Kunitskaya’s nose looks pretty well broken at this point. They trade in close, Reneau lands a pretty solid right. Yeah, that’s a really badly broken nose on Kunitskaya, nearly Rich Franklin vs. Anderson Silva kind of broken. Reneau is pushing forward, she lands a bit of a right but the jab of Kunitskaya is keeping her from really stringing offense together. Kunitskaya works a few more kicks, Reneau lands a right as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Reneau, 29-28 Kunitskaya overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Yana Kunitskaya via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

The crowd boos, and given how strong Reneau closed I understand the sentiment. No interview for Kunitskaya.

For those who missed the nose of Kunitskaya, here’s a pic. Reminds me of Franklin vs. Anderson Silva or Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Santos. Honorable mention to Thiago Alves’ nose against Carlos Condit as well.

Anthony Rocco Martin has been on a tear lately, he’s 6-1 in his last seven fights and is 3-0 since moving back up to welterweight, and as a bonus he’s finished his last two opponents. Martin is looking to make a bid for an official ranking if he can get to 4-0 tonight. Sergio Moraes has only lost twice in the UFC, and only one of those was at welterweight, to the now champion Kamaru Usman. Moraes has won his last two fights and is looking to climb towards contender status as well with a win. The odds are with Martin at -240 against a +190 comeback on Moraes.

Welterweight Bout: Anthony Rocco Martin (15-4, 170.5 lbs.) vs Sergio Moraes (14-3-1, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Martin has an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Martin opens with a calf kick. Moraes is the one pressing forward, Martin circling and jabbing. Moraes presses close and gets a low ankle pick and winds up on top in half guard as Martin looks to hit a single leg. They scramble, Moraes is selling out for a guillotine but Martin is on top in half guard on the safe side. Things are kind of stalling out a bit here, neither man wants to make a big move and take that kind of chance. Martin lands a few body shots but neither man is moving much and the ref stands them up. Another calf kick from Martin. That calf kick is working well for Martin so far, Moraes is limping just a bit on that lead leg. Martin kicks the calf, Moraes returns it this time. Another calf kick from Martin and he avoids the punches of Moraes. Moraes whiffs on a left hook. Bit of a right from Martin, then another calf kick. Moraes misses a wheel kick and that will bring the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martin

ROUND TWO: Martin showing the jab this round, Moraes coming forward again but he’s missing and Martin angles on him then kicks the calf. Another calf kick from Martin, then he lands a left to the body as he circles away from Moraes. Martin lands a right. Moraes is backing up now, he swings a few hooks that miss. Jabs to the body and head from Martin as he’s backing up Moraes. Bit of a right from Moraes and he pushes into a clinch but Martin spins free and kicks his leg. Martin lands a bit of a head kick and avoids a counter punch. Moraes is swinging wide and wild with his punches now, he’s fatigued and his technique is going away. We get time as Martin took a kick to the crotch when Moraes was trying a flying knee. Martin doesn’t want to give Moraes time to recover so we’re back to fighting. A few jabs from Martin land, Moraes is covering up high and Martin lands another calf kick. Martin lands a counter right, Moraes lands a bit of a left. They clinch up, Moraes gets a takedown and jumps to the back just as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Martin working the lead hand, then lands a heavy calf kick. Moraes avoids a calf kick but misses his counters. Another missed right from Moraes and they’re clinched up with Martin holding Moraes on the cage. Martin lands a few elbows and they breaks. Martin avoids a spinning attempt and lands a few punches then a calf kick. Just a very methodical and effective attack from Martin that has largely rendered Moraes impotent with his offense. Body kick from Martin lands and he avoids the counters. More leg kicks from Martin, Moraes is visibly frustrated. Moraes pushes into a clinch but Martin puts him on the fence. They break without incident and Martin lands a right then a calf kick. Moraes punches into another clinch, he’s after a high crotch against the fence but Martin is defending and then breaks safely. More jabs from Martin and he easily evades the counters. Uppercut from Martin, Moreas is posturing now hoping he’ll brawl with him. Martin ignores that and lands a calf kick, Moraes after a double leg and gets it against the fence into side control. Moraes wont get much going, he gets mount briefly just as the clock runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Rocco Martin via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Methodical stuff from Martin, who’s on the mic now. He says Moraes defended the punches really well but the calf kick and jab kept working for him, and feels pretty good about picking apart his opponent. Asked what’s next for him, he says he has to be on the Minneapolis card and wants the toughest guy in the world for that fight, then jokes that he’s not in Brazil anymore.

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

Tim Boetsch has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, losing to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Antonio Carlos Junior. He’s coming off of the loss to Junior and is hoping to avoid another UFC losing streak. Omari Akhmedov is coming off of a draw when he moved back up to middleweight for the first time since 2013, now he’s looking for his first win in that weight class since his UFC debut. Akhmedov is a slight -160 favorite against a +140 payout for Boetsch.

Middleweight Bout: Tim Boetsch (21-12, 185 lbs.) vs Omari Akhmedov (17-4-1, 184 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Boetsch has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Bit of a right from Akhmedov. Boetsch pressing forward, Akhmedov lands a bit of a head kick and they clinch up. Boetsch has his back on the fence and Akhmedov works some knees and punches to the body. Body lock for Akhmedov, he’s after a takedown but he can’t reap successfully and has to settle for keeping Boetsch on the fence. Knees to the body from Akhmedov. Akhmedov drops for a single leg, switches to a double leg but can’t get Boetsch down and has to settle for keeping the clinch. Boetsch lands a knee to the body and they separate. Leg kick from Boetsch lands. Bit of a right from Akhmedov, then one to counter a leg kick but Boetsch just eats it. A few more leg kicks from Boetsch, those seem to be his weapon of choice at distance. Akhmedov lands a leg kick of his own, his was aimed at the calf though. Boetsch avoids a double leg and lands a short uppercut. Akhmedov misses a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Akhmedov

ROUND TWO: Another touch of gloves. Boetsch lands a leg kick, Akhmedov returns it. Front kick to the body from Boetsch but Akhmedov is the one coming forward. They trade leg kicks and Akhmedov lands a right, that might have broken the nose of Boetsch. Another right from Akhmedov, he’s fighting more controlled and pacing himself than usual. That nose is bleeding now, and definitely is broken. Akhmedov lands a body kick. Front kick to the chest from Akhmedov. Bit of a right from Akhmedov, Boetsch lands a front kick to the body but he eats a couple of counters. Calf kick from Akhmedov, Boetsch is falling short with his offense at this point. They clinch up and Akhmedov gets Boetsch on the fence. Knees from Akhmedov to the body and some short rights to the head. Boetsch lands a knee of his own, we get time after Akhmedov took a knee to the crotch. Akhmedov is good to continue though and the ref starts them back in the clinch. Shoulder strikes from Akhmedov, then they break as Boetsch tries a knee.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Boetsch coming forward, lands a bit of a right. Akhmedov lands a right to counter a front kick, Boetsch lands a leg kick. Front kick to the face from Akhmedov. Bit of a counter left hook from Akhmedov then a leg kick. Right from Akhmedov lands, then a left hook in close. Boetsch coming forward again, walks into a left that opens up a cut around his right eye. Body kick from Boetsch but Akhmedov catches it and lands a left hook. Akhmedov lands a left in close, bit of an uppercut from Boetsch to counter. Boetsch lands a front kick to the body. Both men miss hooks, Akhmedov lands a few hooks in close and Boetsch is cut again, this time around the other eyebrow. Akhmedov lands a left, bit of a leg kick from Boetsch. They get close and land in the pocket. They clinch up, and my feed stutters. Sorry for that, it’s not Comcast this time though, and I miss the final few seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Omari Akhmedov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

No interview for Akhmedov, not the most engaging fight ever but not the worst.

Beneil Dariush just got his first win since 2016 and he’s looking for back to back wins in the UFC for the first time since that same year. Dariush is also trying to stay relevant, lightweight is one of the most unforgiving divisions in the sport and if he drops another fight here he’s likely out of even the rankings discussion. Drew Dober finally seems to have found his footing in the UFC, he’s on a three fight winning streak and is 5-1 in his last six bouts. A win here would be big for Dober as Dariush is the most accomplished opponent he’s faced to date. Dariush is your favorite at -210 against +175 for Dober.

Lightweight Bout: Beneil Dariush (15-4-1, 156 lbs.) vs Drew Dober (20-8 1 NC, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dariush has two inches of height and reach on Dober. Both men fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Dariush misses a few kicks, Dober lands a bit of a left but Dariush lands a left of his own. Leg kick from Dober. Leg kick from Dariush and he blocks the counters. Dariush lands a front kick to the face, Dober lands a few punches and pushes into a clinch. Dariush winds up holding Dober on the fence and lands a few knees to the body. Dober is trying to pummel his grip but can’t really do it, Dariush backs out of the clinch without issue. Dariush lands a leg kick, Dober returns it. A counter right from Dober wobbles Dariush but he throws back and gets a clinch. Dober has Dariush on the fence, he breaks without incident and lands a leg kick on the reset. Dariush has a head kick blocked, Dober lands a series of straight punches, Dariush just eats them and they clinch up again. Dober winds up on the fence as Dariush is looking for a takedown. Dober stays upright, Dariush lands a knee as they break. Dariush is very flat on his feet right now, Dober is moving well and lands a leg kick that Dariush returns it. They clinch up in space and trade knees to the body as Dariush pushes Dober into the fence. Knees to the body go back and forth and they break. Dober lands a left to the body. Flying knee from Dober is smothered and Dariush lands a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dober

ROUND TWO: They trade body kicks but Dariush is off balanced and drops but he’s back up and in the clinch. Knees from Dariush as he pushes Dober into the fence and is after a takedown. Dariush gets the double leg against the fence and looks to mount the legs and get wrist control. Half guard for Dariush and he lands a few short elbows and punches. Dariush is looking to pass but Dober has a lock down on the half guard that’s stalling that motion. An arm triangle threat gets Dariush to pass to full mount, Dober instantly trying to hip escape. Punches from Dariush and he’s keeping Dober on the mat. Dober gets half guard but Dariush moves to mount again and lands lefts to the face. Elbows from Dariush and he gets the back then tries an armbar as he slid off and Dober gets free but holds a clinch. Dariush gets a double leg into half guard and is after a kimura. Dariush gets a reverse triangle, switches to an armbar and forces Dober to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Beneil Dariush via Submission, armbar, at 4:42 of Round 2

Dariush does get some mic time after that, he puts over Dober as a tough opponent and notes he got hit and is glad he didn’t go out because that was a possibility with the power he ate. He talks us through the finish then says he fights for the glory of God and feels fighting is easier when you give it all up to God. Asked what’s next for him he says staying busy is key and references his fast turnaround then expresses gratitude to his daughter who turned 4 today.

Here’s the finish, we miss the kimura trap that set things up but if you can see it check out the angle on the elbow of Dober because that was a nasty armbar from Dariush.

Blagoy Ivanov just had a five fight winning streak snapped when he lost his UFC debut against former champion Junior dos Santos, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak while getting his first UFC win. Also coming off of a loss to dos Santos is Ben Rothwell. Rothwell had a five fight winning streak snapped by dos Santos back in April of 2016 and has been out of action since, he’s trying to return to action with a bang and remind everyone that he’s a player in the division. Rothwell is your slight -120 favorite to a +100 comeback on Ivanov.

Heavyweight Bout: #15 Blagoy Ivanov (16-2 1 NC, 254.5 lbs.) vs Ben Rothwell (36-10, 264.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rothwell is five inches taller and has five and a half inches of reach on Ivanov. They touch gloves to get us going, Ivanov circling around the outside pawing with the jab. Rothwell doing some stance switching, so is Ivanov I think. They’re both southpaw at the moment, Rothwell just stalking forward on Ivanov. Bit of a left from Rothwell. Leg kick from Rothwell drops Ivanov for a second. Left to the body from Ivanov. Rothwell misses a high kick and eats a bit of a counter left. Left from Rothwell lands, Ivanov lands a right hook. Straight left from Rothwell stumbles Ivanov, Ivanov returns fire with a left then a left uppercut. Leg kick from Rothwell, Ivanvo lands a left to the body then a right hook. More body shots from Ivanov, he’s targeting the abdomen as Rothwell is coming forward. Rothwell lands a jab. Another left to the body from Ivanov. Bit of a right from Rothwell to counter that left to the body. Bit of a leg kick from Rothwell, Ivanov goes to the body and Rothwell lands a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rothwell

ROUND TWO: Back to forward motion from Rothwell, Ivanov working the jab to try and keep distance. Ivanov lands a left to the body, he seems to be upping his output this round. A few jabs from Ivanov sneak through as Rothwell marches forward. Jab from Ivanov lands. More jabs from Ivanov, then a straight left. Bit of a left from Rothwell. Right hook from Ivanov lands. Rothwell lands a left but eats a counter left. Ivanov lands a left to the body. Another left lands for Rothwell, now Ivanov lands a hard left counter and Rothwell’s nose is busted up. Rothwell is still coming forward despite taking the worst of the punches thus far. Leg kick from Rothwell. Rothwell lands a combination but has to back up when Ivanov lands a left. There’s swelling around the left eye of Ivanov after that exchange. They trade inside leg kicks as the last blows of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ivanov, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round, and Ivanov lands a bit of a left. Rothwell still coming forward, if he actually cut off the cage he might give Ivanov trouble but he’s letting him circle with near impunity. Ivanov lands a left. Ivanov lands a left to the body. They both swing as Rothwell tries for a clinch but can’t secure it. Rothwell has a high kick blocked then misses a left hook. Ivanov takes a finger to the eye but quickly walks it off. Both men miss punches in close. Rothwell lands a left then a leg kick. Groin shot but Ivanov doesn’t want the time out and we’re still fighting. Glancing left from Ivanov but he eats a right. Ivanov actually coming forward a bit, lands a left to the body then one to the head. Stepping right from Rothwell lands but Ivanov lands a left. Rothwell lands a left, he’s coming forward and lands a left. Inside leg kick from Ivanov, both men are swinging a little wild now and are missing because of it. Looping left from Ivanov lands, Rothwell lands a left of his own. A couple of straight lefts land for Ivanov. We get some pocket swinging, Rothwell lands a head kick and they trade blows as the clock runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Blagoy Ivanov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Well that sucked, but I’m not complaining about the winner as the first round could have gone either way given that Rothwell had a good moment but Ivanov largely out worked him for the rest of it. Mic time for Ivanov, who puts over Rothwell and dedicates the win to Bulgaria. Asked about the decision he says he thinks his volume won him the fight.

Tim Means just broke a two fight losing streak, but he’s still just 2-3 in his last five fights and is after his first winning streak since 2016. Niko Price has a solid UFC record of 4-2 with 1 No Contest, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. The odds are with Means at -200 against a +170 comeback on Price.

Welterweight Bout: Tim Means (28-10-1 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs Niko Price (12-2 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Means is two inches taller while Price has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Means fighting southpaw. Price lands a couple of inside leg kicks, Means lands a counter left. Price lands a couple of counter rights that wobble Means, he’s looking to swarm with punches and a knee but Means gets a big double leg to stem that offense. Full guard for Price, Means postures up and is looking to land offense along the fence. Means moves to side control and lands more punches. Price walks along the fence and eats an illegal knee I thought, I could have sworn Price had a knee down when Means landed that knee. Price doesn’t care though and is coming forward, lands a couple of inside leg kicks. Shame on the ref as commentary confirms that the knee was illegal. More kicks from the outside from Price as he’s circling. Means lands a long left then a couple of short punches in close. Means lands a few more punches, he’s got faster hands and works more in combination. Price lands a couple of punches but walks into a left that landed flush. They trade punches but Means lands a combination. Hard counter left from Means but Price floors him with a counter right and he’s out just about as he hits the ground.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Niko Price via KO, punch, at 4:50 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Price for his work this evening. Price gets mic time after that, he says that Means hit him hard but he just bit down on his mouthpiece and threw back and gives glory to God. He expresses love to his wife and kid, puts over his new nutrition program and wants a bonus. He talks us through the finish, says he got stumbled a bit but once he got to the fence he just threw the right hand like he’d drilled in camp. Asked about this moment, he says it’s great and wants a rematch with Razak Al-Hassan

Minor correction to the above, there was a solid punch on the ground that actually put Means out as evidenced here.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is on a six fight winning streak in the UFC and has finished his last two opponents, he’s trying to defend and hopefully improve on his top fifteen ranking. Curtis Millender is on a nine fight winning streak including going 3-0 in the UFC, he’s looking to take out his first ranked opponent and solidify himself as a rising contender in the division. The odds are with Millender at a slight -125 to a +105 comeback on dos Santos.

Welterweight Bout: #14 Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (20-5, 170.5 lbs.) vs Curtis Millender (17-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Millender has three inches of height and reach on dos Santos. They touch gloves, and both men start feinting early. Hard body kick from dos Santos then an inside leg kick and dos Santos gets a double leg but Millender has a guillotine attempt. Millender bails on the guillotine attempt so he can get full butterfly guard, dos Santos passes to half guard. Body shots from dos Santos then an elbow to the head. Dos Santos looks for mount, can’t secure it but does get the back as Millender tries to get up and dos Santos has both hooks in now. Dos Santos is fishing for the choke, Millender trying to turn into him and dos Santos gets on top in full mount when Millender tried to spin. Now dos Santos has the back again and has the choke locked in, that’ll force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:35 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Zaleski dos Santos for his work this evening. Seriously, that’s seven wins in a row for dos Santos and the last three have been finishes, get that man some top ten opposition. Mic time for dos Santos, he thanks the crowd in somewhat broken English then goes back to Portuguese to express happiness with his performance. He talks about his capoeira origin and how it helped his balance but he’s a legitimate jiu-jitsu black belt and runs down his list of accolades and wants to fight for the belt. Asked specifically who he wants next he says he just wants people to see how good he is, he feels he should be on an eight fight winning streak and wants a top five opponent, or just the belt, but keep him busy. To close he speaks some Portuguese that doesn’t get translated.

Relentless stuff from dos Santos, note specifically how he adjusts his grip when the traditional figure four style wont work he goes palm to palm for the proper angle and type of squeeze to finish the choke.

Derrick Lewis was last seen losing badly in a failed bid to capture the UFC heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier, he’s trying to remain a top heavyweight and avoid his first UFC losing streak. Junior dos Santos is a former heavyweight champion and has had a rather surprising career resurgence over the last few years, he’s 3-1 in his last four fights and that loss was to then champion Stipe Miocic plus he’s currently on a two fight winning streak. Dos Santos is trying to position himself in the title picture going forward. Dos Santos is your -200 favorite against a +170 comeback on Lewis.

Heavyweight Bout: #3 Derrick Lewis (21-6 1 NC, 265.5 lbs.) vs #8 Junior Dos Santos (20-5, 246.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dos Santos is an inch taller while Lewis has two inches of reach on him, and will be be something like thirty pounds heavier as Lewis cuts to make 265 and usually is around 280 or so on fight night. They touch gloves to get us going. Dos Santos misses a right. Dos Santos is the one coming forward, Lewis lands a leg kick then takes a calf kick. Lewis lands a bit of a left hook in close, dos Santos fires back and Lewis complains of an eye poke. Replay confirms the poke, Lewis is good to continue though and we’re back to fighting. Dos Santos still the one pressing forward generally, Lewis lands a left body kick. Dos Santos misses a spinning back kick, then lands a hard leg kick but Lewis lands a right. More pressure from dos Santos, he lands a hard overhand right but gets too eager on the follow up and Lewis clips him so they both just kind of disengage. Dos Santos feinting, he’s getting Lewis to bite on those feints, and he lands a right to the body. Lewis is kind of freezing up now, he tried a lot of jumping stuff and might have kind of used up his gas tank for the round. Calf kick from dos Santos, Lewis lands a left body kick. Front kick to the body from dos Santos. My internet stutters, this time it’s absolutely Comcast, but I don’t think I missed anything. To close the round dos Santos misses a wheel kick and Lewis misses a high kick. Apparently Lewis got hurt to the body, he’s still holding his ribs going back to his corner.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos

ROUND TWO: It was a spinning back kick to the body from dos Santos that badly hurt Lewis, thanks to the replay crew for that. There’s another internet issue, I’m not sure if it’s Comcast or just the weather at this point. Lewis is trying out southpaw, I assume that’s a leg issue from the kicks of dos Santos. Dos Santos jabs the body, Lewis is clearly a little soft there at this point. Dos Santos lands a leg kick but slips and nearly winds up under Lewis but he scrambles back up quickly. Lewis tries a jumping switch kick but misses. Dos Santos stalking forward, lands a clubbing right that gets Lewis bent over and trying to recover. Dos Santos swarms him as he falls to the mat and the barrage forces the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Junior dos Santos via TKO, punches, at 1:58 of Round 2

That’s three in a row for dos Santos and he’s 2nd all time in UFC heavyweight wins behind just Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski who are tied at 16. He’s also tied for most all time (T)KO wins in UFC heavyweight history at 10 with Derrick Lewis and Cain Velasquez. Mic time for dos Santos, he thanks the crowd for coming out and says he’s had a good time in Wichita. He says he works hard on his combination work and knew that at some point he would land something, but more important this is his sons second birthday and he gets the entire crowd to sing Happy Birthday to his son. Credit to the crowd for going along with that. Dos Santos says he got hurt a bit by the right of Lewis. Asked who or what he’d like next he says he doesn’t care he just wants to stay active, he mentions that the rankings are dubious but he wants to get back to the title.

Here’s the finish. Dos Santos feints his way in and lands a clubbing right, then never lets Lewis off of the hook after he gets hurt from the offense.

On that note everyone, UFC on ESPN+ 4 has come to a close. Thanks to you all for reading along, be that live or after the fact. Tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show we’ll be reviewing all the action from this card as well as previewing UFC on ESPN+ 5 when the UFC returns to London, England and brings a main event of Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal. I’ll be back here next Saturday for that event, I hope you’ll be back as well. Until then thank you again for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 4, Robert Winfree