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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 40 Report: Teixeira Wins

November 8, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree

#1 Thiago Santos (205.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Glover Teixeira (205.5 lbs.)
Andrei Arlovski (244.5 lbs.) vs. Tanner Boser (232.5 lbs.)
Raoni Barcelos (135.5 lbs.) vs. Khalid Taha (135.5 lbs.)
Brendan Allen (185) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
Giga Chikadze (145 lbs.) vs. Jamey Simmons (146 lbs.)
#4 Claudia Gadelha (115.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Yan Xiaonan (115.5 lbs.)

Trevin Giles (185.5 lbs.) vs. Bevon Lewis (185 lbs.)
Marcos Rogerio De Lima (258 lbs.) vs. Alexandr Romanov (260 lbs.)
Darren Elkins (145.5 lbs.) vs. Eduardo Garagorri (145.5 lbs.)
Ramiz Brahimaj (170 lbs.) vs. Max Griffin (170 lbs.)
Anthony Birchak (136 lbs.) vs. Gustavo Lopez (135.75 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 40. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. Tonight there’s, maybe 3 fights worth caring about on paper so let’s look at those first. The main event between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira could possibly crown a number one contender at light heavyweight, except we know that newly crowned champion Jan Blachowicz will instead fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya next and if Adesanya wins the obvious fight to make is Adesanya vs. Jon Jones with Jones trying to reclaim his title. But I’m sure these two will have something coming their way next. Further down the main card Claudia Gadelha and Yan Xiaonan battle for position in the strawweight title picture, Yan hasn’t yet lost in the UFC and you can imagine that a Yan vs. Zhang fight in Chian (if the logistics can work out) is something the UFC would love to put forth. Gadelha also needs to either mount this run or have to seriously rethink her strawweight career, she’s not getting any younger and that weight cut isn’t going to get any easier. Other than that, we’re hoping for good fights in practice because the stakes and hype are pretty low for the rest of it.

Oh, we were supposed to get Brendan Allen vs. Ian Heinisch as well but just a couple of hours before start time that fell out due to covid related issues. That sucks, I had a bit about that fight in the above paragraph I had to edit out and I was kind of looking forward to that fight.

UFC on ESPN+ 40 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz. As for the rules Nevada uses a hybrid set up, adopting most of the changes but you still need only one hand or fist on the mat to be downed and referees have access to instant replay at any point plus they can restart the fight after viewing it if the situation calls for it. Also remember we’re in the smaller 25 foot cage.

Gustavo Lopez suffered a loss in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to bounce back and get his first UFC win. Anthony Birchak took this fight on short notice, he was cut from the UFC in 2016 but with this opportunity returns on a two fight winning streak and hopes to get his second stint up and running with a win.

Bantamweight Bout: Anthony Birchak (15-6, 136 lbs.) vs. Gustavo Lopez (11-5, 135.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Apologies guys, had an emergency coverage thing over in the wrestling zone, but Gustavo Lopez won in the first round, clip will be below.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gustavo Lopez via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:43 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lopez for his work this evening.

Max Griffin has gone 1-4 in his last five fights, currently finds himself on a two fight losing streak and is likely fighting for his spot on the roster here. Ramiz Brahimaj is finally making his UFC debut, he’s been scheduled to do so as far back as June of last year, and is hoping to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. The odds lean towards Griffin at -145 to +125 on Brahimaj.

Welterweight Bout: Ramiz Brahimaj (8-2, 170 lbs.) vs. Max Griffin (15-8, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Griffin is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Griffin comes out looking to jab. Some range finding from both men. A lot of circling from Griffin. Brahimaj with a double jab and a right, doesn’t land clean but he’s throwing now at least. Both men miss some kicks. Bit of a right from Brahimaj in close. Griffin’s jab is starting to land a bit more now. Brahimaj is trying to punch in close, he’s still not cutting off the cage much but he’s not liking the long distance game at this point. Both men showing the lead hand now, Brahimaj more of a hook. Brahimaj with a bit of a right. Jab from Brahimaj. Ugly wheel kick from Brahimaj, Griffin avoids it easily and counters. Brahimaj punches into a clinch and they hit the fence with about 10 seconds left. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Griffin but not definitive either way

ROUND TWO: Brahimaj is starting to throw a little more in combination now, and his right is a little more successful because of it. Griffin tries a front kick but clips Brahimaj hard in the groin so we’ve got time. Brahimaj is hurt badly at first, dry heaving and everything. Replay confirms the low blow. Brahimaj takes about a minute but he’s good to continue. Griffin jabbing and circling, he’s been using a right to the body on occasion as well. Brahimaj lands a leg kick. Some more body work from Griffin, and circling and jabbing as well. Brahimaj is struggling to get close now, and his footwork isn’t helping him corral Griffin either. They trade some lefts, then clinch up and break quickly. Bit of a one two from Brahimaj, mostly blocked. Straight right lands for Griffin. More jabs, Brahimaj is bleeding from around the nose/bridge of the nose. Triple jabs from Griffin now, and a right to the body. Straight right from Griffin. Brahimaj lands a glancing right but he’s walking into the jab from Griffin every time. Griffin lands a straight right. Knee to the body from Griffin and he avoids a clinch. Griffin is the one working in combination more now and he’s starting to piece up Brahimaj. They clinch up and ice the final seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves to get the last round going. Brahimaj working the lead hand, he off balances Griffin for a second but can’t capitalize. One two from Griffin. Brahimaj lands a few stiff lefts. Griffin tries the front kick again, and again kicks Brahimaj in the crotch. After about 40 seconds Brahimaj is good to continue and we’re fighting. Leg kick from Griffin, Brahimaj lands a jab and Griffin is cut around the right eye. Griffin lands a one two. One two stumbles Brahimaj, Griffin backs him to the fence but they wind up clinched. Short elbows from Griffin and Brahimaj is bleeding under the left eye, he’s really wearing it. Oh, that blood is coming from the right ear, Brahimaj’s ear is split nearly in half. The ref sees that and yeah, we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Max Griffin via TKO, injury, at 2:03 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Griffin for his work this evening. Mic time for Griffin, he expected more grappling but was happy to bang it out. He apologizes for the ear damage, and calls the cut bad. Asked about the future, he has some dings to heal up and then look at someone like Carlos Condit or Vicente Luque. Luque is probably a bridge or two too far, but Condit might be a fight they can put together.

Darren Elkins might have been a top featherweight at one point, but he’s on a four fight losing streak now and is trying to salvage his UFC career. Luiz Garagorri has gone 1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Elkin is the favorite at -300 to +240 for Garagorri.

Featherweight Bout: Darren Elkins (24-9, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Eduardo Garagorri (13-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins has an inch of height and reach advantage. Southpaw for Garagorri. Left from Garagorri lands. Double leg from Elkins hits the fence, he gets the elevated double leg. Garagorri starts looking to wall walk. Elkins mounts the legs and lands some body shots. Garagorri back up, mat return from Elkins into half guard. Another wall walk, Elkins stays glued to Garagorri and trips him back down. Garagorri back up but still clinched. Some knees to the body from Elkins. Garagorri lands a right uppercut, but Elkins gets another takedown. Ugh, we’ve got a very clear pattern here. Elkins moves to mount, Garagorri trying to wall walk again. Garagorri up, but can’t get free. Single leg from Elkins, Garagorri misses an enziguri attempt and we’re clinched again. This time Elkins looks to slip around to the back. Garagorri can’t get free. He finally does and tries a head kick that’s blocked. Bit of a left from Garagorri. Elkins catches a high kick and gets a takedown into full guard. That’s where the round, and most of my interest, ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Elkins

ROUND TWO: Quick double leg from Elkins, he moves to half guard against the fence. Elkins mounts the legs again, his half assed Khabib impression continues. Garagorri keeps trying to get up but Elkins is stripping his posts diligently thus far. Short blows from Elkins, Garagorri is up but still clinched. Garagorri gets free this time and resets at distance. Spinning back kick from Garagorri, he’s switching his stance a bit now. Garagorri avoids a double leg, and then decides a clinch is a good idea. I couldn’t face palm any harder if I tried. They fight for position along the fence, Elkins sneaking in knees before they separate. Garagorri lands an uppercut after avoiding a double leg attempt. More uppercuts from Garagorri, Elkins is bleeding a fair bit. Garagorri lands a left. They trade power hand punches. Elkins eats a knee, but gets a double leg into half guard out in open space. Some short punches from Elkins. Garagorri gets full guard, and they both kind of swing as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Garagorri keeps finding long lefts or uppercuts, but he’s not stringing anything together and Elkins is just kind of eating them. Bit of an elbow from Garagorri then they trade body kicks. Right from Garagorri lands, he tries a knee and Elkins gets a clinch off of that and moves to the back. Elkins jumps all the way to the back with both hooks in, now in the backpack spot. Full body triangle from Elkins now as he fights for the choke. He finally gets under the chin, and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Darren Elkins via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:22 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Elkins for his work this evening. Mic time for Elkins, he says it feels good to finally win and talk with the post fight interviewer. He puts over his coaches for their work and their game planning. Asked about maybe being hurt, he says he wasn’t really hurt despite eating some clean punches. To close he mentions being 36 and knowing his time might be more limited, but he’s gonna take it one fight at a time.

Elkins jumps on the back, gets the body triangle, and from there Garagorri can’t keep up the hand fighting and eventually succumbs to the choke.

Alexandr Romanov is undefeated including a successful UFC debut a couple of months ago, now he’s trying to remain perfect and begin climbing the heavyweight ranks. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has gone 2-1 since returning to the heavyweight division, he won his last fight and is trying to get his first winning streak since 2014. After a slam filled debut the odds like Romanov at a hefty -500 to a +380 payout for de Lima.

Heavyweight Bout: Marcos Rogerio De Lima (17-6-1, 258 lbs.) vs. Alexandr Romanov (12-0, 260 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Romanov is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Romanov and they touch gloves. Some low kicks early form De Lima, Romanov doesn’t like that and hits a double leg into side control against the fence. De Lima explodes up and separates. More leg kicks from De Lima, Romanov forces a clinch on the fence. De Lima spins free and separates. Back to kicking the legs, De Lima has heavy kicks. Rights from De Lima as Romanov forces a clinch to the fence. Knee to the body from Romanov. They break without incident, both men sucking some wind. Romanov dives on a single leg, they wind up clinched on the fence. Knee from De Lima. Romanov gets a body lock takedown into side control. De Lima shrimps to half guard. Elbows from Romanov, he’s trying to posture up and land damage. There’s a forearm choke from Romanov, just the forearm on the neck, but he gets enough leverage to force the blood flow to stop and De Lima goes to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexandr Romanov via Technical Submission, forearm choke, at 4:48 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Romanov for his work this evening. So does my stomach, I haven’t eaten yet today and the quick finish will let me fix something if nothing else. Mic time for Romanov, he mentions De Lima was strong but he persevered. He says he’s worked hard on the ground with his team and puts them over. Asked about what he wants next, he’d like to fight in about a month and asks to fight Marcin Tybura. Might be a doable fight.

I thought Oleinik’s Ezekiel choke was the gimmickiest thing I’d seen. Now it’s this. This is supposed to be the highest level of MMA, and this guy just got choked out with this.

Trevin Giles (12-2) has gone 3-2 in the UFC, but he won his last fight and is trying to get another winning streak going. Bevon Lewis (7-2) has gone 1-2 in the UFC but he is coming off of that win and hoping to prove he’s finally found his feet in the promotion. This closed as a -110 pick ’em.

Middleweight Bout: Trevin Giles (12-2, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Bevon Lewis (7-2, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lewis is three inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. Giles forces a clinch quickly and they hit the fence. They jockey for position. Giles slips free and lands some punches before clinching up again. Lewis slips free and they’re at distance. Lewis reaches for a double leg, and they’re clinched on the fence again. Neither man doing much, but they’re fighting enough to not be separated I guess. Some knees from Lewis now. Lewis is actually landing stuff now. Knee from Lewis as they break. Jab from Giles drops Lewis, he gets on top in half guard. Lewis is fishing for a deep half sweep, not happening before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Giles

ROUND TWO: Lewis showing the jab early and circling. Giles avoids a few punches, he’s stalking forward. A fair bit of staring going on now. Bit of a right from Lewis to counter a jab. A couple of body shots from Lewis land. Giles evades a head kick. Jab from Giles. Giles is stalking forward again, lands a jab. Lewis keeps putting himself on the fence, and Giles is going to find places to bomb on him if that continues. Glancing right from Lewis. Giles lands a right. Jab from Giles, just not much behind it. Bit of a body shot from Lewis, and then one from Giles to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Both men punching to start the round, neither landing much. Bit of a right from Giles. Lewis with a jab, and there’s a counter right from Giles. Lewis reaches for a takedown, Giles sprawls and pushes him over but they wind up on the feet again. One two from Giles, he lands a few more punches as Lewis covers up and mercifully the ref ends this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Trevin Giles via TKO, punches, at 1:26 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Giles for his work this evening. Mic time for Giles, he says he tries to stay focused on the fight in front of him. He says the speed differential was too great for Lewis to overcome, then notes he likes to finish while talking us through the end of the fight. To close he gives glory to God, thanks his family as well.

Here’s the finish. Lewis just can’t keep up the defense against the fence and Giles finds the power punches along the way.

That’s it for prelims, we’ll still be on ESPN+ for the main card as well as ESPN2 I think. Who knows though, they bounce these things around a lot.

Claudia Gadelha is on a two fight winning streak and hoping to get a second shot at the strawweight title if she can get to three in a row here. Yan Xiaonan hasn’t lost since 2010, has gone 5-0 in the UFC and could likewise find herself in the title picture with a win over a fellow top contender. The odds are close for this one, but favor Yan at -175 to +150 for Gadelha.

Strawweight Bout: #4 Claudia Gadelha (18-4, 115.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Yan Xiaonan (12-1 1 NC, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yan is an inch taller while Gadelha has half an inch of reach advantage. Yan range finding early. Gadelha circling, takes a right hand. Yan lands an inside leg kick, she’s picking at Gadelha. Gadelha lands a power jab, and forces a clinch then gets a takedown into the guard of Yan. Elbows from Yan, Gadelha hits the body a few times. Gadelha passes to half guard as they hit the fence. Yan trying to wall walk, she’s up but still clinched. Both women land some knees, Yan is struggling to get free. Gadelha looks for a high crotch lift, she can’t get Yan down yet though. There’s an edge in physical strength for Gadelha but she’s struggling to get much done and could wear herself out. The ref breaks them up after things keep stalling. Yan jabbing at range, lands a left hook. Gadelha catches a kick and gets a single leg into full guard. Punches to the body and head for Gadelha. Yan staying busy off of her back, and they trade some elbows. More elbows from the bottom, Gadelha lands a right elbow as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gadelha

ROUND TWO: Yan working the jab again as the round starts. They trade rights, then Gadelha lands a left hook. Yan with a right then a left. One two from Yan, she’s trying to up the tempo. Both women land rights. Yan lands a left hook. More jabs from Yan as she circles, Gadelha’s footwork is badly slowing down. Counter right from Yan lands flush, she’s angling all over Gadelha right now. Bit of a one two from Gadelha. Long right from Yan lands. Right from Yan, Gadelha lands a left hook. Yan lands another right. Another Yan right lands. Yan lands a spinning back fist, Gadelha lands a right. Gadelha forces a clinch, and they’ll end the round there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yan, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Yan jabbing again as the round starts. Gadelha forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Some knees from Yan against the fence, she’s trying to make sure Gadelha has to keep working. Elbow from Yan, and they break. Stiff jab from Yan. More Yan jabs, and she blocks a takedown attempt. Yan lands a one two, Gadelha is very flat on her feet. Gadelha forces another clinch, and starts eating knees in the clinch. Yan gets Gadelha on the fence, lands some short elbows and knees. The ref breaks them up and resets them. Yan lands a right. They split a few jabs. Yan has comprehensively out worked Gadelha this round. Both ladies trade in the pocket, then some Yan jabs as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Yan Xiaonan via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fairly academic, Gadelha’s cardio issues continue to be present. Mic time for Yan and her translator, she feels good after the fight. She is happy she could show off the full range of her skills. Asked about the future, she’s ready whenever to fight for the title.

Giga Chikadze is on an overall six fight winning streak including being 4-0 in the UFC, he’s hoping to move to five in a row and earn a shot further up the ranks next. Jamey Simmons brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut and could score a significant upset here. Speaking of upsets, Chikadze is a prohibitive favorite at -900 to an even +600 comeback for Simmons.

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze (11-2, 145 lbs.) vs. Jamey Simmons (7-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chikadze is six inches taller and has four inches of reach over Simmons. Chikadze stalking forward, he opens orthodox but will do a bit of stance switching. Both men feinting early, Chikadze lands a jab and misses a head kick. Simmons forces a clinch, but Chikadze gets free quickly. Body kick from Chikadze. Simmons misses a right. Chikadze misses a punch and Simmons gets a clinch on the fence. Simmons can’t get a takedown, and Chikadze spins free. Simmons punches for a double leg, can’t finish it and they’re still at distance. Another body kick from Chikadze, then a head kick that drops Simmons. Chikadze follows up on the mat and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Giga Chikadze via TKO, head kick and punches, at 3:51 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Chikadze for his work this evening. Chikadze on the mic, he’s been working for this for a long time and is glad he got 4 fights this year and is really glad he finally got a finish. He talks us through the finish, then notes he wants to fight in a co-main event next and hopes to fight in December.

Work low to set up the head. That first body kick lands flush, and when that second kick starts coming Simmons bites on that as he dips and curves around it to bring his head close enough for the kick to wrap around the guarding hand.

Raoni Barcelos has gone 4-0 in the UFC as part of an eight fight winning streak and could finally start aiming for bigger names if he can get that to five in a row here. Khalid Taha has gone 1-1 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s been out for a little over a year and and is trying to get back to the winning side of things. Barcelos is a fairly heavy favorite at -380 while the +300 payout on Taha has to be a tempting value bet.

Bantamweight Bout: Raoni Barcelos (15-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Khalid Taha (13-2 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barcelos is two and a half inches taller, while Taha has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Circling to start, and some feinting as well. Front kick from Barcelos lands. Another front kick from Barcelos, then a calf kick that drops Taha for a second. Taha has some punches blocked. Barcelos lands a left hook. Another calf kick from Barcelos, those will add up quickly for him. Rights from Barcelos, they brawl a bit and both men land flush several punches. They wind up clinched on the fence after that firefight. Takedown for Barcelos and he’s in side control. Mount for Barcelos, he’s just all over Taha on the mat. Taha keeps trying to scramble, Barcelos is on his back with one hook in. Taha to the fence, tries to wall walk but Barcelos gets both hooks in and pulls him away from the fence. Barcelos trying to get the choke, Taha is able to spin into him and get on top. Some short elbows from Tahah, Barcelos tries an armbar, can’t get it but uses that to stand up. Taha has a rear waist lock. Elbow from Taha. Barcelos gets free and they circle away from each other. Another calf kick from Barcelos. They trade again, neither man afraid of the firefight as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barcelos

ROUND TWO: Barcelos back to kicking at the leg, more inside than outside this time. Front kick and a left hook from Barcelos, he’s landed that combination several times now. Both men block rights. Jumping knee to the body from Barcelos, Taha is doing some stance switching now. Both men land some jabs. Taha takes a groin kick and we’ve got time for him. It takes Taha about 90 seconds but he’s ready to continue. Barcelos coming forward again, lands another inside leg kick. Taha is kind of a tank, he’s taking a lot of blows but coming forward. Kicks to the body and leg from Barcelos, they’re all landing. Barcelos lands a left hook. Taha lands a right to the body, and eats a counter left. Right from Barcelos, then another calf kick. Body kick and a right from Barcelos. Taha falling a bit short with his punches, those calf kicks from Barcelos are adding up quickly. Left knee to the head from Barcelos, he looks to unload but Taha fires back enough to see the end of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Barcelos working his kicking game again, he lands a right hand as well. Calf kick from Barcelos, he’s starting to overwhelm Taha with variety. Barcelos hits an ankle pick and unloads from side control. Taha to his knees, Barcelos gets the ride position along the fence. Barcelos is after the choke, no hooks but that choking arm is getting closer. Taha to his back to avoid the choke and Barcelos moves him away from the fence. Barcelos passes to half guard and lands a right. Punches and elbows from Barcleos as Taha recovers full guard. Taha tries to invert for the legs, uses that to scramble and they wind up on the fence clinched again. Barcelos spins free and they separate. Taha lands a calf kick. Both men land lefts. Another calf kick from Barcelos, Taha lands a left hook. Both men land rights, Taha still just punching while Barcelos is varying his offense. More lefts from Barcelos then he avoids a clinch attempt. Another calf kick from Barcelos, Taha tries a double leg that hits the fence. They trade along the fence, one more firefight to close this little gem of a fight.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Raoni Barcelos via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Really fun fight, get Barcelos some ranked opposition next. Mic time for Barcelos, he says this has been a real tough camp for the fight but he got the win and is happy. He puts over Taha as a good striker, but he fought well and used his wrestling when he needed it. Asked to call his shot (so to speak) he doesn’t, just says he’d like a ranked opponent next.

Andrei Arlovski is still kicking around the UFC for some reason, but he did win his last fight and is trying to fight for some degree of relevance in the heavyweight division. Tanner Boser has gone 3-1 in the UFC, is on a two fight winning streak, and could extend that here while picking up his biggest win in terms of name value. Boser is the favorite at -340 to +270 on Arlovski.

Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (29-19 2 NC, 244.5 lbs.) vs. Tanner Boser (19-6-1, 232.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arlovski is an inch taller, has an inch and a half of reach, and is a full 12 years older. They touch gloves to get us going. Boser circling early, both men doing a bit of feinting as well. Some leg kicks from Boser. Not much going on, neither man wants to risk getting hit too cleanly this early. Left from Boser, bit of a counter right from Arlovski. Arlovski blocks a right, and Boser checks a leg kick. So much starting. Right from Arlovski lands, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski I guess, round sucked

ROUND TWO: Back to circling. Boser is trying to move forward a little more this round. Some leg kicks go back and forth. Arlovski has a great ability to grind fights to a screeching halt so he can win with minimal flurries, and it looks like that’s what we’re getting here. Boser lands a leg kick. Both men miss rights. Some more leg kicks from Boser, they’re not really affecting Arlovski though. Bit of a right from Arlovski. Boser lands a left. Bit of a right from Boser, then a leg kick. Both men swing and miss in close. Another leg kick from Boser, then a body kick. Arlovski lands a spinning back fist but eats a hard counter right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Boser, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Come on guys, I’m tired and don’t feel well so please don’t do this to me. Some kicks from both men. Boser lands a right, then checks a leg kick. More leg kicks from Boser. Boser has a spinning back fist blocked. Body kick form Boser, bit of a left from Arlovski. Right from Arlovski in close lands. Boser committed to the leg work. Inside leg kick from Boser. Arlovski pushes forward and lands a right. More inside and outside leg kicks from Boser, but if they don’t build to something soon I question the decision making. Boser lands a right, they clinch up in space and trade knees then break. Arlovski avoids a right, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Boser, 29-28 Boser overall but who cares

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

That was awful, I’m incredibly sick of Arlovski’s 12 strikes a round strategy. His success at this point is a damning indictment of the heavyweight division. Mic time for Arlovski, for some reason. He thanks his family and coaches, says his camp was great, he wants to focus on fighting smart and winning. Asked what’s helping him succeed at this point he references Randy Couture and George Foreman, he wants to prove that old school is still cool.

Thiago Santos was last seen in July of 2019 when he failed to take the light heavyweight title from Jon Jones, and managed to totally destroy his knees in the process. Santos is back now, hoping to prove he’s still a viable contender and maybe get a title shot after Jan Blachowicz (a man Santos violently KO’d last year) fights Israel Adesanya. Glover Teixeira is on a four fight winning streak and is likewise trying to secure a second title shot, and while both he and Santos will be playing the waiting game on super fights this win would make him the next logical contender. Despite the layoff and significant injures Santos is the favorite at -240 while the +200 payout on Teixeira is a solid bet if you don’t mind the potential of losing.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #1 Thiago Santos (21-7, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Glover Teixeira (31-7, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height, and have the same reach. Santos looks to be the bigger of the two, not much but to my eye that’s how it looks. Both men feinting a bit to start. Some lefts go back and forth. Santos showing off some stance switches now. Right hook from Santos wobbles Teixeira, he unloads and Teixeira tries for a double leg but Santos defends and keeps unloading. Teixeira gets the double leg, Santos wall walks but Teixeira is holding his back on the feet now. Mat return from Teixeira, into full mount. Half guard now as Santos hip escapes. Elbows and punches from Teixeira. Teixeira back to full mount, again Santos regains half guard. Some more blows from Teixeira as Santos gets full guard. Body blows from Teixeira, Santos is just closing his guard and hanging on. Teixeira moves to half guard, lands an elbow as the round ends.

SCOERCARD: 10-9 Teixeira but I wouldn’t argue too much against Santos

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Santos lands a calf kick. Front kick to the body from Santos. Teixeira lands a right, and gets a double leg. Hammer fists from Teixeira, and he passes to half guard. Santos is kind of stuck here if he doesn’t have the fence to help, that’s letting Teixeira land blows and look to pass. Elbows and hammer fists from Teixeira. Teixeira to full mount now, but Santos hip escapes to half guard. Side control now for Teixeira. Santos is just getting beaten up here. Teixeira lands punches while Santos is able to shrimp to half guard. Another pass to side control, then mount for Teixeira. Santos gives up the back, near choke but Santos holds on for the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Teixeira, 20-17 Teixiera overall

ROUND THREE: Santos tries southpaw, and defends a takedown then floors Teixeira with a left. Santos follows him down and tries to unload from half guard, Teixeira trying to tie him up. Elbows from Santos, Teixeira trying to shrimp. Some lefts from Santos. Elbows from Santos, he’s looking to tee off but Teixeira is able to sweep him and come up on the back, gets both hooks in and starts laying into Santos now. Teixeira after the choke, he’s under the neck and Santos taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Glover Teixeira via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:49 of Round 3

Teixeira’s toughness is on the Nogueira scale at this point. Mic time for Teixeira, who’s now got the most finishes in UFC light heavyweight history. He acknowledges that Santos does in fact hit like a sledgehammer and thinks he might have some broken facial bones, then puts over his coaches for getting him ready. He talks us through the finish, mentions Santos hit him with some good shots but he survived and got him in the end. Asked about being the presumptive number one contender, he asks for a title shot and jokes he’s an old man who can’t wait for the young guy in Adesanya to get a shot first. He thanks the UFC brass, and quotes Rocky “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep coming forward”. To close he thanks a bunch of people in both Portuguese and English.

Welp, that closes the show ladies and gents. We’ll unpack all of the action on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus look ahead to next week’s UFC UFC on ESPN+ 41 when former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos returns to the lightweight division to battle up and coming contender Islam Makhachev. I’ll be back for that event next week, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

UFC 297, Robert Winfree