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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 46 Report 5.22.21: Rob Font Wins

May 22, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 46

UFC on ESPN+ 46 MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)

#3 Rob Font (136 lbs.) vs. #4 Cody Garbrandt (135.5 lbs.)
#4 Carla Esparza (116 lbs.) vs. #3 Yan Xiaonan (116 lbs.)
Justin Tafa (265.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (264 lbs.)
Norma Dumont (146 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (145 lbs.)
Bill Algeo (145.5 lbs.) vs. Ricardo Ramos (146 lbs.)
#7 Jack Hermansson (186 lbs.) vs. #10 Edmen Shahbazyan (185 lbs.)


Chris Barnett (263 lbs.) vs. Ben Rothwell (265.5 lbs.)
Court McGee (170.5 lbs.) vs. Claudio Silva (169.5 lbs.)
Victor Rodriguez (125.5 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (125.5 lbs.)
Josh Culibao (146 lbs.) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (146 lbs.)
#11 David Dvorak (126 lbs.) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (128.5 lbs.)*
Damir Hadzovic (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155)
Rafael Alves (154.5 lbs.) vs. Damir Ismagulov (155.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 46. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Tonight the UFC brings us a pretty decent card on the heels of UFC 262, headlined by a very relevant bantamweight fight when former champion Cody Garbrandt takes on surging contender Rob Font. Sadly the top of bantamweight is slightly log jammed after the clown fiesta that led to Aljamain Sterling taking the belt via disqualification, plus we’ve still got Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw trying to be rescheduled, but an impressive win from either Font or Garbrandt might help their cause. Elsewhere on the card Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan could determine the next title challenger with an impressive win at strawweight, and Jack Hermansson takes on Edmen Shahbazyan in a relevant middleweight fight. On the prelims I’m kind of sentimentally interested in Court McGee vs. Claudia Silva, and longtime regional veteran Chris Barnett steps in on very short notice to battle Ben Rothwell. And if you’ve got a taste for flyweight action rising contender David Dvorak will be in action.

UFC on ESPN+ 46 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping. As for the rules, we’re mostly under the new ones with the exception of the downed fighter rule but we do have the use of instant replay and an instant replay official on the outside who can request it, and the fight can be restarted after instant replay if that’s applicable. We’re also in the smaller 25 foot diameter cage.

Well, news came down about an hour before the event was to start that we lost Damir Hadzovic and Yancy Medeiros due to some Hadzovic health issues. That sucks, those two were probably going to turn in something worth watching.

Rafael Alves has been trying to get his UFC debut for almost a year now, but he’s got a five fight winning streak going on and has a chance for a solid win tonight as his first impression to the audience. Damir Ismagulov has an absurd 17 fight winning streak including three wins in the UFC, he’s hoping to extend that to four in the promotion at the expense of Alves and take a step up in class in the deepest division in the sport. Ismagulov is an overwhelming favorite at -590 while the +410 payout on Alves might tempt the degenerate gamblers out there.

Lightweight Bout: Rafael Alves (19-9, 154.5 lbs.) vs. Damir Ismagulov (22-1, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ismagulov is two inches taller and has a whopping six inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Ismagulov working the jab early, Alves blitzes him and lands a right then dives on a guillotine choke against the fence. Alves has half guard on the dangerous side and is working to tighten things down. Ismagulov stays patient and moves to half guard on the other side, gets his head free and lands a few short punches and elbows. More lefts from Ismagulov to the head while he works to get his posture up. Body shots from Ismagulov, he’s digging rights to the kidney. Alves gets full guard, Ismagulov stands over him. Some obvious fence grabs from Alves, Ismagulov lands a few leg kicks then rights to the body while standing over him. Ismagulov goes down into half guard again and starts working blows to the head. Alves gets full guard again and closes it. Ismagulov still working his ground and pound, body to head just chipping away. Elbows from Ismagulov now, and those body shots are starting to add up. They’ll end the round in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ismagulov, would have been 10-8 except for that opening flurry.

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Ismagulov showing the jab again, clips Alves with a check left hook. Alves lands a front kick to the body. Stiff jab from Ismagulov. Alves misses a wheel kick, then Ismagulov misses a spinning back kick. Some more jabs from Ismagulov. Hard left from Ismagulov stuns Alves, Ismagulov lands a right to follow up. Bit of a right from Ismagulov, he’s starting to get a feel for the fight now. Left hook from Ismagulov drops Alves, Alves bounces right back up but that definitely got him. Alves avoids a few offensive motions, he seems to have recovered. Ismagulov lands an uppercut, he’s got Alves guessing defensively at this point. Calf kicks are traded, then Ismagulov lands a jab. Alves tries a low outside reap trip, Ismagulov easily counters and takes him down into full guard. Ismagulov lands body shots from the guard as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Ismagulov back to jabbing. Alves coming forward, misses a right. Left gazelle punch from Alves kind of lands, then he jumps for a guillotine but this one isn’t close at all and Ismagulov gets his head free. Ismagulov stands over him, moves to the ride position and lands a few knees to the body and thigh. Alves Granby rolls through and gets free then resets on the feet. Body kick from Ismagulov as Alves has gone southpaw. Alves lands a body kick. Ismagulov lands a right, and eats a knee to the body. Both men land punches in close, Alves has walked him to the fence though. Ismagulov tries a takedown, they hit the fence and stall out. Alves gets free, not much happened during that clinch exchange. Wheel kick from Alves lands, Ismagulov jabs him in response. Head kick from Ismagulov is blocked. Ismagulov grabs a single leg, Alves defends with a front headlock, lands a knee and they get chest to chest. The round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Alves, 29-28 Ismagulov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Alves came on in the last half of the third round, but too little too late, Ismagulov’s technique is really solid and got him the win. No interview for Ismagulov.

David Dvorak has a 15 fight winning streak that includes two UFC wins, he’s trying to defend his newly won ranking and possibly earn a shot at some ranked opposition next. Juancamilo Ronderos is undefeated but took this fight on about 12 hours notice, which probably contributed to his missing weight, and could make a major impact by beating a rising contender like Dvorak. Dvorak is a prohibitive favorite at -590 to +400 on the late replacement Ronderos.

Flyweight Bout: #11 David Dvorak (19-3, 126 lbs.) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (4-0, 128.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dvorak is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Ronderos. Dvorak jabbing and keeping things long. Ronderos lands a right hook. Dvorak lands a left hook. Body kick from Dvorak hurt Ronderos for a second but he recovers quickly. Dvorak lands a right. A couple of more rights from Dvorak, one staggers Ronderos and he’s after him along the fence. Ronderos tries a takedown, Dvorak slips to the back with one hook in and is after the choke. Dvorak adjusts, gets both hooks in and secures the choke to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – David Dvorak via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Dvorak for his work this evening. Mic time for Dvorak, he addresses the very late notice change of opponent and having to go from a righty muay thai fighter who’s longer than he is to a shorter southpaw who’s more of a wrestler. He talks us through the finish, hopes for a performance bonus and notes his arm was deep enough under the chin to not need the second hand. Asked who he’d like next he’s got a lot of names in his head but Raulian Paiva is still kind of on his mind as they were supposed to fight a couple of times but Paiva missed weight and then fell out of this fight very late and he’s annoyed by all of that.

Take a look at the one armed finish here. Dvorak gets his choking arm deep enough that he doesn’t need the second arm, his grip is deep enough around to grab Ronderos’s trap/rear deltoid for the leverage necessary to maintain the grip as he can leverage his lower body into the choke. When you can get one arm around that deep you don’t need the second one for the choke, it actually turns the hand fighting game completely around as the defender then probably needs both hands on the choking arm but you can hand fight with your free arm to prevent that.

Josh Culibao has gone 0-1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a draw and really needs to get that first UFC win under his belt tonight. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke is making his UFC debut on the back of a two fight winning streak and as the old saying goes will have his only chance to make a good first impression tonight. The odds are with Culibao at -265 to a +200 payout on Shayilan.

Featherweight Bout: Josh Culibao (8-1-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (19-6, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Culibao is two inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Culibao lands a calf kick. Shayilan pushes into a clinch and they hit the fence. Shayilan keeps looking for a body lock takedown but thus far Culibao is defending. Some lefts from Shayilan. Shayilan gets around to the back and tries to drag Culibao down but can’t secure anything. Culibao down to a knee, Shayilan gets him to his seat and looks to get his hooks in. Both hooks in for Shayilan but Culibao strips them and wall walks, Shayilan still has a clinch though. Shayilan gets the body lock again, lands a knee to the body then ducks behind to the back. Shayilan gets a mat return, Culibao back up and lands a back elbow but can’t get free. A few punches from Shayilan as he breaks the clinch. Culibao lands a couple of stiff rights at distance. Jabs from Culibao, then a leg kick. Hard calf kick from Culiba, then another one as the round ends. I’m going to go with Shayilan because Chinese fighters tend to list family name first and I have no idea if that’s been adapted by the UFC or not as they’ve done it both ways.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shayilan but there’s an argument for the other way.

ROUND TWO: Both men feinting the lead hand, Culibao lands a right. Some kicks to the body and calf from Shayilan. Culibao shows southpaw, for no reason, then goes back. Calf kicks from Culibao. Bit of a right from Shayilan. Blitz from Shayilan ends in a clinch. Shayilan is after a single leg, Culibao gets free after landing some lefts. Jabs from Culibao then another calf kick. One two from Culibao, partially lands. Shayilan misses a left hook after feinting a takedown. Culibao lands a right. Pull back left from Culibao, then a one two at distance. Another calf kick from Culibao. Shayilan tries a double leg against the fence, switches to a single leg but Culibao gets the back, hits a mat return and jumps for the back as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Culibao, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Culibao back to jabbing and moving. Another calf kick from Culibao. Shayilan lands a bit of a right. Culibao lands another calf kick. All those jabs have the nose of Shayilan bloody. Culibao lands a right, wish he’d follow that up. Calf kicks and jabs from Culibao, he’s really starting to pick Shayilan apart. Shayilan tries a single leg, that hits the fence and he settles for a clinch. Shayilan gets a trip, but Culibao wall walks immediately as Shayilan gets the back standing. Culibao gets a ninja choke, but Shayilan goes down and rolls free but eats a few rights on the way back up. Culibao jabbing again, avoids a spinning back fist. Shayilan tries a single leg on the fence, can’t get it and they break. Culibao gets off balanced throwing a kick as the clock runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Culibao via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I wouldn’t have objected to 30-27 Culibao, Shayilan had a ton of control time in the first but did very little damage and Culibao did land some quality work in the final 30 seconds or so. Mic time for Culibao, he notes he finally got the weight off of his shoulders as it pertains to getting the first UFC win. He talks about preparing his get ups to wear down his opponent, then shot selection on the feet. To close he puts over his gym, training partners, and girlfriend.

Bruno Silva finally got his first UFC win in his last fight, now he’s trying to build on that momentum and get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Victor Rodriguez had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut, he’s looking to bounce back and get his first UFC win at the expense of Silva. Silva is a heft favorite at -385 to a +290 comeback on Rodriguez.

Flyweight Bout: Victor Rodriguez (7-3, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (11-5-2 1 NC, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men showing the jab as they try to get a read on each other. Both men miss right hands. Silva lands a right then a knee to the head in a brief clinch, another right floors Rodriguez and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bruno Silva via KO, punches, at 1:00 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his work this evening. Mic time for Silva, he says this is the best time of his life and he’s grateful that all of his hard work is paying off. He says he predicted the knockout and can’t wait to get back into the cage again. Asked what he’d like next he calls out Rogerio Bontorin, I’d be down for that, then speaks some Portuguese for the people back in Brazil.

This is a really nice finishing sequence, Silva misses the first right but winds up clubbing with his forearm, uses that to transition to a double collar tie and lands a knee to the face. That knee hurt Rodriguez, so he was a sitting duck for the follow up right hand that ended things.

Court McGee is just 1-5 in his last six fights and on a three fight losing streak, his back is very much up against the wall tonight and he badly needs a win. Claudio Silva just had a 14 fight winning streak snapped which brought his UFC record to 5-1, he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and maybe keep a more active schedule going forward. The odds closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Welterweight Bout: Court McGee (19-10, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Claudio Silva (14-2, 169.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while McGee has four and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Silva. Both men come out kicking, Silva lands a head kick but takes a counter right. Some body kicks from both men. McGee lands a bit of a left hook in close. Double leg from McGee, nicely timed and he lands on top nearly in half guard. Silva gets full guard. Silva is able to kick McGee off and regain his feet. Single leg attempt from Silva, McGee keeps his balance and lands some punches before they clinch up and separate. Silva might be gassing out. McGee lands a right. Right to the body from McGee. More body shots from McGee, Silva lands a bit of a left. Silva tries a double leg, that stalls out on the fence. Some knees to the thigh from Silva but they’re kind of stalling out on the fence. Silva tries to pull guard, can’t quite control things and McGee gets free. They trade lefts, then McGee defends a takedown as the round ends.


ROUND TWO: Silva pressing forward early, McGee lands a right to the chest and circles. Glancing right from McGee. Silva tries a double leg against the fence, he’s able to get it but McGee wall walks and spins free almost immediately. Rights from McGee then he sprawls away from a double leg and spins to the back, which prompts Silva to roll and get full guard. A few short punches and elbows from McGee. More elbows from McGee and he passes to half guard. Silva is able to get to his knees, tries a sweep but gets reversed by McGee. Another sweep attempt from Silva, McGee is riding and kind of stifling them while landing elbows. Silva after a heel hook, but the fence is limiting his ability to spin for it and McGee lands rights while defending and gets the ride position out of it. McGee rides Silva to the mat, gets full mount and lands an elbow. McGee is trying to set up an arm triangle choke, the fence is complicating things for him though. Silva catches half guard while McGee is trying to pass to finish it but Silva will defend until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McGee but there’s a 10-8 argument in there, 20-18 McGee overall

ROUND TRHEE: McGee pushing forward again, Silva clearly fatigued. Both men land in close, Silva lands a body kick then a left to the body. McGee tries to clinch, then they trade rights. Silva lands a left, McGee responds with a right. Silva can’t keep this pace up at this point, he’s giving everything for the first minute or so. They clinch up and McGee lands knees to the body then avoids a takedown. McGee gets a double leg against the fence and passes to half guard with relative ease. Rights from McGee, Silva gets to his knees and looks to stand but McGee is able to stall that on the fence. More rights from McGee while Silva is trying to wall walk. Silva gets up and lands an elbow as they break. McGee ducks under a left and gets a double leg into full guard. Back to short elbows for McGee. Silva fires some elbows from his back, McGee responds in kind. McGee avoids a triangle attempt. Some punches from McGee as the clock winds down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Court McGee via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26 x2)

I probably should have gone 10-8 in the second the more I think about it. That’s the best McGee has looked in a long time, if ever. Mic time for McGee after the win, he says he feels like a million bucks and like a different version of himself. He dedicates the win to a neighbor of his who’s husband recently passed but who inspired him to get back to being The Crusher. He expresses love to his wife and kids, then mentions he didn’t anticipate grappling this much but Silva kept coming forward and over swinging his punches so the double leg was right there. To close he puts over Paul Felder who’s interviewing him.

Ben Rothwell has gone 2-4 in his last six fights, he’s coming off of a loss to Marcin Tybura and despite the somewhat shallow nature of heavyweight kind of needs a win here to remain a relevant player in the division. Chris Barnett took this on about a days notice, but he’s been a staple of the regional combat sports scene for years and hasn’t lost an MMA fight since 2017. Barnett is trying to maximize the opportunity here, and a win over Rothwell would be the biggest of his career. Rothwell is the favorite at -335 to a +250 comeback on Barnett.

Heavyweight Bout: Chris Barnett (21-6, 263 lbs.) vs. Ben Rothwell (38-13, 265.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rothwell is seven inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Barnett, they both feint early. Some leg kicks from Barnett while he’s circling. Rothwell eats a left hand. Bit of a right from Rothwell but Barnett is firing combinations, he’s got some fast hands. Another left from Barnett. Rothwell lands a right to the body. Elbow from Rothwell, Barnett counters with a left hand. Barnett lands a spinning back kick to the body. Rothwell lands a right to the chest. Barnett lands a bit of a right. They clinch up, Rothwell gets a trip takedown into half guard. Lefts from Rothwell, and he moves to full mount. Rothwell gets the back, no hooks though and gets swept then they scramble back up. Right from Barnett, they clinch up and trade knees. They hit each other from the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rothwell

ROUND TWO: Rothwell coming forward again, Barnett lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Barnett. Both men land punches. Rothwell lands a right at long range. Both men land rights in close. Uppercut from Rothwell, they get close and trade punches before Rothwell lands another uppercut. A bad shot from Barnett gets smothered and Rothwell gets a modified front choke that forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ben Rothwell via Submission, front choke, at 2:07 of Round 2

Sloppy but that’s kind of Rothwell’s M.O. Mic time for Rothwell, he says he loves uppercuts and got to show them off against a shorter guy who loves dipping in. He says he’s watched a lot of tape on himself to try and figure out how to improve himself, and he feels his current version can compete with anyone. He notes his back was against the wall here and he had to win.

Here’s a look at the finish, Rothwell has a pretty nasty front choke/10 finger guillotine andonce Barnett can’t spin out of the grip he winds up stuck and has to tap.

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

Jack Hermansson has gone 5-2 in his last seven fights but is coming off of a loss to Marvin Vettori. Hermansson is trying to put himself back into the title scene and avoid his first UFC losing streak. Edmen Shahbazyan is coming off of his first professional loss, he’s trying to prove that was more of a learning experience than anything else and resume his upward trajectory. Hermansson is your favorite at -150 to a +120 comeback on Shahbazyan.

Middleweight Bout: #7 Jack Hermansson (21-6, 186 lbs.) vs. #10 Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shahbazyan is an inch taller but Hermansson has three and a half inches of reach advantage, though Hermansson is also 9 years older. Hermansson feinting his way forward early. Shahbazyan lands a right to the body. Hermansson lands a calf kick. Stiff jabs are going back and forth, bit of a combination from Shahbazyan. Back to trading jabs. Shahbazyan lands a bit of a right. A few front kicks from Hermansson. Shahbazyan avoids a poorly timed takedown and lands a right. Another right from Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan’s jab is starting to be a problem for Hermansson. Body shots from Shahbazyan, Hermansson is struggling to get anything off now. Hermansson lands a leg kick. Hermansson gets a clinch but no under hooks and Shahbazyan spins free then lands a few punches. Shahbazyan lands a one two. A lot of forward pressure from Hermansson now but he’s not getting much out of it. Hermansson lands a calf kick. Shahbazyan lands a jab. Hermansson lands a left hook to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shahbazyan

ROUND TWO: Hermansson quickly pushes close and gets a clinch. Double leg from Hermansson and he’s got Shahbazyan down in full guard. Short punches and now elbows from Hermansson. Hammer fists from Hermansson, he’s working a rather high pace of ground and pound. Shahbazyan slips free and gets up but he’s caught in a front headlock. Hermansson is working for a mat return. Shahbazyan is able to get a front headlock of his own, tries a guillotine as Hermansson gets a takedown but Hermansson lands in side control on the safe side. Shahbazyan gets half guard but he’s taking some blows along the way. Elbows from Hermansson. Hermansson is almost into full mount, but Shahbazyan defends and retains half guard. More elbows from Hermansson as he’s trying to set up another pass. Shahbazyan is able to slip out from under Hermansson and get on top. Hermansson with elbows from his back. Shahbazyan is trying to set up a pass, lands a right hand. Hermansson gets full guard, can’t quite find a leg entanglement and Shahbazyan fires punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hermansson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men punching as the round starts. Shahbazyan back on his bike moving and sniping. Hermansson gets a single leg against the fence, Shahbazyan defending but can’t sustain the defense and is taken down away from the fence. Half guard for Hermansson and he’s landing rights. More rights from Hermansson. Hermansson peppering in some elbows, he’s staying busy with his offense. There’s cuts around both eyes of Shahbazyan at this point. Shahbazyan is struggling to try and get up from under Hermansson. Hermansson landing more rights to the head. Short elbows from Hermansson, more elbows and hammer fists he’s trying to force the ref’s hand but Shahbazyan ties him back up. Hermansson moves to side control and unloads while moving to the mounted crucifix. Shahbazyan gets his arm free, Hermansson to full mount and unloads for the final couple of seconds before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Hermansson, 29-27 Hermansson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Hermansson via unanimous decision (29-27 x3)

Hermansson needed that one, he overcame a tough first round and then started abusing Shahbazyan on the mat. Mic time for Hermansson, he’s tired and notes it took him a while to find the timing but he dug deep and found his skills later on. He talks us through fighting to make the adjustment in the second, then says he wanted to get a finish because he wasn’t sure of the scoring in the second round but he couldn’t give Shahbazyan space because he was good about slipping free. Asked who he’d like next he says Robert Whittaker is the only person ranked above him who isn’t fighting right now, so if Whittaker doesn’t want to wait on a title shot he’s up for the challenge. To close since he’s growing his curly hair out he hopes to join the family with Ben Askren and Chase Hooper.

Ricardo Ramos has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, but he’s coming off of a loss and is now trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Bill Algeo has gone 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a decision to Ricardo Lamas before beating Spike Carlyle, and he’s now trying for his first UFC winning streak at the expense of Ramos. Algeo is the -130 favorite to a +105 comeback on Ramos.

Featherweight Bout: Bill Algeo (14-5, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Ricardo Ramos (14-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Algeo is three inches taller but only has one inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Some stance switching from Algeo, he avoids a head kick. Body kick from Algeo. Ramos gets a clinch, gets the back and hits a mat return then jumps to the back but only gets one hook and settles for a rear waist lock and hits another mat return. Ramos jumps for the back again, still just one hook but he tries to switch to a bulldog choke but Alego gets his head free and pushes Ramos into the fence. Knee from Ramos as they break. Algeo misses a few punches. Body kick from Algeo. Bit of a left from Algeo, then a stiff jab. Ramos lands a jab of his own. Algeo lands a spinning back kick to the chest. Ramos is struggling to angle on the entry, he’s only attacking in straight lines. Bit of a left from Ramos. Ramos lands a left and gets a takedown, Algeo up but Ramos is on his back again and drives him into the fence. They get chest to chest and Ramos gets an inside trip and moves to the ride position again. Algeo defends a choke attempt as Algeo moves to the back with one hook in. Algeo shakes Ramos over the top and lands lefts as they get up and resume clinching. Ramos smothers a takedown attempt and gets on top again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ramos

ROUND TWO: Both men feint kicks, then Algeo avoids a few punches. Algeo lands a body kick. Ramos with a body kick of his own. Algeo lands a calf kick, then a glancing left. Ramos gets a clinch but Algeo gets free quickly. Algeo lands a leg kick. Knee from Algeo lands, but Ramos gets a clinch and hits an inside trip into full guard. Ramos tries to pass, Algeo scrambles up but Ramos has a ninja choke that Alego gets free of and lands an uppercut. Combination from Algeo, he’s starting to come on more as Ramos might be slowing down. Ramos lands a calf kick. Algeo lands a right and a left to the body. Calf kick from Algeo. They trade some jabs. Ramos avoids a few punches and gets a clinch then moves to the fence. Both men land knees to the body then they break apart. Algeo with some punches and a spinning elbow. Another clinch, again they hit the fence. Ramos looks to change level, gets a double leg into full guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Algeo, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Ramos gets close quickly, nearly gets a trip but Alego fights free and punches him. Both men miss punches, the pace has been pretty nuts. Algeo lands a calf kick. Hard right from Algeo stuns Ramos for a second. Ramos lands a leg kick, and blocks a spinning back fist. Algeo lands a spinning back kick to the body. Ramos lands a right. They trade rights. A few lefts from Algeo then they clinch up. They break without incident. Both men avoid some punches, Ramos gets close and eats an elbow but gets a clinch. They break after Ramos lands a knee to the body. Algeo avoids a spinning elbow and lands a left. Ramos forces another clinch and they hit the fence. Algeo lands a body shot, but Ramos gets an inside trip again. Algeo wall walks immediately, Ramos slips to his back and drives him to a knee. Back up, Algeo spins free and misses a left. Bit of a body kick from Algeo then a right elbow. Algeo lands a jab. Ramos catches a kick and off balances Algeo as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Algeo but who knows with that one, 29-28 Algeo overall

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

The 30-27 I don’t agree with, that second round should have gone to Algeo. Mic time for Ramos, he’s feeling good and puts over Algeo as a good opponent. He talks about working on his wrestling, and being a complete fighter.

Felicia Spencer has only lost to Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, but her UFC record is just 1-2 and she’s coming off of a failed bid for the UFC women’s featherweight title. Spencer is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak and get UFC record to the .500 mark. Norma Dumont Viana has gone 1-1 in the UFC, losing to Megan Anderson but she’s coming off of a win over Ashlee Evans-Smith and could get the biggest win of her career if she beats Spencer tonight. Spencer is the favorite at -200 to a +155 comeback on Dumont.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Norma Dumont (5-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (8-2, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dumont is an inch taller while Spencer has an inch of reach advantage. Spencer showing different stances, a lot of feinting going on as well. Both miss punches, bit of a side kick from Spencer. Dumont lands a right. A whole lot of circling going on. Spencer misses a hook kick. Dumont lands a leg kick, and eats a counter right. They trade rights, neither woman really finding the target yet. Dumont lands a right and a couple of lefts in close before they clinch up. Spencer gets Dumont on the fence but Dumont spins free and lands a knee. Dumont lands a front kick to the body. Spencer lands a right in close but eats a counter combination. A one two from Dumont closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dumont

ROUND TWO: Some long leg attacks from Dumont, she’s switching her stance as well with Spencer. Inside leg kick from Dumont. Bit of a hook kick from Spencer. Dumont lands a right to the body. Dumont avoids a clinch and lands a right. Spencer checks a leg kick. Right hook then a left hook from Dumont both land flush. Spencer can’t get a clinch. Right from Spencer but she eats a couple of counters. Left hook from Dumont, then they trade rights. The combination work from Dumont is a problem for Spencer. Another right from Dumont. Hard left to the body from Dumont then a left hook to the head. Spencer lands a right and misses a kick. Bit of a right from Dumont. Spencer gets a clinch on the fence but can’t do anything with it. Dumont with a knee to the body then a couple of punches on the break. Spencer lands a side kick to the face. Bit of a right from Dumont. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dumont, 20-18 overall

ROUND THREE: Spencer lands a body kick but eats a couple of counter punches. Dumont avoids a hook kick. A lot of kicks from Spencer, but Dumont catches one and gets a takedown into side control. Spencer gets half guard, then is able to shrimp to full guard. Dumont lands an elbow. Some body shots from Dumont and she passes to half guard. Spencer gets full guard back, and kicks Dumont off. Dumont lets Spencer back up and lands a couple of punches. Jab from Dumont, she tries a takedown but can’t secure it. Left from Dumont and Spencer forces a clinch to the fence. Elbow from Spencer and a few rights. Dumont lands a knee to the body. Another knee from Dumont, Spencer lands a series of elbows. Another elbow from Spencer, Dumont lands a knee to the body and tries a trip but Spencer winds up on top. Full guard for Dumont. Spencer is struggling to find offense here, Dumont has her pretty well tied up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Spencer, 29-28 Dumont overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Norma Dumont via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

I don’t agree with the 30-27, Spencer’s clinch work was the most important thing in the third, but I wont complain about either woman winning. Mic time for Dumont, she notes this thing came together in about three weeks and she had to deal with a tough woman in the weight class. Felder asks her about going back to bantamweight, she thinks there are greater opportunities at 135 but she’s waiting on some more time with the UFC PI to figure out where she’ll ultimately wind up.

We go to commentary where Paul Felder announces his retirement from fighting, he’s 37 and feels like he avoided too much damage but still loves the sport and will continue commentary. He thanks all of his past opponents for the fights, and apologizes to everyone ranked lower than him who wanted a fight but he’s not taking up a ranked spot anymore. There’s a long list of people he thanks, but promises to stick around on TV for a long time. If he’s ready to step away I wish Felder nothing but the best, he turned in some absolute wars and has turned into a darn good commentator.

Justin Tafa has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is fighting just to get his UFC record back to an even mark. Jared Vanderaa dropped his UFC debut earlier this year to break a two fight winning streak, now he’s looking for that all important first UFC win. Tafa is the favorite at -200 to a +150 comeback on Vanderaa.

Heavyweight Bout: Justin Tafa (4-2, 265.5 lbs.) vs. Jared Vanderaa (11-5, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Vanderaa is four inches taller and has six inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, southpaw for Tafa. Vanderaa circling and jabbing. Some leg kicks go back and forth. Bit of a left from Tafa. Tafa lands a left to the body. Body kick from Tafa then a right from Vanderaa. They clash, then break as Vanderaa lands a knee to the head. Counter right from Vanderaa lands, Tafa is getting annoyed. They clash on lefts. Bit of a right from Vanderaa. Vanderaa avoids a left hook and lands a right. Body kick from Vanderaa. Vanderaa lands a front kick to the body. Head kick from Vanderaa lands a bit of his knee to the head of Tafa. Vanderaa lands another body kick and a right behind it. Some knees from Vanderaa in close, then he lands a left hook to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vanderaa

ROUND TWO: Vanderaa back to picking at distance. Bit of a right from Vanderaa. Another leg kick from Vanderaa then a body kick behind it. Tafa blocks a high kick but that kick came up fast. Tafa is trying to establish his jab now. Vanderaa keeps attacking the lead leg, Tafa slips a punch and lands a left. Vanderaa lands a lft then a body kick. They trade in close, Vanderaa hurts Tafa with a punch and they trade wildly. Vanderaa is cut around the left temple, he lands some elbows before they break. That cut on Vanderaa is bleeding quite a bit, head wounds tend to bleed a lot but there’s a lot even for a head wound right now. Some body kicks from Vanderaa and they trade punches in close. Vanderaa checks a leg kick, Tafa did not like that. Tafa lands a left to the body. Vanderaa has a few kicks blocked, that cut is a lot higher up by the hairline than I thought, almost certainly wont stop things despite the blood. Right from Vanderaa. Tafa lands an elbow in close. Lefts from Tafa, Vanderaa just eats them and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vanderaa, 20-18 Vanderaa

ROUND THREE: Vanderaa comes out pushing forward, Tafa lands a straight left. Knee from Vanderaa in close then a leg kick. Vanderaa lands a body kick. Vanderaa lands another body kick. Tafa lands an uppercut. Left from Tafa partially lands. Vanderaa lands a bit of a knee to the body. Those body shots are adding up on Tafa. Vanderaa lands another body kick. Tafa lands a left, and takes a bit of a counter right. Tafa lands a body kick. Vanderaa lands a right. A combination of punches from Vanderaa in close, Tafa decides to clinch and drives him into the fence. Vanderaa elbows his way free then they trade rights again. Tafa avoids a single leg and they trade elbows. Vanderaa’s cut is bleeding again now. They trade power hand punches, Tafa digs the body but eats a counter combination and then they clinch. We get time out as Vanderaa accidentally kneed Tafa in the groin. Tafa takes 1:20 but then we’re back to fighting. Vanderaa lands a body kick. Tafa hits the body again. Both men punch in close, Vanderaa lands a knee and we get some RoadHouse for a few seconds to close the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vanderaa but the closest round, 30-27 Vanderaa overall

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

That had some enjoyable moments. Vanderaa gets an interview, he apologizes for not recognizing Felder when Felder called his Contender Series fight, but says Felder was a lot bigger in person than he thought. Felder jokes that he’s skinny right now. Vanderaa says his coach is mad he didn’t get any takedowns, but Tafa is a big guy and he does feel his cardio is on point. To close he thanks several people, and warns people his training partner is coming for the light heavyweight belt soon enough.

Yan Xiaonan has a 12 fight unbeaten streak going including six wins in the UFC last besting former title challenger Claudia Gadelha, if Yan can get past a former champion tonight and extend her winning streak she could very easily find herself in the title picture. Carla Esparza is a former strawweight champion, she’s on a four fight winning streak but that’s slightly muddied by her last two wins being closely contested split decisions. If Esparza wants another crack at the title she not only needs to halt the surging contender before her, she needs a statement win. The odds here closed at a pick ’em, -115 for Yan to -105 for Esparza.

Strawweight Bout: #4 Carla Esparza (17-6, 116 lbs.) vs. #3 Yan Xiaonan (13-1 1 NC, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yan is four inches taller but the reach is identical. Yan misses a one two, Esparza gets a takedown and they scramble on the mat. Esparza gets on top eventually in full guard. Esparza passes to side control. Some knees to the shoulder from Epsarza but things have mostly stalled out. Yan lands some elbows to the head then shrimps to half guard. Esparza lands a right and passes back to side control. Esparza moves to north-south, then back to side control. A few weak strikes are traded. Esparza lands a few punches. Some elbows from Yan but she doesn’t seem to have anything to get up. Esparza threatens an arm, winds up in north-south again and hits the body a few times. Back to side control and Esparza lands a few elbows to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Esparza but a marginal one

ROUND TWO: One of those last elbows from Esparza opened a cut on Yan that’s still bleeding. Yan lands a bit of a right. Body kick from Yan, but Esparza catches it and gets a takedown into full guard. Yan with strikes from her back, she lands an up kick as Esparza stands but Esparza passes to half guard. Yan back to full guard and lands a hammer fist. Esparza passes to side control again. Esparza into the mounted crucifix, she lands punches and elbows, Yan can’t get out of this but she’s trying. Yan isn’t getting her arm back, she’s just trying to bridge and eventually the ref stops this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carla Esparza via TKO, punches, at 2:58 of Round 2

Disappointing performance from Yan, but that probably gets Esparza a shot at getting the title back. Mic time for Esparza, she’s happy to win and has been working hard on getting finishes. She talks about working the crucifix position, and it’s nice to put all that to use. Asked who she’d like next she wants a title shot.

Yan doesn’t even try to get her trapped arm back, which is the critical part of escaping this position. Since all she does is try to bridge and explode, Esparza is able to tee off with abandon and the ref has to save Yan.

Rob Font has an impressive UFC record of 8-3 and is on a three fight winning streak, if he can take out a former champion tonight he’ll pretty clearly be another log in the jam at the top of bantamweight. Cody Garbrandt is a former bantamweight champion but only recently broke a three fight losing streak when he knocked out Raphael Assuncao. If Garbrandt wants to get back to the title picture tonight is a must win fight for him. Font is a slight -135 favorite to +110 on Garbrandt.

Bantamweight Bout: #3 Rob Font (18-4, 136 lbs.) vs. #4 Cody Garbrandt (12-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Font has a whopping six inches of reach advantage. Font starts out switching his stance. Both men feinting a bit, just getting a feel for things. A lot of stance switching from Font. Font lands a jab, Garbrandt lands a calf kick. Garbrandt avoids some jabs. Font is backing Garbrandt up, he lands a leg kick. Jabs are landing now for both men. Font lands a jab. Right from Font wobbles Garbrandt, he pushes forward and lands a knee to the body. Garbrandt lands a leg kick. Font misses an uppercut. Both men miss rights, bit of a Grabrandt head kick. Garbrandt lands a glancing left hook. Font lands a front kick to the chin. Garbrandt hits a double leg against the fence into full guard. Some punches from Garbrandt as Font gets up and free. Font backs Garbrandt up again, lands a flush right. Combination from Font, Garbrandt gets a takedown to stop that offensive flurry. Font looks to wall walk, Garbrandt lands some rights as he does so and they get free. More jabs from Font as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Font

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the round. Font lands a body kick. Garbrandt lands a calf kick, and gets a knee tap into full guard. Font looks to work his guard and get up, but they’re in open space and that’s more difficult. Garbrandt lands a left, and moves to half guard. Font after a kimura, he’s got the double wrist lock and uses it to sweep and stand up. Font with a jab, and another one. Garbrandt forces a clinch on the fence, Font with some elbows and they break. That jab from Font is disrupting Garbrandt at this point. Stiff jab from Font and he avoids the counters. Garbrandt lands a right. Bit of an uppercut from Font. More jabs from Font, then a knee in close and an elbow. Font is really flowing now, he’s got a read on things. Front kick to the body from Font. Another Font jab lands, then a follow up right. Font lands another right. Garbrandt gets a clinch, but can’t keep it as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Font back to forward pressure. Garbrandt jabbing a bit more this round, that’s good. Calf kick from Garbrandt lands. Font lands a few jabs while pressuring forward. One two from Font lands, that staggered Garbrandt for a second. Garbrandt lands another calf kick. Font still jabbing and pressuring. Counter right from Font lands, Garbrandt gets a clinch but Font slips to the back standing. Font lands punches in the clinch, and some knees to the thigh as well. Font hits a mat return as Garbrandt Granby rolls then they break free. More jabs from Font, those are adding up rapidly. Bit of a one two from Font, then he defends a takedown attempt against the fence. A knee from Font as they break a clinch. They split some jabs, then Font lands a right to the body. Bit of a left hook from Garbrandt. More lefts from Font, that reach advantage from Font is kind of saving him from the counters Garbrandt is throwing. Font lands another series of jabs. Garbrandt lands a jab. A Font calf kick closes the round.

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

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again. Garbrandt lands a jab. Font jabs as well, then Garbrandt lands a calf kick. Font with a combination. Another jab from Font. That Font jab can’t seem to miss now. Font digs the body, bit of a counter right from Garbrandt. Calf kick from Font, Garbrandt returns it. Hard left to the body from Font hurts Garbrandt for a second, those body shots have apparently started adding up. Font lands a right to the body. Right from Font lands. Combination to the body and head from Font mostly lands. Garbrandt lands a jab. Font lands a right. More jabs are traded, then Font lands a calf kick. Font lands a head kick, Garbrandt just eats it. Thoes jabs from Font are still landing and still tearing up Garbrandt. Hard one two from Font. Font avoids a takedown attempt and lands a right. More jabs from Font, Garbrandt doesn’t have an answer to that jab and he needs one. They feint away the last couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Font, borderline 10-8, 40-36 Font overall

ROUND FIVE: Garbrandt eats a few jabs but lands a couple of rights. Font lands a one two then a front kick to the body. Garbrandt backing up again, lands a bit of a right. More jabs from Font, Garbrandt lands a left hook. Bit of a knee from Font, Garbrandt lands a right. Font back to jabbing, lands a right as well. A few jabs go back and forth, Garbrandt has a lovely jab when he chooses to use it. Font lands an uppercut, and follows up with punches. More jabs go back and forth, Font is getting the better of it via volume. Garbrandt lands a right to counter a jab. Font catches a calf kick and off balances Garbrandt but lets him back up. Font lands a right to the body. A right from Font stuns Garbrandt. Another right from Font, he’s not sitting on his lead at all. More jabs from Font, and he blocks a high kick. Font still jabbing very well, and lands a right. Garbrandt misses a spinning back fist, Font gets a clinch and pulls half guard to ice the last 5 seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Font, 50-45 Font overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rob Font via unanimous decision (48-47, 50-45 x2)

Not sure which two rounds you could give Garbrandt, maybe the second based on the wrestling but beyond that you’d have to wildly over value the first 30 seconds of the fifth. Despite that, great performance from Font and it the title picture wasn’t such a mess he should be in that conversation. Mic time for Font, he says Garbrandt hurt him a few times but he stayed composed, quit trying to force a finish and showed off what he feels is the best jab in the UFC. He says he threw a million jabs in preparation for this fight, he knew he couldn’t hook with Garbrandt but he prepared properly and got the win. Asked who he’d like next he says he’ll be patient to see how the title picture plays out but he’d love to fight for the belt or the winner of Sandhagen and Dillashaw to set up the number one contender.

On that note, UFC on ESPN+ 46 comes to a close. Thanks to everyone for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all the action on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow as well as preview next weeks card which is headlined by Jarizinho Rozenstruik taking on Augusto Sakai. I’ll be back next week for that card, and I hope you all will as well. Until then thanks again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 46, Robert Winfree