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411’s UFC on ESPN 5 Report: Covington Beats Lawler

August 3, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Colby Covington

MAIN CARD (ESPN, 3 p.m. ET)
#2 Colby Covington (171 lbs.) vs. #11 Robbie Lawler (170 lbs.)
Clay Guida (154.5 lbs.) vs. Jim Miller (154.75 lbs.)
Nasrat Haqparast (156 lbs.) vs. Joaquim Silva (155.25 lbs.)
Trevin Giles (185 lbs.) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185.5)
Scott Holtzman (156 lbs.) vs. Dong Hyun Ma (158 lbs.)*
Kennedy Nzechukwu (205.5 lbs.) vs. Darko Stosic (206 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 12 p.m. ET)
Mickey Gall (169.75 lbs.) vs. Salim Touahri (170 lbs.)
Lucie Pudilova (125.25 lbs.) vs. #15 Antonina Shevchenko (125 lbs.)
#9 Jordan Espinosa (126 lbs.) vs. #13 Matt Schnell (126 lbs.)
#10 Mara Romero Borella (125 lbs.) vs. #9 Lauren Murphy (126 lbs.)
Claudio Silva (170.25 lbs.) vs. Cole Williams (176 lbs.)+
Hannah Goldy (125 lbs.) vs. Miranda Granger (125 lbs.)

* Ma fined 20 percent for missing weight by two pounds
+ Williams fined 30 percent for missing weight by five pounds


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 5. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this event, relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. This morning the UFC is back on ESPN on the heels of UFC 240, a decent if largely unremarkable card. This card. . . well. . . I don’t know what to tell you guys. The main event is a very relevant welterweight clash as former interim champion Colby Covington tries to secure a title shot as he battles former champion Robbie Lawler who’s also looking to get back into the title picture. The co-main event is a fight that I’m surprised didn’t happen 7 years ago or so when veterans Jim Miller and Clay Guida will square up. After that there’s not a lot on paper to get excited about. If you go into the prelims there’s a Claudio Silva appearance, and I suppose your mileage might vary on Mickey Gall still existing in the UFC, but I’m not finding a whole lot to really look forward to. That being said, that’s just on paper and it’s definitely possible that in practice we get awesome fights.

UFC on ESPN 5 comes to the world from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz while Laura Sanko will handle on site reporting as well as Trevor Wittman being around for coaches commentary. We are not under the new rules, so anything other than the soles of your feet on the mat means you’re downed, and the language around scoring is a bit more nebulous. There will be the use of instant replay but once replay has been called for the fight cannot be restarted.

Miranda Granger is making her UFC debut on the back of an undefeated record all of which have been finishes, now she’s looking to remain perfect and get her UFC career off on the right foot. Hannah Goldy is also undefeated and making her UFC debut, though she comes by way of the Contender Series and holds a win over current UFC fighter Gillian Robertson. Goldy is the -130 favorite while Granger sits at an even +100.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Hannah Goldy (5-0, 125 lbs.) vs. Miranda Granger (6-0, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Granger is three inches taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach over Goldy. They touch gloves to get things going. Both women come out kicking, and the “woo’s” are already here. Curse you New Jersey. Granger lands a one two but eats a bit of a counter left. Goldy is really struggling with the range so far. They get closer and Goldy lands a left hook. They split lefts in close then tie up along the fence. Granger is keeping busy with body work and both women land knees then they trade elbows as they break. Goldy has started to get a feel for her counter left when Granger tries to close distance and has landed it a few times already. Granger lands a leg kick but eats a bit of a right hand counter. Granger lands a left hook. Bit of a blitz from Granger and they clinch up again. Both women land some knees while they jockey for position. More knees from Granger, Goldy is trying to fire back but is getting out worked so far. Goldy lands an elbow as they break, then misses a kick to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Granger

ROUND TWO: Goldy is back to circling, there’s some swelling on her forehead after the first round. Both women missing kicks. Granger lands a couple of punches and avoids the Goldy counters. They trade leg kicks. Goldy with a bit of a head kick but Granger lands a couple of punches that visibly hurt her and get her backing up. Granger is coming forward, lands a bit of a right as Goldy is trying to use kicks to keep her at bay. Goldy lands a left hook, a bit of a head kick and another punch, Granger fires back in close before they break apart. Granger misses a wheel kick. They clash on kicks then Goldy blocks a high kick. Granger is working side or oblique kicks to the knee to keep stopping the forward motion of Goldy. Granger lands a body kick. Goldy lands a side kick to the face and they trade a bit as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Granger but could go either way, 20-18 Granger overall

ROUND THREE: Goldy has some swelling around her lips and face. Granger lands a left hook. Goldy is coming forward more this round. Granger with a shirt into a right hook then tries a left high kick that’s mostly blocked. Goldy avoids a wheel kick but eats a left. Granger lands a leg kick. Goldy falls short on some kicks, then avoids a couple of hooks. Not a lot of action this round, Granger misses a couple of punches but can’t secure a clinch and they reset at distance. Granger lands a leg kick. Head kick from Granger is mostly blocked but she lands a right. Bit of a side kick from Goldy and she avoids a wheel kick. Granger lands a flurry of punches and clinches up then starts landing knees. They break and Granger with another couple of punches to counter a missed kick as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Miranda Granger via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Mic time for Granger, who laments not having a full fight camp but feels she belongs here in the UFC. She says the fight went about as expected then mentions she’ll be dropping to strawweight as that’s her more natural weight class and she fought at flyweight here due to how quickly this fight came together.

This strikes me an accurate read on Goldy from that fight.

Claudio Silva is on a thirteen fight winning streak that includes four wins in the UFC, he’s looking to remain more active as he suffered from a layoff from November of 2014 to May of 2018 while also moving up the ranks. Cole Williams took this fight on short notice, which might account for why he missed weight by a whopping six pounds. Williams is making his UFC debut here, and will likely need a win to help get over the stigma of missing weight that badly. Silva is the biggest favorite on this card at a heavy -550 favorite to +375 for Williams.

Welterweight Bout: Claudio Silva (13-1, 170.25 lbs.) vs. Cole Williams (11-1, 176 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Williams is an inch taller and has two inches of reach on Silva. Silva is fighting southpaw and comes out and lands a left then a body kick but Williams lands a right. Another body kick from Silva and they clinch up, Silva lands a knee then they break. More body kicks from Silva but Williams lands a counter right. Silva lands a left to the body and ties up, gets a clinch takedown and then gets the back with one hook in along the fence. Some punches and hammer fists from Silva as he’s trying to open up the second hook. More blows from Silva, then he gets the arm around the neck and is able to roll over and get the submission.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Claudio Silva via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:35 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club apologizes for their lack of attendance at UFC 240, but would mostly like to thank Mr. Silva for his work this morning. It wasn’t much of a choke, much more of a crank after looking at the replay. Mic time for Silva who speaks English, he puts over ATT and asks for a post fight bonus then switches to Portuguese in order to express happiness and notes that this is his first fight in the US and is happy about that. He talks us through the finish rather quickly, and then asks to be kept busy now that he’s healthy. He specifically wants to fight in Vegas in December.

Here’s a look at the finish. Williams really should have tried rolling to his back earlier instead of just eating all the punches that led to him exposing his neck and Silva is a definite finisher when given the opportunity.

Lauren Murphy has gone 1-1 since moving to flyweight and she’s coming off of a loss, now she’s trying to avoid her second UFC losing streak. Mara Romero Borella has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, she’s trying to get her first UFC winning streak up and running as well as possibly earning a shot at some higher ranked opposition. The odds are with Borella at -185 to a +155 comeback on Murphy.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #10 Mara Romero Borella (12-5 2 NC, 125 lbs.) vs. #9 Lauren Murphy (10-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Borella is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Both women doing some shadow boxing early. Borella lands a bit of a right but eats a counter combination. The leg kicks seem to be a big part of Borella’s early strategy, and she lands a right as well. Murphy lands a right of her own. Another looping right lands for Murphy, this time Borella lands a counter leg kick. Another leg kick from Borella lands. Borella lands a right, Murphy lands a counter left hook. Murphy’s right eye is discolored and might be swelling a little bit. Borella gets another leg kick off. Murphy is pushing Borella to the fence now and is landing a bit more consistently when Borella can’t back up to avoid her. Bit of a right lands for Murphy. They tie up, Borella gets a Thai clinch and drives Murphy into the cage. Murphy is able to get free and separate. Borella avoids a right and they stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW

ROUND TWO: Murphy is looking to push forward more this round, Borella is circling well though and keeping off of the fence. Borella lands a left hook. Murphy tries a looping right, it partially lands but Borella lands a couple of counters. Bit of a left from Murphy. Murphy lands a jab. Borella ducks under a punch and gets a double leg into half guard. Murphy lands a couple of hammer fists from her back while trying to stifle the movement. Murphy comes up on a single leg that hits the fence, Borella is holding a guillotine threat to try and dissuade Murphy from completing the takedown. Murphy has to settle for coming up into a clinch and keep Borella on the fence. Knees from Murphy, Borella fires a few of her own but she’s mostly stuck on the fence. The round will close out in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Murphy, 20-19 Murphy overall

ROUND THREE: Some circling to start things off in the last round. Bit of a right from Murphy. Borella lands a one two. Murphy avoids a takedown attempt. Borella is doing some stance switching now, not sure why as she doesn’t do anything from southpaw. Murphy lands an uppercut and that wobbles Borella, who is now backing up. Borella with a desperation double leg attempt, Murphy stuffs it and lands a hard knee to the head that floors Borella and a few more blows on the mat bring an end to this one.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lauren Murphy via TKO, knee and elbows, at 1:46 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Murphy for her work this evening. Mic time for Murphy, she wants to get another paycheck soon and puts over her training camp and coaches. She talks us through the finish and mentions staying clear mentally is a big part of her game plan and thanks a few more coaches. Asked about when she’d like to fight she just says soon as she’s got a kid she wants to put through college and wants to get paid.

This clip doesn’t have the uppercut that set up parts of this but the finish itself is still great. Murphy stuffs the takedown, then uses a partial collar tie up to break the posture of Borella then lands a knee flush to the jaw that basically ends things.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who’s part of the analyst desk tonight, joins commentary for the next fight. He talks for a bit about the state of the welterweight division and the top four or so guys and what a bit of a logjam it is with talent. He mentions he would really like to fight Covington.

Jordan Espinosa is on a five fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut earlier this year, now he’s looking to extend that streak and get his first consecutive wins in the UFC. Matt Schnell has won his last three fights in the UFC including a successful fight at bantamweight in his previous outing. Schnell is back down at flyweight here though and hoping to make a case for himself as a rising contender. Espinosa is a slight -130 favorite to an even +100 comeback on Schnell.

Flyweight Bout: #9 Jordan Espinosa (14-5, 126 lbs.) vs. #13 Matt Schnell (13-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Schnell is two inches taller and has half an inch of reach on Espinosa. They touch gloves to get things going. Schnell is pushing forward, lands a right to counter a leg kick. Espinosa lands a right, he’s got fast hands. Leg kick from Schnell, Espinsoa is doing some stance switching. Schnell with a bit of a right, Espinsoa goes for a single leg, Schnell threatens with a guillotine then transitions to a triangle choke. Schnell turns the corner to crank up the pressure on the choke and that forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Matt Schnell via Submission, triangle choke, at 1:23 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Schnell for his work this morning. That’s the second fastest submission in UFC flyweight history. Mic time for Schnell, he says he feels good and tells the people to pay attention to the flyweights and he fights to finish and expects a step up in competition next. He talks us through the finish, noting his history of grappling, then gives props to his wife who’s pregnant with their first child. He mentions he didn’t always know he wanted to be a fighter but always knew he wanted to be a dad. To close he feels he’s one of the best in the world, puts over Espinosa, and says anyone else in the world can come get it.

Sadly this clip doesn’t include the really smooth transition from the guillotine to the triangle, because that was a thing of beauty. We do get to see him reach around and hook the free arm to further control the posture and tighten up the choke and force the submission. Oh, I just found out that was also the first finish via triangle choke in UFC flyweight history. Good on Schnell.

Antonina Shevchenko is coming off of her first professional loss, now she’s trying to bounce back and avoid her first ever losing streak. Lucie Pudilova is on a two fight losing streak and has gone 2-3 overall in the UFC, now she’s in pretty desperate need of a win to justify her spot on the roster. The odds are with Shevchenko at -140 to a +110 comeback on Pudilova.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Lucie Pudilova (8-4, 125.25 lbs.) vs. #15 Antonina Shevchenko (7-1, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Pudilova has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Shevchenko and she’s backing up Pudilova immediately. Pudilova pushes into a clinch, they start jockeying for position and trade some knees to the body. More knees from Shevchenko, those are pretty solid knees. Full Thai clinch from Shevchenko and she lands more knees to the body before Pudilova gets chest to chest again. Shevchenko has a body lock and is landing knees to the body. Knees to the body and thigh from Shevchenko, but one of those went to the groin and the ref breaks them. Pudilova tries a double leg but Shevchenko is able to stall that out when they hit the fence. Shevhcenko gets Pudilova back on the fence and resumes landing knees to the body. Knee to the head and body from Shevchenko, Pudilova tries a high crotch but can’t finish it. Pudilova lands a couple of elbows as they break and Shevchenko is bleeding from the left eyebrow. Pudilova gets the double leg this time and lands in half guard, with a few more elbows before Shevchenko gets full guard. Armbar from Shevchenko, she gets it extended but Pudilova wont tap and despite her elbow getting popped a bit she fights through it and they wind up clinched again. Shevchenko with more knees to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko

ROUND TWO: That cut is on the outside corner of the eyebrow of Shevchenko, it’s pretty gnarly but isn’t in a bad spot in terms of where the blood is going. Shevchenko with a counter right, Pudilova is trying to just explode through distance. They tie up again and hit the fence. More knees from Shevchenko then Pudilova tries for a single leg. Bit of a takedown from Pudilova but Shevchenko gets the back and has a rear naked choke locked up as they hit the ground. Pudilova wont tap but Shevchenko puts her to sleep and the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Antonina Shevchenko via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:20 of Round 2

Mic time for Shevchenko, she feels great after the win and puts over her team and everyone who’s helped her. She will be in Uruguay next week for her sisters title defense and gives her some props. She mentions she didn’t feel the impact of the elbow but could feel the blood and got a little worried but felt that Pudilova’s submission defense was a bit of a weakness. Talking us through the finish she then mentions she’d like to fight as soon as her cut is healed up, as wins motivate her. She wishes happy birthday to her mother to close her interview.

Here’s the finish. Sadly we don’t see the way she takes the back and gets the choke position off of a high crotch takedown, but the choke itself is a really nice one.

Mickey Gall is coming off of a darn right embarrassing loss when he was TKO’d by Diego Sanchez earlier this year, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak as well as trying to prove he belongs in the UFC. Salim Touahri has gone 0-2 in the UFC dropping decisions to Warlley Alves and Keita Nakamura, now he finds his back against the metaphorical wall in need of his first UFC win. The odds are with Touahri at -130 to +100 for Gall.

Welterweight Bout: Mickey Gall (5-2, 169.75 lbs.) vs. Salim Touahri (10-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gall is four inches taller and has two inches of reach on Touahri. Both men probing with the lead hand to get us going. Touahri lands a left hook then a leg kick. Gall pushes forward and lands a left. Body kick from Gall lands. Touahri lands a leg kick. Gall tries to close distance, he does but walks onto a left hook doing so. Some body work from Gall as they’re clinched but he has no control over the body and Touahri is able to circle free. Gall lands a stiff jab. Touahri lands a leg kick, Gall returns it. Gall tries a knee tap, Touahri defends and they hit the fence. Gall is able to slip around this time and get the back standing, he’s got one hook in and is looking to off balance Touahri but can’t keep it and they wind up chest to chest again. Gall to the back again, lands a few knees to the thigh and nearly an illegal one to the head. Touahri is able to shake Gall around and they wind up facing each other then he’s able to separate. They trade left hooks. Touahri reaches for a takedown, bad idea as Gall defends then moves to the back with one hook in. Gall can’t get the second hook in so he just unloads with punches and hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gall

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Touahri jabs the body. Gall has a takedown stuffed but he lands a loopy right. Touahri lands a leg kick. Left to the body from Touahri, he’s definitely targeting the body this round. Gall pushes into a clinch and gets Touahri to the fence. Elbows from Gall, Touahri lands a knee to the body and they break. Touahri lands a right to the body. Gall misses a jumping knee then lands a leg kick. Touahri lands to the body then a right to the head, Gall responds with a left hook. Jab from Touahri then a right to the body. Touahri avoids a rush from Gall. Gall tries a single leg, they hit the fence though and that stalls out the motion. Gall tries to cut the angle, Touahri is able to keep with him and stuff the motion to get on top in half guard. Touahri lands some punches while Gall gets to butterfly guard. More punches from Touahri as they’re against the fence. Gall winds up on his knees in turtle, he’s back up but eats a knee to the body. Gall lands a series of elbows in the clinch, Touahri lands back with punches then takes Gall down as Gall falls down looking for a guillotine attempt. Touahri is on top in side control as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Touahri, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Gall lands a stiff jab, Touahri responds in kind. Touahri punches close but Gall blocks most of them. Both guys are slowing down, Touahri lands a combination to the body. Gall lands a couple of punches, and Touahri responds with a hard left. Touahri lands a right exiting the pocket that lands flush. Gall grabs a front headlock to stuff a takedown but can’t get anything off of it before they break. Touahri lands a left hook, Gall lands a jab. Touahri digs the body in close, then they trade hooks to the head. Gall misses an uppercut and eats more body shots as they tie up along the fence. Gall slips to the back standing, Touahri defends and separates then they trade punches. Gall lands an uppercut. Jabs from Gall then a right and a right hook. Touahri lands to the body but he’s not getting his hands back fast enough anymore. Gall pushes for a clinch and gets the back standing again. Touahri with a few elbows back towards Gall’s head before he breaks the grip. Gall gets the grip back but can’t get the mat return. Touahri gets Gall to slide over his back and unloads from top position as Gall gets up. Gall scores a single leg, just as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I’m not sure I’d call that a UFC level fight, but it was engaging. Mic time for Gall, he plays with the crowd a bit and expresses love for New Jersey. He puts over his sister for making him run and improving his cardio, though he’s still dead tired and leaning on Anik. He puts over Touahri, and talks about being from New Jersey. He says he was sick for the Sanchez fight and wants a rematch with him.

That will wrap up preliminary action, though we’ll still be on ESPN for the main card.

Darko Stosic has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss to Devin Clark, he’s trying to rebound and avoid his first ever losing streak. Kennedy Nzechukwu was one half of one of the worst fights of the year when he lost his UFC debut to Paul Craig, he’s hoping for a better performance this time around though. The odds are with Stosic at -135 to +105 for Nzechukwu.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-1, 205.5 lbs.) vs. Darko Stosic (13-2, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nzechukwu is five incehs taller and has seven inches of reach on Stosic. Southpaw for Nzechukwu, he’s keeping his lead hand out straight to keep Stosic at distance. Inside leg kick from Stosic lands. Stosic again with the inside leg kick, then one to the outside. Nzechukwu misses a jab and Stosic lands a couple of hard inside leg kicks. More inside leg kicks then Stosic tries a single leg that hits the fence. They break and Stosic lands another inside leg kick. Nzechukwu eats more leg kicks and misses a knee. More leg kicks then a right and another couple of inside leg kicks from Stosic. Stosic is really chewing up that lead leg, Nzechukwu is a little unsteady already. Bit of a body kick from Nzechukwu. Stosic lands a right to the body but Nzechukwu is pushing him into the fence reliably now. Body kick from Stosic lands. Nzechukwu misses another knee strike. Stosic lands a body kick then a straight right. Nzechukwu is backing up and STosic looks to unload along the fence but Nzechukwu covers up and circles free. They stare away the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stosic

ROUND TWO: Stosic opens with an inside leg kick that catches the groin of Nzechukwu. Replay confirms the groin shot. Nzechukwu is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Nzechukwu is pushing forward again, he misses a knee. Stosic tries a few outside leg kicks but Nzechukwu checks them. Stosic lands a leg kick. Nzechukwu is coming forward still, but missing jabs. Stosic lands a right to counter a knee attempt. Left hook lands for Stosic as he takes a knee to the body. Nzechukwu lands a front kick to the body then a jab. Nzechukwu is working that front kick to the body, Stosic lands a counter right. Stosic is bleeding from the bridge of the nose, he gets a double leg though and Nzechukwu gets to the fence and is back up though they’re clinched. They break without incident. Nzechukwu is keeping his jab working this round, and the nose of Stosic is troubling him. Stosic lands a body kick. More front kicks to the body from Nzechukwu and a jab, Stosic fires back but a kick from him strays low and we’ve got time again. The ref is going to take a point from Stosic, he gave him a stern warning after the first one. Commentary isn’t happy with the point deduction given that Stosic got off balanced throwing that kick by Nzechukwu with a punch rather than the first one which was more about a bad choice from Stosic. We’re back to fighting and Stosic lands a body kick. Nzechukwu lands a couple of jabs. Bit of a one two from Stosic. They trade front kicks to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Nzechukwu after the point deduction, 19-18 Nzechukwu overall

ROUND THREE: Nzechukwu is coming forward again, lands a jab. Stosic lands a body kick. Nzechukwu defends a takedown attempt but eats a right. Stosic jabs the body and head. Nzechukwu is going orthodox at points now, Stosic lands a few punches then gets a takedown. Nzechukwu is back up quickly but he ate some punches, then Stosic lands an elbow as they break from the clinch. Stosic tries another inside leg kick, again he hits the groin and this time there’s no excuse for that one. Nzechukwu dropped after taking that one and the ref wants the doctor to check on him. Looking at the replay Nzechukwu tried to move away from the kick and the way his hips moved is what caused the foot to hit the groin but a lot of that was still on Stosic. The ref is probably going to take another point for that. The doctor is OK with Nzechukwu continuing, Nzechukwu wants to continue fighting. The ref does take another point from Stosic then gives Stosic a stern warning. Nzechukwu comes out jabbing on the restart but he’s orthodox and Stosic lands a couple of leg kicks. They trade lefts then Stosic lands a right. Nzechukwu tries a one two that’s mostly blocked. Stosic gets a takedown, Nzechukwu wall walks quickly and they’re in the clinch. They break without incident and Stosic lands a left hook. Another double leg from Stosic, Nzechukwu wall walks again. Stosic lands a couple of punches then Nzechukwu defends another double leg attempt. Another takedown from Stosic, Nzechukwu wall walks again and separates. Stosic with a bit of a one two then an inside leg kick. Nzechukwu walks into a right. They clinch up and hit the fence then break. A few more leg kicks from Stosic, then a one two that’s blocked as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction, 28-27 Nzechukwu overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kennedy Nzechukwu via unanimous decision (29-26, 28-27 x2)

I can’t get behind giving Nzechukwu the third round, but after the point deductions he wins numerically. Mic time for Nezechukwu, who knows he sucked and feels he didn’t implement the game plan but does want to work harder going forward.

Scott Holtzman is coming off of a loss to Nik Lentz, he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and prove he’s still a viable prospect at lightweight. Dong Hyun Ma just had a three fight winning streak snapped when he was finished by Devonte Smith earlier this year, now he’s trying to avoid his second UFC losing streak. Ma also missed weight by 3 pounds for this fight and likely needs a win to try and move beyond that gaff. Holtzman is a sizable -450 favorite while Ma would payout at +325.

Lightweight Bout: Scott Holtzman (12-3, 156 lbs.) vs. Dong Hyun Ma (16-9-3, 158 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ma is two inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach on Holtzman. They touch gloves to get us going. Holtzman misses a leg kick. Ma lands a jab. They clash on leg kicks. Holtzman is circling, lands a bit of an uppercut then a leg kick. Stiff right from Holtzman drops Ma, he’s on top now looking to attack but has to settle for half guard. Holtzman is looking to set up an arm triangle but he’s on the wrong side and Ma wraps up his head to tie up his movement. Holtzman is trying to transition to a Von Flue choke, winds up losing that but gets full mount out of the motion Ma had to use. Ma’s left eye is swollen, but he’s able to get half guard back before Holtzman elbows him. Holtzman tries to get full mount again, Ma counters and has half guard again. Ma up to a hip and gets full guard, then he’s back up and they trade punches in close. Holtzman lands an uppercut then eats a left hook. They clinch up and that’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holtzman, would be 10-8 under the new rules

ROUND TWO: Holtzman lands a leg kick but eats a counter right. They both land in close then Holtzman lands a leg kick. Holtzman lands a right, then misses an uppercut and eats a counter right. They trade rights, Ma is pushing forward and they tie up then the gets a trip takedown. Holtzman wall walks rather quickly and they’re in the clinch again. Man moves to the back standing, they wind up chest to chest again though. They separate without incident then trade lefts. A couple of one twos land for Holtzman, Ma clobbers him with a left hook that drops him for a second. Holtzman is back up and clinched to give himself time to recover. Ma lands a knee, Holtzman lands an elbow as they break. Both men land rights, we’ve got phone booth fighting now before they clinch up again. The left eye of Ma is nearly closed, they break free and trade rights again. Holtzman with a knee tap to get a takedown, he gets half guard and lands a few elbows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ma but Holtzman might have stolen it, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: The doctor waves off the fight between rounds, the left eye of Ma is completely shut.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Scott Holtzman via TKO, doctor stoppage, at 5:00 of Round 2

No issues with that stoppage, if you can’t see you can’t fight. Mic time for Holtzman who’s holding his 15 month old son. That kid should have noise canceling headphones on but doesn’t. Holtzman says he fights for his son now and dedicates the win to his wife and son. He says he wasn’t going to go down with his son present, puts over Ma as a tough opponent, then he says he’ll just ice his knuckles and could fight again. He wants a top fifteen opponent next.

Here’s a look at the eye of Ma.

Trevin Giles is coming off of his first loss when he was submitted by Zak Cummings, he’s hoping to prove he’s still got what it takes to be a legitimate prospect in the division and looks to highlight that here. Gerald Meerschaert is on a two fight losing streak that he’s looking to break at the expense of Giles and prove he’s not ready to become a gatekeeper just yet. Giles is your -165 favorite to +135 for Meerschaert.

Middleweight Bout: Trevin Giles (11-1, 185 lbs.) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (28-11, 185.5)

ROUND ONE: Meerschaert is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Giles. Southpaw for Meerschaert, and he opens with an inside leg kick. Giles lands a left hook. Straight right lands for Giles. Meerschaert lands a knee to the body as Giles gets a takedown into side control. Full mount for Giles, and he lands a left as Meerschaert gets half guard. Meerschaert bucks and gets on top, full mount off of that sweep. Meerschaert lands a few punches, he’s trying to set up an arm triangle with those but Giles is keeping his arms safe. Giles tries to explode and buck, but Meerschaert rides that easily and is after the arm triangle choke again. Rights to the body from Meerschaert. Giles is able to explode and sweep when Meerschaert postures up to strike. Full guard for Meerschaert, he’s looking to tie up the arms of Giles. Meerschaert to his knees, Giles moves to the ride position and lands a left but Meerschaert rolls back to his back and Giles has side control. Meerschaert reaches for a single leg, comes up on his knees and Giles looks to lock up an anaconda choke in transition but he’s not all that close to it. Giles towards the back, Meerschaert pulls guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Meerschaert

ROUND TWO: Bit of a left from Meerschaert, Giles misses a high kick. Double leg from Meerschaert, they hit the fence and he switches to a single leg attempt. Giles is defending so far, Meerschaert is really after that single leg. Meerschaert winds up pulling half guard, Giles lands a couple of elbows. Full mount for Giles now, he doesn’t like it and goes back to side control. Meerschaert bucks to his knees, and rolls through to his back but gives up mount along the way. High mount for Giles but Meerschaert gets a sweep to be on top in the guard of Giles. A few elbows from Meerschaert but he’s not really looking to pass. Giles is trying to get motion going from the bottom but Meerschaert is controlling him and lands a few more punches and elbows. A left from Meerschaert brings the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Giles but who knows, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: I have no idea how this has been scored so far. Giles with a bit of a front kick to the body. Meerschaert lands a body kick. Giles lands a jab but takes a bit of a head kick. Meerschaert shoots from way too far out and Giles sprawls then doesn’t get far enough away and Meerschaert is able to get a body lock, stand and get a trip takedown. Giles has half guard, Meerschaert is after a choke as they roll, he switches to a power guillotine and puts Giles to sleep with it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gerald Meerschaert via Technical Submission, power guillotine, at 1:49 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Meerschaert for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Meerschaert, he puts over Giles as an opponent then puts over his new strength and conditioning regiment. He says he’s surprised Giles was as willing to grapple with him as he was and talks about having to fight tactically. He says he felt Giles tap and notes this isn’t the first guy in the UFC he’s put to sleep and feels good about the finish.

This is just the finish, sadly it misses the way he sets up the grip that gets the finish. As Giles comes up looking for that single leg Meerschaert gets the power guillotine grip (think a rear naked choke arm position but from the front) then is able to cinch it up and lean over onto his neck to fully lock off the carotid arteries and put him to sleep.

Joaquim Silva has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of an impressive come from behind finish of Jared Gordon, he’s looking to get his second UFC winning streak up and running while possibly moving towards some ranked opposition. Nasrat Haqparast is on a two fight winning streak in the UFC, he’s drawn some high expectations through those fights and is looking to continue making good on the promise he’s shown. Haqparast is the -250 favorite while Silva’s comeback sits at +200.

Lightweight Bout: Nasrat Haqparast (10-2, 156 lbs.) vs. Joaquim Silva (11-1, 155.25 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Haqparast is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Haqparast, he starts out circling while Silva tries to keep him in front of him. Silva misses a jumping knee. Inside leg kick lands for Silva. Both men are still trying to find their range with the hands while Silva seems to have his inside leg kick already dialed in. Haqparast blocks a few offensive offerings, neither man is really going to leave a big opening this early. Silva lands a leg kick. Haqparast lands a left as he’s pushing forward now. Silva misses a few kicks. Silva blocks a high kick but eats a counter right hook. Haqparast lands a counter left after avoiding a right. Silva lands a leg kick. Hard leg kick from Silva, then Haqparast lands a left. Haqparast lands a left and a couple of follow ups in close. Haqparast catches a kick and lands a left. Body kick from Haqparast, he’s got a read on Silva now and is finding his offense rather consistently. Haqparast lands a right, then catches a body kick and lands a couple of counters. Silva lands another leg kick, that’s been his best weapon so far. Haqparast backs up Silva, and tries a head kick that’s blocked as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Haqparast

ROUND TWO: Haqparast is back to circling, now he’s looking to get his jab going. Silva lands a body kick but Haqparast lands a counter left. Haqparast lands a left that floors Silva, he jumps all over him on the mat and that’ll get the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nasrat Haqparast via KO, punches, At :36 of Round 2

Wonderful stuff from Haqparast there, and now he’s got an interview. He says today you can celebrate but tomorrow you’re back to work, he knows another tough opponent is coming up and he plans to keep working. He talks us through the finish, and notes that he’s normally a power striker and puts over Silva as a dangerous opponent but he’s still looking forward. Asked about what’s next he says he’s coming for everyone, puts over his corner and team, then mentions possibly October but just wants the next contract.

Here’s the finish. Silva tries to reach for a straight punch but Haqparast had seen that reaction consistently so instead of going straight he arcs the punch to go around the presumed defense and his left fist finds the chin of Silva. From there it’s all over but the shouting.

Jim Miller is a longtime veteran of the sport and holds a few notable records in the UFC, specifically most lightweight fights in promotional history (31), most wins in lightweight history (18), and now has retaken first place in terms of most bouts in UFC history as this will be his 33rd UFC fight. Miller’s career is winding down but he’s trying to prove that it’s not done just yet at the expense of another veteran. Clay Guida is coming off of a win over BJ Penn, he’s looking to extend that streak and prove that he’s not ready to hang up the gloves either. The odds are with Miller at -165 to a +135 payout on Guida.

Lightweight Bout: Clay Guida (35-18, 154.5 lbs.) vs. Jim Miller (30-13 1 NC, 154.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Miller has an inch of height and reach on Guida. Southpaw for Miller as they start, Guida is circling early. Both men flashing the lead hand, Miller then lands a left. Guida blocks a head kick and lands a right that wobbles Miller, Miller blasts Guida with a left and locks up a guillotine then puts Guida to sleep with a guillotine.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jim Miller via Technical Submission, guillotine choke, at :58 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Miller for his work this afternoon. Miller is now tied for third most wins in UFC history and tied for most finishes in UFC lightweight history. Mic time for Miller, he puts over Guida as a legend. When talking us through the finish he says he was expecting the uppercut but he got hurt by that right then mentions he’s just a tough guy from north Jersey who never let adversity get him down. He notes this is his 20th UFC win and it feels good, and puts over his coaches. Anik notes he’s got the most wins in lightweight history and most fights in UFC history when asking what’s next, he says he’s just looking for another one after his battle with Lyme disease and he wants to dive back into the deep end of the division.

Here you get a look at the left Miller lands. Guida knows he zinged him with the fight but as he’s coming forward he keeps his head on the center line and gets a little over anxious, Miller cracks him with a left and Guida’s go to response of double leg leaves his neck open for Miller’s guillotine.

Colby Covington is the former interim welterweight champion, he’s on a six fight winning streak as well and is looking to secure a title shot if he can get by a former champion. Robbie Lawler is a former welterweight champion but is just 1-3 in his last four fights, he’s looking to break a two fight losing streak and possibly put himself back in the title picture with a high profile win. Covington is the -240 favorite while Lawler’s comeback sits at +190.

Welterweight Bout: #2 Colby Covington (14-1, 171 lbs.) vs. #11 Robbie Lawler (28-13 1 NC, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Lawler has two inches of reach on Covington. Both men are fighting southpaw, Covington coming forward early but Lawler stuffs his attempt and lands a one two. Left lands for Covington. Lawler slips on a punch and Covington gets a clinch and drives Lawler to the fence. Covington gets a partial takedown, Lawler only gets to his knees and then wall walks. Covington is staying glued to Lawler and gets a single leg, Lawler looking to wall walk quickly but get sstalled out on the fence. Covington gets the back as Lawler stands, Lawler is after a kimura but Covington sweeps his legs and gets the takedown, Lawler back up but can’t get free. Another mat return from Covington, he’s got the back without hooks and is after a choke. Lawler isn’t worried about the choke, Covington bails on it but keeps the back and gets one hook in. Lawler is trying to wall walk again, Covington is keeping him on his knees though and landing some short blows. Covington keeps showing the choke attempts but they’re not even close right now. Lawler is able to explode free and separates this time. Leg kick from Lawler, Covington lands a left. Covington pushes close and gets another single leg. Back to that position nearly having the back for Covington, Lawler is just hanging out then wall walks, Covington fires a flurry as he’s along the fence to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Covington

ROUND TWO: Covington pushes forward immediately and misses a high kick. Leg kick lands for Covington as he’s looking to back Lawler towards the fence. Punches from Covington land and he gets an ankle pick along the fence. Lawler is stuck sitting on the fence, he’s looking to wall walk again but Covington is smothering him. Wall walk from Lawler, Covington lands an elbow and keeps the clinch. More short elbows from Covington then Lawler avoids a spinning elbow and separates. Lawler lands a leg kick. Covington punches into another takedown and gets Lawler down again. Lawler wall walks again, and eats a few more elbows and short punches. Covington lands a left, Lawler looks a little flat already, I’m not sure why. Covington lands an uppercut and gets a double leg. Covington moves to the back without hooks and looks to lock up the choke but again there’s not much there. Lawler is back up but he’s still in the clinch. More dirty boxing from Covington as they break. Lawler is just standing flat, Covington is landing punches now. Covington lands a leg kick. Covington eats a left but he’s out working Lawler on the feet. Lawler is moving his upper body but he’s absorbing the impacts then Covington lands a body kick. More jabs from Covington and a bit of an uppercut. Lawler is coming forward now, he eats another left. A calf kick from Covington will end the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Covington comes forward again, Lawler meets him thoug and starts pushing him back. Leg kicks from Covington, then he gets a double leg in open space. Lawler moves to the fence and wall walks but Covington is wearing him out. Mat return from Covington and he’s got the back, Lawler wall walks but eats a knee in the clinch. They break and trade jabs. Lawler is coming on strong now, Covington lands a right hook. Jabs from Lawler, they trade then Covington drives him to the fence. They come up in the clinch, Covington landing some short uppercuts, Lawler returns them as they break. Both men showing the jab. Covington lands an uppercut but Lawler is rolling with them well. Another clinch but nothing comes of this one. Covington lands a bit of a left but Lawler is wearing down visibly. Double leg from Covington hits the fence then he misses a head kick as they break. One two from Covington, he just wont give Lawler a chance to breathe. body kick from Covington lands. They trade some leg kicks then trade lefts. More leg kicks go back and forth then Covington backs Lawler to the fence again. Both men land a few jabs. Covington punches in close and maintains his work rate. Covington lands another body kick, and another one. Left lands for Covington, which will be the last real blow of the round.

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

ROUND FOUR: Covington comes out and lands an inside leg kick. Lawler is backing up already, they trade some jabs. Covington keeps punching Lawler back to the fence. The work rate of Covington is insane. Lawler finds himself on the fence, Covington gets the clinch. They trade body work then separate. Both men land lefts, but the unending stream of offense from Covington is bothering Lawler. Covington kicks the body again. Covington lands a few punches, Lawler lands a jab. Single leg from Covington, but Lawler limp legs free. Leg kick lands for Covington then an uppercut. Hard body shot from Covington. Lawler lands a couple of jabs. Covington gets a clinch and lands a knee to the body as they break. A series of punches land for Covington then he gets a double leg. Lawler is back up but stuck on the fence again. Covington gets a few short elbows off while they’re fighting for position. Knees from Covington, Lawler can’t get off the fence right now. Lawler lands a couple of short punches as well and they break. Covington lands a few lefts, and backs up Lawler as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Covington, 40-36 Covington overall

ROUND FIVE: Covington comes out quickly and lands an inside leg kick. Lawler’s legs aren’t really under him, the pace has been a killer. Jumping knee from Covington then a body kick. Both men work some jabs. Covington with a knee to the body as he’s backing Lawler to the fence again. Double leg from Covington, they stall out on the cage though. There’s a visible welt on Lawler’s midsection from all those kicks. They break and both men paw with the lead hand. Another tie up, Covington with knees to the body and head as they break. Lawler lands a bit of a left to counter a body kick. More jabs from Covington, Lawler with a couple of body shots. Another clinch, nothing comes of this one though. Covington gets back in Lawler’s face and resumes punching. Lawler lands a couple of rights. A few front kicks from Covington land to the body. Lawler lands a jab, Covington lands a left. Covington is keeping up so much constant punches that Lawler is struggling to close distance effectively. They clinch again and Lawler misses a right then eats a body kick. Covington misses a 360 tornado kick but lands a spinning back fist just as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Colby Covington via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45 x2)

Not sure which round could be 10-8 under the new rules much less the old. Mic time for Covington, who’s barely breathing hard after that absurd pace in the fight. He acknowledges the Trump kids in the building and thanks them, thanks the troops as well which went over better with the crowd. He says you should stay off the tracks when a train is coming through, something Lawler should have learned from Matt Hughes, even if it’s the Colby train. The crowd boos a bit, he says they paid to see him so shut up and let him talk, then tells Kamaru Usman they don’t have to wait for Madison Square Garden they can fight right now. Usman, up on the desk takes off his suit jacket and invites him up.

Mic time for Lawler, who puts over Covington but feels he just needs to go back to work and get better going forward.

It was basically this pace all fight. Covington’s conditioning is outstanding, even if those are just arm punches he threw around 500 strikes through that fight which is an absolutely absurd pace.

On that note everyone, thank you for being here and reading. Be that live or after the fact, I appreciate all of you no matter when or how you read my work. We’ll be unpacking this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus looking ahead to UFC on ESPN+ 14 when the UFC brings a fight between women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche when they debut in the country of Uruguay. I’ll be back next week for that event and hope to see you all then. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN, Robert Winfree