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411’s UFC on FOX 20 Report 7.23.16

July 24, 2016 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Valentina Shevchenko

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 20. 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. We’ve got a pretty solid event lined up tonight, though losing the original co-main event of Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira hurt a bit. Fortunately Johnson vs. Teixeira just got moved back to UFC 202 in four weeks and a solid lightweight contest between former Strikeforce lightweight champion and two time UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez taking on the perpetually exciting Edson Barboza got bumped up to the co-main event slot. The main event is a clash of two of the most decorated strikers to ever compete in the sport as former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm will take on multiple time Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Valentina Shevchenko and one has to imagine the winner would be very close to a title shot. This event comes to us from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan on commentary.

Luis Henrique lost his UFC debut when he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou but was on a six fight winning streak prior to that and while you can’t make a second first impression, he could get his first UFC win here and start building some new momentum in the heavyweight division. Dmitry Smolyakov is making his UFC debut tonight but is undefeated as a professional fighter and there’s no better way to make that big debut than with a win.

Heavyweight Bout: Luis Henrique (8-2 1 NC, 253 lbs.) vs. Dmitry Smolyakov (8-0, 251 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Thees two are the same height and have the same reach, Smoliakov is eleven years older though. Circling to start, Smoliakov flashing the jab. Henrique misses a left high kick. Smoliakov lands a leg kick. Smoliakov misses a spinning back fist, does land a leg kick though. Henrique lands a hard left and a flurry behind it then they clinch on the cage. Henrique looking for a body lock takedown, Smoliakov remaining upright. They trade some blows in the clinch, Henrique lands a knee to the head as they separate. Smoliakov lands a right, avoids a takedown attempt, lands another right then Henrique gets the clinch and pushes him into the fence. Smoliakov with some body shots and they trade rights as they separate. Smoliakov lands a bit of a straight right. Smoliakov lands an overhand right, Henrique tries a double leg, he’s got to fight for it but does get an elevated double leg into the guard of Smoliakov. Henrique lands a couple of elbows. More elbows from Henrique, they’re being partially blocked but Henrique is controlling from top. Henrique passes to half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Henrique

ROUND TWO: Smoliakov’s right eye is swelling under the eyebrow, nothing grotesque but it bears watching if it gets worse. Henrique circling again, both guys visibly tired at this point. They trade some left, Smoliakov lands a leg kick and shrugs off a double leg attempt from Henrique. Henrique misses a high kick then avoids a takedown attempt and they clinch again. Henrique looking for a takedown against the fence. Smoliakov remaining upright so far, lands a knee to the body. They scramble briefly and Henrique gets on top in the ride position while Smoliakov is on his knees. Henrique working some rights to the head now, Smoliakov tries a couple of back elbows. Henrique with more right hammer fists, not a whole lot on these but Smoliakov isn’t doing much of anything to regain his feet. The crowd is getting restless already, on the one hand I don’t blame them on the other this is a strong position for Henrique. Henrique keeps landing rights until Smoliakov tried to step up and Henrique grabs a rear naked choke without hooks but his squeeze gets the tap anyway.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Luis Henrique via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:58 of Round 2

Henrique gets some mic time now. He says he’s feeling good but this is just the first step in his work. He thanks his camp for getting him ready and reiterates that his work is just getting underway.

Jim Alers is 1-1 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, and coming off of that No Contest fight with Cole Miller. Alers needs to find his way back to the winning side of things as his last win was in April of 2014 and while a loss here might not necessarily get him cut it will certainly set his career trajectory on a negative path. Jason Knight lost his UFC debut when he stepped in on short notice against Tatsuya Kawajiri in December of 2015 but now with a full training camp under his belt he’ll be looking to show his full skill set here and get the all important first UFC win.

Featherweight Bout: Jim Alers (13-2 1 NC, 145 lbs.) vs. Jason Knight (13-2, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Knight has an inch of height on Alers but their reach is identical. Knight flashing the jab early, and they trade rights. Knight lands a couple of jabs, Alers lands a leg kick. Knight lands a thrust kick to the knee, he’s moving forward and crowding Alers so far. Knight lands another kick to the knee. Alers lands an inside leg kick. Knight really using the rear leg oblique kick to the knee here, he’s trying to exploit his longer legs. Knight lands another couple of jabs, Alers lands a right. Knight lands a leg kick that drops Alers for a moment. Knight with a stiff couple of jabs and a cross. Alers lands a left, it cut Knight under the right eye. Knight lands a left hook. Alers misses a left hook and eats a bit of a right. Knight lands an outside then an inside leg kick. They clinch up and Alers gets Knight on the fence. Knight quickly able to get out of the clinch and separate. Knight still the aggressor, really pumping the left hand. Knight lands a leg kick. Alers hits a double leg, Knight trying to scramble and he’s able to kick free and regain his feet. Jabs traded, Knight lands a right to the body. Alers lands a bit of a left. Knight lands another leg kick. Knight hits a double leg takedown then immediately stands up and makes Alers regain his feet. Alers lands a left hook but Knights volume is getting to him. The round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Knight

ROUND TWO: Knight comes out jabbing again, and lands a leg kick behind the jab. Alers lands a bit of an overhand right. Knight lands another leg kick while Alers is circling. Alers lands a hard counter right after fading a left. Knight lands a rear leg front kick to the body. Knight lands a right to the body then a left to the head. Knight lands a heavy leg kick. Alers lands a bit of a right, Knight really using that oblique kick to the thigh, he’s almost aiming at the hip at this point. Alers lands a bit of a left but eats a couple of counters. Knight lands a couple of leg kicks. Alers tries a double leg, Knight avoids it. Alers bleeding from around the outer edge of the right eyebrow now. Knight lands a combination. Knight lands another combination. Knight lands yet another leg kick, Alers just circlng and waiting too much. Alers eats a leg kick then hits a double leg. Knight quickly into full rubber guard. Knight tries for a gogoplata, Alers avoids it. They scramble as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Alers comes out quickly and cracks Knight with a right that wobbles him. Alers pushes into the clinch and gets a takedown. Knight quickly with elbows from his back and throws up rubber guard again. Alers keeps posture and Knight drops to normal guard. Alers lands a couple of rights. Knight able to kick Alers off and lands an uppercut. Alers dives for a low single leg, Knight defends and tries for a crucifix but Alers back up and they separate. Knight lands a leg kick. Alers lands a jab. They trade rights in close. Knight lands a right to the body. Knight lands another leg kick. Knight now hits a one two combination, he’s just out working and overwhelming Alers. Knight sprawls out of a double leg, Alers hits a right then a body lock takedown into side control. Knight shrimps to full guard and uses rubber guard again. Knight with some elbows from his back, Alers lands a couple of rights. Knight trying to wall walk now, and he’s up but still in the clinch. They jockey for position and Knight slips free but eats a hard right hand. Knight fires back with a right but he got tagged there. Alers lands a spinning back fist. Knight misses a one two combination but uses that to close distance and get the clinch, now transitions to the rear waist lock, Alers breaks it and they trade a couple of final blows before time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Alers, 29-28 Knight overall

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

Not sure how you could give round 1 or 2 to Alers, disagree with the split. On the mic Knight agrees that the split was odd as Alers only had a couple of takedowns, but he feels good on the ground too and wanted to beat him up on the feet. Joe Rogan talks about how fun that fight was, Knight says if it was that fun please show him some bonus money. He says he’s been fighting for ten years and hoping to talk to Joe Rogan after a fight, says he just lived his dream, puts over his coaches and training partners and everyone who sponsored him. He closes by saying he wants another fight soon, specifically that he doesn’t want to wait six months for another fight.

Alex Oliveira has been bouncing between lightweight and welterweight during his UFC run but has amassed a 3-2 overall record and his only losses are to Gilbert Burns and Donald Cerrone, and while he is coming off of that loss to Cerrone he had won three in a row before that and looks to get back on the winning side of things tonight. James Moontasri is 2-2 in the UFC overall but coming off of a win in his welterweight debut and he’s looking to remain unbeaten in that weight class with a win over an exciting and somewhat well known opponent.

Welterweight Bout: James Moontasri (9-3, 170 lbs.) vs. Alex Oliveira (13-3-1 1 NC, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oliveira has an inch of height and a whopping five and a half inches of reach on Moontasri. Touch of gloves to start things off. Oliveira moving forward early, Moontasri will be switching his stance frequently. Oliveira lands a bit of a body kick as Moontasri lands a bit of a spinning back kick then they clinch on the fence. Oliveira looking for a double leg against the fence, Moontasri tries to defend, Moontasri stays on his feet though. Oliveira lands a couple of lefts to the head. Oliveira tried for a hip toss, Moontasri staying up right still. Moontasri able to spin Oliveira into the fence. Moontasri lands a knee to the thigh. Oliveira tries a knee to the body as they break, and that knee went into the groin. Moontasri will have up to five minutes to recover. Moontasri is on his knees now, he’s in serious pain. Moontasri rolls to his back now, there’s a couple of ringside personnel in there to examine him now. Moontasri back to his knees, and back up to his feet. Both the doctors who were in have left the cage. Moontasri walking around now, asking some questions about the restart and we’re back to fighting. We get a touch of gloves on the restart, Oliveira apologizes. Moontasri dodges a high kick then lands a bit of a high kick. They clinch, Moontasri lands a hopping knee to the head before Oliveira gets him on the fence. Oliveira looking for a single leg now, bails on that and lands a knee to the body before Moontasri spins him into the cage. Oliveira lands some knees to the body. Moontasri lands a couple of short elbows as Oliveira gets him on the cage. Oliveira looking for a single leg, Oliveira bails on that and lands a couple of knees to the body. Moontasri lands an elbow, Oliveira lands an elbow of his own then a knee to the body. Oliveira lands a couple of uppercuts in the clinch and a knee to the chest to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oliveira

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Moontasri comes out southpaw this round, but again will switch frequently. Moontasri lands a hard inside leg kick. Moontasri lands a bit of a high kick but Oliveira gets the clinch off of it and pushes Moontasri into the cage. Oliveira lands another knee to the body. Moontasri able to spin Oliveira, Oliveira spins him back. Oliveira lands a knee to the body, Moontasri lands an elbow. Another knee to the body from Oliveira. Moontasri defending takedown attempts but he can’t get off the fence. Oliveira able to finally get a double leg against the cage and passes into half guard quickly. Moontasri trying to wall walk, and gives up the mount to Oliveira. Moontasri trying to regain half guard, Oliveira working short blows while working to pass. Moontasri able to get to full guard but Oliveira postures up and lands some hard punches. Oliveira passes to half guard and lands another flurry of hammer fists and elbows. Hard rights to the body from Oliveira as Moontasri tries to wall walk again. Moontasri able to get to his feet but still in the clinch and Oliveira lands a knee to the body. Moontasri lands an elbow and they trade again in the clinch as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Moontasri trying to stay on the outside. Moontasri misses a kick, Moontasri lands a bit of a spinning back fist and we get a wild exchange where both men land. Oliveira feigns being more hurt than he is and lands a right, Moontasri lands from in close before Oliveira hits a double leg into the guard of Moontasri. Oliveira with some rights from guard, Moontasri keeping his guard closed this time. Oliveira with some more blows from the top. Oliveira working lefts now, Moontasri’s right eye is swelling a little now. Oliveira with some hard rights to the body. Oliveira lands a good right. Oliveira able to land a few lefts then hard rights to the body. Body to head work from Oliveira, the round will end on that note.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oliveira, 30-27 Oliveira overall but there were a couple of borderline 10-8’s in there

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2)

Yeah, both 2 and 3 could be 10-8 for Oliveira. No interview as that fight ran long. We’re on to FOX for the remainder of the night.

Michel Prazeres is 3-2 in the UFC and coming off of a win in his last fight, he’s looking to build some upward momentum in the insane division that is lightweight. JC Cottrell is riding a six fight winning streak coming into his UFC debut here, he took this fight on relatively short notice when Tony Martin had to pull out of this fight but he’s in prime position to make a big splash with his debut.

Lightweight Bout: J.C. Cottrell (17-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Michel Prazeres (19-2, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cottrell has three inches of height and three and a half of reach on Prazeres. Touch of gloves to get things going. Cottrell circling, lands an inside leg kick then eats a leg kick from Prazeres. Prazeres lands a bit of a left. Prazeres hits a single leg, Cottrell back up but in the clinch now and they break without incident. Prazeres catches a body kick and gets a takedown, Cottrell tries to roll him, they scramble and Prazeres gets an omaplata going. Cottrell trying to move with it but Prazeres has the arm really locked down. Prazeres now looking to grab a choke as well, he’s switching to an armbar but Cottrell gets his arm free then Prazeres gets on top again. Prazeres quickly passes to half guard, Cottrell tying to grab a kimura, he’s not even close to getting a full double wrist lock though. Prazeres passes towards full mount, Cottrell hip escapes to half guard but eats a couple of punches for his trouble. Prazeres passes to side control. Prazeres might be setting up a north/south choke, Cottrell defends the attempt though but can’t get out of side control. The round ends in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Prazeres

ROUND TWO: Cottrell opens the second round with a left body kick. Prazeres lands a bit of a leg kick. Prazeres ducks a left hook and hits an easy double leg takedown into the guard of Cottrell. Cottrell to his feet but gives up the back and Prazeres drags him back to his knees. Cottrell back up again and then they break without incident. Cottrell misses a few strikes. Prazeres ducks another punch and gets another takedown, Cottrell back up and Prazeres uses the rear waist lock to drag him back down. Cottrell back up again but Prazeres is still in the clinch and working to take him down again. Cottrell able to spin into him, Prazeres lands a right as they break apart. Cottrell lands a bit of a jab. Prazeres lands a hard left body kick. Cottrell lands a straight right. Prazeres hits a double leg into the guard of Cottrell after ducking a punch. Prazeres lands a couple of rights to the body. Cottrell back up, Prazeres landed a knee to the body and keeps him in the clinch. Cottrell spins free and blocks a double leg attempt. Cottrell blocks another takedown attempt and lands a jab. Prazeres hits a double leg against the fence, Cottrell sitting on the cage this time. Cottrell wont get up before time expires.

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

ROUND THREE: Quick hug to start the final round. Cottrell lands a jab. Prazeres lands a quick couple of hooks. Cottrell lands a right, Prazeres lands a right then a left. Prazeres throws a left high kick that’s blocked. Prazeres lands a counter one two combination then a hard left body kick. Prazeres going after the body now, another left body kick then a takedown against the fence. Cottrell back up but still in the clinch, Prazeres has a rear waist lock going. Cottrell able to break the grip and break free. Cottrell lands a straight right. Prazeres lands a jab then a couple of body shots and gets the clinch. They break though and Prazeres lands a right then a left to the head and a left to the body before clinching again. Cottrell able to spin free. Prazeres lands a bit of a right. Prazeres lands a counter left then a right. Prazeres tries a single leg, can’t finish the takedown though and rolls to his back then regains his feet when Cottrell doesn’t take top position. Prazeres lands a jab. Prazeres still pushing forward and lands an overhand right. They clinch again and Cottrell just misses a high kick when they break. Cottrell tries a jumping knee but his foot hits the groin, Prazeres basically shakes it off and they have one final exchange as time runs down.

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

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

Not sure which round would be 10-8 for Prazeres, but he did own each round. No interview for Prazeres though.

Kamaru Usman won the 21st season of The Ultimate Fighter and is 2-0 in the UFC overall, he’s looking to make that 3-0 tonight and continue building on that momentum. Alexander Yakovlev is 2-2 in the UFC and also on a two fight winning streak, he’s coming off of a first round knockout win and is similarly looking to build momentum in the welterweight division.

Welterweight Bout: Kamaru Usman (7-1, 170 lbs.) vs. Alexander Yakovlev (23-6-1, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yakovlev has three inches of height on Usman but Usman has a two inch reach advantage. Yakovlev fighting southpaw. Yakovlev ducks a right and Usman gets the clinch against the fence. Yakovlev defending takedowns so far, lands a knee to the body. Yakovlev lands a couple of more knees, Usman gets a takedown off of it and lands a couple of rights. Usman with some knees to the thigh as Yakovlev is on one knee against the fence. Usman to the ride position now, he’s got one hook in now. We get a break as the ref takes a point from Yakovlev for grabbing the fence and a restart in the same position. Yakovlev working a reversal, back to his feet and Usman looking for the double leg again but Yakovlev avoids that and they remain clinched. Usman with some knees to the thigh. Usman able to get him down to a knee again and gets the ride position. Usman pulls him down flat and gets to side control. Yakovlev able to get half guard. Yakovlev to full guard now. Usman able to land a couple of short elbows. And the round ends in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Usman after the point deduction

ROUND TWO: Circling to start the second round, they both miss rights. Yakovlev lands an inside leg kick then a left body kick. Yakovlev lands another body kick and a left. Yakovlev lands another body kick. Usman lands a right to the body, Yakovlev with another body kick. They clinch and Yakovlev lands a knee to the body before they break. Another clinch and Yakovlev lands another knee to the body before Usman gets him on the cage. Usman able to pull him down to the mat and get on top in half guard. Usman lands a few short elbows. Usman lands a left and a short elbow. Usman with some rights to the body now. Yakovlev tries to reach around and roll for a heel hook. Yakovlev going for it, Usman able to pull his leg free and get on top again in north/south position. Usman with some elbows to the body. The round ends with Usman throwing some more body shots.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Usman, 20-17 Usman overall

ROUND THREE: Usman moving forward, avoids a high kick from Yakovlev. Usman lands a bit of a right and gets the clinch yet again. Usman able to get him onto the mat and on top in half guard. Usman trying to set up an arm triangle, Yakovlev blocks it by threatening with a guillotine and Usman passes to side control. Usman still setting up that arm triangle, Yakovlev tries to roll and gets to his feet against the fence but Usman takes him down again and gets to full mount. Usman trying to posture up, he lands a few short rights. Usman lands an elbow. Yakovlev spins, tries to reverse position but just winds up on his knees and Usman lands a knee to the body from the ride position. Usman trying to get the back, Yakovlev back up but still in the clinch. Usman trying for another takedown, decides on knees to the thigh then drags Yakovlev down again and gets to full mount quickly. Usman still trying to posture up, Yakovlev just hanging on until time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Usman, 30-25 Usman overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision (30-25 x3)

Well that fight just contributed more to my burnout than anything else to this point this month. No interview for Usman.

Darren Elkins is on a two fight winning streak and has been with the UFC for over six years at this point, he’s a top ranked featherweight and if he can get a third consecutive win here he’ll likely crack to the top ten of the division. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro is on a three fight winning streak, all three of the finishes and all three of them earning him a Performance of the Night bonus, and if he can take out the eleventh ranked contender here he’ll certainly crack the top fifteen rankings and be on his way to being a contender in the division.

Featherweight Bout: #11 Darren Elkins (20-5, 145 lbs.) vs. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro (12-3, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins is three inches taller than Pepey but Pepey has two and a half inches of reach on him. Circling to start, Elkins eats a spinning kick to the body and Pepey lands a spinning back fist as well. They clinch, Pepey lands a knee to the head then they break. Elkins catches a switch kick and gets a takedown into the guard of Pepey. Pepey looking for a kimura, uses it to sweep into full mount. Elkins picks an ankle, uses that to get butterfly guard but eats a couple of punches from Pepey. Pepey stands, and tries to pass but winds up in guard and Elkins trying to attack with a heel hook. Pepey up to avoid it, Elkins stands with him and gets a double leg against the fence. Elkins bleeding from around the bridge of his nose from something that landed. Pepey tries for a triangle, Elkins postures through it. Elkins lands a hammer fist. Pepey trying to set up another submission attack, Elkins keeping close to him to nullify those attacks. Elkins not doing anything here from the guard, Pepey to his knees and up against the fence. Elkins tries the rear waist lock, Pepey gets a double wrist lock standing though and is trying to use that to sweep again as he’s taken down but the cage prevents his movement and Elkins gets his arm back. Elkins lands a couple of lefts from the guard of Pepey. The round ends with an elbow from Elkins.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pepey

ROUND TWO: Elkins misses a left hook to start the second. Pepey misses a right, eats a right in close. Pepey lands a glancing wheel kick and slips, they wind up in 50/50 guard and Pepey is going for a leg lock. Pepey goes for an inside heel hook, can’t lock it up and settles for a couple of elbows to the head. Elkins spins out of the guard position but Pepey winds up on top. Elkins able to push him off, Pepey lands an illegal knee and a punch and we get time because of the penalty. Replay confirms what an illegal knee that was, could cost Pepey a point there. And there’s the point deduction from Pepey for that illegal blow. Elkins is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Pepey lands a hard straight right. Elkins misses a couple of punches. Pepey just misses a right hook. Elkins blocks a kick and gets a double leg into the guard of Pepey. Elkins trying to land blows, Pepey fighting for wrist control. Elkins lands a right. Pepey lands a couple of elbows from his back. More elbows from Pepey while Elkins just kind of hangs out. Elkins lands a couple of elbows. And the round ends with Elkins in the guard of Pepey.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction, 19-18 Pepey overall

ROUND THREE: Elkins pushes forward and lands a left body kick. Elkins eats a body kick then tries a double leg, Pepey actually pulls guard. Terrible decision there. Pepey lands a few elbows but Elkins lands a hard left and a right elbow. Elkins lands a short right elbow. Elkins lands a bit of a left. Elkins passes to half guard. Pepey pushes Elkins over and gets back to his feet. Elkins hits another double leg that was about half Pepey pulling guard. Elkins working short elbows now. Elkins working lefts to the body and head, and a decent right as well. Elkins with more short elbows. We get a brief exchange of blows from both men on the mat to close the fight. I expect Elkins to get the decision.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Elkins, 28-28 DRAW overall

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

Those last two fights just took all the momentum and interest in this card and killed it. No interview for Elkins.

Frankie Saenz is coming off of a loss to Urijah Faber but had won seven fights in a row before that including three in the UFC, he’s looking to turn that loss into a learning experience tonight and get back on the winning side of things against a tough veteran. Eddie Wineland was the first ever WEC bantamweight champion but is just 1-3 in his last four fights and on a two fight losing streak, he needs a win here to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak and possibly to keep his job with the promotion.

Bantamweight Bout: #12 Frankie Saenz (11-3, 135 lbs.) vs. #15 Eddie Wineland (21-11-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wineland has two inches of height and three of reach on Saenz. Wineland flashing the jab early, Saenz lands an inside leg kick. Saenz switching his stance frequently, as is Wineland. Saenz lands another inside leg kick, and another one. Saenz with another inside leg kick. Saenz dodges a jab and lands a bit of a counter right hook. Both men miss rights. They both miss hooks, scramble briefly in the clinch then break without incident. Saenz with another inside leg kick. Both men still trying to figure out the timing and spacing. Saenz lands an outside leg kick. Wineland lands a right in close that drops Saenz to a knee, Saenz blocks some follow up blows and circles off of the fence. Wineland lands an uppercut. Saenz lands a leg kick. Saenz hits a single leg takedown into the gaurd of Wineland. They trade a couple of short blows on the mat. Saenz lands a couple of elbows. Wineland throws up an armbar, Saenz avoids it and gets the back in the resulting scramble. Saenz got cut around the left temple during some of that exchange. The round comes to a close in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Wineland

ROUND TWO: Saenz opens up with an inside leg kick that goes into the groin of Wineland so we’ve got time for him to recover. Wineland is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Saenz lands a bit of a right in close. Saenz lands a heavy inside leg kick. Saenz lands a glancing left hook. Wineland still moving forward, lands a right to the body and eats a bit of a counter right. Saenz lands a right. They both land in close during an exchange. Saenz with another inside leg kick. They both land rights, Saenz landed a little better. Both men miss left hooks. Saenz lands another kick to the groin, not bad this time and Wineland waves off the ref when he tries to pause the action. Saenz misses a jumping knee and a spinning back fist. Saenz tries a single leg, Wineland defends. Saenz lands a knee to the body then an inside leg kick. Wineland lands a bit of an uppercut. Saenz lands a left body kick. Wineland lands a left hook and a bit of a right that drops Saenz for a moment. Saenz lands a right. They trade straight rights to close out the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Wineland resumes flashing the jab. Saenz with another inside leg kick. Saenz lands a leg kick but eats a bit of a counter right. Saenz lands a couple of short rights. Wineland slips a left and lands a right to the body. Saenz with another inside leg kick. Saenz grabs a single leg attempt, Wineland defends and they separate. Wineland slips a right and FLOORS Saenz with a right! Saenz somehow gets back to his feet but Wineland keeps hammering him and the ref has to save Saenz.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Eddie Wineland via TKO, punches, at 1:54 of Round 3

That’s the first finish since our first fight of the night, most welcome really. Wineland gets an interview, he says he knew he hurt Saenz in the first but didn’t want to get too crazy and he knew he had put Saenz out in the third. He thanks his boxing coach for getting him ready for this fight and puts over his punching power to close the interview.

That wraps up the prelims, now to the main card though still on FOX. Here’s the finish to the Wineland fight if you’re interested.

Felice Herrig is 1-1 in the UFC and coming off of a loss to Paige VanZant, she’s looking to rebound from that loss here and reestablish herself as a top shelf strawweight fighter despite not having fought in over a year. Kailin Curran is 1-2 in the UFC with losses to Paige VanZant and Alex Chambers but is coming off of a win over Emily Kagan and looking to build her first UFC winning streak at the expense of Herrig tonight.

Women’s Strawweight Bout: Kailin Curran (4-2, 116 lbs.) vs. Felice Herrig (10-6, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height with the same reach, only difference is age where Herrig is six years older. Herrig comes out quickly, flashing the jab and lands a bit of a left hook. Curran lands a jab, Herrig lands a couple of counters. Herrig working a higher volume approach right now, lands a couple of punches and a left body kick. Herrig lands a stiff jab and another left body kick. Let kick lands for Herrig, Curran lands a bit of a counter high kick but Herrig catches it and takes her down and lands in half guard. Herrig passes to side control then takes the back quickly and goes for the choke. Curran stands, gets pulled over but Herrig has an arm under the neck and is going for the choke. Curran trying to fight off the choke but she can’t break the grip and has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Felice Herrig via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Herrig for her work this evening. Herrig gets an interview. She says winning feels great and thanks the crowd for the energy. She talk about taking time off for personal and medical issues, thanks everyone who helped get her body and mind strong again. She puts over her jiu-jitsu gym and thanks Carla Esparza for helping with her wrestling and apologizes for rambling but is still happy to be here.

And here’s the finish to that last fight in case you missed it.

Francis Ngannou is 2-0 in the UFC with two second round stoppages to his credit, the UFC is clearly pretty high on him and hopes he’ll breathe some life into the heavyweight division going forward, and a third consecutive win here would certainly set him up to start tackling a few bigger names in the future. Bojan Mihajlovic is undefeated as a professional fighter and making his UFC debut here, a win over a touted prospect like Ngannou would be the ideal way for him to kick off his UFC career.

Heavyweight Bout: Bojan Mihajlovic (10-3, 228 lbs.) vs. Francis Ngannou (7-1, 259 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ngannou has five inches of height and ten of reach on Mihajlovic in addition to being thirty one pounds heavier. Touch of gloves to get things going. Mihajlovic circling early, Ngannou kind of stalking forward and looking to get him on the fence. Ngannou checks a leg kick. Mihajlovic misses a wild overhand right. Ngannou lands a couple of left hooks that drops Mihajlovic, a flurry of punches on the ground get the ref to stop this though Mihajlovic complains a little about the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Francis Ngannou via TKO, punches, at 1:34 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ngannou for his work this evening. Mic time for Ngannou now, who’s now 3-0 in the UFC. He says he’s ready for the next level of competition moving forward. He reiterates that he’ll back up his talk and plans on being the UFC heavyweight champion, then thanks Joe Rogan to close the interview.

And here’s that finish, the stoppage might have been a tad early but better early than late all things considered.

Gilbert Melendez is a former Strikeforce lightweight champion and has twice challenged for the UFC lightweight championship, unfortunately for Melendez he lost both of those fights and is actually just 1-3 in the UFC with his only win coming over Diego Sanchez. While his losses are to former or the current lightweight champions, it’s still not a good UFC record. He’s also coming off of a suspension stemming from a failed drug test when he was defeated by Eddie Alvarez, now after being out for over a year due to that suspension the man once thought among the best lightweights in the world is in a must win scenario here. Edson Barboza has been trading wins and losses recently but owns a spectacular wheel kick knockout win in the UFC, two wins via leg kick TKO, and is coming off of a win over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. If Barboza can get a win here it’ll be his first UFC winning streak since 2014 and certainly help move him up the ranks towards a title shot.

Lightweight Bout: #6 Edson Barboza (17-4, 155 lbs.) vs. Gilbert Melendez (22-5, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barboza has two inches of height and reach on Melendez. Touch of gloves to get us going. Melendez is on the outside circling, he pushes forward and lands a right but eats a couple of heavy leg kicks from Barboza. Melendez doing his ducking forward and winging hooks thing, Barboza doing a good job of slipping away from them. Melendez tries a single leg, defended by Barboza. Melendez lands a bit of a right in close. Barboza lands a bit of a counter right after slipping a left hook. Melendez lands a bit of a right uppercut, pushes forward and they trade briefly. Barboza lands a left body kick, Melendez catches it and lands a knee to the body before Barboza gets free. Barboza lands a leg kick then a left body kick. Another left body kick from Barboza lands. And Barboza lands a spinning back kick to the body. Melendez lands an uppercut then they trade left hooks. Melendez lands a punch in close but Barboza is able to circle off of the fence. Barboza lands a double jab and a left hook. Barboza backing up Melendez now, lands a bit of a left body kick. Barboza lands a left hook, then a right and a couple of body kicks. Barboza is finding his rhythm here. Barboza lands a jumping knee to the body to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barboza

ROUND TWO: Barboza lands a quick left, he and Melendez trade in close. Melendez moving forward now. Melendez lands a right to the body. Barboza lands a right, Melendez tries a takedown that Barboza easily shrugs off and then lands a couple of leg kicks while Melendez is on his back and Barboza stands over him. Barboza lets Melendez back up. Both men miss hooks, Barboza lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Barboza, this one drops Melendez then he lands another that drops Melendez. Melendez back up again but that lead leg might be a tad compromised. Another leg kick from Barboza lands after he slips a right. Barboza with a wicked left switch kick to the body then another leg kick. Another left body kick from Barboza lands. Melendez lands an overhand right that wobbles Barboza but Barboza digs in and they trade then Melendez tries a double leg takedown that Barboza defends and they separate. Barboza stalking forward again, misses a leg kick. Barboza lands a right to the body. Barboza lands a heavy leg kick. Barboza misses a left hook. Barboza catches a body kick and kicks the other leg out from under Melendez and lands in his guard. Barboza postures up and lands a series of rights to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Barboza lands a couple of heavy leg kicks, and Melendez is limping now on his left leg. Another leg kick from Barboza and Melendez is thinking about switching his stance. Another leg kick from Barboza. Barboza with another leg kick, Melendez is moving forward but that lead leg is a serious liability. Barboza with an inside leg kick now. Melendez misses an overhand right and eats another hard leg kick. Melendez tries a single leg, easily avoided by Barboza. Barboza lands another leg kick while they trade, Melendez is virtually on one leg here. Barboza misses a leg kick. Inside leg kick from Barboza. Lots of staring going on right now, Melendez can’t move well and Barboza is content to snipe at him. Melendez lands a bit of a right and a left. They both raise their arms in victory as the clock expires.

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

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

Big win for Barboza, his first winning streak in a while and that should set him up well for his next fight. Mic time for Barboza now, who says he knew this fight would be a war and thanks God for the win. He puts over Melendez as a tough guy and says again he was prepared for a war. Asked who he’d like next he says he feels close to a title shot then asks for any of the three guys ahead of him, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, or Rafael dos Anjos and also asks for a five round fight next time one way or another.

A quick highlight of some of Barboza’s kicks from that last fight.

Valentina Shevchenko is 1-1 in the UFC and coming off of a loss to current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, but she performed well in that fight. She’s also a multiple time world Muay Thai and kickboxing champion and if she can defeat a former champion tonight she’ll be right near the top of the division and in prime position for a title shot. Holly Holm is a multiple time world boxing champion and a former UFC bantamweight champion, she’s coming off of a loss to Miesha Tate that cost her that title but a win over a respected contender like Shevchenko will put her back into title contention quickly and could easily earn her another shot at the title she took from Ronda Rousey.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #2 Holly Holm (10-1, 135 lbs.) vs. #7 Valentina Shevchenko (12-2, 133 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holm has three inches of height and two of reach on Shevchenko. Holm fighting southpaw as is Shevchenko. Holm circling early, both women feinting early. Shevchenko probing with the inside leg kick, Holm using side kicks to the leg early. Shevchenko lands a bit of a right hook then they trade leg kicks. Shevchenko lands an inside leg kick then a short right hook after Holm lands a right. Leg kick lands for Shevchenko. Holm lands a hard right that drops Shevchenko, Shevchenko back up but that right shovel punch did some damage. Shevchenko lands a counter right. Holm lands a lead leg side kick to the body. Holm misses a high kick. Holm lands another oblique kicks, then they kick the body at the same time. Holm misses a left, they clinch and Shevchenko hits a takedown but Holm is right back up and lands a couple of lefts as they settle into the clinch on the fence. Holm lands a knee to the body as she’s got Shevchenko on the fence. Another knee to the body from Holm lands. Holm with knees to the legs and body. Holm pulls out of the clinch. They circle the last seconds away, then Shevchenko misses a left.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holm

ROUND TWO: Shevchenko flashing the jab more this round, Holm circling forward now. Shevchenko lands an inside leg kick. Shevchenko just misses an ax kick. Holm lands a side kick to the body. Holm lands a lead leg body kick. Shevchenko gets the clinch, Holm immediately pushes her into the fence and starts working knees to the legs. They break without much incident. Shevchenko lands a jab then a counter right hook when Holm started moving forward. Holm misses a long left then just blocks a spinning back fist from Shevchenko. Holm lands a side kick to the body. Shevchenko again lands the inside leg kick, and Holm lands a side kick to the thigh. Shevchenko eats a left but counters with a one two combination. Shevchenko misses a one two combination but lands an inside leg kick follow up. Holm with another side kick to the leg, Shevchenko lands a body kick then they trade jabs. Shevchenko is finding her rhythm here, lands another left. Shevchenko lands a jab. Holm lands a side kick to the thigh. Holm misses a high kick. Holm lands a leg kick then avoids a spinning back kick but eats a leg kick. Shevchenko lands a leg kick. And the round ends with a lead hand hook from Shevchenko.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Shevchenko with an inside leg kick, Holm again lands the side kick to the thigh. Shevchenko lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko using the inside leg kick very well so far. Holm just misses a left and Shevchenko just misses a spinning back fist. Shevchenko lands a leg kick then has a high kick blocked. Holm misses a high kick. Holm lands a leg kick, Shevchenko lands one of her own. Holm lands a body kick, Shevchenko catches it and gets a takedown, Holm back up immediately and gets Shevchenko on the fence. Holm with some knees to the thigh, she’s but above the right eyebrow. Shevchenko pushes for a takedown and gets a trip from the clinch and lands in half guard. Holm working towards the fence to wall walk. Shevchenko lands a short left. The action has stalled out here but the ref isn’t doing anything. Shevchenko lands a short elbow. Another short elbow from Shevchenko lands. Joe Rogan informs us the cut was caused by a headbutt. The round ends on the mat in that position.

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

ROUND FOUR: Holm flashing the jab early now. They split jabs. Holm lands a side kick to the body. Holm lands another side kick, Shevchenko responds with a leg kick. Shevchenko lands a quick one two combination and a leg kick. Shevchenko just misses a wheel kick. Holm lands a leg kick. Shevchenko checks a leg kick then lands one. Holm lands a bit of a left but Shevchenko lands a counter right hook. Holm just misses a left then eats a leg kick. Holm falling short with her offense to this point. Shevchenko tries a single leg, Holm easily avoids it. Holm lands a leg kick then a body kick. Holm lands a left, Shevchenko lands a bit of a right. Shevchenko lands an inside leg kick, even if she’s missing her punches she’s closing those combinations with that technique. Holm lands a bit of a left then eats another inside leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 39-37 Shevchenko overall

ROUND FIVE: They trade jabs to start the fifth round, Shevchenko content to wait and counter when Holm moves forward. Shevchenko lands a jab. Holm has a high kick blocked. Shevchenko lands a left. Shevchenko lands a one two combination. Shevchenko lands a leg kick. Shevchenko lands a counter right hook, she’s fighting beautifully here. Holm lands a body kick then avoids a takedown. Shevchenko again with the inside leg kick. Shevchenko lands a wheel kick then a counter right after Holm misses a left. Holm lands a leg kick. Shevchenko lands a counter right hook. Shevcheno dodges a couple of punches and lands a left. Holm lands a leg kick. Holm lands a hard left body kick. Shevchenko again lands that counter right hook. Holm trying to push forward, misses a left and then dodges a spinning counter from Shevchenko. Holm misses a high kick. Shevchenko lands a couple of punches in close, they trade leg kicks as the last exchange of the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 49-46 Shevchenko overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Huge win for Shevchenko, she’s right in discussion for a title shot now though Julianna Pena likely is ahead of her in the line. Mic time for Shevchenko who talks about preparing extensively and puts over her training centers and coaches. She says this was an important victory for her career and thanks people from France to Kyrgyzstan. She puts over the current champion Amanda Nunes but she wants a rematch with her for the title. She closes speaking Spanish, Russian, and a little English.

Holly Holm gets an interview now. She says she knew Shevchenko was a counter striker and tried to prepare for her but knew she’d be in for a tough fight. She says she’s disappointed in herself and puts over Shevchenko as tough. She reiterates she has no excuses and thanks her coaches for giving her the right information but says her performance wasn’t good enough.

Well that’s it for this event guys, thanks for clicking and reading. I’ll be back next week, because the UFC decided July was the month to just overkill the fans on, for UFC 201 when Robbie Lawler defends the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley. I’ll be previewing that event and reviewing this one this Sunday at 8pm eastern standard time on the 411 Ground and Pound radio show which takes live callers at (323) 657-0901 if you’ve got a question or comment you’d like on the air. I’ll be flying solo this time as my normal partner in crime is busy at San Diego Comic Con. Until next week thanks again for being here and keep checking 411mania for all your pop culture needs.