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411’s UFC on FOX 25 Report 7.22.17

July 22, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 25. I’m Robert Winfree, your standard host for the evening and I’ll be relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. Tonight the UFC is back on big FOX, and they’ve brought a card heavily skewed towards the geographic region that it’s being hosted in. The main event has former middleweight champion Chris Weidman trying desperately to halt his career slide, he’s lost his last three fights, while taking on the surging Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum has never lost at middleweight and could find himself in title contention with a win here. The only other relevant fight on the main card is a bantamweight clash between Jimmie Rivera and Thomas Almeida, the two have just two losses between them and the winner will feature prominently in the title picture. This event comes to us from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Quick shout out to Mark Radulich, who grew up in Uniondale. The commentary trio tonight is basically the best the UFC can offer, Jon Anik steering the ship while Brian Stann and Dominick Cruz do the analysis.

In our weekly update on which set of rules is in play, the New York Athletic Commission has adopted the new rules. So the new definition of a downed opponent is in play as well as the language regarding scoring of a 10-8 round, plus extending the fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact being made.

Chris Wade is in a bit of a rough spot, he got off to a great start in the UFC winning his first four fights there but has dropped his last two. Somewhat in his defense those were to Rustam Khabilov and Islam Makhachev, two high level lightweights, but he can’t afford a third loss here. Frankie Perez is also in a bit of a rough spot, he’s 1-2 in the UFC and that lone win was against an over the hill Sam Stout, Perez needs a win here to prove he can hang with relevant fighters, this could easily be styled as a Loser Leaves Town match. The odds favor Wade rather heavily at -340 against +260 for Perez.

Lightweight Bout: Frankie Perez (10-3, 155.6 lbs.) vs. Chris Wade (11-3, 155.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Perez is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Wade. Perez misses a jumping knee, Wade tries a jumping switch kick that is blocked. Wade fighting southpaw, misses a left and shoots a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Wade after trips, a quick misdirection trip gets Perez down and Wade is in half guard. Perez is able to get full guard but his head is stuffed on the fence. Perez looking to wall walk but he has no under hook so Wade moves towards his back. Wade has just one hook in and is basically on his hip. Wade lands some lefts, Perez gets that hook free and is back up but Wade has a rear waist lock. Perez spins into him then turns him into the fence. Perez lands a knee to the body. Perez drops for a double leg, he’s pretty deep under the hips but Wade is defending. Perez has Wade down to a knee but he’s not able to really finish this. Wade lands a couple of elbows to the head. Wade is using a double wrist lock to keep Perez from locking his hands, and he’s back up. Perez still has Wade on the fence in the clinch. And Comcast decides to blink out for a bit, I swear that Comcast is secretly run by Skynet. They jockey for position a bit, then Wade hits a head and arm judo throw to land in side control. I missed about a minute or so of action but I don’t think anything of note occurred. Wade holds the head to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Wade based on what I saw

ROUND TWO: Both guys a little fatigued after that much grappling. Wade orthodox now, lands a left body kick then Perez lands a couple of leg kicks. Wade backing Perez towards the fence, Perez circling. Wade switching his stance frequently, trying to keep Perez at a bad angle all the time. Perez lands a body kick. Wade lands a bit of a left, Perez doing a good job of avoiding the fence this time around. They trade a few leg kicks. Wade lands a bit of a left hook. Perez lands a jab but misses a follow up. Perez misses a spinning back kick. Perez shucks Wade out of a clinch attempt. Wade lands a front kick to the face, gets a clinch and takes Perez down. Perez uses the fence to roll over and gets a loose inverted triangle, there’s no arm caught though so no choke and Wade pulls free into north-south. Perez kicks off trying to bridge but Wade muscles him to his back, bad positioning from Perez there. Wade into side control against the fence. Perez shrimps to full guard, nicely done there. Perez kicks off and looks to wall walk. Wade holding a leg, Perez on a knee and now back up but still in the clinch. Wade after another double leg, Perez blocking this one so far. Perez trying to hit a switch but he can’t, they settle for the clinch where the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Perez lands a bit of a right to start the final round. They trade some sloppy kicks, Perez lands the better of those. Perez lands a couple of body kicks. Wade lands a bit of a left but gets the clinch. Perez spins Wade into the fence and pulls free. Wade lands a left then a right, tries a kick but Perez gets him down. Wade grabs a guillotine and uses it to sweep into top position. Wade in half guard, Perez able to get full guard. Some positional fighting, Perez tries an elevator sweep but can’t finish it and Wade passes to side control. Perez quickly to full guard again but that’s not doing him any favors in terms of winning the fight. Perez kicks free and scoots to wall walk but he’s still clinched by Wade. They jockey for position, Wade winds up on the fence. Wade able to get Perez to the cage, Perez spins, and lands a bit of a head kick as they break. Perez lands a knee as Wade dives for the clinch. Wade down to a knee looking for a single leg, Perez is down on a knee, he lands some hammer fists to the body as time runs down.

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

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

Not sure which round could have gone to Perez, maybe he stole the third? Wade on the mic now, in front of his native Long Island. He says he loves the people and puts over Perez and says a knee to the eye hurt him, then apologizes for not getting a finish.

Shane Burgos is undefeated as a professional and is 2-0 inside the UFC, he’s coming off of a Fight of the Night win and is looking to continue building his resume and maintaining upward momentum. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro has been on a good run lately, he’s 4-1 in his last five that loss is to Darren Elkins. Castro is coming off of a first round finish and looking to continue building back towards a possible top fifteen spot at the expense of Burgos. Burgos is the biggest favorite on the card at a massive -650 while Castro would pay out at +425, likely tempting a few degenerate gamblers out there.

Featherweight Bout: Shane Burgos (9-0, 145.2 lbs.) vs. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro (13-4, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Burgos is four inches taller and has two inches of reach on Castro. Castro tries a spinning back kick that misses. Burgos seems mildly amused. Castro tries a spinning back fist that misses. Burgos lands a jab, Castro returns it. Burgos ducks under a windmill right. Burgos lands a right to counter a wheel kick attempt. Burgos backing Castro up, Castro trying to circle. Castro tries a leg scissor take down, Burgos steps free easily. They trade a couple of jabs. Burgos seems to have a read on the distance already and is making Castro miss. Castro tries a single leg, Burgos defends and drops Castro with a knee. Burgos makes Castro stand back up, lands a couple of left and right uppercuts. Burgos knocks Castro down with a right, and makes Castro stand yet again. Castro ducks under a jab and goes for a double leg, Burgos defends against the fence. Castro just buying time to recover and try to get this thing to the mat. Castro rides him to a knee but can’t get the back, and Burgos spins free. Burgos lands a right then a left. Burgos lands a bit of a right, Castro in full retreat mode. Castro lands a wild right. Burgos lands a right to counter a lazy jab. Burgos blocks a double leg attempt. Burgos following Castro, he needs to cut off the cage more because Castro is open most of the time. Castro tries a double leg, Burgos defends and the round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Burgos

ROUND TWO: Burgos back to forward pressure, Castro lands a bit of a knee. Castro misses a wheel kick, Burgos blocks a double leg after that. Burgos lands a counter right after a lazy jab, Castro needs to hide behind his shoulder or move his head when he jabs. Burgos slipping and countering well so far, Castro pulls guard, Burgos pulls free and mocks him. Castro made to stand back up, Burgos lands a left hook. Some jabs being traded, Burgos avoids a takedown and lands a left to the body. Castro lands a front kick to the body. Castro pulls guard again, Burgos lands a couple punches then stands free and makes Castro stand. Castro takes his sweet time, and Burgos lands a leg kick once they’re both upright. Burgos lands a couple of stiff jabs. Castro lands that ugly as sin windmill overhand right. Burgos lands a calf kick. Burgos blocks another double leg and forces Castro to stand. Castro lands a body kick but eats a right. Burgos lands a left, and they trade in close. They get into some fun exchanges in close. Burgos forces this back into a technical fight, he’s landing pretty solidly. Castro gets a grip and pulls full guard. Burgos lands some rights from top position as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Burgos back to forward pressure, Castro winging the overhand right which is landing one out of every third attempt or so. Burgos lands a couple of stiff jabs to stop that and back Castro up. Burgos backing Castro up, Castro fails on a double leg attempt. If Burgos had more diversity to his striking game he could be the featherweight version of Justin Gaethje. They trade leg kicks then Burgos lands a leg kick. Burgos lands a bit of a right. Castro is fading now, fighting only in spurts of offense. Burgos lands another jab. Burgos eats a bit of an uppercut, he’s ducking a little too consistently. Burgos lands a right then a leg kick. Burgos lands a left to the body then a jab. Burgos still has a great read on the distance, he’s able to just lean out of the way of most of Castro’s offense. Burgos lands a couple of short punches. Burgos blocks a knee tap attempt, Castro gets him on the fence though. Burgos lands some elbows to the head while Castro holds a leg. Castro lands a right as they break. Burgos lands a leg kick. Burgos floors Castro with a left to the liver, makes Castro stand but he again takes his time. Burgos lands a right to the head. Burgos jabs the body, a series of rights, Castro pulls guard and Burgos lands right to the head from guard. Burgos with some heavy hammer fists as time runs down. Burgos probably could have finished him after that body shot, surprised he didn’t follow him down there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burgos, possible 10-8 argument though, 30-26 Burgos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shane Burgos via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26 x2)

OK, who gave Castro a round and didn’t give Burgos a 10-8 first. Shameful. Burgos on the mic now. He says he’s not happy because he wanted a finish and puts over Castro as tough. Burgos wants a post fight bonus to change his life, he’s in a small apartment and just had a daughter so he wants his life changed. Burgos has no specific opponent in mind next but plans on chasing bonuses. Seriously, featherweight Gaethje possibly once he improves his diversity and stops head hunting so much.

Here’s the liver shot that dropped Castro in the third. Nicely set up with a fake right, just shoulder motion. Also the body was open for most of the fight, Burgos really needs to attack up and down more, head hunting with his power worked at the regional level but he’s got to set things up more going forward.

Timothy Johnson has traded wins and losses while going 3-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win over Daniel Omielanczuk and is trying to defend his top fifteen ranking while possibly moving up the ranks in a division that always features a ton of opportunity. Junior Albini is making his UFC debut here but has a solid overall record and hasn’t lost a fight since 2012, if he can take out Johnson here he could get a top fifteen spot and make a big impact in his debut. Johnson has the edge according to the odds at -270 while Albini’s underdog status sits at +210.

Heavyweight Bout: Junior Albini (13-2, 264.6 lbs.) vs. #12 Timothy Johnson (11-3, 264.2 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson has three and a half inches of reach on Albini, they’re the same height and in a rare moment at heavyweight almost the same weight as well. Touch of gloves, Johnson fighting southpaw. Johnson pushes forward with a combination, Albini bounces off of the fence and angles away. Albini lands a body kick. They trade some more combinations, both guys happy to exchange. Johnson pushes with punches into the clinch on the fence. Johnson working knees to the thigh. Johnson working lefts to the body as well. Albini tries to spin free, Johnson keeps him on the fence though. Knees going back and forth. Johnson misses an uppercut as Albini finally pushes him off. Albini lands an uppercut then a left hook. Johnson lands a left. They trade lead hand punches. Albini lands a left hook, then a right that drops Johnson and this one is over after a few perfunctory hammer fists.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Junior Albini via KO, punches, at 2:51 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Albini for his work this evening. Also BOOM. . . heavyweights! Albini on the mic now. He says this has been his dream since he was a kid. He’s been fighting for fifteen years but this is only the beginning and he plans on getting better going forward. He says his hand speed is a big asset, I’d agree, and he’s focusing on being fast as most of the division is slow. Asked who he’d like next, he’s says this is just a dream to be here and he’s speechless. He goes into Portuguese, then does his own translation thanking everyone back home and his coaches for sticking with him despite some set backs earlier in his career.

Good stuff here from Albini, he resets the angle of attack when he sees Johnson drop his defense and lands a lovely left. Solid fundamentals.

Brian Kelleher made a massive impact in his debut when he submitted Iuri Alcantara, he’s riding an overall seven fight winning streak and looking to extend that here as well as make a case for a top ranking. Marlon Vera is on a two fight winning streak, his first in the UFC, and coming off of an impressive come from behind win over Brad Pickett, Vera is trying to prove he’s found the consistency he’s been struggling with as well as possibly move up in competition for his next bout. Kelleher is the -230 favorite to +180 on Vera.

Bantamweight Bout: Brian Kelleher (17-7, 135 lbs.) vs. Marlon Vera (9-3-1, 135.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Vera is two inches taller and has four and a half inches of reach on Kelleher. Touch of gloves for the first round. Kelleher switching his stance frequently early, so is Vera actually. Vera seems to favor the southpaw stance early, might have just been trying out orthodox to start. Kelleher lands a left body kick and just misses a right. Kelleher pushes into the clinch with a double leg attempt that stalls out on the fence. Kelleher lands a knee to the body. Vera able to push free but Kelleher lands a hard right to the body while keeping Vera on the fence. Vera tries a jumping knee that misses but does give him some breathing room. Kelleher misses a hook and tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence again. Vera holds a double wrist lock, Kelleher trips him down and spins to side control but Vera holds the grip, spins into an armbar and gets the quick tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marlon Vera via Submission, armbar, at 2:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Vera for his work this evening. Vera on the mic now. He says he’s getting better with every fight, puts over his coaches and his manager for helping him get to this point. He dedicates this to his family especially his daughter who needs a medical procedure. He walks us through the finish, puts over his jiu-jitsu coaches, and thanks the fans for having his back. Even those who boo him from time to time, he says he’s happy and knows his wife back home is happy as well.

This was a beautiful transition, Kelleher spins free of the kimura but doesn’t address the grip so Vera commits to the armbar, gets the leg across the face and pops his hip to get the tap. Really I can’t say enough good things about that sequence from Vera’s perspective.

Kyle Bochniak is just 1-1 in the UFC, he lost his debut to Charles Rosa but rebounded to take down Enrique Barzola and he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak tonight. Jeremy Kennedy is undefeated as a professional and is 2-0 in the UFC, he’s trying to maintain that perfect record as well as continue to impress in the UFC. Kennedy enjoys favored status at -300 against a +230 comeback on Bochniak.

Featherweight Bout: Kyle Bochniak (7-1, 145.2 lbs.) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (10-0, 144.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kennedy is four inches taller but has just one inch of reach on Bochniak. Touch of gloves to get us going, Bochniak tries a punch but Kennedy double legs him and lands in his guard. Kennedy lands a bit of a right and passes towards half guard. Bochniak is able to get back to guard. Kennedy misses a left, he’s still trying to pass but it’s mostly trying to step over rather than setting it up. Kennedy lands a few body shots. Bochniak tries to kick free but has to settle for getting to the cage to wall walk. Bochniak can’t complete the wall walk, Kennedy is attacking his posts and gets him flat again. Kennedy moves to side control and lands a hard elbow. Bochniak to his knees, Kennedy into the ride position. Bochniak back up, Kennedy pulls him back down. Bochniak back up and they’re chest to chest. Bochniak finally able to get distance and force the separation. Bochniak lands a leg kick, Kennedy gets a Thai clinch and lands a few knees to the chest then ducks for a double leg and gets Bochniak down yet again. Kennedy lands a bit of an elbow. Kennedy lands a right. Bochniak doesn’t have much off of his back, reaches for a double wrist lock as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kennedy

ROUND TWO: Kennedy lands a bit of an uppercut, Bochniak lands a right hook. They clinch up and Kennedy gets Bochniak on the fence. Kennedy after a double leg, switches to a single leg and gets Bochniak down. Bochniak trying to wall walk, Kennedy into half guard. Kennedy lands a couple of short elbows. Bochniak sitting on the fence, he’s to a knee and now back up but Kennedy is all over him. Kennedy hits an outside trip and Bochniak is down yet again. Bochniak to his seat but he’s being smothered by Kennedy. Kennedy gets the back in transition, just one hook though. Kennedy landing some lefts. Bochniak gets that hook free and is up but Kennedy trips him back down and lands in half guard. Bochniak has no real answer here for this pressure and top control. Kennedy lands a couple of rights as Bochniak gets full guard. Bochniak able to hit a sweep and regain his feet. Kennedy baits a punch and hits an easy double leg into guard again. Bochniak kind of holding on, Kennedy has good top pressure and land a couple of rights. Bochniak kicks him off but Kennedy read it and went right back on top where the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. They both show uppercuts, Bochniak lands a bit of a right. Kennedy misses a single leg attempt. Bochniak lands a calf kick. Bochniak lands a right. Another hard right from Bochniak. Kennedy lands a couple of knees in a brief clinch. Bochniak has Kennedy on the fence and is looking to take him out with strikes. We get time after an inside leg kick hits Bochniak in the groin. Kennedy is taking his time with this, he was tired and is getting his wind back. Kennedy is read to continue and we’re back to fighting. Bochniak lands another right in combination. Bochniak lands a leg kick but eats a counter right. Bochniak lands a combination, he’s got a real advantage in terms of hand speed. They trade a bit, Kennedy tries a single leg that stalls out on the fence. Bochniak tries to get free, Kennedy runs with him and now has a rear waist lock. Kennedy reaps the outside leg and Bochniak is on his back again. Kennedy in full guard, Bochniak trying to scoot to the fence to wall walk. Kennedy lands some lefts as Bochniak tries to roll to his knees. Kennedy has tied up one of Bochniak’s hands and is landing lefts to the face. Bochniak to a knee now, and back up but Kennedy has his back and slams him back down. Kennedy lands a couple of hard elbows, one of them cuts Bochniak as time expires.

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

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

Bochniak could have taken that third round, easily his best of the fight. Kennedy on the mic now. He says he feels he’s the best MMA grappler in the division and if you’re matched up with him you better be able to go three hard rounds with him. He says the Canadian support means the world to him, he says he wants to be known as the Canadian Kid. He calls out Gray Maynard, says he grew up watching Maynard fight and thinks they match up well.

That’s it for Fight Pass, we’re on FOX for the rest of this event.

Damian Grabowski is in a bad spot, he’s 0-2 in the UFC with losses to Derrick Lewis and Anthony Hamilton, he’s got to right the ship here or likely find himself back on the European fight circuit. Chase Sherman is 1-2 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win, over a short notice replacement fighter, and is stepping in on short notice himself here. Sherman needs a win to find some measure of consistency in the UFC as another loss could see him back on the regional scene. The odds are with Sherman here to the tune of -260 while Grabowski’s sit at +200.

Heavyweight Bout: Damian Grabowski (20-4, 261.4 lbs.) vs. Chase Sherman (10-3, 250.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sherman is three inches taller and has three inches of reach on Grabowski. Grabowski is a full ten years older as well. They touch gloves to get things going. Sherman circling early, both men showing the jab as well. Sherman looking to bait and counter. Sherman lands a short right then a left in close. Sherman backing Grabowski into the fence, Grabowski struggling to get anything really going so far. Sherman lands a leg kick. Sherman lands a one two combination. More poise from Sherman here, picking his shots and fighting smart. Sherman lands a couple of leg kicks, eats a counter right on the second. Sherman lands a knee to the head in close as he avoids a clinch attempt. Sherman lands a bit of a leg kick. Sherman counters a right with a combination including a body kick. Sherman lands a right to the body then a body kick. Sherman’s defense is better, still a little high with his chin exiting the clinch but he’s moving well. Sherman lands a couple of leg kicks, those are starting to add up already. Grabowski lands a looping right, Sherman lands a left then a hard leg kick. Sherman lands a body kick after taking a glancing overhand right. Sherman lands a leg kick then a combination including another leg kick. Sherman tees off for a bit, backs out to avoid a fire fight as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Sherman based on just how much more effective he was

ROUND TWO: Sherman avoids a right and lands a bit of a right. Sherman switching his stance now, lands a leg kick to punish whichever leg Grabowski has forward. Sherman lands a long one two combination. Sherman eats another overhand right, how in the world isn’t he reading that? Sherman fades an overhand and lands a bit of a head kick. Sherman lands a leg kick. Sherman working some front kicks to the thigh as well. Sherman avoids a right and lands a right of his own. Sherman lands a right to the body, both guys are slowing down a bit and starting to get sloppy. Sherman slips a right and has a high kick blocked. Sherman lands a leg kick. They trade rights in close, both were mostly smothered. Grabowski lands a jab. Sherman lands a knee to the body in close quarters. Sherman lands a bit of a right. Sherman eats a couple of rights during a brief clinch. Sherman digs a combination to the body then lands a leg kick. Sherman lands a knee to the head and backs Grabowski into the fence. They trade a bit there as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. Sherman avoids a combination, Grabowski lands a bit of an overhand left. They clinch, Sherman lands a knee and an elbow as they break. Sherman lands an uppercut in close then a leg kick. Grabowski tries a knee tap, can’t really complete it and Sherman separates. Sherman lands a counter left then a leg kick. Grabowski misses an overhand right. Sherman lands a leg kick, Grabowski switches his stance to give that lead leg a reprieve. Sherman lands a bit of a right, both guys visibly tired. Grabowski lands a solid right to the body. Sherman lands a leg kick. Sherman lands a leg kick from the southpaw stance. They trade rights and Sherman backs Grabowski up with front kicks to the body. Sherman blocks a double leg and lands a knee. Sherman lands a couple of elbows in close. Sherman lands a right to the body then a left hook. Grabowski shoots and they wind up clinched. They trade knees to the body, Sherman lands an elbow as they break. Sherman lands another leg kick. They trade a few jabs, both guys too tired to mount anything really interesting here. Sherman has a knee blocked, Grabowski gets the clinch and time runs down in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sherman, 30-26 Sherman overall

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

No interview for Sherman, solid enough outing and he fought smarter than his last couple of fights.

Ryan LaFlare has a really good overall record, his only professional loss is to Demian Maia, but he’s struggled to remain active and missed all of 2016. LaFlare has two consecutive wins at the moment and he’s looking to continue climbing the ranks here. Alex Oliveira has only lost twice in the UFC, his short notice debut and then later to Donald Cerrone, and hasn’t lost in his last four fights. Oliveira is trying to crack the top fifteen here at the expense of the ranked LaFlare. The odds lean towards LaFlare here at -185 to +150 for Oliveira.

Welterweight Bout: #14 Ryan LaFlare (13-1, 170.8 lbs.) vs. Alex Oliveira (17-3-1 2 NC, 170.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: LaFlare is two inches taller while Oliveira has two and a half inches of reach advantage. LaFlare fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Oliveira circling, misses a spinning back kick. LaFlare avoids a right, misses a double leg but gets a clinch and has Oliveira on the cage. LaFlare has a body lock, trips Oliveira down but Oliveira tries to switch for an armbar. Oliveira is close but LaFlare is able to roll his elbow and avoid danger then get on top in side control. LaFlare has a cradle going, now setting up a north-south choke. LaFlare lands some knees to the body, Oliveira gets his arm free to avoid a possible choke. LaFlare still turning to keep Oliveira from setting for a bridge or explosion. LaFlare lands a couple of lefts to the body. Oliveira tries to explode, he just gets to half guard though. LaFlare passes to side control again and is doing a good job of keeping Oliveira flat on his back. LaFlare towards north-south, Oliveira rolls to his knees but LaFlare is holding an armbar attempt as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 LaFlare, probably a 10-8 argument to be made given positional dominance

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Oliveira bouncing and circling again, LaFlare looking to time a shot. Oliveira lands a heavy leg kick. LaFlare lands a bit of a looping right. Oliveira lands a straight right. LaFlare fails on a takedown attempt and he eats a couple of short upper cuts. Oliveira lands an inside leg kick. LaFlare misses reaching for a takedown, they both miss punches afterward. Oliveira lands an inside leg kick. Oliveira lands a clean counter right uppercut that absolutely ENDS LaFlare’s night.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Oliveira via KO, punch, at 1:50 of Round 2

BOOM. . . Welterweights! Oliveira on the mic after that one. Asked about the adjustments between rounds 1 and 2 that led to the finish he says he knew LaFlare would come forward, figured he might give up the first so he could set up power shots in the second and third where he knew he could finish him. Asked about having fun in the cage, he says he’s just always happy to be here and puts over LaFlare as a tough guy. He says he’s happy to have fought and beaten LaFlare in his home town, then closes by saying he wants a BBQ when he returns to Brazil, thanks his family back home then closes with something that goes untranslated, all I caught was him thanking people, likely family and coaches.

Here’s the finish, LaFlare gets too loose while attempting to close distance, ducks and reaches for it rather than moving in with foot work and leans right into that beautiful uppercut.

Rafael Natal has been a durable contender in the middleweight division but is on a two fight losing streak at the moment, one of those is to current interim champion Robert Whittaker and the other to Tim Boetsch. Natal has to right the proverbial ship here, dropping three in a row is never a good thing especially in a healthy division such as middleweight. Eryk Anders is a late replacement fighter making his UFC debut here, Anders is undefeated though including wins in Bellator and the LFA organizations, he’s trying for a big debut against the veteran Natal. The odds here lean towards the new comer Anders at -180 against +100 for Natal.

Middleweight Bout: Eryk Anders (7-0, 185.4 lbs.) vs. Rafael Natal (21-8-1, 185.2 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Anders is an inch taller while Natal has an inch of reach on him. Anders fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get things going. Natal lands an inside leg kick. Anders is stalking forward, Natal circling. Natal lands a bit of a right. They trade rights along the fence. Natal lands an inside leg kick. Anders lands a couple of hard lefts then escapes a clinch attempt. Natal lands a left hook after having a right blocked. These two aren’t playing around, they’re throwing heavy leather. Anders blocks a double leg attempt and lands a head kick. Natal tries another takedown but eats a left, Anders follows him down and lands in half guard landing some lefts. Natal looking for a sweep, Anders floating with him and lands some punches before Natal regains his feet. Anders landed an illegal knee as Natal was coming up, went unnoticed. Anders lands another couple of lefts in combination and Natal becomes the second fighter in a row to face plant on the canvas.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Eryk Anders via KO, punches, at 2:54 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Anders for his work this evening. Anders on the mic after that impressive debut. Anders says he felt no nerves here and feels there isn’t a stage too big for him, and any middleweight that gets into the cage with him will get the same treatment. He talks about his worth ethic and how he lives in the gym, talks us through the finish a bit and says he wanted to stay at the ideal distance and not smother his offense. He closes by thanking a personal friend.

Here’s a few highlights, that high kick after Natal failed to defend himself on a failed double leg was very pretty. As for the actual finish, Natal shows southpaw but has no idea what he’s doing there defensively, good straight lefts right through the loose guard and Natal winds up sleeping.

Lyman Good is riding a six fight unbeaten streak but hasn’t fought since July of 2015 after a failed drug test, Good is trying to regain some of that momentum here in front of his hometown. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is 2-1 in the UFC and on a two fight winning streak, in fact that loss in his UFC debut is his only loss in his last seven fights and he’s looking to continue that here and take out a veteran like Good. Good is a slight -170 favorite to a +140 comeback on dos Santos.

Welterweight Bout: Lyman Good (19-3 1 NC, 170.4 lbs.) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (16-5, 170.4 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Good is an inch taller and has an inch of reach on dos Santos. Touch of gloves to get us going. Dos Santos catches a body kick and gets a takedown, Good back up but dos Santos is holding onto his back. Dos Santos switches for a single leg, Good defending and remains upright against the fence. Good blocks a single leg and lands a knee to the body. Dos Santos lands an upeprcut then a hard leg kick that takes the legs from Good for a second. Another leg kick from dos Santos lands. Good still has forward pressure but he’s struggling to pull the trigger offensively. Dos Santos lands a leg kick but Good counters with a right that off balances him and he follows into his guard. Good looking to pass, dos Santos up to a knee, and back up but Good lands a knee to the head as dos Santos separates. Good lands a bit of a right. Dos Santos lands a counter right, they clinch up and trade body shots then break. Dos Santos lands a short uppercut, he’s bleeding from the left eyebrow, not sure what caused it. Dos Santos lands a leg kick and eats another counter right. Dos Santos lands a right to the body but eats a left for his trouble. Good lands a jab. They both miss a couple of kicks to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Dos Santos lands a leg kick but Good lands a couple of counters. Good showing the jab, lands a bit of a long right. Dos Santos lands a hard straight right. They trade in close, dos Santos gets the clinch but Good spins him and they separate. Good’s pressure is starting to get to dos Santos a bit. Dos Santos lands a left to the body but misses a left. Good lands a bit of a right. They clinch again, trade knees to the body then break. Good lands a solid right. Good blocks a single leg and lands a few short rights. They trade rights, get into a firefight and Good is definitely landing better blows. Good lands a straight right, dos Santos lands a bit of a spinning back fist. They trade body shots in a clinch position, a knee hurt dos Santos to the body. Dos Santos lands a leg kick. Dos Santos lands a jumping knee to the chin, Good just eats it and lands a couple of counter hooks. Dos Santos off balances Good after a bad leg kick, he rolls through to his feet and eats a bit of a high kick as things close down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Good, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug to start the final round. Good lands a bit of a jab, they clinch and trade as they break apart. Good avoids a wheel kick. They clinch up again and break without incident. Good lands a solid one two combination. Dos Santos lands a left hook then a combination, Good has to back up a bit. They clinch up and trade body work, Good bleeding from the nose I think. Dos Santos lands a leg kick. Good still pressuring forward, dos Santos is visibly fading after that opening bit. Dos Santos eats a wicked right then a left, defense is out the window for both guys at this point. Good digs to the body in close, eats a bit of a knee as they break apart. Dos Santos lands a side kick to the body then a leg kick. Good lands a right, blocks a double leg attempt and they’re clinched on the fence. Good spins dos Santos then breaks free. Dos Santos working side kicks to keep distance, Good lands a jab. They trade a few jabs then both miss hooks. Good lands a right hook in the pocket. They trade hooks in close, Good is wobbled a bit but they trade to the bell.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos, 29-28 dos Santos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

I do not agree with giving dos Santos the second round. Dos Santos says heart was the deciding factor for him, he just wouldn’t stop. He thanks his coaches for getting him ready for this spot. Really solid fight though, good lead in for the main card which will still be here on FOX. Here’s a couple of quick highlights.

Jimmie Rivera (20-1) is on an impressive nineteen fight winning streak, he’s 4-0 in the UFC and is coming off of the biggest win of his career when he became the first man to ever beat the great Urijah Faber in a three round fight. Rivera is trying to defend his top five spot and possibly enter his name into the title picture. Thomas Almeida (22-1) has a sterling overall record as well, he’s only lost once and that was to current bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, Almeida has had some hype behind him given his exciting style of fighting but he has to marry that with high level consistency and a win over a top five opponent here would go a long way towards earning a rematch with Garbrandt. The odds lean towards Rivera at -200 against +160 for Almeida.

Bantamweight Bout: #9 Thomas Almeida (22-1, 135.2 lbs.) vs. #4 Jimmie Rivera (20-1, 135.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Almeida is three inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach on Rivera. Circling to start from both men. Rivera misses a leg kick. Rivera lands a bit of a left hook, still range finding mostly. Rivera lands a low leg kick. Almeida working inside leg kicks while looking for an opening. Rivera lands a right to the body after taking a left. Rivera lands a left to the body, follows up to the head and drops Almeida. Almeida back up and in the clinch holding Rivera on the fence. We get time as Rivera lost his mouthpiece then reset at distance. Rivera lands in close, Almeida lands a bit of a right and separates. Rivera lands a low leg kick again. Rivera lands a bit of a right. Rivera kicks the calf again, he’s mostly looking to counter. Rivera lands a left body kick. Almeida is pressuring forward, Rivera lands a bit of a right then a left hook to the body. Rivera lands a right that crumples Almeida, Almeida back up but eats a high kick. Almeida lands a bit of a jab. Rivera lands a knee to the body off of a brief clinch. Rivera lands a left to the body. Rivera lands a leg kick, eats a bit of a counter one two to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Rivera based off of two serious knock downs

ROUND TWO: Rivera misses a couple of punches, then ducks a right and lands a couple of body shots. Almeida lands a knee to the body then blocks a double leg attempt. Rivera lands a bit of a left to counter a jumping knee. They clinch then break as Rivera misses a left. Rivera lands a bit of a right, then a left hook. Rivera lands a wicked right then a left hook that wobble Almeida. Rivera lands a calf kick, Almeida lands another inside leg kick. Rivera lands a chopping left in close quarters. Rivera stands Almeida up with another straight right, Almeida’s defensive liabilities are on full display here. Rivera lands a calf kick after taking a left hook. Rivera lands a right then a bit of a left. Both guys bleeding a little now, nothing major. Almeida lands a right in combination that wobbles Rivera for a second. Rivera circling again now, lands a couple of body kicks. Rivera lands a right, Almeida’s left eye is swelling visibly. Rivera takes a left head kick, just eats it. Rivera lands a calf kick but eats a left hook. They both miss rights in close. They trade some lefts in close quarters. Rivera misses a high kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Almeida, 19-18 Rivera overall

ROUND THREE: Almeida bouncing early, Rivera shoots for a single leg and then elevates a double leg and slams Almeida down. Rivera in the guard of Almeida, lands an elbow and passes to half guard. Almeida able to wall walk, Rivera lands a couple of legal knees to the head, Almeida only had one hand down. Almeida able to spin free eventually. Rivera lands a left hook in close. Rivera lands a straight right to counter an inside leg kick. Rivera backing up, they trade in close as Almeida lands a right but eats a left. Rivera trying to bait Almeida forward, and Almeida misses a spinning back kick. They trade in close, Rivera lands a couple of lefts to the body. They trade left hooks in close, these two are still throwing with serious heat. Rivera lands to the body and gets the clinch then drives Almeida into the cage. Rivera lets him free and misses a left. Almeida lands a solid body kick then a left. Rivera misses a single leg after taking a knee to the body. Rivera lands a solid right. Rivera sticks that straight right again. Rivera catches a knee and lands a takedown. They scramble and Almeida avoids getting his back taken and they stand again. They both land a bit in close. Rivera’s defense is admirable, he’s blocking most of Almeida’s punches. They both miss, Rivera lands a right as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rivera, 29-27 Rivera overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-27)

I think Almeida took the second, especially with some of those late flurries, but Rivera has now won twenty fights in a row and gets an interview. He says he’s from Jersey and works in New York, says he loves the support and the people, says this is for the home team. He wants a title shot next, put over Almeida as a tough guy who took bombs and threw back, he says if Garbrandt is still hurt he’ll fight TJ Dillashaw for the interim belt or if Cruz is done being on the sidelines he’ll fight him in MSG.

Here’s a few highlights from that fight, good stuff from both men generally, note Rivera’s straight right. This is what I mean when talking about Almeida’s defense being weak, his hands cover his eyes but leave that center lane open and then doesn’t move either his head or upper body leaving himself wide open for those kinds of blows.

Patrick Cummins just snapped a two fight losing streak by edging out Jan Blachowicz, Cummins is trying to gain some upward momentum in the talent starved light heavyweight division and getting consecutive wins in the UFC for the first time since 2014 would be a big help to that. Gian Villante is coming off of a loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, he’s been trading wins and losses while going 3-3 in his last six fights. Villante is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak and possibly move up a spot or two in the official rankings. Villante has the edge in the odds at -175 to +145 for Cummins.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #12 Patrick Cummins (9-4, 205.4 lbs.) vs. #13 Gian Villante (15-8, 205.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Villante is an inch taller while Cummins has half an inch of reach on him. They both miss a bit to start. Cummins grabs a single leg but can’t finish it and they wind up clinched on the fence. Villante able to spin free. Cummins after another single leg, Villante blocks it and lands a few hammer fists. Tehy trade rights, Cummins wobbled and dropped to a knee by a left. Cummins clinches up and has Villante on the fence but they break free. Cummins’ face is a mess, we’ve got time because Cummins is now also bleeding from the head after a head butt. Replay shows the accidental clash of heads, Cummins is bleeding all over his chest but head wounds bleed a lot. Villante blocks a double leg and they’re clinched up again. Villante pushes free. Villante lands a body kick then has a head kick blocked. Villante lands a bit of a right. Cummins lands a left. Cummins lands a bit of a right and tries a double leg, Villante blocking that as they hit the fence. Cummins lands a left as they break the clinch. Villante lands a bit of a left hook. Villante lands a right. Cummins bleeding under both eyes I think, that man marks up easily. Cummins lands a right and finally gets a takedown against the fence. Villante back up immediately and they’re still in the clinch. Cummins trying foot sweeps but Villante is staying up. They break without incident. Cummins lands a bit of a right. Cummins dives for the clinch, and he’ll just hold on until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Villante

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Villante lands a bit of a right, eats a bit of a right for his trouble. Villante lands a leg kick. Villante just misses an uppercut. Cummins lands a left hook. Cummins tries a single leg, Villante blocks it easily. They both miss punches, both men fading already. Cummins lands a bit of a jab. They’re trading jabs, Villante blocks a double leg but winds up clinched. They break without issue. Cummins lands a body kick. Villante misses a high kick. They trade rights, a little sloppy dirty boxing as well. Villante lands a bit of a right. Cummins fails on a single leg. This is getting painful to watch. Villante lands a bit of a right but his volume is falling off here. Cummins landing the left and plodding forward. Villante lands a right. Cummins lands a bit of a one two. Villante lands a fade away right. Villante lands a bit of a super man punch. Cummins lands a combination. Cummins lands a right. Villante lands an overhand right, Cummins shoots and stalls out again on the fence. They break without incident. They do nothing for the final ten seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cummins, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Cummins’ right eye is nearly shut. Villante misses a right. Cummins has a combination blocked. Cummins fails on a single leg attempt. Villante misses an uppercut. Villante lands a bit of a jab. Villante lands a right. Another right from Villante wobbles Cummins. Cummins lands a right to get him to back off, and Villante blocks a double leg. Villante lands a couple of rights, blocks a double leg attempt. Villante lands a body kick. Some jabs go back and forth. Cummins lands a couple of rights, and a right elbow. Villante fading, Cummins just wont stop coming forward. They trade some more lefts, Cummins lands a right. Villante lands a couple of jabs. Cummins lands a couple of rights and they clinch. Cummins lands a knee to the body and keeps Villante on the fence. Cummins with a few knees to the thigh but the ref is looking at breaking them up. Cummins gets a body lock, Villante just waits for the ref to break them which he finally does. Cummins lands a bit of a right. Villante lands a right and Cummins is backing up again. Another right from Villante, he lands a bit of a left as time expires.

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

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

Well, that basically sucked. Can’t complain about the scoring, final round could have gone either way. Hopefully the next fight is a pallet cleanser.

Dennis Bermudez was thought to be a top prospect at featherweight, but he’s just 2-3 in his last five fights and is coming off of a loss to Chan Sung Jung, Bermudez needs to avoid his second two fight losing streak in his last six fights and prove he’s still a top caliber fighter. Darren Elkins is on a four fight winning streak and coming off one of the more impressive comebacks in recent memory when he finished Mirsad Bektic in the third round of their fight, he’s trying to crack the top ten rankings and position himself as a viable title challenger in the near future. Bermudez has favored status here, -230 against +180 on Elkins.

Featherweight Bout: #10 Dennis Bermudez (16-6, 145.4 lbs.) vs. #12 Darren Elkins (22-5, 145.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins is four inches taller and has five inches of reach on Bermudez. They touch gloves to get things going. Bermudez misses a jumping knee and eats a bit of a right. Bermudez lands a leg kick. They trade a bit to the body in close. Bermudez lands another couple of leg kicks. Elkins trying to push forward but he’s visibly slower than Elkins. Elkins lands a left hook in close, Bermudez lands a heavy couple of leg kicks. Elkins’ lead leg is already showing damage. Bermudez slips on a high kick, Elkins jumps on top and has the back standing while Bermudez fights up. Elkins lands a knee and drags Bermudez down for a second. Elkins holding the clinch, drags Bermudez down but Bermudez is back up. Elkins holding a rear waist lock, Bermudez finally breaks the grip and they break. Bermudez misses a superman punch. Bermudez lands a leg kick. They both miss rights but Elkins gets a body lock and drags Bermudez down again. Elkins has the back with a body triangle locked in. Elkins after the choke, Bermudez trying to turn into him but he’s turning the wrong way. Bermudez to his knees, Elkins bails and eats an elbow as they break. Bermudez pushes into the clinch now, Elkins spins him into the cage. Bermudez lands a knee to the head but Elkins catches it and gets a takedown, Bermudez back up but Elkins holds him. Bermudez hits a trip, Elkins wall walks immediately. Bermudez lands to the body then hits a couple of punches into the clinch, Elkins tries a front choke, Bermudez escapes as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Elkins

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Bermudez lands a left hook then a couple of rights and a leg kick. They clinch, Elkins blocks a double leg and they separate. Bermudez lands a left hook. They trade rights. Bermudez lands a couple of jabs, Elkins lands a right. They clinch up and Elkins has Bermudez on the fence again. Bermudez able to spin him, they trade and Bermudez misses a spinning back fist as they separate. Bermudez lands a couple of jabs then a right. Elkins misses a single leg and Bermudez lands an uppercut. Bermudez lands a leg kick and avoids a takedown. Elkins lands a right. Bermudez hits a double leg against the fence and looks to mount the legs. Elkins sitting on the cage trying to wall walk. Bermudez lands a couple of rights and a bit of a knee then keeps Elkins on the fence. Elkins spins Bermudez, drops for a double leg but Bermudez blocks and spins then lands to the body as they break. Bermudez tries a single leg, nothing doing along the fence and they’re clinched. Bermudez lands a bit of a right. Bermudez drops for a single leg, Elkins uses a guillotine to block that and push him onto his knees. Elkins lands knees to the shoulders, Bermudez up but Elkins has his back again with a waist lock. Elkins moves to a double leg, gets Bermudez down and has his back again. Bermudez quickly up and they trade knees in the clinch. Bermudez lands a knee to the head, slips, and Elkins ends the round in the ride position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bermudez, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Bermudez lands a leg kick. Elkins lands a bit of a left body kick. Bermudez lands a knee to the body. Another knee to the body from Bermudez and he avoids a right hook. They clinch up and Bermudez has Elkins on the fence. They trade body work then separate. Elkins lands a bit of a left. Bermudez lands a right. Bermudez lands a couple of body shots. Bermudez lands a bit of a right. They clinch up, trade knees, and Elkins has him on the fence now. Why in the world would you clinch with Elkins? It’s easily his best spot. Bermudez spins Elkins to the fenc and starts landing body shots then separates. Bermudez lands a right. They trade rights, Elkins lands a follow up right. Bermudez lands a leg kick. Bermudez lands a jab and a bit of a leg kick. Stiff one two from Bermudez. Bermudez lands a right to the body and they clinch again. Elkins gets Bermudez on the fence, they break without incident. Bermudez backing Elkins up, lands a right and they clinch again. Bermudez lands a knee to the body. Bermudez lands a left hook on the break. Bermudez lands a left, Elkins backing up again. They trade rights and clinch, Bermudez lands body shots before they separate. Elkins ducks under a left hook. They clinch up, Elkins fails on a single leg as time runs down again.

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

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

No issue there, round 2 was very close. No interview for Elkins, instead we get a recorded interview Brian Stann conducted between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones to hype UFC 214. Cormier tells fans to expect the best version of him ever and expects Jones to grab on for the clinch a lot faster this time around. Jones says fans can expect the same thing he’s always done, he feels his time is still now and that this is his era. Cormier is asked about the emotions fighting Jon Jones and how he’ll manage that this time. He says before it drove him, now he’s ignoring most of it as he’s the champion and he plans on remaining the champion and closing the chapter on Jones. Cormier reiterates that Jones had the belt stripped, says he didn’t have to beat Jones to become champion because Jones beat himself. Jones responds that it doesn’t matter, he says Cormier knows he hasn’t beat him and if he can sleep believing he’s the champion then it’s “whatever”. Cormier says he does feel like the champion because he’s not responsible for Jones, he just wants Jones to show up so they can fight, none of the other stuff matters. Stann asks if they’ll earn each others respect after the fight, Jones says “Fuck DC” and Cormier says he respects Jones’ abilities but they’ll never be friends and every time they meet they’ll be conflict, they can’t even be in the same room.

And trivializing my brief recap there, here’s the brief chat.

They also announce that the upcoming season of TUF will crown the first ever UFC women’s flyweight champion, who will almost certainly promptly lose to either Valentina Shevchenko or Joanna Jedrzejczyk when those two ladies move into that division.

Chris Weidman is a former UFC middleweight champion but he’s in a really bad spot here. Weidman has lost his last three fights and been finished in all of them, a loss here could necessitate a change of division if he wants to rehabilitate his career as it would effectively end his time as middleweight contender. Kelvin Gastelum walloped Vitor Belfort in his last fight but that got changed to a No Contest after Gastelum failed a drug test for marijuana, that subsequent suspension cost him a fight with Anderson Silva on PPV. Gastelum hasn’t lost yet at middleweight and if he can take out a former champion he could easily enter himself into the title picture here with another good performance. The odds lean towards Gastelum here at -170 while Weidman’s recent string of losses have his comeback sitting at +140.

Middleweight Bout: #5 Chris Weidman (13-3, 186 lbs.) vs. #8 Kelvin Gastelum (13-2 1 NC, 185.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Weidman has five inches of height and six and a half of reach on Gastelum. Gastelum fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Weidman working front kicks to the body. Weidman lands an inside leg kick, he’s circling early while Gastelum hangs out in the center. Gastelum blocks a high kick. Both men still range finding, Weidman lands a straight right. Gastelum moving forward now, Weidman lands another straight right. Weidman after a single leg, gets it and Gastelum is down. Gastelum tries a triangle, mostly to scramble but Weidman gets into the ride position and lands a few rights. Gastelum back up, Weidman holding a waist lock. Weidman trying to drag Gastelum down, and does this time winding up in side control. Weidman being very methodical here, moves to the other side to attack an arm. Weidman has a double wrist lock, he’s really after that submission. Weidman trying to yank the arm free, Gastelum is able to scramble back to his feet and separate. Gastelum lands a left to the body then one to the head. Gastelum has a head kick blocked. Gastelum misses a straight left. Weidman lands a couple of front kicks to the body. Gastelum stalking forward, lands a left that drops Weidman. Weidman holding a single leg, Gastelum tries to finish but Weidman holds on and survives.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Weidman lands a front kick to the belly. Gastelum lands an inside leg kick. Weidman circling on the outside, Gastelum pawing with his lead hand trying to set up the left. Weidman lands an inside leg kick. Weidman lands a right, they clinch up and Weidman pushes Gastelum into the fence. Gastelum off of the fence, Weidman drives him back into it and hits a knee pick. Weidman towards the back as Gastelum is on a knee. Weidman after the choke, Gastelum hand fighting. Gastelum gets that hook out and is up but Weidman is still holding him. Weidman trips him down again and has the ride position. Gastelum back up, Weidman still has ahold of him. Weidman holding a double leg, gets Gastelum down again but Gastelum seems content. Gastelum has full guard this time though and Weidman is looking to posture up. Weidman lands a couple of elbows. Weidman working short elbows, I’m surprised Gastelum hasn’t tried to get up again. Weidman with short elbows to the body. Gastelum tries to roll, Weidman gets to the back with one hook in as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Weidman, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: The touch gloves for the third round. Gastelum gets aggressive, they trade and Weidman drops him to a knee with a left but Gastelum is back up immediately. Gastelum lands a jab and avoids a single leg attempt. Weidman lands a straight right and a couple of follow up blows, Gastelum starts ducking all of the follow up blows and lands a right to get him to back off. Gastelum lands a jab. Weidman lands a right. Weidman after a single leg, Gastelum spins free. Gastelum lands a bit of a left and they clinch again. Weidman after another takedown against the fence, Gastelum can’t stop it and he’s on his seat again. Gastelum back to a knee and up, Weidman holding the rear waist lock. Weidman changes the angle and gets a double leg into the ride position. Weidman keeps that position in a scramble. Weidman has one hook in now, Gastelum hand fighting. Weidman tries for mount, Gastelum blocks it but can’t improve his position. Weidman after the arm triangle choke now, he’s got it, he’s squeezing, Gastelum trying to ecsape but after a failed bridge has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chris Weidman via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 3:45 of Round 3

Kind of an object lesson here guys, size isn’t everything but it is certainly an important thing. Big win for Weidman, he really needed that one. Weidman on the mic now in front of his home town. He thanks God first then says if you’re gonna do something be sure to believe in yourself, screw those who tell you that you can’t. He panders to the crowd a bit, thanks his family, his coaches and training partners, calls himself blessed. He tells Bisping “that British bum who’s crying in his tub” that he’s back and wants Bisping to stop hiding. He says he’s the real champ and everyone knows it. Asked about the end of the first he credits Gastelum for being tough and says that’s the first time he’s been knocked down (not sure how you’d qualify the Romero loss). He tells everyone out there to keep doubting him, he knows Long Island isn’t doubting him but to everyone else keep doing it and see what happens.

Here’s the finish, pity we missed the transition here because it was pretty smooth. Weidman gives a textbook arm triangle here, turning his body to increase pressure as well as getting all the way up on his toes to increase the drive.

Alright everyone, that’s it for UFC on FOX 25. Thanks for being here and following along, tomorrow at 8pm eastern standard time we’ll be reviewing this event and I’ll be eating the requisite crow for picking against Weidman. We’ll also be previewing UFC 214, which comes to us live next Saturday. I’ll be back here for that event, I hope you’ll be back as well. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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