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411’s UFC on FOX 26 Report 12.16.17

December 16, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Rafael dos Anjos UFC

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 26. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the information to you just as I see it. Full disclosure, I’ve been sick for several days now and am not yet over it so if the quality tonight is a little off blame the head and throat cold I’m battling. Beyond that, we’ve got a pretty good main card to look forward to this evening. This card did suffer some adversity, half of the co-main event missed weight and a flyweight fight between Tim Elliott and Pietro Menga was scrapped when Menga failed to weigh in at all.

The main event is a battle for a possible welterweight title shot (pending the whims of GSP and Tyron Woodley) when former champion Robbie Lawler takes on the former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. I can’t remember the last boring Robbie Lawler fight so this one should be a lot of fun. Also Mike Perry and Santiago Ponzinibbio throw down in what is virtually guaranteed to be a barn burner of a battle. There’s also a relevant light heavyweight bout when Glover Teixeira fights Misha Cirkunov, both guys are coming off of losses but could still be a factor in the division if they can rebound tonight.

UFC on FOX 26 comes to the world from the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and we’ve got the commentary team of Jon Anik alongside UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. As for the rules update, they’re adopted some of the changes but not all of them. As though this wasn’t complicated enough. Specifically expending fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact and they’ve adopted the new language around scoring but they have a slightly different take on being grounded, you need three points of contact to be grounded so let’s see how that plays out. There will also be the limited use of replay for this event, but as per usual once replay has been invoked the fight cannot be restarted.

Jordan Mein was once thought to be a can’t miss prospect, but he’s on a three fight losing streak and desperately needs to break that here. Erick Silva is another fighter once though to be a can’t miss guy, and while he isn’t on a three fight losing streak he is just 1-3 in his last four and is coming off of a loss to Yancy Medeiros. Silva also needs to get things back on track. Mein enjoys favored status here at -145 to +115 for Silva.

Welterweight Bout: Jordan Mein (29-12, 169 lbs.) vs. Erick Silva (19-8 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Silva has an inch of reach advantage. We get a touch of gloves to start things, then Mein lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Mein, and Silva tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Mein hits a judo toss but Silva scrambles back up and keeps the clinch. They break and Mein cracks Silva with a left hook. Silva tries southpaw now, they both switch and then go back orthodox. A lot of forward pressure from Mein so far, Silva is swinging wild already. Solid body to head combination from Mein. Silva lands a right then a left, Mein retreats then lands a hard left from the southpaw stance. Silva lands a leg kick. Mein lands a hopping knee to the body, they clinch then break without incident. Lunging left to the body from Mein then some hooks to the head, Silva is getting overwhelmed by constant pressure from a superior technician. They wind up clinched again and Silva has Mein on the fence. Silva sells out for an arm drag that he fails miserably on and we’re at distance again. Left to the body then an uppercut from Mein, he’s doing a good job of getting Silva to the fence and then punishing him. Silva is bleeding along the hairline from an elbow strike, and they stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mein

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Bit of an overhand lands for Silva. Mein coming forward now, he lands a front kick to the body. Silva is trying to come forward, he doesn’t fight well backing up. Mein coming forward, Silva lands a couple of leg kicks but Mein lands a combination to counter, then an elbow and he hits a takedown into his guard. Body triangle from the bottom from Silva, Mein lands a couple of hammer fists. A hard couple of elbows land for Mein. More elbows from Mein, Silva needs to try and initiate a scramble but he’s content to play guard and get hammered. A few rights land for Mein, Silva tries to get his legs in play but there’s nothing there for him. Silva now tries a sweep, he nearly gets it but Mein is able to block it and retain top position. Mein working body to head, Silva finally scrambles up but Mein grabs a standing guillotine where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Mein as that was incredibly one sided, 20-17 Mein overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Silva lands a body kick but Mein lands a counter leg kick. Leg kick lands for Mein then Silva lands a left. Both guys have faded a bit, Silva is still swinging wild and Mein is constantly ducking under those blows. Mein gets a single leg and quickly spins Silva down to land in his guard. Another sweep attempt from Silva but Mein removes one of his posting arms, traps it behind his back and starts landing rights. Mein lets go of the arm and Silva goes to the closed guard yet again. Body to head punches from Mein, just staying consistent with his output. Silva throws up a triangle attempt, Mein blocks it. I’m kind of surprised Mein hasn’t tried to pass to half guard yet. Another hip up sweep attempt from Silva but Mein smothers this one, Mein then passes to half guard, then into full mount. Mein gets the back as Silva rolls and he’s after the choke but there’s only ten seconds left and time will run down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Mein again Silva was just unable to do much of anything, 30-25 Mein overall

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

Mein really needed that one, and now he’s on the mic with Jon Anik. He says Silva made him work for that but it feels good to get back to winning after losing three in a row. Asked if he expected the fight to play out this way he says basically and says he feels good physically and notes this was his thirtieth win and getting it here was great.

That’s it for Fight Pass, we’re on to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the prelims.

Alessio Di Chirico is just 1-2 in the UFC and coming off of a loss, he needs a win just to get his UFC record to the .500 mark. Oluwale Bamgbose has gone just 1-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he is in desperate need of a win as a loss likely costs him his spot on the roster. Di Chirico is the favorite at -130 to a +100 comeback on Bamgbose.

Middleweight Bout: Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (10-2, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Di Chirico is an inch taller while Bamgbose has a whopping four inches of reach on him. Bamgbose fighting southpaw but switches constantly. They do some circling and range finding, Di Chirico trying to remain technical. Bit of a left lands for Bamgbose. Lots of movement from Bamgbose, Di Chirico is getting a little annoyed by it as is the crowd. Slight body kick from Di Chirico then he lands a knee off of a quick Thai clinch. Bamgbose misses some hooks, that straight left actually cut Di Chirico above the right eyebrow. Di Chirico lands a body kick. Di Chirico ducks under a wheel kick and nearly gets a takedown but Bamgbose is back up immediately. There’s been such a severe lack of action the broadcast busts out the old “center control” stat, never a good sign. Bamgbose lands a right to the body. Bamgbose tries a takedown, it fails and Di Chirico lands a bit of a right as they separate to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bamgbose because he landed the only significant strikes

ROUND TWO: More circling to start, this is getting sad. Bamgbose lands a bit of a right in close, commentary is actually referencing the referee warning Teymur earlier this month as opposed to doing the same to Bamgbose here. Teymur was backing up and countering or sniping with kicks, Bamgbose is doing a lot of just backing up and circling. They trade some leg kicks, Di Chirico really needs to get a feel for cage cutting and capitalizing on Bamgbose circling from the cage. Di Chirico lands a couple of punches to close distance, grabs a Thai clinch and ENDS Bamgbose with a knee to the face, which he promptly lands on as he falls forward.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alessio Di Chirico via KO, knee, at 2:14 of Round 2

Thankfully that’s over, that was awful but had a good finish. Di Chirico gets an interview now, along with his corner man who will be handling translation. Asked about the way the fight went and if he was surprised he says he was very surprised as he expected Bamgbose to attack him from the start. He talks us through the finish and dedicates the finish to his coach and translator who he hit in the face with a knee a week ago.

Here’s the finish, the year of the knee rolls on. Di Chirico does a good job of forcing the action close then misses the first right knee, adjust a bit and throws it again to get the knock out.

John Makdessi hasn’t fought in over a year, he was last seen on the receiving end of a vicious wheel kick knockout loss, and is just 2-4 in his last six fights. He needs a win here to keep his career relevant as he’s in danger of further fading into the background at lightweight. Abel Trujillo just had a three fight winning streak snapped by James Vick, he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and and make another march towards an official ranking. Trujillo is favored to do just that at -170 against +140 for Makdessi.

Lightweight Bout: John Makdessi (14-6, 153 lbs.) vs. Abel Trujillo (15-7 1 NC, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Trujillo has two inches of reach on him. A bit of feinting to start. Both guys do a bit of range finding, Trujillo lands a bit of a left hook. Tujillo lands a bit of a right, he’s throwing himself way off balance and leaning over his lead leg. Makdessi lands a stiff jab but there’s also an eye poke that will halt the action. Replay confirms the eye poke, Makdessi basically jabbed with his fingers out and the doctor is in to check on Trujillo. Trujillo is good to continue and Makdessi apologizes before the restart. Some lead leg kicks from Makdessi to the body and thigh. Left hook lands for Trujillo. Makdessi lands a short left, he takes a counter right though. Counter right lands for Makdessi, Trujillo was lunging in and he’s off balanced and lands on his back but he gets up after a few seconds. Makdessi is getting the timing on Trujillo’s lunges, he needs a better set up. And there’s a low blow to Trujillo, Makdessi’s second foul of the round, so Trujillo gets time to recover. The ref tells Makdessi that the next foul will result in a point deduction. Trujillo is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Makdessi lands a spinning back kick to the body then has a high kick blocked. Trujillo misses a right as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Makdessi

ROUND TWO: Circling to start, Makdessi working with his lead leg again and then lands a counter left as Trujillo was closing distance. Double leg attempt from Trujillo that stalls out on the fence. Trujillo keeps trying for it and finally gets Makdessi to his seat but Makdessi is looking to wall walk, and he does so then eats a couple of punches before separating. Trujillo lands a jab. Stiff jab from Makdessi then a body kick and a leg kick. Makdessi has a real read on Trujillo when it comes to the stand up, he lands a spinning back kick to the body. Trujillo lands a leg kick then a bit of a jab. Body kick from Makdessi, these two are starting to go at it. More body kicks from Makdessi, he lands one then takes a right as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Trujillo is circling, he tries a blitz and gets dropped to a knee with a counter left. The linear attacks from Trujillo just aren’t working anymore and I wonder if he can adjust. Inside leg kick from Makdessi, that lead leg of Trujillo is compromised. Trujillo lands a couple of counter punches but once Makdessi changes the angle he has to reset and loses the momentum. They trade jabs then Makdessi lands an inside leg kick. Single leg attempt from Trujillo that stalls out on the fence. Nothing really comes of it and they separate. A couple of inside leg kicks from Makdessi land. Makdessi off balances Trujillo with a right. Makdessi slips a few punches, lands a spinning back kick to the body as basically the last bit of the fight.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – John Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Solid overall stuff from Makdessi, looked sharp after the layoff. Makdessi and Trujillo got into it a bit after the fight, just yelling at each other and that’s the first thing Anik asks him about. He says he’s all about respect and puts over his coach as saving his life, thanks the UFC for the opportunity to be here and fight. He say the game plan was to stay composed and then exploit the fading cardio but Trujillo didn’t fight that way so he really settled into his counter striking role.

Nordine Taleb has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a win though and is looking for his first winning streak since 2015. Danny Roberts has gone 3-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win as well and is trying to get another winning streak going. The odds lean towards Taleb at -145 to +115 on Roberts.

Welterweight Bout: Danny Roberts (14-2, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Nordine Taleb (13-4, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Taleb has half an inch of reach advantage. Roberts fighting southpaw, and there’s a touch of gloves. Taleb opens with an inside leg kick, Roberts returns it and lands better. Glancing head kick lands for Roberts. Taleb lands a head kick, Roberts was actually unconscious leaning against the fence. It takes him a bit to recover but Roberts is pissed after the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nordine Taleb via KO, head kick and punch, at 0:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Taleb for his work this evening. Minor correction to the above, Taleb landed a punch as he was wobbled using the fence to hold himself up. Taleb on the mic now, he says this feels awesome and thanks his coaches for the years of time they’ve put into him. He talks us through the finish and says he wasn’t really trying to knock him out with that kick but it landed right and wobbled him. Asked who or what is next he says he’s just 26 years old and wants to keep getting better then notes that he didn’t get a bonus for his knockout of Erick Silva despite that getting a lot of views and response on the internet and hopes to get a bonus tonight.

Here’s the finish. Roberts doesn’t get both hands up to block, gets wobbled and has to hold the fence to stay upright, leaving himself wide open for the follow up right that ended his night. Good technical stuff from Taleb there.

Chad Laprise is on a two fight winning streak and is an impressive 5-2 overall in the UFC, he’s trying to extend his current streak and earn a shot at a bigger name for his next bout. Galore Bofando scored a memorable win in his UFC debut when he knocked his opponent out by throwing them onto their head, he’s trying to follow up on that with another win here. In a bit of trivia for this bout, Bofando has only ever lost via DQ. The odds are with the more proven Laprise at -160 to +130 for Bofando.

Welterweight Bout: Galore Bofando (5-2, 170 lbs.) vs. Chad Laprise (12-2, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bofando is an inch taller and has an inch of reach on Laprise. Some fancy footwork to start from both guys, mostly pointless but Bofando is showboating a bit while he’s switching his stance. Bit of a right lands for Laprise. Hard combination of punches from Bofando drop Laprise, he’s on top looking to pound this out but Laprise stalls that out then Bofando lets him up. Laprise punches into the clinch then hits a foot sweep to land in side control. Laprise goes to the body with elbows and punches trying to open up other opportunities. Elbows from Laprise and then he moves towards knee on belly. More elbows from Laprise, Bofando tries to bridge but Laprise moves to full mount and lands a few punches. Bofando is trying to get his legs in play but Laprise is really high on the mount and is throwing leather. More offense from Laprise, Bofando’s inability to change the position is troubling and the ref finally has to save him from taking more abuse.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chad Laprise via TKO, punches, at 4:10 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Laprise for his work this evening. Laprise on the mic now, he says he trained hard for this and puts over Bofando as a tough guy before noting this is his third stoppage in a row. Asked about the knockdown he says he wasn’t out but he knew he got hit and just knew he had to get the takedown because he had a massive advantage there. He talks us through the finish and his training for essentially this sequence, then he’s asked what’s next he says he’ll fight whoever Sean Shelby wants. Way to be the generic interview there guy.

Here’s some highlights, this includes Laprise getting dropped but the finish is still solid as he exploited a weakness in Bofando’s game to get the stoppage.

Julian Marquez brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut and was last seen on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series where he finished his opponent with a head kick. Marquez is looking to make a similar impression to the wider UFC audience here. Darren Stewart has gone 0-2 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s lost his last two and will almost certainly wind up fighting on the regional scene again if he can’t get a win here. Marquez is the significant favorite at -350 to +265 on Stewart, which has to make Stewart a tempting value bet.

Middleweight Bout: Julian Marquez (6-1, 185 lbs.) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marquez is two inches taller while Stewart has two inches of reach on him. They touch gloves to get things going. Stewart lands a leg kick, they trade and tie up. Stewart with a takedown, he gets mount briefly but Marquez is able to escape to his feet and they trade in the clinch, hard elbows go back and forth then we’re RoadHouse for a bit before Stewart hits a double leg against the fence. Marquez looking to wall walk, he’s up to his knees and lands some elbows while going for a double wrist lock. Stewart gets his arm free but he’s bleeding from those elbows. Marquez is up and landing to the body and a few elbows as Stewart was bent over then they break. Stewart lands a body kick and a knee, Marquez fires back with knees of his own then Stewart tries another double leg on the fence that fails. Positional reversal from Marquez, Stewart then gets a trip and lands in half guard. Stewart gets the back with one hook in as Marquez gets to his feet. Marquez is up but Stewart is after the choke from the backpack position now. Stewart bails on the back, and eats an elbow as they break. Right from Stewart, knee from Marquez. These two are exhausted already, Stewart lands a right and Marquez’s nose is visibly busted. They hit the fence, Stewart bent over and Marquez reverses him with a kimura, he gets him to the mat and is after a straight armbar but he’s all out of position to finish it at the moment. They just hang out there to end that bit of insanity.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stewart but there’s an argument for Marquez in there

ROUND TWO: Let’s see how these two hold up after the crazy pace in that first round. Much more sedate start to the second, Marquez is slowly moving Stewart to the fence. Bit of an uppercut from Marquez, he grabs a standing guillotine in transition and drives Stewart to the fence then lands a knee, an elbow, and another knee before they break. A couple of rights from Stewart land, slower pace but this is still pretty crazy. Knee to the body from Stewart and an elbow. Another right from Stewart, they stand in front and brawl but Marquez lands a knee and he’s got a front head lock again. Marquez after a single leg, he can’t finish it though and we’re in the clinch. Not sure if that was because of fatigue or technique failing him. They break and we’re back to trading punches and elbows with almost no thought for defense. Stewart after a takedown but he just kind of falls into it and Marquez grabs a guillotine, he doesn’t sit for it instead pushing forward and Stewart doesn’t fight the hands so he winds up tapping.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Julian Marquez via Submission, guillotine choke, at 2:42 of Round 2

Not sure if guillotine or front choke is a more accurate descriptor. That was a pleasant bit of chaos. Marquez on the mic now, he puts over Stewart as a tough guy and thanks him for taking the fight on short notice. He says getting hit doesn’t feel good but he was ready for it, then says he’s challenging Tyron Woodley to a vote about who’s got the best beard and puts over Woodley’s beard as impressive. Woodley is on the analyst desk above the crowd and he stands to play with Marquez a bit over the beard. He asks to be on the London card, and jokes he’ll take on the winner of Whittaker and Rockhold as he’s here for the gold then closes by giving love to his parents. That was a really solid promo from Marquez.

Here we have the finish. Stewart gets sloppy with his takedown, leaves his neck exposed and Marquez gets what could either be a ten finger guillotine or a gogo choke, can’t see the hand position to make a real determination. Note how Marquez leans his weight into the choke, that’s key for this technique and Stewart is too tired to hand fight and has to tap out.

To kill some time we head to the analyst desk where Karyn Bryant, Kenny Florian, and UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will talk for a bit.

Jared Cannonier has gone 3-2 in the UFC but more importantly is 2-1 since moving to light heavyweight, and his lone loss in that weight class is to top contender Glover Teixeira. Cannonier is coming off of a win and is looking move up the rankings, which he should do with a win given the state of the division. Also looking for divisional position is Jan Blachowicz who just snapped a two fight losing streak and is after what would be his first ever UFC winning streak. The favorite is Cannonier at -185 against a +150 comeback on Blachowicz.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2, 204 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Blachowicz is three inches taller and has half an inch of reach on Cannonier. They touch gloves to get us going. Range finding from Blachowicz, mostly inside leg kicks and jabs. Cannonier lands a right then takes a left body kick. Cannonier punches to the body and gets a Thai clinch against the fence. Knees to the body from Cannonier, Blachowicz tries a trip and while he doesn’t finish it he does separate. More forward pressure from Cannonier, Blachowicz is doing a good job of jabbing while circling. Leg kick from Blachowicz and he avoids a rush attack from Cannonier. Cannonier is following too much, he’s not cage cutting and is lunging from too far out. Low leg kick from Cannonier lands. Blachowicz lands a head kick and a couple of punches. Left to the body then a right from Blachowicz, he’s doing a good job of fighting while moving backwards. A couple of calf kicks land for Cannonier, Blachowicz needs to address those. They trade leg kicks to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blachowicz

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Blachowicz is back to the jab, then he takes a calf kick that had some power behind it. Cannonier is starting to jab, and he lands another calf kick. Leg kick from Blachowciz lands after both men missed punches. The distance is still a problem for Cannonier, his punches are falling short. Blachowicz lands a leg kick then hits a double leg against the fence. Cannonier looking to wall walk, and he’s back up but still in the clinch where he spins free. Jabs to the body and head from Blachowicz. Short check right hook then a left drops Cannonier, Blachowicz follows him down and is in side control now. Blachowicz lands some knees, Cannonier muscles his way up and then Blachowicz takes an eye poke as they were separating. Blachowicz doesn’t need the doctor and he’s back to fighting quickly. Some more jabs from Blachowicz, that’s really troubling Cannonier and his distance management. Left hook then a double leg from Blachowicz, he’s in the guard of Cannonier now. A few elbows from his back by Cannonier, Blachowicz lands a few body shots and the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Cannonier coming forward quickly, he misses some hooks then lands a leg kick. Jabs from Blachowicz land, Cannonier lands an overhand right. Another bit of a right lands for Cannonier, he seems to feel the distance more this round. Cannonier lands a right again then eats a counter jab. Blachowicz might be fading, cardio has never been his strong suit. Both men are starting to wing their punches with just their arms. Cannonier lands a right but takes a left body kick. Blachowicz tries a takedown, he gets it and has the ride position as Cannonier sold out for a kimura roll. Cannonier back up and wall walks, they’re in the clinch still. Another double leg attempt from Blachowicz is successful again, Cannonier closes his guard this time. Blachowicz moves to half guard and is still looking to pass. Cannonier bucks him and rolls to the turtle position, Blachowicz has a front headlock where he stalls out the remainder of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cannonier, 29-28 Blachowicz overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jan Blachowicz via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Really good technical stuff from Blachowicz, he kept a good jab and generally kept his back off of the fence. Interview for Blachowicz now, he says this is his job and he tries to do it well. He puts over Cannonier as a good fighter and he knew he needed to mix things up and use his grappling. Asked about the jab he mentions his left hand is his best weapon and he wants to use it. Asked who he wants next he just says he wants on the London card and doesn’t care bout the opponent before wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That’s just the second underdog win for the event thus far.

That does it for prelims, we’re off of Fox Sports 1 and on to FOX for the main card. I’m irrationally happy about these FOX cards just because they don’t feature “Face the Pain”.

Glover Teixeira has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in his last four fights, he was last seen getting horribly abused by Alexander Gustafsson early this year. Teixeira is trying to rebound from that beating and prove he’s still in the title picture. Misha Cirkunov just had an impressive eight fight winning streak, including four UFC wins, snapped by Volkan Oezdemir. Cirkunov is trying to prove he’s recovered from that setback and is ready to claim his spot near the top of the division. The odds are with Cirkunov at -165 against +135 for Teixeira.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cirkunov is an inch taller and has an inch of reach on Teixeira. Cirkunov fighting southpaw and they touch gloves to get things going. Forward pressure from Cirkunov, he lands an inside leg kick. Hard body kick from Cirkunov then a jab behind it. Straight left lands for Cirkunov. Teixeira lands a couple of rights to the body. Knee to the body from Cirkunov. Cirkunov pushes close and lands a combination then a right as Teixeira backs off. They clinch up, Teixeira gets a takedown and has the back with one hook in. Both hooks now for Teixeira, he’s after the choke but can’t hold it. Teixeira flattens Cirkunov out and is teeing off, Cirkunov can’t get any motion going and the ref has to step in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Glover Teixeira via TKO, punches, at 2:45 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Teixeira for his work this evening. Teixeira had some issues on the feet but once that hit the mat it was a showcase for him. Mic time for Teixeira who says that at his age everyone doubts you so he trains hard to counter act that. He says he felt the punches but knew Cirkunov would get too excited and he could get this to the mat and take over there. He talks us through the finish then tells Daniel Cormier that he promised him a title shot if he won in spectacular fashion and asks the fans if they want to see him and Cormier brawl in the Octagon, calling a potential fight battle of the old school.

Here’s the finish, once this hits the mat Teixeira was a step ahead all the way. The way he flattens Cirkunov out from the turtle position was nice and it’s all over but the shouting from there.

Santiago Ponzinibbio is on a heck of a run, he’s won his last five fights and finished three of them, he’s coming off of a big win over Gunnar Nelson and is looking to enter his name into the title conversation with a sixth consecutive win here. Mike Perry has gone 5-1 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight winning streak, he could find himself in the top fifteen if he knocks off the ranked Ponzinibbio. The odds are with Ponzinibbio at -170 but the +140 payout for a Perry win has to be tempting given how volatile this fight is.

Welterweight Bout: Mike Perry (11-1, 170 lbs.) vs. #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ponzinibbio has two inches of height and reach on Perry. Ponzinibbio circling early, he’s looking for angles to attack from. Perry coming forward now, he’s looking to close into punching range. Side kick to the body fro Perry. Leg kick from Ponzinibbio. Another leg kick from Ponzinibbio but his motion is being corralled by Perry’s cage cutting. Perry misses a couple of hooks then eats another leg kick. Ponzinibbio is investing in those leg kicks, and he misses a head kick. Bit of a left hook from Perry. Perry lands a body kick then wobbles Ponzinibbio with an overhand right. Perry lunges forward and lands but he gets off balanced by Ponzinibbio and winds up on his back, they’re back up and both miss a bit. Ponzinibbio is getting his jab going, he lands a counter right after taking a leg kick. They stare away the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perry

ROUND TWO: Perry still cage cutting and is pressing the action, Ponzinibbio starting to get his jab going. Perry complains of an eye poke, no pause from the ref though. Ponzinibbio tries a high kick, it’s caught and Perry forces a temporary clinch but they break quickly. Left lands for Perry, Ponzinibbio is backing up now. Right from Perry and he’s in on a clinch then drags Ponzinibbio to the mat. Ponzinibbio back up and they separate. Ponzinibbio lands a few jabs and a body kick, he seems to have recovered. Pretty good one two from Ponzinibbio lands. Body kick from Perry, Ponzinibbio responds with a calf kick that’s got Perry limping a bit. Counter right lands for Ponzinibbio then a left, he pushes close and we get some brawling before Ponzinibbio decides this doesn’t serve his interests. Both guys are bleeding around the right eye, Ponzinibbio clips the chin of Perry with a left hook and follows up but Perry swings back and just wont go away. Ponzinibbio lands a spinning back fist, he lands a few more punches but Perry keeps eating them and throwing back. Another leg kick from Ponzinbbio has Perry switching his stance. Perry on the fence now and Ponzinibbio is starting to tee off on him. Now Perry comes forward and swings, this is getting nuts as the round ends with another left hook from Ponzinibbio.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ponzinibbio, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: That left hook from Ponzinibbio started finding the target in the second, let’s see who takes over in the third. Leg kick from Perry and a bit of a punch behind it. Ponzinibbio lands a bit of a left hook but Perry is still coming forward now. Liver kick from Perry lands. Ponzinibbio lands the low leg kick, those are starting to add up now. Some jabs go back and forth, this time Perry checks a leg kick but still has to switch his stance to protect the leg for a second or two. Perry lands a right, he tries to follow up but Ponzinibbio lands a spinning back fist that drops Perry, Perry works back up but Ponzinibbio takes him back down against the fence. Perry trying to wall walk, he’s up but Ponzinibbio double legs him again. Ponzinibbio has the ride position, Perry back up and gets the back standing but they separate without incident. Ponzinibbio coming forward now, his left eye is swelling visibly. Combination lands for Ponzinibbio and then he gets a double leg, he’s playing for points as he realized he can’t get Perry out of there with strikes. Ponzinibbio moves to half guard, Perry gets to the fence and is sitting on it as Ponzinibbio threatens with a front head lock. Body shots from Ponzinibbio, Perry back up though and they separate. Right lands for Ponzinibbio, he lands a head kick but takes a left from Perry, Ponzinibbio backs off for the last couple of seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Santiago Ponzinibbio via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

That was about as fun as advertised, smart decisions from Ponzinibbio in the moment as he gets on the mic. He thanks the UFC and feels he proved he’s a fighter, he’ll fight anyone even an unranked guy like Perry. Ponzinibbio says he beat Gunnar Nelson in eighty seconds, he wants to fight winner of the main event for the interim belt as Woodley is injured then runs down his UFC record to support his request. He does a little in Spanish and Portuguese that goes untranslated as his interview time ran out.

A couple of highlights from that fight, it bears noting that Perry’s chin is incredibly solid.

Ricardo Lamas has been a top featherweight for some years now and in fact his only UFC losses are to Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, and Max Holloway. Lamas is on a two fight winning streak and is hoping to enter his name into the title conversation with a big win here. Josh Emmett missed weight for this bout and took it on short notice, he’s 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win when he returned to the featherweight division. Emmett is trying to vault himself into the rankings by taking out the highly regarded Lamas. Lamas is a significant favorite at -280 to a +220 comeback on Emmett.

Featherweight Bout: Josh Emmett (12-1, 148.5 lbs.)* vs. #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lamas is an inch and a half taller and has an inch of reach on Emmett. They touch gloves to get things going. Leg kick from Lamas. Lamas blocks a combination, Emmett lands a right to the body at distance though. Lamas is keeping Emmett in front of him, he lands a jab then a left body kick. Front kick to the body from Lamas. Emmett moving forward and throwing hooks, Lamas lands a low leg kick that off balances Emmett. Leg kick from Emmett, Lamas returns it to the calf and Emmett switches his stance for a bit. More kicks from Lamas, blocked but he’s finding the range. Emmett lands a bit of a right, he’s trying to force a brawl. Lamas lands a couple of leg kicks. Left lands for Emmett but he’s struggling with the angles of Lamas once they engage. Emmett misses some hooks, Lamas lands a leg kick but eats a massive counter left hook that ENDS his night.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Emmett via KO, punch, at 4:33 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Emmett for his work this evening. Emmett on the mic now, he says he predicted that one clean shot would end the fight and he shocked the world. He talks us through the finish then thanks Lamas for taking the fight despite his missing weight and promises that will never happen again and plays to the crowd. Asked about what’s next he says his goal is to be the champion and dedicates the win to someone in the crowd.

Here’s the finish. Lamas lets his right hand drop instead of bringing it back to defend the left hook and Emmett ruins his night because of it.

Robbie Lawler is the former welterweight champion and is coming off of a win over Donald Cerrone, with another win here he could find himself fighting for the title again. Rafael dos Anjos is a former UFC lightweight champion but has looked good since moving up to welterweight, he’s 2-0 in his new division and could easily find himself in the title picture with a win here over a former champion. The odds have been all over the place, they’re currently -130 for dos Anjos against +100 for Lawler.

Welterweight Bout: #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #4 Rafael dos Anjos (27-9, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lawler is three inches taller and has four inches of reach on dos Anjos. Both guys are southpaws. Dos Anjos circling early, both guys feinting and then dos Anjos lands a leg kick. Body kick from dos Anjos but he takes a counter jab. They get close and both land hard hooks, then Lawler avoids a leg kick. Dos Anjos lands a bit of a left. Hard leg kick from dos Anjos. Both men miss lead hand hooks, Lawler is pressing forward now though. Another leg kick from dos Anjos buckles the leg of Lawler for a moment. Leg kick from dos Anjos but Lalwer pushes close and we’re clinched. Dos Anjos has a Thai clinch and is going to the body with knees and lands an elbow. More knees to the body from dos Anjos then they separate. Dos Anjos lands a right hook then a low leg kick and a body kick, dos Anjos is backing up but fighting very well so far. Another calf kick from dos Anjos and Lawler bulls into the clinch. Lawler digs to the body a few times, dos Anjos lands a couple of knees to the body then thinks about a double leg that Lawler shuts down instantly. They jockey for position, dos Anjos winds up on the fence but he’s still landing solid knees to the body. More body work from both guys then they break. Lawler avoids some offense before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos

ROUND TWO: Lawler back to forward motion, dos Anjos lands a body kick. Leg kick from dos Anjos lands and they trade punches. Dos Anjos is on the fence and both men land hard punches before they reset and dos Anjos lands another leg kick. Lawler avoids some punches then takes a leg kick and a body kick. That leg kick to body kick combo has done work for dos Anjos so far. Some jabs go back and forth and dos Anjos wobbles Lawler with a left. Hopping knee from dos Anjos, he goes to the body and Lawler is hurt to the body. Lawler is on the fence and dos Anjos is teeing off on him, he’s going body to head nicely but Lawler rolls with the head shots until they clinch up. Lawler lands a knee to the body, dos Anjos tries a knee tap but can’t secure top position. More forward pressure from Lawler, dos Anjos expended a lot of energy in that flurry and is looking to recover. Body punch and a leg kick from dos Anjos. Hard leg kick from dos Anjos, Lawler gets close and they both land then clinch up again. They exchange knees to the body and separate. They trade jabs then dos Anjos lands a leg kick and we’re clinched again. More knees to the body back and forth. Jabs traded on the separation as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 20-18 dos Anjos overall

ROUND THREE: Lawler is back to coming forward. Both men showing the jab, dos Anjos lands another calf kick and they clinch. Lawler has a gnarly bruise developing on his calf. Lawler digs the body, dos Anjos spins him into the fence and gets a double leg takedown. Lawler scoots to the fence, looking to wall walk as dos Anjos tries to keep him on the mat. Dos Anjos has half guard as Lawler sits on the cage. A few body shots go back and forth then Lawler wall walks and we’re still in the clinch. More body work is traded, dos Anjos lands an elbow to the head as well. The things these two are doing to the body is painful to watch, it’s got to hurt to get hit with. Lawler lands a couple of uppercuts in addition to taking those knees to the body. Short elbow from dos Anjos but Lawler is diligently going to the body and they trade hooks then dos Anjos drops Lawler with a short elbow. Dos Anjos is on top in the middle of the cage and passes to half guard. Dos Anjos lands a series of hard elbow strikes. The round ends with dos Anjos on top threatening with head control

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 30-27 dos Anjos overall

ROUND FOUR: Body kick from dos Anjos, then another one but Lawler is still coming forward. Dos Anjos slips under some punches and they circle free. Another leg kick from dos Anjos lands. They clinch up again and resume trading body shots. They break with an elbow from dos Anjos, who then lands a body kick as well. Lawler’s leg is really compromised, he’s being off balanced easily. Dos Anjos is coming forward now, he digs a couple of hard body shots and clinches. More knees to the body from dos Anjos, those are hurting Lawler. Elbow from dos Anjos and they break then trade jabs. Leg kick from dos Anjos. Another leg kick from dos Anjos, that leg is in bad shape but Lawler is still fighting. Dos Anjos into the clinch and lands a knee to the body. They break, dos Anjos wont let Lawler off of the fence though. Leg kick from dos Anjos, Lawler swings back and it’s blocked. Lawler lands a left hook, dos Anjos responds with a couple of elbows as he clinches up. hard body shots from dos Anjos then a head kick that’s blocked. Dos Anjos starting to tee off again, he lands another leg kick and avoids a couple of hook. Flying knee from dos Anjos lands to the head, then an elbow as well and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 40-36 dos Anjos overall

ROUND FIVE: Lawler needs a finish, and his lead leg is a serious liability but he’s got a knee injury to his left knee which he talked about between rounds. Apparently he tweaked in when he fell over in the second round. Lawler is really struggling here with his legs, dos Anjos kicks them happily. They trade hooks, Lawler puts his back on the fence to help stay upright and dos Anjos digs the body then gets the clinch. Elbow from dos Anjos and he gets a takedown against the fence. Lawler sitting on the fence, he’s got posture control though and they stall out so the ref stands them up. More pressure from dos Anjos and he’s got the clinch again. Dos Anjos tries a double leg, bails on that and lands knees to the body then an elbow. Another couple of elbows from dos Anjos and a hard knee to the body. More knees to the body then they break and dos Anjos lands a combination. Another clinch, dos Anjos is fighting masterfully against a bigger opponent. More body work from both guys but dos Anjos is starting to really work him over from this position. They break but Lawler isn’t really moving much, dos Anjos kicks his leg and makes him come to the center of the cage. Body kick from dos Anjos. Dos Anjos jumps into the clinch again and lands knees to the body. Elbow from dos Anjos, Lawler is still throwing to the body but he’s lost a lot of steam on his offense. Dos Anjos misses a spinning elbow, then break and stare the last couple of seconds away.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 50-45 dos Anjos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (50-4 x3)

That was a brilliant fight from dos Anjos, he’s on the mic now. He says he’s happy and has been fighting for a long time then puts over Lawlwer as a warrior and says his hands hurt from punching Lawler. Asked about the flurry in the second he says he believed in his conditioning and planned to work the body over the fight and puts over his coaches for getting him to this point. Asked if he should get the next title shot he says he just beat the toughest guy in the division, he’s been in the UFC for ten years and is a former lightweight champion, he feels he should get the title shot and I don’t disagree one bit.

Here’s a few highlights, this was a tough fight from both guys, dos Anjos played it smarter though.

Alright everyone, that wraps up UFC on FOX 26. Thank you all for being here and reading, I’m well aware of just how many other places you could go for this content and am humbled that you choose mine. We’ll be unpacking all of the fights Sunday at 8pm eastern time and will also preview UFC 219, which has a really good main card. I wont see you all again until after Christmas, so Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate, belated happy Hanukkah to those who celebrated that one as well. I’ll be back on the 30th for UFC 219, until then everyone stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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