mma / Reports

411’s UFC on FOX 28 Report 2.24.18

February 24, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Jeremy Stephens UFC

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 28. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this event, relaying all of the action to you good people as I see it. Thank you all for being here, be that live or after the fact, I know how many places you can go for this service and appreciate your patronage. Tonight the UFC is back on FOX, and on the heels of their worst rated FOX event ever when they ran the Jacare vs. Brunson card earlier this year. I have no idea what the UFC is doing with these FOX cards anymore, especially as this is the year they’re negotiating for either a new FOX deal or just find a new television home.

The main event tonight is a featherweight fight where Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett are battling for divisional position, but it’s unlikely to be a title shot as Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega is coming up in a week. The co-main has top strawweight contenders Jessica Andrade and Tecia Torres battle for a title shot once the rematch between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes place. The rest of the card is kind of lack luster on paper, so let’s hope it’s good in practice.

UFC on FOX 28 comes to us from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, USA. Special acknowledgement to the guy who used to have this job and now trolls me on a near weekly basis on our podcast Mark Radulich as he’s in attendance for this one, and any interesting tidbits he lets me know of will be put in here somewhere. Our commentary team is Jon Anik alongside UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. As for the rules we are under the new rules, so you need both palms or fists on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee of course), extending fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact, and the scoring language is clearer about 10-8 rounds. Of note is that there will be no use of instant replay tonight.

Albert Morales is on a two fight losing streak, in fact his overall UFC record is 1-3-1 and that lone win was a highly dubious split decision. Morales is trying to get on the winning side of things and prove he’s growing into his spot on the UFC roster. Manny Bermudez is undefeated as a professional and is making his UFC debut here, he’s trying to get that all important first UFC win and prove he could be a player in the division. The odds are with Bermudez at -165 to +135 for Morales.

Bantamweight Bout: Manny Bermudez (11-0, 136 lbs.) vs. Albert Morales (7-3-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bermudez is an inch taller while Morales has half an inch of reach on him. Morales showing the jab early, he lands a leg kick. Oh for the love of, there’s already “wooing”. Morales lands a pretty good right that wobbles Bermudez, Bermudez hits a double leg when Morales closes distance and gets him down. Full mount for Bermudez, he switches to a triangle and rolls to his back locking it in but the other hand of Morales is in the legs to buy him some space. Bermudez is methodically tightening and adjusting the choke, that other hand is saving him, and Bermudez bails on the choke rather than burn out his legs. Morales moves towards half guard, another triangle attempt from Bermudez and he switches to an omoplata. There’s a quick scramble, Bermudez winds up on top after threatening with a d’arce choke. Elbow from Bermudez and he moves to side control, his passing game is really smooth. Morales is able to get butterfly guard, now closes his guard. Morales is able to kick Bermudez off and regain his feet, they clinch and Morales hits a trip to land in half guard. Some hammer fists from Morales, but Bermudez grabs a guillotine choke, he’s got it locked and is able to sweep with it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morales

ROUND TWO: Some jabbing from Morales to start things, he lands a right. Left from Morales lands and Bermudez tries sitting for guard but Morales disengages. Bermudez lands a bit of an uppercut, then fails miserably on a double leg attempt. Single leg from Bermudez, and he pulls guard successfully this time. A few elbows from Bermudez as he starts working his guard game. Morales is able to stand free and force the stand up. Leg kick from Morales, he’s clearly the smoother striker while Bermudez is the superior grappler. Bermudez gets close and grabs a guillotine, he rolls to mount with it and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Manny Bermudez via Submission, guillotine choke, at 2:33 of Round 2

Solid ground game from Bermudez, lots to work on though. Mic time for Bermudez, he thanks everyone for their support and is happy to represent the north east as though his accent didn’t give that away and thanks the crowd. He puts over Morales as a big guy and a tough opponent then thanks him for the fight.

Here’s the finish, sadly we miss the most interesting part of the submission. When they got close Bermudez was able to use the attempt from Morales to keep distance to snatch the neck, pulled him down with the choke attempt and then adjusted just a bit to get the finish from the mount when Morales rolled to his back to release the pressure. Good ground game, not so good on the wrestling or striking just yet though.

Eric Shelton just snapped a two fight losing streak and got his first win in the UFC, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak started tonight and begin making his way up the ranks of the division. Alex Perez missed weight for this fight, never a good thing, but is on an overall five fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut. Perez is trying to continue his winning ways here while establishing himself in the division. Despite Perez missing weight, or perhaps because of it, the odds here closed as a -115 pick ’em.

Flyweight Bout: Alex Perez* (18-4, 126.5 lbs.) vs. Eric Shelton (11-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Shelton has two and a half inches of reach on Perez, plus of course Perez missing weight. There’s a touch of gloves, and Perez lands a leg kick. Solid counter right from Shelton lands, he’s moving and looking to counter as the crowd continues to “woo”. We’re in for a long night. A couple of leg kicks from Perez lands, then he blocks a high kick. Another short right from Shelton as Perez looks to close distance. Perez lands a right, Shelton tries a double leg and Perez sprawls then tries to spin to the ride position but Shelton rolls under him to get full guard. They trade a few elbows, Shelton trying to control posture while Perez looks to soften him up and pass. Shelton is able to force a scramble and regain his feet, then Perez lands a leg kick. Another slip and right from Shelton, he’s got that punch dialed in already when Perez closes distance. Quick counter combination from Perez lands after he baited the right from Shelton. Another counter combination from Perez, he’s drawing out the counter from Shelton and making him pay. Perez hits a single leg, lands basically in half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perez

ROUND TWO: Perez has a leg kick checked to start the second. More pressure from Perez, Shelton still working well with it but it is starting to get to him. Solid right from Perez lands then they wind up clinched on the fence. Perez lands a body kick as Shelton circles away from the clinch. Shelton tries a double leg after taking a right, Perez sprawls again and tries to spin to the back but Shelton is able to get guard. Perez lands a few shots, Shelton looking to wall walk now but he’s getting controlled. Mat return from Perez and he’s looking to strip away the base of Shelton. Shelton is on his seat, Perez into the ride position now but he’s got no body control. Explosion from Shelton but Perez gets a front headlock again and pressures him back to the mat. Shelton is fishing for a guillotine but Perez is in half guard on the safe side so Shelton bails on it. Perez continues smothering him against the fence as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Perez opens with a leg kick and blocks a counter right. Shelton blocks a takedown and lands a knee to the chest as they break. Right lands for Shelton. A few flurries in close don’t lead to much, Shelton isn’t backing up much this round now. Perez lands a leg kick then gets a takedown. Shelton is looking to hit a switch but Perez avoids it and moves to the ride position. Now Shelton is on his knees against the fence, Perez drags him back to his seat and is looking to get the back. Shelton tries to spin into Perez, can’t finish that move but he is able to get free and separate. Perez lands a leg kick and Shelton lands a couple of counters. Short right lands for Shelton, and he avoids the takedown this time. Knee tap from Perez works, he lands and gets top position in the guard of Shelton. Shelton is sitting on the fence but Perez is still controlling him and landing shots. Perez is able to get the back, Shelton stands but he’s back down as time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Perez via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Great adjustment from Perez to time the counters and get his takedowns, he also does a good job of hitting an angle after blocking a takedown. Perez on the mic, he apologizes for missing weight and notes it was because he got stuck at an airport for twenty four hours and that threw everything off and thanks Shelton for the fight. Asked who he wants next, he names Roberto Sanchez who fought last week.

Rani Yahya has been one of the most underappreciated and premier bantamweight fighters in the world, he’s only lost once since returning to that division with the UFC and at one point had a four fight winning streak going. Yahya is coming off of a win and looking to make a push for the top of the division as at thirty three years old time isn’t exactly on his side. Russell Doane just snapped a four fight losing streak in June of last year, he’s trying to get his first winning streak since 2014 underway tonight at the expense of the respected veteran Yahya. Yahya is a firm -230 favorite to a +180 comeback for Doane.

Bantamweight Bout: Russell Doane (15-7, 136 lbs.) vs. Rani Yahya (24-9 1 NC, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Doane is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Yahya. Touch of gloves to get things going. Quick single leg from Yahya is successful, and he’s moved into half guard almost immediately. Short knee to the body from Yahya, he’s looking to pass again while Doane is wrapping his head for dear life. Doane to a hip, Yahya has a double under hook neck crank going, it’s mostly for control but there’s a submission there if he can get control of Doane’s body. He’s got that neck crank really locked up and is cranking it while looking to move out of half guard. Yahya into side control and looking to mount with that crank, Dane has an empty half guard going to try and prevent that. A few knees to the body from Yahya and he secures full side control. More knees to the body from Yahya and Yahya bails on the crank to set up in side control. Yahya lands a couple of knees to the back, the ref halts the action as that second one went to the spine which is illegal. No point deduction but the ref restarts them on the feet. Doane coming forward, Yahya backing up and circling. Nothing of substance will happen before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Yahya as that was a total blowout

ROUND TWO: Doane’s left shoulder is jacked, he complained about it between rounds, after the time he spent in that position with Yahya. Quick single leg from Yahya and he’s got Doane down but Doane is selling out for a guillotine choke, Yahya gets free immediately and is after a guillotine of his own. Doane to a knee, Yahya is on his back and a body triangle for good measure. A few weak punches from Yahya, he’s just trying to expose the neck for the choke. Doane trying to move, Yahya punches him and is after the choke again. Doane is able to stand now but Yahya is holding the backpack position now. A front slam attempt from Doane as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Yahya as Daone didn’t land a single strike, 20-16 Yahya overall

ROUND THREE: Doane coming forward, Yahya circling. Bit of a right from Doane. Yahya catches a body kick, gets a takedown but Doane is able to scramble this time and try to get up, Yahya pulls half guard to keep him from getting free. Sweep from Yahya and now he’s on top in half guard, the grappling from Yahya once they’re on the mat is incredible. Head and arm control from Yahya, he’s trying to set up the choke with it but the half guard of Doane is keeping him safe for the moment. Now to mount, then to side control to lock up the choke and Doane has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rani Yahya via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 2:32 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Yahya for his work this evening. Yahya still struggles when he’s not on the mat, but once you’re there with him he’s likely going to beat you. Mic time for Yahya, he opens with Portuguese and thanks his mom for everything before going to English. He says his mother passed away ten days ago and dedicates this performance to her, he’s really emotional and just keeping it together, and thanks everyone who helped him get here and puts over the UFC past and present owners and even thanks Reebok.

Here’s the finish, we missed the pass he hit to get into this position which was really cool, but once he’s in side control this is all over.

And here’s his dedication to his late mother.

Sam Alvey had a really rough last fight, he lost and missed weight which led to him trying his hand up at light heavyweight. That division basically being a dumpster fire probably contributed to his decision as well, but if he can get a win here he could find himself facing bigger name opponents in the very near future. Marcin Prachnio is making his UFC debut here and brings an eight fight winning streak with him, he’s looking to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. The odds are with the debuting Prachnio at -250 to +195 for Alvey.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Sam Alvey (31-10, 206 lbs.) vs. Marcin Prachnio (13-2, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Prachnio is an inch taller while Alvey has an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Alvey fighting southpaw. Prachnio working leg kicks early while they circle and look for angles. Alvey catches a wheel kick and gets Prachnio down, Prachnio back up and drives Alvey into the fence. There’s a front head lock from Alvey, he might be trying to threaten with a guillotine as well. Prachnio landing knees to the thigh while Alvey is holding that head lock. They disengage without incident and reset at distance. Alvey lands a leg kick and takes a body punch. Knee to the body from Prachnio. They split rights, Prachnio lands a side kick to the body and Alvey lands a couple of calf kicks that get Prachnio limping a bit. Right to the body from Prachnio, but he walks into a right hook that drops him, he’s back up and walks into another right hook that puts him out on his knees.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sam Alvey via TKO, punch, at 4:23 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Alvey for his work this evening and would like to express disgust at the driving tactics from the Final Round Finish Club that kept us from arriving sooner. Big win for Alvey, he needed that one. He’s on the mic now, and “woo’s” then puts over the oranges of Florida. He says he was nervous for this fight and says Daniel Cormier moved back to heavyweight two days after he announced his move up to light heavyweight, and speculates that Cormier is ducking him. Asked who’s next he says he’d like to fight Gian Villante, expresses his love for Villante but wants to duke it out with him.

Here’s the first knockdown and the finish, Prachnio gets lazy with his lead hand for the first knockdown then just plods forward with his chin immobile and essentially asks to be hit again then Alvey obliges him.

That’s it for Fight Pass, on to FOX for the rest of the prelims.

Ben Saunders is a longtime veteran of the sport but is coming off of a loss when he was finished by Peter Sobotta. Saunders is trying to avoid what would be his first losing streak since 2010 and get back on the winning side of things. Alan Jouban is on a two fight losing streak and is hoping to break that here while proving he’s still a worthwhile welterweight. Good news for Jouban on that front as he’s a the -265 favorite against a +205 comeback on Saunders.

Welterweight Bout: Alan Jouban (15-6, 171 lbs.) vs. Ben Saunders (21-8-2, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saunders is two inches taller and has a significant four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Jouban fighting southpaw. A few body kick attempts from Jouban, he’s missing a lot of those. Saunders is coming forward, he eats a bit of a left and Jouban angles away from him. Right from Saunders and they clinch up. A few knees to the body go back and forth then they disengage. Body kick from Jouban then a bit of a head kick. Saunders lands a right, and another one but Jouban slips away. Forward pressure from Saunders, Jouban lands a left. They trade rights in close, the pressure of Saunders is getting to Jouban a bit. A couple of hard inside leg kicks from Jouban then a right hook. Body kick from Jouban hurts Saunders and they trade in close but Saunders is still hurt. Jouban is working the inside leg kick, and lands a right hook. We’ve had a couple of groin shots but Saunders takes another one and this time we get a halt in the action, both guys had waved off prior fouls but Jouban takes a second or two this time. On the restart Jouban is back to forward pressure, lands a bit of a wheel kick then an inside leg kick. Saunders is wobbled, he took an uppercut and he tries to pull guard but Jouban makes him stand. Another inside leg kick, the thigh of Saunders is hamburger at this point. They trade a bit, then clash on kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jouban

ROUND TWO: Basically whoever is moving forward is winning, neither guy is countering well so far. They touch gloves for the second, Saunders is circling looking for an angle. Jouban avoids a few combinations from Saunders then lands a body kick. High kick from Jouban and then he lands a combination, they trade elbows in the clinch and Saunders is wobbled again. Wild elbow exchange and we’re brawling in the clinch then they break. Saunders lands a couple of rights, Jouban lands that inside leg kick again. That lead leg is basically toast for Saunders and he takes an elbow. They clinch again and Jouban lands a series of elbows, Saunders is throwing back but he’s very punch drunk at this point. Jouban lands an inside leg kick then a left that finally drops and finishes Saunders.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alan Jouban via KO, punch, at 2:38 of Round 2

Saunders kept freezing on the first strike and Jouban was able to then land the follow up offense. This was a great clinic on how to use leg kicks to set up your other offense. Jouban on the mic now, he says he loves Saunders and respects him as a fighter then talks about their history as training partners together. He says he really needed this win and says his five year old son is in the crowd at his first fight, notes that this is his six year anniversary with his wife and he felt the fire from fighting in front of his family and promises his son they’re going to Disney world tomorrow. Asked who’s next he says anyone who’ll bump him up in the rankings, any time but not too far off, and anywhere but preferably in a tropical climate that he can take a single flight to get to.

Here’s the finish. Jouban had torn that lead leg up and here he lands it, squares up Saunders as well as taking his balance away then when he’s stumbling forward Jouban cracks him with a straight left. Coming back across your body like that isn’t ideal but he had the superior positioning in terms of angle and relative to Saunders being completely sideways.

Angela Hill has gone 1-2 since returning to the UFC and is coming off of a loss, she’s trying to avoid another UFC losing streak and possibly take over the top fifteen spot occupied by her opponent. Maryna Moroz is also coming off of a loss, hers to former champion Carla Esparza, and is trying to defend her top ranking while avoid the first losing streak of her professional career. The odds are with Hill at -165 while Moroz’s comeback stands at +135.

Strawweight Bout: Angela Hill (7-4, 116 lbs.) vs. #14 Maryna Moroz (8-2, 114 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Moroz is four inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Hill. Hill coming forward early, Moroz showing the jab. Both women feinting, Hill lands a couple of rights. Another right from Hill, she’s starting to pressure forward. Right and a leg kick from Hill land. Moroz is doing a lot of shadow boxing while Hill is starting to counter the sloppy offense. Moroz lands a bit of an uppercut. Another leg kick from Hill lands. They clinch up, Hill lands a few knees to the body then an elbow as they break. Solid counter right from Hill. Moroz is actually finding some range now, Hill lands a right and they clinch again, trade and break. Hill lands another right, there’s swelling around the left eye of Moroz from all the rights she’s taken. They trade body kicks, Hill is more comfortable when they trade while Morox is still trying to keep her at the very end of combinations. Body kick from Hill, Moroz lands a bit of a left. Another right from Hill lands. Hill ducks a spinning back fist and gets the clinch, she’s after a single leg against the fence, can’t get it and lands a body kick as they break. One final clash that’s blocked on both sides brings the round to an end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Hill back to pressuring forward, she lands a couple of inside leg kicks. Right from Hill lands, and a bit of a left to follow up. Body kick from Moroz lands but she eats a couple of counters. Hill is arcing that overhand a bit too much, if she straightened out that punch she could have more success. They clinch up, a few knees go back and forth then dirty boxing from both women before they break. Moroz punches into the clinch, but Hill gets the takedown from the clinch and lands in side control. Half guard from Moroz, now full guard and she’s looking for wrist control. Elbow from Hill, and another. Hill passes, Moroz wall walks and eats a knee then a right before they break. Bit of a high kick from Moroz. Front kick to the body from Moroz, Hill is slowing a bit. Hill lands a jab to counter a kick. Moroz pushes into the clinch and they hit the fence and begin jockeying for position. The round ends in that spot on the fence.

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

ROUND THREE: Moroz is starting to get her jab actually working, Hill lands a leg kick. Hill lands a right to the body then an inside leg kick. Moroz lands a front kick to the body, that’s been her best weapon thus far. Three punch combination from Hill lands. A few body kicks sneak through from Moroz, Hill lands a right to the body. Hill catches a kick and trips Moroz down but Moroz is back up before anything comes of it. Left hook from Hill. Moroz throws a lot but she misses at an embarrassing rate. Hill eats a body kick and lands a left hook. Hill punches into the clinch and they trade knees before hitting the fence. A knee from Hill on the break but Moroz lands a body kick. Moroz lands a body kick. Uppercut from Moroz and a combination from Hill to counter. Another clinch, Hill lands knees to the body and head. A few more elbows from Hill as they break. Another couple of exchanges is punctuated by a right from Hill as time runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

High output from Moroz but efficacy is the deciding factor and she was incredibly ineffective. No interview for Hill.

Sara McMann just had a three fight winning streak snapped and she’s trying to get back on the winning side of things, if she wants to get another crack at the title she absolutely cannot afford a loss here. Marion Reneau hasn’t lost in her last three fights and the blemish on that run is a draw with Bethe Correia that I thought she won, but she finished her last opponent and if she can take out McMann here she’ll have the biggest win of her career. McMann is your -210 favorite against +170 on Reneau.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #7 Sara McMann (11-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Marion Reneau (8-3-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Reneau has two inches of reach on McMann. A bit of circling to start things off, McMann lands a bit of a left. Leg kick from McMann and Reneau lands a counter right. They trade rights then clinch and McMann hits a hard trip to land in side control. McMann immediately after the mounted crucifix, Reneau is able to keep her arm free. Reneau has an empty half guard going on to try and control the left leg of McMann, McMann lands rights and gets her leg free. McMann is really after that crucifix, she’s got it and is landing rights. Reneau gets her arm back but she’s still stuck here. A few short rights from McMann, Reneau to her hip and McMann moves to the back then grabs a north-south choke in transition. McMann bails on the choke and returns to side control. Another mounted crucifix from McMann and she lands rights until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 McMann

ROUND TWO: Circling again, Reneau looks a little stiff after that first round. Reneau trying to keep distance, McMann is trying to coax her forward to time a takedown when Reneau comes forward. Bit of a left from McMann. Hard right from Reneau drops McMann but McMann is back up and they trade rights, we get a brawl and McMann dives for a single leg. Reneau is defending so far, they break and stand up again. A clinch and knees from from McMann then they break. Reneau is coming forward, double leg from McMann and she switches to a single leg and gets Renau down but Reneau immediately throws up a triangle choke attempt. That triangle is getting tighter, McMann just kind of hanging out while Reneau squeezes and McMann has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marion Reneau via Submission, triangle choke, at 3:47 of Round 2

McMann continues to be unable to win a second round after dominating the first. Reneau on the mic, she jokes about getting better with age as she’s forty and says the whole first round sucked but she adjusted and was prepared to grab the triangle off of the takedown attempt. She talks us through the finish then says she should be discussed in the title picture and that she wants to fight for the belt.

Some highlights including the finish, Reneau had the straighter punch and she landed before McMann. The on the mat, she just had a really good transition off of the single leg from McMann into the triangle and methodically worked to finish it from there.

Renan “Barao” Pegado has been on a really weird path lately, he’s just 1-3 in his last four fights and has bounced between bantamweight and featherweight despite being a former bantamweight champion. Barao lost his last fight and he’s desperately trying to avoid another losing streak here. Brian Kelleher has gone 2-1 in the UFC and only has one loss in his last nine fights, he’s trying to take out a former champion and notch one of the bigger wins of his career. Barao is a slight -150 favorite to +120 on Kelleher.

Bantamweight Bout: Renan Barao (34-5 1 NC, 136 lbs.) vs. Brian Kelleher (18-8, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barao has four inches of reach on Kelleher despite these two being the same height. Touch of gloves to get us going, Kelleher moving forward while Barao flashes the jab. Bit of a left from Kelleher lands. Barao lands a right. They trade lefts, Kelleher is doing a really half assed Dillashaw impression and Barao lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Barao lands and they both jab a bit. Hard leg kick from Barao and that left leg of Kelleher is compromised a bit. Kelleher is still pressing forward, he lands a clean right and they wind up clinched. Barao has Kelleher on the fence and they’re jockeying for position. They trade a few knees to the body. Bit of an elbow from Kelleher but Barao knees the body again. The ref separates them after they stall out, Kelleher back to coming forward and swinging the right. Kellleher lands a right that drops Barao for a second, they clinch up as he regains his feet and now Barao is after a takedown along the fence. Barao lands an elbow. The round comes to an end in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelleher

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Both guys getting after it quickly, Barao blocks a takedown attempt and they wind up clinched on the fence. Bit of an elbow from Kelleher as they break, Barao lands a right. They trade then Barao blocks a takedown and we’re back in the clinch. A bit of positional jockeying, Barao lands a knee and Kelleher gets a double leg off of it but Barao bounces right back up. They’re still fighting in the clinch but they stall out enough for the ref to break them. Kelleher lands a right then a left hook that wobbles Barao a bit. There’s some throwing on both sides, Kelleher lands a right and gets another clinch, he’s content to wear Barao out in the clinch it seems. Barao has a body lock but can’t do anything with it. The ref separates them with about ten seconds left, and neither lands before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Another touch of gloves, and Barao lands a one two to counter a left hook. We get a bit of brawling and Kelleher avoids a jumping knee. Kelleher is still pushing a pace, he tries a single leg but Barao avoids it. They trade body kicks, Barao lands a decent right. Kelleher lands a right uppercut then a left hook and Barao is backing up. Spinning back fist then a right from Kelleher, Barao is getting flat on his feet when they exchange. Barao lands a hard leg kick that stiffens up the leg of Kelleher for a second. They clinch and trade to the body and head with dirty boxing before separating. Uppercut from Kelleher lands a glancing blow and we’re clinched again. They jockey for position in the clinch then trade hooks on the break. Clubbing right from Kelleher hurts Barao, he backs him into the fence and is teeing off. Barao is able to spin off the fence and get some space but Kelleher is still pressuring him with punches. Another uppercut from Kelleher then a left hook. Barao responds with a right then a left hook, Kelleher lands another right and we’re entering RoadHouse territory for the final ten seconds.

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

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

Mic time for Kelleher, he plays with the crowd a bit and says he’s here to stay and wants the title. He calls out John Lineker for the Atlantic City card to close his mic time. I’m down for that fight.

That’s it for prelims, we’re still on FOX as the main card gets going.

Mike Perry is coming off of his second loss but is hoping to prove it was a learning experience while getting back on the winning side of things and avoiding his first losing streak. Max Griffin is also coming off of a loss, he’s looking for what would be the biggest name to put on his resume as Perry has rapidly become a fan favorite in the UFC. Perry is the biggest favorite on the card at -370 to a payout of +280 on Griffin.

Welterweight Bout: Max Griffin (13-4, 170 lbs.) vs. Mike Perry (11-2, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Griffin is an inch taller and has a whopping five inches of reach on Perry. Perry opens up by missing a hook kick. Some circling from Griffin, he’s looking to counter as Perry is closing distance. Griffin landed something that cut Perry on the scalp, it’s not bleeding much yet. Perry misses a right and eats a counter. Griffin is trying to keep his back off of the fence, Perry lands to the body and they clinch up then hit the fence. Perry lands a knee to the thigh and they break. Hard leg kick from Griffin, he’s doing a good job of fighting long and keeping distance. Perry misses a high kick, Griffin lands a body kick. Leg kick from Perry lands. Jab from Griffin lands. Griffin just ducks under a left hook from Perry. Body kick from Perry lands, Griffin lands a leg kick. Right to the body from Griffin, then he avoids a jumping kick and lands a couple of counters. Quick couple of punches from Griffin land, Perry lands to the body. Griffin ducks under a kick and gets a takedown, Perry back up and gets a takedown of his own then spins to the back. Perry has both hooks in and gets to full mount as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Griffin

ROUND TWO: Perry coming forward again, Griffin looking to jab and stay at distance. Hard combination from Griffin lands, he’s really working smart punches and is working Perry over. Perry lands a couple of leg kicks then eats a counter right. Right to the body from Perry. Bit of a left from Perry but he’s getting touched by two counters for every punch he lands. Perry pushes into the clinch, lands a knee but gets tripped up and they wind up separated. Another counter right from Griffin, then Perry lands a left hook. Perry’s face is a bit of a mess at this point, that reach difference has been causing Perry all kinds of problems. Left hook lands for Perry, Griffin lands a counter right then a left that drops Perry and he follows him down but Perry is back up and in the clinch. Griffin breaks free and now he’s coming forward looking to get the finish. Griffin lands a combination along the fence then he breaks away before a fire fight breaks out and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Griffin, 20-17 Griffin overall

ROUND THREE: Perry needs a finish in a bad way now. Griffin is back to circling and keeping distance. Right then a left from Griffin land but Perry lands a counter right that wobbles him badly. Griffin is circling again, Perry coming forward but he’s starting to swing even wilder. Perry punches into the clinch and gets the back standing, Griffin shucks him off and lands a bit of a head kick as they break. Griffin lands a leg kick, and another. Another counter right from Griffin lands. Lunging left hook from Perry then a right that wobbles Griffin but Griffin is staying composed as Perry stalks forward. Perry tries to goad Griffin into a brawl but Griffin isn’t buying that. Griffin lands a leg kick, he’s trying to run out the clock mostly. Perry lands a head kick and Griffin is backing up again, Perry lands a left but Griffin gets a clinch. Perry hits a takedown, Griffin back up but they’re in the clinch now. They fight for position bu the clock will run down as Perry gets a takedown into half guard.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Perry, 29-27 Griffin overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Max Griffin via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27 x2)

Not sure how you can give Griffin the third, he got rocked badly and didn’t land much in return but I agree with the 10-8 second. Griffin on the mic, he puts over his coaches and team then plays to the crowd a bit with mixed results. He says Perry was tougher than he expected but he knew he’d be faster and puts Perry over as a tough guy and thanks the UFC brass for the chance to open the card. Asked who’d he like next he says he wants to be ranked and fight the best.

A few highlights. Just superior technique and distance management from Griffin while Perry reverted to swinging singular power punches.

Ovince Saint Preux is on a three fight winning streak and has returned to the top five rankings, he’s trying to secure another title shot if he can get to four in a row here as the division is so lacking in contenders that the UFC has actually booked the champion to fight up a division for the heavyweight belt. Ilir Latifi has gone 4-1 in his last five and that loss was to top light heavyweight Ryan Bader, he’s trying to overcome the gatekeeper moniker and move into the top five himself. Saint Preux is a slight -155 favorite against +125 for Latifi.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #8 Ilir Latifi (13-5 1 NC, 206 lbs.) vs. #5 Ovince Saint Preux (22-10, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Saint Preux is five and a half inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach on Latifi. Latifi fighting southpaw. Saint Preux pushing forward, Latifi lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Latifi, Saint Preux lands a side kick to the body. Both guys kind of feinting but not much coming of it. Saint Preux misses a high kick. This is a really sedate fight so far. Bit of a left from Latifi. Looping left from Latifi drops Saint Preux, he follows up and clobbers Saint Preux on the mat. Saint Preux back up but Latifi grabs a standing guillotine and cranks on it until Saint Preux goes to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ilir Latifi via Technical Submission, standing guillotine choke, at 3:48 of Round 1

The First Round Finish club thanks Mr. Latifi for his work this evening. Big win for Latifi, and the biggest spot he’s been in since he got KO’d by Bader. Latifif on the mic, he says he always goes for the finish no matter where the fight is and calls out Daniel Cormier, saying he wants a title shot at either light heavyweight or heavyweight. He actually goes over to the fence and calls to Cormier for a response, Cormier knowing that he shouldn’t talk over the interview stays quiet. Anik asks about the tap from Saint Preux, he says he felt it but wasn’t sure what it was and waited on the ref’s decision then puts over his training partners. Cormier on commentary defers to the challenge as he’s focused on Miocic. Or he would have and then says it would be easy money, because apparently he can’t help himself.

Here’s the finish, Saint Preux just never moved his feet when Latifi engaged him in that rush and eventually Latifi dialed in the punch to find the target. As for the choke, Saint Preux was too wobbled to do anything correctly from a defensive stand point.

Jessica Andrade has only lost once since dropping to strawweight, that a failed title shot, and she’s coming off of an impressive win over top contender Claudia Gadelha. Tonight she’s trying to get a second shot at the belt here by taking out another top contender. Tecia Torres is on a three fight winning streak and her only professional loss is to current champion Rose Namajunas, she’s also looking to secure a title shot by taking out the top contender. The odds are with Andrade at -270 to the +210 comeback on Torres.

Strawweight Bout: #2 Jessica Andrade (17-6, 116 lbs.) vs. #5 Tecia Torres (10-1, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Andrade is half an inch taller and has an inch and a half of reach on Torres. They touch gloves to get things going. Andrade stalking forward, Tores lands a right but Andrade bulls forward and lands a combination. Torres is trying to snipe and circle, they trade punches but Torres is able to stay off of the fence. Andrade punches close but eats a counter left from Torres. The hand speed advantage for Torres is s little startling. Andrade is stalking forward but isn’t cutting off the cage, they trade again but Andrade is starting to find the range and land on her. Another exchange of rights, these two are throwing early and often. Bit of a left hook from Andrade. Torres lands a right and they trade in close before Andrade gets the clinch. They trade knees and Torres slips free. Left from Andrade and Torres lands a counter right. The pressure from Andrade is starting to work, she lands to the body then walks into a counter right. There’s an exchange of knees to the body. Another punching exchange into the clinch and they break on knees then Andrade hits a bit double leg into side control where she’ll end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Andrade but I’m not confident in that

ROUND TWO: There’s a touch of gloves for the second round. Torres lands a leg kick and is moving still but Andrade is walking forward and throwing the left hook. Andrade lands a right to the body then a left hook but Andrade really needs to cut off the cage instead of following. They wind up clinched and Andrade gets a bit slam single leg takedown into north-south position. Andrade lands some body shots, Torres trying for a reverse triangle but there’s not much there. Andrade into side control, she pulls Torres away from the fence but has to stand to do so. Torres back up and she moves away from Andrade. Bit of a right from Torres then Andrade lands one of her own. Andrade lands a left and goes for a single leg then slams Torres down again. Torres to her knees, Andrade mauls her from the ride position as she regains her feet. They’re still clinched and another slam from Andrade, this time into full guard. A few rights from Andrade land, Torres tries an amrbar but Andrade slams free. Triangle now from Torres but Andrade pulls free and lands some punches before Torres is back up and Andrade slings her down to the ma again. Torres back up in the clinch and is looking for a trip of her own, she can’t finish it before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: There’s a hug to start the final round. Torres lands a leg kick, then another. Andrade bulls forward and lands some hooks before getting a single leg takedown. Torres wall walks but Andrade pushes her back over and moves towards mount. Torres blocks that and is back up but still in the clinch. Body shots from Andrade before they break. Torres still backing up, lands a right but gets taken down again, Torres back up but now Andrade has a rear waist lock. Andrade grabs a leg and sweeps the other leg to get another takedown and starts landing rights from top position. Half guard now for Andrade and she beats up the body and head. Andrade moves to side control and keeps abusing the body of Torres. Torres is able to kick free but Andrade is back on her standing and lands a few knees to the head before getting another single leg, this time Torres rolls with her and nearly gets the back but Andrade shakes her off over the top and get back in half guard. Elbows from Andrade, Torres back up but Andraade trips her back down and beats up the body from half guard as time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jessica Andrade via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28 x2)

Torres could have had the first, not sure the third rose to the level of 10-8 though. Andrade on the mic now, she says she trained really hard and hopes for a post fight bonus and puts over her head coach. Asked about possibly fighting for the title next she puts Torres over and plans on fighting for the belt again soon.

Josh Emmett has only lost once as a professional and has never lost at featherweight, he’s coming off of a big win over Ricardo Lamas that saw him move into the top five rankings and tonight he tries to defend that spot and solidify himself as a viable title contender. Jeremy Stephens is on a two fight winning streak, he’s trying to get what would be his biggest win in the division and possibly earn a shot at the title. Despite being ranked lower the odds are slightly with Stephens at -150 while Emmett’s +120 is a tempting value bet.

Featherweight Bout: #8 Jeremy Stephens (27-14, 146 lbs.) vs. #4 Josh Emmett (13-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Stephens is two inches taller and has an inch of reach on Emmett. Touch of gloves to get us going, Stephens stalking forward while Emmett circles. Both guys feinting a bit. Emmett misses a couple of punches, both guys taking their time, and Stephens lands a body kick. Emmett lands a bit of a right but Stephens lands two counters. Stephens takes a groin kick and we’ve got time for him to recover. Stephens walks it off quickly and we’re back to fighting. More circling from Emmett. Bit of a right from Emmett. Exchange of rights, neither man landed cleanly. Another exchange of rights but Stephens follows up with a left hook. They trade rights again, Stephens seems to be having more success in these trades. Stephens walks into a counter right that drops him, Emmett on top in half guard now. Elbow from Emmett, Stephens back up and they separate. Bit of a leg kick from Emmett, he’s pacing out the round now that h feels he’s won it. Body kick from Stephens as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emmett

ROUND TWO: Stephens stalking forward again, lands an inside leg kick. Spinning back fist from Stephens partially lands. Hard left hook from Stephens floors Emmett and Stephens swarms him and ENDS him with a left elbow.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jeremy Stephens via KO, punches and elbows, at 1:35 of Round 2

Stephens isn’t the one punch knockout artist the UFC wants you to think he is but he has good power and if he hurts you his finishing attempts, successful or not, are the pinnacle of brutality. Stephens on the mic now, he tells Orlando he came to party. He says he’s the hardest hitting featherweight, I don’t think that’s accurate, but he wont be broken and puts over Emmett as a hard puncher but feels his career is a testament to never giving up. Stephens talks us through the finish, asked what’s next he says he should get the title shot as he’s been here for eleven years and there are only three guys above him now before expressing love for his kids.

Here’s the finish, so you can express your opinion on the knee being illegal or not. I don’t think it landed and so I don’t think it played much of a factor. Lovely violence from Stephens on the finish, he’s not the biggest one strike guy but if he hurts you he goes hard for the finish.

OK everyone, that’s it for UFC on FOX 28. Thank you again for being here and following along. We’ll be breaking down all of the action from this card as well as last weeks show, plus preview UFC 222 Sunday at 8pm eastern time on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show. Programming not for those who listen to the show live, we’ve switched hosting services so you’ll need to follow along HERE as we’ve just had enough of Blogtalk Radio’s issues. Same time slot, and of course the show will be posted here as soon as it’s done.

On that note that’ll wrap up coverage from me, but I’ll be back next week for UFC 222 and I hope you’ll join me. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.