mma / Reports

411’s UFC on FOX 31 Report 12.15.18

December 15, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Al Iaquinta UFC

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on FOX 31. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this event, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. This is it folks, the last UFC on FOX event. It was a really big deal back in 2010 when the UFC announced the deal with FOX and since it officially started in 2011 it’s been one of the bigger deals in MMA history. The UFC has adopted a few things more akin to traditional sports in terms of presentation, adoption of analyst desks during events and specific shows like UFC Tonight. That said it’s been hit and miss, a few big shows but the UFC struggled to turn ratings into PPV buys. Now that seven year deal has run its course, this is the last UFC on FOX event. Starting in January of 2019 they’ll be on ESPN and ESPN+, their streaming service.

While a few of the last Fox Sports 1 card were very lackluster this event has a really solid main card. The main event is a rematch between top ten fighters Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta, Lee made his UFC debut against Iaquinta back in 2014 with Iaquinta taking a unanimous decision. Since then Both men have fought for titles, Lee the interim and Iaquinta the full title after the firestorm of events around UFC 223. The co-main event is for those of us who are fans of violence, because when Edson Barboza meets Dan Hooker that’s almost a guarantee. Hooker hasn’t lost since returning to lightweight and is looking to gain the biggest win of his career against perennial top contender Edson Barboza.

Beyond that the main card has a rematch between Jim Miller and Charles Oliveira, and Sergio Pettis returns to bantamweight against Rob Font. As for the prelims, you’ve got to dig a bit but Bobby Green is fighting and that’s usually entertaining if nothing else as well as a bout between Jared Gordon and Joaquim Silva that has some potential.

UFC on FOX 31 comes to the world from the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisonsin, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Paul Felder, and UFC double champion Daniel Cormier. If memory and research serve this is the first time this particular trio has been assembled. As for the rules we’re under the new rules, so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee of course), the scoring language is clearer and more encouraging of 10-8’s, and extending fingers towards your opponent is a foul regardless of contact being made. Of note we do not have instant replay for this event.

Chris de la Rocha just broke a two fight losing streak to bring his UFC record to 1-2, now he’s looking for his first UFC winning streak while asserting himself in the heavyweight division. Juan Adams is undefeated and making his UFC debut on the back of a first round win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, he’s looking to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Adams is the biggest favorite on this entire card at -500 while the +350 payout for de la Rocha has to tempt those who enjoy long shots.

Heavyweight Bout: Juan Adams (4-0, 266 lbs.) vs. Chris De La Rocha (5-2, 253 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Adams is two inches taller and a whopping thirteen years younger. Some circling to start, de la Rocha lands a jab. Both men trying to get their jabs going, Adams lands a leg kick and a few jabs to follow up. De la Rocha is bleeding from around the left eye, not sure if it’s above or below the eye. Adams jabs him a few more times, no real commitment to the right yet though. A few leg kicks from Adams. De la Rocha lands a right but gives up a body lock and Adams gets him down against the fence because of it. Adams lands a few hammer fists before de la Rocha tries to base up, he gets to his knees but Adams picks the ankle and forces him onto his back in half guard. Elbows from Adams. More elbows and hammer fists from Adams, de la Rocha isn’t controlling posture almost at all and Adams passes to side control. Adams lands more elbows, de la Rocha to his knees but Adams hits a mat return and is on top again but in full guard this time. Kuro-Kuro sweep from de la Rocha and he’s after a heel hook but has no control over the knee line or hips of Adams and that lets him get on top and land more offense. They scramble back up in the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Adams

ROUND TWO: De la Rocha trying to jab, Adams lands a couple of rights and de la Rocha lands one of his own. They get close and de la Rocha gets a trip and they scramble back up into the clinch with Adams’ back on the fence. Adams is holding a front headlock, de la Rocha breaks and they trade arm punches in close and a hard knee from Adams lands to the body. Both guys are pretty gassed now, they clinch up again this time it’s de la Rocha on the fence. Hard couple of lefts to the body from Adams, those hurt de la Rocha to the body. The ref breaks them up, not sure I agree with that. They trade jabs, I wonder if Adams knows de la Rocha is tender in the ribs. Left hook lands for de la Rocha. One of these two is going to gas out and that’s what’s going to decide this rather than actual punching power or technical acumen. De la Rocha lands a couple of rights, Adams fires back. De la Rocha literally has his hands on his hips trying to recover. Adams punches into a snap down and gets de la Rocha to his knees and starts landing punches from the ride position. A combination ankle pick and half nelson from Adams gets de la Rocha flat on his back and lands a few elbows. De la Rocha’s face is a mess and Adams lands offense from half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Adams, arguable 10-8, 20-17 Adams overall

ROUND THREE: Both of de la Rocha’s eyes are swelling, I’m surprised his corner let him come back out. They’re both also very gassed at this point, so everyone get ready for sloppy flurries and minutes of inactivity. Adams walking forward, lands a left body kick. De la Rocha lands a jab. Combination from Adams and he hurts de la Rocha with a knee to the body then lands enough offense against the fence to score the standing TKO.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Juan Adams via TKO, punches, at :58 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Adams for his work this evening. Sloppy heavyweights, at least Adams is young enough and inexperienced enough to justify that at this point. Mic time for Adams, assuming he can talk, he says he’s got that “big dick energy” and brought that to this event. He talks through some of his fight week and it being busy then notes he lost a contact lens. He feels he held up well over this much time, puts over de la Rocha as a tough guy, and says he believes he’s got a gas tank.

Here’s the finishing sequence. That was something like fifteen blow barrage from Adams to force the stoppage.

Adam Milstead has gone 1-1 in the UFC with one No Contest, he’s coming off of a loss in his light heavyweight debut and is hoping to reverse his fortunes here while avoiding his first ever losing streak. Mike Rodriguez just broke a four fight winning streak when he dropped his UFC debut to Devin Clark, he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak as well and right the metaphorical ship of his career. Milstead is a slight -135 favorite to +105 for Rodriguez.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Adam Milstead (8-2 1 NC, 204 lbs.) vs. Mike Rodriguez (9-3, 203.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez is an inch taller but has a whopping six and a half inches of reach on Milstead. Southpaw for Rodriguez, and they touch gloves to get us going. Inside leg kick from Rodriguez and we get a wild exchange in the pocket where both men land. Rodriguez lands a front kick to the body then a left to off balance Milstead and now he’s on top in the guard. A couple of elbows from Rodriguez, Milstead nearly hits a hip bump sweep but the fence prevents him from finishing it and Rodriguez stays on top. Milstead is trying to work his guard higher as he gets to the fence, Rodriguez postures through it then Milstead wall walks and they separate. Hard inside leg kick from Rodriguez and he lands follow u punches. They wind up clinched on the fence again and trade elbows in close. Rodriguez separates and lands some body shots that drop Milstead, he pours on enough offense as Milstead turtles up to force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mike Rodriguez via TKO, knee to the body and punches, at 2:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rodriguez for his work this evening. Lovely body work from Rodriguez, who now gets an interview. He thanks Milwaukee and says he doesn’t like losing and knew he needed a win to show he deserves to be in the UFC. He talks us through the finish, says he drilled that combination and puts over his Muay Thai coach. Asked about his conditioning he put in a lot of work to get ready for a full fifteen minutes if necessary.

And here’s the finish. Rodriguez jabs to bring up the guard of Milstead, lands a left to the body then as Milstead loses the angle to defend himself he throws a perfectly placed knee to the liver that locks Milstead up and the finish is academic from there.

Here’s a slightly better angle, and slowed down so you can see clearly the accuracy of that knee.

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

Dan Ige has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and is after his first UFC winning streak. Jordan Griffin brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he was last seen winning on the Contender Series and is looking for his first UFC win. The odds are with Ige at -175 to +145 for Griffin.

Featherweight Bout: Jordan Griffin (17-5, 146 lbs.) vs. Dan Ige (9-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Griffin is three inches taller and has two inches of reach on Ige. Griffin fighting southpaw. Ige showing the jab, lands a bit of an elbow off of one. Both men showing the lead hand and trying to build off of that. Griffin lands a left and they clinch up, Griffin gets a body lock but Ige has a whizzer and hits an elevator sweep to get on top in half guard. Elbows from Ige and he’s after the choke with only one hook in. Ige is all over Griffin on the mat, he’s got both hooks in now and is landing lefts to the head. Full mount for Ige and he’s landing elbows, Griffin is bleeding pretty badly as he’s getting mauled. Griffin gets Ige too high on the back and slips out the back then nearly gets a standing guillotine, it’s tight and Ige has to get a takedown and lands on the dangerous side but passes to mount again. Pretty crazy scramble there. More elbows from Ige. Ige moving from mount to back mount pretty smoothly, but Griffin gets to his knees and Ige moves to the ride position. Griffin is trying to wall walk, Ige hits him a few times as he does so and Griffin has a few head kicks blocked at distance. They get close and trade in the pocket to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Ige

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the start of the round. Check hook lands for Griffin. Ige lands a straight right. Double leg from Ige works and he’s on top in side control. Griffin is drowning on the mat but Ige is rushing a bit and that’s allowing Griffin to hit escapes. Ige moves to the ride position as Griffin gets to his knees, Ige nearly gets a crucifix but Griffin scoots around to a front headlock position. Ige goes for an armdrag but Griffin reads it and nearly get a rear naked choke, unfortunately for Griffin he had no hooks and can’t keep it but he does wind up on top in the guard of Ige. Griffin looking to punch and pass, he’s standing and eating a few up kicks while landing punches. Ige’s legs are still in play and he’s mitigating the damage and landing up kicks before Griffin decides to reset in the closed guard. Griffin lands a couple of punches as he stands again and tries to pass. Left from Griffin lands. Ige grabs for a heel hook but has no control over the knee line or hips, Griffin rolls through it and gets on top in side control. Griffin lands a couple of punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Griffin, 19-18 Ige overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Griffin lands a high kick. They trade in close, Griffin tries a single leg but Ige defends and they hit the fence in the clinch. Griffin’s back is on the fence and Ige is after an outside reap from the body lock. Body shots are traded, Ige is landing the better ones as they break. Griffin tries another head kick, mostly blocked and it wasn’t set up at all. They trade punches then Ige shoots a takedown that hits the fence. Ige has to pull the hips away from Griffin then elevate him but he does get the takedown. Griffin quickly looks to wall walk, Ige moves to a ride position looking to keep him down. Ankle pick from Ige and he’s keeping Griffin down and landing short lefts. Griffin is able to wall walk and separate, they start trading in the pocket then Ige tries a sloppy takedown. They scramble a bit and Ige winds up on his knees as Griffin nearly has a reverse triangle or a Peruvian necktie variant. Ige pulls his head free and gets on top as Griffin wall walks again. Some knees from Ige as they’re up, then he hits a mat return and lands in side control. Quick back take from Ige and he’s after the choke but he’s got no hooks and Griffin is on a hip. Griffin back up and Ige slides off the back as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dan Ige via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Surprised at the lack of 10-8 in the first given the positional dominance and lack of return from Griffin, we are under the new rules judges. Mic time for Ige, who thanks God and notes he didn’t want to fight tonight but pushed through it and feels honored to be part of the last FOX card. He talks about having to come back after the second round and puts over Griffin as a tough opponent. Asked who’s next, he wants to be on the March 2nd card upcoming in 2019.

Trevor Smith has had a very up and down UFC run, he’s 2-2 in his last four fights and is coming off of a loss, he’s trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. Zac Cummings has also gone 2-2 in his last four and is coming off of a loss. Turns out he’s also trying to dodge his first UFC losing streak as well. The odds for this one are with Cummings at a notable -300 against a tempting payout of +235 for Smith.

Middleweight Bout: Zak Cummings (21-6, 185 lbs.) vs. Trevor Smith (15-8, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smith is three inches taller but these two have identical reaches. They touch gloves, Cummings fighting southpaw. Smith lands a jab then a right. And we’ve got our first “woo’s” of the evening, never a good thing. A fair bit of circling from Cummings, he’s trying to find an angle to attack from. Cummings tries a head kick but it’s mostly blocked. Smith lands a body kick. Looping right from Smith lands. Smith kicks the body again, this time it’s caught but Cummings can’t do anything with it before he loses the grip. Counter left from Smith lands then a looping right. Cummings has been working leg kicks, none of them have been individually hard but they’re starting to add up a bit. Cummings digs the body, he’s doing some stance switching now as well. Smith lands a couple of body shots of his own. Body kick then an inside leg kick from Cummings. Smith lands a right, both men are bleeding from the bridge of the nose. Hard knee from Smith but Cummings gets a clinch off of it and they hit the fence. Knees from Smith in the clinch, Cummings might be buying some time. Body shots from Cummings, Smith lands a knee and a left hook as they break, which will be the last exchange of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Cumming’s left eye is closing, one of those knees from Smith got it swelling badly. Both men land power hand punches in close. Bit of a left from Cummings. Smith lands a counter left hook. Leg kick from Cummings but he eats a counter right. Those leg kicks from Cummings are pretty naked so far and Smith might have a read on them. Leg kick from Cummings, Smith again lands a counter. They trade power hand punches. Smith lands a body kick but he’s struggling with the movement of Cummings. Cummings tries a high kick but it’s blocked. The general pace and volume of Cummings might be edging him ahead in the fight. Both men land lefts then Cummings lands a leg kick. Another calf kick from Cummings. Cummings lands a body kick but he eats a counter. Double leg attempt from Cummings but Smith blocks it and lands a knee. Smith lands a left, and that will be the last blow of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves to get the last round going. Cummings lands a straight left then an inside leg kick that takes the balance of Smith for a moment. Counter left from Cummings lands and off balances Smith, Cummings jumps on top in the ride position but Smith hits a single leg from his knees and is on top now. Half guard for Smith and he’s looking to pass. Body to head punches from Smith, he’s still trying to set up a pass of some variety. Cummings to his knees, Smith rides him as they get up and Smith holds a rear waist lock. Cummings is able to break the grip and start looking for a high crotch of his own, he settles for elbows and punches as they break and Smith is wobbled. Body kick from Cummings and he tries a takedown, Smith sells out for a guillotine but can’t get guard and Cummings lands on the safe side. Smith to his knees, Cummings can’t get the back and Smith shakes him off then gets on top again. Hard elbows from Smith and lefts from Smith as Cummings looks to wall walk. Cummings back up and he’s after a takedown of his own. Smith is using a switch to threaten, Cummings tries to get a choke but winds up landing a knee to the body, and another one as Smith gets back to his feet. They break and Smith lands a right, Cummings ties up and a knee from Smith will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cummings, 30-28 Cummings overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Zak Cummings via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Evenly matched fight all things considered, no issues with Smith taking the first either. No interview for Cummings.

Gerald Meerschaert has a solid UFC record of 4-1 with the only loss coming to Thiago Santos, he’s trying to make a case for another crack at the top fifteen if he can get his current winning streak to three here. Jack Hermansson has gone 4-2 in the UFC but a couple of key losses have kept him from really breaking into the top of the division, he’s coming off of a win though and looking for his second UFC winning streak. Hermansson is your -165 favorite to a +1135 comeback for Meerschaert.

Middleweight Bout: Jack Hermansson (17-4, 185 lbs.) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (28-9, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have identical height and reach measurements. Meerschaert fighting southpaw, he catches a leg kick and gets a quick clinch. Hermansson gets the taekdown though, nearly gets full mount but Meerschaert hip escapes to full guard. Half guard now for Mermansson but Meerschaert is after a single leg reversal. That attempt lets Meerschaert get back up, he tries a lateral drop but Hermansson reads it and lands on top and now has full mount. Hard punches and elbows from Hermansson, he’s got full back mount now and Hermansson is flattening him out and looking to pound him into the mat. Quarter guard for Meerschaert, he’s to his knees but Hermansson keeps elbowing and punching him. Meerschaert to his knees, Hermansson is punching and kneeing the body from that turtle position. Meerschaert tries a roll through but Hermansson reads it and stays on top then moves to mount like it’s nothing. Seriously, the passing from Hermansson is insane. Back mount for Hermansson but Meerschaert pulls him over the head and gets up, then tries to jump for a guillotine and Hermansson gets free and is back in full mount. Hermansson flattens him out again and lands punches as Meerschaert gets to turtle guard. The defense of Meerschaert is pretty impressive, he’s not taking a ton of damage. Hermansson grabs a guillotine in transition, I missed the specifics of the variant but he sells out for it and Meerschaert winds up having to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Hermansson via Submission, guillotine choke, at 4:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Hermansson for his work this evening. That was the same side arm in guillotine, I’ve most commonly heard it referred to as the bulldog variation but if you know a better term for it please let me know. Mic time for Hermansson, he apologizes for ruining the show for the fans but loves Milwaukee and looks forward to his next challenge. He believes he has the best top game in the middleweight division, talks about his preparation for this fight including working this choke set up. Asked who or what is next for him, he wants a ranked opponent specifically Brad Tavares or Elias Theodorou.

Here’s the finish. Hermansson ride around Meerschaert and sits back for the guillotine with the trapped arm on the same side as the choke and Meerschaert can’t get himself free before having to tap.

Jared Gordon has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira, he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first professional losing streak. Joaquim Silva has gone 3-1 in the UFC but is coming off of his first professional loss, now he’s trying to bounce back as well and prove he’s still a worthy addition to the division. Gordon is a slight -135 favorite against +105 for Silva.

Lightweight Bout: Jared Gordon (14-2, 156 lbs.) vs. Joaquim Silva (10-1, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gordon is an inch taller while Silva has an inch of reach on him. They touch gloves to get us going. Gordon lands a front kick to the face. Bit of a leg kick from Silva, Gordon lands a front kick to the body then a leg kick. Both guys still getting a read on each other, Gordon lands a leg kick then a body kick. Silva lands a leg kick but Gordon lands a right that wobbles Silva and he gets a near standing arm triangle choke and instead takes him down off of it. Some punches from Gordon on the mat, he gets a ride position and lands punches as Silva grabs the fence to regain his feet. Knees to the head from Gordon, Silva swings back and forces the separation. They trade in close and Gordon cracks Silva with a right and they tie up. Elbows and rights from Gordon then he takes Silva down and lands elbows. Silva gets some control over Gordon’s posture, Gordon moves to half guard and lands blows. Silva is bleeding from I think his left ear, just ruptured cauliflower, and Gordon keeps hitting him as Silva gets full guard. More offense from Gordon, Silva gets to his knees against the fence and is looking to wall walk. Gordon lands punches as they get up and separate. Leg kick from Gordon. Silva lands a right that wobbles Gordon then a jumping knee that lands flush and they clinch up. That hurt Gordon, Silva grabs a ten finger guillotine variant but time runs out before anything comes of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gordon, that last 30 seconds avoided a 10-8

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round, and trade rights almost immediately. Gordon lands a front kick to the face then tries a double leg but Silva sprawls on him holding a front headlock. Gordon tries a fireman carry but can’t get it and they separate on the feet. Another double leg from Gordon, they hit the mat against the fence and Gordon looks to get the back. One hook in for Gordon but Silva goes to his back to avoid his back being taken. Half guard for Gordon, now full guard as Silva hip escaped to it. Gordon passes to half guard and lands a couple of lefts. Silva to his knees, Gordon to a ride position and lands knees to the body before Silva regains his feet. They trade uppercuts in the clinch then break without incident. Gordon lands a leg kick. Left then a high kick from Gordon, his volume striking is getting to Silva. Silva avoids a double leg attempt, they trade knees in close then break. Right from Gordon lands after he slipped a couple of hooks. Leg kick from Gordon lands. Silva digs the body but he eats a counter one two. Gordon lands a right, now Silva tries a takedown, he gets a knee tap and they scramble a bit and Silva gets the back with both hooks in. Correction, just one hook as Gordon is on his hands a feet. Silva after the Suloev stretch, that gets tight for a moment before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Gordon is limping a bit on that leg. They both land punches, Gordon is slipping better and landing counters. Both men land inside leg kicks, Silva lands a leg kick to follow up. Gordon lands a right and takes a leg kick. Body shots from Silva, Gordon lands a series of punches and a left hook to the head. They’re basically standing and punching then Silva blocks a double leg. More phone booth fighting, punches and knees to the body and head, this is pretty wild. Silva lands a couple of jabs then body shots. Left then a right hook, Gordon is hurt and Silva swarms him on the fence and knocks him out standing.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joaquim Silva via KO, punches, at 2:39 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his work this evening. That Suloev stretch damage compromised the mobility of Gordon in the third and once he had to trade in close with Silva consistently that seemed like the inevitable result. Mic time for Silva and his translator, he thanks Milwaukee as well as God and his team then declares that he’s back. Asked about being hurt by the punches, he says he got hurt a bit in the first but found his rhythm and got the win.

The finishing flurry. Gordon’s movement was hampered by that kneebar and once he had to stand essentially still and fight the more powerful puncher this was all but inevitable. Still a brutal finish.

Bobby Green just got his first win nearly four years when he bested Erik Koch in January, now he’s looking for his first winning streak since 2014. Drakkar Klose has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, he’s looking for his second UFC winning streak while also trying to separate himself from the general pack at lightweight. Klose is your -265 favorite against a +205 comeback on Green.

Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (24-8-1, 155 lbs.) vs. Drakkar Klose (9-1-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Green has an inch of height and reach on Klose. They touch gloves, and Klose is coming forward early. Green jabs the body, Green lands a bit of a right. Green doing some stance switching, Klose lands a leg kick. Klose is working calf kicks, makes checking them much more difficult. Green eats a leg kick and pushes into a clinch then lands a right as they break. Another leg kick from Klose, Green looking to stance switch. They clinch up and Klose lands foot stomps while grabbing inside the glove. The ref warns him about that and they trade knees but Klose kept grabbing inside the glove. The ref pauses things and gives Klose a hard warning then restarts them standing. body kick from Klose. Green lands a side kick to the knee and avoids the counters. Bit of a right from Green, Klose lands a heavy leg kick. Both men have small cuts on the face from that clinching earlier. Knee to the body from Green, Klose catches it but Green nearly gets his back with a choke, Klose has to scramble hard to get free and they reset at distance. Green lands a right and avoids the counter. Another leg kick from Klose, Green returns it. Green avoids a spinning back fist. More leg kicks from Klose, he’ll kick whichever leg is forward and they clinch again. They break without much happening. Klose grabs a single leg and drives Green into the fence with it. Klose knees the body before they break. Left to the body from Green will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Green but could go either way, 10-10 would be warranted also

ROUND TWO: Both men back to leg kicks, Green’s are side kicks while Klose is after calf kicks. Knee to the body from Klose in close proximity that went low but Green basically waves it off. Klose ducks under a punch and lands a knee. Green gets a body lock and hits a takedown into side control. Short lefts from Green and he gets full mount but Klose gets half guard back quickly. Serious top pressure from Green, he’s not letting Klose get any motion on the bottom. Shoulder strikes from Green and lefts to the body and head. Mount from Green again, he lands more punches and looks to set up an arm triangle choke. Green bails on that but Klose bridges off of the cage and forces a stand up. Jabs from Klose and a knee to the body. Green punches the body but Klose is coming forward and lands a right. Short right hook from Green but Klose lands a knee to the body then a elbow in close. Klose gets the back standing and tries to hit the Demetrious Johnson suplex to armbar but fails miserably, Green gets on top again in half guard. Short offense from Green will bring the round to a close.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Leg kick from Klose. Klose kicks the legs out from Green and lands a right, Green lands a right of his own and we get a brief fire fight in the pocket. Green lands a right hook and Klose lands to the body before Green gets a body lock. KNees from Green before they break. Body kicks from Green then a left to the body. Green lands a left then an uppercut, Klose lands a counter right. Bit of a right from Green, he’s putting his punches together now. Klose lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Klose and a right in close, Green fades a punch and lands a hook, Klose returns it. Klose lands a calf kick and gets a knee to the body, Green is after a takedown against the fence but Klose is defending. Green separates and lands a body kick. Klose lands a jab and a knee to the body, he’s charging forward and throwing. Another leg kick from Klose, Green’s left leg is a little compromised, Green lands a left hook as Klose got too eager chasing him. They both land as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klose, 29-27 Green overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

First round could have gone either way, I’m a little surprised at no 10-8’s for Green in the second given how much time in mount he spent. No overall issues with Klose winning, and he gets no interview.

Zak Ottow has been trading wins and losses during his entire UFC run, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. Dwight Grant is another Contender Series guy making his UFC debut here, he’s won his last seven fights though and is hoping to make the most of this opportunity. Grant is your -300 favorite against a +230 comeback for Ottow.

Welterweight Bout: Dwight Grant (8-1, 169 lbs.) vs. Zak Ottow (16-6, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Grant has two inches of height and four of reach on Ottow. Ottow doing some stance switching early, he likes southpaw at the moment it seems. Grant catches a leg kick and lands a couple of hard body shots. Grant is starting to show the jab more, he lands a couple of uppercuts and one clips Ottow, he tries to pull this to the ground but Grant makes him stand back up. Ottow has a high kick blocked. Not a lot happening, both men feinting and trying to get a feel for the other. Grant is really reliant on his left hook to counter, that’s most of his offense so far. A couple of rights to the body land for Grant after he avoided a left hand. Leg kick from Grant, he lands a right that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grant

ROUND TWO: Let’s see if they can make good on all the feeling out they did in the first round. I wonder if the stance switching from Ottow is throwing off Grant. Bit of a right from Grant. Ottow misses a spinning back fist, to compliment the bevy of missed strikes on both side so far. Grant lands a couple of body shots. Head kick from Ottow is blocked. Bit of a left from Ottow. Ottow is generally coming forward, Grant clips him with a right but can’t follow up. They clinch up and hit the fence. Grant lands a right on the break. Bit of a right from Grant as Ottow was coming forward, which will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grant but such a low activity round who knows

ROUND THREE: Ottow jabbing but falling short. Grant is coming forward and lands a knee in close but Ottow gets a front headlock and pushes Grant over and lands on top. Half guard for Ottow, and Grant hip escapes to full guard. Ottow lands some body shots and is looking to pass, which he does into half guard. Grant back to his feet but still in the clinch on the fence. Ottow slips around to the back, then moves back chest to chest. They trade some knees while fighting for position. Grant is able to get free and we reset. High kick from Ottow and he’s after a knee tap, can’t get it but gets a waist lock against the fence. More positional battling then they break without incident. Bit of an uppercut from Grant. Left to the body from Grant lands and then he sprawls away from a double l;eg attempt. Ottow holds a single leg as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ottow, 29-28 Grant overall

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

Dull affair, but based on round by round scoring could have gone to either man. Mic time for Ottow, just because he’s a local, and he plays with the crowd then puts over Grant as a beast. He talks about the rounds being close and feels good about the win. He mentions taking this on short notice but couldn’t pass up the chance to fight in the new arena in his home town.

That does it for prelims, to FOX for the last time for the main card.

Jim Miller just broke a four fight losing streak but doing so netted him a few records as he’s now got the most UFC bouts (30) and most wins in UFC lightweight history (17) and is tied for most submission wins in lightweight history (7). Miller is trying for his first winning streak since 2016 and is likely looking for a good note to go out on as his career is clearly winding down. In fact this bout is a rematch as these two fought back in 2010 and Miller won via kneebar. Charles Oliveira has a record of his own, he’s got the most submission wins in UFC history (11) and is on his first winning streak since 2015. Oliveira is now looking to get to three in a row and move towards ranked opposition in the most stacked division in the sport. The odds are with Oliveira at -320 to +240 for Miller.

Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller (29-12 1 NC, 155 lbs.) vs. Charles Oliveira (24-8 1 NC, 152 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oliveira is two inches taller and has three inches of reach on Miller. Oliveira also weighed in low, 152, likely to facilitate another beg to return to featherweight after the fight. Miller fighting southpaw, and we get a touch of gloves to get us going. They trade leg kicks but Oliveira gets a rear waist lock and elevates then takes Miller down and has the back immediately with one hook in and is after the choke. Both hooks now for Oliveira and he’s looking to flatten Miller out and open up the choke. The choke is under the chin and Miller is fighting but Oliveira is locking things up and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Charles Oliveira via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:15 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Oliveira for his work this evening. Whatever else you want to say about Oliveira, his grappling is absolutely phenomenal. Oliveira gets an interview now, he gives glory to God first and foremost. He talks us through the finish, puts over his team for getting him to this point in his career. Anik asks about what’s next for him, he wants back to featherweight and calls out Max Holloway. Sure, make that fight, maybe he’ll finally shut up about it after Holloway beats him again.

Here’s the finish. Oliveira was quick here, got the body lock, got the elevated slam, and got both hooks in. Once Oliveira is on your back you’re basically toast, this is textbook jiu-jitsu from Oliveira.

To kill time between fights we get a retrospective piece on the UFC on FOX deal. There’s interviews from the boradcasters, fighters and front office personnel, if you weren’t a fan before that deal went through it’s hard to fully contextualize what a big deal it was to land on a major sports network. There are highlights from fights and the UFC Tonight program, we get a really nice send off for this relationship.

For as much as this didn’t really live up to what I think we all hoped it would, and Lord knows the pacing for Fox Sports 1 events was the worst, this was one of the most important relationship for MMA and the UFC.

Rob Font has shown potential during his UFC run but hasn’t quite put everything together just yet, he’s 2-2 in his last four fights and is coming off of a loss to top contender Raphael Assuncao. Font is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and defend his top fifteen ranking. Sergio Pettis is returning to bantamweight for the first time since 2014 given that flyweight is most likely going away, he’s trying to take out a ranked opponent and immediately assert himself as a player back up at this weight class. The odds are with Font at -165 against +135 for Pettis.

Bantamweight Bout: #10 Rob Font (15-4, 136 lbs) vs. Sergio Pettis (17-4, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Font is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach on Pettis. They touch gloves to get us going, both men do a bit of stance switching so I’m not calling stances. Font opens with jabs, Pettis lands an inside leg kick. More jabs from Font, he’s landing between the guard of Pettis reliably so far. Leg kick from Pettis bu the’s still eating jabs. Font lands a leg kick. Right from Font and Pettis lands a body kick. More jabs from Font and a right to the body. One two from Font lands flush. Another right lands for Font then a right to the body. Font is walking Pettis down and Pettis doesn’t seem to have an answer. Left to the body from Font but Pettis counters with a right. Font is landing that right to the body pretty reliably too, all of this gets Pettis to force a clinch then Font trips him down and lands in half guard. Offense from Font on the mat is pretty consistent, body to head as he stands and looks to pass with punches. Pettis back up and they trade kicks but wind up on the feet. Font lands a counter right. that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Font, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Font catches a kick and lands a right. More jabs from Font, Pettis’ right eye is discolored and swelling up. Body kick from Font, who’s just pressuring forward. Body to head punches from Font and he’s after a takedown against the fence. Pettis breaks his grip and spins free. A couple of lefts land for Font then Pettis lands a bit of a head kick. Leg kick from Font. More jabs, Pettis needs a response to that jab or he’s going to get messed up. Pettis lands a right but he’s eating jabs in bunches and can’t deal with the range difference. Leg kick from Font. Pettis lands a leg kick. Font still landing jabs and avoids a high kick. A couple of front kicks from Font to the body and more jabs land. They trade in close but Font is landing better. Right to the body from Font. bit of a right from Pettis. Font ducks under a punch and goes for a takedown, Pettis counters and gets on top but Font hits a kimura sweep into side control which is where the round will end.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Jabs and a body kick from Font. Pettis lands a body kick. Font back to jabbing and circling, Pettis still doesn’t really have an answer. Pettis lands a leg kick, and a right but he eats more jabs. Bit of an uppercut from Font lands. Font still jabbing and circling, Pettis has a wheel kick blocked. Bit of a right from Pettis. Font knocks the mouthpiece out of Pettis and gets a body lock takedown into full guard. Font lands a right and is looking to pass while Pettis tries to fight for wrist control. Pettis rolls to his knees and Font moves to the ride position. Font lands a few punches, Pettis is on his feet but Font still has the body lock and is looking to hit a mat return. Font pulls Pettis back to the mat and is after the back mount. Now Font slips to a front headlock position and moves to the ride, he’s just smothering Pettis here and keeping him nullified. Pettis rolls to full guard and eats a hammer fist. Font lands punches, tries a guillotine but can’t get it and they get up as Pettis misses a head kick and time runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rob Font via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Pettis just couldn’t adapt to Font’s reach and jab. Mic time for Font who puts over Pettis and his team then thanks Milwaukee for being a great city. He says Pettis had good wrist control and had just enough head movement to prevent the finish but he’s overall happy with his performance. He laments the lack of finish then plans on more wins in the future and wants to fight in Boston as soon as possible. To close he gives a shout out to his mom as it’s her Birthday.

Edson Barboza is a frequently brilliant fighter who struggles with a few consistent issues, pressure being chief among those. Barboza is on his first ever losing streak, though in fairness those losses are to current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Kevin Lee, and he’s hoping to bounce back from those setbacks. Dan Hooker has opened a few eyes since returning to lightweight, he’s 4-0 since moving up and has finished all of his opponents. Now Hooker has a chance to take out a ranked opponent and improve his standing in the division. The odds are with Hooker at a slight -130 to a +100 payout for Barboza.

Lightweight Bout: #5 Edson Barboza (19-6, 156 lbs.) vs. #14 Dan Hooker (17-7, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hooker is an inch taller but they have identical reaches. Hooker fighting southpaw and lands a body kick. Leg kick from Barboza. Another body kick from Hooker then an inside leg kick. They trade inside leg kicks. High kick from Hooker is blocked and Barboza lands a leg kick. Left lands for Hooker and Barboza responds by digging the body. Hooker lands a left to the body. That straight left from Hooker is landing with startling regularity, Barboza’s low guard leaves him open to it. Hard body kick from Barboza. Another inside leg kick from Barboza lands. Hooker has a body kick blocked, he needs to change things up because Barboza’s rhythm is coming along. More inside leg kicks from Barboza, Hooker doesn’t seem bothered yet though. Hooker baits out some punches and avoids them but eats a leg kick at the end of that combination. Another left lands for Hooker. Straight right from Barboza stuns Hooker for a moment then he has a head kick blocked. Right from Hooker lands, Barboza is backing up now and Hooker is pressuring him. They clinch and Barboza lands knees to the body that stun Hooker again but he recovers quickly and then avoids a wheel kick. Hooker still coming forward, lands a jab then eats a couple of hard inside leg kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barboza

rOUND TWO: Hooker kicking to start the round and lands a right hook but Barboza lands a couple of inside leg kicks that take the balance from Hooker. They clinch up, and trade body work but Hooker has started switching his stance and is pushing forward the pressure Barboza. Body shot from Hooker and he misses a knee off of a clinch. both men miss some punches in the pocket but Hooker’s pace is starting to break Barboza down just a bit. Elbow form Hooker, Barboza lands a jab and off balances Hooker but as he tries to dive on top of him Hooker reverses position and gets on top in half guard. Barboza throws up an omoplata but can’t get it but the attempt allows Hooker to move to half guard. Short hammer fists from Hooker but Barboza is keeping his posture locked down. Barboza kicks Hooker off of him and stands back up. Front kick to the body from Hooker, Barboza responds with hooks ot the body but he’s throwing everything into these. They trade punches in close, Hooker’s got a heck of a chin on him. Lefts from Barboza then a left body kick and he misses a wheel kick. Hooker stil coming forward, Barboza is head hunting too much and Hooker is starting to get to him. Elbow from Hooker lands. Barboza is jabbing and lands a right but he’s punching himself out a bit. Body shots from Barboza in close then a left body kick. Hooker’s ability to remain upright after all this punishment is insane. Another right from Barboza wobbles Hooker then a left body kick. Hooker lands a right of his own. Barboza just circles away for the last few seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: They hug to start the last round. Barboza lands a body kic, Hooker coming forward winging punches, Barboza is moving well and landing to the body. Single leg from Hooker but Barboza limp legs out of it and they hit the fence in the clinch. A few knees to the thigh from Hooker then Barboza spins and gets free. Barboza lands a spinning back kick to the body and more left body kicks but despite being badly hurt Hooker remains upright and ducks a wheel kick. Another spinning back kick tot he body and a right, Hooker is a punching bag at this point. Barboza after knees from a Thai clinch but Hooker punches him to the body. Another spinning back kick then a left to the body from Barboza and Hooker finally drops which prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Edson Barboza via KO, body shot, at 2:19 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Barboza for his work this evening. That was entertaining and hard to watch in equal parts, Hooker is inhumanly tough and Barboza can dish out insane levels of punishment. Mic time for Barboza, he opens with English and says the show was for the fans. He puts over Hooker as one of the best int he world but wants to fight someone ranked above him next and says he’s back. He puts over American Top Team, thanks his wife and kid, and notes that his wife is pregnant and he’s the happiest guy in the world.

We’ve got another rematch up here. Kevin Lee has been an incredibly consistent fighter, he’s 6-1 in his last seven fights and that loss was an interim title fight with Tony Ferguson. Lee was last seen mauling Edson Barboza but he missed weight for that bout, he’s trying to build his third UFC winning streak and avenge the loss from his UFC debut. Al Iaquinta just had a five fight winning streak snapped by Khabib Nurmagomedov, he’s had serious bouts of inactivity as well, but apparently surviving for five rounds against Nurmagomedov is enough to warrant a top ten ranking these days. Iaquinta is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak and prove that he deserves the loft ranking he holds in a deeply competitive division. The odds are with Lee at -320 to a +240 comeback on Iaquinta.

Lightweight Bout: #4 Kevin Lee (17-3, 156 lbs.) vs. #8 Al Iaquinta (13-4-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Iaquinta is an inch taller but Lee has an absurd seven inch reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Lee looking to jab, lands a front kick to the body. Iaquinta reaches for a single leg but Lee easily avoids it. A couple of jabs land for Lee as he does some stance switching. Iaquinta grabs the single leg then bails to land a spinning elbow. Lee lands a let, he likes southpaw at the moment. More jabs from Lee, he seems to have studied the Nurmagomedov fight and found something he likes in the jab. Iaquinta lands a couple of body shots but eats some punches and is bleeding now. Lee lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a high kick from Lee then a body kick. Iaquinta has a high kick blocked. Lee lands another left body kick, his kicking game from southpaw is strong especially relative to his orthodox game. Iaquinta lands a left hook. Lee avoids a single leg attempt, Iaquinta is using that single leg to set up an attack when Lee goes to defend. They trade leg kicks. Both men land glancing rights, Lee avoids a single leg attempt again and eats a left hook, that will be the last exchange of value this round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lee but a close one

ROUND TWO: Lee jabbing again to start this round. If Lee ever figures out how to maximize his reach he’ll be even more of a monster. Bit of a looping left from Lee lands. Single leg attempt from Lee, gets a body lock and trips Iaquinta down against the fence into half guard. Rights land for Lee, he’s stripping the base away from Iaquinta and looking for the back. Body triangle for Lee now and he’s landing hammer fists looking to open up the choke. Some elbows from Lee now but Iaquinta is doing a good job of defending himself from this position. Iaquinta is able to roll and break the body triangle then scrambles to his feet. Bit of a right from Iaquinta lands. Iaquinta is coming forward, Lee lands a leg kick and is jabbing. Left to the body from Iaquinta then a jab. Lee lands a body kick and eats a counter right. Iaquinta is countering the kicks well this round and coming forward with offense. They trade rights as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Lee lands a leg kick but Iaquinta is coming forward looking to engage with him. They trade body kicks, Lee lands a bit of a right hook. Lee is poking at Iaquinta but not putting combinations together yet. Iaquinta lands a right, Lee lands a right to the body. Lee lands a knee that Iaquinta ducked into but Iaquinta lands a right. More jabs from Iaquinta now and Lee isn’t countering all that well. Lee avoids a single leg then gets a double leg of his own, Iaquinta wall walks quickly but Lee is after a mat return from a body lock in the ride position. Iaquinta can’t get free and Lee elevates then lams him and gets the back with both hooks in. Body triangle again for Lee but he’s really struggling to get the choke from this spot. Iaquinta to his knees but gives up the neck for a moment, fortunately he’s able to break the grip of Lee before his hands really get together. Lee keeps the back and lands a few punches but he can’t get the neck of Iaquinta to be exposed for any length of time as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Lee looking to jab this round, Iaquinta trying to get close to him. Bit of a right from Lee. Iaquinta lands a right. Another overhand right from Iaquinta and Lee is a little off balance. Another exchange of rights, Lee is wobbled for sure and Iaquinta is coming after him. Iaquinta lands a glancing head kick, Lee is upright but definitely out of sorts. They clash on inside leg kicks and both miss right hooks. Another couple of short rights from Iaquinta land, Lee is bleeding from the face now and still backing up. Body kick from Lee. Both men miss rights, Lee lands a jab from the southpaw stance. Both men working the jab, Lee kicks the body again and Iaquinta lands a right that will mark the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Iaquinta, 39-37 Lee overall

ROUND FIVE: Lee showing the jab to start this round and lands a leg kick. Iaquinta lands a jab and a glancing right. Lee lands a right. Single leg from Lee, Iaquinta defending well so far and they’re in a scramble position, Lee uses a leg lock attempt to get things back up on the fence. Lee moves straight into the single leg again but Iaquinta is able to break the trip and keep his base wide. There’s an adjustment from Lee and he still wants the single leg and Iaquinta is threatening with a crotch lift. They get back to the feet but Lee is on his back with one hook in while they’re standing. Iaquinta breaks the grip of Lee and forces the break then lands a jab. Lee lands a couple of jabs, Iaquinta lands a right. Iaquinta with some jabs but eats a hard head kick, he just eats it though and lands a counter punch. Bit of a right from Lee, Iaquinta lands a left hook that wobbles Lee for a moment. Lee lands a body kick. Iaquinta is stalking forward with his right hand, Lee is firing back but doesn’t have a lot of pop on his offense. They trade punches Iaquinta lands some rights then a right to the body. Iaquinta with a front kick to the chin then a right but Lee will survive until the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Iaquinta, 48-47 Lee overall, the first round will decide this fight as the other rounds were pretty clear

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2)

I’m a little shocked that someone gave Iaquinta 4 rounds, that’s Clucky for sure. Mic time for Iaquinta now, he puts over Lee then thanks the UFC brass and FOX generally. He says with the right preparation he can beat anyone in the division and says if Conor thinks hes he’s getting an immediate rematch he’s wrong, Iaquinta took that fight like a man and didn’t tap. He thanks Milwaukee to close his interview.

Lee on the mic now, he thinks he won but is generally speechless. He feels he won the first three rounds, puts over Iaquinta and says if the judges saw it that way he can’t do anything about it now.

That wraps up UFC on FOX 31, and the UFC on FOX generally. There will be some prelims for UFC 232 on FS1 but other than that it’s all over. Seven years, man I’m old. There’s no event next week but enjoy the week off because after that is UFC 232 when Jon Jones has a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant light heavyweight title. Their first fight is the best light heavyweight fight ever in my opinion and I’m pumped for the rematch. That card also has a women’s super fight between bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino. I’ll be back here in two weeks for that event.

Thank you all for being here, I hope you have a Merry Christmas or had a happy Hanukkah. Stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.