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Join 411’s Live UFC 285 Coverage

March 4, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 285 Image Credit: UFC

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MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Jon Jones (248 lbs.) vs. #1 Ciryl Gane (247.5 lbs.) – for vacant heavyweight title
(c) Valentina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Alexa Grasso (124.5 lbs.) – for women’s flyweight title
#7 Geoff Neal (175 lbs.)* vs. #9 Shavkat Rakhmonov (171 lbs.)
#7 Mateusz Gamrot (156 lbs.) vs. #10 Jalin Turner (155.5 lbs.)
Bo Nickal (185.5 lbs.) vs. Jamie Pickett (186 lbs.)

Cody Garbrandt (136 lbs.) vs. Trevin Jones (135 lbs.)
#5 Derek Brunson (185.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Dricus Du Plessis(185 lbs.)
#8 Viviane Araujo (126 lbs.) vs. #9 Amanda Ribas (126 lbs.)
Marc-Andre Barriault (185 lbs.) vs. Julian Marquez (186 lbs.)

Ian Garry (171 lbs.) vs. Song Kenan (171 lbs.)
Mana Martinez (137 lbs.)* vs. Cameron Saaiman (135 lbs.)
Jessica Penne (116 lbs.) vs. Tabatha Ricci (115.5 lbs.)
Farid Basharat (136 lbs.) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (136 lbs.)
Loik Radzhabov (155.5 lbs.) vs. Esteban Ribovics (156 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 285, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. Well, people, it’s finally here. After teasing the move for 10 years Jon Jones is finally making his way to heavyweight and he’ll be taking on former interim champion Ciryl Gane for the vacant title. Gane failed to claim the full title when he fought Francis Ngannou for it last year but now could become the first man to legitimately beat Jon Jones. It’s a heck of a main event, with a solid co-main of Valentina Shevchenko going for her eighth title defense when she takes on Alexa Grasso. Elsewhere on the card rising welterweight contender Shavkat Rakhmonov tries to remain undefeated against Geoff Neal, Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner meet in top lightweight action, plus the highly touted Bo Nickal makes his UFC debut. On the prelims Cody Garbrandt tries to salvage his career against Trevin Jones, Dricus du Plessis looks to continue his run towards the top of middleweight when he takes on veteran Derek Brunson, and Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault should be sloppy fun. It’s a really solid card overall, so let’s hope it lives up to expectations.

UFC 285 comes to the world from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we’ve got Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier. We’re under the usual Nevada rules, which does include the use of instant replay and the ability to restart the fight after replay is used, and keep in mind we’re in the 30 foot diameter cage set up.

Esteban Ribovics is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s looking to maintain that perfect record and announce himself to the UFC audience with a win. Loik Radzhabov has gone 3-1 in his last four fights prior to making his UFC debut, he’s been out of action for a little over a year but now looks to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. It’s worth noting that Radzhabov took this on short notice. The odds are with Radzhabov at -210 against +180 for Ribovics.

Lightweight Bout: Loik Radzhabov (16-4-1, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Esteban Ribovics (11-0, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Apologies, real life interfered and I missed the first round.


ROUND TWO: Ribovics attacks right away, he eats a few punches then Radzhabov hits a body lock takedown into half guard. Bit of an arm triangle attack from Radzhabov, he’s passing with it but Ribovics is able to buck free and they reset on the feet. Radzhabov avoids a takedown attempt. Solid left from Ribovics, he’s switching while moving but Radzhabov is able to take him down again. Some punches from Radzhabov as Ribovics wall walks then they break. Hard uppercut from Radzhabov. A lot of forward pressure from Radzhabov. Ribovics lands a leg kick. Single leg from Radzhabov and he gets Ribovics back down against the fence. Ribovics wall walks but Radzhabov is on his back in the clinch. Some knees from Radzhabov as he starts working mat returns. Ribovics fights chest to chest then separates. Radzhabov lands a front kick then a right hand. Some punches go back and forth at distance, Ribovics unloads with some body shots that stun Radzhabov. Radzhabov goes after the legs with a takedown, he did not like those body shots and got a little wobbled. Some more punches from Ribovics but Radzhabov lands a spinning back kick to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ribovics but a close one, given how commentary was talking about the first I’m going 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Ribovics gets after it right away, but Radzhabov crushes him with a right hand and gets him backing up. Right hand and a left hook from Radzhabov, then a knee to the body. Radzhabov is landing punches but Ribovics circles off the fence and forces a reset. Lefts are traded. Another left hook from Radzhabov but he can’t quite tie up after landing it. Ribovics lands a jab but Radzhabov hits a takedown into full guard in open space. Radzhabov looks to pass, he’s around into side control but Ribovics uses a kimura attack to force a scramble. Ribovics gets half of the back as they scramble, they’re in an awkward position right now. Ribovics gets the back then moves to full mount. Radzhabov quickly bucks free and they reset again. Radzhabov hits a double leg and gets back to controlling from the clinch as Ribovics stands. Mat return from Radzhabov and he’s in side control. Knees to the body from Radzhabov, Ribovics doesn’t like that and starts looking to move. Wall walk from Ribovics, Radzhabov slams him down but they wind up wrestling on their knees before standing back up. Both men land punches again. A left from Ribovics staggers Radzhabov but Radzhabov goes for a takedown though Ribovics defends. Both men unload punches in close, Radzhabov lands a right that backs up Ribovics. Radzhabov forces another clinch and they’ll end the round there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Radzhabov but another close one, 29-28 Radzhabov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Loik Radzhabov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fun little fight for what I saw, no interview for Radzhabov though.

Da’Mon Blackshear has a five fight unbeaten streak going but fought to a draw in his UFC debut last year, now he’s back and looking to secure that all important first UFC win. Farid Basharat is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, his brother already has a few wins in the promotion and he’s hoping to join him in making a run towards the top of the MMA world. Basharat is the -460 favorite to a +370 comeback on Blackshear.

Bantamweight Bout: Farid Basharat (9-0, 136 lbs.) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (12-4-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Blackshear is two inches taller with one inch of reach advantage. Blackshear comes out with a flying kick that doesn’t land. They trade some calf kicks, both men are just looking to range find. A lot of kicks from Blackshear as he’s moving forward. Basharat lands a left to the body then a jab. Leg kick from Basharat. Blackshear with a left hook. Basharat keeps chopping away at that lead leg. Blackshear tries a single leg, he forces Basharat to the fence and starts working the clinch. Basharat spins free and lands a jab to the body then a calf kick. Body kick from Basharat then Blackshear lands a leg kick. Basharat lands a single leg into half guard. Blackshear gets to full butterfly guard and starts working to generate motion. Basharat moves to half guard and blocks a sweep. Side control now for Basharat. Blackshear bucks and scrambles to his feet, nice little move there. More kicks from Blackshear as he stalks forward. Basharat has stared switching his stance as he moves. Blackshear blocks a spinning back fist. Jumping kick from Blackshear partially lands to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Basharat

ROUND TWO: Blackshear resumes coming forward. Basharat lands a left hand. Calf kick from Blackshear. Both men miss some punches as they move. Some jabs go back and forth, then Blackshear hits a takedown, Basharat scrambles up but he’s still clinched on the fence. Blackshear with some knees in the clinch before Basharat gets free. Bit of a right from Blackshear. Basharat lands a calf kick. Both men miss punches. Jumping knee from Blackshear then he gets a clinch on the fence. Blackshear has moved to the back and drags Basharat down then gets the back with one hook in. Choke attack from Blackshear, it’s not really in but he uses it to get on the hip as Basharat moves. Basharat gets half guard but Blackshear lands punches and elbows along the way. Basharat is able to kick Blackshear off and regain his feet. Double leg from Basharat into side control. Blackshear moves to full guard. Both men with a few short elbows. Basharat lands a few more elbows. They’ll end the round with Basharat on top looking to land strikes.

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

ROUND THREE: Blackshear starts coming forward again looking to strike along the way. Basharat is circling but Blackshear is tagging him and pressuring him. Rights from Blackshear, he’s got a pretty crazy pace right away for the last round. Knees from Blackshear in close, they tie up then break without much issue. Basharat reaches for a takedown but Blackshear stops it and lands knees before they wind up on the fence in a clinch. Bit of an outside trip from Basharat, he’s got to fight for the position but does settle into half guard. Some punches from Basharat, but Blackshear is starting to wall walk. Blackshear just stops his motion and Basharat slowly flattens him back out. Blackshear finally gets his guard going and hits a sweep then they reset on the feet. Basharat lands a leg kick. Some jabs from Blackshear but he’s struggling to corral Basharat. Stiff left from Blackshear. They trade jabs then Blackshear lands a hard inside leg kick and a few follow up punches but he tries a double leg and Basharat defends, ties up, then gets his own takedown after landing an elbow. Basharat is on top in half guard. Short elbow from Basharat, Blackshear locks up a triangle choke but there’s not enough time and Basharat will see the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blackshear, 29-28 Basharat overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Farid Basharat via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

No interview for Basharat.

Jessica Penne has gone 2-4 in her last six fights and suffered a pretty bad loss in her last fight, she’s trying to avoid another losing streak and prove she’s still a valuable member of the roster. Tabatha Ricci has never lost at strawweight and is on a two fight overall winning streak, she’s looking to take out the most recognizable name she’s faced and start making her way towards ranked opposition. The odds are pretty solidly with Ricci at -280 to +235 for Penne.

Strawweight Bout: Jessica Penne (14-6, 116 lbs.) vs. Tabatha Ricci (7-1, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Penne is four inches taller, has a significant six inches of reach advantage, and is 12 years older. Circling to start, Ricci with a calf kick and a blitz. Ricci grabs a single leg and gets a takedown into the guard of Penne. Now Ricci stands over Penne, she lands a few leg kicks, Penne reaches for a tie up and they wind up fighting to their feet then breaking. Penne comes forward and misses punches. Ricci lands a calf kick. Bit of a right from Ricci then a front kick to the face. They tie up then Ricci hits an outside trip into full guard. Penne looks to tie up an arm, Ricci stands free and lands a few leg kicks then steps around the guard and grabs a front headlock. Penne is after a single leg but Ricci spins her into the fence. Ricci lands a throw and gets on top again in full guard. A few punches from Ricci land, then a hammer fist as she stands free to land more leg kicks while Penne scoots forward. Ricci goes back to the ground, this time in half guard. A few elbows from Ricci land as Penne hip escapes to full guard. Penne is looking to attack an arm again but Ricci is aware of it and keeps landing body to head punches. Now Penne looks to invert for a leg but Ricci stands free and goes back to leg kicks while Penne is still on her seat. Back up now and Ricci punches into another clinch where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ricci

ROUND TWO: Ricci gets back to punching and throwing leg kicks. Penne is kind of lost, she keeps coming forward and Ricci hits her with a hip toss. A few punches from Ricci then she stands over Penne, Penne just hangs out on her back taking some leg kicks. Ricci goes back into the guard, Penne tries to tie up but Ricci counters her body lock attempt into an armbar, she sits for it and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tabatha Ricci via Submission, armbar, at 2:14 of Round 2

Ricci gets an interview, she thanks Penne for the fight and puts her over before saying that she thinks her time has come. She talks us through the finish then puts over her coaches for getting her ready before asking for a post fight bonus.

Here’s the finish. Penne over commits trying to get a sweep, notice how her right arm gets caught up by Ricci before Ricci even really attacks, it’s just kind of hanging out there. Ricci with a quick transition, spin to the armbar, and some nice adjustments with her legs to fully lock up the submission.

Cameron Saaiman is undefeated including a successful UFC debut last year, now he’s looking to build more promotional momentum and start establishing himself as a prospect of note. Mana Martinez missed weight for this fight, never a good thing, but he’s gone 2-1 in the UFC. Martinez is coming off of a win and is after his first UFC winning streak. Saaiman is the favorite at -250 to a +210 payout on Martinez.

Bantamweight Bout: Mana Martinez (10-3, 137 lbs.) vs. Cameron Saaiman (7-0, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Martinez is two inches taller with three of reach advantage. Southpaw for Saaiman, and they touch gloves to get us going. Both men land lefts in close. A few range finding kicks from both men now. Saaiman has started switching his stance now. Bit of a left from Saaiman. Solid right from Saaiman. Martinez lands a couple of body shots in close. Saaiman chops away with some inside leg kicks. Martinez lands a left hand, there’s some blood coming from the nose of Saaiman. Both men miss punches. One two from Saaiman, Martinez fires back with a left to the body. Saaiman lands a few calf kicks. Bit of a right from Martinez in close, there’s some awkwardness around the left leg of Saaiman, not sure if it’s an injury or a temporary thing from a kick but it’s there. Saaiman fires an inside leg kick, Martinez is coming forward and that one hits the groin so we’ve got a time out. That was a bad one and Martinez is down on his knees trying to recover. It might have been a leg kick that tweaked Saaiman’s leg. We’re back to fighting after about 1:15. Saaiman with a front kick then a really hard body kick. More body work from Saaiman. Martinez swings a few lefts, partially successful. Saaiman fires a few more inside leg kicks, but one hits the groin again and we’ve got another time out. That should cost a point, the ref warned him very clearly after the first one. We can see that Martinez was clearly moving, he keeps crouching down dropping his level when Saaiman throws kicks and that’s what is causing those kicks to hit the groin but they’re still happening. The ref does indeed take a point from Saaiman and we’re back to fighting after 1:42. Saaiman apologizes to Martinez on the restart. Martinez comes forward swinging some punches. Saaiman lands a left hand. Martinez avoids a spinning back fist but misses the counter. Martinez catches a kick and lands a left hand. Saaiman lands a hard left hand. Front kick from Saaiman then a body kick. Martinez avoids a punch, then eats a left from Saaiman. They just stare away the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Saaiman lands a body kick, that one sounded loud. Some more leg kicks from Saaiman. Martinez still looks to come forward, he’s game if nothing else. Bit of a left from Saaiman. Martinez lands a left to the body. More body kicks from Saaiman then he misses a wheel kick. Left from Saaiman, Martinez lands a couple of counters though. Saaiman with an inside calf kick. Martinez lands an uppercut but eats a wide left hook from Saaiman. Another uppercut from Martinez. They trade in close, Saaiman lands a body shot that seems to have hurt Martinez for a moment. Martinez ducks under a head kick. Saaiman lands a leg kick. Another body kick from Saaiman then a right hand behind it. A right from Saaiman drops Martinez, Martinez grabs guard as Saaiman follows him down. Some elbows from Saaiman, Martinez is trying to tie up the arms and look for something. Martinez is looking to work his guard, Saaiman looks to pass but winds up unable to do so. Saaiman lands a couple of more elbows. More elbows from Saaiman, he’s not just hanging out here. Martinez tries an armbar but Saaiman avoids it and passes to half guard. Saaiman keeps going for those elbows and punches. Martinez is able to kick Saaiman off as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saaiman, 19-18 Saaiman overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Saaiman lands a body kick then a left hand behind it. Bit of a right from Saaiman. Martinez avoids a few kicks. More long range kicks from Saaiman then a left hand behind one of them. Calf kick from Saaiman then a left hand but he ate a right on the way in. Saaiman lands a right hand. Another right from Saaiman stuns Martinez, he’s looking to unload now as Martinez is backing up. Martinez complains of an eye poke and we’ve got a time out. Replay shows the poke was legit. The doctor is in to check on Martinez, they’re going to give Martinez time to recover if he can. Martinez wants to continue and we’re back to fighting after 2:35. A hard left from Saaiman lands, Martinez fires back with a right. Bit of a body kick from Saaiman. Another let from Saaiman but he misses some kicks to follow. Martinez lands a left hand. Saaiman looks for a takedown, he gets it into half guard. Punches from Saaiman right away, he’s not here to just hang out it seems. Martinez is able to get full guard but he’s got to get up. Saaiman lands some more elbows. More elbows from Saaiman, Martinez is bleeding now. Saaiman keeps landing some short elbows, Martinez is just trying to control his posture. Punches and hammer fists from Saaiman, he lands a few elbows as well. Martinez is able to fight up but Saaiman lands a head kick as the last relevant blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Saaiman, borderline 10-8, 29-27 Saaiman overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cameron Saaiman via majority decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)

Short interview for Saaiman after all the foul time they’re short on broadcast time, he first apologizes for the fouls then gives love to Vegas. He puts over his team and promises he’s got nothing else to do but train and get better, he wants to get back to the cage in June.

Ian Machado Garry is undefeated including three wins in the UFC, he’s seen a fair bit of hype start to build up during that time and now looks to remain undefeated and rack up another UFC win. Song Kenan has gone 4-2 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss and has been out of action since March of 2021, he’s back now though and looking to derail the hype around Garry. Garry is a big favorite at -730 while that +530 comeback on Song might tempt a few bettors out there.

Welterweight Bout: Ian Garry (10-0, 171 lbs.) vs. Song Kenan (18-6, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Garry has three inches of height and reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Garry looks to jab early. Song probes with some leg kicks. Garry lands a calf kick. Both men keep poking around with kicks. Garry lands a solid calf kick. Another calf kick from Garry lands, those are adding up quickly. Song avoids a jumping knee. Garry jabs the body. They trade calf kicks. A left hook from Song floors Garry, he gets on top and lands punches, Garry tries to stand but Song is unloading on him. Garry is able to stand but Song is on his back landing knees. They break without incident. Garry misses a knee to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Song

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves to start the round. Garry gets back to bouncing forward, Song patiently looking for a counter. Song blocks a high kick. A few kicks from Song land. We get a foul to Song and that leads to a time out. Replay shows it was a low blow, but Song doesn’t take long and we’re back to fighting. Bit of a right from Song. Garry and Song trade body kicks. Now Garry is poking the lead leg with an oblique kick to attack the knee. Calf kick from Garry. Garry lands a jab. Song misses a left hook. A few more leg kicks from Song. Front kick from Garry then he lands a right to the body in close. Song eats a calf kick then lands a spinning back kick. More jabs from Garry, he’s starting to go to the head and body with it. They trade lefts. Garry lands a right to the body. They trade thrust kicks to the knee. Bit of a combination from Garry. Song misses a left hook. Garry lands a jab to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Garry, borderline 10-8, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Garry opens up with a combination of punches then a calf kick. More jabs while Garry is moving, he’s staying very active while Song is just falling further and further behind. Song lands a left hook. More jabs from Garry, he’s just sniping at Song with near impunity now. Song’s left eye is badly swelling and he’s bleeding from the nose. Garry lands a calf kick. Bit of an elbow from Garry, Song fires back with a right hand. Garry lands a couple of body shots. Song is just getting beaten up and drowned by the offensive output of Garry. Garry keeps jabbing and landing it. A couple of body shots from Garry, Song does land a counter left hook though. A flurry from Garry lands, he’s looking to unload along the fence and Song falls. Garry gets on top and pounds him out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ian Garry via TKO, punches, at 4:22 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Garry for his work this evening. Mic time for Garry, Song’s left eye is a MESS by the way, Garry says you’ve got to be on game every second or you’ll get dropped like he did because everyone is good here. He talks about speaking with Jon Jones a few days ago and how much he’s taken from the game of Jones, then puts over the fans and says he’s on his way to be a UFC champion. To close he says he wants to be on the upcoming Miami card.

Pretty good finishing sequence from Garry here, he’s good about not getting too predictable during it and makes very sure he never gives Song a chance to recover.

In case you’re curious about what’s happening, the Road House remake is filming some stuff in the cage and the event is pretty much on hold until they’re done.

Julian Marquez has gone 3-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss when he ran into Gregory Rodrigues last year and now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Marc-Andre Barriault has gone 3-5 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid another UFC losing streak. This one is pretty close but the odds lean towards Barriualt at -150 while that +130 comeback on Marquez is a tempting little value bet.

Middleweight Bout: Marc-Andre Barriault (14-6 1 NC, 185 lbs.) vs. Julian Marquez (9-3, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marquez is an inch taller while Barriault has two inches of reach advantage. Marquez comes out jabbing. A lot of moving from both men. Marquez lands a calf kick. They both miss punches in close. Bit of a right from Barriault. Marquez lands a left hook. Another Marquez jab lands, then a calf kick. Stepping elbow from Marquez partially lands. They both swing in close. A bit of stance switching from Marquez now. Barriault misses a left hook. They trade in close, Marquez lands a body kick. Again they trade in close. Marquez lands a right hand. Barriault lands a front kick but his offense has been relatively muted. Marquez clubs him with a right hand and looks to follow up. Barriault lands a jab. Left hook from Barriault. Marquez jabs the body then follows with a right hand. Bit of a combination from Marquez. Barriault lands a jab. Marquez lands a left hand. Another left from Marquez, then a right to follow. Barriault lands a right hand, Marquez lands one of his own in reply before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Marquez

ROUND TWO: Both men come out working the lead hand again. They trade rights. Front kick from Barriault lands. Barriault pushes into a clinch, they trade knees and elbows then break. Both men are busted up around the eyes. Marquez lands a calf kick. Bit of a left from Marquez. Another calf kick from Marquez. Barriault lands a right hand and they clinch up. Both men land punches then Marquez lands a left hand. Barriault lands a couple of lefts. Marquez with a couple of calf kicks. Barriault blocks a double leg but eats a left hook. They trade into the clinch and both men land elbows. Barriault with uppercuts and a few elbows. Marquez lands an elbow of his own and they break. Right hand from Marquez lands. Barriault lands a combination but eats a right hand along the way. Barriault unloads in the clinch with punches to the body and head, Marquez is just hanging on. They trade uppercuts and elbows then break. Another clinch, Barriault just wont stop and keeps unloading with body shots and elbows. Barriault just wont stop throwing. Marquez keeps trying to fire back but he’s wilting under the pressure. More punches from Barriault and the ref steps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marc-Andre Barriault via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:12 of Round 2

Mic time for Barriault, he knows he’s dangerous the longer the fight goes and feels he’s proven he deserves his UFC success. He talks us through the finish, noting that when he smells blood it’s just forward pressure until the end.

These aren’t the best individual shots, but to paraphrase Napoleon “Quantity has a quality all it’s own”. Volume, cardio, durability, and a willingness to get into the fire will carry you a long long way in MMA.

Viviane Araujo has gone 5-3 in the UFC and has traded wins and losses for her last few appearances. Araujo is coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Amanda Ribas has gone 1-1 at flyweight, she’s coming off of a tough split decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian and is trying to get back on the winning side of things while proving she’s still a top fighter in the division. Another close one by the odds but Ribas closed at -115 to the even -105 for Araujo.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #8 Viviane Araujo (11-4, 126 lbs.) vs. #9 Amanda Ribas (11-3, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Araujo is an inch taller with two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Ribas and they touch gloves. Araujo lands an inside leg kick. Both women are probing with strikes and Araujo has begun switching her stance. Araujo lands a left hook. Right from Araujo. Ribas doesn’t like this and tries an ill advised double leg, Araujo grabs a guillotine that gets really tight but eventually Ribas pulls her head free. Hammer fists from Ribas land. Araujo tries to get her guard in play but it just allows Ribas to pass to side control. Ribas mostly puts herself back in half guard for more control. A few body shots from Ribas but she’s fighting position as Araujo keeps looking to sweep her. Araujo is able to fight up to her knees then escape and reset. Ribas misses a few jabs and Araujo lands a couple of punches. Right hand from Araujo. Ribas is able to land a few punches but she’s constantly backing up. Araujo keeps pushing forward and clocks Ribas with a right hand. Another right from Araujo lands. Body kick from Araujo. They trade power hand punches. Ribas lands a right hand but Araujo doesn’t seem deterred. Araujo lands a right hand. Another right from Araujo then a stinging left to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Araujo

ROUND TWO: Araujo gets to landing jabs and coming forward. Ribas lands a right hand, Araujo is hurt and Ribas jumps on her looking for more punches but has to settle into half guard. Some lefts from Ribas land as she’s starting to work on the ground. Ribas is looking to set up a pass. Now Ribas is trying to set up an arm triangle attack but can’t quite get it going. Some more lefts from Ribas land, she’s nearly into full mount now but Araujo moves enough to force it back to side control. Araujo to her knees, Ribas jumps for the back but can’t get the hooks. One hook in now for Ribas as things look to stall out just a bit. The round ends with Ribas on the back.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ribas but could have gone 10-8, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Araujo keeps coming forward as the round starts. Ribas lands a leg kick. Araujo avoids a right hand. They both land lead hand punches. Ribas lands a body shot. Left hook then a leg kick from Ribas. Araujo misses a few punches. Bit of a body shot from Araujo. Spinning back kick from Ribas partially lands. They trade some jabs but Araujo has slowed visibly. Bit of a right from Araujo. Araujo lands a left hand. Again Ribas lands that spinning back kick. Glancing head kick from Ribas. Ribas is keeping a pretty high pace, she’s not letting Araujo rest and reset. Araujo lands a right hand. Jab from Araujo. Ribas lands a leg kick then they trade lefts. Single leg from Ribas, Araujo grabs at an armbar on the way down though and looks to attack it. Araujo extends the arm just a bit but the elbow might be past the hips. Ribas is struggling to get her arm out but is able to finally hit an angle and wind up on top in full guard. Some punches from Ribas on top close the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Amanda Ribas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)

Not sure I agree at all with Ribas getting the first, but she’s the rightful winner overall. Mic time for Ribas after the win, she feels very happy and talks about having a few fights fall out leading to her really wanting this one. She talks about training a lot of striking ahead of this fight, then when asked about what she wants next she’d like to fight someone in the top five at flyweight or Carla Esparza at strawweight.

Derek Brunson just had a five fight winning streak snapped by Jared Cannonier a little over a year ago, now at 39 years old he can’t afford another losing streak if he wants to earn a shot at the title before retiring. Dricus Du Plessis has only lost once at middleweight and that was back in 2014, he’s on a six fight winning streak including four wins in the UFC which have seen him crack the top of the rankings. Du Plessis is trying to take another step forward here and prove he could fight for the title in the very near future. The odds are rather heavily with du Plessis at -215 while the +185 payout on a Brunson win is a very tempting bet.

Middleweight Bout: #5 Derek Brunson (23-8, 185.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Dricus Du Plessis (18-2, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Brunson has an inch of reach advantage, Brunson is also a full decade older. Southpaw for Brunson. Both men probe with some long range weapons, they’re just range finding so far. Some leg kicks go back and forth. Du Plessis lands a body kick but Brunson catches it and gets a takedown into side control. Du Plessis is able to get to half guard but he’s still on his back. Brunson looks to attack, but Du Plessis fights up, Brunson jumps for a guillotine but loses the grip. Du Plessis is on top now and lands some punches as Brunson looks to get his guard up high in play. Brunson is thinking about an armbar, but Du Plessis lands a few short elbows to dissuade him. Du Plessis with a right hand. Brunson off balances Du Plessis and grabs a heel hook, both men attack the legs as Du Plessis goes for a toe hold. Du Plessis keeps cranking the ankle as they scramble but Brunson winds up in the ride position. Brunson goes for the back, nearly gets shook off but he’s holding a modified cradle and keeps the back as they wrestle. They get up and free, Brunson starts swinging left hands but Du Plessis defends. Another left from Brunson lands. Brunson pushes forward, gets a takedown and winds up back in the ride position. Choke attack from Brunson, it’s not close though and Du Plessis moves to his back giving up top position. Du Plessis wall walks and lands an hard elbow just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brunson

ROUND TWO: Du Plessis lands a calf kick to start the round. Another one of those from Du Plessis. Both men miss lefts. Brunson misses a left hand. Du Plessis lands a left hook. Clubbing left from Du Plessis. Brunson with a bit of a body kick. Both men seem a little tired here. Brunson keeps looking for body kicks. Du Plessis lands a short left that seems to wobble Brunson then a body kick. Another left from Du Plessis stuns Brunson. Du Plessis with a calf kick then a left hook. Both men land power hand punches. Again they both miss punches. Bit of a left from Du Plessis then a stiff jab. Hard right from Du Plessis, he’s coming on strong now. Brunson eats an uppercut then fails on a takedown attempt. Du Plessis is switching his stance now, he’s having a lot of success from southpaw. A few more lefts from Du Plessis. Du Plessis is backing up Brunson consistently now, he lands a hard calf kick. Combination from Du Plessis, then a hard right to the body. Du Plessis slips a punch and lands a right, things get a little wild then Du Plessis hits a takedown only for Brunson to fight his way back up. Hard right from Du Plessis. Du Plessis lands a left hand, then another one. Brunson is fading badly. One two from Du Plessis then a right hand. Du Plessis just keeps landing punches, Brunson drops to the mat and Du Plessis gets on top dropping elbows. Brunson is cut and Du Plessis lands a couple more punches as the round ends, and corner of Brunson throws the towel just as the round ends.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dricus Du Plessis via TKO, corner stoppage, at 4:59 of Round 2

Mic time for Du Plessis after that big win, he’s very happy with the win and notes he should be a top five guy in the division. He says he’s not happy yet, he’s aiming for the top of the division and then thanks Vegas for being an awesome place. He puts over Brunson as a guy who he’s trained with before and knows Brunson is a very tough guy, and says he might love someone like a brother but in here he’ll take you out if it’s for the top spot. To close he gives love to the fans and thanks everyone for their support and expresses what this means to his country of South Africa.

Again not the cleanest stuff here, but Brunson is hurt already and Du Plessis is able to reload then unload enough times to convince Brunson’s towel to throw in the corner. That hammer fist followed by an opposite side hook is a nice little combination for ground and pound.

Cody Garbrandt is a former UFC bantamweight champion but that was back in 2016 and he’s just 1-5 in his last six fights, he’s on a two fight losing streak right now and badly needs a win because another loss here might force some uncomfortable conversations about his future in fighting. Trevin Jones has gone 1-3 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s on a three fight losing streak which is somewhat mitigated by the level of opposition but a fourth loss in a row would probably spell the end of his current run in the UFC. All things considered the odds landed on Garbrandt as the favorite at -175 to a +150 comeback for Jones.

Bantamweight Bout: Cody Garbrandt (12-5, 136 lbs.) vs. Trevin Jones (13-9 1 NC, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Garbrandt is an inch taller while Jones has a notable four and a half inches of reach inches. Southpaw for Jones. Garbrandt lands a body kick. Another body kick from Garbrandt, this time Jones returns it. Inside calf kick from Garbrandt. Another body kick from Garbrandt, he’s really dialed in on that technique. Jones is flashing the jab and moving forward but he’s not stopping him from circling. Body kick from Jones. Pretty solid right from Garbrandt to the body. Some dancing from Garbrandt, he’s feeling pretty good at the moment. Garbrandt lands another right to the body. Body kick from Garbrandt. Jones lands a bit of a left. Garbrandt misses a right hand. A little more dancing from Garbrandt to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Garbrandt

ROUND TWO: Garbrandt gets back to methodically circling and landing shots. Garbrandt lands a body kick then ducks under a left hand and hit a double leg. Jones quickly escapes and they reset on the feet. Sadly still no jabs from Garbrandt. Inside leg kick from Jones. Another takedown from Garbrandt, Jones tries a guillotine on the way down though and that might be pretty tight. Garbrandt has to fight for a second but he’s able to get his head out of the choke and settles into full guard. Jones looks to wall walk now, Garbrandt is on his back and lands a knee before they break. Jones is trying to pressure forward, he thinks about a double leg that stalls on the fence. Garbrandt defends that without too much difficulty and spins Jones into the fence. The round will end in the clinch.

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

ROUND THREE: Jones gets back to following Garbrandt as he circles. Both men miss power hand punches. Jones misses a head kick. Garbrandt tries to dance a bit but not much is actually happening. Bit of a body kick from Jones. Garbrandt lands a body kick then avoids a clinch. Garbrandt is just coasting around but Jones isn’t able to punish him. The crowd is getting quite restless. More circling from Garbrandt, and he avoids a left hand. A right hook from Jones hurts Garbrandt, Jones pushes forward and clinches up. They break and Jones gets back to offensive pressure. Hard left from Jones, Garbrandt clinches up but he’s not feeling great anymore. Jones hits a takedown into half guard, he’s got 45 seconds to get a finish. Garbrandt moves to a leg entanglement, Jones steps out of it and lands a right hand while going back into the guard. The round ends with Jones on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jones, 29-28 Garbrandt overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Not exactly the kind of performance that inspires confidence. No interview for Garbrandt.

That’s it for prelims, onto PPV for the main card.

Bo Nickal is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s a three time Division 1 national champion in amateur wrestling and nearly made the 2020 Olympics but unfortunately ran into David Taylor during that endeavor. Rather than wait four years for another Olympic games Nickal switched his attention to MMA and quickly gained the attention of the UFC. Nickal now looks to make good on his only chance to make a first impression to the UFC audience. Jamie Pickett has gone 2-4 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight losing streak, he’s trying to pull one of the bigger upsets in recent memory and halt the budding hype around Nickal. Nickal is the biggest favorite on the card, something of an achievement considering some of the other fighters on this card, at -1800 to a +1000 comeback on Pickett.

Middleweight Bout: Bo Nickal (3-0, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Jamie Pickett (13-8, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pickett is tow inches taller with four of reach advantage. Southpaw for Nickal. Pickett avoids a kick but winds up tied up and Nickal forces things to the fence. Nickal kind of gets away with a knee to the groin but it might have been legal on the belt line, then he grabs an anaconda for control and rides Pickett down then jumps to the back, grabs the choke but Pickett defends. Now Nickal switches to an arm triangle, he’s not quite able to finish it but is able to adjust to the side and tighten things down again. Pickett wont tap but Nickal isn’t quite finishing this properly either. Another adjustment from Nickal, he moves towards mount with it and finally Pickett taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bo Nickal via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 2:54 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Nickal for his work this evening. Mic time for Nickal, he feels at home in the cage and talks about how hard he trains for this. Asked what he’d like next he mentions he’s only been doing MMA for a year and a half, he just wants to get better and eventually he’ll get the belt and thinks he’ll be the best pound for pound fighter before he’s done. Lofty goals.

Mateusz Gamrot has gone 4-2 in the UFC, most recently coming out on the wrong end of a very tough fight with Beneil Dariush, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and reassert himself in the lightweight division. It’s worth noting that Gamrot took this on short notice, replacing Dan Hooker. Jalin Turner is on a five fight winning streak that has seen him crack the top ten rankings at lightweight, no easy feat, now he’s looking to take out a fellow ranked fighter and start making headway towards the very top of the division. Gamrot is your -205 favorite against +175 for Turner.

Lightweight Bout: #7 Mateusz Gamrot (21-1 1 NC, 156 lbs.) vs. #10 Jalin Turner (13-5, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Turner is five inches taller with a significant six and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Turner fighting southpaw. Body kick from Turner, Gamrot returns a leg kick. Some long range moving, then Gamrot lands a leg kick. Gamrot has started switching his stance as he moves. Turner eats a left hand but fires back with a couple of punches. Turner avoids a single leg attempt. Gamrot lands a calf kick. Takedown from Gamrot, he’s got Turner down and Turner starts scooting towards the fence. Turner winds up sitting against the fence but Gamrot is in half guard looking to keep him down. Turner finishes his wall walk but he’s still clinched on the fence. Gamrot has a body lock going, but has to break it and Turner lands a knee then a couple of punches on the break. A right from Turner off balances Gamrot but Gamrot grabs a hold of him and forces things to the mat. Turner nearly has the back but Gamrot sneaks out the back then gets on top in half guard. Again Turner scoots to the fence to wall walk, Gamrot lands punches along the way then keeps the clinch on the fence. They break without incident. The round will end after that without anything really happening.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Turner but could go the other way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Turner is back to looking at long range weapons. Gamrot lands a right hand. Body kick from Turner. Calf kick from Gamrot, then he lands a left hand. Body shot from Gamrot but Turner shows a counter knee that will give Gamrot pause. Bit of a right from Gamrot then a calf kick. Turner isn’t liking those calf kicks. Gamrot slips in close, then Turner defends takedown attempt. Body kick from Turner but Gamrot counters with a right hand. Turner lands a right hand, Gamrot didn’t like that. Turner sprawls away from a double leg then lands a body kick. They trade punches in close, Turner is throwing in combination through while Gamrot is kind of one at a time. Gamrot catches a kick and hits a double leg into half guard, he needed that one. Gamrot quickly moves to a modified crucifix and lands some hammer fists. Turner reasserts his half guard but Gamrot is all over him. Gamrot with some more short punches. Elbows now from Gamrot as he gets that modified crucifix again. The round ends with Gamrot on top landing a body shot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gamrot but another close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Gamrot opens southpaw this round, he’s been doing a fair bit of switching. Bit of a right from Gamrot. Left from Gamrot but he runs into a knee from Turner. Double leg from Gamrot and he’s got Turner down again. Turner scoots to the fence again and looks to start his wall walk. Turner is able to wall walk but he’s still clinched. Gamrot tries a throw, they wind up scrambling back into the clinch. A lot of clinch work from Gamrot now, he’s working knees enough to keep the ref out of things. The ref does break the up, and it’s kind of fair as Gamrot hadn’t been doing much positionally. Left hand from Turner seems to tag Gamrot. Gamrot tries a takedown, but he can’t secure it and Turner separates. Knee from Turner. Single leg from Gamrot, Turner tries a jumping knee but that just allows Gamrot to force things to the fence and look for a double leg. Gamrot slips to the back standing but winds up chest to chest then drags Turner down into full mount, a few elbows from Gamrot land before the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gamrot, 29-28 Gamrot overall but scores could be all over the place

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mateusz Gamrot via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

I’m not even mad at 30-27, those first two rounds were very close and he clearly won the third. Mic time for Gamrot, he plays with the crowd who aren’t happy, he says his performance wasn’t good but he’s a warrior then puts over Turner. He thanks the crowd and introduces himself to them promising to get better with every fight. Asked what he wants next he wants a vacation with his family, but for his next fight he just wants a top five opponent then switches to Polish for a moment. To close he thanks his team and gives love to them.

Geoff Neal missed weight for this fight pretty badly but is on a two fight winning streak with his only losses in the promotion coming to Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny, now he’s trying to defend his ranking against what appears to be an inevitable rising force in the division. Shavkat Rakhmonov is undefeated and has scored a finish in every fight, he’s also 4-0 in the UFC against increasing levels of opposition. Rakhmonov now looks for another win, preferably with another finish, which would position him on the cusp of a title shot. The odds are pretty heavily with Rakhmonov at -475 against +380 for Neal.

Welterweight Bout: #7 Geoff Neal (15-4, 175 lbs.) vs. #9 Shavkat Rakhmonov (16-0, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rakhmonov has two inches of height and reach over Neal, plus as noted above Neal missed weight. Southpaw for Neal, and they touch gloves to get us going. Rakhmonov pressures forward, both men doing some feinting early. Bit of a head kick from Rakhmonov and they clinch up. Rakhmonov gets Neal on the fence and lands a few knees. They break with a knee from Rakhmonov. They trade rights at distance. Bit of a jab from Rakhmonov. Neal avoids a right hand. Rakhmonov lands a body kick. Neal lands a left hand. A short right from Rakhmonov lands. Right from Rakhmonov in close. They trade power hand punches and clinch up again. Rakhmonov lands knees but can’t find a trip yet as they hit the fence. More knees from Rakhmonov before they break. Bit of a one two from Rakhmonov. Neal misses a couple of punches. Rakhmonov catches a head kick but doesn’t do much with it. They trade power hand punches. Knee from Rakhmonov then Neal lands a left as they separate. Body kick from Rakhmonov. Rakhmonov lands a body shot in close, Neal lands a left hand. Head kick from Rakhmonov wobbles Neal, he goes after him with knees but Neal ties up. Neal is cut and taking knees to the body. We get a time out as the ref finally gives Rakhmonov back his mouth piece. Rakhmonov lands a right hand on the restart. Neal misses a left hand and they tie up. Bit of an elbow from Rakhmonov on the break, then a couple of knees. Rakhmonov is starting to unload, Neal backs him off with a left but he can’t keep him back. Left from Rakhmonov hurts Neal, but Neal fires back and they tie up to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rakhmonov

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Rakhmonov lands a right to the body. Body kick from Neal. Rakhmonov is pressuring forward now. Some jabs from Rakhmonov then a front kick to the body. They clinch up again, then break. Another clinch and Rakhmonov lands body shots before Neal gets free. Hard knee from Rakhmonov then a body kick. Neal forces a clinch now, he’s getting killed at distance and needs to halt the action. Rakhmonov lands some knees to the body then tries a takedown but can’t finish it and they break. Body kick from Rakhmonov. Bit of a right from Rakhmonov. Neal lands a right hand after avoiding an uppercut. Rakhmonov kicks the body again then they trade in close. Neal lands a left hand as they separate. Rakhmonov lands a right hand, his chin is darn good as he’s been undeterred. A series of punches from Rakhmonov including uppercuts in close. They tie up and Rakhmonov keeps working knees. They break without incident. Right hand from Rakhmonov and he blocks the counters. Rakhmonov lands another body kick then a jab. More body kicks from Rakhmonov, he’s killing Neal with those. Neal lands a right hand in close but Rakhmonov just smiles and jabs him several times. Another clinch and they hit the fence. They break without issue. Knee from Rakhmonov. Combination from Rakhmonov. Neal lands a couple of punches. They trade power hand punches. Rakhmonov lands an uppercut then a knee in close as they clinch. More knees from Rakhmonov then Neal pulls free as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Rakhmonov gets back to jabbing right away. Neal is trying to bounce and get his wind back. Rakhmonov lands a body kick then a head kick. Knee from Rakhmonov then Neal lands a body kick. Wheel kick from Rakhmonov partially lands. Left hand then a right from Neal in close wobble Rakhmonov, they tie up though and Rakhmonov forces things to the clinch. They break, Rakhmonov lands a knee but Neal is firing back with punches. Stiff jab from Rakhmonov then a body kick. Neal avoids a single leg but they’re clinched up and hit the fence. Rakhmonov is after a high crotch, can’t get it though. More knees from Rakhmonov in the clinch, Neal can’t get away from the clinch right now. Another knee from Rakhmonov as they break. They trade power hand punches then Rakhmonov lands a jab. Hard right from Rakhmonov staggers Neal, Rakhmonov is looking to finish and unloads with knees in the clinch. Elbows from Rakhmonov, Neal wont go down but Rakhmonov is letting him have it. Neal avoids a trip but Rakhmonov moves to his back standing. Some knees from Rakhmonov to the leg and body. Hard knee to the body from Rakhmonov then punches to the head. Rakhmonov is after a standing rear naked choke, no hooks and Neal taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shavkat Rakhmonov via Submission, standing bulldog choke, at 4:17 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rakhmonov for his work this evening. Mic time for Rakhmonov and his translator, he gifts Joe Rogan one of his wolf hats then gives glory to God and is proud to raise the flag of Khazakstan and feels he’s ready for a title shot. He puts over Neal as a great opponent and is happy to be the first guy to finish him in the UFC. To close he thanks everyone for their support, thanks Khazakstan for the support, and says if he can’t get a title shot next he’d be very willing to fight Colby Covington.

Alexa Grasso has gone 4-0 at flyweight leading into this, her first title shot. Grasso is trying to ride the wave of momentum Mexican MMA has going on right now, and she could become their third concurrent UFC champion tonight joining Yair Rodriguez and Brendan Moreno if she’s able to upset one of the most dominant champions going right now. Valentina Shevchenko is the reigning flyweight champion, has seven consecutive title defenses coming into this fight, has a nine fight overall winning streak going, and while she’s coming off of a close fight against Taila Santos that might well propel her to remind the division why she’s the champion. Shevchenko is trying to further distance herself from the pack and continue building her legacy as one of the very best women to ever step into the UFC. Not too surprising to see Shevchenko is a nearly prohibitive favorite at -850 against +600 on Grasso.

Women’s Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Valentina Shevchenko (23-3, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Alexa Grasso (15-3, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Shevchenko has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Shevchenko, and they touch gloves. Shevchenko starts out with some leg kicks, just range finding. Grasso starts showing the jab as she moves around. Some stance switching from Grasso now. Bit of a left from Shevchenko. Spinning back fist from Shevchenko then a body kick behind it. They punch in close, neither really lands. Shevchenko misses a wheel kick. Inside leg kick from Shevchenko. Grasso misses a left hand but she’s not shying away from the fight. Some inside leg kicks go back and forth. Shevchenko lands a jab and avoids the counters. Both women land in close. Grasso avoids a head kick. Left hand from Grasso lands. Shevchenko lands a jab. Hard combination from Grasso, Shevchenko stays upright but those landed flush. Shevchenko lands a few leg kicks then her own one two. Bit of a right from Grasso. Some jabs go back and forth then Shevchenko lands an elbow in close. Bit of a left from Shevchenko then a body kick. Shevchenko lands a spinning back fist then tries a head kick, Grasso tries a takedown and they wind up scrambling into the clinch. Grasso lands a few knees in close then Shevchenko tries a headlock throw as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grasso

ROUND TWO: There’s a cut on the bridge of Shevchenko’s nose. Shevchenko works some legs kicks to start the second round. Both women work jabs, then Shevchenko hits a double leg into half guard. Grasso fights to get her guard back, Shevchenko works to keep her flat. Eventually Grasso gets full guard and closes it. Shevchenko lands some body shots but there’s not much happening at the moment. Shevchenko passes to half guard, then side control like it was nothing. Grasso tries to bridge and scramble but Shevchenko’s control here is tight. Mounted crucifix from Shevchenko, that’s not good for Grasso. Grasso gets her arm out of the crucifix but she’s still stuck on bottom. Grasso is able to spin and fight her way up then they break. Shevchenko lands a jab. Inside leg kick from Shevchenko. A few jabs from Shevchenko. Grasso misses a head kick. Grasso then misses a wheel kick. Shevchenko lands a front kick, but Grasso lands a right hand. They clinch, Shevchenko hits a takedown into half guard again. Shevchenko lands a few body shots. The round will end with Shevchenko on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Grasso comes out jabbing. Shevchenko with some jabs of her own as they start moving. A few stiff jabs from Shevchenko. Grasso lands a jab of her own. Shevchenko with a slip then a right hand. More jabs are traded then they both land punches in close. Grasso avoids a poorly set up double leg and resets. Grasso lands a left in close but Shevchenko retaliates with a head kick as Grasso exits the pocket. Shevchenko lands a left hand and shrugs off a clinch. Shevchenko ducks under a right hand and hits a double leg into full guard. Grasso quickly goes to closed guard and looks to tie up posture. Some small punches are going back and forth but Grasso is happy to just try and stall this out. Shevchenko lands a right hand. Grasso works to get her guard high and in play but can’t keep it. Shevchenko lands a few elbows then a right hand. The ref decides to stand them up, not sure I agree with that one. Some jabs go back and forth then Shevchenko hits a double leg, they scramble and Grasso gets away with an illegal kick but Shevchenko jumps on her back with both hooks in. Grasso scrambles and sits for a guillotine choke, nothing really there as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Grasso looks to be in good shape, she’s not tired. They both get back to punching as the round starts. Grasso avoids a spinning back kick. They split jabs a few times, then Shevchenko tries a takedown but Grasso defends and stays at distance. Both women fall short on some punches, they’re both taking some time here. Shevchenko lands a jab. Another jab from Shevchenko. Bit of a knee from Shevchenko in close. Shevchenko lands another jab. Grasso starts pressing forward, she avoids a takedown and lands a jab. A few more jabs from Shevchenko. Grasso tries a takedown, they hit the fence and clinch up. They break without either really landing anything. Shevchenko gets back to jabbing, that’s been the best strike landed all round. More jabs from Shevchenko. Grasso avoids a spinning back fist and jumps to the back with both hooks in. There’s a choke attempt from Grasso, she’s working to crank it down and it’s getting tighter and Shevchenko has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion – Alexa Grasso via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:34 of Round 4

Amazing, the odds on Grasso by sub were about 20 something to 1. Mic time for Grasso, she thanks everyone for being here as she made her dream come true. She talks us through the finish, she knew Shevchenko would go for the spinning attack and was ready to jump for the back when she did that. Again she puts over her team to close.

Shevchenko gets an interview as well, she says this happens in MMA all the time, you can be winning but you make one mistake and you’re done then puts over Grasso. She’s happy that the division is moving finally though. Asked what she wants next, she wants an immediate rematch which is far from undeserved.

Jon Jones has only one loss on his record, a DQ loss against Matt Hamill, and his name is scattered around the UFC record books. Jones was the longtime light heavyweight champion, has 11 total title defenses across two reigns, has the longest light heavyweight title reign by days (1,501 if you’re curious), has the longest unbeaten streak in UFC history (18), and a host of other accolades. Jones has been out of action for a little over three years now though, but after a decade of teasing a move to heavyweight he’s finally doing it tonight and looks to join the club of two weight world champions in MMA history. If Jones can win the heavyweight title here it would further cement his status as not only one of the greatest in the history of the sport, but might be enough of a deciding factor in placing him alone atop that particular discussion. Ciryl Gane has gone 8-1 in the UFC, only dropping a closely contested decision in his title fight with former champion Francis Ngannou and was last seen knocking out Tai Tuivasa in September of last year. Gane looks to be the first man to legitimately beat Jon Jones while claiming his first full UFC title and begin establishing his own legacy as heavyweight champion. Despite the layoff and somewhat less than scintillating outings from Jones in his last couple of fights he’s the slight favorite here at -175 to a +150 comeback for Gane.

Heavyweight Title Bout: Jon Jones (26-1 1 NC, 248 lbs.) vs. #1 Ciryl Gane (11-1, 247.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Jones has a reach advantage of three and a half inches. They touch gloves, Gane opens southpaw while Jones opens orthodox but both men will switch. Leg kick from Jones, Gane fires an inside leg kick that hits the groin of Jones so we’ve got a time out. Jones takes 27 seconds then we’re back to fighting. Jones lands a right hand. Gane is circling and bouncing. Jones is pressuring forward a lot, he’s peppering in leg kicks while looking to back up Gane. Gnae misses a left, Jones gets a clinch and drags Gane down. Jones with some punches from the ride position. Gane looks to wall walk, Jones gets his back standing and drags him back down against the fence. Jones grabs at a guillotine as he’s mounting the legs of Gane, this is more for control than going for the actual choke. A quick grip adjustment from Jones, suddenly the choke is in and he sinks his weight on the back of Gane’s head to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Heavyweight Champion – Jon Jones via Submission, guillotine choke, at 2:04 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jones for his work this evening. Hard to argue that Jones is the greatest at this point. Mic time for Jones who’s very happy, he plays with the crowd first then gives glory to God and thanks everyone for their prayers on his behalf. Moving on he’s excited and has been working for this for a long time, people thought he’d never come back but he’s been faithful to the mission and thanks his family for their support and his team for all of their work with him. Some love to his kids follows, then he says he knew he could get Gane out of there if he got things to the ground. He says he feels stronger at heavyweight and especially on the ground, once he got his hands on Gane he knew he could get control and win. Asked about fighting in July, possibly against Stipe Miocic, he’s very down and he knows the UFC will give it to the fans. He puts over Miocic as the greatest heavyweight of all time and says he wants that win, real bad. To close bleats like a goat.

Well that brings UFC 285 to a close. Heck of a night of fights and results. Thank you all so much for being here and reading, be that live or after the fact, and we’ll be unpacking all of the fallout from UFC 285 on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast plus looking ahead to next week when Petr Yan squares off with surging Merab Dvalishvili. I’ll be back for that event and I hope you will as well. Until then thank you again for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 285, Robert Winfree