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June 25, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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MAIN CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
#11 Arman Tsarukyan (156 lbs.) vs. #12 Mateusz Gamrot (156 lbs.)
#10 Neil Magny (171 lbs.) vs. #15 Shavkat Rakhmonov (170.5 lbs.)
Alan Baudot (253 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (265.5 lbs.)
Christos Giagos (156 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (155.5 lbs.)
Nate Maness (135 lbs.) vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (136 lbs.)
Chris Curtis (185.5 lbs.) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (185 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Tafon Nchukwi (206 lbs.) vs. Carlos Ulberg (204.5 lbs.)
TJ Brown (145.5 lbs.) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (146 lbs.)
Sergey Morozov (136 lbs.) vs. Raulian Paiva (136 lbs.)
JP Buys (126 lbs.) vs. Cody Durden (126 lbs.)
Mario Bautista (135.5 lbs.) vs. Brian Kelleher (135.5 lbs.)
Vanessa Demopoulos (115.5 lbs.) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (115.5 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 38, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. Last week we had a card full of finishes and some high quality violence, this week we’ve got a card not quite as strong on paper. That said the top two fights are quite good, at lightweight rising contenders Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot battle it out to try and crack the top ten at lightweight and our co-main event sees surging Shavkat Rakhmonov take a big step up in competition against battle tested Neil Magny. A little further down the card undefeated Umar Nurmagomedov looks to continue his campaign at bantamweight, and Chris Curtis vs. Rodolfo Vieira definitely has potential for weirdness. The prelims are a little sparse, but Sergey Morozov vs. Raulian Paiva stands out to me if nothing else. As for the rest of it, let’s hope it’s better in practice than on paper.

UFC on ESPN 38 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Michael Bisping, and Paul Felder on commentary. As for the rules Nevada uses a hybrid system, they adopted most of the changes from a few years back but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We do have instant replay, as well as a replay official who can request it be used in addition to the in cage ref, and the fight can be restarted after replay is consulted if that’s applicable. Keep in mind we’re also back in the smaller 25 foot cage.

Vanessa Demopoulos has gone 1-1 in the UFC but she’s coming off of a win and is looking to build her first UFC winning streak. Jinh Yu Frey has gone 2-2 in the UFC but she’s on a two fight winning streak and could prove she’s found her footing with a third consecutive win here. The odds are with Frey at -225 to a +190 comeback on Demopoulos.

Strawweight Bout: Vanessa Demopoulos (7-4, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (11-6, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Frey is an inch taller with five and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Frey. Both women do some feinting early. Demopoulos checks an inside leg kick. Bit of a front kick from Frey. Frey lands a left hand. Demopoulos has a right hand blocked. Inside leg kick from Demopoulos. Frey lands a one two. Another left from Frey. A few repeated lefts from Frey. Demopoulos lands a right hand. Another right from Demopoulos. Frey lands a combination of punches. Body kick from Demopoulos, Frey counters with a couple of punches. Demopoulos misses a kick. Double leg from Demopoulos, she lands on top in half guard. Frey is using a knee shield to try and help her stand, she gets up along the fence. They’re clinched up and trade knees then break. Frey lands a couple of lefts. Right hook from Frey lands. Demopoulos lands a right hand to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frey

ROUND TWO: Technical issues on my end, I missed the whole round.

SCORECARD: unknown, 10-9 Frey overall

ROUND THREE: Demopoulos immediately pushes into a clinch with strikes. Some knees from Demopoulos as she keeps position on the cage. Frey defends a single leg attempt, Demopoulos switches to a double leg but again Frey defends and they clinch again. More knees from Demopoulos then Frey lands an elbow as they break. Frey lands a front kick to the body. Demopoulos lands a body shot, then eats a counter left. Frey lands a left hand. Stiff left from Frey. Demopoulos tries a single leg, Frey defends against the fence. Demopoulos lands knees to the leg and body in the clinch. Some more knees from Demopoulos, Frey is throwing back but she’s stuck on the fence. They break with about 10 seconds left, then we get into a brawl with Frey getting the better of things as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frey but a close one

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

30-27 seems off as Frey should have had the first, but I can’t comment too much here. Demopoulos gets an interview, she puts over Frey’s power and jokes that she needs to have less iron face technique.

Brian Kelleher has been a bit up and down lately but he’s 3-2 in his last five fights though he’s coming off of a loss, now Kelleher is trying to avoid a losing streak and get back on the winning side of things. Mario Bautista has gone 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, he’s trying for another high profile win if he can get by the proven veteran Kelleher. Bautista is the favorite at -175 against +150 for Kelleher.

Bantamweight Bout: Mario Bautista (9-2, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Brian Kelleher (24-13, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bautista has three inches of height and reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Bautista with some jabs, then a leg kick. Both men start showing the jab, Kelleher lands a leg kick. Spinning back kick from Bautista. Kelleher has started showing stance switches, tries a front kick to the face which is partially successful. Calf kick from Bautista. Bautista hits a single leg and moves to side control as they hit the mat. Kelleher hip escapes to half guard then scoots to the fence and wall walks. Foot sweep from Bautista and he’s back on top, Kelleher grabs at a guillotine but Bautista doesn’t let him close his guard and moves to side control. Full mount for Bautista, then he gets the back and locks up the choke to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mario Bautista via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:27 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Bautista for his work this evening. Mic time for Bautista, he puts over Kelleher as his toughest opponent and feels this was a big win. He was happy to show off his jiu-jitsu improvements and feels good overall. Asked about the future he thinks the winner of either of the other two bantamweight fights tonight might make sense.

Here’s the finish. Ideally you have more body control before going for the choke, but it’s also quite easy to get lost in the positional sauce and forget or ignore the finishing position. Bautista sees a chance to grab the choke and locks it up, Kelleher is actually tapping out before the hooks get in.

JP Buys has gone 0-2 in the UFC and finds himself in pretty dire straits here as a third loss could end his time with the promotion. Cody Durden has gone 1-2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and needs a win just to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. This one is very close by the odds, but they lean towards Buys at -115 to a -105 payout on Durden.

Flyweight Bout: JP Buys (9-4, 126 lbs.) vs. Cody Durden (12-4-1, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Durden is two inches taller while the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men miss kicks. A few punches are blocked on both sides then Buys lands a calf kick. Durden lands a one two then they clinch up and hit the fence. Buys lands an elbow as they break. Both men land punches in close, but Durden hurts Buys then drops him with a right. Durden jumps to the ride position and unloads with hammer fists until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cody Durden via TKO, punches, at 1:08 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Durden for his work this evening. Mic time for Durden, he wants a post fight bonus then pimps some sponsors and thanks his team for their work. He spent six weeks away from his family training for this one and wants to go home with as much money as possible. He puts over Buys and wishes him well going forward.

Here’s the finish, Durden hurts Buys with a nice punch but his follow up is what stands out to me. Durden keeps good position and is very accurate with his blows, he finds legal strikes the whole way through the finish.

Raulian Paiva just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Sean O’Malley which brought his UFC record to an even 3-3, now he’s trying to get on the right side of the even mark and notch another win. Sergey Morozov has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss, he’s trying to get his UFC record to the .500 mark and start making good on the potential he’s shown through his first few fights with the promotion. Morozov is a slight -155 favorite to a +135 comeback on Paiva.

Bantamweight Bout: Sergey Morozov (17-5, 136 lbs.) vs. Raulian Paiva (21-4, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Paiva is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men with some feinting to start. They trade calf kicks. Morozov jabs the body. Left hook from Morozov. Bit of a right from Paiva. Paiva wobbles Morozov with a right, and Morozov forces a clinch that hits the fence. They break after a bit without issue. Paiva works his jab but can’t find the right hand. A right from Paiva stuns Morozov for a second. Bit of a left hook from Morozov. Paiva lands a one two then avoids a clinch attempt. Morozov lands a left hook. They clinch up then break without incident. Glancing right from Paiva. They split a few jabs as they circle. Paiva lands a calf kick and eats a counter right. Paiva lands an uppercut, Morozov counters with a left hook. Morozov lands a left hook. Paiva works his jab to the head and body. They trade punches in close, both men are landing pretty consistently now. They trade body jabs. Bit of a left hook from Paiva. Morozov lands a left hook in close. Paiva lands a right, then blocks a spinning back fist. Morozov has some strikes blocked to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Paiva

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the round. Both men show the lead hand again. Bit of a right from Paiva. Morozov lands a left hook. They trade body work in close. Morozov avoids a right hand and hits a double leg then mounts the legs on the mat. Paiva is able to get butterfly guard. Morozov lands a stiff elbow and Paiva goes to full guard. Paiva is cut around the right eye, can’t see specifically where. Morozov looks to pass but Paiva is good about retaining his guard. Now Paiva looks to invert for a leg attack, Morozov lands a punch and keeps top position. Morozov lands a few more punches as he rides Paiva. Paiva looks to stand, he’s up but still clinched and Morozov lands knees to the body and head. Morozov is holding a rear waist lock, landing knees to the leg and looking for takedowns. Paiva gets chest to chest, threatens a guillotine and forces Morozov to separate. Morozov tries another double leg, this one hits the fence and Paiva threatens a guillotine as they’re on the fence. Paiva is staying upright, and they’ll end the round in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morozov, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug to start the last round. Morozov looks to pressure forward and lands a leg kick. Morozov lands a left hook. Bit of a jab from Paiva. Morozov lands a right hand. Paiva sprawls away from a double leg and they hit the fence. Morozov tries a single leg and gets it, Paiva quickly wall walks but Morozov is on his back in the clinch. Some knees from Morozov then he lands a right hand as Paiva gets free. Bit of a jab from Morozov. Another jab from Morozov. Paiva lands a jab. Morozov avoids a right hand. They clinch then break. Both men land punches in close then Morozov avoids a takedown attempt. Morozov lands a jab. A couple of punches from Morozov land. Bit of a counter combination from Morozov. Paiva has a few punches blocked. Morozov lands a left to the body. Some punches in close from Morozov, Paiva just doesn’t have a lot of pop on his offense anymore. Paiva avoids a double leg, tries an ankle pick but he can’t finish it. Morozov lands an uppercut and a left hook. Body kick from Morozov. Paiva lands a right hand. Double leg from Paiva, Morozov scoots to the fence right away as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sergey Morozov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Mic time for Morozov and his translator, he gives glory to God and says he fought with his heart. He says the goal was to strike for the first round to set up his wrestling later in the fight. That seems to have worked.

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win last year and now looks to build his first UFC winning streak. TJ Brown has gone 2-2 in the UFC but he’s on a two fight winning streak and is now trying to keep that momentum going and start building towards bigger fights. Brown is your -205 favorite to +175 on Shayilan.

Featherweight Bout: TJ Brown (16-8, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (36-10, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brown is an inch taller with three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Brown comes forward jabbing. Shayilan lands a right hand. Brown blocks a high kick. Calf kick from Shayilan then a left hook to follow up. Both men are swinging a little wild, the nervous energy is there. Brown lands a right, then a couple of knees from a brief clinch. Now Brown goes southpaw and lands a body kick. They clash on leg kicks then Shayilan lands a right hand that off balances Brown for a second. Brown goes for a double leg, they hit the fence and he tries a trip but Shayilan counters and lands on top in full guard. Brown goes for a triangle choke, switches to an armbar then towards a leg attack. Shayilan engages in the leg entanglement, Brown is attacking a calf slicer while Shayilan tries to extend a leg for a kneebar. They scramble to 50/50 guard then up to their feet, nice stuff from both men. Brown lands a left hook in close. Shayilan lands a calf kick. Brown is switching his stance a fair bit now. Body kick from Brown. Shayilan tries a single leg but Brown defends and lands a punch. They trade lefts. Brown’s pressure and pace might be getting to Shayilan a bit at this point. Brown lands a couple of punches in close. Right from Brown then a knee, Shayilan hits a double leg into full guard. Brown looks to wall walk, he attacks a kimura that gets pretty tight just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shayilan but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again, there’s some swelling around the right eye of Shayilan. Shayilan lands a calf kick. One two from Brown. Bit of a right from Brown. Shayilan forces a clinch, and gets an outside trip to land on top. Brown gives up his back looking to wall walk, Shayilan jumps to the ride as they stand. Brown looks for a switch but Shayilan gets him to the mat again. Now Brown goes for the kimura again but Shayilan moves to half guard and shuts down the attack. Shayilan moves to the back again, Brown keeps looking to wall walk but Shayilan is riding him and mat returning him. Shayilan grabs at the neck of Brown, but there’s no control and Brown is able to turn into him and get on top. Brown moves to the back with one hook in, then lands some lefts. Shayilan gets his back to the fence but Brown is constantly threatening to get both hooks in. Brown tries for the back, but Shayilan turns into him and gets on top in half guard. Brown is after the kimura again, he might be going for a double attack as his legs are in triagle position as well. Now Brown goes for the triangle choke, Shayilan tries to stack him up but Brown is really selling out for this as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Brown starts showing his jab as the round begins. Both men miss rights. Shayilan lands a right hand. Brown lands a left hook. One two from Shayilan. Brown lands a right. Right then a left from Brown. Shayilan misses a spinning back fist. Some jabs go back and forth, then Shayilan hits a double leg and gets on top. Half guard for Shayilan and he lands a few short blows. Short elbows from Shayilan, Brown is trying to scoot to the fence but he’s a ways away from it. Another elbow from Shayilan. Brown looks to explode off of the fence, but Shayilan’s control is impressive and he turns them away from the cage. Brown with a sweep and jumps on the back with one hook in. Shayilan gets to his seat, Brown is leaking blood from something and he looks to unload. Brown gets on top in full guard and lands elbows. Shayilan tries to regain his feet, Brown jumps on his back but loses the position and Shayilan is on top again. Shayilan gets the back with both hooks in, Brown spins into him and unloads for the last second or two.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Mic time for Shayilan and his translator, he says he’s not only a wrestler and got to show off his ability to fight. He puts over Brown as a tough opponent. To close he thanks some people, but it goes untranslated so I’m only guessing given a few of the words I recognized.

Carlos Ulberg has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and is trying for his first UFC winning streak while proving himself a prospect in a division perpetually in need of them. Tafon Nchukwi has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first losing streak. This one is pretty close, -140 on Nchukwi to +120 for Ulberg.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Tafon Nchukwi (6-2, 206 lbs.) vs. Carlos Ulberg (4-1, 204.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ulberg is four inches taller but the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men land some leg kicks as they circle. Ulberg jabs the body. Jab from Ulberg. Stiff left from Ulberg wobbles Nchukwi, he unloads with rights that drop Nchukwi and prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlos Ulberg via TKO, punches, at 1:15 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ulberg for his work this evening. Ulberg gets an interview, he says he’s new to MMA but works hard and has a great team behind him. He puts over his team and thanks them for being cage side. He talks us through the finish and knew Nchukwi likes to parry with the right hand so there was a lane for his left.

Here’s the finish. Ulberg dips his lead hand low and Nchukwi seems to read a jab, but Ulberg swings the punch with just enough of an arc to avoid the more linear defense. The precision of the blow is impressive, and he never let’s Nchukwi recover after being hurt.

That’s it for the prelims, on to the main card.

Chris Curtis is on a seven fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC, now he’s looking for arguably his highest profile win and if he can get to three in a row it could easily signify an even bigger fight next. Rodolfo Vieira has gone 3-1 in the UFC in addition to being one of the finest jiu-jitsu practitioners of his generation, he’s trying to build another winning streak here and prove he’s ready for another step up in class. Curtis is a slight -130 favorite against Vieira’s +110.

Middleweight Bout: Chris Curtis (28-8, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (8-1, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Vieira is two inches taller but Curtis has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Curtis is fighting southpaw. Both men showing the jab, and Curtis is the one backing up Vieira. Bit of a leg kick from Vieira. They trade punches, Vieira tries a single leg then pulls half guard after the contact is made. They fight up into a clinch on the fence, Vieira is holding a body lock. Some short punches go back and forth, then Vieira fires a knee that hits the groin of Curtis and we’ve got a time out. Replay confirms the knee, that was a bad one, and Curtis is on his knees trying to recover. Curtis is back up and we’re back go fighting after 45 seconds. Leg kick from Vieira. Curtis avoids a poorly set up takedown attempt. Vieira forces a single leg against the fence, switches towards a double leg then back to a single leg. Curtis is staying upright thus far, he’s able to separate off of the fence. Curtis defends a double leg and lands a body shot. Another left to the body from Curtis. Vieira lands a one two. Front kick from Vieira, this one seems to hit the groin as well so we’ve got another time out. On the replay it looks like the blow was clean, the ref gets word from the replay official that it was clean and we’re back to fighting right away. Curtis defends a double leg, Vieira misses punches as they break. Bit of a left from Curtis. Curtis lands a left to the body, Vieira lands a counter right. Stiff jab from Vieira, Curtis responds with a body shot. Another jab from Vieira then a right to the body. Curtis misses a left to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira

ROUND TWO: Vieira lands a leg kick to begin the round. Inside leg kick from Vieira. Vieira tries a single leg, Curtis defends against the fence. Curtis keeps defending as Vieira keeps trying for takedowns out of the clinch. Vieira lands a left hook as he breaks the clinch. Curtis lands a couple of body shots, he’s looking to engage a bit more now. Vieira lands a right hand. Curtis sprawls away from a takedown and lands a left to the body. Bit of a one two from Curtis. Curtis lands a left, then a body shot. Vieira lands an inside leg kick. Jab from Vieira, Curtis counters with a left hand. They trade a few punches. Curtis hits the body again. Jabs from Curtis, Vieira lands a right. They trade rights. Vieira’s nose is a little busted up, Curtis is targeting it now as well. Curtis misses a high kick. Bit of a right hook from Curtis then a left to follow up. Curtis lands a left to the body. Another left to the body from Curtis and Vieira didn’t like that one. Another left from Curtis then a body shot. Curtis lands a couple of hooks. Vieira lands a one two to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Curtis, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Curtis comes out still attacking the body. Vieira tries a takedown, Curtis defends. Curtis avoids a single leg and lands another body shot. Another shot from Vieira, and again Curtis avoids him. Bit of a one two from Vieira, then he tries a double leg which Curtis avoids. Curtis lands a left. Another body shot from Curtis lands. Left to the head and body from Curtis. Curtis lands a jab, then sprawls away from a couple of takedown attempts. Another left to the body from Curtis. Vieira fails on another takedown attempt, and again Curtis tags him to the body.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Big win for Curtis, he completely neutralized the grappling of Vieira.

Nate Maness has gone 3-0 in the UFC but he’s been out of action for almost 10 months, now he’s matched up with a much hyped prospect. If Maness can win he might be the one to take a crucial step forward in maybe the most talented division in the UFC. Umar Nurmagomedov is undefeated including two wins in the UFC that have seen a fair bit of hype build around him. Nurmagomedov is trying to get another win here and begin the difficult transition from prospect to legitimate contender. Nurmagomedov is the biggest favorite on the card at -950 while the +650 payout on Maness might tempt some of the more degenerate gamblers out there.

Bantamweight Bout: Nate Maness (14-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Maness is two inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, Nurmagomedov fighting southpaw. Maness does a bit of stance switching as they circle. Nurmagomedov lands a leg kick. Maness misses some punches. Now Nurmagomedov is showing some stance switches as well, and he avoids a few punches. They clinch up and Nurmagomedov hits a lovely inside trip to land in full guard. Maness tries to tie things up with his guard and arms while Nurmagomedov looks to land punches. Nurmagomedov lands a short elbow. Another punch from Nurmagomedov lands. They’ve moved to the fence now, and Nurmagomedov is stuffing Maness against it. Maness is still keeping his guard closed as Nurmagomedov stacks him up and lands a few punches. Nurmagomedov moves to half guard now, he quickly moves to 3/4 mount and lands short punches. More punches from Nurmagomedov as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nurmagomedov

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Nurmagomedov has a head kick blocked. Some body kicks from Nurmagomedov, Maness is still struggling to find offense. Single leg from Nurmagomedov, he spins Maness down and gets on top in half guard. Nurmagomedov is attacking an arm triangle but Maness reads it and defends properly. Nurmagomedov moves to side control with relative ease. Maness gets half guard back as Nurmagomedov tries to move to mount. Short elbows from Nurmagomedov and he passes to side control again. Knee on belly from Nurmagomedov, then 3/4 mount. Maness is really just kind of hanging on, the grappling disparity is quite evident. Nurmagomedov lands an elbow but Maness is able to get half guard again. Side control again for Nurmagomedov, he keeps looking to mount but Maness keeps catching the leg when he does. Again Nurmagomedov moves to side control and lands an elbow. Maness tries to scramble but Nurmagomedov squashes him back down and lands an elbow. Maness rolls to his knees, Nurmagomedov gets his back with both hooks in and lands punches. Nurmagomedov flattens Maness out and lands punches, Maness rolls to get half guard and holds on for the final seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Bit of a jab from Nurmagomedov as he keeps pressing forward. Calf kick from Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov lands a head kick. Body kick from Nurmagomedov, he’s really opening up this round. Front kick to the face from Nurmagomedov. Maness misses a few punches. Nurmagomedov lands another body kick then avoids the counters. Front kick from Nurmagomedov. Inside leg kick from Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov shoots a single leg, they hit the fence and he’s able to finish the takedown into full guard. A few short elbows from Nurmagomedov, one of them opens up a cut on the head of Maness. Nurmagomedov passes to side control and lands more punches. Elbows from Nurmagomedov, Maness is able to get half guard again. Full guard now for Maness, Nurmagomedov just elbows him a few times anyway. Body to head punches from Nurmagomedov, he wants the finish but Maness is tough and is doing some defensive smothering with full guard. Nurmagomedov lands a few hammer fists and an elbow. The clock will run down in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Nurmagomedov, 30-25 Nurmagomedov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Umar Nurmagomedov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Dominance from Nurmagomedov, who gets an interview. He thanks all of his fans, his team and family, and especially his father. Asked about the future he expects to be in the top ten in his next couple of fights and thinks he’s ready for anyone in the division. He knows he has to work hard to continue to succeed but he plans on becoming champion some day.

Thiago Moises has been up and down in the UFC, he’s currently on a two fight losing streak which is somewhat mitigated by his opponents being Islam Makhachev and Joel Alvarez who missed weight. Still, Moises needs a win here to halt that skid and prove he’s still a top shelf lightweight. Christos Giagos has gone 4-3 in his current UFC run, he’s coming off of a loss to Arman Tsarukyan and is trying to avoid his first losing streak since 2016. The odds are with Moises at -250 while the +210 comeback on Giagos might be a tempting value bet.

Lightweight Bout: Christos Giagos (19-9, 156 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (15-6, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Giagos has an inch of height and reach advantage. Moises starts pressing forward quickly. Giagos misses a right hand. Bit of a left hook from Giagos. Moises punches into a single leg attempt, they hit the fence and Giagos is able to defend but he’s still clinched. Moises keeps looking for the takedown, and finishes the single leg then jumps to the ride position. There’s some blood coming from Moises, I’m not sure what the source is though. Moises jumps to the backpack position as Giagos stands and starts working from there. Body triangle from Moises, Giagos is hand fighting so he doesn’t get choked. A few punches land for Moises, mostly he’s trying to open up the choke. Moises gets the choke under the chin, he can’t connect his arms in the usual figure four but he uses the other arm to reach around and press on his own elbow to increase the pressure on the choke which gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Thiago Moises via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:05 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Moises for his work this evening. Mic time for Moises, he thanks his coaches and training partners and puts over his jiu-jitsu. He talks us through the finish then says he wants to fight Joe Solecki.

Here’s the finish. Note how Moises wraps his non-choking arm around and basically grips his own elbow to tighten things. Someone hit this same choke a few weeks ago, it seems like a nasty little variation on the rear naked choke especially against good hand fighters.

Josh Parisian has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is fighting to avoid his first ever losing streak. Alan Baudot has yet to get a win in the UFC, most recently dropping a sloppy decision to Parker Porter. Baudot needs a win for a degree of job security as going winless in your first four UFC fights could easily end your run. This one is close, -120 on Parisian to an even +100 for Baudot.

Heavyweight Bout: Alan Baudot (8-3 1 NC, 253 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (14-5, 265.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Parisian is an inch taller while the reach is identical, Parisian is also heavier by over 10 pounds. They touch gloves to get us going. Parisian starts showing the jab early. Baudot side kicks the knee then lands a bit of an uppercut. Bit of a right from Parisian then Baudot throws a kick that hits the groin of Parisian so we’ve got a time out. It doesn’t take too long then we’re back to fighting. Parisian lands a calf kick. Baudot lands a body kick then an uppercut. Glancing right from Baudot, then Parisian lands a calf kick. Another leg kick from Parisian but that chopping right from Baudot has busted up the left eye of Parisian. They trade leg kicks. Parisian forces a clinch, but nothing comes of it and Baudot pushes free. Baudot lands a couple of jabs, Parisian lands a right hand. In close Baudot drops Parisian with a punch then gets on top in half guard. Baudot postures up and lands some hammer fists. Parisian is fishing for a kimura as he gets full guard back, but Baudot is defending well. Elbow from Baudot as Parisian gets full guard and closes it. Parisian tries an armbar, Baudot just lands punches and hammer fists as Parisian forces his way to his feet. Parisian avoids a spinning back fist and forces another clinch. Baudot avoids an outside trip, but Parisian switches to a double leg and dumps him down then unloads with punches while standing over Baudot as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Baudot

ROUND TWO: Parisian’s left eye is swelling up, and there’s a small cut under it, but he can still see out of it so we’re still fighting. Bit of a body shot from Parisian. They punch into a clinch and Baudot lands an uppercut. They hit the fence and Parisian hits a double leg and looks to unload again. Parisian moves to the ride position and lands punches. Baudot is on his back now and Parisian keeps landing blows from side control. Punches and hammer fists from Parisian, he’s peppering in some body work as well now. Baudot rolls to his knees, Parisian keeps punching from the ride position as they wall walk. They break out of the clinch and both men are dead tired. Parisian walks forward and lands a body shot then clinches again. Modified lateral drop from Parisian, Baudot nearly reverses the takedown but Parisian has a bit more energy left and is able to out scramble him. Full mount for Parisian and he starts landing punches. Baudot gives up the back, Parisian just keeps landing punches and the ref finally takes pity on Baudot and the audience.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Parisian via TKO, punches, at 3:04 of Round 2

Mic time for Parisian, he jokes he must have been hurt in the first round because he doesn’t remember it. He also jokes about wanting to jump into Bisping’s arms but he’s too tired. He felt stronger on the ground, especially on top and he was able to use that in the second. To close he thanks his family.

Neil Magny has been with the UFC since 2013 and is 5-1 in his last six fights, plus he’s on a two fight winning streak. Magny now has to defend his top spot from one of the most rapidly rising contenders in the division. Shavkat Rakhmonov is undefeated including going 3-0 in the UFC, and he’s finished all of his opponents as well. Rakhmonov has captured the hardcore fans lately, now he’s getting a serious step up in class against Magny but a win would vault him into the top 10 at welterweight and could set him up for an even bigger fight next. Rakhmonov is a surprisingly heavy favorite at -450 while that +360 payout for Magny is a very tempting value bet.

Welterweight Bout: #10 Neil Magny (26-8, 171 lbs.) vs. #15 Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Magny is two inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. Both men with some early feinting. Magny is looking to kick and fight long, but Rakhmonov catches a kick and pushes him over the lands punches while standing over him. Rakhmonov moves to knee on belly, then puts himself in half guard to keep control. Some body shots from Rakhmonov on top, then a short elbow. Again Rakhmonov stands and lands punches, his ground and pound when standing is impressive. Magny fires a few up kicks and Rakhmonov retuns to the mat. Full mount for Rakhmonov, Magny uses the fence to walk his feet around and escape the position but Rakhmonov stays on top in half guard. More punches from Rakhmonov, he’s good about hitting the body and head, then grabs at a guillotine but bails on it as Magny defends. Magny has full guard now, and Rakhmonov elbows him. Now Magny tries to tie up the legs for a leg lock, Rakhmonov is defending the heel hook and lands punches while keeping top position. Now Magny tries a heel hook, no control over the knee line though and Rakhmonov pushes through the leg attack to land punches. Another heel hook attack from Magny but again he’s got no control so Rakhmonov pushes through it and lands elbows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rakhmonov

ROUND TWO: Both men come out jabbing for the second round. Rakhmonov is pushing Magny back as they joust with the jab. Rakhmonov catches a kick and lands a few punches. Bit of a one two from Magny. Spinning back kick from Rakhmonov then he clinches up on the fence. Rakhmonov is looking for trips and is able to get Magny down and lands in half guard. Rakhmonov stacks Magny up on his shoulders, he’s basically sitting on the back of Magny’s thighs, and lands punches before moving to side control. Magny tries to bridge off of the fence but Rakhmonov just will not be moved. Rakhmonov spins to the ride position as Magny tries to scramble, Magny moves to a hip and Rakhmonov attacks a d’arce choke for a moment. Rakhmonov threatens the d’arce again as Magny works to stand. Some short punches from Rakhmonov, his control is impressive as Magny is usually pretty good in these spots. More punches from Rakhmonov, he stands over Magny and punches him a few more times before going back into half guard. Rakhmonov grabs at a guillotine, there’s short time in the round but his guillotine is good and Magny taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shavkat Rakhmonov via Submission, guillotine choke, at 4:58 of Round 2

That was very impressive stuff from Rakhmonov. Mic time for Rakhmonov, he puts over Magny and says he had to take his time because of how good Magny is. He knew he was winning the fight and knows that if he stays patient he’ll find finishes like he always has. Asked about the future he says he’ll be the champion soon and would like to fight Stephen Thompson next. Reasonable call out.

Here’s the finish, Rakhmonov had been threatening the neck for a while and I guess he found a grip he liked. Rakhmonov is coming for the top of this division, he’s incredibly well trained, well rounded, and makes exceptional decisions in the cage.

Arman Tsarukyan has gone 5-1 in the UFC, only losing his debut fight when he dropped a competitive decision to Islam Makhachev. Tsarukyan is trying to take a crucial step closer towards the top of the rankings and if he can get to six wins in a row at lightweight he’ll be due a shot at someone near the very top of the division. Mateusz Gamrot has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak with all three of those being finishes. Gamrot is trying to steal the hype around Tsarukyan and prove he’s the rising contender you should be watching. The odds are with Tsarukyan at -265 while a Gamrot win would payout at +225.

Lightweight Bout: #11 Arman Tsarukyan (18-2, 156 lbs.) vs. #12 Mateusz Gamrot (20-1 1 NC, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gamrot is three inches taller while Tsarukyan has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Gamrot looks much larger as they stand across from each other. Tsarukyan avoids a hook and tries a double leg, Gamrot defends and they trade double leg attempts in a great scramble. Gamrot starts showing southpaw now. Tsarukyan avoids a knee tap attempt and lands a leg kick. Calf kick from Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan lands a body kick. I also need to requalify the larger man issue, Gamrot is taller but Tsarukyan is visibly thicker through the torso. Tsarukyan gets a takedown off of a calf kick and Gamrot winds up sitting on the fence. Gamrot rolls through for a leg lock, uses that to stand then rolls again and spins to the ride. Tsarukyan stands but they’re still clinched with Gamrot in control. The wrestling from these two is amazing. They break without incident. Body kick from Tsarukyan, then he tries a head kick that’s mostly blocked. Bit of a one two from Gamrot. Tsarukyan lands more leg kicks. Gamrot blocks a few punches then falls just short with a right hand. Tsarukyan lands a body kick. Calf kick from Gamrot. Both men fall short on some punches. They tie up and scramble again, Tsarukyan gets a front headlock and holds it for the final seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tsarukyan

ROUND TWO: Tsarukyan kicks the body to start the round. Leg kick from Tsarukyan. Bit of a right from Gamrot. Gamrot lands a right hand. Tsarukyan lands a couple of jabs, Gamrot lands a calf kick. A bit more forward pressure from Gamrot this round. Tsarukyan lands a body kick. Calf kick from Tsarukyan, his kicking game has been very effective thus far. Tsarukyan tries a single leg, Gamrot defends and they separate. Gamrot lands a jab. Calf kick from Gamrot, then he checks the return one. Tsarukyan shoots, Gamrot counters and they scramble into the clinch. Gamrot avoids an elbow as they break. Left hand from Gamrot. Bit of a body kick from Tsarukyan. Gamrot lands a body kick, then Tsarukyan returns it. Another body kick from Tsarukyan lands, those are adding up at this point. Gamrot lands a right hand. Solid right from Gamrot. Tsarukyan with another body kick. Gamrot lands a body kick to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Tsarukyan opens with a body kick. Gamrot punches into a clinch, but nothing comes of it before they break. Gamrot lands a right hand. Tsarukyan lands a calf kick. They split a few jabs. A hard right from Tsarukyan lands, Gamrot tries a single leg but he can’t finish it. Jab from Gamrot. Another Gamrot jab lands. Tsarukyan lands an inside leg kick but Gamrot wobbles him for a second with a counter left hook. Double leg from Gamrot, Tsarukyan scrambles up with Gamrot on his back in the clinch. Gamrot starts dragging Tsarukyan down to the mat with mat returns, he’s making Tsarukyan work to get up and fight him off. Some knees to the leg from Gamrot then he mat returns Tsarukyan and jumps to the ride position. Tsarukyan wall walks but he’s struggling to get Gamrot off of him. They wind up chest to chest and fight out of the clinch. Gamrot lands a jab. Bit of a right from Gamrot, he might be out lasting the more explosive Tsarukyan. Both men fall short on punches. Tsarukyan tries a takedown, Gamrot defends and lands punches on one leg then gets free. Spinning back kick from Tsarukyan lands. Gamrot lands a left hand. They tie up and break without incident. Body kick from Tsarukyan. Gamrot lands a jab as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gamrot but a close one, 29-28 Tsarukyan overall

ROUND FOUR: Gamrot comes out jabbing, Tsarukyan is fighting back but they clinch up. Both men miss punches on the break. Tsarukyan with a head kick. Gamrot lands a hard right hand, Tsarukyan is fading cardio wise. Tsarukyan lands a body kick. Gamrot lands a left hand. Tsarukyan is swelling under the left eye a bit, nothing bad but it’s there. Tsarukyan lands a spinning back fist, Gamrot the goes after a double leg and they start wrestling but Tsarukyan has a front headlock. Gamrot out wrestles Tsarukyan on the mat and gets the back as they stand in the clinch. They break without incident but Gamrot’s persistence is paying off. Bit of a body shot from Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan lands a body kick but Gamrot gets a takedown off of it. Gamrot moves to the ride position, Tsarukyan wall walks but gets mat returned. Gamrot is on the back with one hook in, he loses the hook but he’s still on the back. The hook goes back in for Gamrot, he pulls Tsarukyan back and scrambles to the top as Tsarukyan looks to wall walk again. Gamrot ends the round in a control position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gamrot but close again, 38-38 DRAW overall

ROUND FIVE: Tsarukyan comes out and fires a one two. Gamrot lands a right hand. Hard calf kick from Tsarukyan drops Gamrot for a second. Another calf kick from Tsarukyan. Gamrot is still pressing forward and keeping the pace high. Gamrot lands a right hand then defends a single leg. Sweet double leg from Gamrot and he’s got Tsarukyan down again. Tsarukyan looks to wall walk, Gamrot moves to his back as they stand. Some knees from Gamrot, then Tsarukyan spins free from the clinch. Gamrot avoids a spinning back fist and clinches up but can’t control Tsarukyan this time and they break. Tsarukyan has a body kick blocked. Gamrot lands a left hand. Solid right from Gamrot. Tsarukyan is coming forward now, and has another body kick checked. Bit of a right from Gamrot. Tsarukyan lands a body kick but eats a counter right hand. Tsarukyan avoids a single leg, grabs a front headlock but Gamrot fights up and free. Gamrot lands a right hand. Tsarukyan lands a body kick. Stiff jab from Gamrot. Gamrot hits a double leg against the fence then has the back as they stand. Gamrot rides Tsarukyan down and keeps the back standing. Tsarukyan gets chest to chest and gets a front headlock as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tsarukyan but I’m not sure about that at all, 48-47 Tsarukyan but who knows

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mateusz Gamrot via unanimous decision (48-47 x3)

I’m fine with that, Gamrot came on strong down the stretch and I’m not convinced at all about my scoring of the 5th. Mic time for Gamrot, he says the fight was tough and puts over Tsarukyan in a big way. He thanks American Top Team, and says he’s ready for everyone in the division. About the future he wants to fight Justin Gaethje because Gaethje is the most brutal guy in the division. Not many people call out Gaethje, so respect. To close he gives a lot of thanks to everyone who got him ready for this.

Tsarukyan gets an interview as well, he doesn’t know what went wrong and says he had a good camp. He knows he can do better than this and thinks he’s going to fix his mistakes and be better next time. To close he apologizes to his supporters, and feels he won three rounds but will have to watch the fight back.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 38 comes to a close. Great main event, bit of a coming out party for Shavkat Rakhmonov if you weren’t already hip to his ability, and some solid finishes down the card. We’ll be unpacking all of these results on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast on Sunday, plus looking ahead to UFC 276 next week. I’ll be back here for UFC 276 which features two title fights next week and I hope you will as well. Until then thank you very much for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

UFC 302, Robert Winfree