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August 6, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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#6 Thiago Santos (206 lbs.) vs. #10 Jamahal Hill (205 lbs.)
#6 Vicente Luque (170.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Geoff Neal (171 lbs.)
Zac Pauga (239 lbs.) vs. Mohammed Usman (236.5 lbs.) – TUF 30 heavyweight final
Juliana Miller (125 lbs.) vs. Brogan Walker (125.5 lbs.) – TUF 30 women’s flyweight final
#14 Augusto Sakai (260 lbs.) vs. Serghei Spivac (249.5 lbs.)
Priscila Cachoeira (125.5 lbs.) vs. Ariane Lipski (128.5 lbs.)*
Erick Gonzalez (155 lbs.) vs. Terrance McKinney (155.5 lbs.)

Sam Alvey (186 lbs.) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (185.5 lbs.)
Bryan Battle (171 lbs.) vs. Takashi Sato (170.5 lbs.)
Josh Quinlan (169 lbs.) vs. Jason Witt (170 lbs.)
Miranda Granger (115.5 lbs.) vs. Cory McKenna (115.5 lbs.)
Stephanie Egger (134.5 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (135.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 40. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, calling the action just as I see it. Tonight the UFC brings us the finale of a season of The Ultimate Fighter, which they stubbornly insist is still a thing. The top two fights are pretty good though, the main event is a relevant clash of top light heavyweights when Thiago Santos tries to halt his downward trend when he battles the surging contender Jamahal Hill. The co-main event is maybe the best fight on the card on paper, top welterweights Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal meet in a potential cross roads fight for both men. The rest of the card isn’t that great on paper, Sam Alvey is on the card despite his horrific losing streak and taking on Michal Oleksiejczuk, Oleksiejczuk is dropping to middleweight for the first time and will be trying to make a statement here. Mostly though we’re hoping the action in practice makes up for the lackluster card on paper.

UFC on ESPN 40 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping will be on commentary for the action. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer ones but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We will have the use of instant replay and the fight can be restarted after it’s used if that’s applicable to the situation. Also keep in mind we’re in the smaller 25 foot Octagon.

Minor update, the fight between Josh Quinlan and Jason Witt has been rescheduled for next week due to a minor issue with Quinlan’s drug test. Nothing that would get Quinlan a suspension but the NSAC wouldn’t sanction the fight. This does mean the broadcast has pushed the start time back by half an hour though.

The top of the broadcast tells us that Ariane Lipski and Priscila Cachoeira has been moved to next week as well, it’ll be at bantamweight then. Ultimately our first fight wont start until 8pm EST given the fights falling out.

Mayra Bueno Silva has gone 1-1-1 in her last three fights but she’s coming off of a win and now looks for her first winning streak since 2018. Stephanie Egger has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is riding a two fight winning streak, if she can get to three in a row here it could earn her a shot at some ranked opposition next. The odds are with Egger at -125 to a +105 comeback on Bueno Silva.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Stephanie Egger (7-2, 134.5 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (8-2-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Egger has an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Egger starts out showing the jab, then they start trading low kicks. Bueno Silva lands a front kick to the face, then they clinch and Egger gets a takedown into full guard. Egger lands some elbows. Hammer fists from Egger as Bueno Silva looks for an armbar. Bueno Silva starts turning her hips, she’s got the arm extended and we get a pause in the action as Bueno Silva claimed a tap that the ref didn’t see. We get a replay review, they’re looking for an angle to figure this out but we really don’t have a good angle on it. The ref checks with the judges cageside, one of them says he absolutely saw the tap so that’s the ruling.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mayra Bueno Silva via Submission, armbar, at 1:17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Bueno Silva for her work this evening. For what it’s worth Egger isn’t throwing a fit but she’s clearly not happy with the ruling. Mic time for Bueno Silva and her translator, she’s very emotional and goes with English saying she worked very hard for this moment and definitely felt the tap so she’s not happy with how that played out. She puts over her team for their work and switches back to Portuguese mid interview to send love to a lot of people back home.

Miranda Granger has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight losing streak, she’s trying to halt that skid and get her UFC record to the .500 mark. Cory McKenna has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss, she’s trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. McKenna is a rather heavy favorite at -190 to +160 on Granger.

Strawweight Bout: Miranda Granger (7-2, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Cory McKenna (6-2, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Granger has four inches of height and a whopping nine and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Granger shows the jab early as they circle. McKenna pressures forward, she eats a leg kick. Calf kick from Granger. A few long range punches from Granger land, then another calf kick. Both women keep probing with the lead hand. McKenna lands a right hand as they clinch up but Granger lands knees and spins her into the fence. They jockey for position along the fence, McKenna tries for a takedown and eventually completes a double leg. Granger wall walks but gets taken right back down more in open space now, and Granger closes her guard as a result. McKenna looks to set up a pass, and she does move to half guard. A few lefts from McKenna land. McKenna’s ground and pound isn’t terribly strong but she’s got a decent pace with it and Granger isn’t doing much to attack off of her back. McKenna attacks with an arm triangle but Granger defends and McKenna has to settle for getting side control. Another arm triangle attack from McKenna, she gets around to tighten it up but there’s not enough time to get the finish.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McKenna

ROUND TWO: Granger throws a high kick, McKenna mostly eats it and forces things to the fence then goes for another double leg. Granger isn’t turning her hips and splitting her legs to fight it, which results in McKenna getting the double leg into side control. McKenna immediately attacks the arm triangle again, she switches to a Von Flue choke though as Granger keeps holding the head and Granger winds up tapping.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cory McKenna via Submission, Von Flue choke, at 1:03 of Round 2

Mic time for McKenna, she talks about working hard to overcome reach disadvantages and puts over her boxing coach for helping her with that. She says she’s never finished a Von Flue choke before as she talks us through the finish, that’s actually the first women’s Von Flue choke in UFC history. Asked about the future she wants to fight again soon as she’s not injured at the moment.

Here’s the finish. This is why you don’t just hold the head once they pass your guard, especially if they get all the way to side control because at that point you’re just asking for it.

Takashi Sato has gone 2-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he’s trying to halt that particular skid and get his first win since 2020. Bryan Battle has a six fight winning streak going that includes two wins in the UFC, he’s trying to extend that streak while proving he’s a prospect of note going forward. The odds are firmly with Battle at -300 to the +250 underdog Sato.

Welterweight Bout: Bryan Battle (7-1, 171 lbs.) vs. Takashi Sato (16-5, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Battle is three inches taller with four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, southpaw for Sato. Some early jabs from Sato. Battle starts working long range kicks, both men are still just range finding and gathering information. Head kick from Battle ENDS Sato out of no where.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bryan Battle via KO, head kick, at :44 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Battle for his work this evening. Battle gets an interview after that lovely finish, he says he got a bit of money to gamble last night and turned ten bucks into 45 or so and feels like this fight was just like that. He talks us through the finish, noting he’s worked hard on putting head kicks on the end of his combinations and while he didn’t expect it to happen that fast he did think it would happen. Asked about the future down at welterweight, he calls out Ian Garry and his protected ass. If not Garry then he’d love to fight Bryan Barberena because there’s only room for one Bryan in the division.

Here’s the finish. You’ve got to be diligent about your defense in open stances like this, Sato reaches for the jab with his rear hand and that leaves an opening for a head kick follow up. Brutal finish from Battle.

Sam Alvey hasn’t won a fight since 2018 and is 0-7-1 in his last eight fights, he’s back down at middleweight again and desperately trying to halt one of the worst losing streaks in UFC history. Michal Oleksiejczuk has gone 4-3 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss that has prompted this change of weight class. Oleksiejczuk was always a smaller light heavyweight and now he’s hoping to find more sustained success down at middleweight. The odds are heavily with Oleksiejczuk at -660 while an Alvey win would payout at +490.

Middleweight Bout: Sam Alvey (33-17-1 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (16-5 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Alvey is two inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Both men fighting southpaw. They both miss power hand punches. Oleksiejczuk lands a couple of lefts, Alvey responds with a right hand but Alvey is a little hurt. More pressure from Oleksiejczuk, he’s looking good thus far and lands a right hook. Oleksiejczuk lands a left to the body. Hard left from Oleksiejczuk drops Alvey, he gets on top and unloads with punches from side control but Alvey is able to tie him up and stall things out. Oleksiejczuk moves to the mounted crucifix as Alvey looks to use the fence to explode. Alvey gets to his knees and Oleksiejczuk unloads with lefts from the ride position but Alvey is able to wall walk and they break. Oleksiejczuk sprawls away from a double leg, Alvey’s face is a bit of a mess. Another left from Oleksiejczuk drops Alvey again and this time the ref intervenes.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Michal Oleksiejczuk via TKO, punches, at 1:56 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Oleksiejczuk for his work this evening. Heck of a statement from Oleksiejczuk in his new weight class, he and his translator get some mic time. He says he’s here for the war and to get finishes. He puts over Alvey as a tough veteran who did everything to try and comeback in the fight, but Oleksiejczuk had to win.

Here’s the finish. Oleksiejczuk is just relentless with his pressure, Alvey is already visibly hurt and he’s on autopilot trying to swing back check hooks which leave him quite vulnerable to the left hand of Oleksiejczuk.

Well that’s it for the prelims, a lot of finishes to lead us into the main card.

Terrance McKinney just had a five fight winning streak snapped by Drew Dober which brought his UFC record to 2-1, he’s trying to rebound from that setback and resume his winning ways. Erick Gonzalez lost his UFC debut last year when he was stopped by Jim Miller, now he’s looking to secure that all important first UFC win. McKinney is the biggest favorite on the card at -850 to a whopping +600 payout on Gonzalez.

Lightweight Bout: Erick Gonzalez (14-6, 155 lbs.) vs. Terrance McKinney (12-4, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gonzalez is an inch taller with an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for McKinney. McKinney stalks forward, lands a high kick then a left hand. Gonzalez is keeping a high guard and looking to let McKinney get a little tired. Stiff jab from McKinney. Gonzalez lands a body kick. Gonzalez goes southpaw but eats a jab. Uppercut from McKinney, then a right hook. Some knees from McKinney in close, Gonzalez catches one and forces a clinch. McKinney with a couple of knees then an elbow as they break. Gonzalez lands a left hand that staggers McKinney but he remains upright. McKinney ducks under a punch and hits a double leg into half guard. A few punches from McKinney land before Gonzalez rolls to his knees. Gonzalez is upright, McKinney jumps to the backpack position and starts fishing for the choke. McKinney goes to more of a crank but he’s able to get an angle on the choke and Gonzalez has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Terrance McKinney via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. McKinney for his work this evening. Mic time for McKinney, he says he doesn’t play with his food it’s just time to eat. He says this is kill or be killed, that’s why he comes out so hard. Asked about the future he’d like to fight either in October or in Madison Square Garden, and specifically mentions wanting to fight Paddy Pimblett. He talks us through the finish to close.

Here’s a look at the finish. McKinney does some nice little adjustments with his arms and shoulders to finally tighten this to the point where it gets the tap.

Augusto Sakai had some pretty serious momentum going up until 2020, now he’s on a three fight losing streak and he’s been finished in all of those losses. Sakai badly needs to halt his current streak and get back on the winning side of things. Serghei Spivac has gone 5-3 in the UFC and he’s coming off of a win over Greg Hardy, now he’s trying to build another winning streak and possibly crank the top rankings at heavyweight. The odds are with Spivac at -295 to +245 on Sakai.

Heavyweight Bout: #14 Augusto Sakai (15-4-1, 260 lbs.) vs. Serghei Spivac (14-3, 249.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Spivac has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men probe with punches, then Sakai lands a leg kick. Spivac forces a clinch then hits an inside trip. Sakai quickly wall walks but Spivac is after a standing guillotine, which Sakai defends. Knee from Sakai, but Spivac hits a judo throw to get on top in half guard. Sakai is able to get full guard, he’s looking for a sweep but Spivac moves to half guard again. A few short blows from Spivac land as he’s working on top. Spivac spins to side control, then lands punches as Sakai moves to his knees and starts to wall walk. Some more punches from Spivac land but Sakai is able to get up though they’re still clinched. Spivac moves to the back standing and forces Sakai down to his knees again. Sakai wall walks quickly then Spivac is able to trip him back down to get on top. Spivac moves to side control quickly but he rushes a bit and Sakai is able to move to his knees. Some hammer fists from Spivac as he’s working out of the ride position, then he jumps to the back with both hooks in. Sakai scoots to the fence and wall walks again, Spivac tried a choke on the way up but he had no control over the body and Sakai spins into him. Knees from Sakai then an elbow before they break out of the clinch. Spivac lands a right hook then clinches up again. Sakai lands a knee, which will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Spivac

ROUND TWO: Spivac lands a couple of jabs to start the round. Sakai misses a right hand. Spivac forces a clinch but Sakai defends this time and separates. Bit of a right from Sakai. Spivac lands a jab. That jab from Spivac is troubling Sakai. Spivac forces a clinch then hits a high crotch lift and gets on top in half guard. Sakai’s nose is bleeding from those jabs. Spivac moves to side control, Sakai rolls to his knees and wrestles to his feet against the fence. Sakai is looking for a single leg now, but he bails on it. Judo trip from Spivac and he’s back on top landing some punches. Elbow from Spivac, he’s working out of half guard and postures up to unload with hammer fists for a bit. Sakai tries to stand again, Spivac gets to the ride position but he’s not leg lacing and it’s allowing Sakai to still move pretty well. More punches from Spivac then he drives Sakai down again. Sakai keeps trying but he’s getting worn down and beat up. Spivac gets the back and lands hammer fists again and the ref has seen enough.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Serghei Spivac via TKO, punches, at 3:42 of Round 2

That was one way traffic. Mic time for Spivac and his translator, he starts with English and says he’s been preparing in Vegas for five months but he likes the outcome. He wants to fight someone in the top ten next, he thinks he’s earned that. He notes his road in the UFC has been bumpy but he’s finally found his footing and plans on continuing to win. To close he thanks a few sponsors then says he’s had nine fights in the UFC but no bonuses, and asks for one here. Bonus money is going to be hard to come by tonight, unless the UFC decides to be generous.

Here’s the finish. This was just a beating, Spivac is coming into his own as a rising force at heavyweight.

Brogan Walker-Sanchez won her last fight before getting into TUF and now she’s looking to win that particular tournament and get her UFC career off on the right foot. Juliana Miller suffered her first professional loss in her last fight before TUF, she’s likewise trying to win the tournament and start her UFC career. Miller is the -130 favorite to a +110 payout on a Walker-Sanchez win.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Juliana Miller (2-1, 125 lbs.) vs. Brogan Walker (7-2, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Miller is three inches taller while Walker has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Walker. Miller lands a left hook. Now Walker has begun switching her stance. One two from Miller then they clinch up and hit the fence. They fight for position then Miller hits an outside trip into half guard. Some punches from Miller land. Walker tries to shrimp to full guard but Miller stifles that and lands another couple of punches. Miller lands a short elbow. Walker finally gets full guard and closes it right away. Miller lands a few more strikes, Walker’s left eye is a little swollen I think. A few more short blows from Miller as Walker tries to work her guard up higher. Walker tries an armbar, Miller defends and lands another few punches. The round ends with Miller still on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miller

ROUND TWO: Miller lands a jab to counter a leg kick. That left eye of Walker is swelling and is starting to bruise. Miller is punching at the eye. Stiff jab from Miller. Walker lands a front kick to the body. They get close and trade then clinch up. Miller gets Walker on the fence and trips her down into half guard. Walker immediately attacks a heel hook, it’s not that close and Miller grabs the ride position and looks to take the back. No hooks yet for Miller but she’s able to get one in as she attacks the choke. Walker is hand fighting but Miller is cranking on the choke and it’s getting closer and closer. Miller bails on the choke as she couldn’t adjust it and Walker gets on top looking for the back herself. They fight up into a clinch and Walker lands a knee to the body. They break and Miller misses a punch. Walker falls into another clinch and they’re back on the fence. Miller lands a knee to the body then an elbow. Miller trips Walker down and lands in leg drag. Some punches from Miller as she moves to side control. Some hammer fists and punches from Miller as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Hard left from Miller lands. They split some jabs then clash on kicks. Bit of a right from Miller. Miller lands a calf kick. Walker lands a right hand. Stiff jab from Miller. Miller lands a one two. Body kick from Miller. Walker lands a leg kick. Both women miss lefts. Walker lands a front kick then they clinch up and hit the fence. Miller lands a knee and pushes Walker into the fence before tripping her down. Punches from Miller as Walker tries to wall walk, but Miller pushes her over and gets on top in 3/4 mount. Full mount now for Miller and she lands punches and elbows. More elbows from Miller, she’s closing in on a finish if she can string together a sequence of strikes. Walker doesn’t seem to have the technical know how to get out of this position, Miller lands move elbows. Miller postures up and lands punches and elbows, and the ref has seen enough.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Juliana Miller via TKO, punches and elbows, at 3:57 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Miller for her work this evening, and is glad to have finally gotten through security and be present for the event. Mic time for Miller after Dana White hands her the glass trophy for winning TUF, she puts over Walker and gives love to her grandmother then thanks her coaches. She talks about her preparation for the fight and tells the world to watch out for her in the future. She talks us through the finish to close.

Here’s the finish. Walker is cooked at this point, she’s tired and can’t address the mount from Miller. For Miller it’s just being patient and not giving up a stupid reversal, then unloading with strikes whenever she can.

Zac Pauga is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s trying to remain perfect and become the latest TUF winner. Mohammed Usman suffered a loss in the PFL last year but now has a chance to win this season of TUF and begin making a home in the UFC. The odds are with Pauga at -260 to a +220 comeback on Usman.

Heavyweight Bout: Zac Pauga (5-0, 239 lbs.) vs. Mohammed Usman (7-2, 236.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Usman has three inches of reach advantage. Pauga opens with a front kick to the face. Both men probe a bit with the lead hand as they circle. Pauga lands a jab, he’s feinting a lot at the moment. Both men miss rights. Leg kick from Pauga then he jabs the body. Jab from Pauga then a couple of short uppercuts in close. Pauga lands a head kick, but Usman eats it and lands a right hand. Bit of a calf kick from Pauga. Usman lands a jab. Usman misses a right hand. They trade in close, neither landed cleanly though. Both men land rights. Pauga lands a front kick to the body. Usman misses a left hook and eats a jab. Bit of a jab from Usman. Pauga avoids a right hand. Bit of a left from Pauga. Glancing head kick from Pauga then a leg kick. Usman lands a right hand but he’s getting out worked. Pauga lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Pauga then a couple of jabs. A one two from Pauga closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pauga

ROUND TWO: Both men resume jabbing to start the round. Pauga with a slightly lazy jab to the body, Usman counters with a left hook that SLEEPS Pauga.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mohammed Usman via KO, punch, at :36 of Round 2

Usman gets an interview after handing the trophy off to a coach, he says there was no bad blood here and puts over Pauga but he found a group of coaches and team mates who believed in him and went to work with him. He puts over his family and wants to get back to work before giving love to his son who passed away. He talks us through the finish, he knew the hook would be there based on Pauga’s posture and his coaches got him ready. Kamaru Usman is here with his brother, he acknowledges that brothers as both TUF winners is a bit of history and he thinks Mohammed can become a champion along with him.

Here’s the finish. Usman has a decent read on the range at this point so when Pauga gets a bit predictable with his posture Usman is able to take a slight angle step and counter with a powerful left hook while Pauga isn’t able to defend. The follow up hammer fists are straight up nasty.

Vicente Luque just had a four fight winning streak snapped by Belal Muhammad, now he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak since 2011 and prove he’s still a top shelf welterweight. Geoff Neal just broke a two fight losing streak by besting Santiago Ponzinibbio, he’s trying for another winning streak here while moving up the ranks. Luque is your -180 favorite to +155 on Neal.

Welterweight Bout: #6 Vicente Luque (21-8-1, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Geoff Neal (14-4, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Luque has an inch of reach advantage. Neal is fighting southpaw. They trade body kicks while circling. Right hook from Neal. They trade power hand punches. Both men land punches in close. Luque is the one applying pressure at the moment. Neal lands a body kick then a left hand. Luque lands a leg kick. Neal blocks some punches then wobbles Luque with a left hand. Now Neal looks to pressure and finish, but Luque fires back and gets Neal to back off and reset. Bit of a right from Luque. Neal lands another left hand. Luque keeps pressuring forward, he’s bleeding from the bridge of the nose. Neal lands a couple of lefts. Both men land in close. Luque lands a front kick. Another left from Neal staggers Luque. Neal is coming forward again now, he keeps peppering with punches and lands another left. A left from Neal drops Luque, Luque fights to his feet and Neal avoids a clinch. Neal lands a couple of jabs. Body kick from Luque. Neal lands a right hook then another left hand. Luque lands a right hand. A couple of punches from Neal have Luque a little wobbly but the round ends before anything can come of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Luque lands an inside leg kick, Neal returns it. A few jabs go back and forth. Neal lands a left hand. Luque lands another inside leg kick. Some front kicks go back and forth. Luque lands a body kick, Neal returns it. Neal blocks a head kick then lands a left hand. Another left from Neal. Luque lands a front kick to the body. They trade power hand punches, then Neal lands a right hook. Luque lands an inside leg kick. Another front kick from Luque. Luque’s definitely busier this round and it’s paying off. More front kicks from Luque. Neal lands a left hand. Luque lands a body kick, then Neal hits a single leg and they wind up clinched on the fence. Bit of an elbow from Luque. Neal lands a few elbows of his own before they break. One twos from Neal then a few uppercuts in close. Luque lands a left to the body. Another body shot from Luque then an inside leg kick. Neal forces a clinch but Luque gets free right away. They trade power hand punches. Neal lands a left hand. Another left from Neal lands. Luque lands a leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Luque, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Luque lands a jab. Neal lands a left hand. Another left from Neal. Luque is coming forward again, he misses a few punches. Luque lands a body kick. Neal lands a left hand. Another left from Neal. Neal sends another left home. Luque goes southpaw for a moment, and Neal immediately wobbles him with a left hand leading to Luque going orthodox. Neal wobbles Luque with a left and backs him to the fence, Neal with a series of uppercuts, Luque fires back but Neal doesn’t reset this time he continues unloading until Luque face plants to the canvas.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Geoff Neal via KO, punches, at 2:01 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Neal for his work this evening. Heck of a win for Neal. Neal gets an interview, he’s been looking forward to fighting Luque for a while and knows that fighting guys like Luque means you have to fight the whole time. He acknowledges he tends to take off the second round and his coach got after him after the second round this time and Neal came out on fire in the third. He talks us through the finish and puts over Luque again. When asked about the future he says he’d like to fight Gilbert Burns next, and brings up that he’s already got a win over Belal Muhammad.

Here’s the finish. Luque is trying to fight back while hurt, but his defense is porous and with his head dead in the center Neal doesn’t have too much trouble finding the target.

Thiago Santos fought for the title back in 2019 but is just 1-4 in his last five fights including that failed title shot, his lone win being a decision over Johnny Walker last year. Santos is trying to avoid another losing streak and prove he’s still a worthwhile addition to the light heavyweight roster. Jamahal Hill has gone 4-1 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s on a two fight winning streak and has knocked out both of those opponents in the first round. Hill is looking for the biggest win of his career and if he can take out Santos here he should find himself fighting someone in the top five his next time out. The odds are solidly with Hill at -300 to a +250 comeback on Santos.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #6 Thiago Santos (22-10, 206 lbs.) vs. #10 Jamahal Hill (10-1 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hill is two inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Hill, Santos is normally orthodox but will switch on occasion. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men paw with the lead hand as they look for position. Santos goes southpaw and lands a leg kick. Hill avoids a single leg takedown. Now Hill starts showing the jab, Santos seems to favor a lot of stance switching now. Hill blocks a head kick. More jabs from Hill, he’s not landing them yet but they’re disrupting Santos. Santos lands a leg kick, bit of a right hook counter from Hill. Hill lands a front kick. Santos forces a clinch while looking for a takedown against the fence, Hill is defending a level change now. They trade some short blows to the body in the clinch, Santos is keeping Hill on the fence right now. Santos tries a single leg, Hill is defending thus far. Hill lands a knee to the body as Santos bails on his takedown attempt. Some knees go back and forth, one of Hill’s strikes the groin of Santos so we get a time out. Replay confirms the groin shot and Santos takes a little under a minute then they restart at distance. Hill goes back to showing the jab then misses a head kick. Santos lands a leg kick. Hill checks a leg kick and lands a right hook. Jabs from Hill, they’re starting to land now. A lot of circling from Santos, he tries a spinning back kick but misses. Santos lands a right hand then a calf kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Santos but a close one

ROUND TWO: There’s a bit of swelling around the left eye of Hill, nothing bad yet. Hill lands an inside leg kick. More inside leg kicks from Hill as he’s got Santos backing up. Santos blocks a high kick, then fires one of his own that’s blocked. Santos lands a body kick. Double leg from Santos, he gets Hill down but Hill wall walks immediately and they wind up clinched on the fence. Hill lands a knee before Santos moves up to a body lock. They break and Hill lands a right hand that seems to hurt Santos. Santos forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Knee from Santos, then another before Hill slips free. Hill lands a right hook. Bit of a left from Santos, they’re starting to swing at each other. Santos lands a leg kick. Hill keeps coming forward, his pressure might be getting to Santos now. Santos barely avoids a high kick. Both men miss lead hand hooks. A few body jabs from Santos land. Hill lands a jab. Right hook from Hill. Santos lands a calf kick. Hill lands a few more jabs then they both miss punches in close. A right hook from Hill wobbles Santos for a moment. They split jabs then both miss hooks to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Santos was visibly flat on his feet by the end of the second, let’s see if he can get his energy back. They touch gloves. Santos checks an inside leg kick. Hill lands a body kick. Santos tries a double leg, they hit the fence and Santos is able to finish it. Hill wall walks immediately and they wind up clinched. Single leg from Santos and he gets the back briefly but Hill shakes him off and regains his feet. Santos tries a double leg, that stalls out on the fence as Hill is defending. Hill forces Santos down to a front headlock position, they move up to their feet again and Santos hits a double leg. Santos moves to the back as Hill looks to set up his wall walk, Hill gives up the back as he regains his feet. There’s a knee to the leg from Santos as he tries for another takedown in the clinch, he forces Hill down to his knees and then lands some short punches from the ride position. Hill stands yet again and lands a short elbow of his own. Knees from Hill now as Santos holds onto a single leg attempt, then Hill slips free and they brawl for a bit before clinching again. More knees from Hill in the clinch, Santos is trying another takedown against the fence. Santos lands a body shot, Hill responds with a knee to the head. Santos hits a single leg and ends the round technically on top.

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

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again, both men look visibly fatigued. Some feinting from both men. Hill lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a jab from Hill. Santos lands a body kick. Bit of a one two from Hill. Hill lands a stiff right, then he and Santos both swing in close and trade punches. Hill is still stalking forward, he lands a one two. Santos lands a body kick. Hill avoids a punch and lands a couple of lefts, Santos is hurt and reaches for a clinch but Santos avoids it and they both trade wild punches. Santos falls over and Hill gets on top in leg drag and unloads with punches. Hill moves to the ride position as Santos crawls to the fence, Hill keeps unloading with strikes. A series of elbows from Hill land and prompt the ref to step in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jamahal Hill via TKO, punches and elbows, at 2:31 of Round 4

Well that caps off a historic event, just the second time in the modern era of the UFC where every fight ended in a finish. Mic time for Hill, he expected the wrestling attack from Santos and feels Santos mixed it all together quite well. He doesn’t stop working and puts over his team for getting him into shape and in the proper mind set. Asked what he’d like next he’d like a title shot but if not that he’ll fight Jan Blachowicz. He talks us through the finish, then thanks his manager and some sponsors, then gives love to his people and warns everyone to stop questioning his experience because they’ve never seen anyone like him but he’s seen plenty of people like them.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 40 comes to a close. A very lack luster card on paper that delivered the goods in terms of action. We’ll be unpacking all of the results from this event on the 411 Ground and Pound podcast on Sunday, plus looking ahead to next week when Marlon “Chito” Vera meets Dominick Cruz in the main event. I’ll be right back here covering that event and I hope you’ll join me. Until then thank you as always for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 40, Robert Winfree