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September 4, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 49

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MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
#5 Derek Brunson (186 lbs.) vs. #7 Darren Till (185.5 lbs.)
#13 Tom Aspinall (247 lbs.) vs. #14 Serghei Spivac (238.5 lbs.)
Alex Morono (170.5 lbs.) vs. David Zawada (170.5 lbs.)
Modestas Bukauskas (205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (205.5 lbs.)
Paddy Pimblett (155.5 lbs.) vs. Luigi Vendramini (155.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 2 p.m. ET)
Molly McCann (125.5 lbs.) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (126 lbs.)
Liudvik Sholinian (135 lbs.) vs. Jack Shore (136 lbs.)
Julian Erosa (149.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (149.5 lbs.) – 150-pound catchweight
Marc-Andre Barriault (184.5 lbs.) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (185 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 49. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host. This event was originally supposed to take place on August 14th and be held in London, but travel restrictions and whatnot complicated that so it wound up here. This card has suffered a lot of fight losses, most recently Jonathan Martinez and Nathaniel Wood but also losing a couple of light heavyweight fights in the form of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir vs. Magomed Ankalaev, plus Marc Diakiese and Rafael Alves fell off. So ultimately we’ve got just 9 fights for this event. The main event is a relevant middleweight clash between Derek Brunson and Darren Till, Till being at a fairly important cross roads right now and Brunson possibly earning a title shot if he’s able to get an impressive win. Elsewhere on the card rising heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall looks to continue his ascent, Khalil Rountree is back and possibly on his last legs in the UFC, and a fairly bright bantamweight prospect in the form of Jack Shore will be on the prelims. And really, with only 9 fights even if we get nothing but decisions this shouldn’t be too long a card.

UFC on ESPN+ 49 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Michael Bisping on commentary. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer ones except the downed fighter definition. There is the replay official outside the cage who can request Instant Replay, as can the in cage ref, and a fight can be restarted once replay is used if that’s applicable. Also remember the Apex uses the smaller 25 foot diameter cage set up.

Dalcha Lungiambula has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win in his middleweight debut, now he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Marc-Andre Barriault finally got his first win earlier this year when he scored a late stoppage over Abu Azaitar, he’s also trying to get his first UFC winning streak going and hopefully start moving his UFC record towards the .500 mark. Barriault is your favorite at -170 to +145 for Lungiambula.

Middleweight Bout: Marc-Andre Barriault (12-4 1 NC, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (11-2, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barriault is five inches taller but Lungiambula has two inches of reach advantage. A lot of forward pressure from Barriault to start, he’s showing the lead hand a lot. Some kicks to the leg and body go back and forth. Barriault is backing Lungiambula up with long range weapons. Lungiambula lands a bit of an overhand right. Barriault is starting to show some stance switches as he’s pushing forward. Lungiambula fires some punches that are blocked. Bit of a right from Barriault. Lungiambula misses a few more punches. Glancing head kick from Barriault, his pressure is getting to Lungiambula a bit. Lungiambula tries a double leg, switches to a headlock throw and get it but Barriault pops right back up and separates. Barriault lands a calf kick. A right from Barriault lands. Lungiambula gets an inside trip takedown, but Barriault again scrambles back up and they break a clinch. Barriault lands a right then a body kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barriault but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Barriault back to pressuring forward. Leg kick from Barriault. Lungiambula lands a left hand. Barriault gets close and lands an uppercut then a body kick. Another right from Barriault then a left to the body. Both men are doing stance switching now. They trade body kicks but Lungiambula can’t follow up. Barriault lands a right in close, he’s breaking down Lungiambula at this point. Both men land leg kicks then they trade rights in close. The volume of Barriault is starting to pile up, Lungiambula doesn’t seem to throw more than two at a time. Lungiambula tries a double leg, Barriault defends then they trade in close. Stiff jab from Lungiambula. Barriault lands a right. Barriault with a combination, then he avoids a right and lands a counter. Lungiambula is fading, Barriault lands a body kick. They clinch, and Lungiambula knees Barriault in the groin so we’ve got a time out. Replay shows the foot went into the groin not the knee, the knee went to the body, but definite groin contact. Barriault takes about 30 seconds then we’re back to fighting. More forward pressure from Barriault, he lands a body kick. Both men miss jabs, then Barriault lands a body kick to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: More pressure from Barriault, Lungiambula backing up again. Lungiambula lands a left to the body. Barriault lands a right hook. Lungiambula lands a couple of uppercuts in close but he can’t get Barriault off of him. Barriault lands a few more punches in close, and takes a finger to the eye so we’ve got another timeout. Replay confirms the eye poke, that left eye of Barriault is not looking great. The doctor is in to check on Barriault, he’s good to continue after about 90 seconds and Lungiambula gets a stern warning from the ref and we’re back to fighting after a total of about 2 minutes. Barriault pushing forward again, they trade in close but that pressure is getting to Lungiambula. Bit of a left from Lungiambula, Barriault lands a leg kick. Barriault sprawls away from a double leg and lands an uppercut. A right from Barriault, but Lungiambula lands a body shot. Elbow from Barriault in close and they trade rights. Barriault lands a one two. Front kick to the body from Barriault, then they trade punches in close. The volume from Barriault is wearing on Lungiambula now. Barriault with uppercuts in close, he’s got Lungiambula very tired and unable to stand his ground. Bit of a left form Barriault in close, then they trade rights and clinch. Barriault keeps landing uppercuts in close, both men swing in the pocket as the fight ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marc-Andre Barriault via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

I don’t object to Lungiambula getting the first, but Barriault clearly won overall. Mic time for Barriault who says he’s feeling fantastic and fights great with his back against the wall then puts over Lungiambula. He’s happy with his performance, thanks his new team and thinks he’s really improving his overall game with them.

Julian Erosa took this fight on short notice, hence the catchweight, but he’s 2-1 in his latest UFC stretch and while he’s coming off of a loss he’s trying to avoid another UFC losing streak. Charles Jourdain has gone 2-2-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and is looking for his first UFC winning streak. The odds are with Jourdain at -175 while Erosa’s comeback sits at +150.

Catchweight Bout: Julian Erosa (25-9, 149.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (11-3-1, 149.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Erosa is four inches taller with four and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Jourdain to start. Both men fire body kicks. Jourdain lands a left hand. Erosa blocks a body kick and gets a clinch. They break without incident. Erosa avoids a head kick then lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Erosa then Jourdain lands a leg kick. They trade power hand punches. Erosa lands a left hook in close. Jourdain lands a body kick. A right from Erosa staggers Jourdain for a second. Jourdain lands a left in close. Erosa is the one coming forward now, he digs a left to the body. Bit of a combination from Erosa, his volume is getting to Jourdain just a bit. Jourdain lands a left, then another one. Erosa gets a clinch and starts working along the fence. Bit of a knee from Erosa then they trade body shots and break. Jourdain lands a left then a body kick but eats a counter uppercut that staggers him. Erosa with a final few blows against the fence before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Erosa

ROUND TWO: Jourdain is fighting orthodox now, and they trade leg kicks. Erosa with a left uppercut then a left hook. Both men land leg kicks then Jourdain lands a left hook. Both men land punches in close. Erosa lands a body shot. The pressure from Erosa is getting to Jourdain, he lands a jab and a left head kick. Jourdain lands a combination but he can’t get Erosa to back up. Erosa with a front kick, Jourdain was jumping for a knee and that kick went into the groin so we’ve got a timeout. Jourdain takes a little over 20 seconds then we’re back. Erosa lands a combination of body shots. Jourdain with a leg kick then a left hook but Erosa just eats it. Erosa pushing forward, Jourdain lands another left. A knee to the body from Erosa. They trade power hand punches, Jourdain is going southpaw again. Another body shot from Erosa. Combination from Jourdain lands flush, Erosa fires back though. A left from Jourdain drops Erosa, Erosa back up and back to work. Erosa lands an inside leg kick. Erosa lands a left hook. Bit of a knee to the body from Erosa. Jourdain lands a right after taking a spinning elbow. A final knee and elbow from Erosa close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jourdain, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug to start the last round. Erosa lands a left hook. Jourdain with some kicks to the body, they get close and trade hooks in the pocket before clinching up. Erosa is able to get a takedown into full guard. Jourdain scoots to the fence and wall walks but Erosa moves to his back and retains the clinch. They get chest to chest and Erosa works knees to the body. They break and Erosa lands a knee then clinches again. More knees to the body from Erosa then a body shot as they break. They both land in close, then Erosa gets another clinch. A takedown from Erosa into side control as Jourdain sits on the fence. Jourdain back up, Erosa wraps a d’arce choke though and drags things back down then Jourdain has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Julian Erosa via Submission, d’arce choke, at 2:56 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Erosa for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Erosa, he’s happy with the win and puts over Jourdain. He talks us through the finish, noting his d’arce choke is dangerous.

This is a really quick submission from Erosa, Jourdain has to give his back while wall walking but Erosa has felt him do so before and this time has found an opening for the d’arce. Good stuff from Erosa.

Jack Shore is undefeated including three wins in the UFC, if he can extend that streak of success here he might start emerging as a genuine contender in possibly the most stacked division in the UFC. Liudvik Sholinian took this fight on somewhat short notice but brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and if he’s able to had Shore his first loss it will easily be the biggest win of Sholinian’s career. Shore is a hefty favorite at -550 while the +400 payout on Sholinian might tempt a few bettors.

Bantamweight Bout: Liudvik Sholinian (9-1-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Jack Shore (14-0, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sholinian is two inches taller while the reach is identical. Shore working leg kicks as they try to get a feel for each other. Some more calf kicks from Shore as they’re still getting a read on the fight. Shore lands a jab. That Shore jab is starting to heat up, Sholinian has been very flat so far. Shore catches a kick and kicks out the other leg then gets on top in the guard of Sholinian. Sholinian closes his guard, Shore lands an elbow. More short elbows from Shore as he works in the guard. Shore moves to half guard, he’s fishing for an arm triangle choke as he passes to side control. Shore’s got the choke, he moves to side control on the other side and starts tightening the choke. Sholinian is trying to defend, Shore moves to full mount then gets the back but Sholinian stands and they fight in the clinch. They battle in the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Shore as I think he won it by enough

ROUND TWO: Sholinian gets a warning after just a few seconds about his fingers being out. Shore lands a right. Stiff jab from Shore then a body kick. Shore avoids a punch, and gets a takedown to the back. Sholinian wall walks without too much difficulty but Shore is still on his back while clinched. Shore lands a knee and disengages. One two from Shore. Sholinian is still coming forward but he’s mostly walking into strikes. More jabs from Shore as he circles, then another body kick. Shore lands a leg kick then a one two. Sholinian tries a double leg, they stall on the fence but Shore rather easily shoves him off. Shore continues jabbing and kicking while circling. Sholinian tries a single leg, but has to settle for a clinch on the fence. They break without incident. Shore lands another body kick, then a leg kick. Sholinian lands a right, but eats a counter left hook. A few more jabs and leg kicks from Shore, those are both adding up at this point. They trade rights as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shore, 20-17 Shore overall

ROUND THREE: Sholinian is coming forward again, but shore is sniping at him with calf kicks and jabs. That lead leg of Sholinian is a bit hurt. Shore lands a right hand. A left hook then another jab from Shore. Sholinian is coming forward, and eats another calf kick. More jabs from Shore, then he gets a clinch as Sholinian defended a takedown attempt. Shore works some knees in the clinch, both men take groin shots but neither want a break. They break without incident. Sholinian lands a right hand. Shore lands another calf kick then a few punches and they clinch again. Sholinian looks to change levels for a takedown, Shore defends and lands a few elbows. Bit of a head kick from Shore as they break. Sholinian misses a hook and Shore lands a body kick. Shore lands a one two and avoids a takedown attempt. A right uppercut from Shore, then a one two that wobbles Sholinian for a second. Shore lands another uppercut then a leg kick. A Shore jab closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shore, 30-26 Shore overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Shore via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

I’m going to stick with my 10-8 in the first, I don’t think Sholinian landed a single relevant blow all round. Mic time for Shore, who notes he tore his biceps tendon a few weeks ago and he’s just happy to get a win. Asked who he’d like next he wants someone ranked next and thinks he’s proved he’s ready for that step up. For what it’s worth I tend to agree.

Molly McCann has gone 3-3 in the UFC but is on a two fight losing streak, if she wants to maintain a degree of relevance in the promotion she needs a win here. Ji Yeon Kim has also gone 3-3 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. The odds on this one closed at a pick ’em of -115 for McCann and -105 on Kim.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Molly McCann (10-4, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (9-3-2, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kim is three inches taller and has an enormous 10 inches of reach advantage. McCann comes out quickly and is looking to get inside the reach of Kim. Kim is working long weapons early and angling away from McCann. Kim lands a right hand. Both women land left hooks. They get close and trade again. McCann punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Kim lands an uppercut. McCann forces another clinch, Kim is able to get free and they trade again. There’s a clash of heads and McCann drops, Kim gets on top with a front headlock and lands elbows to the body. McCann fights up along the fence and they resume clinch fighting. Kim slips around to the back and works knees to the body and thigh. McCann can’t get free of this clinch and Kim is still working her over. Eventually they break and start trading again. Both women land punches, Kim’s technique is better but McCann is game. Kim blocks a double leg and avoids a wheel kick. Both women land in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kim

ROUND TWO: McCann is spending time switching her stance now. Both women land punches, McCann lands a fairly heavy hook. Kim lands a jab and leg kick. Both women land rights. Kim lands a one two. Another right from Kim lands. McCann lands a right. Some leg kicks then a right to the body. Kim lands a one two, she’s starting to find the openings in McCann’s game. They trade rights again. Kim lands a leg kick and avoids a clinch. Another right from Kim. McCann lands a right. Kim lands another leg kick. McCann hits the body a few times, that’s a nice adjustment if she sticks to it. Kim lands to the body. They get close and trade hooks, McCann is getting the better of the pocket work at this point. Kim lands a right. They get close and brawl again before clinching up. McCann is after a single leg, she’s able to get a rolling takedown as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McCann, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Kim fighting long as the round begins. McCann lands a left. Kim with a right to the body. Kim lands a right hand. McCann is trying to push close, she lands a left but eats a right. Kim lands a right to the body. They trade in close again. Kim lands a left in close. McCann lands a jab. Kim lands a right. Both women land lefts. They both land in close again. Kim lands to the body. McCann lands a left. Bit of a right from McCann, Kim lands a right in return. Kim lands an inside leg kick. Both women land jabs. McCann lands a spinning back kick to the body, and they brawl in close for a few seconds. More hooks from McCann, but Kim is firing back at her and we get full on Road House for the final seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Molly McCann via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

McCann is a bit emotional after the win, she’s on the mic and notes she hasn’t won in 2 years and then thanks everyone who was here in the diminished crowd cheering her on. She thanks some people specifically and knew she won the second two rounds then lists a few injuries she’s fighting through to close.

That does it for the prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Paddy Pimblett has been a staple of the Cage Warriors promotion for several years now and finally makes his UFC debut on the back of a two fight winning streak, he’s hoping to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Luigi Vendramini has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first losing streak while spoiling the debut of Pimblett. Pimblett is the -155 favorite to +130 on Vendramini.

Lightweight Bout: Paddy Pimblett (16-3, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Luigi Vendramini (9-2, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pimblett is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Some early lead leg kicks from Pimblett, Vendramini returns some punches. Pimblett lands a calf kick, Vendramini returns it. They trade left hooks. A Vendramini left hook staggers Pimblett, then he punches into a takedown and gets on top in half guard. Vendramini lands punches to the head. Pimblett fights up but eats and elbow as they break. Bit of a right from Vendramini in close. They trade calf kicks, Vendramini seems to be kicking harder so far. Pimblett is back to working his lead leg kicking game. Vendramini lands a left hook then they trade body kicks. A right from Vendramini along the fence lands. Bit of a calf kick from Vendramini. Another calf kick from Vendramini lands. Pimblett lands a one two. Pimblett tries a single leg, but can’t really finish it and they separate. They trade rights, Pimblett lands a combination and is looking to finish, he unloads along the fence and Vendramini finally falls to end the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Paddy Pimblett via TKO, punches, at 4:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Pimblett for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Pimblett, he notes he predicted this first round win. He jokes he can’t be knocked out then walks us through the finish. Asked what’s next he says he’s here to take over, the new cash cow for the UFC and expects everyone to start calling him out. He’s down to fight whenever but would like to fight in the UK again soon.

Here’s a look at the finish. Vendramini gets a little loose with his guard exiting the pocket and once Pimblett has him hurt he goes crazy along the fence to get the finish.

Modestas Bukauskas has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he needs a win here if he wants to keep a degree of job security to say nothing of actual relevance in the division. Khalil Rountree has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights and is on a two fight losing streak, he could easily be fighting for his job tonight. The odds lean towards Bukauskas at -170 against +145 for Rountree.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Modestas Bukauskas (11-4, 205 lbs.) vs. Khalil Rountree (8-5 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bukauskas is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rountree. Both men working the lead hand, Rountree is pushing forward though and looking to land power punches. Rountree lands a left that seems to wobble Bukauskas. They get close and trade but Rountree is winning these exchanges. Bukauskas lands a jab and blocks a counter. Rountree lands another left. Bukauskas’s nose is visibly broken. Bukauskas lands a right. Rountree has slowed a bit, or at least has started managing his energy a bit better. Bukauskas lands another jab. A right from Bukauskas then a front kick to the body. Rountree misses a few wide hooks. Bit of a leg kick from Rountree. Bukauskas is working his jab a bit more now, and lands a right as well. Rountree lands a left. A combination from Rountree lands. Rountree lands a leg kick. Bukauskas lands a one two, and takes a leg kick in return. Rountree gets one last couple of punches off before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rountree

ROUND TWO: Both men probing with the lead hand as the round starts. Neither man can really find the target right now. Bukauskas lands a jab. Both men land lead hand punches. Bukauskas lands a right hand. Rountree with a side kick to the knee as Bukauskas was throwing something, and Bukauskas drops with a cry clutching his knee which prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khalil Rountree Jr. won via TKO, leg kicks, at 2:30 of Round 2

The leg of Bukauskas is braced up and he’s being stretchered out. Mic time for Rountree, he just knew he needed a win and is here to deal with his fear then puts over his coaches and support network. Asked about the finish he says he didn’t really work the kick like that in training camp but he did study the kick and knew he wanted to try it out, and timed that kick with a jab as Bukauskas gets heavy on his lead leg when jabbing.

Perfect timing from Rountree, that side kick to the knee doesn’t usually result in this because the timing is frequently off or there’s not quite enough power behind it. Neither of those are lacking in this case, and the knee of Bukauskas might be blown out.

Slightly wider angle on this one.

Alex Morono took this fight on short notice but is coming off of a win over Donald Cerrone and is trying to build his first winning streak since 2019. David Zawada has gone just 1-3 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss, he could be looking at a pink slip if he loses again tonight. Despite taking this on short notice the odds are with Morono at -125 to a +105 payout on Zawada.

Welterweight Bout: Alex Morono (19-7 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. David Zawada (17-6, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Zawada is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men showing the lead hand as we get going. Zawada lands a right hand. They trade left hooks. Both men land rights in close. Morono lands an overhand right, Zawada just eats it and lands a calf kick. They clinch up and start fighting there. Both men land knees to the body then they break. Bit of a right from Morono. Zawada lands a front kick to the body. Zawada lands a left hook in close. Both men land in the pocket. A Morono left hook lands. Zawada digs the body in close. They split some jabs. Morono lands a combination. Zawada lands a calf kick and they clinch. Morono punches out of the clinch and swings in the pocket. Both men land rights. They trade body kicks then Zawada avoids a right hand as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morono

ROUND TWO: Zawada jabs the body, and Morono lands a right. Bit of a right from Morono, then a body shot. Zawada is trying to push forward, he lands a body kick. Another body shot from Zawada. They trade rights, then Morono lands a double jab and right hand. Bit of a left from Morono. Morono lands a counter right hand then a stiff jab. Another right from Morono lands flush. Zawada lands a left to the body but eats a counter. Zawada lands a right and a left. Morono lands a jab. A left hook lands for Morono. Zawada jabs the body, then lands a solid left to the head. Morono lands a right hand. Both men land rights as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men land rights. Morono lands a glancing right and they both swing in close. Zawada lands a right and they clinch. Zawada pulls guard looking for a leg, Morono avoids that and spins to the ride position. They wind up on the fence and Zawada wall walks but Morono is still on his back. Zawada gets chest to chest and lands a knee as they break. Morono lands a right. Spinning back kick to the body from Morono lands, then a spinning back fist. Zawada lands a right to the body then a left hook. Stiff jab from Zawada, Morono is a little off balance trying his counters and can’t find them. Some more body jabs from Zawada. Morono lands a left hook. Both men block some punches. Stiff jab from Zawada lands again. Zawada digs to the body then gets a takedown against the fence. Morono is fishing for a choke, and uses tthat to scramble up and they’ll end the round in the clinch.

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

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

Mic time for Morono who mentions how busy he is with his coaching gigs and is happy to have shown how it’s done for all of them. He mentions there’s nothing like a knockout win and is always hunting them to close.

Tom Aspinall is on a six fight winning streak including being 3-0 in the UFC with all of those being finishes. Aspinall is hoping to solidify himself as the brightest rising contender at heavyweight with another impressive outing. Serghei Spivac has gone 4-2 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, if he’s able to best Aspinall he might prove himself the rising fighter that deserves your attention. Aspinall is your favorite at -230 to a +190 comeback for Spivac.

Heavyweight Bout: #13 Tom Aspinall (10-2, 247 lbs.) vs. #14 Serghei Spivac (13-2, 238.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Aspinall is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Aspinall and he starts backing Spivac up. Some stance switching from Aspinall now, he jabs the body. Bit of a right from Aspinall. Hard right from Aspinall, then a one two. Spivac lands a jab. Another right from Aspinall, the hand speed difference is starting to show itself. They clinch up, and Aspinall lands knees to the body then a right elbow as they break floors Spivac. Aspinall jumps on him on the mat and pounds things out to get the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tom Aspinall via TKO, elbow and punches, 2:30 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Aspinall for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Aspinall he says he likes fighting because it allows him to overcome fear and feels good. He doesn’t have a call out but he wants to fight someone ranked above him, and notes he might have hurt his hand but feels ready otherwise to keep on rolling.

This is a really nice sequence from Aspinall, he lands a knee to the body as both a distraction and to get Spivac doubling over just a bit into the right elbow he’s throwing. From there Aspinall gets on top and pounds things out, but that was a really nice elbow he landed to get all of this going.

Derek Brunson has been with the UFC since 2012 and been a respected middleweight for pretty much all of that time, he’s on a four fight winning streak right now and if he’s able to extend that to five he might find himself in the title picture next. Darren Till formerly challenged for the welterweight title but lost badly to then champion Tyron Woodley and is just 1-3 in his last four fights. Till is 1-1 since moving back to middleweight and was last seen losing to Robert Whittaker, this is a critical juncture for him as a loss would put him in a very tenuous position in the division while a win should secure a big name for his next fight. Despite their divisional rankings the odds are with Till at -175 while the +150 payout on Brunson is a tempting value bet.

Middleweight Bout: #5 Derek Brunson (22-7, 186 lbs.) vs. #7 Darren Till (18-3-1, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brunson is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage, Brunson is also 9 years older. Both men fighting southpaw. Till lands a straight left. Bit of a left from Brunson and they clinch up. Till slips free quickly and they reset. Brunson lands a left. A left lands for Till. They trade lefts then Brunson hits a double leg into half guard. Some short punches from Brunson land as Till starts working to generate motion. More punches from Brunson, he’s postured up now and looking to unload. Brunson is able to land more punches, Till’s right eye is starting to swell as Brunson lands some elbows. More punches from Brunson, he’s really teeing off as Till is fighting to control posture. Till is able to kick Brunson off and he gets up but they’re still clinched. Brunson lands an elbow as they break. They just kind of circle away the last 15 seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Brunson

ROUND TWO: That swelling around the right eye of Till isn’t a fight stopper yet but it’s not good. Both men jabbing to start the round, Till avoids a double leg and takes a left hand. Brunson gets a clinch into the fence and starts working for a takedown. They break without incident, then Brunson tries another double leg but that also stalls out on the fence. Some knees from Brunson in the clinch, then Till lands one to the body as they break. Brunson lands an uppercut and gets a double leg into full guard. Brunson moves to half guard immediately. Some short punches from Brunson as he moves Till flat onto his back. Brunson is looking to pass, he drops some elbows to the body while Till tries to control his posture. Elbows now from Brunson. Brunson is after a Japanese triangle, but Till defends. Some punches from Brunson, Till tries to escape but gives up the ride position and Brunson lands punches as Till fights up along the fence. The round ends in the clinch.

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

ROUND THREE: If that right eye of Till gets much worse they might stop it, or at least have the doc check on it. Till misses a few punches but he’s pushing forward. Till lands a left. Brunson misses a left. They clinch up and hit the fence but Till gets free with an elbow quickly. Leg kick from Till, Brunson lands a left to counter. Some more leg kicks from Till as he’s circling. Bit of a knee from Till then a front kick to the body. Till lands a left, Brunson is wobbled but he gets a clinch and then gets a double leg into full mount. Brunson lands punches, gets the back as Till tries to roll and gets the choke to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Derek Brunson via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:13 of Round 3

Solid win for Brunson, who makes it very clear he wants Adesanya next. Mic time for Brunson, he knows Adesanya isn’t calling him out but he’s been working for 4 years since that loss and wants a rematch. He puts over his team for getting him ready then talks us through the finish. Asked if he’ll wait for a title shot or keep busy, he says he’s not broke and will sit and wait for Adesanya and Whittaker to have their fight.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN+ 49 comes to a close. Thanks for being here and reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll be unpacking all of this Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast. There’s nothing schedule for next week, but a week later is UFC on ESPN+ 50 when Ryan Spann takes on Anthony Smith and September will close with UFC 266 featuring two title fights and a rematch of a 16 year old fight when Nick Diaz returns to take on Robbie Lawler. I’ll be back here in 2 weeks, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN, Robert Winfree