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August 5, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 50 Image Credit: UFC

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#4 Cory Sandhagen (139.5 lbs.) vs. #7 Rob Font (139 lbs.) – 140-pound contract weight
#5 Jessica Andrade (115.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Tatiana Suarez (115.5 lbs.)
#15 Dustin Jacoby (205 lbs.) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (205 lbs.)
Diego Lopes (145.5 lbs.) vs. Gavin Tucker (145 lbs.)
Tanner Boser (204.5 lbs.) vs. Aleksa Camur (204 lbs.)
Ignacio Bahamondes (156 lbs.) vs. Ludovit Klein (156 lbs.)

Raoni Barcelos (135.5 lbs.) vs. Kyler Phillips (135 lbs.)
Carlston Harris (170 lbs.) vs. Jeremiah Wells (170.5 lbs.)
Damon Jackson (145.5 lbs.) vs. Billy Quarantillo (145 lbs.)
#13 Cody Durden (125.5 lbs.) vs. Jake Hadley (126 lbs.)
Dennis Buzukja (146.5 lbs.)* vs. Sean Woodson (146 lbs.)
Asu Almabaev (125.5 lbs.) vs. Ode Osbourne (125.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 50, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. This card suffered a fair amount of setbacks, most notably losing the original main event of Cory Sandhagen vs. Umar Nurmagomedov which I was really anticipating. But Nurmagomedov suffered a shoulder injury and Rob Font stepped in on fairly short notice, hence the catchweight, and honestly it’s about as good a replacement fight as we were going to get. The co-main event is a pretty relevant strawweight fight when Tatiana Suarez is trying to get into the title picture by taking out former champion Jessica Andrade, Andrade has been struggling a bit recently and is trying to retain her position as a title worthy fighter. Elsewhere on the card Billy Quarantillo and Damon Jackson should be good, Raoni Barcelos stepped in to replace Said Nuramgomedov against Kyler Philips, and poor Sean Woodson is on his fourth different opponent for this event but he’s here and fighting. Mostly we’re looking for good action to offset a card that doesn’t have a ton of buzz on paper.

UFC on ESPN 50 comes to the world from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Jon Anik, Michael Bisping, and Dominick Cruz will be calling the action. That’s an interesting trio as when Bisping and Cruz are in sync things are good but both men can be a little catty and that’s come across from this pairing more than once in the past. We’ll have the larger 30 foot cage set up, and I can’t recall any particulars about Tennessee’s rules so I’ll keep you updated if it comes up.

Ode’ Osbourne has been a little up and down in the UFC but has an overall record of 4-3 in the promotion, he’s coming off of a win though and is looking to get his second UFC winning streak up and running. Assu Almabayev brings a massive 13 fight winning streak into his UFC debut and looks to extend that here while making good on the only chance he’ll get to make a first impression. The odds are with the debuting Almabayev at -205 while +150 for Osbourne is a good little value bet.

Flyweight Bout: Asu Almabayev (17-2, 125.5) vs. Ode Osbourne (12-5 1 NC, 125.5)

ROUND ONE: Osbourne is three and a half inches taller with a big eight inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Osbourne, and they touch gloves. Almabayev lands a couple of inside leg kicks while circling. Bit of a body kick from Osbourne. They trade rights, Almabayev got the better of that exchange. Another inside leg kick from Almabayev, he’s going low with those then lands another right hand. Single leg from Almabayev, and he’s got Osbourne down to his seat. Almabayev is able to push Osbourne over and get fully on top in full guard. Some rights from Almabayev, then he settles into body to head punches. Osbourne is keeping full guard but he’s not able to do much with it yet. A short elbow from Almabayev lands. Some lefts now from Almabayev, he’s happy to strike with either hand. Osbourne is trying to get his guard up high but he’s keeping it closed and isn’t able to do much with it. Almabayev passes to side control while avoiding a triangle choke attack and he starts landing elbows. At some point I think Osbourne landed an elbow from his back, and Almabayev is bleeding. Osbourne moves to his knees, Almabayev grabs a Peruvian necktie to counter but Osbourne will see the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Almabayev

ROUND TWO: Almabayev fires a head kick then tries a single leg, this time Osbourne defends as they hit the fence in a clinch. Osbourne is able to slip out of the clinch and they trade punches. Almabayev misses a wheel kick. Osbourne fires a head kick that’s blocked. Inside leg kick from Almabayev. Almabayev with a single leg, then switches to an inside trip to finish the takedown into full guard. Osbourne works to wall walk, Almabayev moves to the ride in response then gets the back with both hooks in. Body triangle from Almabayev as he starts fishing for a choke. Osbourne is hand fighting well enough thus far and Almabayev works short punches to try and open up the choke. A choke attempt gets in pretty close, the chin is caught rather than just around the neck but most importantly Almabayev has the full proper grip with the leverage hand behind the head and eventually he gets enough force going to get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Asu Almabayev via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:11 of Round 2

Mic time for Almabayev and his translator, he starts with some English and calls himself the new star at flyweight. After that he switches to his native language to send love to his friends and family back home.

Here’s the finish. Note the left arm of Almabayev, his previous choke attempts he couldn’t get it behind the head fully and that mean Osbourne was able to peel it off and remove the pressure. This time Almabayev got the leverage arm behind the head and even though the choking arm isn’t around the neck like you’d ideally want, the leverage afforded by the proper grip means he can get enough pressure to force the tap even across the jaw.

Sean Woodson has gone 3-1-1 in the UFC and he’s coming off of a draw but hasn’t lost since 2020, he’s trying to keep that unbeaten streak going here and maybe start to take aim at bigger names in the division. Dennis Buzukja brings a seven fight winning streak into his UFC debut and if he’s able to take out a physical challenge like Woodson it should bode well for his time in the promotion. While Buzukja did miss weight here, given just how short the notice was he took this fight on I don’t think too many of us are going to hold half a pound against him in the long run. Woodson is your -195 favorite to +145 on Buzukja.

Featherweight Bout: Dennis Buzukja (11-2, 146.5 lbs.)* vs. Sean Woodson (9-1-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Woodson is five and a half inches taller with a fairly large seven and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men with some feinting early. Woodson with some long range kicks and punches, just trying to keep Buzukja at range. They trade calf kicks and Woodson keeps poking away with front kicks. More calf kicks from Woodson as he’s started backing up Buzukja. Buzukja bulls forward and partially lands a right hand. Some stance switching from Woodson now as he lands a left hook before Buzukja forces a clinch on the fence. Woodson spins out of the clinch and they trade strikes before resetting. Another calf kick from Woodson lands. Buzukja really doesn’t have an answer for the calf kicks or front kicks that Woodson is using to chip away at him. Woodson lands a jab. Another jab from Woodson, as the crowd chants “USA” at two American fighters. They clinch again and Woodson lands little body shots and knees. Buzukja is after a takedown against the fence but Woodson is able to spin free. Jabs from Woodson now then a calf kick. Buzukja falls short with a right hand. Body shot from Buzukja lands, good adjustment. Woodson digs a couple of body shots in response then lands jabs. Uppercut from Woodson then a calf kick, he’s really starting to flow well now. Buzukja forces a clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Buzukja lands a left to the body then clinches again to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Woodson

ROUND TWO: Both men probe with calf kicks early, then Woodson lands a one two. Buzukja lands a right hand and tries another takedown against the fence but Woodson is defending. Some knees from Woodson then body shots, Buzukja is hurt to the body at this point. Woodson lands a left hand, then a left to the body before they clinch again. More knees from Woodson then he takes Buzukja down to his knees against the fence. Woodson works for an anaconda choke, he’s threatening with the front headlock sequence and lands a knee to the body as well. Another anaconda attempt from Woodson, then he switches to a mounted guillotine but he can’t quite find the angle to finish it. Buzukja looks to wall walk, he’s upright but Woodson rides him back down to a knee. Woodson slips around to north-south, he’s looking to attack either a kimura or an armbar from here, looks like he decided on kimura but he loses the grip. Buzukja rolls to his knees and Woodson resumes working his front headlock series. Woodson looks for the back, but only gets one hook and Buzukja spins to get on top and starts dropping bombs. Woodson stands and they both miss punches to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Woodson gets back on jabbing, then lands a left hook. Buzukja lands a leg kick, but eats a left hand. Woodson lands a left to the body. They trade then clinch up, I’m not sure why Woodson is forcing the wrestling here. Buzukja counters a takedown by coming up and then looking for a takedown of his own. Woodson slips to the back as Buzukja loses a grip and Woodson starts landing some short lefts from the ride position. Buzukja wall walks and they start trading in the clinch before breaking. Woodson lands a couple of body shots. Calf kick from Woodson then some jabs. Buzukja lands a left to the body. Another clinch on the fence, Woodson rides Buzukja down and gets to the ride again. Buzukja is able to wall walk, Woodson snaps him down but can’t spin to the back and has to rely on his front headlock work again. Another wall walk from Buzukja then Woodson lands a knee and a right hand. Buzukja bulls forward and lands to the body but eats a left hook counter. Front kick from Woodson then a flush knee but Buzukja just eats it. Another couple of punches from Woodson, then he lands another knee as the last blow of the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean Woodson via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Mic time for Woodson, he gives love to his mother and it sounds like she’s fighting some kind of illness. He says everyone knows he’s a striker but he’s worked very hard on his ground game and he felt he could show that off here. Asked about the future he wants to stay busy and thinks he can be back in 3 or so months.

Cody Durden has gone 4-2-1 in the UFC and has cracked the top 15 rankings with his current three fight winning streak, if he can extend it to four in a row here it should earn him a step up in class for his next fight. Jake Hadley has gone 2-1 in the UFC but he’s on a two fight winning streak and is hoping to crash into the top contender ranks with a win tonight. Hadley is your favorite at a rather heavy -220 against +160 for Durden, and frankly if I gambled that might be one I’d put some money on.

Flyweight Bout: #13 Cody Durden (15-4-1, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Jake Hadley (10-1, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Hadley has three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Hadley, he’s marching forward jabbing but his predictability is allowing Durden to land some rights. Inside leg kick from Durden. Durden lands a couple of body shots. Hadley lands a left hand. Bit of a combination from Durden. Durden lands a body kick, then tries a single leg but Hadley defends. Hadley is cut open around the left eyebrow. Durden catches a kick and takes Hadley down into half guard. Some rights from Durden land. Hadley is trying to hit a sweep but Durden is blocking that. Hadley moves to his knees, Durden hops to the ride position and lands some punches then gets Hadley on his back in side control. Bit of an arm triangle attack from Durden, Hadley is able to defend that but Durden lands punches as they fight up and Durden immediately gets another takedown into half guard. Durden grabs a clinch as they stand, then lands a knee before they break. Hadley marches forward and throws punches, Durden hits a takedown but Hadley grabs a guillotine and holds it for the last 8 seconds or so. That cut on Hadley is pretty bad though, it might stop things.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Durden

ROUND TWO: Apparently the fight is still on and Durden hits a quick takedown into half guard. Hadley is able to hip escape to full guard, but Durden punches him a couple of times. Hadley tries to invert for a leg, he uses that to scramble to his knees then back up. Durden lands a right hand. Left to the body from Hadley. Durden lands a right elbow. Single le from Durden, Hadley defends and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Another body shot from Hadley. Durden lands another right hand. Hadley tries a takedown, Durden sprawls, grabs an anaconda choke and rolls to tighten it down. Durden can’t finish it though and as his grip slips Hadley slips to the back but he’s too high and has to switch for an armbar threat. It’s kind of a triangle armbar from Hadley, he extends the arm and looks to finish it but the angle isn’t quite right for him. Hadley keeps cranking on the arm but the angle still isn’t right, Hadley keeps adjusting though but Durden eventually breaks his leg grip and spins to get on top. Durden unloads with hammer fists from top position as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hadley, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Hadley comes out jabbing again. Durden lands a body kick. Both men fall short with one twos. Durden lands a right, Hadley a left, then Durden with a chopping inside leg kick. Right hand from Durden lands. Bit of a right to the body from Durden. They trade power hand punches. Hadley lands a left hand. They trade inside leg kicks then Durden lands a right hand. Another right from Durden. Bit of a one two from Durden. Hadley lands a left hand. Hadley tries a takedown, Durden sprawls and threatens an anaconda choke, but he’s not selling out for it this time. A few body shots from Durden as he keeps Hadley on his knees. Eventually Durden cradles Hadley to his back and lands a few strikes then he stands over the downed Hadley and fires leg kicks. Hadley comes up looking for a double leg but again Durden sprawls and defends near the fence. Durden pushes Hadley over and gets on top in half guard again. Some short blows from Durden, Hadley comes up on a single leg but he’s stuck under Durden as Durden lands punches to close the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cody Durden via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

30-27 feels wrong, those sub attempts in the second from Hadley were close and deserved more respect, but Durden getting the win is correct. Mic time for Durden, he plays with the crowd first then when asked about that armbar in the second round he admits the armbar was deep but he promised himself that he’d die rather than tap and he held to it.

Billy Quarantillo has been trading wins and losses while going 3-3 in his last six fights, most recently he fell short against Edson Barboza and is now trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Damon Jackson has gone 5-2 in his current time with the promotion, only losing to Ilia Topuria and Dan Ige but he’s coming off of the Ige loss and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. It’s not too surprising to see Quarantillo as the favorite at -165 while Jackson’s comeback sits at +130.

Featherweight Bout: Damon Jackson (22-5-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Billy Quarantillo (17-5, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson has an inch of height and reach advantage. Both men come out quickly and land left hooks. Bit of a calf kick from Quarantillo. They trade some more jabs. Jackson lands a combination. These two are just willing to eat punches to land them already. Jackson lands an uppercut. They clinch up and hit the fence. Knees to the body go back and forth then they break. Front kick from Jackson partially lands. Quarantillo lands a jab. Jackson lands a combination, he’s landing almost at will. Another clinch hits the fence. Jackson looks for a takedown, it takes a bit but he does finish it into the full guard of Quarantillo. Quarantillo quickly goes to rubber guard, he tries a gogoplata but Jackson quickly gets out of it and passes to half guard. Jackson is trying to isolate an arm, he uses that threat to get mount then the back with both hooks in. Punches from Jackson as he’s trying to open up a choke attack. Quarantillo keeps defending then actually gets to half guard and kicks Jackson off of him. Body kick from Jackson as they stand, then Quarantillo lands a right hand to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jackson

ROUND TWO: Quarantillo lands some calf kicks then punches into a clinch. Both men with knees in the clinch and they break apart. Another clinch and they hit the fence. Quarantillo lands some body shots in the clinch. Some knees go back and forth then they break. Jackson clinches back up but Quarantillo keeps landing body work. Standing guillotine from Quarantillo, it’s more to defend a takedown threat than anything and Jackson has to bail and they break with a knee from Quarantillo. Jackson lands a right hand. Quarantillo lands some body work. Body jab from v then a knee that seems to slow Jackson. Leg kick from Quarantillo then more body work as he’s got Jackson worried against the fence. Quarantillo avoids a clinch and then gets back on pressure. Jackson catches a leg kick and gets a takedown into half guard. Side control from Jackson, but Quarantillo escapes, Jackson holds a seatbelt grip but then loses position and Quarantillo grabs at a guillotine. The grappling here is nice, Quarantillo uses a quarter nelson stack for control then he gets up and lands more body shots as Jackson holds a clinch. Quarantillo lands a right hand as they break. They trade some jabs then Quarantillo lands to the body. A right from Quarantillo stuns Jackson and they clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Quarantillo, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men get back to punching as the round starts. Quarantillo lands a right hand, his pressure really is something else. Jab from Quarantillo lands, he’s got Jackson on the fence and both men land punches. Quarantillo lands a hard knee to the body, they’re brawling a bit but Quarantillo is still getting the better of things. Jackson forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Quarantillo with some punches to the body and head while Jackson holds on for a high crotch. Quarantillo spins free and then they clinch again. Jackson is holding on in the clinch but now Quarantillo is able to find body work against the fence while defending. Elbow from Quarantillo as they break. Both men land lefts. Quarantillo lands a left hand then a right hook, he’s started stance switching. Body shots from Quarantillo then a couple of rights stagger Jackson. Jackson gets a clinch but can’t keep it, though he lands a right hand. Both men land punches then Quarantillo forces a clinch. Knees are traded then Quarantillo lands a right hand. More body shots from Quarantillo and they break. They punch into another clinch and Quarantillo lands a knee on the break. Both men land rights. Jackson lands a head kick, but Quarantillo cracks him with a right hand and they clinch again. Jackson hits a single leg with one minute left in the round. Quarantillo with another rubber guard play, he’s got an omoplata set up but Jackson gets free of it and they fight up to their feet. 10 seconds left and Quarantillo lands punches, Jackson tries to brawl with him but just barely comes out on the wrong end of that final exchange.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Quarantillo but this one could legitimately go either way, 29-28 Quarantillo overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Heck of a fight, that’s Fight of the Night thus far. Mic time for Quarantillo, he plays with the crowd and says that was the fight he wanted and loves to fight like this. He knew the fight was close and puts over Jackson as a total dog who made him fight like that.

Jeremiah Wells has gone 4-0 in the UFC and is on an overall six fight winning streak, he’s trying to extend that streak here and start to earn a shot at some of the more notable names at welterweight. Carlston Harris is in a somewhat similar position, he’s 3-1 in the UFC with his lone promotional loss coming to rising contender Shavkat Rakhmonov. Harris did win his last fight and he’s trying to build another winning streak while possibly getting another crack at some ranked opponents. This one is very close, -120 on Hells to an even +100 for Harris.

Welterweight Bout: Carlston Harris (18-5, 170 lbs.) vs. Jeremiah Wells (12-2-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Harris is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Wells. Both men come out bouncing and circling. Wells lands a side kick to the body. Some stance switching from Wells now, seems like his southpaw stance is mostly to set up his right leg. Wells misses a blitz but he’s able to off balance Harris and get on top in half guard. Wells grabs at a d’arce choke, he loses the arm though and he’s just kind of got a weird ninja choke grip on top. A lot of shoulder pressure from Wells, Harris comes up again but Wells is still after that ninja choke. The grip is loosening as Harris rolls to his back, it keeps one side of his neck safe and he’s able to fight up to his feet. Wells immediately tries a double leg, but Harris wall walks right away back into a clinch. Another takedown from Wells, this time into side control. Harris looks to wall walk again as Wells tries for mount. Some punches from Wells as he tries to scoot to the back, but he wont get it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Wells, might be 10-8

ROUND TWO: Harris comes out and lands a body jab. Wells fires an uppercut, and they trade in close. Harris avoids a spinning back fist but Wells is able to off balance him against the fence. Harris wall walks but Wells lands some short elbows then takes him back down. Wells works to keep Harris down, he’s got the legs mounted as Harris sits against the fence. A few short punches from Wells land as he keeps Harris on his seat. Harris can’t get free but Wells isn’t really threatening to stop him at the moment. Some elbows from Wells. The round ends with Wells still on top.

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

ROUND THREE: Wells swings some hooks that miss. Bit of a right from Harris. Wells lands a left hook in close. Both men land rights, then Wells forces a clinch as Harris tries to fight him off with a guillotine threat, it actually works and they separate. Body shots from Harris, Wells tries a double leg and they hit the fence. Harris threatens an anaconda choke, he’s looking to compress things and he puts Wells to sleep!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlston Harris via Technical Submission, anaconda choke, at 1:50 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Harris for his work this evening. Pretty incredible comeback from Harris there after being down that badly to find that. Mic time for Harris, he dedicates the win to his daughter as the entire production crew seems to have forgotten that he’s from Guyana and that they speak English there. He mentions working on his anaconda choke and then talks us through the finish before saying he wants a bonus. I think he’s definitely in the running for one.

Here’s the finish, Harris was down badly in this fight but found a shot and took it. The finishing technique is great here too, a lot of guys get too worried about the arm position, well Harris has that and knows to close their bodies. With the head of Wells in his chest it compresses the neck as he walks their bodies closer together, nice stuff from Harris.

Kyler Philips has gone 4-1 in the UFC but has been out of action since February of last year, now he’s finally back in action and is looking to build another UFC winning streak. Raoni Barcelos had a fair amount of hype back between 2018 and 2020, but that’s fallen off a lot lately as he’s just 1-3 in his last four fights. If Barcelos wants to reclaim anything like the ranking he used to have he’s in a must win scenario here. The odds are with Phillips at -220 while +160 on Barcelos might be a touch tempting.

Bantamweight Bout: Raoni Barcelos (17-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Kyler Phillips (10-2, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have identical heights and reaches, Phillips is eight years younger though. Early leg kick from Phillips. Phillips lands a calf kick and avoids the counters. Barcelos lands a right hand. Bit of a right from Phillips, he’s moving a lot and Barcelos doesn’t quite have a read on it. Body kick from Phillips then a jab. Another calf kick from Phillips, Barcelos forces a clinch off of it though and they hit the fence. Takedown from Barcelos, Phillips is holding an arm then kicks him off and regains his feet. Both men land punches, Phillips lands a head kick but Barcelos forces a clinch after that and gets the back standing. Phillips spins free pretty quickly and they reset. Barcelos avoids a few strikes, then Phillips lands a calf kick. Phillips lands a left hand. Body kick from Phillips. Barcelos lands a right hand after avoiding a single leg attack. Hard right from Phillips drops Barcelos, he bounces up but Phillips is on him in a clinch. Knee and elbow from Phillips, then Barcelos lands a left hook as they break. Phillips misses a wheel kick. Barcelos is pushing forward, he lands a left hook. They trade in close then break. Elbow from Phillips as they exit a brief clinch. Phillips lands a right hand. Barcelos lands a right hand then a jab behind it. Bit of a head kick from Phillips, then a right hand will close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Phillips

ROUND TWO: Pretty quick takedown from Phillips, he lands punches as Barcelos tries to wall walk. They scramble on the mat and Barcelos is able to get up and reset at distance. Barcelos blocks a high kick. Front kick from Phillips then a calf kick is partially checked. Bit of a jab from Barcelos. Barcelos lands a left hook. Phillips pushes out of a clinch then lands a hook kick. Right hand from Phillips lands. Another right from Phillips lands. Barcelos lands a leg kick but eats a couple of jabs for it. One two from Phillips. Barcelos gets a clinch and then slips to the back against the fence. Phillips threatens a kimura, mostly he’s trying to attack the lock with it and he uses it to get chest to chest. Some rights from Barcelos then he slips to the back again. Takedown from Barcelos, Phillips stands and rolls for a kneebar but uses that motion to scramble up and back to the feet. Bit of a right from Phillips. Phillips lands a calf kick. Barcelos lands a right hand. They clinch and trade knees then break. They trade jabs to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Phillips but a closer one, 20-18 Phillips overall

ROUND THREE: Both men get back to striking and moving, then Barcelos avoids a takedown attempt. Barcelos lands a calf kick. Side kick from Phillips then a jab. Bit of a right from Phillips. Barcelos lands a knee. A few jabs from Phillips as he circles. Glancing right from Barcelos lands. Phillips lands another calf kick, he’s keeping Barcelos at distance now. Barcelos catches a kick and gets a takedown but Phillips bounces right back up. Barcelos lands a body shot in close. They split some jabs. Bit of an uppercut from Barcelos, he didn’t quite land it but he got close. Phillips avoids a few hooks then lands a right hand. Phillips dodges a knee. Barcelos shoots a double leg, slips to the back and rides Phillips down. Back up, Barcelos fires a head kick that misses then they both miss punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barcelos, 29-28 Phillips overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kyler Phillips via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Not sure about that 30-27, and no interview for Phillips as we’ve run over the time for the prelims. That will do it for preliminary action, still on ESPN+ and ESPN for the main card though.

Ignacio Bahamondes has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, in fact his only loss was a close split decision with John Makdessi in his UFC debut, and he’s looking to begin transitioning from prospect to legitimate contender with a fourth consecutive win. Ludovit Klein has gone 3-2-1 in the UFC but hasn’t lost since returning to lightweight last year, he’s trying to halt the budding hype around Bahamondes and hopefully solidify himself as the prospect to watch. The odds are with Bahamondes at -260 against +185 for Klein.

Lightweight Bout: Ignacio Bahamondes (14-4, 156 lbs.) vs. Ludovit Klein (19-4-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bahamondes is a big eight inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. Both men fighting southpaw to start, but Bahamondes does a fair bit of switching. Klein lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a head kick from Klein. Bahamondes lands a one two then a knee in close. Klein lands a one two, he’s got a good feel for closing distance and landing already. Combination from Klein wobbles Bahamondes against the fence and he gets a takedown into full guard. Some body punches then an elbow from Klein. Klein postures up and lands a punch. Bahamondes tries to angle his hips but Klein is smothering him and landing punches. Hammer fists from Klein, Bahamondes tries an armbar but Klein smothers him again. Bahamondes is cut open now from elbows, but he wall walks and gets free. Bit of a one two from Bahamondes but he looks a little slower now. Klein keeps pushing forward and lands a one two. Bahamondes keeps showing kicks, then misses a knee. They stare away the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klein

ROUND TWO: Bahamondes lands a right to the body. Bit of a left hook from Klein. Some jabs are traded then Klein lands a left hand but Bahamondes lands an uppercut to counter. Klein lands a leg kick. Bit of a knee from Bahamondes in close. Klein lands a high kick then a left hand. Bahamondes lands a knee then another one in a brief Thai clinch. Klein lands a couple of body shots then a left hand. Takedown from Klein and he gets on top in half guard. Bahamondes rolls to his knees and wall walks right away but Klein is on his back. Bahamondes is able to separate and they reset. Klein lands a right hook. Body kick from Bahamondes. Klein avoids a jumping kick, then throws a head kick that doesn’t land. Body shot from Klein then a left hook to the head. Another left from Klein lands then a stabbing front kick. Bit of a left from Klein. Double leg from Klein and he lands in the guard of Bahamondes. Some short punches from Klein in close to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Klein lands a right hook to start the round. Bit of a one two from Klein. Bahamondes punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Both men land knees then Klein slips free. They trade power hand punches then Klein avoids a high kick. Some jabs from Klein then he misses a one two. Short right from Klein, Bahamondes is trying for a takedown but Klein is defending the single leg. They fight up and separate. Bahamondes misses a wheel kick. Jab from Klein, then a side kick to the body. Bahamondes lands an inside leg kick then misses another head kick. Klein avoids a knee but eats a jab. Klein shoots a double leg, switches to the body then gets a takedown into half guard. Bahamondes is able to shrimp to full guard. Klein avoids a triangle attempt and lands elbows back in the guard of Bahamondes. Some hammer fists from Klein then an elbow. Bahamondes wall walks but Klein is on his back. Bahamondes drops for a knee bar but Klein just ignores him and postures as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ludovit Klein via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

Not sure which round Bahamondes won there. Mic time for Klein, he puts over Bahamondes first then talks about his tough preparation for this fight. He’s not surprised the fight went the distance but stayed focused the whole time and is just happy to win.

Tanner Boser has gone just 1-4 in his last five fights, is on a two fight losing streak, and to top it all off he lost in his return to light heavyweight in his most recent fight. Boser could very well be in win or go home territory. Aleksa Camur might well be in the same position as he’s just 1-2 in the UFC, on a two fight losing streak, and has been out of action for a little over two years. Boser is your favorite at -150 to +120 for Camur.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Tanner Boser (20-10-1, 204.5 lbs.) vs. Aleksa Camur (6-2, 204 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Boser is an inch taller with an inch and a half of reach advantage. Some jabs and calf kicks from Boser. Camur is pushing forward, and punches into a clinch. Camur lands an elbow. They break without incident. Bit of a calf kick from Boser. Boser gets back to jabbing. Bit of a right from Boser as Camur forces another clinch. They break without incident. Bit of a leg kick from Boser. Camur keeps plodding forward. They both sort of land left hooks. Inside leg kick from Camur. Boser lands a left hook. Right from Boser then a knee in close. Camur lands a jab then a body kick. They split jabs a few times then Camur clinches again. Short elbow from Boser then they break. Camur lands a left hand. They split jabs again. Short left from Boser lands. Double jab from Boser then a right to the body. Boser with another right hand. Camur lands a stiff jab. Some body shots from Camur and they clinch up again. Boser with an elbow then a right hook on the break. Another clinch and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Boser

ROUND TWO: They clinch up right away and Boser forces things to the fence. Boser lands some body shots then a right hand as they break. Both men land jabs then Boser lands a left hook. Boser with a combination of punches that land flush, Camur is hurt but stays upright. Camur throws back enough to get Boser to reset. Right from Boser then they clinch again and break. Boser with a right hand then an elbow in close. Some clinch fighting from Boser then an elbow. Camur with a bit of a knee but he can’t get out of the clinch yet. Boser lands another elbow then an uppercut and they trade knees. Camur lands a couple of body shots as he breaks but Boser lands an elbow then a series of punches, he just wont give Camur space to breathe. Another clinch from Boser but he’s staying pretty active in that spot. Elbows again from Boser then a right hand as they break. Camur’s chin is nuts, he’s not gone down after eating a number of punches. Jabs from Boser then they trade and Boser pushes him to the fence and lands a right hand before clinching up again. They trade body shots in close then clinch again. They break without incident. Some jabs from Boser close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Camur gets on pressure right away. They split some jabs then Boser lands a leg kick. Camur forces a clinch but Boser gets him on the fence. Boser lands some body shots before they break. Both men miss rights. Boser with some body jabs then a body kick and a couple of right hands that stun Camur. Another clinch from Boser and he pushes Camur to the fence. They break without incident. More jabs go back and forth. Calf kick from Camur lands. Camur with a leg kick then a right hand. They both land rights in close then clinch up and trade knees. Boser forces things to the fence again. They break without incident. Body kick from Boser. Camur lands a body kick. Bit of a right from Boser. Camur lands a one two. Bit of a head kick from Boser then they trade rights and clinch up again. Both men land knees then Boser lands lefts while putting Camur on the fence. They break without incident. Boser with more jabs then Camur lands a right hand. Both men land in close, but Boser has Camur hurt and unloads with punches then a knee but Camur stays upright and lands a hook. Camur with a body shot, he just wont go down. Boser pushes into another clinch and they hit the fence. The round will end in the clinch with some nice dirty boxing from both men.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tanner Boser via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

No interview for Boser, you might need a finish to get a mic tonight.

Diego Lopes dropped his UFC debut a few months ago when he lost to Movsar Evloev but he turned in a heck of a performance even in defeat and is now trying to get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Gavin Tucker had a three fight winning streak snapped in his last fight when Dan Ige knocked him out in 22 seconds, that was way back in March of 2021 and how he’s back in the cage trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Lopes is your -175 favorite to +135 on Tucker.

Featherweight Bout: Diego Lopes (21-6, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Gavin Tucker (13-2, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lopes is four and a half inches taller with a notable six and a half inches of reach advantage. Some range finding kicks from both men as they circle, Tucker fighting southpaw. Tucker tries an inside leg kick but that goes into the groin and we’ve got a time out. Replay confirms the low blow, that one landed pretty flush to the groin and Lopes will take a bit to recover. Lopes is back to fighting after a little less than a minute. Both men block rights. Tucker falls short with punches but hits a takedown into guard. Lopes is after a triangle choke, he’s getting the legs into proper position and he’s broken the posture of Tucker. Tucker keeps working to posture through the choke, Lopes switches to a triangle armbar, rolls to mount with it and Tucker taps as I think his arm gives out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Diego Lopes via Submission, triangle armbar, at 1:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lopes for his work this evening. Mic time for Lopes and the translator, he’s happy to get the win and says with a full camp he’s a totally different animal. He always wants to finish fights and then says he wants to be on the November card in Brazil.

Here’s the finish. This is just good stuff from Lopes, he got the triangle position as he went down to the mat and was able to constantly adjust it until he got to a finish.

Dustin Jacoby had a really good run going in the UFC but he currently finds himself on a two fight losing streak and if he loses again her it would cost him his spot in the top rankings. Kennedy Nzechukwu is on a three fight winning streak and if he can get by Jacoby here he could easily find himself in the top rankings and looking to fight an even bigger name next time. We’ve got a pretty close one here but the odds lean towards Nzechukwu at -165 to +130 for Jacoby.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #15 Dustin Jacoby (18-7-1, 205 lbs.) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (12-3, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nzechukwu is two inches taller with a notable seven inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Nzechukwu opens southpaw, Jacoby will do some stance switching. Bit of a right from Jacoby. Nzechukwu is pushing forward and looks for a higher pace than usual. Jacoby lands a leg kick. Bit of a right from Jacoby as he circles. Nzechukwu keeps coming forward and lands a left hand. Jacoby keeps landing leg kicks while circling. A right from Jacoby drops Nzechukwu, he gets on top and unloads with hammer fists to get the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dustin Jacoby via TKO, punches, at 1:22 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jacoby for his work this evening. Mic time for Jacoby, he wants a post fight bonus and sucks up to the crowd. He was ready to stick and move while landing leg kicks, but he admits he felt the power of Nzechukwu and puts him over in general and as a guy with a bright future. He talks us through the finish and notes he really wanted to finish this one. When asked what he wants next he’d like a top 10 opponent, or at least anyone ranked ahead of him instead of fighting guys behind him.

A really nice counter right from Jacoby here to drop Nzechukwu and then he doesn’t let him recover. I’m OK with the stoppage personally, though I can see the argument that it’s a little early.

Jessica Andrade is a former champion at strawweight and challenged for the flyweight title as well, but she’s on a two fight losing streak and has been stopped in both of those losses. Andrade is trying to hold onto her place in the title orbit and prove she’s not over the hill yet. Tatiana Suarez is undefeated and has six wins in the UFC, but injuries have kept her from being a more regular competitor, she made her UFC debut back in 2016 but only has those six fights in the eight years that have followed. That said Suarez has long been tapped as a future title challenger if not champion, and a win here would be the biggest of her career and might earn her her first title shot. Suarez is a big favorite at -360 to a +285 comeback on Andrade.

Strawweight Bout: #5 Jessica Andrade (24-11, 115.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Tatiana Suarez (9-0, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Suarez is three and a half inches taller with four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Suarez. A few kicks from Suarez, just range finding. Andrade is just kind of following her around already, cage craft has ever been a weakness of Andrade’s game. Inside leg kick from Andrade. Bit of a body kick from Suarez. Suarez catches a front kick and they tie up, then she lands a knee but slips and has to get up before Andrade jumps on top of her. Those kicks from Suarez are slow to retract, there are chances to counter her there. Andrade lands an inside leg kick. Suarez avoids a hook, hits a low single leg and then finishes the takedown into side control. Some short elbows from Suarez, she’s looking for mount but Andrade bumps her and stands with Suarez holding a front headlock. A few knees from Suarez to the body and head as she’s working the front headlock. More knees from Suarez then Andrade breaks the headlock but can’t get away from the clinch. Suarez with more knees to the body before they finally do break. Bit of a right from Andrade. Andrade lands to the body then lands a left hook. Suarez lands a body kick. They clash on kicks to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Suarez

ROUND TWO: Suarez gets back to showing kicks. Andrade misses a few punches, she’s struggling to close distance. Suarez tries a single leg, Andrade goes down but tries a guillotine only for Suarez to land in leg drag and get her head out easily. Side control now for Suarez. Andrade spins free and gets up, Suarez uses a front headlock to roll her back down then jumps for a guillotine. The hands slowly get locked by Suarez and once they do she gets enough leverage to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tatiana Suarez via Submission, guillotine choke, at 1:31 of Round 2

Suarez is gonna be in the title picture sooner rather than later. Mic time for Suarez, she’s glad to be back this year after the long layoff and feels incredible back at strawweight. She is happy she out struck and then submitted a former champion then talks us through the finish but she’s not content with this and wants to be even better next time. Asked about the future she feels she can be a two division champion, then gives love to someone in her life who’s got cancer, wishes a happy birthday to family members and puts over her family and team. To close she sucks up to the crowd.

Nice finish from Suarez, she’s got the choking arm in so deep it was a threat before her hands come together. If you look closely you can see she only gets an ‘S’ grip with her fingers, not the ideal grip for a guillotine, but everything else is already so tight it’s enough to get the tap.

Cory Sandhagen has been a top bantamweight for a few years now including fighting for an interim title back in 2021, he’s currently on a two fight winning streak though and is trying to earn his first shot at the full title with a win. Rob Font took this fight on short notice and broke a two fight losing streak in his last fight when he scored a notable upset over Adrian Yanez, now he’s trying to get a winning streak working and prove he’s the one who should be around the title picture. Seeing as Font took this fight on short notice it’s not too surprising to see the odds with Sandhagen at -375 while Font’s +295 might tempt a few bettors out there.

Catchweight Bout: #4 Cory Sandhagen (16-4, 139.5 lbs.) vs. #7 Rob Font (20-6, 139 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sandhagen is two inches taller while Font has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Both men open southpaw but both will switch a lot, especially Sandhagen. Font wants to be closed stance I guess, he’s switching every time. Sandhagen with a takedown, Font looks for a guillotine and sits for it in half guard. The choke is pretty dangerous, but Sandhagen slips free and looks to settle more into half guard. Font is looking for a kimura, he’s trying to create motion and uses it to force a scramble and they return to the feet. Sandhagen lands a stiff jab. Inside leg kick from Sandhagen. They split jabs then Font lands an uppercut. Another takedown from Sandhagen and he’s on top again. Sandhagen lands a couple of punches before Font comes up looking for a single leg and Sandhagen moves to the ride. Font rolls to get half guard and Sandhagen lands an elbow. Font gets full guard now, but Sandhagen passes again. Sandhagen lands a few more punches, Font looks to up kick and he’s able to stand then they reset. Font seems to be more settled into orthodox now while Sandhagen switches a lot. Some jabs go back and forth as they circle. Bit of a head kick from Sandhagen, Font is able to off balance him though and get on top in full guard. Sandhagen rolls to his knees, Font is in the ride but Sandhagen stands as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen but Font is very much in this

ROUND TWO: Font is back on pressure, but Sandhagen quickly hits a takedown again. Half guard for Sandhagen and he lands a couple of short punches. A few short elbows from Sandhagen land. Font grabs something of a cradle from his back, he’s looking for some kind of sweep but Sandhagen breaks his grip. They scramble a bit and Sandhagen lands an elbow while retaining top position. Sandhagen is doing a good job of grappling with Font and sneaking in elbows along the way. Font tries to fish for an arm but can’t get a grip and Sandhagen elbows him. Body to head blows from Sandhagen but Font’s bottom game is keeping him from really being able to tee off. A few more punches from Sandhagen and he will end the round on top.

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

ROUND THREE: More circling from Sandhagen, he’s moving well and sniping. Font is trying to get his jab working but he can’t really establish it. Both men land rights. Bit of a knee from Sandhagen then he hits a takedown into half guard. Sandhagen with some shoulder strikes then a left hand. Some elbows from Sandhagen land. A few knees to the body from Sandhagen, Font keeps fishing for either a kimura or an americana to try and sweep, but Sandhagen is riding him and landing punches every time. A few more elbows from Sandhagen, he’s just out wrestling Font and is starting to beat him up. Font is able to get full guard and push Sandhagen off then stand up. Sandhagen is back on him with a knee but misses a left hook. Left from Sandhagen lands. Font has a right hand blocked to close the round.

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

ROUND FOUR: Font gets back on pressure but walks into a right hook. Sandhagen keeps moving and looking to punch, then he hits a takedown back into half guard. Some short blows from Sandhagen land. Pretty decent elbow from Sandhagen lands. A few lefts from Sandhagen land. Font has scooted to the fence and starts looking to wall walk. Sandhagen keeps Font down and looks to land a few more elbows. Font does scoot to his seat as the crowd chant “stand them up”. Guillotine attack from Font but Sandhagen moves to the safe side of side control and gets him to break that attempt. Font finally wall walks but is still in the clinch and Sandhagen easily trips him back down into half guard. Bit of an elbow from Sandhagen, and he lands a few more strikes to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen, 40-36 Sandhagen overall

ROUND FIVE: Font starts pressuring right away, he knows he needs a finish. Sandhagen fires a front kick, it doesn’t land though. Font tries a double leg, they hit the fence to the absolute consternation of the fans. Sandhagen defends the shot and spins Font onto the fence. Sandhagen hits a takedown and he’s on top in full guard. Bit of an elbow from Sandhagen. Sandhagen passes to half guard, Font sits against the fence but Sandhagen rides him back down to the mat. D’arce choke from Sandhagen, he gets around and looks to tighten it up but Font is still scrambling underneath. Font is able to break the choke attempt and get full guard back. Sandhagen lands a few punches and passes to half guard. They fight for position, Sandhagen stands and lands a left hand. Font throws up a triangle choke, Sandhagen is pretty safe though and Font bails. The round comes to a close with Sandhagen still on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen, 50-45 Sandhagen overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cory Sandhagen via unanimous decision (50-45 x3)

Mic time for Sandhagen, he wanted to have a more exciting fight but he’s been dealing with injuries and jokes that he’s a wrestler now. Asked about the future he says he’s got the next title shot, and there’s no one else he’d call out after this win.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 50 comes to a close, thank you all for reading. We’ll be talking about the fallout from this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus looking ahead to next week when we’re back at the Apex for Rafael dos Anjos and Vicente Luque. I’ll be back here next week for that event, and I hope you will as well. Until the thanks again for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 50, Robert Winfree