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August 12, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 51 Image Credit: UFC

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#10 Vicente Luque (170.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Rafael dos Anjos (171 lbs.)
Hakeem Dawodu (146 lbs.) vs. Cub Swanson (146 lbs.)
Chris Daukaus (205 lbs.) vs. #13 Khalil Rountree (203.5 lbs.)
Iasmin Lucindo (116 lbs.) vs. Polyana Viana (116 lbs.)
AJ Dobson (185.5 lbs.) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (189.5 lbs.)*
Josh Fremd (189 lbs.)* vs. Jamie Pickett (186 lbs.)

JP Buys (136 lbs.) vs. Marcus McGhee (136 lbs.)
Mike Breeden (156 lbs.) vs. Terrence McKinney (156 lbs.)
Isaac Dulgarian (145.5 lbs.) vs. Francis Marshall (145.5 lbs.)
Martin Buday (266 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (266 lbs.)
Jaqueline Amorim (116 lbs.) vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (113 lbs.)
Da’Mon Blackshear (136 lbs.) vs. Jose Johnson (135.5 lbs.)
Juliana Miller (126 lbs.) vs. Luana Santos (126 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 51, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. Tonight the UFC is just keeping the machinery turning over, but even on a relatively lackluster card we’ve got a few things to potentially enjoy. The main event is a decently relevant welterweight bout between Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos, and while a title shot seems like a longshot for either man based on this win it will be critical for either of them if they do still have title aspirations. Elsewhere on the card we’ve got Cub Swanson fighting, that’s usually fun, Chris Daukaus making his light heavyweight debut against Khalil Rountree, and on the prelims we’ve got Terrence McKinney in action plus a surprisingly fun Marcus McGhee. Beyond that it’s not the kind of card that jumps off the page at you but I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

UFC on ESPN 51 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Brendan Fitzgerald, Daniel Cormier, and Paul Felder will be on the call tonight with Megan Olivi doing the roving reporter thing. We’re in the smaller 25 foot cage, and don’t forget that Nevada allows the use of instant replay and for a fight to be restarted after it’s used if that’s applicable to the situation.

Juliana Miller has gone 1-1 in the UFC but she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Luana Santos brings a two fight winning streak into her UFC debut, she’s trying to get her promotional run off the ground with a win here. The odds are with Santos at -150 to +120 for Miller.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Juliana Miller (3-2, 126 lbs.) vs. Luana Santos (5-1, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Miller is an inch taller while Santos has an inch of reach advantage. Miller comes out looking to force things, and punches into a clinch on the fence. Some knees go back and forth before Santos spins free. Miller lands a right. They trade rights, clinch and Miller keeps swinging punches but can’t keep control of Santos. Jab from Miller, she’s keeping a pretty high pace. Santos wobbles Miller with a right hand, and they start with some wild trading along the fence. Another right from Santos then a left hook. Miller is hurt and using the fence to stay upright. They tie up, Miller tries a takedown but winds up pulling half guard then fighting up into a clinch. Bit of a knee from Miller as they break. They split jabs for a bit. Both women miss rights, then Santos lands a right hand. More punches from Santos on the fence, they’re both swinging but Santos is constantly wobbling Miller. Eventually Miller stops throwing back and the ref steps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Luana Santos via TKO, punches, at 3:41 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Santos for her work this evening. Mic time for Santos and the translator, she calls this moment a dream to get her first UFC win. She talks us through the finish and talks about working her mental strength ahead of the fight so she could stay focused in the moment. Asked about the future she plans on working on her entire game. To close she asks for a post fight bonus, because it’s just par for the course at this point to beg for money while a professional fighter in the UFC.

Not much to break down here, Santos just adheres to the old maxim of “get on offense, stay on offense”. That will get you hurt at higher levels, but when we’re dealing with fighters who only had 10 combined fights coming into this one it’s good advice.

Da’Mon Blackshear has gone 1-1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of his first UFC win and is trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Jose Johnson brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s been out of action for just about a year but now looks to capitalize on his only chance to make a good first impression. Blackshear is a pretty big -300 favorite to +240 for Johnson.

Bantamweight Bout: Da’Mon Blackshear (13-5-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Jose Johnson (15-7, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson is two inches taller while Blackshear has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Johnson, but he starts switching the more Blackshear kicks. Bit of a flurry from Blackshear in close. Johnson lands a couple of rights, both men are throwing down early. Single leg to an inside trip from Blackshear and he gets on top in full guard. Some body to head punches from Blackshear. Johnson wall walks and Blackshear moves to his back. Blackshear comes back around for a takedown, but Johnson defends, then tries an elbow but wasn’t fully free and Blackshear finishes the second effort takedown. Johnson moves to his knees and Blackshear moves to his back. Blackshear is looking for hooks, he’s got one in but can’t find the second. Johnson looks to angle with his hips, he lands an elbow but Blackshear grabs a twister. Blackshear looks to crank on the twister, he’s struggling to get his grip right but he finally gets the arm up higher on the head for proper leverage, cranks the twister and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Da’Mon Blackshear via Submission, twister, at 3:47 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Blackshear for his work this evening. Mic time for Blackshear, he feels amazing then talks us through the finish noting he’d seen this kind of thing come up in Johnson’s past fights and once it happened he knew he could get the twister. That’s just the third twister in UFC history. He says tape study is key for him and the more details he can figure out the more dangerous he is.

Gotta love a twister, and this is a pretty good one from Blackshear. Johnson was perpetually a step behind all the way through this position and once he couldn’t get the grip of Blackshear broken, and Blackshear worked up the leverage arm higher on the head, well that’s a wrap.

Jacqueline Amorim suffered her first professional loss in her UFC debut a few months ago, now she’s back in action and trying to secure that all important first UFC win. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz has gone 1-1 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss way back in July of 2021 and is trying to end her three year layoff with a victory. The odds are with Amorim at -240 to a +195 comeback on Ruiz.

Strawweight Bout: Jaqueline Amorim (6-1, 116 lbs.) vs. Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz (10-2, 113 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Amorim is three inches taller with a pretty large seven inches of reach advantage. Touch of gloves. Amorim pushes forward, punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Body lock takedown from Amorim and she’s on top in half guard. There’s a pretty notable size different, Ruiz might be more natural at atomweight but of course the UFC doesn’t promote that division. Amorim pressures to pass to side control, then into 3/4 mount. Full mount now for Amorim and she looks to isolate an arm while landing punches. Ruiz is trying to buck and shrimp but Amorim is riding well and landing punches. Amorim lands a few more punches, she’s still looking for arm control to set up an arm triangle. Elbows now from Amorim. Ruiz gives up the back as she rolls and Amorim grabs a body triangle. Arm triangle attack from Amorim, she uses that to get back to full mount and resumes landing elbows. Armbar from Amorim, Ruiz is trying to scramble free and is able to get out of it. Amorim grabs an omoplata now, then uses it to get the back and grabs the rear naked choke. Not a great angle for it and Amorim just gets on top in full mount with a flurry of hammer fists to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Amorim

ROUND TWO: Amorim pressures forward again with kicks. Ruiz is trying to show the jab, and swings a left hand that’s blocked. Head kick from Amorim lands, Ruiz ties up and Amorim pulls full guard. Sweep from Amorim and she’s on top in full mount, nice sweep. Amorim lands more punches, gets the back again and locks up a body triangle. Some body shots from Amorim as she’s looking to open up a choke attack. Ruiz tries to spin into her, but Amorim reads it and transitions to full mount. Amorim is trying to set up an arm triangle, she gets the position with her arms but doesn’t get out of mount and Ruiz gets her arm back. More punches from Amorim as she’s floating between mount and back mount. Amorim lands more punches and hammer fists, Ruiz is feeding an armbar hoping Amorim will take it and she can counter but Amorim just unloads with more elbows and hammer fists. Now Amorim goes for the armbar, Ruiz defends and Amorim transitions from spiderweb to mount and keeps unloading with hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Amorim, 20-16 Amorim overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Amorim lands a body kick then a right hand. They trade front kicks. Glancing head kick from Amorim. Ruiz bulls forward, but Amorim ties her up and pulls guard again. Amorim starts working for a sweep. Ruiz is just hanging on, she tries a couple of punches that don’t really land. Elevator sweep attempt from Amorim, but Ruiz balances and prevents her back getting taken then gets back on top in full guard. Now Amorim grabs a kimura and uses it to sweep into full mount yet again. Hammer fists, punches and a few elbows land for Amorim and the ref steps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jacqueline Amorim via TKO, strikes, at 3:43 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Amorim for her work this evening. Mic time for Amorim she has worked hard in the gym to become more comfortable in the cage, then thanks her team for all of their work. She really came in here knowing she needed a win and focused on dominating each round, especially after how her UFC debut went. To close she thanks her team, and dedicates the win to her father since tomorrow is Father’s Day in Brazil.

Josh Parisian has traded wins and losses while going 2-3 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though which means he’s hoping that pattern holds for at least tonight so he can get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. Martin Buday has an impressive 11 fight winning streak going which includes three UFC wins, if he can extend that streak here it could earn Buday a shot at some bigger names his next time out. Buday is favored to do just that at -200 to Parisian’s +165.

Heavyweight Bout: Martin Buday (12-1, 266 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (15-6, 266 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Parisian has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men land jabs as they circle. Bit of a right from Parisian. Buday blocks some punches. A left hook from Buday lands and stuns Parisian, he looks to unload on the fence, Parisian is swinging back but he’s still hurt. They trade in close again before Parisian circles away. Buday lands a few lefts then Parisian fires a spinning back fist that’s blocked. Another clinch, Buday with some knees before things settle down. Knee to the body from Buday. Parisian lands a couple of knees of his own. They trade uppercuts then break. Bit of a right from Parisian. Buday keeps stalking forward and lands a right hand. They clinch again then break. Buday forces another clinch but can’t keep it. They trade lefts. Buday lands a knee then a left hand as they clinch. Parisian tries a takedown, but Buday counters with an under hook wrench and gets on top. Buday grabs a kimura, steps over the head and starts cranking it to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Martin Buday via Submission, kimura, at 4:11 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Buday for his work this evening. Mic time for Buday, he says getting the finish is the best feeling and he’s very happy. He says aggression was the plan and he’s glad it paid off, then talks us through the finish. Asked what he’d like next he doesn’t have a name in mind but thinks it would be a challenge to fight a ranked guy next but he’d like to take on that challenge. I’d be down for him facing ranked opposition next.

Pretty standard kimura from Buday, but that’s not a bad thing at all.

Francis Marshall has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off his first professional loss and now looks to avoid his first ever losing streak. Isaac Dulgarian is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, and he’s hoping to get his UFC career started with a win. The odds are with Marshall at -180 to a +150 comeback on Dulgarian.

Featherweight Bout: Isaac Dulgarian (5-0, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Francis Marshall (7-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marshall is two inches taller with an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Dulgarian lands a leg kick. They trade calf kicks for a bit. Dulgarian hits a double leg into full guard. Some body shots from Dulgarian as Marshall looks to tie him up and stall. Some short punches and elbows from Dulgarian. Dulgarian lands a few more short elbows, he’s pretty good about sneaking those in, then passes to half guard. More short elbows from Dulgarian. Marshall tries to force a scramble but Dulgarian hooks a leg to disrupt his base and force him back down into half guard. Hard elbow from Dulgarian, Marshall’s left ear is bleeding and now he’s cut around the right eyebrow. Dulgarian moves to full mount and unloads with punches, Marshall is just covering up and Dulgarian just wont stop hitting him and the ref steps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Isaac Dulgarian via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:48 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Dulgarian for his work this evening. That cut to Marshall might have stopped things if the ref didn’t, it’s bad and in a bad spot. Mic time for Dulgarian, he knows he can do that to anyone in the world, he just needs time and experience to fully mature in the sport. He talks a bit about the training for his ground and pound skills, and puts over Marshall for working defensively but he got there eventually. Asked about the future he wants another fight this year, and feels he deserves a post fight bonus since he’d like to move out of his RV.

Dulgarian’s ground and pound is nothing to play around with, he was good about sneaking it in early when Marshall was controlling his posture and then when given space to unleash it he got the finish.

Terrance McKinney has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights and is on a two fight losing streak, he’s hoping to salvage his 2023 campaign with his first win of the year. Mike Breeden has gone 0-2 in the UFC, and while a three fight skid doesn’t end as many UFC careers as it used to you have to imagine he’s getting pretty desperate for that first taste of victory in the promotion. McKinney is your -290 favorite while +225 for Breeden might be a tempting little value bet.

Lightweight Bout: Mike Breeden (10-5, 156 lbs.) vs. Terrence McKinney (13-6, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while McKinney has three and half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for McKinney and they touch gloves to get us going. Quick left from McKinney but he can’t find a takedown. Breeden blocks a head kick. McKinney lands a jab, he’s still looking for the head kick though. Breeden lands a body kick. Body shot from McKinney, Breeden didn’t like that and McKinney realizes it. More body shots from McKinney, then he avoids a takedown and lands knees from a clinch. More punches from McKinney, he keeps landing punches as Breeden just covers up and that prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Terrence McKinney via TKO, punches, at 1:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. McKinney for his work this evening, and is sending out interns to gather more gift baskets to send out as we speak. Mic time for McKinney, he wanted to get right back into action after losing his last couple of fights, then gives love to his family and team. He knew he had the power and speed to get Breeden out of there. Asked about the future he wants to fight again in about a month if possible.

McKinney needed a win here and got it, some brutal body work that Breeden never recovered from and being hurt against McKinney is a really bad place to be.

JP Buys has gone 0-3 in the UFC and now moves up to bantamweight in hopes of breathing some life into his UFC run, and one has to imagine a loss would end his time with the promotion. Marcus McGhee is on a three fight winning streak including a pretty big upset in his UFC debut when he stepped up and bested Journey Newson, now he’s trying to build his first UFC winning streak. McGhee is a pretty notable favorite at -345 to +275 on Buys.

Bantamweight Bout: JP Buys (9-5, 136 lbs.) vs. Marcus McGhee (7-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: McGhee is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage. Some early stance switching from McGhee. Both men miss kicks. Bit of a leg kick from McGhee. Both men miss punches in close. Buys lands a right hand. Bit of a left from McGhee. McGhee staggers Buys with a one two. Buys fires a right hand, and a counter right from McGhee puts Buys down face first and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marcus McGhee via KO, punch, at 2:19 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. McGhee for his work this evening. Mic time for McGhee, he works hard and puts God first in his life, then puts over Buys but it feels great to finish him and move on to the next one. He talks us through the finish, noting he knows when he hits guys hard enough to put him down and he did it here, then notes that if Buys did get up he was in position to keep hitting him. He’s grateful for what he’s got, and knows this wont last forever and he just wants to keep taking in the moments like this because there’s a lot of people who want this but never get it.

Some exceptional timing and footwork from McGhee here, he gets back to his own left as Buys leans throwing his right, it almost puts McGhee in the ideal position if Buys were southpaw and it means his right hand has a wonderful punching lane to the face of Buys.

Well the prelims were nothing but finishes, let’s see if the main card can keep that momentum going.

Josh Fremd has gone 1-2 in the UFC but he is coming off of a win, and will likely need a win here to help smooth over his weight miss since missing by 4 pounds is a pretty big miss on the scale. Jamie Pickett has a UFC record of 2-5 and is on a three fight losing streak, he needs a win pretty badly here after getting run over by Bo Nickal earlier this year. Despite missing weight, or perhaps because of it, Fremd is the favorite at -310 to +250 for Pickett.

Middleweight Bout: Josh Fremd (10-4, 189 lbs.)* vs. Jamie Pickett (13-9, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fremd is two inches taller but Pickett has four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Pickett. Fremd misses a head kick. Body kick from Fremd. Left hand from Pickett lands to counter a side kick. Fremd barely misses a head kick. Both men miss punches then they clinch up on the fence. A few knees from Fremd land. Pickett can’t get off the fence and Fremd is controlling him on the cage. Even commentary is talking about how little is happening here. Pickett spins Fremd into the fence and looks to continue the stalling. They break and Fremd lands a knee. Both men show jumping knees that don’t connect. Fremd with a jumping knee into another clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fremd

ROUND TWO: Both men show kicks again as they circle. Both men miss punches, then Fremd tries a double leg but that results in another clinch on the fence. Pickett spins free a little quicker this time and they reset. Body kick from Fremd. Bit of a left from Pickett. They punch into a clinch and again hit the fence. Bit of an elbow from Fremd. Pickett avoids a spinning attack and hits a double leg, but Fremd grabs a guillotine on the way down. Pickett pulls his head out of the choke and looks to posture up. Fremd to his knees, Pickett gets to the ride position. Fremd stands up anyway, Pickett drives him back to the fence and Fremd threatens another guillotine. It’s a standing guillotine this time and Fremd uses it to push Pickett to his seat. Pickett has full guard, Fremd stands and lands punches then they’ll end the round with Fremd still on top.

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

ROUND THREE: Again both men come out kicking. Fremd lands a knee but Pickett keeps coming forward and is looking to throw. Pickett lands a right hook. Double leg from Pickett into top position. Half guard from Pickett now, then he moves to the ride again as Fremd gets to his knees. Pickett gets too high and falls over the top, Fremd winding up on top in half guard. They’re near the fence now, and Pickett works to wall walk. Pickett fights to his knees, then back up and they’re clinched again. A few knees from Fremd, Pickett returns one of them. The ref breaks them up, which I’m fine with. They both miss punches, and then clinch again. Pickett breaks free, they stare then miss punches as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Fremd via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Well the finish streak had to end sometime, pity it was also such a boring fight. No interview for Fremd.

AJ Dobson has gone 0-2 in the UFC and really needs to get that first UFC win under his belt here. Tafon Nchukwi missed weight by 4.5 pounds, never a good thing, but he’s also on a two fight losing streak plus he’s been out of action for over a year and pretty badly needs a win. Pretty close one here on the odds but they’re with Nchukwi at -145 to +120 for Dobson.

Middleweight Bout: AJ Dobson (6-2 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (6-3, 189.5 lbs.)*

ROUND ONE: Dobson is an inch taller while Nchukwi has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Dobson slides forward, and misses punches. Pretty high guard from Nchukwi right now. Both men probe with some low kicks. Jab from Nchukwi lands then a calf kick. Bit of a body kick from Dobson. Dobson is slowly working forward, Nchukwi is landing better at the moment but everything he’s throwing is at full power so Dobson might be trying to wear him down. Calf kick from Nchukwi, Dobson returns it. Dobson lands a body kick then a jab. Nchukwi lands another calf kick. Bit of a right from Dobson. They trade leg kicks again. Nchukwi blocks a head kick but can’t land a counter. Dobson lands a jab and avoids the counter. They keep trading leg kicks. Body shot from Dobson, then a body kick as well. Nchukwi misses a few punches, then land a leg kick but Dobson lands a counter punch. Bit of a body kick from Dobson. Nchukwi goes southpaw and fires a body kick, but Dobson catches it and trips him. Dobson gets on top and lands punches from half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dobson but a close one

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Both men get back to showing kicks as they circle. Nchukwi lands a front kick then a leg kick, but Dobson counters with a right hand then a body kick. Right hand from Dobson lands. Nchukwi lands a calf kick. Bit of a head kick from Dobson, and he avoids the counter right. Leg kicks are going back and forth again. Bit of a one two from Dobson. Dobson lands a right hand then a body kick, Nchukwi fires back and they wind up clinched on the fence. They trade elbows then break. Nchukwi misses some punches, he just can’t find the target with his hands. Bit of a combination from Dobson, Nchukwi blocked a good chunk of it though. Bit of a one two from Dobson. Another body kick from Dobson then a left hand. Dobson punches in close and they clinch again. The round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dobson but another close one, 20-18 Dobson overall

ROUND THREE: Dobson comes out again looking to kick with that lead leg. Inside leg kick from Dobson. They both miss rights. Dobson trips up Nchukwi on a kick and gets on top in full guard. Nchukwi tries to wall walk right away but Dobson passes to half guard and strips away his base so he can’t get up. Some body shots from Dobson as he’s trying to set up an arm triangle. Nchukwi gets his arm out of danger. Dobson gets some arm control and looks to land lefts. Some body shots from Dobson then he gets his posture but Nchukwi hip escapes to full guard. Bit of a right from Dobson but things are stalling out again. Nchukwi just holding on and looking to stall. Dobson postures up and lands a couple of punches, Nchukwi scrambles up with Dobson on his back as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – AJ Dobson via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

No interview for Dobson, the fight wasn’t great but was better than the last one.

Polyana Viana has gone 4-4 in the UFC, she’s gone 3-1 in her last four fights at flyweight and she’s looking to build another winning streak here while also getting her UFC record above the .500 mark for the first time since 2018. Iasmin Lucindo has gone 1-1 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win though and is looking to build her first UFC winning streak. Lucindo closed as your -200 favorite to Viana’s +165.

Strawweight Bout: Iasmin Lucindo (14-5, 116 lbs.) vs. Polyana Viana (13-5, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Viana is two inches taller, has an inch of reach advantage, and is a full decade older. Bit of a left from Lucindo early. Viana lands a leg kick. Lucindo starts showing some stance switches but she’s mostly orthodox. A couple of body kicks from Viana then she punches into a clinch and lands lefts against the fence. Takedown from Viana into half guard. Lucindo quickly gets full guard. Not much going on here at the moment. The ref breaks them up after Lucindo’s stalling. Lucindo misses a spinning back kick. Viana lands a left hand then they clinch again. Takedown from Lucindo into leg drag. Viana is thinking about inverting for a leg. The round ends just after Viana kicks Lucindo off of her.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lucindo but a close one

ROUND TWO: Lucindo comes out swinging and lands a couple of punches. Both women miss punches. Viana lands a leg kick. Lucindo lands a right hand. Body kick from Viana, then Lucindo clinches up and gets a takedown into half guard. Not much going on here again, Viana is looking to stall from the bottom. Lucindo is trying to pass, she gets to 3/4 mount and grabs an arm triangle, then gets to the side and locks it down to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Iasmin Lucindo via Submission, arm triangle, at 3:42 of Round 2

Mic time for Lucindo and the translator, she expected a fight like this but came in with everything ready. She talks us through the finish to close.

Pretty standard arm triangle from Lucindo here, gets the arm in position, gets her grip and hops to the side to finish things off.

Khalil Rountree Jr. is on a three fight winning streak but he’s been out of action since October of last year, still this equals his best streak in the UFC and if he can extend it to four wins here he might be ready to take a step up in class by aiming up in the ranks. Chris Daukaus has gone 4-3 in the UFC and his current three fight losing streak prompted a drop down from heavyweight to light heavyweight, and he’s hoping to make a splash in his new division by taking out a ranked opponent. Rountree closed as the favorite at -180 to +150 for Daukaus.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Chris Daukaus (12-6, 205 lbs.) vs. #13 Khalil Rountree (11-5 1 NC, 203.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Daukaus is two inches taller while Rountree has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rountree and they touch gloves to get us going. Both men probe with the lead hand then Daukaus lands a combination. They trade rights. Another right from Daukaus lands. Rountree lands a left hand. They trade rights again, Rountree might have more power of the two. Daukaus lands another right, he’s got a pretty good read on that punch. Daukaus forces a clinch, they trade there along the fence before settling things into a proper clinch. They break and Rountree has a knee blocked. Another exchange of rights. Rountree drops Daukaus with a left hand and gets after him, firing a few more punches to prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khalil Rountree via TKO, punches, at 2:40 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rountree for his work this evening. Mic time for Rountree, he feels great and thanks his team for all the work they’ve done with him pretty much all year. He talks us through the finish and notes he’s worked a lot on his patience and vision so he doesn’t get crazy. Asked what he wants next he’d like to fight up in the rankings and he’d like to have a main event if at all possible.

A nice little switch of timing and speed from Rountree here, he’s shown a different rhythm to this point then switches it up and is able to drop the hammer on Daukaus.

Cub Swanson is one of the old war horses of the sport having made his professional debut back in 2004, he’s closer to the end of his career than even the middle but he’s still looking for a few fun fights and memorable wins before he hangs up his gloves. Hakeem Dawodu has gone 2-2 in his last four fights but he’s coming off of a loss to Julian Erosa, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak while taking out the most recognizable name he’s ever faced. Dawodu is your favorite at -245 against a +200 payout for Swanson.

Featherweight Bout: Hakeem Dawodu (13-3-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Cub Swanson (28-13, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Dawodu has three and half inches of reach advantage. Swanson will do a lot of stance switching as he moves around. Both men do a little feinting as they try to get a read. They trade leg kicks. Some jabs from Swanson then a right hand that sends Dawodu backwards. Dawodu lands a leg kick. A right from Swanson in close lands. Dawodu lands a left hand. Bit of a combination from Dawodu. Dawodu lands a calf kick. Swanson lands a right to the body. They trade jabs. Bit of a counter right from Dawodu lands. Dawodu lands a left hook. Both men swing in close and partially land. Swanson goes southpaw to land a left hand. Still southpaw, Swanson seems to like what he sees and lands a head kick. A calf kick from Dawodu closes the round.

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

ROUND TWO: Dawodu comes out working punches again, then lands a spinning back kick. Swanson’s nose was bleeding between rounds and it’s still leaking. Both men land punches in close. Swanson lands a couple of uppercuts in close then they clinch up. Knees to the head from Swanson allow him to spin Dawodu into the fence. Dawodu quickly spins him back and lands a knee to the body. More knees from Dawodu then they break apart. Both men land jabs. Swanson lands a couple of rights, Dawodu fires back though. Dawodu blocks a right hook. Glancing high kick from Dawodu. Swanson lands a right hand then a left hook. Dawodu gets back to jabbing. They clinch again and hit the fence. Dawodu lands some knees in the clinch. They’re just trading body shots, then Dawodu lands a few more knees. Elbow from Dawodu as they break. Swanson lands a combination, then wobbles Dawodu with a left hook, Dawodu fires back just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawodu, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Dawodu works kicks as the round starts. Swanson lands a calf kick then they trade punches in close. Swanson lands a right hand then misses a head kick. Dawodu lands a jab. They split more jabs, then trade in close again with both men landing. Dawodu grabs a clinch, Swanson with a hip toss and they fight back up into another clinch. We get a time out as Swanson took a knee to the groin, no real time off though. Swanson lands a few punches, Dawodu forces another clinch with Swanson landing body shots. Dawodu goes to knees, and another one goes low. We get another time out, and the ref warns Dawodu there wont be leniency on the next one. They trade again. Both men land lefts. Again they trade in close. Leaping left hook from Swanson lands. Dawodu lands a one two. A right from Swanson lands and seems to slow Dawodu. Another left from Swanson. Double leg from Swanson and he gets on top in full guard. Swanson lands some short elbows. Swanson passes to half guard, he’s after an arm triangle but doesn’t have enough time. He bails on it and lands punches, Dawodu scrambles up and Swanson dives to his back then grabs at a choke. 10 seconds left, Swanson is after the choke but wont get the tap before the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I’m surprised by that one, Swanson gets an interview and thinks he didn’t do enough to win but he’s always hard on himself so he’ll have to watch it back. He got the fight he expected but knows fights get harder as he gets older, and he gets very emotional talking about what people expect from him. His wife and kids are here and he says them being here makes him nervous, but he can’t shelter them and if they see him lose it’s just a lesson that you can’t win everything. He talks us through some highlights, noting he couldn’t attack the leg as much as he wanted because Dawodu was ready and he knew Dawodu was strong so he kept pushing to give himself a shot in the fight.

Vicente Luque has been a fairly well performing welterweight for almost his entire UFC run, but he’s currently on a two fight losing streak and needs to get back on the winning side of things if he wants to retain his position as a relevant player at the top of the division. Rafael dos Anjos is one of the usually overlooked legends of the sport, he was the lightweight champion and successfully defended that title plus he contended for an interim title up at welterweight. Dos Anjos is looking for fun fights at this stage of his career, but if he can best Luque it will be a pretty validating win with respect to his current position and would be another notable win in his legendary career. We’ve got a close on in the main event, -125 for dos Anjos to +105 on Luque.

Welterweight Bout: #10 Vicente Luque (21-9-1, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Rafael dos Anjos (32-14, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Luque is three inches taller with a notable five and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for dos Anjos. Both men show the lead hand early as they feint around. Some stance switching from dos Anjos, still mostly southpaw. Luque lands a body kick, dos Anjos returns it. Dos Anjos blocks a couple of punches. Both men miss punches in close. Dos Anjos lands a right hook then fires a high kick. Another left from dos Anjos then he clinches looking for a takedown. Dos Anjos slips to the back in the clinch and lands knees to the leg. Luque fights chest to chest but he’s still clinched. Dos Anjos looks for a trip, can’t quite finish it though. Knee from dos Anjos as they jockey for position. Elbow from dos Anjos then a small flurry before Luque gets free. Dos Anjos lands a couple of left hands. Luque lands an inside leg kick then a front kick. Body shot from Luque lands. Dos Anjos with some jabs as he’s backing Luque up. Both men land in close again, then dos Anjos lands an elbow and clinches up on the fence. Dos Anjos goes with knees in close. Luque picks an ankle but falls into a guillotine choke. Dos Anjos tightens the guillotine, it’s arm in though and that’s complicating things, they wind up scrambling and Luque is in the ride position. Some lefts from Luque land as dos Anjos stands, and they end the round in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos

ROUND TWO: Both men work jabs. Dos Anjos lands a body kick. Luque with a body kick that’s caught but neither man does anything with that position. Dos Anjos presses forward, and they clinch up again. Luque avoids a double leg and they resume clinch fighting. Both men land some short punches, then dos Anjos lands a knee and an elbow as they break. Luque lands a couple of jabs. Dos Anjos lands a one two, he’s pressuring forward again. Double leg from dos Anjos against the fence, Luque immediately wall walks but dos Anjos is on his back in the clinch. Elbow from dos Anjos lands. Luque looks for his own takedown, he can’t really finish it though. A few knees go back and forth, then Luque drops for a takedown and he gets dos Anjos to a knee against the fence. Dos Anjos is fishing for a kimura, it’s more to leverage the arm of Luque and to help him stand. They’re back up, Luque tries for a standing arm triangle but that wont work on dos Anjos. Luque lands an elbow as they break. Some distance kicks from Luque, then dos Anjos shoots a takedown against the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Luque, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Luque looks for his power hand as the round beings. Dos Anjos is bleeding from the nose I think. Both men work the jab now as they circle. Luque lands a right to the body then a jab. Dos Anjos lands a heavy body kick. Uppercut from dos Anjos then he clinches up. They fight for position along the fence, dos Anjos lands an elbow. Luque looks for a takedown against the fence, he picks the ankle of dos Anjos but he’s not able to do much with it other than slip to the back in the clinch. Dos Anjos gets chest to chest again, he fights off a single leg attempt then they separate. Solid left from dos Anjos lands. Luque stalks forward, and they trade lefts. Body kick from dos Anjos. Luque lands a couple more jabs then they trade power hand punches. Bit of a combination from dos Anjos. Luque lands a body kick and then both men miss in close. Dos Anjos lands another left hand then hits a taekdown. Luque rolls through looking for a choke, but dos Anjos spins out and gets a front headlock. Arm drag from Luque and he’s on the back now in the clinch. Dos Anjos gets chest to chest as Luque tries a single leg. Things are stalling here and that’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos but a close one, 29-28 dos Anjos overall

ROUND FOUR: Luque shows the jab and pressures forward, then lands a right hand. They both land rights in close. Dos Anjos lands a jab. They punch into another clinch. Luque with a knee then he tries a takedown but dos Anjos defends that one. Both men with some close quarters short offense. Luque hits a takedown, dos Anjos looks to wall walk right away but Luque has a cradle for control. Dos Anjos up and they trade as they break the clinch. Another clinch and dos Anjos lands knees after a left hand. Elbow from dos Anjos. They trade knees while fighting for position against the fence. Luque looks for a single leg, dos Anjos grabs a front headlock to stifle that though. Dos Anjos lands some knees then avoids a takedown. More positional fighting then they break. Dos Anjos lands a couple of punches in close and shoots a double leg, he slips to the back in the clinch but can’t keep it as Luque gets chest to chest. Luque with a low takedown then moves to the back as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Luque, 38-38 overall

ROUND FIVE: They touch gloves for the final round. Luque looks to jab again. Bit of a body kick from Luque. Dos Anjos lands a right hook in close. One two from dos Anjos then he tries a takedown but Luque defends against the fence. Luque gets dos Anjos on the fence and lands some body shots. Dos Anjos spins free and they reset. Both men land some jabs, then dos Anjos lands a head kick but Luque just eats it. Both men land punches then dos Anjos lands a body kick. Dos Anjos punches into a clinch and lands an elbow but Luque spins him and looks to stall out. Luque drops for a takedown, can’t really finish it though. Again Luque wants a takedown, he still can’t quite finish it. Dos Anjos spins him into the fence but can’t mount much offense. Elbow from dos Anjos as they break. Both men land punches and dos Anjos gets close then misses a head kick. Left from dos Anjos, he’s looking for a finish. Luque pulls guard and locks things up to ice out the final 20 or so seconds. Dos Anjos does land some elbows from top position before the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 48-47 dos Anjos overall but probably went to Luque

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2)

Only giving dos Anjos one round seems wrong as first and fifth felt like his, but I’m not complaining about 48-47 either way. Luque talks, he says even being here is a miracle after his last fight and the resulting brain bleed he had to deal with, he worked hard to get back and thanks God for healing him and helping him come back better than ever. He says the game plan was to do everything and puts over his coaches, then says he was afraid in the first round and getting hit a few times helped reassure him of his confidence. Asked about the journey to get back here he says he had to sit back and counsel with his family about everything, and he moved his family to Florida to really improve his game and start to sharpen his weapons. When the future is brought up, he’s looking at the top of the division and wants a top contender if at all possible.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 51 comes to a close. Thank you for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all of the fallout from this event plus looking ahead since next week brings us UFC 292 and two title fights. I’ll be back here next week for UFC 292 and I hope you will as well, but until then thank you again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 51, Robert Winfree