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October 16, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 53

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MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
Aspen Ladd (145 lbs.) vs. Norma Dumont (145.5 lbs.)
Andrei Arlovski (245 lbs.) vs. Carlos Felipe (259 lbs.)
Erick Gonzalez (155 lbs.) vs. Jim Miller (155 lbs.)
Manon Fiorot (125.5 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (126 lbs.)
Ludovit Klein (145.5 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (145.5 lbs.)

Andrew Sanchez (185 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (185 lbs.)
Ramazan Emeev (171 lbs.) vs. Danny Roberts (170.5 lbs.)
Luana Carolina (125.5 lbs.) vs. Loopy Godinez (121.5 lbs.)
Danaa Batgerel (135 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (136 lbs.)
Ariane Carnelossi (115.5 lbs.) vs. Istela Nunes (114.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 53. I’m Robert Winfree, your usual host for the violent festivities. Tonight the UFC is very much just keeping the machinery turning over, and even if it wasn’t this card has had a lot of bad luck come at it. This card originally was supposed to feature Miesha Tate against Ketlen Vieira, then Holly Holm vs. Norma Dumont got bumped to the main event after a positive Covid test on the part of Tate only to fall apart when Holm got injured. Ultimately Aspen Ladd stepped in to fight Dumont. We were also supposed to get a Timur Valiev fight, and a fight between Kennedy Nzechukwu and Da Un Jung that might turn out to be a decent brawl when it happens. At the weigh ins we lost Julian Marquez against Jordan Wright when Marquez had to withdraw due to non-Covid health issues leaving us with this patchwork 10 fight card. If you’re looking for potential highlights, Jim Miller is fighting and I’m a sucker for Jim Miller fights. We’ve also got a fight between rising flyweights when Manon Fiorot takes on Mayra Bueno Silva. On the prelims the bantamweight fight between Danaa Batgerel and Brandon Davis has some decent potential, and Ramazan Emeev is a talented fighter. Mostly though we’re hoping that quality action will make up for a lackluster event on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 53 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping on commentary. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer set except the definition of a downed fighter. Nevada does use instant replay, has a second referee outside the cage who can request replay be used, and the fight can be restarted after instant replay is used if that’s applicable to the situation.

Istela Nunes has been trying to make her UFC debut since 2019 but has unfortunately been out of action since July of 2018, now she’s hoping to finally get back into action and make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Ariane Carnelossi has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and looking to get first UFC winning streak up and running. Carnelossi is your favorite at -140 to +120 on Nunes.

Strawweight Bout: Ariane Carnelossi (13-2, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Istela Nunes (7-1, 114.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nunes is two inches taller and has four and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, then both women immediately begin throwing punches. Both women land rights, Nunes avoids a clinch then lands a front kick to the body. Nunes lands an inside leg kick. Carnelossi is coming forward but her defense is a bit weak and she’s getting hit, though Carnelossi is able to force a clinch and get a takedown. Nunes wall walks up and they start working knees to the body. Eventually Nunes spins free and resets. Carnelossi is still plodding forward, Nunes is starting to use her longer reach now as well as switch her stance to line up the left kick. Body kick from Nunes. Carnelossi punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Nunes lands a few knees to the body. Carnelossi is able to land a few punches but she can’t get much going in the clinch yet. Both women with knees now, and Nunes is finally able to slip free. Nunes lands a few long range punches then a kick to the body. Carnelossi did not like the body work, she forces a clinch but this time Nunes is able to avoid the fence and disengage. Nunes lands an inside leg kick then body kick and avoids a few counters. Nunes lands a couple of straight rights to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nunes

ROUND TWO: Carnelossi’s face is a little busted up, and she walks into a few punches to exacerbate that issue. Nunes is fighting while backing up rather well. Both women land rights, then Carnelossi tries a single leg takedown that hits the fence. Carnelossi is able to get the takedown but Nunes bounces right back up. There’s a mouse developing around the left eyebrow of Nunes. Both women work knees to the leg and body, Nunes doesn’t seem to like the physicality that Carnelossi is forcing now. Carnelossi gets another single leg takedown but Nunes wall walks yet again. Nunes lands a knee to the body but she can’t get out of the clinch. Nunes does spin free finally and land a bit of a knee. Carnelossi resumes marching forward, but eats a solid one two from Nunes. Nunes lands a body kick then avoids some hooks. Nunes lands another right hand. Carnelossi forces another clinch and starts looking for a takedown, she gets it along the fence and tries to establish control. Nunes looks to wall walk again, she regains her feet just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Carnelossi, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Bit of a left hook from Nunes, then a straight right hand. Carnelossi lands a left hook. Nunes is sniping at distance but she’s getting backed up to the fence. Some front kicks from Nunes land. Carnelossi lands a left to the body. Nunes lands a front kick to the body then a couple of punches. That body work from Nunes has dropped off, it was getting a response earlier and she’s gotten away from it in favor of head hunting. Carnelossi eats a right hand but forces a clinch on the fence. Carnelossi gets a double leg, Nunes starts looking to wall walk. This time Carnelossi gets on a hip, and gets the back with one hook in then starts looking for the choke. Both hooks in now and Carnelossi gets the choke locked up to force a tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ariane Carnelossi via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:57 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Carnelossi for her work this evening. Mic time for Carnelossi and her translator, she puts over the striking of Nunes as a big part of why she worked so much wrestling in this fight. She talks us through the finish to close.

Here’s the finish. Fairly textbook stuff from the back, most notable being Carnelossi’s grip changing as she’s able to keep her squeeze on despite Nunes hand fighting.

Danaa Batgerel has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak with both of those being first round finishes, he’s looking to extend that winning streak and start making his way up through the crowded bantamweight ranks. Brandon Davis was cut from the UFC in 2019 after a 1-4 stretch but he’s won four in a row since then and is looking to return with a win. The odds are with Batgerel at -155 to a +130 comeback on Davis.

Bantamweight Bout: Danaa Batgerel (9-2, 135 lbs.) vs. Brandon Davis (14-8, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Davis is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Batgerel is probing with long range strikes right away. Davis lands a leg kick. Batgerel lands a three punch combination. A right from Batgerel off balances Davis but he hops right back up. Davis goes southpaw now, and they start trading inside leg kicks. Batgerel lands a right then a left hook follow up. Another combination from Batgerel mostly lands. Batgerel absolutely floors Davis with a right hand, then jumps all over him with strikes to force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Danaa Batgerel via TKO, punches, at 2:01 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Batgerel for his work this evening. Batgerel gets an interview his translator, he feels amazing and three first round finishes is awesome before thanking his family and friends for their support. Asked when he’d like to get back into the cage he feels good and could turn around quickly. He talks us through the finish, and requests a post fight bonus.

The left that misses here is an important punch, not everything has to land so long as it leads to something valuable. Here Batgerel misses the left but it has steered Davis into the following right that floors him. The follow up work from Batgerel is very nice, he chooses his shots quite well and never lets Davis back into things.

Lupita Godinez has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win just 7 days ago, if she’s able to get a win here it’ll be the fastest successful turnaround in the UFC since the days of the one night tournaments. Luana Carolina has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, now she’s looking for her first UFC winning streak at the expense of a late notice replacement opponent. Despite taking this fight on very short notice Godinez a rather heavy -220 favorite against +180 for Carolina.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Luana Carolina (7-2, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Loopy Godinez (6-1, 121.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Carolina is four inches taller and has a whopping eight inches of reach advantage over Godinez who normally fights at strawweight. Southpaw for Carolina. Bit of a right from Godinez, Carolina responds with a knee but they clinch up and hit the fence. They jockey for position, Godinez is trying to find a trip to get things to the mat. Carolina lands a knee to the head but can’t quite get all the way out of the clinch. Both women work knees to the body while they try and find an advantage. Godinez looks to slip around to the back and gets there after a bit. Carolina is able to get in front and land an elbow before she slips free. Glancing head kick from Carolina, but Godinez is able to force another clinch off of that. Godinez goes for the legs and gets a double leg against the fence. Carolina quickly looking to wall walk, she gets to a knee but Godinez is able to hit a sacrifice roll to get away from the fence and wind up on top in side control. Some elbows to the body from Godinez. Godinez moves to north-south, looks to isolate the right arm of Carolina but wont be able to hit the armbar before the round ends though it got pretty close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Godinez

ROUND TWO: Carolina is getting backed up again, Godinez lands a left hook. Godinez catches a low kick and forces another clinch on the fence. Carolina lands a knee to the body, she uses a nice cross face to force a break. Leg kick from Carolina. Godinez catches a knee, and gets a double leg that stalls out against the fence. They separate as Carolina misses a left hook. Godinez catches another kick, tries a single leg but that stalls out on the fence again as Carolina works strikes. Carolina is able to break the grip of Godinez and get free. Godinez lands a left hook. Carolina has started switching her stance on occasion, she lands a straight left. Godinez lands a right to counter a leg kick. Both women land in close but Carolina seems to have taken over here. Carolina lands a left high kick. Godinez catches a kick and goes for another takedown, they hit the fence and Godinez can’t quite secure the position. They break then circle for the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Carolina, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Carolina stalks forward, they both miss punches then Carolina lands an inside leg kick. Godinez lands a right hand and they both trade in close. Godinez walks into a knee to the body but she forces a clinch and starts looking for another takedown. Carolina lands a few knees to the body while defending. Those knees are adding up, but Godinez spins towards the back but can’t quite get there. Carolina lands a few lefts while defending. They break without much incident. Some inside leg kicks from Carolina as she moves around. Carolina lands a right. Godinez lands a couple of rights then goes for a takedown but they just wind up clinched again. Carolina lands a few knees, Godinez tries to slip to the back but only gets to the hip and gets one hook in. Godinez gets all the way around to the back, but Carolina spins into her then gets free. Body kick from Carolina lands. Godinez avoids a head kick, tries a takedown but again they stall out on the fence. Carolina with more knees as they fight for position then break. A few more kicks from Carolina then she defends a takedown attempt as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Luana Carolina via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Carolina gets an interview after that, she expected the pressure from Godinez but stayed calm and kept gaining as the fight wore on. She drilled a lot of takedown defense and she’s happy to have been able to show that off.

Danny Roberts has gone 3-2 in his last five fights and is coming off of a good knockout win, unfortunately that was almost two years ago and now he’s trying to remind the UFC audience of his ability. Ramazan Emeev has gone 5-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking get his second three fight stretch up and running in the UFC and begin making the transition from talented up and comer to legitimate contender. The strong form Emeev has shown overall has led to him being a -330 favorite while the +260 payout on Roberts might be a tempting value bet.

Welterweight Bout: Ramazan Emeev (20-4, 171 lbs.) vs. Danny Roberts (17-5, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Roberts is three inches taller but Emeev has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Roberts. Emeev slowly backs Roberts up, then lands a bit of a left. Some lead hand work from both men, neither feels quite comfortable in there just yet. Bit of a body shot from Emeev. Emeev lands a right. Roberts tries to get his jab going. Emeev hits a single leg and gets Roberts down in the middle of the cage. Some short lefts from Emeev land, Roberts tries to scoot to the fence while getting his guard in play. Roberts tries a triangle choke, Emeev pulls free without much issue and moves to side control. Roberts is able to fight up to his feet but they’re still clinched. A few knees from Roberts land before they break. Emeev avoids a few long distance strikes. Bit of a right from Emeev is close. Roberts misses a left, tries a takedown of his own and they clinch on the fence. Emeev is after a front choke, Roberts tries a single leg but Emeev defends and lands an uppercut as they break. They trade power hand punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emeev

ROUND TWO: Both men come out jabbing and looking for an advantage. Roberts avoids a poorly set up single leg and keeps distance. Emeev lands a left, then forces a clinch. They move to the fence and Emeev tries a kimura roll, he gets it but can’t secure position and they get up and trade punches. This time Roberts is the one to force the clinch. Emeev rather easily reverses position on the fence and slips to the back then starts working for a mat return. Bit of a right from Emeev as they get chest to chest and then Roberts slips free. Emeev lands a right, Roberts returns fire with a one two then clinches up. They break again. Single leg from Emeev, Roberts is cut around the forehead. Roberts tries another triangle choke but this one is much looser and Emeev moves to side control. Emeev gets an anaconda choke but can’t get the full rotation to really bite on the neck. Roberts fights up and free but eats a right hand. Emeev avoids a left, then defends a single leg takedown. Bit of a knee from Roberts as they clinch again. Elbow from Roberts as he breaks the clinch. Emeev lands a right and avoids a wild counter punch. Another clinch, and that’s where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emeev but a close one, 20-18 Emeev overall

ROUND THREE: That cut on Roberts is up in his hairline, near the top of his head and wont be a problem unless it gets much much worse. Both men probing with the lead hand. Bit of a blitz from Roberts. Emeev tries a single leg and forces a clinch on the fence. Some knees from Emeev, Roberts lands one of his own and is able to pull free. Emeev lands a few punches and they clinch. Both men dig the body and Emeev forces Roberts to the fence. Emeev lands a few knees, as does Roberts then they punch and clinch back up. More knees from Roberts, then a left hook in close. Emeev lands a left of his own then a right in close staggers Roberts for a second. Roberts defends a single leg and lands a couple of lefts. Emeev fires back before they clinch again and wind up on the fence. They both land knees then break, Emeev lands a right and a knee then they clinch again. A hard right from Emeev in close, Roberts fires back but can’t quite find the target as reliably before clinching. Emeev again lands punches as they break. Stiff jab from Roberts. Emeev lands a right and clinches again. Both men land knees in the clinch, then trade in close again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emeev but another close one, 30-27 Emeev overall

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

I don’t object to Roberts winning, but I do object to him getting the first round. Mic time for Roberts, he mentions being aggressive and that helping him out and mostly he’s happy to be back fighting. He feels amazing and knows he’s meant to be here. Asked what he wants next he’d like to fight again before Christmas and puts over Emeev as a tough opponent.

Andrew Sanchez has been very up and down in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his second UFC losing streak. Bruno Silva is on a five fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut earlier this year when he stopped Wellington Turman with strikes, now he’s looking to extend that streak and get arguably the biggest win of his career. The odds are close but favor Silva at -155 to +130 for Sanchez.

Middleweight Bout: Andrew Sanchez (12-6, 185 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (20-6, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sanchez is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Silva, and they touch gloves to get things going. Silva starts probing with kicks and circling while Sanchez looks to be more feint heavy. Silva gets close and digs the body several times then lands an uppercut as well before Sanchez gets off the fence. Sanchez avoids a punch and tries a single leg but Brun defends against the fence. A second effort from Sanchez does get the single leg against the fence. Sanchez moves to half guard and is able to flatten out Silva. Silva is looking to wall walk, both men land short punches and Sanchez moves to mount the legs and break the base of Silva down. A few elbows from his back by Silva as Sanchez moves him off the fence and settles into the full guard. Silva kicks Sanchez off and gets up but Sanchez dives back into the clinch. Both men land some knees to the body. Silva picks the ankle to off balance Sanchez but can’t really capitalize on the motion. Sanchez lands a knee to the groin of Silva so we’ve got a timeout. Silva takes a little over 30 seconds and we’re back to fighting. Sanchez tries a side kick to keep distance, but Silva was throwing a high kick and Sanchez caught Silva in the groin yet again so we’ve got another break. That was a pretty bad one, Silva takes about 40 seconds this time and we’re back to fighting. They both miss punches to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanchez

ROUND TWO: Silva comes out kicking low to start the round. Sanchez avoids a blitz and gets around to the back and drives things to the fence. Mat return from Sanchez and then he starts working from the ride position. Silva gets to his feet but Sanchez is kneeing his legs and trying to get him back down. Silva lands elbows from his back as Sanchez pulls him away from the fence and into full guard. Sanchez moves to the back again as Silva builds his base up and wall walks. Silva tries a switch, but Sanchez moves with him and gets the back as Silva turtles. Another wall walk from Silva, Sanchez is still on his back and hits a mat return, this time he mounts the legs. Sanchez moves to half guard and lands a few short elbows. Silva tries another wall walk, he builds up but he can’t get Sanchez off of him. Sanchez moves in front and hits a double leg. Another wall walk from Silva, another mat return from Sanchez. Silva lands a few elbows, Sanchez punches him in response. Silva moves to the fence and is building his base up again, Sanchez decides to swing punches for the final couple of seconds before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Silva comes forward and lands punches. Sanchez is on the back foot again, and his legs look a little shot. The poor gas tank of Sanchez is showing up again. Silva digs the body again in close, but Sanchez kicks him in the groin again and this time the ref takes a point from him for the foul. About 50 seconds later and we’re back to fighting. Silva blocks a poor double leg attempt and lands a left hand. More body shots from Silva along the fence. A few more punches from Silva, he’s committed to body work on the tired Sanchez. Silva with uppercuts now, and he gets out of a clinch. Body kick from Silva, Sanchez is ready to go if Silva can string good offense together. Silva with more body shots and punches in close before they clinch up again. They break without incident and Sanchez lands a few punches. Silva lands a left hand, then a right and digs the body along the fence. A big flurry from Silva along the fence prompts the ref to step in and give him the standing TKO.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bruno Silva via KO, punches, at 2:35 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his work this evening. Mic time for Silva, who just got his black belt from his jiu-jitsu coach. He says he told his team he would get the knockout, and despite losing the rounds he knew he still had time to get the finish. Asked what he’d like in the future he would like to fight in January and would also like a post fight bonus.

Here’s a look at the finish. Sanchez has had cardio issues for most of his UFC run and here he’s clearly exhausted. Silva sees that and knows he needs the finish to win, so he pours on the pressure with brutal body shots and relentless action until Sanchez has no choice but to collapse under the barrage.

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

Nate Landwehr has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Ludovit Klein has gone 1-1 in the UFC and snapped an eight fight winning streak in his last fight, now he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first losing streak. Klein is a surprisingly heavy -380 favorite to a +300 comeback on Landwehr.

Featherweight Bout: Ludovit Klein (17-3, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (14-4, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Landwehr is two inches taller and years older while Klein has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Klein, both men start probing with the lead hand as they circle. Klein lands an inside leg kick. Landwehr starts probing with long weapons, Klein lands a body kick. A few long range kicks from Landwehr miss or are blocked. Bit of a body kick from Landwehr. Klein lands another body kick, then a straight left. Knee to the body from Klein and they clinch up. Landwehr does not like that body work, but he’s able to spin Klein into the fence. Some knees from Landwehr but Klein is able to get free and reset. Klein gets back to kicking at distance, he’s really trying to set up his high kick. Another body kick from Klein, but Landwehr lands a straight right to counter. Klein lands a left hand. Another body kick from Klein. Some punches from Klein as Landwehr gets close and they trade along the fence to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klein

ROUND TWO: Both men back to long range kicks. Klein with lands a few punches then a left head kick, Landwehr didn’t like that and forces a clinch in response. Both men land short blows, Klein favors the elbow as he tries to spin free. Landwehr is able to keep Klein on the fence for a while before Klein gets free and Landwehr lands a right. Klein lands a body kick. Both men land punches but Klein favors combination work while Landwehr is kind of one and done. Again they trade punches in close, Landwehr is getting more comfortable the more this turns into a brawl. We get another clinch and Landwehr starts landing body shots and knees to the body and head from a front headlock position. Landwehr looks for an anaconda choke but he’s not finishing it properly and Klein is able to defend and get up but still in the clinch. Klein slips free and resets. Landwehr avoids a head kick, lands a right hand but takes a spinning elbow as they clinch up. Landwehr is laying in blows in close, he’s starting to break Klein down with pace and proximity. Klein lands a body kick in close but he’s getting overwhelmed by Landwehr in the clinch. Landwehr lands punches and knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Landwehr, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Klein looks to jab as the round begins. A few long distance kicks from Landwehr. Klein lands a body kick. Bit of a left from Klein. Landwehr lands a jab. Pretty solid one two from Klein then they trade body kicks. Both men land punches in close, then Landwehr lands a few rights. Klein catches a knee and tries a takedown but Landwehr defends and pushes Klein onto his seat against the fence. Landwehr is trying that anaconda choke again, this time he’s able to get the proper body angle relative to Klein and he’s able to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nate Landwehr via Submission, anaconda choke, at 2:22 of Round 3

Landwehr broke Klein down with pace and violence. Mic time for Landwehr, he thinks he’s still got a job after that win and is happy to have showed off his submission skills. He talks us through the finish, noting he worked hard on his cardio in preparation for this fight, and thanks his coaches for all of their work. He wants a post fight bonus and a new contract after that win.

I’m a sucker for an anaconda choke. Here Klein is too exhausted to really fight the grip properly, as soon as he stops trying to move his lower body defensively you can tell he’s done.

Manon Fiorot is on a seven fight winning streak including two second round stoppages in the UFC that have turned more than a few heads, now she’s trying to begin the difficult transition from prospect to contender. Mayra Bueno Silva has gone 2-1-1 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a draw and is now looking to halt the rising hype around Fiorot and prove that she’s the rising prospect to keep your eye on. Fiorot is the favorite at -270 to +220 for Silva.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Manon Fiorot (7-1, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1-1, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fiorot is an inch taller while Silva has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Fiorot, who comes out jabbing and leg kicking. Silva lands a front kick to the body. Fiorot lands a side kick to the knee then a right hook. Silva keeps trying to stab the body with those front kicks. Fiorot lands a side kick to the body. Silva keeps coming forward, she’s getting hit but doesn’t seem too off put by them yet. Fiorot lands a right hook. Bit of a calf kick from Silva, she’s also covering up well and Fiorot would be well served to change levels in her combinations. Fiorot with more side kicks to the body. Silva with some calf kicks. Fiorot lands a right to the body, and takes a calf kick in response. A side kick from Fiorot drops Silva for a second but she bounces back up. Fiorot keeps kicking the body but all of her punches are aimed at the head and the majority are being blocked without much issue. Silva lands a front kick to the body then a calf kick. Bit of a right hook from Fiorot but Silva keeps walking forward. Fiorot gets a takedown into full guard and starts looking to land punches. Silva inverts looking for a leg, Fiorot avoids that as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fiorot

ROUND TWO: Fiorot gets right to work with combinations as the round starts. Silva lands a front kick to the body. They clinch up and hit the fence, Fiorot did not like that kick to the body. Some knees to the thigh from Fiorot as things look to be stalling out. Yeah, the ref has seen enough and breaks them up. Silva lands a stiff jab, Fiorot fires back. Fiorot keeps side kicking the body to keep distance. Silva is still applying pressure and blocking the punches of Fiorot. Fiorot lands a knee to the body, Silva lands another calf kick. Silva misses a right hand. They punch into a clinch, trade some knees then separate. Fiorot keeps striking but Silva is blocking her well. Part of the problem Fiorot is running into is her repetitive offense, she’s doing the same things over and over and Silva has a defense for this pretty much figured out. Fiorot lands a right. Head kick from Fiorot mostly lands then she side kicks the body again. Silva lands a couple of body kicks. Both women swing in close as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Fiorot back to work as the last round begins. Fiorot is punching, she feints a single leg as well. Silva keeps coming forward, she lands a calf kick. Fiorot with another side kick to the body. Bit of a head kick from Silva. Fiorot lands a left hand, then a side kick. Fiorot with a flurry then tries a double leg that hits the fence, but she’s able to finish it and land in half guard. Some hammer fists and punches from Fiorot as Silva gets to butterfly guard. Fiorot passes to side control, Silva rolls to her knees and Fiorot starts landing punches from the ride position. Silva tries to roll, Fiorot moves with her and winds up standing over her. Bit of an up kick from Silva as they regain their feet. Fiorot back to punches, she tries another takedown but can’t find this one. Silva is bleeding from the nose pretty badly. Fiorot lands a couple of punches and avoids the linear pressure of Silva. They clinch up and hit the fence again. Silva lands a knee to the body. Fiorot starts working a few knees to the leg and body, but she’s mostly trying to ice the round now. The ref decides they’ve stalled out and resets them. Fiorot with more punches, Silva tries a head kick in response. Another side kick from Fiorot, she’s moving and striking still. Silva lands a left in close. Fiorot lands a left hand, that’ll be the last blow of the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Manon Fiorot via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)

Not sure about that 10-8, though the second round was very much one sided. Mic time for Fiorot, she wanted the finish but thinks the fight was a good one. She puts over Silva as a good opponent that she’s very happy to have beaten.

Jim Miller is a legend of the sport whose name is littered across the UFC record books, tonight he retakes sole possession of most fights in UFC history. Miller has gone just 3-3 in his last six fights and is on a two fight losing streak, it’s clear he’s closing in on the end of his career but he’s still looking to compete and find a few more wins before he has to hang up his gloves. Erick Gonzalez brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and he’s trying to make a good first impression at the expense of Miller. The odds lean towards the veteran Miller at -240 while the +200 comeback on Gonzalez might be a tempting bet.

Lightweight Bout: Erick Gonzalez (14-5, 155 lbs.) vs. Jim Miller (32-16 1 NC, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gonzalez is three inches taller, has four inches of reach advantage, and is 9 years younger. Miller fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Both men working the lead hand. Miller lands an inside leg kick. Left hand from Miller then a left high kick that lands and they clinch up. Miller works some knees to the body in close. Gonzalez gets a takedown into half guard. Miller is able to hip escape to full guard. Gonzalez lands body shots then Miller kicks him off and stands up. Miller lands an inside leg kick then a left, but Gonzalez fires back with a right and wobbles Miller, they tie up and Miller gets a takedown into full guard. Miller starts scooting to the fence and looks to posture up and start working strikes. A few short elbows from Miller, Gonzalez kicks him off and they clinch up again. They break with a Gonzalez elbow and get back to brawling. Miller lands a left hand, Gonzalez was a bit stunned there. Inside leg kick from Miller, then another left hand. Hard left from Miller stuns Gonzalez, Miller looks to unload along the fence and Gonzalez has to clinch to survive. Gonzalez looks for a trip but Miller remains upright. Miller lands a knee to the head, then unloads a few more strikes as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Miller

ROUND TWO: Miller lands a bit of a left, then Gonzalez misses a kick and Miller SLEEPS him with a left hand.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jim Miller via KO, punch, at :14 of Round 2

That’s Miller’s first KO win since 2016, and he’s tied in second place for most UFC wins at 22 and tying him with Joe Lauzon for most lightweight finishes at 13. Mic time for Miller, he puts over Gonzalez and notes the first round was a tough one but he’s an old dog learning new tricks. He says he’s here to fight and lost a fight in September due to Covid but he just likes to fight and get paid for it. Bisping asks him about his goal of fighting at UFC 300, he jokes that his original goal of getting to 40 UFC fights feels very doable now and he’s potentially looking ahead to being the only UFC fighter to be on 100, 200, and 300.

Here’s a look at the finish. Gonzalez comes forward but his hands drop as he throws a lead leg kick from an awkward southpaw switch, Miller slips to the side and crushes him with a left punch to counter. Really good stuff.

Andrei Arlovski has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, he’s coming off of a win and is trying to extend his record for most fights and most wins in UFC heavyweight history. Carlos Felipe has gone 3-1 in the UFC but is on a three fight winning streak that has earned him this shot at the gatekeeper that is Arlovski, if he’s able to get past the crafty veteran he could earn a shot at some ranked opposition next. The odds are a near pick ’em but lean towards Felipe at -115 to -105 for Arlovski.

Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (31-20 2 NC, 245 lbs.) vs. Carlos Felipe (11-1, 259 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arlovski is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage but he’s also 16 years older than Felipe. Some feinting from Arlovski early, then he lands a calf kick. A lot of kicks from Arlovski early while he gets a feel for the range and timing. Felipe misses a right hand. Bit of a right to the body from Felipe. Arlovski lands another calf kick, those could be adding up rapidly. Body kick from Arlovski, Felipe responds with a calf kick. Felipe presses forward but falls just a bit short on punches. Arlovski lands another calf kick, he’s starting to switch his stance now to get a bit further away from the right hand of Felipe. Felipe has a right hand blocked, then misses a wild right. Arlovski lands another body kick. Felipe lands another calf kick. Arlovski lands a bit of a left. Felipe tries to force a clinch but Arlovski shrugs him off and gets back to fighting at distance. Felipe lands a right to the body. Arlovski misses a wild left, as Felipe misses a wild right. Another calf kick from Arlovski. Felipe blocks a combination, then takes a jab to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski

ROUND TWO: Arlovski back to jabbing and low kicking. Felipe misses a right but he’s starting to close the distance a little more reliably now. Felipe lands a right to the body. Combination from Arlovski. Felipe is trying to goad Arlovski into a brawl, he gets close and lands a few punches. Arlovski lands a right hand but Felipe is still coming forward. Arlovski has a combination blocked but lands a calf kick. Felipe has a couple of punches blocked. Bit of a right from Felipe. Arlovski starts trying to jab again but he’s slowing down just a bit. Hard calf kicks from Arlovski as he’s moving, Felipe is chasing not cutting him off. Felipe lands a right in close. Right to the body from Felipe, then Arlovski misses a looping right. Bit of a right from Felipe. Arlovski lands a straight right. Glancing right from Felipe but he’s struggling to really corral Arlovski. Arlovski lands a couple of body kicks. Felipe lands an elbow in close but can’t follow up. Another right from Felipe. Felipe lands a couple of hooks in close. Arlovski lands a calf kick, then lands a spinning back fist as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski but a closer round, 20-18 Arlovski overall

ROUND THREE: Felipe gets back to forward pressure. Felipe lands a right. Arlovski keeps moving and has a combination blocked. Felipe misses a few hooks. Felipe lands a right but Arlovski slips away from him. Arlovski lands a calf kick. Both men land punches in close, Felipe then lands a right and forces a clinch. Felipe with some body work before Arlovski slips free. Left to the body from Felipe lands. Arlovski tries to fire back but he’s not able to keep Felipe off of him at this point. Felipe forces a clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident then Felipe lands a right hook. Arlovski lands a couple of calf kicks but Felipe counters the second with a right that off balances him. Felipe tries to swarm but Arlovski wall walks. Some knees and elbows from Felipe in the clinch before they break. Arlovski lands a combination but Felipe keeps walking him down. Felipe lands a couple of rights. Both men are dead tired now. Felipe punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Things stall out and the ref separates them. Felipe wants a brawl for the last 20 seconds, Arlovski just stays away from him. We get one little clash, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Felipe, 29-28 Arlovski overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Felipe is pissed at the scoring, but he shouldn’t be surprised. Mic time for Arlovski, he knows he won the first two rounds but also knows he lost the third after some of those body shots from Felipe. Asked what he wants next he’ll take on anyone.

Aspen Ladd took this fight on short notice to replace an injured Holly Holm, she was supposed to fight a couple of weeks ago on the Santos vs. Walker card but her fight was pulled due to health concerns related to her botched weight cut. Ladd is trying to ingratiate herself to the UFC brass after that snafu with a winning effort here, as well as end a rather significant layoff dating to December of 2019. Norma Dumont has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak and if she can get to three in a row here could look to get another shot at one of the bigger names in either the featherweight or bantamweight divisions. Despite taking the fight on very short notice Ladd is your -135 favorite against +115 for Dumont.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Aspen Ladd (9-1, 145 lbs.) vs. Norma Dumont (6-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dumont has an inch of height and reach over Ladd. They touch gloves to get us going. Dumont starts looking to jab. A lot of staring and circling so far. A few of those Dumont jabs land. Bit of a right from Dumont. Dumont lands a jab, Ladd looks very stiff as she’s moving around. Ladd walks into a right. Dumont lands another right when Ladd tries to close distance. Ladd eats another jab, she’s struggling to get inside of that punch even when she blocks it. Both women miss punches. They trade lefts. Dumont picks up the pace of the jabs as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dumont

ROUND TWO: Back to jabbing and circling. Ladd stays on the outside, and eats a jab as she tries to get closer. Dumont lands a jab and avoids the counters. Another jab from Dumont lands. Dumont starts showing southpaw, not sure why as she tries a jab then goes back to orthodox. More jabs from Dumont, Ladd lands a left then forces a clinch on the fence. Dumont is able to circle free after a bit. Another jab from Dumont. Dumont keeps using the jab to keep Ladd at distance, she should start building on that at some point. Ladd misses a combination. Bit of a right from Dumont. The lack of cage cutting from Ladd is troubling, both women are just endlessly circling without anything to counter it. Dumont lands a few more jabs, then a side kick to the knee. A one two from Dumont closes the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Dull affair thus far. They touch gloves for the round. Ladd back to coming forward, Dumont is working out of southpaw now. Dumont lands a one two then goes orthodox. Ladd misses a few hooks. Dumont lands a few more jabs while circling. Dumont lands a right then a left hook. Another right from Dumont, then a left to the body and she avoids a takedown attempt. Pretty solid right then left hook from Dumont, and Ladd forces a clinch that hits the fence. Bit of an elbow from Ladd, but Dumont spins free and gets back to jabbing. Dumont lands a right. Both women block punches. Another jab from Dumont lands. Dumont with more punches, then defends a takedown and then punches out of a clinch. Front kick from Dumont lands. A side kick to the knee from Dumont, Ladd lands a front kick. They split a few jabs, then clash and trade in the clinch as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again. Ladd starts shadow boxing more aggressively, and they trade punches then clinch again. Dumont defends a single leg attempt and breaks the grip around her body. Ladd fights to get her hands together again but Dumont spins free and lands a knee to the body. Dumont goes southpaw and lands a front kick to the body. Stiff jab from Dumont as she goes orthodox again. Dumont lands a right. More jabs from Dumont from either stance. Ladd lands a jab after a head kick was blocked. They clinch again and hit the fence. Dumont with a trip takedown into half guard. Ladd tries to shrimp, she gets full guard and Dumont lands a few punches. Dumont looks to pass, she nearly gets around but Ladd concedes to closing her guard to control her. Some short elbows from Dumont, she’s looking to pass again but Ladd sweeps to top position. Ladd looks to unload as she passes to half guard. Some elbows from Ladd then a body shot as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW, 40-37 Dumont overall

ROUND FIVE: They touch gloves for the last round. Dumont back to jabbing to keep Ladd at distance. Dumont lands a right but Ladd gets a clinch on the fence. Ladd can’t keep things on the fence and they move around before Dumont gets Ladd on the fence. They jockey for position on the fence. Ladd tries a high crotch, Dumont defends thus far and moves Ladd onto the fence. Some knees to the thigh from Ladd then an elbow. Dumont lands a knee to the body. Another knee from Dumont. Ladd lands a bit of an elbow. Dumont is bleeding from the nose but she’s not terribly under threat right now. Both women land some knees, Ladd tries a takedown again but Dumont will not be moved. Another knee from Dumont, Ladd lands an elbow. That sequence repeats itself for the final 20 seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ladd, 49-47 Dumont overall

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

Terribly uninteresting fight. Dumont gets an interview anyway, she appreciates Ladd taking the fight on short notice and hopes Ladd will continue fighting at featherweight. She drilled a lot of takedowns and knows it takes a lot to take her down at this point.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN+ 53 comes to a close. We’ll unpack all the action from this card Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast, plus look ahead to next week when Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa battle to try and potentially get a second shot at the middleweight title. I’ll be back here for that event, and I hope you will as well. Until next time stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 53, Robert Winfree