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March 11, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
#2 Petr Yan (136 lbs.) vs. #3 Merab Dvalishvili (134.5 lbs.)
#14 Alexandr Romanov (264.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Alexander Volkov (258 lbs.)
#6 Nikita Krylov (213 lbs.) vs. #8 Ryan Spann (213 lbs.) – 215-pound catchweight
Jonathan Martinez (135.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Said Nurmagomedov (136 lbs.)
Mario Bautista (136 lbs.) vs. Guido Cannetti (136 lbs.)
Vitor Petrino (204 lbs.) vs. Anton Turkalj (205 lbs.)

Lukasz Brzeski (245 lbs.) vs. Karl Williams (240.5 lbs.)
Raphael Assuncao (136 lbs.) vs. Davey Grant (136 lbs.)
Sedriques Dumas (184.5 lbs.) vs. Josh Fremd (186 lbs.)
Tony Gravely (136 lbs.) vs. Victor Henry (136 lbs.)
JJ Aldrich (125.5 lbs.) vs. Ariane Lipski (125.5 lbs.)
#15 Tyson Nam (125.5 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (125.5 lbs.)
Jared Gooden (177 lbs.)* vs. Carlston Harris (169.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 79, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the event. Something of an odd event here in terms of venue and start time, because apparently it’s very important that the Power Slap finale happen in prime time and be located in the Apex facility. Anyway we’ve got a few solid fights on this card. The main event is a very relevant bantamweight fight as former champion Petr Yan tries to halt a losing streak when he battles the surging contender Merab Dvalishvili, the top of bantamweight is a little awkward right now between Sean O’Malley’s weird schedule and Henry Cejudo returning to fight Aljamain Sterling in the near future, but the winner here will put himself into the title picture. The co-main event has some relevance for heavyweight as veteran Alexander Volkov takes on Alexandr Romanov. A few weeks back we were supposed to get Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann, then Krylov got sick and that fight wound up moved to this event at a catchweight. Personally, outside of the main event what I’m most interested in is Said Nurmagomedov and Jonathan Martinez, both of those guys are talented bantamweights and that could be a heck of a fight. Elsewhere on the card Raphael Assuncao might be making his last stand, Tyson Nam tries to defend his ranking at flyweight, and I’ve got something of a soft spot for Victor Henry.

UFC on ESPN+ 79 comes to the world from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Daniel Cormier. As for the rules you should all know the Nevada set up by now, keep in mind the potential use of instant replay and the ability to restart a fight after replay is used. I’m actually not sure about the size of the cage, my hunch is the 25 footer given the size of the venue but I’ll update if more information is given.

I know the early prelims for Fight Night events in Vegas usually just look like a bomb scare but good grief this place is empty as we get going.

Carlston Harris has gone 2-1 in the UFC and just had an overall five fight winning streak snapped by Shavkat Rakhmonov, now he’s trying to rebound from that loss a little over a year ago and avoid his first ever losing streak. Jared Gooden missed weight for this fight, now he stepped up during fight week which might mitigate that but it’s still a bad miss at 6 pounds. Gooden was cut from the UFC back in 2021 but he’s returning on a two fight winning streak and looks to reintroduce himself to the UFC audience. Between the late notice call up and the weight miss it’s no surprise that Harris is a -300 favorite against +250 for Gooden.

Welterweight Bout: Jared Gooden (22-8, 177 lbs.) vs. Carlston Harris (17-5, 169.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Gooden has an inch of reach advantage in addition to missing weight. Some feinting to start, then Gooden lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Gooden. Harris checks a leg kick then lands a right hand. Both men miss some sloppy punches then tie up. They break without incident. Harris lands a body kick. They trade lefts. Bit of a right from Harris. Stiff left from Harris, Gooden keeps entering with his hands down and he’s getting tagged because of it. Leg kicks go back and forth then Harris lands a stiff jab. A right from Harris seems to wobble Gooden. Gooden lands a left of his own in close. Knee from Harris in close. Harris lands a combination of punches in close. Bit of a leg kick from Gooden, then he defends a takedown attempt and they clinch up. Harris lands a knee as they break apart. They trade in close again. Another clinch, Gooden lands some body shots while Harris lands a couple of punches then they break. Right hand from Harris lands then a knee in close and a follow up elbow. Gooden lands a jab. Harris lands a counter right that wobbles Gooden then they start trading in close, Harris lands a few knees and elbows before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Harris

ROUND TWO: Gooden blocks a takedown as they start, but they wind up clinched on the fence. They trade some body work in the clinch then Harris starts looking for a takedown. Harris drops and hits a double leg into full guard but he quickly passes to half guard. A few short punches from Harris land. Harris starts landing to the body but there’s not a lot going on here. Now Harris looks to set up a pass but can’t get around the half guard. Elbow from Harris then he grabs an anaconda choke as Gooden tries to scramble, Gooden is able to hand fight and prevent that from developing but Harris gets back on top in side control. Harris has a cut above his left eye, they’ve been knocking heads on the ground so I think that’s what caused it. A few elbows from Harris then he passes to full mount just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Harris as Gooden landed nothing of value, 20-17 Harris overall

ROUND THREE: Gooden misses a few left hooks, Harris tries a takedown but winds up grabbing a front headlock and then snaps Gooden down to his knees. Harris moves to the ride position, then takes the back with both hooks in. Harris transitions to full mount, he’s half going for an arm triangle but loses it as Gooden defends. Some short elbows from Harris, Gooden is trying to scoot to the fence but Harris moves to the back as they stand. Harris keeps the clinch and drops for a double leg, which he finishes. Gooden again tries to wall walk right away but winds up just sitting on the fence. Harris moves to the back as they stand, then Gooden avoids a front headlock and they reset. They trade punches then Harris hits a double leg against the fence. There’s a big knot on the head of Gooden from those elbows. Harris lands some hammer fists, but Gooden stands only to give up the back standing then Harris forces a mat return into side control. A few more elbows from Harris as Gooden gets half guard back. The round ends with Harris still on top.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlston Harris via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

No issues with the lack of 10-8’s there, and no interview for Harris.

Tyson Nam has gone 3-1 in his last four fights and was able to score a stoppage in all of those wins, now he’s trying to defend his top ranking and possibly take aim at other ranked opponents going forward. Bruno Silva has gone 2-2 with 1 No Contest in the UFC but he’s on a two fight winning streak with a couple of finishes, he’s been out of action since May of 2021 and now he looks to end the nearly two years off with a win over a ranked opponent. Silva is favored to do just that at -180 against Nam’s +155.

Flyweight Bout: #15 Tyson Nam (21-12-1, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Bruno Silva (12-5-2 1 NC, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nam is three inches taller with two inches of reach advantage. Some feinting from both men as we get going. Bit of a leg kick from Silva. Nam is backing Silva towards the fence pretty regularly. Some stance switching from Silva. Silva lands a calf kick but there’s a counter right from Nam. Silva lands a left hand. Nam checks a calf kick. Spinning back fist from Silva lands, then he follows up but Nam just eats it and gets back to pressure. Silva lands a body kick but eats a counter right hand. They trade calf kicks. Nam lands a right to the body. Silva lands a left hook after eating a calf kick. Nam avoids a spinning back fist. Body kick from Silva but Nam lands a counter right. Bit of a right from Silva and he avoids the counters. Some longer range punches are blocked by both men. Silva lands a body kick. Bit of a flurry from Nam, concluding with a body kick as the last real blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Silva

ROUND TWO: Both men are back to flashing hands and looking for openings. Silva with a front kick to the face that drops Nam, Silva jumps into his full guard but Nam is able to tie him up pretty quickly. Nam tries to stand but isn’t fast enough and Silva jumps on his back, grabs the choke, and puts Nam to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bruno Silva via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:23 of Round 2

Heck of a return for Silva. Mic time for Silva, he’s amped up and just wants his next fight as he’s ready to keep going. He talks us through the finish, and puts over Nam as tough but he’s not surprised he got the win then asks for a post fight bonus. Next he’s asked about the future he wants to fight soon and doesn’t care about who. To close he speaks Portuguese for his people back home, then thanks his coaches and team.

Here’s the finish, Nam is trying for a technical get up but he’s a bit slow and that allows Silva to circle behind him and grab the choke. Pan attention to the body of Silva, he grabs the choke before getting control but he gets away with it because Nam can only move to the same side where the choking arm is, which just tightens the choke. That delay in defense allows Silva to get the hooks and then finish things off. Nice stuff from Silva.

Ariane Lipski has gone just 1-3 in her last four fights and was finished in the first round of her last fight, now she’s trying to get her first win since 2021 and prove she’s still a useful addition to the roster. JJ Aldrich just had a three fight winning streak broken by Erin Blanchfield, she’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and avoid her first ever losing streak. The odds are solidly with Aldrich at -360 to a +295 payout for Lipski.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: JJ Aldrich (11-5, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Ariane Lipski (14-8, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lipski is an inch taller while Aldrich ahs half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Aldrich. Both women paw with the lead hand while circling. Lipski is getting outside foot position pretty easily, and it allows her to land a counter combination of punches that land. Aldrich lands a jab. Left hook from Lipski in close, she’s actually countering well enough thus far. Aldrich forces a clinch, she eats a few knees once they’re in the clinch then they break. Lipski misses an elbow then avoids a weak takedown attempt. Aldrich lands a couple of rights, then avoids a punch and grabs a clinch. Lipski lands more knees to the body before they break. They punch into another clinch and Lipski lands more knees before they break. Aldrich lands a left hand. Lipski avoids a takedown and lands more knees to the body. Knee then a right hand from Lipski staggers Aldrich. Lipski tracks her down and lands another punch before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lipski

ROUND TWO: Both women pick up with the circling and feinting. Aldrich is trying to pick up the pace a bit. They trade punches in close. Bit of a left from Aldrich then an inside leg kick. Lipski misses a head kick but does land a couple of punches. Bit of a right hook from Aldrich. Lipski misses a front kick and eats a stiff jab. They get close and both women land punches but Lipski is throwing in greater volume. Aldrich can’t hit a double leg and Lipski lands a couple of knees in response. Lipski lands a body kick. Aldrich lands a right hook. Lipski avoids another double leg and lands knees. More long range punches from Lipski, she’s staying active enough and her accuracy is decent. Aldrich blocks a high kick to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Aldrich starts coming forward this round, she lands a right hook. Lipski lands a one two while circling. Combination of punches from Lipski, she’s just scoring almost at will. Bit of a knee from Lipski then they both miss hooks. Aldrich is just getting worked over, she can’t tie up when she badly needs to. Lipski lands a combination of punches. Aldrich tries another takedown, she can’t finish it but is able to force a clinch on the fence. Lipski lands a few knees but Aldrich wont let go of her. A few knees from Aldrich land but she needs a finish and isn’t getting close. Lipski with a quick outside trip and some punches as Aldrich wall walks. They break without incident. Aldrich lands a body kick. Lipski lands another combination of punches, then blocks a double leg and hits a judo throw to end the fight on top.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ariane Lipski via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Necessary win for Lipski, and honestly one of her more complete performances. No interview for Lipski.

Victor Henry has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss and now looks to avoid his first UFC losing streak while pulling his record in the promotion above the .500 mark. Tony Gravely has gone 4-3 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss and is trying get back on the winning side of things here. Henry is a slight -145 favorite against +125 for Gravely.

Bantamweight Bout: Tony Gravely (23-8, 136 lbs.) vs. Victor Henry (22-6, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Henry is two inches taller while Gravely has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Gravely lands a body kick. Henry lands a couple of rights to counter a leg kick. Gravely lands a right hand. Henry works a couple of front kicks, he’s keeping distance and managing the cage with those. Both men land in close. Another front kick from Henry. Gravely reaches for a takedown, Henry defends and lands a couple of punches before Gravely gets free. Henry lands a right hand. Again both men land in close. Gravely lands an inside leg kick then tries a double leg but Henry defends and pushes Gravely into the fence. They fight for position in the clinch and Henry lands a few knees to the body. Bit of an elbow from Gravely as they break. Henry lands another front kick then a side kick. Right hand from Henry lands. Henry lands a leg kick then a right hand. Gravely hits a double leg against the fence but Henry wall walks right away then Gravely jumps to the back in the clinch. Mat return from Gravely but nothing comes of it, and Henry is able to hit a kimura roll just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Henry but a close one

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Henry lands some body kicks early then a few punches in close, Gravely reaches for a takedown but can’t finish it. Front kick from Henry, he’s making this a little ugly and wanting to keep things active. Gravely tries a double leg but Henry defends again and lands another few punches. The pace and pressure from Henry is working, he’s got Gravely against the fence and is landing. Gravely lands a knee but he’s missing a lot of punches. Front kick from Henry. Gravely forces a clinch but Henry pushes him into the fence and lands punches. Henry with some knees in the clinch then an elbow and more punches as they break. Henry just wont let Gravely breathe. Gravely hits a double leg and moves to the ride position but Henry is able to wall walk. Henry gets chest to chest and lands a knee then they trade punches. More front kicks from Henry as he’s just working constantly. Knees from Henry then an elbow. Gravely eats a knee and tries a takedown but Henry defends. Henry with more front kicks to the body. Gravely lands an uppercut in close. Henry with elbows into a clinch then lands more knees to the body. Gravely works for a double leg, Henry lands elbows to the side of the head while defending. Gravely finally gets a takedown, Henry scrambles back up and lands more knees. They break and Henry lands another front kick then a left hook in close to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Gravely lands a hook but Henry keeps coming at him and lands a front kick. More front kicks from Henry. Gravely tries a double leg but Henry defends. A couple of rights form Henry land. Henry defends a double leg and they clinch up on the fence. They break with a left from Henry. Gravely lands a glancing right hand. Left hook from Gravely lands. Henry lands a few knees to the body then a right hand. They trade punches in close, then Henry lands an elbow but Gravely fires back. Jabs from Henry, then Gravely lands a calf kick. Henry defends a double leg and lands knees before they break. Both men land in close. We’re just in dog fight territory here as Henry pushes Gravely into the fence. Left hand from Henry as they break. Again Henry lands in close then a right hand behind his combination. Knee from Henry then front kicks. Gravely misses a punch and Henry clinches him on the fence. Elbow from Henry as they break. Bit of a combination from Gravely, then Henry defends a takedown and inverts for a leg lock. Kneebar attempt from Henry, he’s got it extended but the angle is wrong so Henry switches for a heel hook only for Gravely to jump on top. They wrestle and Henry comes out on the back before they fight up to the feet. Gravely lands an elbow in the clinch, Henry fires back and they end the round in the clinch.

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

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

Heck of a fight, no issues with any of the scores there. That’s your current Fight of the Night leader. Mic time for Henry as Daniel Cormier forgets how many times Henry has been in the UFC, Henry isn’t happy with his performance because he expects great things from himself and while Gravely is good he should have found a finish in the second. He says he spent too much time looking for one shot kills in his last fight and now works harder on just finding openings and he wants to prove his success isn’t accidental.

Sedriques Dumas is undefeated coming into his UFC debut and now looks to capitalize on his only chance to make a good first impression. Josh Fremd has gone 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win here just for a little job security as an 0-3 start might end his time with the promotion. The odds are with Dumas at -225 while a Fremd win would payout at +190.

Middleweight Bout: Sedriques Dumas (7-0, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Josh Fremd (9-4, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fremd is two inches taller but Dumas has three inches of reach advantage. Fremd checks a leg kick. Some forward pressure from Fremd. Dumas lands a left hand. Fremd lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Fremd. Dumas misses a right hand. Neither of these guys are looking very good thus far. Another calf kick from Fremd. Dumas lands a jab but eats a counter and Fremd is able to get a takedown off of that counter punch. Fremd is in side control. Arm triangle attack from Fremd but Dumas is able to get his arm out of danger. Dumas is able to hip escape to full guard. Fremd lands a few body to head punches. Elbow from Fremd. Dumas sits up and stands, avoiding a guillotine attack along the way. Fremd gets back to pressure and lands a calf kick. A couple of punches from Fremd land. Dumas misses a crescent kick and eats a couple of hard counters. Fremd avoids a takedown attempt and forces a clinch along the fence. A few knees from Fremd land to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fremd

ROUND TWO: Dumas fires some punches early. Fremd is pressing forward now, both men working the lead hand. Body jab from Fremd. More jabs from both men, things have slowed considerably. Fremd lands a right hand then hits a nice looking osoto gari into half guard. Fremd with some decent pressure on top but Dumas is able to get guard. Dumas can’t keep the guard and Fremd passes to half guard. Fremd can’t keep the position, Dumas scrambles up but goes for the back and loses position as Fremd tosses him over the top. As Dumas sits against the fence Fremd is able to wrap up the guillotine and force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Fremd via Submission, guillotine choke, at 3:00 of Round 2

Mic time for Fremd, he’s happy to have delivered and puts over Dumas as a guy who’s going far. He apologizes for losing his first couple of fights but believes in himself and promises to keep proving he belongs here. He talks us through the finish and notes he needs to work on realizing when to shoot vs. when to just knock someone out. To close he puts over his team mates and promises to see them Monday in the gym.

Pretty standard guillotine from this position, but Fremd executed it well and gets a nice little crank just before the tap.

Raphael Assuncao used to be one of the best bantamweights in the world, but only recently broke a four fight losing streak and now at the age of 40 the end of his career is on the horizon but I’m sure he’d like a few more wins before that time comes. Davey Grant just broke a two fight losing streak by finishing Louis Smolka, overall he’s gone 5-5 in the UFC and now has a chance to pull his promotional record above the .500 mark. Grant is your -145 favorite against the +125 of Assuncao.

Bantamweight Bout: Raphael Assuncao (28-9, 136 lbs.) vs. Davey Grant (14-6, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Grant has two and a half inches of height and reach over Assuncao. They clash on kicks right away. Grant lands a calf kick. Some stance switching from Assuncao as they trade leg kicks. Bit of a right from Assuncao. Grant lands a body kick. Assuncao catches a kick and takes Grant down into full guard. Some body shots from Assuncao as he avoids a triangle attack and moves to the ride position. Grant is looking for a wall walk but Assuncao is riding him at the moment. A few short blows from Assuncao land as he’s keeping Grant on his knees. Grant is able to wall walk and they break apart. Now Grant has started switching his stance as they move. Assuncao lands a body kick. Grant lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Assuncao. Grant misses a combination. They trade some leg kicks. Assuncao lands a right hand. Grant swings a body shot. Assuncao avoids a wheel kick. Assuncao avoids a punch and gets a clinch. Some knees from Assuncao then an elbow as they break. Grant with a bit of a right hand to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Assuncao

ROUND TWO: Assuncao and Grant start throwing side kicks to the knee as the round begins. Bit of a right from Grant then he lands a calf kick. Assuncao lands a calf kick of his own. Assuncao tries a single leg, he can’t quite finish it but does have a clinch. Grant is able to spin free relatively quickly. Assuncao avoids a kick. Some more leg kicks go back and forth. A few side kicks from Grant. Assuncao with a glancing head kick, then he avoids a right hand. Grant misses a wheel kick. They trade lefts in close. Assuncao avoids a few punches and gets a clinch then trips Grant down against the fence. Assuncao moves to the ride position and lands some punches. Grant is able to wall walk and they trade knees in the clinch. More knees from Assuncao and he trips Grant back down then lands more punches from the ride. Assuncao has the back fully as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Grant gets back to pressuring and firing punches. Assuncao lands a right to the body. Grant is starting to swing wider than usual and Assuncao is able to avoid and counter. Bit of a right from Assuncao as they break a short clinch. Assuncao lands a few jabs then they clinch up but Grant pulls free very quickly. Bit of a right from Assuncao, Grant fires a head kick that partially lands. A right from Grant staggers Assuncao, he’s pressuring looking to finish but Assuncao clinches up and slows things down. Knee from Assuncao as they break then Grant defends a takedown attempt but winds up back on the fence. Assuncao is after an ankle pick down there, and he’s able to finish it and gets on top in full guard. Half guard now for Assuncao as Grant is trying to set up a wall walk. Grant is able to hip out and stand then lands an uppercut. Grant lands a left hand. Assuncao is still a little out of it. Grant with a body shot. Assuncao tries another takedown, he’s after a single leg and Grant has to grab the fence to stay upright and the ref takes a point from Grant for several fence grabs then restarts them on the feet. Grant gets right back on the pressure and he lands a couple of punches. Head kick from Grant then a spinning back fist but Assuncao tries a single leg against the fence. Grant tries a reverse triangle choke as Assuncao elevates him, that’s tight and he puts Assuncao to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Davey Grant via Technical Submission, reverse triangle choke, at 4:43 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Grant for his work this afternoon. Erik Nicksick is pissed at the ref for the restart on the feet after the point deduction, and I can’t say I blame him. Assuncao drops his gloves in the cage, and at 40 it’s probably time. Grant gets an interview he knew the fight was close and he needed a finish in the third especially after the point deduction and went all out after it. He talks us through the finish, noting he couldn’t feel if Assuncao was out in the choke and apologizes if he held the choke too long. Asked about the future he jokes he’ll fight tomorrow and wants to stay active while getting to the top of the division.

They give Assuncao an interview as well, he thanks God first and foremost then his family and team for all of their support. He says he’s been doing this for 19 years and feels this is time to call it a career.

This doesn’t show the actual submission attack from Grant, or the nice striking combination that set it up, but you don’t see inverted triangles very often and this is a pretty nice one.

Karl Williams brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut and now he looks to showcase his skills on the biggest stage he’s been on. Lukasz Brzeski dropped his UFC debut via split decision and tonight tries to get that all important first UFC win under his belt. The odds are with Williams at -250 while Brzeski’s comeback sits at +210.

Heavyweight Bout: Lukasz Brzeski (8-2-1 1 NC, 245 lbs.) vs. Karl Williams (7-1, 240.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Brzeski is an inch taller while Williams has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things started. Some lead hand probing from Brzeski. Williams lands a jab. They both swing, clinch, then break. Williams hits a takedown, Brzeski wall walks quickly but they’re still clinched. They fight in the clinch for a bit before Williams hits an inside trip. Williams slips to the back as Brzeski wall walks again. Brzeski spins chest to chest. Williams goes for more takedowns but Brzeski defends for a bit before Williams finally finishes a takedown. Brzeski wall walks again and they resume clinch fighting then break without incident. A left hook from Williams but he’s a little fatigued from the quick wrestling. Brzeski lands a left to the body then a right hand. One two from Brzeski. Williams lands a right hand but doesn’t follow up. They clinch, and Williams misses an elbow as they break. Brzeski lands an uppercut, Williams didn’t like that and tries another takedown but can’t finish it and they clinch up again. They trade lefts as they break and Williams might be a little hurt. They just kind of stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Williams but could go either way

ROUND TWO: We get right to brawling and Williams drops Brzeski, then hits a lifting mat return when Brzeski fights to his feet. Williams is on top in half guard and landing some punches. There’s damage on Brzeski’s face, not sure exactly where it is though. Brzeski fights to his knees, Williams moves to the ride position. Brzeski tries a granby roll but Williams keeps with him and gets back on top. Again Brzeski looks to wall walk, he’s landing some back elbows but Williams is landing punches as they get vertical. The damage is all around Brzeski’s left eye. Brzeski lands a spinning elbow as they break. Williams is tired and Brzeski lands a few punches. Williams hits a single leg against the fence and starts working from the ride. Some punches from Williams land but Brzeski is able to get up along the fence. Williams is able to trip Brzeski back to his knees. Brzeski rolls to his knees and looks to stand again, again he’s up but he can’t get Williams off of him. Williams slips on a kick and Brzeski jumps on top of him to land a few punches before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Williams but a marginal one, 20-17 Williams overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round, both men are dead tired. Brzeski fires a body kick then a calf kick. They swing punches in close but neither man lands flush. Bit of a combination from Brzeski and they clinch again. Brzeski with some elbows in the clinch before Williams drops for a single leg that he’s able to finish. Williams settles into full guard with some body shots. Brzeski fires some elbows from his back but he needs to get up. Brzeski rolls to his knees, Williams moves to the ride and lands a few punches. More punches from Williams, he he could muster a serious flurry he might force a stoppage but he can’t. Williams keeps landing some weak punches. Brzeski keeps trying to force his way to his feet but he’s too tired and isn’t using technique to help himself. Williams keeps enough weight on Brzeski’s body to keep him from building up. A few more punches from Williams but nothing will come of it before the clock runs out.

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

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

No interview for Williams as we’ve overrun the prelim time by several minutes.

Vitor Petrino is undefeated coming into his UFC debut and is trying to remain just as perfect when he exits the cage tonight. Anton Turkalj had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when he ran into Jailton Almeida, now he’s hoping for a better showing in his sophomore outing for the promotion. This one closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Vitor Petrino (7-0, 204 lbs.) vs. Anton Turkalj (8-1, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Turkalj is two inches taller with half an inch of reach advantage. Some circling to start. They clash and trade punches but Petrino hits a body lock takedown into half guard. Petrino lands a few punches. Turkalj wall walks but can’t get out of the clinch yet. Petrino with some aggressive hugging, he’s way too square against Turkalj to call it anything else. Turkalj hits an inside trip, Petrino bounces up but they’re still clinched on the fence. Knee from Turkalj, that one strayed low but Petrino no sells it. They fight for position in the cinch then break apart. Jab from Petrino. Things are getting a little sloppy already. Turkalj lands a leg kick. They fight into another clinch, again Turkalj hits Petrino in the groin and this time we get a time out. We’re back to fighting after a minute. Front kick from Turkalj then they trade in close with Petrino landing a good punch before they clinch. They fight out quickly this time and reset. Again they swing in close and Petrino stuns Turkalj, he unloads with more punches along the fence and slings Turkalj down to the mat but when Petrino goes after him Turkalj lands an up kick that wobbles Petrino as Petrino goes into the full guard. The round ends with Petrino on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Petrino

ROUND TWO: Petrino might be a little fatigued after that flurry. Turkalj lands a body kick then a calf kick. They swing in the pocket again and again Petrino’s power makes the difference. Turkalj tries a jumping knee into the pocket but Petrino swings at him the hits a takedown. Petrino might be holding his breath when he swings, he’s fading and poor breathing will do that to you. Turkalj fights to his feet and gets the back standing then works to spin Petrino down with mat returns. Turkalj gets both hooks in, but loses the position as Petrino spins into his guard. They wrestle to their knees, Petrino can’t get the back but hits a mat return. Turkalj wall walks right away into the clinch. Petrino is sucking some wind in the clinch as they trade knees. Turkalj slips to the back standing and starts working mat returns. Petrino crawls to the fence and looks for another stand but Turkalj is into the ride position. Both hooks in now for Turkalj and he’s got the back. Petrino spins into him again but Turkalj uses the fence to pull himself up and they break. The ref wont take too many more of those fence grabs. Petrino lands a one two but Turkalj fires back with a long flurry of punches and hurts Petrino with a right hand. They clinch up and hit the fence again. Some body work from Turkalj as they spin, Petrino lands a knee to the body. Turkalj slips to the back standing then they trade elbows as they break.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Turkalj, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Turkalj gets back on offense right away, he lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Turkalj. Petrino looks really stiff. They trade rights. Turkalj fires punches and gets a clinch then slips to the back and pulls Petrino down into a body triangle. Choke attempts now from Turkalj, but Petrino avoids one and is able to spin through the body triangle and get on top. Petrino passes to full mount, Turkalj walks up the fence and gives up the back, no hooks though for Petrino and he loses it as Turkalj gets on top and lands punches. Petrino wall walks, Turkalj rides him back down. Turkalj gets both hooks, this time gets full mount as Petrino tries to roll and Petrino has to give up the back again. Petrino gets some wrist control and looks to stand from his knees but Turkalj is in the ride position now for more control. Eventually Petrino pulls that arm around and pulls Turkalj down to the mat and gets on top in half guard. Turkalj fights to his knees, Petrino moves to the ride then hits a mat return as Turkalj stands. Again Turkalj stands but again Petrino takes him down. Turkalj fights up again and they separate. They trade punches again. Turkalj with punches into a clinch then he gets the back standing. Knee from Turkalj. Petrino gets chest to chest and hits a double leg, they’ll end the round with Petrino landing some punches from the back.

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

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

Not sure about that 10-8, but I don’t really object to Petrino getting the second. Mic time for Petrino and his translator, he’s happy with the win and feels this was Fight of the Night, Dana might agree but anyone with an eye for fighting wont. He says he’s an MMA fighter and feels like he can show more of his weapons now that he’s got a UFC contract.

Mario Bautista has gone 5-2 in the UFC and is currently on a three fight winning streak, he’s hoping to improve that streak here and start taking aim at a higher class of fighters as the year picks up steam. Guida Cannetti has a less than stellar UFC record of 4-5 but he’s on a two fight winning streak and could bring his UFC record back to the .500 point for the first time since 2018 if he can stop the budding hype around Bautista. Bautista is the biggest favorite on the entire card at a prohibitive -950 while the +650 payout for Cannetti might tempt a few gamblers who like the long shots. I’m taking those odds from last night as the broadcast doesn’t actually show them, no reason given for that.

Bantamweight Bout: Mario Bautista (11-2, 136 lbs.) vs. Guido Cannetti (10-6, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bautista is three inches taller with an inch of reach but Cannetti is also 14 years older. Both men southpaw. They trade kicks right away, neither of them shying away from it. Bautista hits a takedown and gets on top in half guard. The “woo’s” show up for the first time, and I sincerely hope whoever did that gets ejected and spills their overpriced beverage. Bautista is working to pass but Cannetti is keeping him in half guard. A few punches from Bautista land as he’s setting up the pass. They scramble a bit, Cannetti is able to fight up into a clinch then hits a trip into side control. Bautista sweeps and comes up hitting a double leg then moves into full mount. Back take from Bautista, he’s got a body triangle working as Cannetti bases and stands. Bautista is fishing for the choke but can’t find it and has to hit a German suplex then grabs the choke as they adjust on the mat and this time it’s tight enough to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mario Bautista via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Bautista for his work this evening. Mic time for Bautista, he knew Cannetti would come out hard and he was definitely taking him seriously. He talks us through the finish and notes the suplex might have rattled Cannetti enough to get the choke. Asked about the future he’s not here to play, he wants to reach the top and feels he deserves a top fifteen opponent next or a fight with unranked but well known Cody Garbrandt would make sense for him next.

This doesn’t include the suplex, but this is a really well executed choke with the gable grip. Bautista doesn’t have a ton of fanfare but he’s good and should be getting a step up in class next.

Said Nurmagomedov has gone 6-1 in the UFC and is on a four fight winning streak which has seen him crack the top bantamweight rankings, now he’s trying to defend his spot and earn a shot at a bigger name by extending his streak. Jonathan Martinez is on a four fight winning streak and last stopped Cub Swanson with leg kicks in October of last year, now he’s taking aim at maybe the most talented guy he’s fought and could well take a top ranking with a win here. The odds are comfortably with Nurmagomedov at -225 while that +190 on Martinez is a tempting value bet.

Bantamweight Bout: Jonathan Martinez (17-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Said Nurmagomedov (17-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have the same height and reach measurements. Both men open with some range finding kicks, Martinez fighting southpaw while Nurmagomedov does a lot of switching. Front kick from Nurmagomedov. Solid inside calf kick from Nurmagomedov. Martinez fires back a body kick but Nurmagomedov swings back at him. Nurmagomedov lands a head kick in close. The dexterity on these two is nuts. Martinez lands a calf kick. Both men block kicks. Nurmagomedov lands a body kick. Straight right from Nurmagomedov and they trade then tie up and Nurmagomedov gets a takedown and the back. Sneaky back take from Nurmagomedov, he’s got the choke but the angle isn’t great and Martinez is able to scramble but he can’t get free yet. Eventually they wind up clinched on the fence, impressive defense from Martinez there. Some knees from Nurmagomedov as Martinez looks to settle things down. Martinez lands an elbow. Nurmagomedov lands another knee and gets Martinez on the fence. A few punches from Nurmagomedov then Martinez lands a knee as they break. Both men get back to kicking and Nurmagomedov lands a spinning elbow that hurts Martinez but Martinez fires back and forces a clinch. Elbow from Martinez in the clinch. Martinez seems to be waking up a bit here, might have finally recovered from that spinning elbow. Nurmagomedov grabs at a bulldog choke, they roll and come back up in the clinch. They’ll end the round there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nurmagomedov

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Martinez gets back to forward motion. Nurmagomedov lands an inside leg kick then a side kick. Martinez lands a leg kick. Calf kick from Martinez but Nurmagomedov gets a takedown off of it and winds up on top in full guard. Nurmagomedov lands a couple of elbows. Martinez fights to his feet, then eats a spinning back fist. Nurmagomedov tries a single leg, Martinez is defending then lands some elbows as Nurmagomedov fights up. Knee from Martinez as they clinch up. A few knees from Nurmagomedov land. Martinez lands another elbow. They trade knees in the clinch for a bit but things are stalling out. They break with a right from Nurmagomedov. Martinez gets back on pressure right away, and walks into a side kick. Both men miss spinning kicks. Nurmagomedov lands a head kick but Martinez just eats it. Martinez lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Martinez. They stare away the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nurmagomedov but could go either way, 20-18 Nurmagomedov overall

ROUND THREE: Both men fire kicks as the round starts. Bit of a combination from Nurmagomedov. Martinez with some more calf kicks. Nurmagomedov catches a kick and lands a left hand that off balances Martinez and he gets on top in full guard. A few elbows from Martinez, then Nurmagomedov lands body to head punches. Martinez tries a triangle choke attack, switches towards an armbar that gets pretty tight but Nurmagomedov is able to escape and land punches. Martinez tries to stand but Nurmagomedov jumps on his back and drags him back down with a body triangle. Nurmagomedov goes for the choke, Martinez is defending well enough but he’s in peril. Martinez is able to stand and get chest to chest as Nurmagomedov loses the body triangle. They trade knees in the clinch. Bit of a trip from Nurmagomedov but Martinez doesn’t wind up on the bottom and they fight up into the clinch again. Martinez with some more knees to the leg. Now Martinez avoids a trip and keeps Nurmagomedov on the fence. Some more knees from Martinez then they trade punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nurmagomedov but another close one, 30-27 Nurmagomedov but I expect this to be split

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jonathan Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

No issues with that at all, I honestly think I screwed up on the second round doing it live and three going either way makes sense. Mic time for Martinez he feels he won and puts over his coaches and he’s over the moon that he’ll get to be ranked after this win. He talks about working hard on the clinch this camp. When asked about the future he says he’d like to fight Dominick Cruz or Deiveson Figueiredo next. Heck of a coming out part for Martinez, he’s been good for a while and it’s nice to see him putting it all together.

Nikita Krylov has gone 4-4 since returning to the UFC in 2018, he’s currently on a two fight winning streak and might be able to fight into the title picture with a win here. Ryan Spann is on a two fight winning streak with both of those being finishes and most recently he knocked out Dominick Reyes, if he’s able to get by Krylov here he might earn another shot at someone in the title orbit. Krylov is your -170 favorite against +145 for Spann.

Catchweight Bout: #6 Nikita Krylov (29-9, 213 lbs.) vs. #8 Ryan Spann (21-7, 213 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Spann is two inches taller with an inch and a half of reach advantage. Stiff jab from Spann to get things going. They trade punches then clinch, scramble and Spann winds up on top though Krylov is able to keep the scramble going. Spann thinks about a guillotine, he switches towards an anaconda but loses the grip. There’s an adjustment from Spann, now it’s a guillotine that’s getting tighter as Krylov tries to work on top and eventually Krylov get his head out. Some punches from Krylov, Spann looks to escape but Krylov keeps his back as they stand. Krylov looks to work mat returns and winds up on top in side control. Quick motion from Spann as he comes up on a double leg but Krylov grabs a guillotine to sweep into the top position. The scrambles here are nuts as Krylov winds up in half guard on top. Spann is reaching for a kimura, Krylov gets free and moves to the ride but Spann bases up and tips him over but gets caught in a triangle choke as he dives back into the guard of Krylov and this one is tight enough to get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nikita Krylov via Submission, triangle choke, at 3:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Krylov for his work this evening. Mic time for Krylov and his translator, he jokes if he knew the fight would go this fast he’d have fought when they were scheduled then more sincerely apologizes for what happened at that event with him getting ill. He talks us through the finish and knew he needed to keep pressing and try to finish quick, especially once he realized he was stronger. To close he says he’s kept a pretty crazy pace lately so he needs a little time to heal but he’d like a contender fight after that.

Spann threw a hard right had when trying to go into the guard here, it put him way out of position and allowed the triangle attack to catch him as he was coming down. Nice finish from Krylov, and thankfully the fight didn’t suck.

Alexander Volkov has been around for a while but he’s been a little up and down in the UFC, he’s traded wins and losses lately but the losses have come against Ciryl Gane and Tom Aspinall to somewhat mitigate the setbacks. Volkov was last seen running over Jarizinho Rozenstruik and now he’s after his first winning streak in a little over two years. Alexandr Romanov just suffered his first loss when he badly gassed out against Marcin Tybura and couldn’t keep the pace he set in the first round, now he’s actually taking on a better fighter than Tybura and trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Despite the ranking disparity the odds are with Romanov at -145 to the +125 on Volkov.

Heavyweight Bout: #14 Alexandr Romanov (16-1, 264.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Alexander Volkov (35-10, 258 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Volkov has a notable five inches of height and reach over Romanov. They touch gloves, both men open southpaw but Volkov will switch. Romanov tries a takedown, they hit the fence though and Volkov is defending the single leg. Bit of a fence grab from Volkov to stay upright. Romanov keeps looking for the takedown but Volkov is able to shove him off. Front kick form Volkov. Volkov lands a couple of punches, he’s stalking Romanov down now. Punches from Volkov, he lands a right and Romanov tries a poor takedown that Volkov defends then Volkov slips to the back on the mat. One hook in for Volkov and he lands punches from the ride position now. Romanov is busted up from some of those punches, I think just the nose but it’s visible. Volkov lands some more punches and Romanov just covers up and is done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexander Volkov via TKO, punches, at 2:16 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Volkov for his work this evening. That was just a beat down. Mic time for Volkov and his translator, he expected the wrestling attack from Romanov but his team got him ready and he thanks them. He talks us through the finish noting that he knew he needed to pressure Romanov and gas him out. Asked about the future he will fight anyone the UFC wants and just wants to stay active, then invites anyone to call him out.

This is fairly typical back work from Volkov, he’s a very large man and once he got Romanov flat this was over. Volkov is a relatively underappreciated guy, he might never fight for the belt but he’s really good.

Petr Yan is a former UFC bantamweight champion who only lost his title when he was disqualified for landing an illegal knee, but he’s lost his last two fights via somewhat controversial split decisions and now needs to bounce back if he wants to get back to being a relevant name in the title picture. Merab Dvalishvili is on an eight fight winning streak dating back to 2018, now he’s taking on a former champion in the division and looking to score the biggest win of his career. Yan is the favorite here at -245 against the +205 underdog Dvalishvili.

Bantamweight Bout: #2 Petr Yan (16-4, 136 lbs.) vs. #3 Merab Dvalishvili (15-4, 134.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yan is an inch and a half taller while Dvalishvili has an inch of reach advantage. Both men start orthodox, but Yan will switch as the fight goes on. Dvalishvili tries a takedown, Yan fights him off but takes a few punches along the way. Yan gets back to forward pressure, he fights off a single leg attempt. Hard calf kick from Yan. Some body jabs from Yan now. Dvalishvili lands a leg kick. Yan lands another calf kick. Another calf kick from Yan. Dvalishvili tries a single leg, nothing doing but he lands an elbow while getting away. Yan chops in another calf kick. Body kick from Yan as he’s started to switch his stance now. Dvalishvili swings a few punches that are blocked. Yan fights off another single leg and they hit the fence but Yan spins free quickly. Another calf kick from Yan, bit of a counter right from Dvalishvili. Yan blocks a few strikes then lands a calf kick. Dvalishvili lands a calf kick of his own. Dvalishvili tries a takedown, has to settle for a front headlock for control along the fence. Yan lands a left, and Dvalishvili lands a bit of a punch as they break apart. The ref warns Yan for the second time about extending his fingers, he hasn’t landed an eye poke but the fingers are extended frequently. Yan punches and tries a takedown but Dvalishvili counters and gets on top in full guard. Quick get up from Yan, Dvalishvili grabs a front headlock as they stand. A few knees to the body from Dvalishvili as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili

ROUND TWO: Dvalishvili lands a leg kick to start the round. Bit of a left from Yan. Yan is coming forward now, he fights off a single leg and lands a right hand. Dvalishvili lands an elbow, the man just never stops. Yan lands a calf kick. Dvalishvili avoids a few left hands then lands a leg kick. Yan lands a right to the body. Dvalishvili keeps up the output, he lands a couple of calf kicks and one seems to bother Yan. Elbows form Dvalishvili in close but Yan is blocking them. Both men miss power hand punches. Yan lands a body kick then a left hand, he’s operating mostly southpaw now. Dvalishvili forces a double leg and hits it. Yan stands and breaks free. Left to the body from Yan. Dvalishvili tries another takedown, again Yan defends. Yan blocks a few head kicks, then catches one and kicks the other leg out to get on top in full guard. Dvalishvili looks to stand, he scoots to the fence and Yan takes the back standing. They fight chest to chest for a bit, knees going back and forth then they break. Dvalishvili keeps coming forward, and Yan cracks him with a left to the body then a right hook. Dvalishvili tries a double leg, he gets it but Yan wall walks with Dvalishvili on his back. Again Dvalishvili grabs a front headlock, Yan gets free this time though. Yan lands a body kick then trips up Dvalishvili to get on top as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yan but a close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Yan avoids a punch. They trade in close. Body kick from Yan then a leg kick behind it. Dvalishvili misses a spinning attack. Yan avoids a single leg and lands a left. They punch into a clinch then break as Yan misses an elbow. Dvalishvili with a right hand then tries a single leg but that stalls out on the fence. They break as Yan lands a body kick. Yan shucks off a takedown attempt. Dvalishvili ducks a jab and gets the back standing. Yan moves chest to chest and looks for a double leg against the fence. A few punches from Yan land as they break. Dvalishvili lands a body kick then tries a single leg but Yan defends. Double leg from Dvalishvili but he can’t finish it and moves to the back standing. Dvalishvili is able to trip Yan down but Yan bounces up in the clinch. They break without incident. Yan avoids a single leg but Dvalishvili just never stops attacking and winds up on the back standing again. Dvalishvili tries a sacrifice throw but can’t hit it and they separate. Bit of an uppercut from Yan. Dvalishvili ties up, tries a throw but Yan fights free. A few jabs from Yan close the round.

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

ROUND FOUR: Dvalishvili comes out with a left hook that partially lands. Yan lands a body kick. Bit of a left form Yan. Dvalishvili lands a bit of a punch but he might actually be slowing just a bit. Yan defends a takedown attempt but Dvalishvili moves to the back in the clinch. Dvalishvili comes around on a double leg and gets it, but Yan bounces up with Dvalishvili still on his back. Yan slips free and pushes Dvalishvili into the fence. A few knees from Yan land then they break. Dvalishvili lands a right hand. Yan lands a leg kick. Dvalishvili tires a single leg, nothing doing. A couple of lefts from Yan land then he fights off a single leg. Bit of a left form Dvalishvili. Yan lands a left in close. They split a few jabs. Yan lands a calf kick. Dvalishvili tries a takedown, that settles into a clinch on the fence. Yan gets caught in a front headlock as Dvalishvili looks to stall things out. Yan gets free but nothing else will happen before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili but I’m not sure on this one, 39-37 Dvalishvili overall

ROUND FIVE: Dvalishvili lands a calf kick to start the last round. Yan tries a takedown, Dvalishvili grabs a front headlock and spins free. Calf kick from Yan. Yan lands a couple of lefts. Dvalishvili forces another clinch but can’t keep it. Another double leg attempt from Dvalishvili and he winds up on the back standing. Yan bounces up after getting briefly taken down. They break without incident. Yan fights off another single leg. A couple of rights from Dvalishvili land. Dvalishvili tries another double leg, he finishes it but Yan wall walks right away. They break again. Bit of a leg kick from Yan. Yan avoids some elbows but he needs a finish. Body kick from Yan. Dvalishvili tries a single leg, he off balances Yan and jumps to the ride position. Yan fights up and free but the clock is still running down. Dvalishvili hits a takedown, Yan fights up and free. Dvalishvili keeps coming forward shadow boxing then forces a clinch on the fence. They break again. Yan lands a left hand. Dvalishvili forces a clinch, but Yan rolls free. Again Dvalishvili forces a clinch then they break and both swing as the fight ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvalishvili, 49-46 Dvalishvili overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Merab Dvalishvili via unanimous decision (50-45 x3)

Mic time for Dvalishvili, he’s proud of all the Georgian support he’s received. He knew the fight was personal between them but tried really hard to keep it professional in the cage and show what he can do. He feels his fighting style works against everyone and only Aljamain Sterling can actually challenge him in the cage. Asked what he wants next since he wont fight Sterling he says whenever Sterling moves up to featherweight he’ll be happy to claim the belt at bantamweight. To close he wishes for freedom around the world and for wars to stop.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN+ 79 comes to a close. Thanks for being here, we’ll break down all the fallout from this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast plus look ahead to UFC 286. I’ll be back here for UFC 286 next week when Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman have their trilogy fight, plus Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev should be a ton of fun, and I hope you will as well. Until then thank you 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+ 79, Robert Winfree