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May 16, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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MAIN CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET)
#8 Alistair Overeem (253.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Walt Harris (264.5 lbs.)
#6 Claudia Gadelha (115.5 lbs.) vs. Angela Hill (115 lbs.)
Edson Barboza (145.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Dan Ige (146 lbs.)
Eryk Anders (186 lbs.) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (185.5 lbs.)
Marlon Vera (145.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Song Yadong (145.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
Miguel Baeza (170.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Brown (171 lbs.)
Anthony Hernandez (185.5 lbs.) vs. Kevin Holland (182.5 lbs.)
Giga Chikadze (145.5 lbs.) vs. Irwin Rivera (TBA*)
Darren Elkins (146 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (146 lbs.)
Mara Romero Borella (125.5 lbs.) vs. Cortney Casey (126 lbs.)
Don’Tale Mayes (241 lbs.) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (255 lbs.)

*With Mike Davis removed from the card, late replacement Irwin Rivera will take his spot against Giga Chikadze. A UFC statement said Rivera’s participation is dependent on “medical clearance including a COVID-19 test. As a result, the commission has agreed to weigh in Rivera separately and he will not participate in today’s official weigh-ins and faceoffs.


Hey there everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 8, which they somehow managed not to call The Ocho. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host, relaying all of the action. The UFC is back on ESPN tonight, and wrapping up their third event in seven days as well as their three event stay at this venue. The event is a pretty solid heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris, and while the top of heavyweight is currently a little log jammed the winner is definitely in the title picture. Elsewhere on the card Angela Hill takes on Caludia Gadelha, Edson Barboza tries his hand at featherweight against rising contender Dan Ige, and Marlon Vera heads up to featherweight against dangerous budding contender Song Yadong.

UFC on ESPN 8 comes to the world from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping while Megan Olivi handles the sideline reporting. The rules we’re under are the newer set, so you need one hand or fist flat on the mat to be considered downed, the scoring language is better and more encouraging of 10-8’s, and we have instant replay for fight ending sequences if so desired.

Rodrigo Nascimento is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s hoping to remain undefeated and get that all important first UFC win. Don’Tale Mayes just had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut against Ciryl Gane, he’s trying to get his first UFC win. As for the odds they’re with Mayes at -120 to -110 for Nascimento.

Heavyweight Bout: Don’Tale Mayes (7-3, 241 lbs.) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (7-0, 255 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mayes is four inches taller but has just one inch of reach advantage. Both men throwing early but not finding much. Bit of a left from Mayes, Nascimento lands a leg kick. Mayes switches to southpaw now. Inside leg kick from Mayes. Mayes lands a left as Nascimento forces a clinch on the fence. They jockey for position along the cage. Some knees are going back and forth but not much on them. Nascimento lands an elbow, Mayes misses an elbow as they break. Left from Nascimento then he checks a leg kick. Mayes lands a right to the body then misses a spinning back fist. Bit of a body kick from Mayes. Glancing right from Nascimento and they clinch again. Body lock takedown for Nascimento into half guard. Mayes gets full guard, Nascimento lands a couple of punches. Nascimento stands and lands a right but Mayes is back up. Mayes misses a couple of rights and a kick. That will end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nascimento

ROUND TWO: Mayes lands a jab, then Nascimento lands an inside leg kick. Head kick from Nascimento, Mayes fires back and slips away from the cage. High kick from Mayes is mostly blocked. Nascimento lands a couple of body shots as they clinch. Bit of a knee from Nascimento, Mayes has him on the fence though. There’s a trip from Nascimento and he lands lefts as Mayes gives up his back. Nascimento gets the back, locks up the rear naked choke and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rodrigo Nascimento via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:05 of Round 2

Mic time for Nascimento and his translator, he says he’s worked very hard and puts over his coaches. He says he felt good on the feet but knew he’d have a big advantage on the mat. Asked who he’d like next or when he’d like to be back he says he’d like to fight Chase Sherman who fought and won on Wednesday.

Nice little outside reap in the clinch from Nascimento, he found spots for punches and then locked up the choke quickly when Mayes neglected to protect his neck.

Cortney Casey has gone just 2-4 in her last six fights, she’s coming off of a loss and is hoping to keep her professional record above the .500 mark with a win. Casey hasn’t fought in over a year but is also trying her hand up at flyweight after a UFC run spent at strawweight. Mara Romero Borella has gone just 2-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, she’s trying halt that skid and get back on the winning side of things. Casey is the -150 favorite to a +120 comeback on Borella.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Mara Romero Borella (12-7 2 NC, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Cortney Casey (2-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Casey is an inch taller while Borella has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things started. Both women feinting a bit. Inside leg kick from Casey. They clinch up and Borella gets Casey to the fence. Borella is looking for some body lock work, mostly knees and really short punches. Body lock takedown for Borella into half guard. Casey gets full guard and starts using the fence to kick off and look for an angle on the mat. Casey goes up with her guard, Borella reads the motion and retains the position. Casey keeps looking for an attack, she tries another armbar but can’t get the angle with her hips. Another armbar attempt, this one is better and she extends it but Borella is defending. Casey adjusts her grip and angle and this time Borella has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cortney Casey via Submission, armbar, at 3:36 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Casey for her work this evening. That’s Casey’s first finish since 2016. Mic time for Casey, she says aggression was key for her tonight and references needing finishes given that decisions rarely go her way. She says she wants to stay at 125 for a bit then gives love to Walt Harris for the main event.

Watch the hips of Casey here, the first couple of times she tried this her hips didn’t get around to be perpendicular to the elbow of Borella. Also she’s really good about some slight adjustments with her hips and grip, a few hammer fists prompt Borella to try and pull back which just increases the pressure on the elbow and forces the submission.

Darren Elkins had a pretty good run going into 2018 but now finds himself on a three fight losing streak and in pretty dire need of a win. Nate Landwehr had a seven fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut and now he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak while taking a win over a fairly well known name. Elkins is a slight -120 favorite to -110 for Landwehr.

Featherweight Bout: Darren Elkins (24-8, 146 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (13-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins is an inch taller while Landwehr has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves and Landwehr starts pushing forward quickly. Elkins looking to work his jab while circling. Right from Elkins lands. Landwehr doesn’t move his head at all and is getting tagged. Landwehr lands a leg kick. Bit of a left from Elkins. Leg kick from Landwehr but his head is still stiff. Elkins grabs a single leg and they hit the fence. Outside trip from Elkins and he’s on top now in half guard. Landwehr is able to come up on a single leg, Elkins sits for a guillotine, they scramble back up in the clinch while Elkins is holding a front headlock. Some knees from Elkins, Landwehr lands an uppercut as they break. Landwehr back to forward pressure. Left from Elkins, the utter lack of reaction from Landwehr is troubling. Some jabs from Landwehr and Elkins is cut around the right eyebrow. Landwehr lands a stiff left then avoids some wading punches. Elkins forces a clinch, eats a knee then lands a right as they break. They trade rights and then Landwehr lands a calf kick. Elkins gets close and Landwehr lands a leg kick then a right. Right from Elkins after he slips an uppercut. Uppercut from Landwehr hurts Elkins a bit just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Elkins but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Replay showed the cut was caused by a headbutt and is right under the eyebrow. Both men land punches in close, Landwehr then avoids a takedown and lands an uppercut. Landwehr lands a right as Elkins tried to close distance. Calf kick from Landwehr, those are adding up now. Elkins lands a right of his own. Landwehr defends a takedown and we get an exchange of rights in close but Landwehr landed better. More forward pressure from Landwehr, he’s looking to get a slugfest going. Landwehr lands an uppercut, Elkins keeps dipping his head into those. Another calf kick from Landwehr. Landwehr’s head still isn’t really getting off of the center line and a bigger puncher would be giving him problems. They trade rights and both men posture. Landwehr lands another calf kick. Some jabs go back and forth then both men whiff on punches. A couple of kicks from Elkins are blocked. Elkins gets a clinch but eats a knee to the head and he’s stunned. Landwehr is looking to capitalize but Elkins forces the clinch to buy himself time. Landwehr finally separates and gets back to coming forward. Elkins’ face is a mess of blood. Another clinch and Landwehr lands a knee then a right as they break. Elkins lands a right. Landwehr kicks the calf again. Landwehr lands a stepping right elbow then they trade rights. We get a timeout for the doctor to check on Elkins, who now has a big hematoma around the left eyebrow. Elkins can still see so we’re back to fighting. Body kick from Elkins, Landwehr puts his right hand behind his back and show boats for a bit. They stare away the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Landwehr, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Elkins has a couple of more cuts and is kind of a mess. Both men come out with lefts then Elkins lands a right. Knee from Landwehr and a calf kick. Landwehr lands a right and avoids a kick. Elkins grabs a single leg, but gets reversed along the fence and has to scramble back up for a takedown attempt but Landwehr spins free. Landwehr is bleeding around his right eyebrow now. They both slug things out in close, then Landwehr lands a jab. Landwehr lands another calf kick and a few punches as that took the legs out from Elkins for a second. Another clinch and Elkins lands a right as they break. Right from Landwehr in close then some jabs. More rights from Landwehr as he backs up, they clinch and start fighting for position. Elkins winds up taking some rights before they break. They trade rights. One two from Landwehr then he avoids some punches. Right from Elkins. Stiff jab from Landwehr, Elkins with a one two. Landwehr lands a couple of more jabs, Elkins with a body kick. Some wide hooks in close from Elkins. Both men land rights, uppercut from Landwehr staggers Elkins for a second. Another right then left, and a right from Landwehr staggers Elkins again just as time runs down.

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

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

Fun sloppy and bloody brawl there. Mic time for Landwehr after that probably Fight of the Night, he says that’s what he wanted to bring to the UFC and he’s quite hyped up. He says that was the most fun fight he’s had and puts over Elkins. Asked who or what is next he says he just needs medical clearance and would love to be on Fight Island.

A quick look at that right elbow in the second that busted up the left side of Elkins’ face.

And a quick look at Elkins after the fight. He always looks like he just went through a windshield but even by Elkins standards this is pretty brutal.

Giga Chikadze is on a four fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC, but both of those were split decisions and now he’s looking to get a more emphatic win for his third outing. Stepping in on short notice is Irwin Rivera who’s on a three fight winning streak and is looking for a memorable debut performance. Chikadze is a hefty -380 favorite to a +300 payout on Rivera.

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze (9-2, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Irwin Rivera (9-4, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chikadze is six inches taller and has seven inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rivera, who’s apparently normally a bantamweight fighter. Chikadze avoids a few punches. Hard inside leg kick from Chikadze. Another inside leg kick from Chikadze and he avoids some hooks from Rivera. Knee from Chikadze. Rivera jumps over a leg kick and swings counters that fall short. Bit of a body kick from Chikadze. Chikadze showing some stance switches while looking for an angle to attack from. Inside leg kick from Chikadze and he avoids a punch. Rivera tries a double leg, nothing doing and they separate. Stiff body kick from Chikadze. Solid body kick from Chikadze then another leg kick. Hard left from Chikadze then a leg kick from the southpaw stance. Chikadze misses a wheel kick and a side kick. Some posturing for the final seconds, but nothing comes of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chikadze, might be a 10-8 argument given the numerical disparity

ROUND TWO: Chikadze has a high kick blocked. Rivera punches in close, Chikadze gets off balanced but nothing comes of it. Another leg kick from Chikadze. Both men miss power hand punches. Rivera misses an uppercut but eats a right in close. Chikadze lands a front kick to the face. Body kick then an uppercut from Chikadze, he’s starting to feel the fight now and find his shots. Head kick then a left from Chikadze. Chikadze lands a front kick to the body. Rivera avoids a jumping knee. Stepping knee from Chikadze then a jumping one which land to the chest. Chikadze lands a body kick. Leg kick from Chikadze. Both men fire lefts, Rivera comes up just a hair short. Another knee from Chikadze, he blitzes and eats a single counter. Chikadze lands a left. Side kick from Chikadze lands to the body. Rivera avoids an ax kick as time runs down.

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

ROUND THREE: Rivera trying to pressure forward, walks into a knee that drops him but he bounces back up and looks to fight back. Chikadze trips him down and looks to unload but Rivera fights back up and resumes fighting on the feet. Another knee to the face from Chikadze. Chikadze lands a front kick to the body then another knee and avoids a left hand. Chikadze lands a head kick, Rivera just eats it. A knee to the body from Chikadze, he’s timing the rushes of Rivera quite well. Chikadze lands another body kick. Bit of a leg kick from Rivera, Chikadze returns it. Chikadze avoids a takedown attempt and shucks Rivera aside. Chikadze avoids a punch and lands to the body. Left from Chikadze then a right uppercut behind it. Rivera tries a jumping kick, doesn’t work but he’s swinging wild. Chikadze tries a rolling thunder kick, misses and winds up on his back and Rivera dives for a leg lock as time expires.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Chikadze, 30-25 Chikadze overall

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

Under the new rules a 10-8 was probably justified in the second or third. Mic time for Chikadze who mentions his original opponent was supposed to fight him for all three of his UFC fights but it keeps falling through and Chikadze is done with him. He puts over Rivera then says he’d love to be featured on a UFC event in Georgia where the sport is getting popular. He verbally fellates Dana White and wants to fight any striker in the UFC.

The knee from the third round. Rivera has a heck of a chin as he went right into that knee.

Anthony Hernandez has gone 1-1 in the UFC, both finishes stemming for an anaconda choke but he is coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak. Kevin Holland is 3-2 in the UFC and just had a three fight winning streak broken in October, now he’s looking to rebound and avoid his first UFC losing streak. The odds for this one closed at a -115 pick ’em.

Middleweight Bout: Anthony Hernandez (7-1 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Kevin Holland (16-5, 182.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holland is three inches taller and has six inches of reach over Hernandez. Holland comes out swinging, lands a bit of a right. Leg kick from Holland. Hernandez looking to press forward with jabs. Elbow from Holland in close then a knee to the body crumbles Hernandez and he swarms on the mat to force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kevin Holland via TKO, knee and punches, at :39 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Holland for his work this evening. Mic time for Holland, he says he wanted to stay on the feet because he knew DC wasn’t here on commentary so he couldn’t hear his coaching from commentary. He talks us through the finish, noting he’s worked on the elbows and knees for this fight and planned on targeting the body as Hernandez had lost weight soon. Asked who’s next he says he’d like to try Mickey Gall, he wanted to call out Vettori but apparently Vettori already has something else scheduled.

This is a nice finishing sequence. Holland lands an elbow in the pocket after slipping a bit to find a good angle, uses his off balance opponent basically as target practice for a very well placed knee right into the solar plexus. Then he never gives Hernandez a chance to recover.

Matt Brown is on a two fight winning streak and recently returned from a hiatus, he’s looking to keep that momentum going and possibly earn another shot near the top of the division. Miguel Baeza is undefeated including his UFC debut, now he’s trying to take out the most recognizable name he’s ever faced and prove himself a prospect worth paying attention to. Baeza is a slight -155 favorite to +125 for Brown.

Welterweight Bout: Miguel Baeza (8-0, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Brown (22-16, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Baeza is two inches taller, Brown has half an inch of reach, and Brown is a whopping twelve years older than Baeza. They touch gloves to get us going. Brown slowly coming forward looking to pressure Baeza. Calf kick from Baeza. They clash on kicks then Baeza avoids a high kick. Stiff jab from Baeza then a calf kick. Another calf kick from Baeza. Baeza kicks the calf again. More leg kicks from Baeza, Brown misses a couple of lefts trying to close distance. Left to the body from Baeza, Brown lands a right. Brown punches in close and lands a right that staggers Baeza, Baeza grabs a clinch to try and recover. Elbow from Brown, and another as they break, Baeza is still wobbled. Brown slips a few punches, and lands a right elbow in close. KNee from Brown as they break apart, Baeza lands a jab then a right to the body. Baeza lands a right, then another one. Calf kicks from bAeza, Brown with a left to the body then a right to the head. Baeza with a right that drops Brown and he looks to swarm on the mat but Brown locks up half guard. Baeza actually has a modified crucifix and looks for elbows while Brown starts to shrimp. Brown back up and they’re in the clinch trading knees before they break. Punches from Brown, Baeza lands a right. Knee from Brown in close. Bit of a left from BAeza, Brown lands a left to the body then a left hook. Brown slips a few punches just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Baeza

ROUND TWO: And my computer decided that was a great time to lag out, this one was all my comp and not the service. I missed the finish but Baeza scored a big finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Miguel Baeza via KO, punch, at :18 of Round 2

Brutal finish from Baeza there. Mic time for Baeza, he puts over Brown and mentions how hurt he was in the first and calls the fight fun but he wants to get back into the gym and fix what he did wrong. He talks us through the finish, and reiterates that it was a lot of fun. He puts over Brown again, and initially thought there was a different Matt Brown in the division but he wants to fight for the title and he knows that means going through the best in the division.

Here’s the finish, lovely check left hook from Baeza as he slides to his left away from the forward offense of Brown. Brown is throwing his left as well, but Baeza has superior hand speed and that slight step off does just enough to change the angle and make sure his punch lands first.

That’s it for preliminary action, but we’re still on ESPN as well as ESPN+ for the main card.

Song Yadong hasn’t lost since 2016 and has gone 4-0-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a draw that saw some of his hype diminish and now looks to return to the winning side of things and resume working up the division. Marlon Vera is on a five fight winning streak, all of them finishes, but those are at his native bantamweight and he’s testing the waters at featherweight for this fight. Vera could derail a hyped prospect and open up possibilities across two divisions. Song is the -190 favorite against +160 for Vera.

Featherweight Bout: Marlon Vera (15-5-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Song Yadong (15-4-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Vera has three and a half inches of reach over Song. They touch gloves and we’re underway. Leg kick from Vera. Vera showing some stance switching early, Song has a right blocked. Song lands a leg kick. Vera blocks some punches in close, fires a head kick that’s mostly blocked. A right from Song falls short. Vera lands an inside leg kick. High kick from Song is blocked. Bit of a right from Song. Vera lands a left body kick. Calf kick from Vera. Song has a few punches blocked but he’s getting a better feel for the distance. They clinch up and Song gets Vera on the fence. Knee from Song as they break. Vera still working the leg kicks both inside and outside. Song lands a right, they clinch but nothing comes of it. Vera knees into the clinch, lands another one as they hit the fence. They jockey for position, trade some knees and body shots. More knees, elbow from Vera and they both trade int he clinch. Vera with knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vera

ROUND TWO: Back to action, Song landing some body shots. Front kick to the body from Vera. Vera lands a bit of a right. Vera lands a body kick and they both miss in close. Song land a left hook, Vera lands to the body. Right from Song, they trade in close but Song’s got the harder punches. Jab from Vera. Left hook from Song as Vera is coming forward. Song circling away, they split some jabs. Vera tries to clinch, lands a knee to the body as Song clinches him. They hit the fence and Song is on the cage. Knees from Vera to the thigh. Both men fire elbows in the clinch, we get a firefight there before they separate. More jabs going back and forth. Knee from Vera, Song lands a right. Body shot from Vera hurts Song and Vera is closing in. More trading in the pocket as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Song, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Vera comes out charging looking for offense. They clinch up and hit the fence. Vera gets Song on the fence and gets a takedown into half guard. Song gets full guard but eats some offense to do so. Vera stands and punches the body then passes to half guard. Song scoots to the fence and is looking to wall walk. Song is up and Vera hits the body as they leave the clinch. Song is still punching but he’s getting blocked. Vera lands a left hook. Body kick from Vera lands. Vera lands an inside leg kick. Song lands a left hook. Left from Vera, Song lands one of his own. Vera lands a left, Song tries a right that’s blocked. Song lands a couple of rights that land flush but Vera keeps throwing. Knee from Vera in close but he’s getting hit every time he closes distance. Both men land lefts, Vera lands an uppercut then a knee to the body as they clinch. Vera with knees while he’s got Song on the fence. Another outside reap from Vera this time into half guard. Hammer fists from Vera land, Song kicks him off and regains his feet. They trade power hand punches and elbows in close, we’ve got a dogfight on our hands here. Song reaches for a takedown, Vera sprawls and moves to the back but Song rolls to his hip. Hammer fists and elbows from Vera as he’s in side control, but we’re on short time and Song will survive.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Song Yadong via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Well I disagree but the first two were very competitive rounds. Mic time for Song, he says he’s done everything he could given the short notice that the fight came together on. He says he was ready for three rounds as he knows Vera is tough. Asked what’s next for him he hasn’t had time to think about that recently.

Our next segment is the next inductee into the Hall of Fame this year. It’s former champion Kevin Randleman. He’s kind of a forgotten pioneer in the heavyweight division but he had a career that deserves to be recognized like that.

Eryk Anders is on a two fight winning streak though he’s coming off of a dubious split decision win and is hoping for a more memorable and emphatic resolution to this fight. Krzysztof Jotko has a two fight winning streak going and could score one of the bigger wins of his career with a win here over Anders. The odds are with Jotko at -165 to +135 on Anders.

Middleweight Bout: Eryk Anders (13-4, 186 lbs.) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (21-4, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: these two are the same height while Jotko has two inches of reach advantage. Both men fighting southpaw. Both men miss some punches and kicks, just still trying to get a read on the fight. Bit of a right from Jotko then a front kick to the body. Jotko lands an inside leg kick. Anders avoids a spinning elbow and gets a clinch on the fence. Jotko slips free and separates. Right uppercut from Jotko lands. Right from Jotko, Anders forces a clinch though and is after a takedown. Anders has a body lock, tries to get Jotko down but Jotko scrambles and gets free. Anders gets another clinch and is after a takedown. Right and a left from Anders as they break. Jotko lands a left then an inside leg kick. Outside leg kick from Jotko, he gets the back standing off of a failed double leg and they hit the fence. Jotko tries a takedown, Anders nearly reverses and forces a scramble then lands a left and a high kick before clinching again. Knees go back and forth then a knee from Anders. The round will end in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Anders

ROUND TWO: Anders coming forward early, Jotko lands a body kick. Knee from Jotko, Anders gets close and lands a left then a kick, Jotko with a knee as they separate. Anders is pressing forward most of the time, Jotko lands a straight left. Knee from Jotko as Anders goes for a double leg, he can’t finish it but lands a knee while getting the clinch. Jotko lands a knee as they separate. Right hook from Jotko partially lands. Anders lands to the body, and gets another clinch on the fence but he can’t get the takedown. Jotko slips free and manages to block a spinning elbow. Bit of a left from Jotko as Anders gets another clinch on the fence. Knee from Anders, he keeps half committing to a takedown but bailing on it. Anders gets a body lock but he can’t get the takedown. Knee from Anders to the body. The round will end with them still in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jotko, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Jotko trying to stay in the middle of the cage this time, but he tries a spinning back fist and Anders gets his back and drives him into the fence. They wind up chest to chest, Anders tries a single leg then switches to a body lock. Jotko is able to get double under hooks and spin free. One two from Jotko lands to counter a kick. Anders lands a left after slipping a left. Bit of an uppercut from Jotko. Anders lands a left and tries to follow up but falls short. Left uppercut from Jotko lands. Anders lands to the body. Straight left from Jotko lands flush. Anders bulls into a clinch and has Jotko on the cage. Anders thinks about a double leg but again bails on it, odd decision making. Some knees from Anders and he defends a body lock attempt from Jotko and they break. Jotko lands a left, Anders returns it. Anders gets another clinch on the fence. Knees to the thigh from Anders. Jotko with some knees while they jockey for position. They break, Jotko misses a spinning back kick and they feint away the final seconds.

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

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

I missed the post fight interview, if there was one.

Dan Ige is on a five fight winning streak and has gone 5-1 in the UFC, a win here could get him a shot at some ranked opposition next in addition to being the biggest name on his resume. Edson Barboza has been a top lightweight for several years now but after going 1-4 in his last five (in fairness I thought he won his most recent fight) he’s trying his hand out down at featherweight to try and revitalize his career. Despite the severity of his weight cut Barboza is a slight -160 favorite to a +130 comeback on Ige.

Featherweight Bout: Edson Barboza (20-8, 145.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Dan Ige (13-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barboza has four inches of height and reach on Ige. Ige comes out swinging, blocked by Barboza. Barboza tries a knee but misses. Ige lands a right then a body shot. More pressure from Ige, he’s not going to let Barboza settle and get going. Barboza lands an elbow, then drops Ige with a right but gets tied up on the mat in his guard. Barboza lands a right then an elbow. Ige is looking to fight for wrist control off of his back. Barboza unloads with hammer fists but Ige remains calm on his back. They decide to get up and we’re back up without incident. Ige back to throwing the right. Barboza lands a left to the body. Ige lands a left body kick. Barboza lands a leg kick. Ige lands a right to the body. Ige is trying to get his jab working, but he’s pacing himself more now and might be letting Barboza settle. Both men duck under hooks. Bit of a right from Ige, Barboza lands a leg kick. Leg kick then a left hook from Barboza. Ige with an uppercut then a few body shots. Another leg kick from Barboza. Ige lands a right and pushes into the clinch. Barboza quickly able to spin free and reset. Ige lands a straight right. Barboza keeps trying to time an intercepting knee, he hasn’t really found it yet. A blocked high kick from Ige closes out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barboza

ROUND TWO: Ige back to moving around and working his jab. Long combination from Ige ends with a right that lands. Ige lands a left. Body kick from Barboza lands, Ige with a leg kick. Barboza lands a leg kick. Ige with a left to the body and gets a clinch on the fence. Some knees from Ige then a body shot. Barboza gets a double collar tie and works some knees then etas body shots as they break. Ige with some rights, Barboza lands a left hook. Barboza blocks a right. Right then a left from Ige hurt Barboza a little bit. Ige’s pressure and the pace are getting to Barboza now. Ige lands a leg kick. Barboza lands a body kick. Leg kick from Barboza but Ige is walking him down. Body shots from Ige in close then an elbow as they break. Ige with a kick, tries a double leg but Barboza sprawls away holding a front headlock. Ige back up and free. Ige avoids a spinning back kick. Bit of a right from Ige, Barboza returns it. Stiff jab from Ige but Barboza lands a knee to the body that hurts him. Ige tries a takedown, winds up pulling half guard. Barboza looks to unload but will mostly get stalled out for the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ige but I could be wrong, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Barboza with a front kick to the body. Ige working his jab again. Barboza lands a right hook in close. Ige trying to come forward. Barboza blocks a right. Ige has a left hook blocked. Leg kick from Ige but he misses the follow up. Both men land in close. Right to the body from Ige. They clinch again, Barboza with knees to the body while fighting for a double collar tie. Barboza with a left tot he bdoy, that hurt Ige and they break. Left body kick from Barboza, Ige lands a straight right then a jab. Ige with a left hook. Barboza lands a leg kick but Ige just no sells it. Both men land body kicks, Barboza lands a jab. Ige pushes into a clinch, he gets a body lock takedown into leg drag and lands some lefts. Barboza gets his guard, Ige with more lefts to the body while looking to pass. Left elbow from Ige. The fight will close here on the mat.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ige, the scoring will come down to the second, 29-28 Ige overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dan Ige via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

No issues with 29-28 either way, fun scrap. Mic time for Ige now, he says he did his best to grind things out and gives glory to God. He puts over Barboza as one of the best in the world, then says you’ve got to pressure Barboza but it’s not easy and he says he was nervous before getting to the arena. Asked to call his shot he says this is six in a row he wants someone like Yair or Kattar, or Jung, he just wants the best.

Claudia Gadelha has traded wins while going 3-2 in her last five fights, she’s coming off of a win though and is hoping for her first winning streak since 2017 while positioning herself in the title discussion. Angela Hill is 4-1 in her last five fights and is on a three fight winning streak, she’s looking for the biggest win of her career that could also put her in the title picture. Gadelha is your -240 favorite while a Hill win pays out at +190.

Strawweight Bout: #6 Claudia Gadelha (17-4, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Angela Hill (12-7, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gadelha is an inch taller while Hill has an inch of reach advantage. Gadelha showing the jab early, Hill looking to back her up. Gadelha working the right hand now but she’s getting backed up. Hill defends a takedown attempt and lands a right. They trade rights in close. Stepping knee from Hill, Gadelha with a left hook. Gadelha might have found something with that left hook. Hill lands a right then Gadelha lands a jab. Hill keeps getting stabbed with a jab when she tries to close distance. Gadelha lands a right and they clinch, Gadelha drives Hill to the fence. Body lock for Gadelha, Hill can’t get out of this clinch. Gadelha with a knee, now she looks for a single leg but Hill defends. Hill still defending well, Gadelha keeps looking for trips and finally gets Hill down and lands in side control. Some punches from Gadelha as Hill works towards the fence. Gadelha postures up and lands a couple of punches while getting to knee on belly. Hill turns to her knees, Gadelha with punches as they stand and that’s where the round ands.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gadelha

ROUND TWO: Both women jabbing a bit more this round. Gadelha lands a left. Hill is coming forward more, Gadelha giving ground and looking to counter. Bit of a right from Gadelha, Hill lands a jab. That looks like it opened a cut on Gadelha’s right eyebrow. Hill lands a right that drops Gadelha, Hill makes her stand back up immediately. Left hook from Hill, then an uppercut. Another straight right from Hill. Gadelha lands a left hook of her own. Hill limp legs away from a single leg attempt. Another right lands for Hill, she’s still moving well. Gadelha lands a right of her own and they clinch. Hill lands ak nee to the body but Gadelha gets her to the fence. Hill is able to spin Gadelha into the fence. More knees from Hill, Gadelha spins free and they break. Hill misses a left. Both women with lefts, technique is starting to fall off for both women. Chopping right from Gadelha then a straight right lands flush. Gadelha lands another right then they split jabs. Hill starts digging to the body, she wants to fatigue Gadelha. They both land glancing left hooks. Hill lands a front kick to the body, she lands a knee then tries a high kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Gadelha reaches for a leg and throws a left hook, neither land. Bit of a left from Hill. They trade rights in close. Gadelha lands a left hook in close. Both women land in the pocket then they both miss left hooks. Leg kick from Gadelha. Bit of a right from Gadelha. Clubbing left in close from Gadelha. Hill lands a left. Gadelha lands a left hook after barely avoiding an elbow. Hill lands a jab. Another jab from Hill. Gadelha with a few rights, Hill is landing her right as well. Left hook from Hill. Left body knee from Hill, Gadelha lands a right. Hill with another right. Gadelha lands a left hook. Hill avoids a few punches, they both miss spinning attacks. Hill sneaks another right through. They clinch up and Gadelha is looking for clinch work. Hill tries to get free, Gadelha lands an elbow as they break. Bit of a right from Gadelha. They trade rights, Hill has a couple of kicks blocked, a body kick from Hill will be the last blow of the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill but who knows at this point, 29-28 Hill overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Claudia Gadleha via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Very close third round, I thought Hill edged it but close rounds are like that. Mic time for Gadelha, she feels she did her best tonight and feels she’s finally finding her footing with her new camp and living in the States. Asked who she’d like next she wants a rematch with Carla Esparza. Odd choice, she beat Esparza last time.

Alistair Overeem is one of the premier heavyweights of his generation, he’s 2-1 in his last three fights and is coming off of a loss to Jarizinho Rozenstruik in a fight he was winning before that last punch. Overeem is hoping to avoid a losing streak and start moving up the heavyweight ranks again. Walt Harris hasn’t lost since a disqualification in 2017, he’s finished his last three wins and had a decision win over Andrei Arlovski changed to a No Contest due to a drug test issue. Harris is looking for a breakthrough performance that could launch him into the title picture. The odds are with Harris at -145 to +115 for Overeem.

Heavyweight Bout: #8 Alistair Overeem (41-18 1 NC, 253.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Walt Harris (13-7 1 NC, 264.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Harris is an inch taller while Overeem has three inches of reach advantage. Overeem opens orthodox but he switches a bit, and Harris is fighting southpaw. Both men circling early, looking for a read on each other. Harris is putting Overeem on the cage, Overeem avoids a punch and circles to the center of the cage. Spinning back kick to the body from Overeem. Harris has a kick blocked and misses a couple of punches. Harris clips Overeem with punches and Overeem is down, Overeem looking to defend on the mat, Harris keeps swinging but Overeem is defending so far. Overeem reaches for a heel hook but Harris spins free and they wind up on the feet clinched. There’s a bit cut around the right eyebrow of Overeem after that. They separate, Harris misses a kick and Overeem takes him down into side control. Overeem looking to mount, he gift wraps the hand of Harris and punches a few times to the head. Lefts from Overeem, Harris is looking to wall walk. Some more short lefts from Overeem, not much power at the moment. More lefts from Overeem, still short and mostly arm punches. Overeem is stripping the base of Harris, Harris keeps grabbing the fence. A steady diet of lefts from Overeem to the face of Harris while Harris is trying to wall walk. Harris to his knees, Overeem with a hard knee to the body, then one to the body again as they stand and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW overall

ROUND TWO: Both men back to circling, Overeem blocking some body kicks. Harris is huffing and puffing pretty visibly right now. Inside leg kick from Overeem. Head kick from Overeem, then a left hook and he’s down. Overeem looking to unload along the fence, he’s standing on the back while Harris covers up. Some rights from Overeem, he’s got the back with both hooks in now and has Harris flattened out. Harris is just hanging out, OVereem’s back mount is basically death at this point. Harris can do nothing but cover up and the ref has to stop it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alistair Overeem via TKO, punches, at 3:00 of Round 2

Gutted for Harris, but a heck of a performance from Overeem to survive that onslaught in the first. Mic time for Overeem, he says he works hard to stay focused, pandemic or no pandemic and puts over his new team at Elevation. He says he got caught and cut in the first and puts over Harris, but he trained for a full five round fight and was prepared. He talks us through the finish and again puts over Harris as a tough guy. Asked what he wants next, he wants someone above him in the rankings before the end of the year and hopefully another title shot is in the future.

Harris on the mic now, he thanks the UFC for all of their support, thanks his family as well and more of the UFC brass by name. He thanks his coaches as well, then his community and apologizes for not winning for them. He thanks everyone watching at home and promises he’ll be back and better.

This was basically the end, Overeem lands this wicked head kick and follows up. He eventually got both hooks in on the mat, flattened Harris out on the mat and forced the stoppage from the ref.

OK people, on that note UFC on ESPN 8 is done. I’d like to thank you all for being here for the third event in seven days. We’ll be unpacking the whole weeks worth of action Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast which I do hope you’ve subscribed to on your podcast platform of choice. There is no event currently on the books for next Saturday but there is one set for the 30th so I’ll be back then. Until next time everyone thanks again for your support, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN, Robert Winfree