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411’s UFC 234 Report: Adesanya Beats Anderson Silva

February 10, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree

Main Card

#15 Anderson Silva (186 lbs.) vs. #6 Israel Adesanya (185 lbs.)
Lando Vannata (156 lbs.) vs. Marcos Mariano (155 lbs.)
#15 Rani Yahya (135 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (135 lbs.)
#14 Montana De La Rosa (125 lbs.) vs. Nadia Kassem (124 lbs.)
Jim Crute (206 lbs.) vs. Sam Alvey (205 lbs.)

Preliminary Card

Devonte Smith (156 lbs.) vs. Dong Hyun Ma (156 lbs.)
Shane Young (145 lbs.) vs. Austin Arnett (145 lbs.)
Kai Kara-France (125 lbs.) vs. Raulian Paiva (125 lbs.)
Teruto Ishihara (136 lbs.) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (136 lbs.)

Preliminary Card

Callan Potter (156 lbs.) vs. Jalin Turner (155 lbs.)
Wuliji Buren (136 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (136 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 234. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. Tonight the UFC middleweight title is on the line as champion Robert Whittaker tries for his first official title defense against Kelvin Gastelum given that Whittaker’s last fight wound up being a non-title affair after his opponent missed weight. In a few random bits of trivia, this is the first time in UFC history a UFC title fight is contested between two fighters in their 20’s, and this is just the second time two TUF winners square off for a UFC title with the previous time being Forrest Griffin failing to defend his light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans at UFC 92. Good grief, I remember watching that fight live and UFC 92 was a little over 10 years ago. I’m so old. Speaking of old in the co-main event Anderson Silva appears for the first time since 2017 against the new hot commodity and 2018 breakout fighter of the year Israel Adesanya. Beyond that it’s a pretty thin card on paper, hopefully it’s better in execution.

Or at least that was the intro I had typed up, then disaster struck. A couple of hours before the prelims were to start news broke that middleweight champion Robert Whittaker had to withdraw from the event with an abdominal hernia. Whittaker apparently had abdominal pain last night and after going to the hospital he was diagnosed with the hernia.

That really sucks, I always look forward to Robert Whittaker’s fights. That facilitated the card being shuffled around, Silva vs. Adesanya is now the main event and your new co-main is Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Mariano. An action fighter in Vannata who’s a whopping 1-3-2 in the UFC and hasn’t won since 2016 against a promotional debutante is the co-main event. That’s how weak this card is. This is also the 4th main or co-main event change in 2019 for the UFC. Due to the absurdly late changes to the card, Silva vs. Adesanya will only be 3 rounds. It’s been several years since the last 3 round main event, specifically Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans from UFC 161 in 2013 which became the main event on short notice as well.

UFC 234 comes to the world from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. On commentary we have Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz in a rare two man booth. As for the rules I believe we’re under the new rules so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee/on your seat of course) and the language around scoring is clearer as well as more encouraging of 10-8 scores. We also have the use of instant replay for the finishing sequence of a fight, though once used the fight cannot be restarted.

We open with commentary filling us in on the situation with Whittaker, confirming the hernia and the need for surgery. On the plus side he should be back to training in 4-8 weeks so hopefully not a long layoff.

Wuliji Buren has gone 0-2 in the UFC, now he finds himself in desperate straights as going 0-3 in your first three bouts is a near death sentence in the UFC. Jonathan Martinez lost his UFC debut and is, just like Buren, looking for that all important first UFC win. It should be noted that both are in a rather precarious position as bantamweight is a competitive division about to get an influx of talent once the UFC closes up flyweight. The odds are with Martinez at -140 against +120 for Buren.

Bantamweight Bout: Wuliji Buren (11-6, 136 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (9-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Buren is an inch taller while Martinez has an inch of reach on him. Southpaw for Martinez, and he opens with kicks to the body and leg. Buren tries a few kicks of his own, both men blocking the offense so far and are mostly limited to power leg kicks. Duck under from Burn and he gets an inside trip from a body lock into the guard of Martinez. Buren looking to pass, he looks to wrap up the head and go for a guillotine. Martinez looks for a double leg from his knees, he gets it but Buren is still holding the guillotine and sitting on the fence. Martinez moves to side control and looks to set up a Von Flue choke as Buren still holds the head. The fence is complicating the choke finish so Martinez bails on it, Buren tries to sit up but winds up turtling and Martinez gets the back with one hook in. Buren looks to scramble, Martinez rides well but the lack of a second hook is letting Buren start this motion. Knees to the thigh from Martinez as Buren is up but they’re still in the clinch on the fence. Martinez lands a couple of knees then separates, Buren kicks his leg out from under him and stands over him as Martinez looks for a guard. Buren on top now in full guard and they trade some short elbows. Buren spins around a high guard attempt, lands a hammer fist and nearly grabs a front choke of some variety before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez

ROUND TWO: Buren checks an inside leg kick to start the round. Some more kicks from both men then Buren lands a knee and a body kick. Body kick from Martinez. Bit of a right from Buren. Body kick from Martinez then a bit of a left behind it. Double leg from Buren and he’s got Martinez down in half guard. Hip sweep from Martinez and now he’s on top in the butterfly guard of Buren. Buren sweeps him back and is in half guard again. Buren gets the back on a scramble but can’t get the choke, Martinez breaks the hooks and is up and has the rear waist lock on Buren. Martinez drives him into the fence and down to a knee then lands a knee to the body. Elbows from Martinez, he’s just staying a step ahead of Buren and is out working him. More knees from Buren to the thigh as Buren stands and the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Both men with inside leg kicks, Buren tries a double leg then switches to an inside trip and lands on top in full mount against the fence. Martinez is looking to wall walk but Buren moves him away from the fence. Martinez kicks off the fence but leaves an arm behind and Buren sells out for it but after a moment he loses the grip and Martinez is on his back landing punches. Both hooks in for Martinez for a moment but he loses the right hook. Martinez gets the second hook back in and is looking to flatten out Buren. Full mount for Martinez, then the back again as he’s riding Buren while Buren tries to scramble. Martinez is sneaking in blows when Buren tries to scramble and is keeping dominant position. Buren finally is able to bridge and spin into Martinez and gets on top, Martinez gets full guard. Martinez tries to kick Buren free but can’t get up before Buren is back on him and is after an anaconda choke. The grip position isn’t quite right for Buren and Martinez spins free and is on top with a front headlock of his own then pushes Buren over to his back with it. Butterfly guard for Buren, now full guard. They swing some punches at each other, Martinez flurries as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Martinez but a marginal one, 30-26 Martinez overall

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

Mic time for Martinez, he says the win feels good. He says things feel better now that he’s got the debut fight out of the way, he’s happy with the performance but plans on getting better. Asked what’s next he wants to stick around at bantamweight, the jokes about voting for Pedro, I mean Jonathan.

There’s a minor update on scheduling, the basketball game on ESPN might run long so if it’s still going when the prelims are supposed to start on ESPN they’ll instead start on ESPN News. Now to see if I have that channel.

Callan Potter is an impressive 9-1 in his last ten fights coming into his UFC debut, he’s looking to get his first UFC win in his home country. Jalin Turner is also after his first UFC win having lost his debut fight, though in fairness he did take on the proven Vicente Luque up at welterweight, now against someone more his level and back at lightweight he’s trying to show what he’s capable of. Turner is your favorite at -230 against +185 for Potter.

Lightweight Bout: Callan Potter (17-7, 156 lbs.) vs. Jalin Turner (7-4, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Turner is huge for the division, he’s got three inches of height and a whopping five of reach on Potter. Southpaw for Turner, he and Potter touch gloves to get us going. Potter lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Potter, he tries a double leg but eats a knee and winds up pulling guard. Potter climbs up the body for the armbar, then switches to a leg lock but Turner slips free and is free. Turner lands a stiff left that hurts Potter, then a quick follow up right hook and Potter drops with the stoppage soon behind that as Turner teed off on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jalin Turner via KO, punches, at :53 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Turner for his work this evening. Potter was down on the stool and wobbled for a fair bit of time. Mic time for Turner, who says he needed the win and that Australia is one of his dream spots, he feels bad about having to beat the local guy but hopes the crowd appreciated the fight. They cheered him for those lines, so they seem to have enjoyed it. He talks us through the finish, says that Potter left the lead hand loose so the lead hook from him was there. Asked what’s next he says he’s got another baby coming and needs that money right now, so line them up.

Here’s the finish. Turner has a good read on that lead hand position of Potter and cracks him several times with right hooks, then pounds him out on the mat after he drops.

Potter does wind up able to walk out under his own power, which is good to see. Also that will do it for Fight Pass, to ESPN or ESPN News depending on the basketball game, for the rest of the prelims. Quick update on that, given the score and how near to the end of the game things are on the basketball front the UFC prelims will start on ESPN as soon as the game is over.

We open the ESPN broadcast with an update from UFC President Dana White talking about the Whittaker injury, he calls it a freak accident and the kind of injury you never see in young guys. He mentions that if this kind of thing happens or ruptures mid fight it could be a serious issue, then says that Whittaker could be back to training in as little as 4 weeks depending on how he heals from surgery. He mentions that we’ve still got Silva vs. Adesanya, way to jinx it buddy. He hypes Silva vs. Adesanya a bit, then says that he doesn’t have word on a possible interim title in the future but a lot of that will depend on how complicated the issue with Whittaker turns out to be.

Teruto Ishihara has struggled of late, he’s just 1-4 in his last five bouts and has gone 0-2 since dropping back down to bantamweight. Ishihara needs a win pretty badly here if he wants to remain with the promotion. Kung Ho Kang is 3-1 in his last four fights but is also coming off of a loss, he’s trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak and simultaneously get himself on surer footing with the promotion. The odds heavily favor Kang at -330 against a tempting long shot of +260 for Ishihara.

Bantamweight Bout: Teruto Ishihara (10-6-2, 136 lbs.) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (14-8 1 NC, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kang is two inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Ishihara fighting southpaw. They trade kicks to the body while Kang stalks forward. More kicks then Kang lands a straight right. Right from Ishihara lands, they trade punches and Kang is wobbled but still with it on his knees. Ishihara lets him up and they trade again, Kang wobbles Ishihara with a right. Defense is not a strength for either man at this point. Body shot from Kang then a knee to the head from a clinch and Ishihara is rocked again. Kang looking to swarm, lands a series of uppercuts, more Road House 50/50 brawling but Kang is picking his shots better. Kang switches to a double leg, then a single leg and he’s got Ishihara down. Ishihara tries to get up, now looking to shake off Kang as Kang tries to take the back. Kang picks one of the legs to keep his position and now looks to get hooks in. Both hooks for Kang, he’s after the choke, catches an arm for Ishihara with his body triangle then puts Ishihara to sleep with the choke.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kyung Ho Kang via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Kang for his work this evening. Wild fight. Mic time for Kang along with his translator, he says he got a bit hurt in the first but kept his mind and knew he had to get up and keep fighting. He talks us through the finish, he notes he’s had a few split decisions lately and vows to only have finishes from here on out. Asked what’s next for him he says he worked hard to get the first round finish and wants to fight a ranked opponent next.

Here’s the finish. Note that Ishihara has reached down with his left hand to fight the hooks instead of trying to fight the hooks with his knees/legs, so Kang traps it and you can’t really defend the choke with one hand so it’s academic from there.

And, just because I love you guys, a quick highlight from a bit of the brawling in that fight.

Kai Kara-France is on a solid six fight winning streak including an impressive UFC debut in December of last year, now he’s looking to continue that streak and continue his ascent. Raulian Paiva is on a pretty absurd twelve fight winning streak that includes a win on Dana’s Contender Series which led to his debut here, he’s trying to take out another prospect and leave a good first impression on the UFC audience. The odds are with Kara-France at -210 against a +175 comeback on Paiva.

Flyweight Bout: Kai Kara-France (18-7 1 NC, 125 lbs.) vs. Raulian Paiva (18-1, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Paiva is four inches taller but only has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Kara-France flashing the jab early and backing up Paiva towards the fence. Calf kick from Kara-France. Lots of circling, Kara-France lands a right that stuns Paiva but doesn’t follow up. Leg kick from Paiva, another right from Kara-France and he avoids a takedown attempt. Paiva punches into a double leg attempt, Kara-France defends and Paiva switches to a high crotch against the fence but Kara-France is able to separate. They trade lefts to the head then Paiva lands a leg kick. Paiva avoids a few punches, Kara-France lands another right. There’s a lack of head movement from Paiva that Kara-France is starting to get a read on. Leg kick from Paiva. Kara-France avoids a sloppy takedown attempt. Paiva lands a right after a bit of a blitz attack. Kara-France lands a couple of body shots. Missed flying knee attempt from Paiva and that’ll basically bring the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kara-France

ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves for the second round. Leg kick from Paiva. Kara-France grabs a single leg but Paiva slips around and gets his own takedown into half guard. Side control now for Paiva. Kara-France explodes up and scrambles free then lands a right. Another right from Kara-France but Paiva is just eating these. Double leg attempt from Kara-France and they wind up clinched on the fence. Left from Kara-France on the break. Paiva seems to have a read on the flurries from Kara-France and is countering him now. Kara-France tries a takedown but Paiva smothers him and pushes him over, he’s standing over Kara-France landing rights to the body. Kara-France lands an up kick, and another then he regains his feet. Kara-France lands a right that stuns Paiva but he recovers quickly. Left hook from Paiva, he’s getting to Kara-France pretty regularly right now. Leg kick from Paiva. Both men land in close but they just absorb the blows. Kara-France lands a right but he’s really one or two and done and Paiva is hitting him on the exit. Paiva counters a high crotch attempt with a roll through into a mounted guillotine but the round ends and likely saved Kara-France.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Paiva, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Kara-France lands a left hook but eats a couple of counters. Paiva is working him in the pocket now, Kara-France is stopping after he throws a combination that he’s drilled and Paiva is hitting him after that flurry has ended. Paiva lands a left hook. There’s a running middle kick from Paiva that missed the body and hit Kara-France flush in the cup as Kara-France tried to circle off of the fence. That was a bad one, Kara-France will have up to five minutes to regain himself. The ref gives Paiva a stern warning, frankly a point deduction wouldn’t have been wholly out of order, and Kara-France is good to continue. Both men are back to throwing punches. Leg kick from Kara-France. Paiva lands a right but eats a left. Bit of a right from Paiva gets Kara-France backing up. Rush from Paiva and he lands some solid punches but Kara-France ducks under and gets a takedown but a guillotine threat from Paiva forces the break. Kara-France lands a right after he walked onto a knee to the body. Left to the body from Paiva and Kara-France lands a counter right. Body shots from Kara-France but Paiva is working a higher volume of offense. Kara-France lands a left hook then a right. Paiva has a solid chin, he doesn’t care much about these punches. Kara-France hits a takedown but Paiva pops right back up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Paiva but could go either way, 29-28 Paiva overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kai Kara-France via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

That one had split decision written all over it, but a fun little scrap. Kara-France gets an interview, but my feed craps out for parts of it. The first thing I hear is Kara-France thanking his coaches to close his interview. Apologies for that, just a minor hiccup in my internet. Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come.

Shane Young has gone 1-1 in the UFC, dropping his debut to rising contender Alexander Volkanovski but rebounding against Rolando Dy. Now Young is looking for his first UFC winning streak and hoping to establish himself as a prospect in the division. Austin Arnett just snapped a three fight losing streak with an uninspired decision over Humberto Bandenay, he’s hoping to upset the local guy and also get his first UFC winning streak going. Young is an unsurprising -330 favorite while Arnett would payout at +260.

Featherweight Bout: Shane Young (12-4, 145 lbs.) vs. Austin Arnett (16-5, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Arnett is four inches taller but Young has half an inch of reach advantage. Young stalking forward early, both men showing the lead hand. Jabs to the body from Young along with inside leg kicks. Leg kick from Young. Young lands a bit of a right. Another right from Young lands then a bit of a left hook to follow up. Arnett doing some stance switching but he’s not doing much with it. Left from Arnett lands. Young is working the body when Arnett is southpaw. Both men land some jabs. They trade power hand punches but the stance switching is starting to confuse Young. Inside leg kick from Young. Arnett is fighting long and he’s starting to have success at that distance. Jabs from Arnett, Young lands a series of counter hooks. Young pushes into the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Young

ROUND TWO: Young back to moving forward looking to pressure Arnett. Body kick from Young then an inside leg kick. Right from Young then a right to the body. Body kick from Young. More body work from Young, Arnett is getting his jab going but he’s not throwing in combination. Young lands a couple of jabs then a leg kick. Arnett has landed a couple of straight lefts but again there’s no follow up, it’s just one and done for him. Straight right from Young lands. Young lands a body kick then a right to the body. Arnett is getting soft to the body, he’s bending over a bit more to try and protect his ribs. Arnett lands a few jabs then Young lands a right hook. Young swings a couple of shots to the body then lands a jab. One two from Young lands, then a prolonged combination as Arnett is backing up along the fence. Arnett lands a right of his own, Young pushes into a clinch and Arnett lands a left as they break. Both men land left hooks, we get a firefight as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Arnett trying to get the jab working, Young still pushing forward. Some jabs land for Arnett. Young lands a body kick but Arnett lands a solid right to off balance him. Bit of a right from Young, Arnett responds with a left then a right. Young goes to the body again then lands a few hooks to the head. Arnett lands a glancing right. Left hook from Arnett. Young lands a leg kick. Counter right from Young lands. Arnett’s jab is starting to pick up but he’s not building off of it, it’s just kind of there. Glancing left high kick from Arnett but Young ignores it and lands an uppercut. Young is pouring on offense, Arnett gets him to back off a bit with a right. Both men land hooks in close, Arnett lands an elbow and we get more brawling and Young drops Arnett with a right just as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Decent little brawl there. Mic time for Young, who opens with Maori then dedicates the win to his Mom who’s watching him live for the first time and gets the crowd to give his mom a round of applause. Asked about the nature of the fight he says he knew it would be tough but Arnett had improved and showed more tricks, he wants to be on the next Australian card. To close he wants to spread some good in the world, he mentions that New Zealand has a high youth suicide rate and tells them it’s OK to talk about what’s troubling them and says he’ll help however he can and pimps his instagram.

Some highlights from the second round.

And here’s the final right from Young, he fades away from the wild hook and returns to striking distance with a cracking right that drops Arnett just as the round ends.

Devonte Smith is on a five fight winning streak that includes a very fast UFC debut when he knocked out his opponent in less than one minute, now he’s trying to show consistency at the UFC level and continue that streak. Dong Hyun Ma has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is on a three fight winning streak and looking to start a move up in competition if he can get that to four in a row here. Smith is your favorite at -250 to a +200 comeback on Ma.

Lightweight Bout: Devonte Smith (9-1, 156 lbs.) vs. Dong Hyun Ma (16-8-3, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ma is two inches taller but Smith has a whopping five and a half inches of reach on him. They touch gloves to get us going. Smith is stalking forward, both men feinting a bit. Leg kick from Smith. Another low leg kick from Smith and Ma is switching his stance now. Left hook from Smith. Smith lands a left to the body then a right to the head. Another calf kick from Smith lands. Smith still kicking the leg, I’m not sure Ma has landed a strike yet. Bit of a front kick from Ma. Smith checks a leg kick and lands a one two that wobbles Ma, he follows up with another one that drops Ma then he pounds him out as he’s face down on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Devonte Smith via TKO, punches, at 3:53 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Smith for his work this evening. Mic time for Smith, he plays with the crowd a bit, says he had to come down under to put someone down under, then calls out someone in the crowd for saying “Hit him!” because he had it lined up. He talks us through the finish, dude has some infectious happiness about it, then says he’s looking at Francisco Trinaldo next. He says his instagram is down for the moment so wait until Monday to look him up, then gives love to his Mom and a younger cousin.

Here’s the finish. Those hammer fists at the end look suspect in real time but the slow motion replay shows they glance off of the ear/side of the head in a legal spot.

We get an interview with Kelvin Gastelum, who’s posing with technically Henry Cejudo’s UFC title, and declares himself the champion as he showed up and made weight so he considers Whittaker’s forfeit to be giving up the belt. He talks us through how he got the news about losing the fight, then wishes Whittaker a speedy and full recovery so that Whittaker can fight for the belt that he’s got. He hasn’t decided if next is the Whittaker bout or the winner of Adesanya and Silva. Asked about what’s next he says he promised to return with hardware and he’s fulfilling that, I think you can hear Cejudo in the background say “No” at that.

That will wrap up preliminary action on ESPN, to PPV for the main card. Oh for crying out loud, haven’t we suffered enough with this card UFC? Isn’t “Face the Pain” just cruel and unusual punishment at this point?

Jim Crute is undefeated including a win in the UFC over Paul Craig, now he’s looking to take out a more notable name and remain perfect as a professional. Sam Alvey is 2-1 since moving to light heavyweight but is coming off of a loss when he was stopped by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, now he’s trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak and get back on the winning side of things. Crute is your -150 favorite against +130 for Alvey.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jim Crute (9-0, 206 lbs.) vs. Sam Alvey (33-11 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Alvey has an inch and a half of reach on him. Alvey is also a full ten years older. Alvey fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get things going. Crute showing kicks early but missing so far. Inside leg kick from Crute lands. Crute has a head kick blocked but he’s working from the outside so far, he doesn’t want to brawl with Alvey. Inside leg kicks from Crute and a right as well. Crute lands a body kick then another inside leg kick. Alvey lands a bit of a left. Stiff jab from Alvey but he eats a right hook that drops him. Crute tries to walk off but Alvey is back up, they get tied up on a high kick from Crute, Alvey winds up holding a single leg and eating punches without moving which prompts the stoppage. Alvey is PISSED about that stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jim Crute via TKO, punches, at 2:49 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Crute for his work this evening. Alvey storms off after they announce the decision, Crute on the mic plays with the crowd a bit at first. Asked about the stoppage he he says he wanted the walk off but shouldn’t stayed on him, he feels the stoppage was good and notes that if he was in Alvey’s position he’d be protesting as well. He says he’s going to get better and come back for the next Australian card but plans on staying ready until then.

This isn’t the finish but it does show Alvey getting dropped hard with a right hook.

And here’s the full clip including the stoppage so you can judge for yourself if it was fair or not.

The UFC announces UFC 238 on June 8th for Chicago Illinois at the United Center. No fights attached yet but at least they’ve got a venue.

Montana De La Rosa has gone 2-0 in the UFC with two finishes to her name, she’s looking to extend that streak here and make a case for herself as a possible contender in a nearly embryonic division. Nadia Kassem is undefeated as a professional but hasn’t fought since November of 2017 when she missed weight down at strawweight, she’s looking to take out a ranked contender and solidify herself as someone to watch now that she’s at flyweight. Between the time off and the general level of opposition it’s no surprise that de la Rosa is your -260 favorite against +210 on Kassem.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #14 Montana De La Rosa (9-4, 125 lbs.) vs. Nadia Kassem (5-0, 124 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rosa has two inches of height and reach on Kassem. Touch of gloves, Kassem fighting southpaw. Rosa lands rights and pushes into a clinch on the fence. Kassem tries to jump for something but winds up on her back with full guard. Rosa working a knee slice pass to half guard while landing lefts. Half guard now for Rosa and a few short elbows. Kassem working to re-guard as Rosa squishes her into the fence. Rosa pins one of Kassem’s arms with her knee and lands lefts as Kassem hip escapes to full guard. Kassem closes her guard and starts to work it high on the shoulders but Rosa is posturing through that and moves to half guard again. Elbows to the body by Rosa, now rights to the body as well. Punches and hammer fists from Rosa, she’s slowly but surely overwhelming Kassem with offense. Kassem gets her guard back but Rosa lands more punches and knee slices again to half guard. Body to head punches from Rosa. Now full side control then north-south for Rosa, she’s fishing for an armbar, switches to a kimura but time runs out before that can develop.

SCORECARD: 10-8 de la Rosa

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Rosa with punches into another clinch on the fence and she gets a trip into mostly half guard. Kassem tries for rubber guard but the other leg isn’t in play so Rosa steps into half guard easily and resumes landing punches and elbows. Side control again for Rosa, nearly a mounted crucifix, now knee on belly. Full mount for Rosa, and a mounted triangle and she’s landing elbows, moves to an armbar now with the triangle but Kassem is fighting to keep it. Rosa rolls through for the full triangle choke and lands elbows from her back, rolls to full mount with the triangle again and continues with offense. Another armbar attempt with the triangle and this time Kassem taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Montana de la Rosa via Submission, triangle armbar, at 2:37 of Round 2

Total wipe out for de la Rosa, just ran over Kassem like a truck. Mic time for de la Rosa, she feels great and thanks her family and coaches for the work they put in to get her to this point. She says the strategy was to keep it standing but she saw the opening and took it, she talks us through the finish and puts over Kassem as a tough opponent. Asked what’s next for her she wants to get through her TUF contract and start making real money like a ranked fighter should.

Here’s the finish. Kassem is just drowning under the onslaught of offense, both strikes and submission attempts, until de la Rosa finally finds the right angle on the armbar.

Rani Yahya is nearly criminally under appreciated, he’s gone 7-1 with 1 No Contest since returning to bantamweight in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak with all three being finishes. Yahya is trying to defend his ranking and possibly earn a shot at ranked opposition for his next bout. Ricky Simon is on a seven fight winning streak including being 2-0 in the UFC, he’s trying to take out a ranked opponent and take a step towards contention himself. The odds here moved a lot recently and closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Bantamweight Bout: #15 Rani Yahya (26-9 1 NC, 135 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (14-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Simon has two inches of reach on Yahya. Circling to start, bit of a leg kick from Yahya. Body kick from Yahya but Simon lands a counter left. Simon is coming forward and lands a leg kick. Yahya tries a takedown then tries to pull guard but Simon avoids it. Uppercut from Yahya and now he’s the one coming forward. Yahya is getting his jab working, Simon lands a looping right. Simon avoids a low single leg attempt. Body kick from Yahya then a combination of punches, Simon lands a right that drops Yahya. Simon follows Yahya down but then backs up and makes Yahya stand. Counter left from Simon off balances Yahya. Simon has Yahya on the fence but is struggling to really get offense without being tied up. Body shots from Simon land, bit of a right from Yahya. Odd Imanari roll attempt from Yahya is unsuccessful. Simon is stalking Yahya and lands a left to the body. Yahya tries a single leg but Simon has that takedown well scouted and is blocking it. Leg kick from Yahya. Yahya lands a body kick and Simon takes him down off of it but wont engage on the mat. Simon with some leg kicks as Yahya is on his back then lets him up. Glancing head kick from Simon and Yahya fires a couple of leg kicks. That will end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon but arguable 10-8

ROUND TWO: Body kick from Yahya then a checked leg kick. Simon is still coming forward though, and Yahya lands a right. Body kick from Yahya but he eats a counter right. Another body kick from Yahya but that’s really the only offense he’s been getting off. Simon with a loose double leg but doesn’t follow Yahya down and instead lands some leg kicks before Yahya regains his feet. Simon is cut around the right eye. Another body kick from Yahya then Simon avoids a single leg attempt. Yahya’s second effort on the taekdown just isn’t there, he’s diving for the low single leg but has no second option if Simon defends that one. Right from Yahya lands. Simon walks into a right and is wobbled, he’s backing up now as Yahya looks to chase him down. Simon is moving well but eats a left then off balances Yahya with a shoulder bump. Bit of a left from Simon, Yahya lands a right. Simon’s feet are much quicker and his foot work is better but he’s still in recovery mode. Bit of a double leg from Simon and this time he follows Yahya to the guard and they trade a bit as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yahya, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Simon coming forward again, lands a left to the body. Yahya misses a high kick but they tie up and Yahya does pull guard this time. Triangle attempt from Yahya but Simon pulls free and stands over him before Yahya regains his feet. Another body kick from Yahya lands. Right from Yahya lands. Simon lands a left but Yahya just eats it. Yahya tries a takedown but Simon sprawls away from him and then stands over him. They wind up standing again without much happening. Bit of a left hook from Yahya lands. Simon lands a right. Yahya lands a right and tries another takedown but Simon again sprawls away from him and disengages. Simon’s forward pressure is getting to Yahya a bit. Left to the body from Simon. Bit of a combination from Yahya, Simon gets a double leg but again struggles to get offense while not really engaging on the ground. Simon goes into the guard now and Yahya closes it immediately. Elbow from Simon. Simon goes nuts swinging blows that mostly miss but look good as time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yahya but this will be the swing round for the fight, 29-28 Yahya overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ricky Simon via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27 x2)

30-25 baffles me, I’m not sure how Simon took the second round but have no issue with Simon taking the fight. Mic time for Simon who says Yahya is tough and equates him to Demian Maia but knew if he could stay upright it was his fight to lose. He wants to make it to the top of the division.

Lando Vannata has a very odd UFC record of 1-3-2, he’s coming off of his second draw in the promotion and hasn’t won since 2016 when he knocked out John Makdessi really needs a win here. Marcos Mariano has gone 4-1 in his last five bouts coming into his UFC debut, he could score a notable win if he takes out a guy with the profile of Vannata. Vannata is your -425 favorite against +325 for Mariano.

Lightweight Bout: Lando Vannata (9-3-2, 156 lbs.) vs. Marcos Mariano (6-4, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mariano is four inches taller and has five inches of reach on Vannata. They touch gloves to get things going. Mariano throwing some kicks early, mostly range finding so far. Leg kick from Vannata goes to the calf. Vannata is stalking forward, falls short with a right and Mariano tries a body kick that’s mostly blocked. Calf kicks are traded. They clinch up and Vannata gets a body lock takedown into half guard. Vannata is working short strikes, Mariano gets his full guard and tries an omoplata but has to settle for full guard. Bit of an elbow from Vannata. Now Mariano is throwing some elbows of his own from his back. Vannata lands some lefts, he’s got full posture and Mariano is kind of flailing around on his back. A few more punches land for Vannata to the body and head. Elbow from Vannata and another one. More punches from Vannata, he winds up in north-south and wrenches a kimura that gets the tap with a couple of seconds left in the round.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lando Vannata via Submission, kimura, at 4:55 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Vannata for his work this evening. Mic time for Vannata who plays with the crowd a bit, then says the day has been crazy and he went back to sleep for a few hours after getting the note that he moved to the co-main event. He talks us through the finish then thanks the UFC brass for keeping him around. Asked who’s next he says he’d love to battle Jim Miller sometime in the summer. I’m down for that fight.

Israel Adesanya is undefeated and exploded into the UFC scene last year as he went 4-0 in the UFC and was last seen taking out Derek Brunson inside of the first round, now he’s got a chance to take out a bona fide legend and stake a claim to the number one contenders slot in the division. Anderson Silva is one of the best to ever compete in MMA and holds several promotional records but has lately looked like age has finally caught up with him. Silva is just 1-4 with 1 No Contest dating to 2013 and he hasn’t fought since a controversial decision win over Derek Brunson almost exactly 2 years ago. Now Silva is trying to turn back the clock and possibly stake his own claim to a title shot. Adesanya is the biggest favorite on the entire card at a whopping -450 while the +350 payout for Silva has to tempt a few gamblers out there.

Middleweight Bout: #15 Anderson Silva (34-8 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. #6 Israel Adesanya (15-0, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Adesanya is two inches taller and has three inches of reach on Silva, he’s also fourteen years younger. Silva fighting southpaw, Adesanya does a fair bit of stance switching. Adesanya showing the jab early, a lot of feinting from him as well. Leg kick from Adesanya. Silva doing a lot of circling but no offense just yet. Range finding leg kicks from Adesanya, neither man really committing to offense yet. Adesanya lands a leg kick. Adesanya with a bit of a high kick. Silva avoids a right. Silva coming forward but leans into a knee that wobbles him. Adesanya lands an elbow and a knee, tries an outside crescent kick but was too close for it. Inside leg kick from Adesnaya. Silva eats a right and lands a right of his own. Body kick from Silva lands, Adesanya lands a leg kick. One two from Adesanya lands. The feints from Adesanya have Silva biting on them, they trade leg kicks. Silva just leans away from a high kick. Bit of a straight left from Adesanya. Another left from Adesanya lands but Silva ducks under a high kick and they do a quick pose off as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Adesanya

ROUND TWO: Adesanya lands a jab to start the second round. Silva misses a hook kick. Right hook lands for Silva. Adesanya blocks a body kick and lands a jab. Front kick to the body from Adesanya then a one two but Silva shakes it off. Straight left from Adesanya then Silva ducks under a high kick. They trade punches, Silva’s counter right hook is his best weapon so far. Silva lands a couple of hooks. Adesanya lands a right then a hard leg kick. Another leg kick from Adesanya then a straight left. Silva lands a jab then another one. Forward pressure from Silva and they clinch up but nothing comes of it before they break. More body kicks from Adesanya then a leg kick. Silva is keeping his left arm across his abdomen, not sure why but it’s a different look for him. Another leg kick from Adesanya and Silva charges after him but can only land a body kick. Silva misses a spinning kick to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Adesanya but could go to Silva, 20-18 Adesanya overall

ROUND THREE: Adesanya opens up with another front kick to the body. Loud Silva chant from the crowd. Adesanya lands a leg kick that buckles Silva’s lead leg for a moment. Silva tries a flying knee but Adesanya avoids it. Bit of a high kick from Adesanya, Silva has positioned himself on the fence and is urging Adesanya on. There’s some swelling under the right eye of Silva, and he wants Adesanya to come to the fence again. They literally stare at each other for a few seconds then Adesanya makes Silva return to the center of the cage. Leg kick from Adesanya. Adesanya with another front kick to the body, he’s setting up a question mark kick with his right leg with that kick. Silva lands a leg kick of his own. Straight left from Adesanya lands then a body kick. Adesanya lands another leg kick. Left from Adesanya to the swollen eye of Silva. Silva blocks a high kick but eats a leg kick. Right to the body from Adesanya then a left behind it. Three punches from Adesanya land, Silva urges him on and misses a high kick. Another leg kick from Adesanya lands. Attempted tornado kick from Adesanya misses, Silva responds with a missed wheel kick. Adesanya misses a spinning back fist just as the clock runs down.

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

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

You know, that was a lot of fun for those who like that kind of nearly pure MMA striking affair. Adesanya and Silva share bows in the cage then hug, Adesanya tells Silva that he remembers buying the DVD for UFC 90 and they share mutual respect. First on the mic is Adesanya, he says this is crazy, like a kid playing basketball against Michael Jordan, then talks about how crazy the week has been but he showed up for work. He says player 1 has the controller and thanks Silva for the fight, then tells Gastelum to put that fake belt down and expresses love for the fans.

Silva on the mic now, he says he’s very happy and thanks God for giving him a chance to come in the cage and do his best. He says he loves his job and loves fighting, thanks the fans for coming and says he loves them. Asked what’s next for him he says he wants to fight in Curitaba on the upcoming event. To close he affects a deliberately horrible Australian accent to play one last time with the crowd.

Just a taste of the craziness these two put on.

That will end UFC 234 though. Thank you for being here and reading along, we’ll break down this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show. That’s going to be a big show as we’ll have a double preview since the next UFC event is UFC on ESPN 1 next Sunday, when Cain Velasquez returns to fight Francis Ngannou and we get a really solid lightweight affair between Paul Felder and James Vick. The show will also, by necessity, preview UFC Fight Night 145 in a couple of weeks. For those professional wrestling fans you can also find me covering Impact wrestling on Friday’s right now while 411 boss and all around all star Larry Csonka is recovering from some health issues. Until next time thanks again for the patronage, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.