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411’s UFC 258 Report: Usman Wins

February 14, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 258

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Kamaru Usman (170 lbs.) vs. #1 Gilbert Burns (170 lbs.) – for welterweight title
#10 Maycee Barber (126 lbs.) vs. #15 Alexa Grasso (125.5 lbs.)
#9 Kelvin Gastelum (186 lbs.) vs. #15 Ian Heinisch (185.5 lbs.)
Brian Kelleher (145.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (145.5 lbs.)
Julian Marquez (185 lbs.) vs. Maki Pitolo (185 lbs.)

Anthony Hernandez (186 lbs.) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (186 lbs.)
Dhiego Lima (171 lbs.) vs. #13 Belal Muhammad (169.5 lbs.)
Mallory Martin (115.5 lbs.) vs. Polyana Viana (116 lbs.)
Andre Ewell (138.5 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (140 lbs.)

Gabe Green (169.5 lbs.) vs. Phil Rowe (171 lbs.)
Miranda Maverick (125.5 lbs.) vs. Gillian Robertson (125.5 lbs.)

Hello there everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 258. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action just as I see it. Tonight isn’t the deepest card, but the main event is excellent on paper. UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is trying for his third title defense against number one contender and former training partner Gilbert Burns. This fight was supposed to take place last year but fell through last minute when one of Burns’ corner men had a Covid issue and Jorge Masvidal stepped in on short notice back at UFC 251. The rest of this card isn’t great, in fact it lost the next two most compelling bouts when Jimmie Rivera vs. Pedro Munhoz as well as Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller fell through. There are still some fairly important fights, Maycee Barber is back from loss and injury against Alexa Grasso, and Kelvin Gastelum desperately tries to right his career when he battles Ian Heinisch.

UFC 258 features the first UFC title fight of 2021 and comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Nevada uses most of the new rules with the exception of the downed fighter rule, you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We will also have instant replay whenever either the in cage ref or the designated replay official desire it and the fight can be restarted after replay if that’s applicable. Also remember the Apex has the smaller 25 foot diameter cage set up. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier.

To further the woes of this particular card, a couple of hours before the event was to start we lost Gillian Robertson and Miranda Maverick due to a non-COVID illness on the part of Robertson. So I fully expect about 30 minutes of talking heads trying to sell this card as time filler.

Gabriel Green had a six fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when he lost to Daniel Rodriguez, now he’s trying to rebound with that all important first UFC win. Philip Rowe has been trying to make his UFC debut for about a year now but has a seven fight winning streak and is hoping to extend that while making a good first impression to the UFC audience. The odds are with Green at -135 to +115 on Rowe.

Welterweight Bout: Gabe Green (9-3, 169.5 lbs.) vs. Phil Rowe (7-2, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rowe is five inches taller and has a whopping seven and a half inches of reach over Green. Some feinting from both men as we get started. Both men with some leg kicks, Rowe then lands a straight right. Green lands a leg kick but Rowe already seems to have Green on the end of his punches. More forward pressure from Green, he’s trying to beat up the legs and corral Rowe against the fence but isn’t having much success with the latter part of that. Rowe lands a left to the body then a couple of right hooks. Green doing some stance switching now. Green forces a clinch on the fence and starts fence wrestling. They jockey for position, Green gets a takedown but Rowe comes up with a body lock and takes Green down right into full mount. Rowe is trying to set up an arm triangle, he loses the mount because he’s trying so hard for it and winds up in north-south. Back into full mount for Rowe and he lands an elbow. Green is able to spin for a leg entanglement but can’t get much out of it and Rowe is back on top in half guard. Rowe technically gets the back, he’s after an armbar from the back but Green slips free and gets a standing arm triangle as they clinch back up. Green forces things down holding the choke but loses the arm as Rowe moves around and stands again. Now Green thinks about switching to a guillotine but can’t find it and they end the round fighting in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rowe

ROUND TWO: Green cracks Rowe with a punch early and gets on top in his full guard. Rowe back up but Green hits him with another couple of rights. Green is forcing a brawl now, Rowe needs to get this back to a technical affair. Rowe takes a kick to the groin and we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay confirms the kick to the groin. After a little over a minute Rowe is good to continue. Green lands a hard right and he’s got Rowe hurt, he’s fighting in close but winds up clinched. They fight out of the clinch and Green lands a right punch to the groin so Rowe gets another break. There’s not a lot of controversy on this one either, the punch went into the groin clearly. Rowe takes about 50 seconds and we restart, I’m a little surprised the ref didn’t take a point after two of those. Green is pushing forward again looking to brawl, Rowe hits a flying knee and they clinch up. They jockey for position in the clinch. Some knees from Green and they break. Green lands a left, then a bit of a right. Rowe lands a straight right, Green just eats it but that was a flush punch. Leg kicks go back and forth. A few more punches in close for Green but Rowe is fighting long again now and lands a few punches. Green with a few swinging punches in close but he can’t keep Rowe from moving around. Leg kick from Green and Rowe loses his feet for a bit, Green jumps on top into his guard. Green moves to half guard and lands an elbow but Rowe is able to sweep into top position as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Green, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Another leg kick from Green and that left leg of Rowe is clearly hurt. Rowe goes southpaw. Green pressing forward, and walks into a takedown. Rowe moves towards half guard, Green with a leg entanglement, he tries to force his way up but Rowe sticks to him and retains top position. Full mount now for Rowe. Rowe moves to north-south while trying to attack an arm, Green almost has his back actually but winds up just hip escaping to half guard. Rowe stands, then goes back into the half guard and lands an elbow. Back into the full mount for Rowe, Green is able to force a scramble off of the fence and is up then lands an elbow as they break. Some forward pressure from Green, he’s swinging and looking to land another leg kick. Green lands another leg kick and Rowe drops, Green engages on the ground with him and Rowe comes up in the clinch. Elbow from Green in the clinch, they break and he lands another leg kick. Rowe tries to clinch, Green avoids it and lands another leg kick then sprawls away from a takedown attempt. That position is where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rowe but this one could go either way, 29-28 Rowe overall

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

30-27 is a little bogus, I thought Rowe had the first but I don’t object to Green winning overall. Green gets an interview, he notes the long layoff and general inactivity he’s been dealing with but felt a lot better there than in his UFC debut. Rogan asks about his decision not to keep hacking the leg in the third he says he wanted to be a nice guy since Rowe is such a good dude and he didn’t want to hurt him too badly but acknowledges it wasn’t the smartest thing. To close he shouts out a few businesses and people.

That closes the early prelims, the next set of prelims will be on both ESPN and ESPN+.

Andre Ewell has a solid UFC record of 4-2, he’s on his first promotional winning streak now and is hoping to start making his way up the crowded bantamweight division. Chris Gutierrez hasn’t lost in his last four fights and is hoping to make a case for himself as a notable bantamweight with another win here. Gutierrez is the -135 favorite to +115 for Ewell.

Catchweight Bout: Andre Ewell (17-6, 138.5 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (15-4-2, 140 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gutierrez is an inch taller while Ewell has a whopping eight inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Ewell fighting southpaw. Gutierrez is switching his stance and looking to press Ewell back. A lot of forward motion from Gutierrez but neither man is landing a whole lot yet. Gutierrez lands a body kick. Bit of an intercepting knee from Gutierrez. Ewell eats a leg kick and lands a body shot in return. Bit of an overhand left from Ewell. Gutierrez is showing more leg kicks but neither man has yet landed a whole lot. Bit of a body kick from Gutierrez. Some jabs to the body from Ewell, Gutierrez lands another body kick. Gutierrez punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Some knees to the leg and body from Gutierrez and Ewell spins free, Ewell has a small cut around the outside edge of his right eyebrow. Ewell lands a couple of body shots. Head kick from Gutierrez badly hurts Ewell, they start swinging in close quarters, both men land and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gutierrez

ROUND TWO: Gutierrez coming forward again, he lands a bit of an inside leg kick. Left hook kick from Gutierrez lands to the face. Ewell lands another straight to the body then an inside leg kick. Hard leg kick from Gutierrez lands. Ewell falls short on a few punches, but then lands a front kick to the body. Another bit of a leg kick from Gutierrez, but we’re back to neither man really finding sustained success. Gutierrez lands a front kick to the body, then a leg kick. Ewell fires a combination and is the one coming forward. Gutierrez lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Gutierrez, there’s some visible discoloration on the calf of Ewell. Ewell lands a long left after they clash on kicks. Ewell avoids a few low kicks, then partially eats a high kick. Left to the body from Ewell. Gutierrez lands a front kick to the body. Both men land punches, Ewell the catches a kick and gets a takedown. Ewell starts sitting back for a leg lock, he’s after the heel hook but Gutierrez gets his knee line safe and rolls on top as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men probing with punches, then Gutierrez lands a couple of kicks. Hard inside leg kick from Gutierrez and Ewell is switching his stance more. Gutierrez lands a spinning back kick to the body, then a bit of a wheel kick as Ewell is circling away. A couple of body shots from Ewell. Gutierrez lands a body kick then an inside leg kick. Another kick and a right from Gutierrez has hurt Ewell. Gutierrez is pushing forward, misses a wheel kick but he’s not giving Ewell time to recover. Ewell eats a head kick, Gutierrez is all over him now but they wind up clinched. Gutierrez pulls free and lands a front kick to the body. Another leg kick from Gutierrez but he misses a wheel kick. Ewell tries to fire back but Gutierrez with a series of leg kicks. Gutierrez lands a hard inside leg kick, then a left hook and another leg kick. Ewell is still game, he lands a jab. Both men miss lefts then Gutierrez lands a leg kick. Ewell avoids a wheel kick. Calf kicks from Gutierrez, then a jumping kick off of the fence. Ewell forces a clinch, tries a takedown but Gutierrez reverses that the land on top in full mount. Gutierrez rolls for a triangle choke as the clock winds down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Chris Gutierrez via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)

I don’t object to a 10-8 for Gutierrez in the third, he’s a definite budding contender for bantamweight. Mic time for Gutierrez, he notes he threw a superman punch into a flying kick off the fence at one point then talks about the third round, a lot got cut off for censorship reasons. Gutierrez is nearly in tears, and says his coach told him to stop being a bitch and get after it in the third round and he’s grateful for the tough love. He talks about wanting to be an inspiration for a lot of people, especially his son, to close.

Polyana Viana just broke a three fight losing streak by beating Emily Whitmire, she’s hoping to get her first UFC winning streak up and running. Mallory Martin has gone 1-1 in the UFC but she is coming off of a win and is also looking for that first UFC winning streak. Martin is a slight favorite at -125 to +105 for Viana.

Strawweight Bout: Mallory Martin (7-3, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Polyana Viana (11-4, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Viana is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Both women with some punches early. Viana is trying to establish her jab, Martin moving well and lands a left hook. Body kick from Viana but Martin catches it and gets a takedown into full guard. Some really small punches from both women but both are more looking for a positional opening. Viana throws up a triangle choke, the legs are locked up and she starts landing elbows. Viana can’t quite turn the angle to really finish it but she’s landing elbows and trying to force this. Martin is trying to walk forward to the fence, she’s finding minor openings to keep from being choked. Viana switches to an armbar, it takes a few adjustments but she finally does get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Polyana Viana via Submission, armbar, at 3:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Viana for her work this evening. Viana and her translator get an interview, Rogan first asks about the viral story from a few years ago about her beating up a would be mugger in Brazil and she’s grateful to have inspired a lot of women to take up self defense. She talks us through the finish then gives thanks to close the interview.

This isn’t the finish, but it is a nice triangle attack from Viana that basically set up everything else.

You can kind of see the transition here, Viana switches from the triangle to attacking the arm and is able to switch all the way to the armbar and after one last Hail Mary attempt from Martin later she has to tap.

Belal Muhammad has secured a top fifteen ranking with his current three fight winning streak, in fact he’s 7-1 in his last eight fights only dropping to Geoff Neal. Muhammad is hoping to defend his ranking and possibly get a shot at someone higher ranked for his next fight. Dhiego Lima is currently on a three fight winning streak but the last two have been split decisions, he’s hoping for the biggest win of his career if he can unseat the ranked Muhammad. The odds are firmly with Muhammad at a prohibitive -490 while Lima’s comeback sits at +370.

Welterweight Bout: Dhiego Lima (15-7, 171 lbs.) vs. #13 Belal Muhammad (17-3, 169.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lima has three inches of height and reach over Muhammad. Muhammad coming forward early, both men probing with punches. Lima lands a punch, but Muhammad forces a clinch and Lima forces him away. Muhammad reaches with a one two, Lima tries a counter hook but might have poked Muhammad in the eye. There isn’t much of a break and Muhammed is coming forward again. Lima with a counter left hook. A couple of body shots from Muhammad. Bit of a body kick from Muhammad and he takes a counter punch in return. Lima lands a calf kick. Some stance switching from Muhammad now, he’s mostly orthodox but will go southpaw for kicks. Lima lands another calf kick, then another. Both men paw with lefts, then Muhammad lands a right to the body. Right from Muhammad. Both men land some jabs. Muhammad lands an over hand right, but Lima counters with another calf kick. Those kicks are adding up, and Muhammad shoots a double leg but they stall out on the fence and Lima quickly forces a break. Straight right from Lima snaps the head of Muhammad back. Another leg kick from Lima. Muhammad pushes forward and digs the body a few time, then lands a looping right. Lima blocks a spinning back fist but eats a couple of more body shots in the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Muhammad

ROUND TWO: Muhammad back to pressing forward. Lima is trying to get his jab going but he’s still struggling with the forward pressure of Muhammad. Both men land punches in close. They trade rights then Muhammad digs the body. Lima back to the leg kick. Muhammad tries another clinch but again Lima is able to force him off quickly. Looping right from Muhammad lands. Lima lands a straight right, then a hard calf kick. Another calf kick from Lima. They trade in close, and Lima punctuates the exchange with a leg kick. Both men land punches along the fence. Another exchange where neither man lands much. Lima with another leg kick but Muhammad is still coming forward. Body shot and then a cross from Lima, and a leg kick again. Muhammad lands a straight left. Another double leg attempt from Muhammad, he winds up slipping around to the back and holding a rear waist lock but still can’t get Lima down. Lima forces the clinch to break then lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Lima. More leg kicks from Lima, they’re adding up big time now. Muhammad forces a clinch, and that’s where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Muhammad but could go the other way, 20-18 Muhammad overall

ROUND THREE: Muhammad coming forward, but Lima kicks him in the leg again. Lima is falling behind numerically, he’s landing alright but can’t seem to sustain offense. There’s apparently an eye poke to Muhammad, he doesn’t want a long break and we’re back fighting quickly. Lima lands a leg kick, Muhammad forces a clinch and slips towards the back but can’t get a takedown. Lima forces a break, and Muhammad is back to being in his face. Muhammad lands a right. Stiff jab from Muhammad. Bit of a right from Lima but he’s wilting. Another double leg attempt from Muhammad, but again Lima defends then lands a body kick. Both men land punches in close, but again the pace of Muhammad is winning the day. They both punch in close, and Muhammad lands a right as he pulls back. Another right from Muhammad, then a stiff one two. Lima tries a single leg but Muhammad defends. Body shot from Lima. Lima lands a left to the body after taking a right. Muhammad tries another takedown, and yet again they stall out then separate. Lima lands a body kick. Muhammad tries another double leg, finally gets it along the fence this time. Lima turtles up, and wall walks as Muhammad jumps to his back with both hooks in. Some hammer fists and elbows from Muhammad, and he’ll ride out the round in that position.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Solid performance from Muhammad, it’s time to get that man a shot at someone ranked in the top ten with his winning streak. Mic time for Muhammad, he says he’s happy but he really wanted a finish and the calf kicks really sucked to take. He mentions those kicks were a big factor, but he felt good about his stance switching in this fight and he’s been trying to implement more of it into this style. He says a lot of his style is based on breaking people down, but he’s working on becoming a faster starter as he feels that’s been a weakness in his game. To close he says he wants to fight Li Jingliang who’s ranked right above him. I’m down for that fight.

Rodolfo Vieiera is undefeated in MMA and is one of the finest jiu-jitsu practitioners of his generation, he’s won both of his UFC fights and if he’s going to make a legitimate run at the top of this sport as well he can ill afford a set back here. Anthony Hernandez has gone 1-2 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, and while he’s coming off of a loss he’s trying to avoid what would be his first ever losing streak. Vieira tied for biggest favorite on the card at -490 to +370 for Hernandez.

Middleweight Bout: Anthony Hernandez (7-2 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (7-0, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Hernandez has two inches of reach over Vieira. Vieira coming forward early, he uses a single leg to switch to a double leg and gets Hernandez down with relative ease. Half guard for Vieira now, he gets the back as Hernandez tired to turtle and wall walk. Vieira is after the choke, Hernandez gives up mount to avoid that choke. There’s another arm triangle choke attempt from Vieira, Hernandez gets his arm back for a moment. Vieira just keeps trying to attack that arm triangle, now he postures up and punches then goes for the armbar as Hernandez tries to stand free. Vieira loses the armbar and tries to roll Hernandez, Hernandez back up on the fence but Vieira takes him down again. Hernandez is trying to wall walk again, Vieira lands rights as he does so and keeps the clinch. Vieira tries another single leg but can’t secure it, though he does keep the clinch. Bit of a left from Vieira as they break. Hernandez is coming forward with punches, he lands a few flush punches but Vieira clinches him. There’s a choke threat from Hernandez, Vieira rolls free and forces a clinch but can’t keep it. Hernandez avoids a takedown attempt and lands a punch. A right and an uppercut from Hernandez, he sprawls from a takedown and lands punches. Vieira is dead tired as they break. Left hook from Hernandez, then another punch but Vieira gets a takedown to stall that. There’s technically an inverted triangle for Hernandez but he wont get a finish with that and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hernandez

ROUND TWO: Vieira after a clinch immediately, and gets a takedown along the fence. Hernandez is trying to wall walk, Vieira tries to get the back but has no hooks and loses it. Vieira tries to keep engaged, he nearly pulls guard but Hernandez fires punches while moving away from the bad position. Head kick from Hernandez as they stand. Both men land punches but Vieira is dead tired. Hernandez with a knee to the body and elbows in the clinch. Vieira tries to pull guard but Hernandez jumps for a seated arm triangle choke, he holds and squeezes and forces Vieira to tap. Not sure how much was fatigue or the choke, but either way the man tapped Vieira and that’s amazing.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Hernandez via Submission, seated arm triangle choke, at 1:53 of Round 2

Apparently Hernandez was something like 30-1 to win via submission. Mic time for Hernandez, who knew he’d win but a lot of what he says got censored though he comes back hoping that earned him a stripe on his BJJ purple belt. I would certainly hope. He says he never felt more ready for a fight and puts over his coaches. He says Vieira didn’t feel as strong as he expected and he just had to stay calm and work through the positions. Again he winds up censored, is not swearing that hard people? He says Vieira’s jiu-jitsu credentials don’t mean as much in MMA and he was focused on just winning.

John Danaher calls this the seated arm triangle and so do I at this point, because trying to go over the nuance of why this isn’t either a no arm guillotine or different from the traditional arm in guillotine is tiring. Hernandez uses the assassin ride, locks up his hands and then drops to lock in the choke. Truly wonderful stuff in general and even more impressive considering who he’s pulling it off on.

That wraps up the prelims, on to PPV for the main card. The PPV opens with a graphic in memory of Leon Spinks, the former boxing heavyweight champion who passed away recently.

Maki Pitolo has gone 1-3 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight losing streak, while Pitolo has had engaging fights thus far a three fight losing streak would be a terrible career set back. Julian Marquez has gone 1-1 in the UFC but more troubling is his layoff as his last fight was that loss back in July of 2018. Marquez is hoping to avoid his first ever losing streak and remind everyone that he’s a prospect to pay attention to. Despite the layoff Marquez is -175 favorite to +145 for Pitolo.

Middleweight Bout: Julian Marquez (7-2, 185 lbs.) vs. Maki Pitolo (13-7, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marquez is four inches taller while Pitolo has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Pitolo fighting southpaw and comes out hard with kicks and punches, we get a bit of a brawl before they clinch up. There’s some positional jockeying along the fence, Pitolo with an uppercut and elbows then hits a double leg along the fence. Marquez gets half guard and is looking to set up a wall walk. Pitolo is keeping Marquez down with a half nelson to break his posture. Some lefts from Pitolo. Marquez to his knees, Pitolo moves towards the ride position but Marquez winds up on his feet. Pitolo is after some mat returns but hasn’t quite hit one yet. Marquez can’t shake free of Pitolo but does get chest to chest. Some short lefts from Marquez but he’s still pinned on the fence. Whizzer kick from Marquez off balances Pitolo, he grabs a standing guillotine but can’t quite finish it and Pitolo keeps Marquez on the fence. Some knees go back and forth, then Marquez lands an elbow and a right hand as they break. Front kick from Pitolo will be the final blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pitolo

ROUND TWO: Some jabs from Marquez, Pitolo lands a left hook. Both men probing with the left. Marquez is coming forward now, lands a bit of a right. Both men land lefts and rights. Pitolo digs the body, and Marquez tries a body kick but that seems to have gone low so we’ve got a timeout. Replay doesn’t quite confirm, it wasn’t a bad one and we’re back to fighting. Both men swing and land, then they clinch up and engage in some fence wrestling. Marquez on the fence and Pitolo slips to his back again then trips Marquez down. Marquez wall walks, Pitolo hitting mat returns and keeping control. Elbow from Pitolo, he tries to drop down but Marquez grabs a front choke, looks to switch to a ninja choke but loses it briefly. Marquez adjusts the choke, Pitolo rolls to his knees to avoid the choke and is turtled up. Punches from the ride position from Marquez, but he winds up slipping off as Pitolo stands. Pitolo on top in half guard. Full mount for Pitolo, he starts landing body shots from there and trying to set up an arm triangle. Marquez hip escapes to half guard. More body work from Pitolo, he’s nearly back into full mount as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men showing jabs, then Pitolo lands a calf kick. Marquez is pushing forward and looking to punch. Both men land rights. Left hook from Pitolo but Marquez just eats it. Pitolo lands another calf kick, that one hurt. Marquez lands a right. Another right from Marquez in close, he’s got Pitolo on the fence and is looking to unload. Both men land punches again, then Marquez lands a body kick. Spinning elbow from Marquez, then a knee on the fence. Marquez is in full on zombie mode trying to stalk down Pitolo. Pitolo grabs a single leg and spins Marquez down along the fence. Marquez is trying to wall walk, Pitolo gets his back with one hook and starts looking for the choke. Pitolo is really after the choke but loses the hooks and Marquez gets free and moves to his back with punches. More punches from the ride position for Marquez as Pitolo wall walks but he’s still clinched. Pitolo gets Marquez on the fence and is after a single leg but Marquez defends and slips free. Another clinch, Marquez tried a flying nothing. Pitolo has slipped to the back again but again can’t make anything of it and Marquez punches him in the pocket. More punches from Marquez and a knee, Pitolo with a desperate double leg that stalls out on their knees. Marquez tries to wrap up an anaconda choke, he’s got it locked up and Pitolo taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Julian Marquez via Submission, anaconda choke, at 4:17 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Marquez for his work this evening. Wild fight, sloppy at times but pretty much all action al the time. Mic time for Marquez, Rogan calls the fight a slobberknocker and he approves of that. He says he wasn’t surprised by anything Pitolo did, he expected him to bring the heat but he felt a little flat early and had to find it. Marquez says he’s from Kansans City, home of the loudest arena in the country and wants to virtually figure out which city is the loudest with a city, country, and state hashtag to determine who “makes the most noise”. Decent shill from Marquez there. Rogan gets things back on track talking the fight, Marquez says he knew he needed a finish and never gave up on himself. To close he says he’s been waiting 31 months to get on the mic like this, and then asks Miley Cyrus to be his Valentine, and says he’s about to go shave his head since he lost a bet.

Ricky Simon is on a two fight winning streak and is overall 5-2 in the UFC, he’s hoping to crack back into the top fifteen if he can get three in a row again. Brian Kelleher is 3-1 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a win and is looking for one of his higher profile wins if he can take out Simon here. Both men are normally bantamweights but this fight came together on short enough notice that this one will be at featherweight. Simon is the favorite at -250 to +195 for Kelleher.

Featherweight Bout: Brian Kelleher (22-11, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (17-3, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Simon has three inches of reach advantage. Both men come out and Kelleher lands a leg kick. Some lead hand work from both men, Simon feints in and gets a double leg into full guard. Elbow from Simon. Kelleher to his knees trying to get up and Simon jumps to his back and they scoot to the fence. Simon winds up on top, Kelleher wall walks but somewhere in that exchange he got cut around the right eyebrow. Simon is on the back landing knees to the thigh and working for a mat return. Kelleher wall walks, tries a guillotine but Simon get the takedown and moves to half guard. Simon is after an arm triangle, he’s still stuck in half guard but he’s got the position set up. Kelleher gets his head free, he starts looking for a kimura sweep but Simon gets his arm free and spins to the back. Back up and Kelleher gets free. Simon coming forward, that cut on Kelleher is in a bad spot. Leg kick from Kelleher. Double leg tackle from Simon into the full guard. Simon passes to half guard and he’s after the arm triangle again. Kelleher gets his arm free, he’s after a guillotine but can’t get it and has to kick Simon free then stand. Simon has a high kick blocked then eats a leg kick. Another calf kick from Kelleher lands. Some leg kicks go back and forth. Bit of a right from Kelleher, that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon

ROUND TWO: That cut on Kelleher is vertical, right on the inside of the eyebrow by the bridge of the nose and rather large. It could be a fight ender if it gets worse. Kelleher feinting, lands a leg kick and Simon responds with a left to the body. Simon lands a jab. Kelleher lands a front kick to the face. Another left to the body from Simon lands. Left hook from Kelleher stuns Simon for a second. Bit of a body kick from Kelleher. Simon has a right blocked. Another front kick to the face from Kelleher, Simon takes him down off of it though and Kelleher scrambles back up quickly. Leg kick from Kelleher. Both men block punches. Simon lands a right. Kelleher lands a calf kick, partially checked. Both men check some calf kicks, that hurts me just looking at it. Simon dives for a double leg, Kelleher tries a guillotine to threaten him off but they wind up on the fence and Kelleher is sitting on the mat. Kelleher looking to wall walk, Simon into the ride position but he can’t keep Kelleher down but he does retain the clinch. Some knees are traded, Simon is working short punches before they break. Right from Simon lands. Bit of a left from Kelleher. A body kick from Kelleher lands just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon but I wouldn’t object to giving it to Kelleher, 20-18 Simon overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men working the lead hand again. Leg kick from Simon. Bit of a jab from Kelleher. Simon misses some elbows but lands a leg kick. Kelleher misses a spinning attack and Simon gets his back standing and drives them into the fence. Kelleher gets chest to chest and spins Simon to the fence. Simon spins Kelleher and starts working his fence wrestling game. Simon drops for a double leg, Kelleher tries to guillotine him but loses it and he winds up on bottom. Half guard now for Simon. Kelleher is fishing for a kimura, Simon uses that to scramble towards north-south but Kelleher wall walks. Simon still has the clinch, Kelleher can’t find the guillotine and Simon slips behind him then hits a mat return. Back up, Kelleher is trying to scramble but Simon is keeping him pinned on the fence. They break with a spinning attack from Simon. Kelleher lands a calf kick then misses a front kick to the face. Jumping front kick to the chest from Kelleher, and they feint away the final seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ricky Simon via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Simon might be a tad one dimensional in his offense, but he’s a serious problem for most of that division to handle. Simon gets an interview, he says the fight and camp was tough and details his crazy schedule recently. He talks a bit about fighting at featherweight and having this quick turnaround, and jokes that he’s tired. To close he thanks his team for all of their support and his family as well.

Kelvin Gastelum has long showed the potential to compete at the top of the division and has still given champion Israel Adesanya his toughest fight in the UFC, but he’s currently on a three fight losing streak and finds himself at a crossroads fight tonight where a win could rehab his career while a loss could be crippling. Ian Heinisch has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and now has a chance to score the biggest win of his career while launching himself towards a top ten ranking. The odds are with Gastelum at -225 while Heinisch’s comeback sits at +175.

Middleweight Bout: #9 Kelvin Gastelum (15-6 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. #15 Ian Heinisch (14-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Heinisch is two inches taller and has half an inch of reach over Gastelum. Southpaw for Gastelum. Heinisch lands an inside leg kick. Double leg from Heinisch and Gastelum back up immediately then granby rolls through and gets the clinch on the fence. Single leg from Gastelum, Heinisch grabbed a kimura on the way down though and is selling out to try and get it. Gastelum gets his arm free and lands punches as Heinisch gets to his knees. Gastelum into the ride position as they stand and he keeps the clinch. Heinisch avoids a mat return but gets tripped down and is after the kimura again. Gastelum is technically in full mount, Heinisch is after that kimura but at best he’s hoping for a sweep and wont even get that as Gastelum gets his arm free. Some elbows from Gastelum, Heinisch kicks off of the fence and gets free then separates. Both men land some punches, then Gastelum lands an inside leg kick. Head kick from Heinisch is partially blocked. They clinch up and hit the fence again. Gastelum working the body in close as he’s got Heinisch on the fence. Double leg from Gastelum, Heinisch bounces back up but Gastelum is on his back technically. Another mat return from Gastelum, and again Heinisch bounces up in the clinch. Bit of a back elbow from Heinisch, Gastelum lands a left and they break. Gastelum lands a body kick. Both men land rights, then they miss head kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum

ROUND TWO: Both men feinting as the round starts. Gastelum lands a couple of body kicks, Heinisch responds with an inside leg kick and a right hand. They clash on kicks, then Gastelum misses a kick. Bit of a right from Heinisch. Jumping knee from Heinisch lands flush but Gastelum just eats it and gets a double leg into half guard. Some elbows from Gastelum and he looks to pass to side control. Heinisch to his knees, then back up but he’s still in the clinch. Elbow from Gastelum and they break. Gastelum lands a jab, Heinisch lands a body kick then an inside leg kick. They clinch up again, and Gastelum is keeping Heinisch on the fence. Gastelum is doing a good job of fence wrestling, sneaking in little bits of damage here and there. They break apart and Heinisch starts coming forward with punches. Both men land power hand shots. Gastelum lands a left. Bit of a right from Heinisch. Heinisch lands a body kick. Gastelum avoids a punch and gets a clinch into the fence. They’ll ice the round in that position.

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

ROUND THREE: Heinisch comes out looking to kick, Gastelum lands an inside leg kick. They both land in close but Heinisch avoids a clinch. Right elbow from Heinisch lands. Double leg from Heinisch but Gastelum scrambles right back up then puts Heinisch on the fence. Gastelum slips around to the back and works knees to the thigh. A few punches from Gastelum as they break. Body kick from Heinisch is caught and Gastelum lands a knee to the body before he gets it back. Gastelum lands a jab, then a bit of a left. Right from Heinisch lands. Another jumping knee from Heinisch lands but Gastelum takes him down off of it into side control. Heinisch granby rolls through and gets the back of Gastelum with both hooks in. Gastelum is trying to roll and break the position but Heinisch is maintaining it. Some punches from Heinisch trying to open up the choke. Gastelum keeps trying to scramble, and he’s able to spin into Heinisch’s guard. Heinisch wall walks, then granby rolls out of the clinch. Another clinch, Gastelum lands knees to the body then breaks. Heinisch lands a right to the body, tries to score a double leg and they scramble around back into the clinch. Both men punch as they break the clinch. Heinisch with a double leg, he mounts the legs and lands punches as Gastelum stands. A double leg from Gastelum closes out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Heinisch, 29-28 Gastelum overall

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

Much needed win for Gastelum there. Mic time for Gastelum, he’s very happy about the win and notes he hasn’t won in about 3 years and getting up for fights over and over after all those losses is hard. He talks about working hard on his wrestling and getting back to that part of his game, thanks his coaches for their work. Asked what he’d like next he’s looking at Whittaker vs. Costa and promises to be ready to sub in for either of them if something happens. To close the dedicates the win to his family back home.

Maycee Barber has gone 3-1 in the UFC but she’s coming off of not only her first loss but a pretty bad knee injury to boot when she lost to Roxanne Modafferi in January of last year. If Barber wants to keep her goal of becoming the youngest champion in UFC history alive she cannot afford a second loss here. Alexa Grasso has traded wins and losses while going 4-3 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win though and could get not only her first UFC winning streak going but possibly secure a spot in the top tend rankings. The odds are close but favor Grasso at -125 to a +100 payout on Barber.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #10 Maycee Barber (8-1, 126 lbs.) vs. #15 Alexa Grasso (12-3, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Grasso has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Barber. Barber showing the jab early, way out of range but she’s showing. Bit of an inside leg kick from Grasso. Grasso lands a left then a leg kick. They trade power hand punches and clinch up. Grasso gets Barber on the fence, they spin a few times and Barber winds up holding Grasso on the fence. Another reversal from Grasso, they’ve both landed some knees to the body and leg. More knees from Grasso then they break. Grasso showing a few stance switches now, as is Barber. Right then a left hook from Grasso both land flush. Barber rushes into a clinch but Grasso gets her on the fence. They jockey for position a bit, Grasso is defending the takedown and landing short blows. Knees are traded as Grasso gets Barber on the fence again. Elbow from Grasso lands then a knee as Barber switches things on the fence. More knees are traded during the positional battle, Grasso is getting the better of these as a general rule. Elbow from Barber on the break, then Grasso lands a left. Body kick from Grasso then she avoids some punches. Right from Grasso, Barber with a right of her own then Grasso with another right and they clinch. Grasso has Barber on the fence again and works knees to the leg and body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grasso

ROUND TWO: A couple of rights from Grasso to start the round. Barber misses some punches and a kick, then eats a straight right. Leg kick from Grasso then a left hook. Looping left from Grasso lands. Barber misses a high kick. Barber has no feel for the distance and that’s letting Grasso start to pick her apart. Hard right then a left hook from Grasso stuns Barber. Barber forces a clinch but Grasso is working short elbows on the fence. Some knees from Grasso, Barber lands an elbow and they trade on the break. Barber forces another clinch, she doesn’t seem to have an answer for Grasso’s better technique. Grasso gets Barber on the fence and they start trading knees again. They break without incident. Grasso lands a jab then a front kick. Barber with a bit of a right but she can’t find sustained success. Right from Grasso, Barber lands a body kick and gets a takedown. Grasso grabs an armbar and sweeps into top position and is on top in side control. A few shoulder strikes from Grasso, then she slips over and goes for an arm triangle but Barber gives up her back to avoid that. Both hooks in for Grasso, she’s after the choke still but I don’t think there’s enough time for her to finish. Barber will defend until the end of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Back to circling, Barber still showing the lead hand but from way too far out. Grasso misses a right. Grasso lands a leg kick. Counter right from Grasso lands then a left behind it. Barber lands a right and they clinch up on the fence again. Grasso has a body lock and lands some knees to the body. More knees to the body from Grasso, she’s controlling and damaging. Barber is able to get an inside trip into the full guard, she lands a few punches but Grasso wall walks. Knee from Barber then Grasso lands a right. Barber lands a right, she’s coming forward recklessly. Both women land punches then they clinch up again. Barber with a knee to the body, Grasso spins free and lands a left. Another left from Barber, then she dives for a takedown but Grasso defends and puts her on the fence. They start trading knees to the body again. Barber with an elbow, if nothing else she’s putting everything she has into this. Grasso spins her into the fence and starts in on the knees again. Barber lands a left as they break. Grasso avoids a wild punch. Counter combinations from Grasso land. Barber gets a takedown against the fence, Grasso wall walks and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barber, 29-28 Grasso overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexa Grasso via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Barber tried to make it ugly late but she fell too far behind in the first couple of rounds relative to the technical ability that Grasso showed and exploited. Mic time for Grasso, she mentions how hard she trained then thanks some people in both Spanish and Portuguese. She says she’s working on her total game and is trying to evolve, she wants to be a complete fighter and keep climbing the ranks. Rogan asks about her time at strawweight, she mentions she was smaller when she started and really liked the talent at strawweight but over time it became too difficult to maintain and she feels great at flyweight. To close she hopes to fight soon and thanks everyone again.

Gilbert Burns is on a six fight winning streak with the last four of those coming in the welterweight division. This fight marks his first UFC title shot, and a win would make him the first Brazilian welterweight champion in UFC history. Kamaru Usman has an absurd 16 fight winning streak that has seen him claim the UFC welterweight title and defend it twice. Usman is hoping to further extend his legacy as a champion and continue building his case as one of the best fighters on the planet and one of the best his weight class has ever seen. Usman is your favorite at -265 to +215 for Burns.

Welterweight Title Bout: (c) Kamaru Usman (17-1, 170 lbs.) vs. #1 Gilbert Burns (19-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Usman is two inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. Burns comes out and misses a right but he’s pressing forward. Body kick from Burns then a bit of a calf kick. Usman showing some stance switches, and eats a body kick. Right from Burns wobbles Usman, he’s all over him with punches now. Burns lands a calf kick then another right. Usman is still a little wobbled but Burns isn’t going crazy. Head kick from Burns mostly lands but he slips and Usman stands over him. They trade some leg kicks from this spot, Usman lands a right to the body. Burns still kicking at the knees, Usman with some leg kicks. Usman lands another right to the body, and Burns is back up and lands a knee then a right hand. Usman doesn’t like that and clinches but Burns lands knees and separates. Jab from Usman. Burns with a stiff jab. Usman lands a calf kick. Burns with an inside leg kick. Another knee to the body from Burns. Burns with a leg kick then a straight right. Usman seems a little immobile on the feet and Burns is clipping him. Another right and a knee from Burns. Usman with a jab, he’s improved that punch a lot since his last fight. Burns tries a takedown, Usman defends then has to block a high kick. Another combination from Burns, mostly successful. Usman with another jab, bit of a combination from Burns to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burns

ROUND TWO: Burns back to forward pressure with punches. Usman lands a jab. Another jab from Usman, that was a good one. Burns with a jab and an inside leg kick. They trade leg kicks then Burns lands a right to the body. Burns with a body kick, Usman counters with a left hook. Body kick from Burns then an inside leg kick. Right from Burns stuns Usman. Burns is backing Usman up, he lands a leg kick then a right. Usman with another stiff jab. Usman avoids a jab and lands a right that staggers Burns, Usman is looking to tee off and Burns stifles him with a takedown attempt. Another right from Usman lands. They trade some jabs, Burns is still a little shaky. Jabs from both stances now for Usman, Burns lands an inside leg kick. More jabs from Usman. Bit of a right from Burns, then a leg kick but Usman off balances him with a jab and is standing over him again. Usman makes Burns stand back up. Bit of a leg kick from Burns. Usman with another couple of jabs, Burns with a left hook inside. Straight right from Burns. Usman avoids a takedown attempt and they trade jabs again. A leg kick from Burns closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Usman, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Burns slowly pushing forward again, but he needs an answer to that jab. Leg kick from Burns, Usman lands a straight right that drops Burns. Usman stands over the fallen challenger, landing some punches, Burns tries to come up on the single leg but Usman punches him back down and forces the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Welterweight Champion – Kamaru Usman via TKO, punches, at :34 of Round 3

Heck of a performance from Usman, he overcame a tough first round and then picked Burns apart with straight punches. Mic time for the champ, he says this was a tough fight because of the gym situation and then puts over Burns building himself back up at welterweight and then puts over Burns again but Usman is the top level. He says he knew Burns hit hard and most of their sparring sessions were a little like this, Burns would buzz him with punches on the counter and he feels anyone else would be sleeping from those punches but he got back on his fundamentals and the rest is history. He talks about working the jab and being southpaw even when he was just under the Dutch kickboxing training, but Trevor Wittman helped him dial that in and instill the value of his jab into him. Again he mentions the history with Burns and calls this a tough one to do. Asked about the start of the fight he says he went eye to eye with Burns because he’s the man in that cage, it’s his cage and there’s no friends in there. He tells everyone to put some respect on his name. To close he brings up Masvidal again and says he’ll give Masvidal all the time he wants for a rematch and he’ll finish him.

That will wrap up UFC 258 everyone, thanks for reading. We’ll unpack all of the results from this card on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast plus we’ll be looking ahead to next week for UFC on ESPN+ 43 when Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis are scheduled to fight. I’ll be back next week for that event and I hope you will as well. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 258, Robert Winfree