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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Almeida Dominates Lewis

November 4, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 89 Image Credit: UFC

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET)
#9 Jailton Almeida (236 lbs.) vs. #10 Derrick Lewis (265 lbs.)
Gabriel Bonfim (170.5 lbs.) vs. Nicolas Dalby (170.5 lbs.)
Don’Tale Mayes (264 lbs.) vs. #15 Rodrigo Nascimento (264 lbs.)
Caio Borralho (186 lbs.) vs. Abus Magomedov (185 lbs.)
Armen Petrosyan (186 lbs.) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (185.5 lbs.)
Elves Brener (164 lbs.) vs. Kaynan Kruschewsky (165 lbs.) – 165-pound contract weight

#15 Rinat Fakhretdinov (170.5 lbs.) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (171 lbs.)
Modestas Bukauskas (205.5 lbs.) vs. Vitor Petrino (206 lbs.)
Denise Gomes (115.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Angela Hill (115.5 lbs.)
Montserrat Ruiz (114 lbs.) vs. Eduarda Moura (119.5 lbs.)*
Marc Diakiese (155 lbs.) vs. Kaue Fernandes (155 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 89, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. The UFC is back in Sao Paulo for the first time since 2019 and they brought a card that faced a ton of set backs. The original main event was Jailton Almeida taking on Curtis Blaydes but that fell apart a few weeks back with an injury to Blaydes and Derrick Lewis stepped in to replace him, fortunately despite getting arrested for speeding to the tune of roughly three times the speed limit in Houston last week he’s been able to make the trip. Almeida and Lewis might still have some title implications, assuming the heavyweight division ever really gets sorted out. As for other fights that fell apart, Ismael Bonfim missed weight by four and a half pounds and his fight with Vinc Pichel was canceled, Victor Hugo missed weight after filling in on short notice against Daniel Marcos and that fight fell through as well. Oh, and while Eduardo Moura missed weight by about four pound as well that fight’s going forward. We were also supposed to get Elves Brener and Esteban Ribovics but Ribovics had to withdraw less than a week out and in steps Kaynan Kruschewsky. Honestly this poor card, it’s taken a beating and wasn’t really exceptional to begin with. But there’s still a few things worth noting, Gabriel Bonfim and Nicolas Dalby is a fine co-main event, Caio Borralho is starting look like a rising force at middleweight, and Armen Petrosyan vs. Rodolfo Vieira seems like it’ll go dramatically one way or the other. Beyond that we’re hoping that what’s left of the card delivers on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 89 comes to the world from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Michael Bisping, and Dominick Cruz on commentary as well. Keep in mind that we’re in the bigger 30 foot cage, and I don’t think instant replay is really used but I’ll update if that’s changed should it come up.

After the fights falling through yesterday we’re in for a fair amount of vamping and video packages to start the broadcast.

Kaue Fernandes brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and has the chance to make a good first impression at the expense of a fighter who used to have a pretty bright future. Marc Diakiese has been with the UFC since 2016 but is just 2-4 in his last six fights and is on a two fight losing streak, he seemed to have some good upside back in 2017 but that’s fallen on pretty hard times lately and now he’s trying to avoid a three fight skid and prove he’s still worth his spot on the roster. The odds lean towards Diakiese at -200 to +165 for Fernandez.

Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (16-7, 155 lbs.) vs. Kaue Fernandes (8-1, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Diakiese is an inch taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Diakiese, no knee sleeves for him so the wrestling might not be on the table. Fernandes misses a head kick. A bit of stance switching from Diakiese as he moves forward. Fernandes keeps showing kicks to maintain distance. They clinch up, then Fernandes forces Diakiese into the fence. Lateral drop from Diakiese and he gets on top in full guard. A few short elbows from Diakiese as he’s got Fernandes stuffed against the fence. Fernandes tries an omoplata and uses that to scramble up into a clinch. Eventually the separate without incident. Fernandes keeps trying to work long. Diakiese misses a wheel kick and Fernandes gets a takedown but Diakiese quickly scrambles into top position. Full guard for Fernanes but there’s not a whole lot going on right now. A few body to head punches from Diakiese then he lands a left hand to the head. The round ends with Diakiese still on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Diakiese

ROUND TWO: Fernandes lands a jab then a leg kick. Body kick from Fernandes. Bit of a calf kick from Fernandes. Diakiese misses a left hand. Diakiese pushes forward for a double leg, they hit the fence and things stall out though. Some knees go back and forth as they jockey for position then they separate. Fernandes tosses Diakiese away from a poor takedown attempt. Bit of a body kick from Fernandes. Diakiese lands a left hand, Fernandes eats it but didn’t like it. Another left from Diakiese lands. Fernandes lands a leg kick when Diakiese goes orthodox, and Diakiese goes back to southpaw. Double leg from Diakiese stalls on the fence, Diakiese keeps after the takedown and eventually tips Fernandes over into full guard. A few short blows from Diakiese land. Fernandes is just kind of stuck here on his back and that’s where the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Both men with some feinting as the last round starts. Fernandes lands an inside leg kick. Calf kick from Fernandes, then another one. They trade power hand punches and Fernandes gets off balanced. Diakiese forces a clinch and they hit the fence. They fight free pretty quickly and reset. Right hand from Diakiese lands. Fernandes looks a little fatigued after all the wrestling. They clinch up, and Diakiese hits a takedown into half guard. Fernandes hip escapes to full guard, but he really needs to get up. Some body shots from Diakiese as he’s on top, Diakiese’s passing game is not present at all though. Diakiese is doing decent with his body to head punches but nothing major is landing, it’s just enough to keep the ref from getting involved. Diakiese finally passes to half guard and lands a couple of rights before Fernandes gets full guard back. Fernandes is able to fight to his feet but still clinched on the fence and then Diakiese lands a left hook to close the round.

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

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

I suppose if you squint really hard there’s an argument for Fernandes in the first two rounds but I don’t agree. Mic time for Diakiese and the translator, he apologizes for the performance and thinks he pulled a muscle early in the first round but would like to fight in Brazil again. He tried for the knockout, and thanks the crowd for being invested in the fight even though they were booing him, then he puts over his coaches for their work.

Eduarda Moura is undefeated coming into her UFC debut, but missed weight pretty badly and now needs a win to try and smooth that over while preserving her unbeaten record. Montserrat Ruiz has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, if she drops three in a row here it might spell the end of her time with the promotion. Moura is the biggest favorite on the card at -650 to a +370 comeback on Ruiz.

Strawweight Bout: Montserrat Ruiz (10-3, 114 lbs.) vs. Eduarda Moura (9-0, 119.5 lbs.)*

ROUND ONE: Moura is a significant six inches taller with a notable seven inches of reach advantage, plus she pretty badly missed weight. Ruiz comes out swinging and missing, she’s southpaw but can’t close the distance. Both women miss a lot of punches, then Moura pulls guard but immediately hits a sumi gaeshi to get on top in half guard. A few short hammer fists from top by Moura. Some more rights from Moura land, and Ruiz might have a small cut around her right eyebrow. The size different was obvious on the feet but it’s even more in play here, Moura is just squashing Ruiz. Moura into full mount, lands punches and Ruiz fights to get half guard but eats strikes along the way. Ruiz is gift wrapped but Moura bails on that to land punches. More punches from Moura then she moves to side control. Moura to the back, then lands more elbows as Ruiz keeps trying to roll. Ruiz fights to her feet but Moura is on her back and rides her back down to the mat into half guard. Moura drops more elbows from full mount. Ruiz gives up the back again and Moura just hits her from there as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Moura

ROUND TWO: Ruiz comes out and they both swing punches then Moura wobbles Ruiz with a right hand. Bit of a head kick from Moura. Ruiz misses a left hand. Bit of a right from Moura, then she hits a single leg into full guard. Moura starts landing elbows and punches while pushing Ruiz into the fence. More elbows from Moura. Ruiz tries to move her guard high but Moura easily passes to side control, then moves to full mount. Punches from Moura and that prompts the ref to intervene.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Eduarda Moura via TKO, punches, at 2:14 of Round 2

Total mismatch, absolute mauling from Moura the whole time. Mic time for Moura and the translator, she plays with the crowd and talks about her training then asks for a post fight bonus and I think calls out Diana Belbita, a lot of that went untranslated. She says this was a dream come true and again says she wants to fight Belbita, and apparently wants to get her to bark like a dog. OK then.

Here’s the finish, just a beating from start to finish.

Angela Hill has been around forever and almost all of her professional fights have happened in the UFC, she’s 2-4 in her last six fights, and that gets worse if we go back a little further as she’s 3-6 in her last nine fights. Hill just had a two fight winning streak snapped by Mackenzie Dern and now tries to avoid another losing streak. Denise Gomes has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak including upsetting the heavily favored Yazmin Jauregui in her last fight, now she’s trying for her highest profile win given Hill’s veteran status but if she does win it would likely put her in the top 15 ranks going forward. Close one here but the odds are with Gomes at -140 to +120 for Hill.

Strawweight Bout: Denise Gomes (8-2, 115.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Angela Hill (15-13, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hill has an inch of height and reach advantage, she’s also 15 years older. Both women bounce and feint early. Gomes has a kick blocked then Hill shoves her over and gets on top. Hill grabs a front headlock as Gomes stands, they wind up in a clinch and trade knees. More knees from Hill as she keeps Gomes on the fence. Gomes tries a foot sweep but badly mistimes it and winds up on her back again. Gomes quickly rolls to her knees, Hill tries to take the back but can’t get the hooks in and Gomes stands with Hill on her back. Bit of an elbow from Hill as they break the clinch. Hill avoids a hook then lands a front kick. They tie up, Gomes lands an uppercut then a foot sweep but hill quickly scrambles up, hits an uchi mata then they scramble up and free. Gomes lands a couple of rights and they tie up on the fence again. Knees go back and forth in the clinch then Hill lands an elbow. More knees to the body from Hill. Another elbow from Hill as they break. Gomes lands a body kick. Gomes lands a right hand then a knee in close and hits a trip to get on top. Quick armbar attack from Gomes, Hill tries to keep her arm safe but Gomes then lands hammer fists. Eventually Gomes gets into spiderweb but Hill slips free and gets on top after a scramble. Hill with some punches and elbow from on top, Gomes scrambles up to her feet as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Hill gets back to forward pressure right away. Gomes lands a right hand in a brief clinch. Hill lands a right hand. Another right from Hill. Bit of a head kick from Gomes. Another right from Gomes but Hill lands a couple of counters. They trade in close again, technique is going out the window pretty quickly here. Hill lands a left hook. Right hand from Hill lands. Gomes with an uppercut then they clinch up. Not much happens then they break. Bit of a right from Gomes. Spinning elbow from Hill partially lands. Hill things about a takedown, Gomes defends and they tie up again. Hill lands an elbow as they break. Gomes misses a couple of hooks, then lands a body kick. Hill lands a right hand, nearly gets a takedown but can’t secure it. Inside leg kick from Gomes then a couple of hard rights. They clinch and hit the fence again. Knees and an elbow from Gomes, then Hill lands a knee as they break. Gomes tries a wheel kick, terribly idea as Hill easily reads it and gets the back in a clinch. Takedown from Hill, Gomes wall walks but Hill keeps landing knees and elbows as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Gomes blitzes right away and looks to brawl, Hill obliges with kicks and a stiff jab. Hill forces a clinch, gets the back and drives things to the fence. Trip from Hill, Gomes is half using a double wrist lock to stand but gets stalled out on her knees. Hill with punches as Gomes wall walks. They start trading in the clinch again then Hill with a trip into the ride position. Gomes wall walks but she’s unable to get free as Hill keeps finding space to land offense. More knees from Hill to the body and head before Gomes gets chest to chest. Hill with another knee and an elbow then they break. Gomes looks to push forward but Hill grabs a single leg and takes her down into half guard. Hill moves to the ride position as Gomes moves to her knees. Gomes gets flattened out, but Hill is too high and Gomes kind of shucks her off and stands. They swing punches, Hill then lands a jumping knee and a right hand to close the round.

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

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

There’s an argument for Gomes stealing the first, but ultimately the right woman won. Mic time for Hill and the translator for the crowd, she plays with the crowd and tries Portuguese which doesn’t go great then puts over Gomes as someone who might be great in a few years. Asked what she’d like next she wants all the rematches but will fight anyone.

Vitor Petrino is undefeated including two wins in the UFC, he’s hoping to get that to three in a row here and prove he’s a prospect of note at light heavyweight. Modestas Bukauskas is on a two fight winning streak including two wins since returning to the UFC back in February, he’s hoping to get that to three in a row and prove he’s finally found his footing in the promotion. Petrino is your -250 favorite to +205 on Bukauskas.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Modestas Bukauskas (15-5, 205.5 lbs.) vs. Vitor Petrino (9-0, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bukauskas is an inch taller with half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Bukauskas goes southpaw pretty quickly, but is doing a lot of switching already. Leg kick from Bukauskas. Petrino blocks a body kick. Bit of a jab from Petrino. Petrino checks a leg kick. Glancing jab from Petrino then Bukauskas lands a calf kick. Bit of a left hook from Bukauskas. Petrino keeps trying head kicks that are blocked thus far. Both men miss punches in close. Petrino lands a few jabs, he’s starting to get a read on it. Bukauskas lands a leg kick but gets taken down, he quickly wall walks but Petrino hoists him up for a double leg and gets on top in full guard. Bukauskas tries to elevate and escape but Petrino reads it and passes to half guard. Pretty quick hip escape from Bukauskas and he’s got full guard back. Not a whole lot going on here, Petrino avoids a loose triangle attempt and lands a couple of punches. The round ends with Petrino still on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Petrino

ROUND TWO: Petrino fires a head kick, partially lands then Bukauskas lands a right hand. Bukauskas avoids a couple of jabs, then lands a one two. They trade lefts but Petrino’s ENDS Bukauskas and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Vitor Petrino via KO, punch, at 1:03 of Round 2

Mic time for Petrino and the translator, he wanted to get a finish so he could enjoy the experience with the crowd. He really wanted the knockout this time around and promised his coach he’d get a finish of some kind.

Really nice finish from Petrino, he gets a read on Bukauskas as Bukauskas had a few too similar entries and this time Petrino crushes him with a left hook.

Rinat Fakhretdinov is on a whopping 20 fight winning streak including being 3-0 in the UFC, he’s getting a step up in class here against a tough UFC veteran but if he’s able to extend this impressive run and defend his newly won ranking he should be fighting up in the ranks next time instead of down. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos has a stellar UFC record of 10-3 and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s trying to climb back into the rankings by breaking the ridiculous winning streak of Fakhretdinov. It’s not too surprising to see Fakhretdinov as a -340 favorite but +270 on dos Santos might be a tempting little value bet.

Welterweight Bout: #15 Rinat Fakhretdinov (21-1, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (24-7, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fakhretdinov has an inch of height and reach advantage. They hug to start. Fakhretdinov comes out with punches, dos Santos with a leg kick. Fakhretdinov with a left hook that drops dos Santos, he gets on top in full guard and starts looking for elbows. Dos Santos fights to tie up the arms but he’s struggling a bit. Fakhretdinov with some body shots as he’s got dos Santos stuffed into the fence. Dos Santos works to wall walk but Fakhretdinov is on his back as they stand. Knees to the leg from Fakhretdinov force dos Santos to a knee again. Fakhretdinov starts fishing for a choke, not much there as there’s not much control. More knees to the leg from Fakhretdinov, those are just mean. Eventually dos Santos is up and able to spin out of the clinch. Dos Santos misses a head kick. Fakhretdinov with a glancing right hand. Dos Santos misses a few punches, then Fakhretdinov checks a kick. Both men miss rights, then Fakhretdinov lands a left hook. Some stance switching from Fakhretdinov as he walks dos Santos down. Dos Santos lands a body kick. A calf kick from Fakhretdinov slightly off balances dos Santos, dos Santos had been trying a spin kick, as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fakhretdinov, might be a 10-8 argument to be had

ROUND TWO: Both men come out punching again, Fakhretdinov lands a right hand but dos Santos avoids a takedown attempt. Bit of a head kick from Fakhretdinov, dos Santos then lands a calf kick. Inside leg kick from Fakhretdinov but he misses the follow up punches. Both men land in close, but then they both miss as well. Dos Santos lands a body kick. They both swing wild in close. Bit of a right from Fakhretdinov then dos Santos lands a calf kick. The lack of technique from these two is kind of comical at this point, they’re just windmilling stuff at each other. Body kick from Fakhretdinov. Fakhretdinov with a jab, then a bit of a right in close. Dos Santos lands a jab, then Fakhretdinov lands a right. Inside leg kicks go back and forth then they both miss punches in close. Dos Santos lands a body shot. Bit of a chopping elbow from Fakhretdinov, then he hits a takedown against the fence. Dos Santos looks to wall walk, Fakhretdinov moves to the back as he’s on his knees though. Fakhretdinov lands a few short knees as dos Santos stands with Fakhretdinov on his back. Dos Santos finally breaks the grip of Fakhretdinov with a double wrist lock and they separate. Nothing of real value will happen before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Fakhretdinov pressures forward right away, per usual. Double leg from Fakhretdinov, dos Santos defends and they trade punches. Dos Santos tires a single leg, Fakhretdinov defends. Inside leg kick from dos Santos, Fakhretdinov responds with a jab then forces a clinch. They break without incident. Fakhretdinov walks forward, they trade jabs then both men miss punches. They tie up, dos Santos lands a knee but Fakhretdinov grabs at a single leg and they hit the fence. Dos Santos limp legs free and they reset. Both men land punches then dos Santos lands a knee. Front kick from dos Santos. Fakhretdinov lands a right hand. One two from dos Santos then a body kick. Fakhretdinov lands a left hook but dos Santos is chopping him down. Right hand then a back fist from Fakhretdinov. Bit of a left from Fakhretdinov. Dos Santos avoids a takedown but eats a knee. Body kick from dos Santos again. Fakhretdinov keeps coming forward and lands a left hook. Bit of a left from Fakhretdinov, dos Santos then lands a body kick. Another front kick from dos Santos seems to crumple Fakhretdinov, he gets after him on the mat and starts landing punches from top position. Fakhretdinov is on his knees, dos Santos is on his back looking to land punches. Both hooks in for dos Santos, he grabs at the choke but the choke isn’t in yet. Fakhretdinov spins into top position then they reset on the feet. Both men swing punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos, might be a 10-8 argument in there, 29-28 Fakhretdinov overall but this likely hinges on the second.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Majority DRAW (29-28 Fakretdinov, 28-28 x2)

Two judges went 10-8 for dos Santos in the third, which I don’t hate but is a tad generous. Pretty fun fight overall though, and no interviews after the fact.

We just get told that Rodolfo Vieira and Armen Petrosyan is off, Petrosyan fell ill in the back. Cursed card, but Elves Brener vs. Kynan Kruschewsky is now moved to the main card so we’ve got almost 20 minutes of vamping, commercials, and video packages on the broadcast before the main card starts.

Elves Brener has gone 2-0 in the UFC including a pretty big comeback win in his last fight, now he’s going for three in a row while proving he’s a rising force at lightweight. Kynan Kruschewsky took this fight on short notice, hence the catchweight, but he hasn’t lost in his last seven fights and has a chance to shock a lot of people with a win over Brener here. The odds are with Brener at -230 to +190 for Kruschewsky.

Catchweight Bout: Elves Brener (15-3, 164 lbs.) vs. Kaynan Kruschewsky (15-1 1 NC, 165 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kruschewsky is two inches taller with half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men probe with the lead hand early, then Brener lands a body kick. Another body kick from Brener. Brener with an inside leg kick then a right hook as he’s started playing around with stance switches. A few jabs from Kruschewsky land, he’s starting to push forward a little bit now. Kruschewsky with a left hook to counter a body kick. Both men land lead hand hooks, then they trade in close. Brener is settling more into southpaw at the moment, then goes orthodox. Right hand then a left hook from Brener, then a leg kick. Bit of a left hook from Kruschewsky. Front kick from Kruschewsky. Brener lands a body kick. Both men miss rights, then Brener misses a jumping kick and Kruschewsky lands a right hand. A right hand from Brener partially lands but the follow up left hand SLEEPS Kruschewsky, face down totally unconscious.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Elves Brener via KO, punch, at 4:01 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Brener for his work this evening. Mic time for Brener and the translator, he says he’s always wanted to fight in Sao Paulo then thanks Kruschewsky for taking the fight last minute. He says he’ll fight anyone but would like a top 15 opponent next.

Pretty violent finish here. Look at how Kruschewsky’s head bobbles, when you can get the snapping follow through force that rattles the brain like that they usually go out. Brener’s left hand lands just above and behind the ear, which is a nasty spot in general but combined with that snapping force and it forces the face plant.

Caio Borralho hasn’t lost in his last 13 fights including being 4-0 in the UFC, he’s started looking more and more like a rising contender in the division and another win here would further cement that he’s ready for ranked opposition next. Abus Magomedov stepped in on somewhat fairly shot notice to replace Nursulton Ruziboev, Magomedov lost his last fight when he was stopped in the second round by Sean Strickland and now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. All things considered it’s understandable that Borralho is the -280 favorite against a +225 comeback on Magomedov.

Middleweight Bout: Caio Borralho (14-1 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. Abus Magomedov (25-5-1, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Magomedov is four inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Borralho, and they touch gloves to get us going. Both men with some early feinting as they look for reads. Bit of a side kick to the knee from Borralho. Magomedov misses a right hand. Magomedov blocks a high kick. Bit of a one two from Borralho. Both men miss jabs. Magomedov is trying to walk forward but he’s struggling to really corral Borralho. Bit of a left from Magomedov. Body kick from Magomedov. Borralho lands a couple of leg kicks. Glancing right from Magomedov but he’s struggling to get close and really find the target. Borralho misses a right hook. Bit of a body kick from Magomedov then a jab behind it. Sharp jab from Magomedov, Borralho tries a double leg but Magomedov defends then misses a head kick. Borralho lands a jab, but takes an eye poke and we’ve got a time out. Replay confirms the poke and the doctor comes in to double check on Borralho. Borralho can continue, the doctor says there’s no injury and Magomedov apologizes before we restart after 1:20 of a break. Bit of a one two from Magomedov. Borralho avoids a couple of head kicks to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Magomedov but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Magomedov gets back to walking forward. Bit of a calf kick from Borralho. Magomedov lands a combination in close. One two from Borralho then a body kick behind it. The pressure from Magomedov might be getting to Borralho just a bit, he’s not great off the back foot thus far. A couple of jabs from Borralho land. Magomedov lands a hard jab of his own. The pace is picking up a bit now, Magomedov lands a body kick. Borralho lands a left to the body. Magomedov keeps pushing forward and misses a right hand. Some kicks are blocked on both sides. Bit of a front kick from Magomedov. They trade rights. Magomedov lands a right to the body, then misses a spinning back fist. Bit of a knee from Borralho then a stiff jab but Magomedov lands a body shot in response. They trade jabs again as the last relevant blows of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Borralho but another close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men come out with front kicks, then a bit of a right from Magomedov. Borralho with some jabs as he circles. Bit of a body kick from Borralho, then Magomedov lands a couple of punches. Some forward pressure from Borralho, and he lands a left hand. A few more punches from Borralho land. A left elbow from Borralho hurts Magomedov, Borralho pushes forward and misses a spinning attack. Magomedov is still on the back foot, and Borralho with a jumping knee that lands. Uppercut from Borralho and Magomedov sinks to the mat then grabs half guard. Magomedov wall walks to his knees, Borralho is on his back with one hook in and is looking for a choke. Both hooks in now for Borralho, and he goes to a body triangle. A few punches from Borralho land as the round ends.

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

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

Mic time for Borralho, he plays with the crowd first then puts over Magomedov. Asked what he wants next he wants Dricus du Plessis then he’s going for the title. I’d rather du Plessis fight for the title next but since the UFC doesn’t want that the call out from Borralho isn’t totally out of bounds.

Rodrigo Nascimento has gone 3-1 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s on a two fight winning streak but both of those have been split decisions and while it’s been enough to crack the heavyweight rankings one has to imagine he’d like a more definitive outcome to this fight. Don’Tale Mayes lost to Nascimento back in 2020 but he’s coming off of a win back in June and hopes to avenge that earlier career loss and begin building towards the top of the division. Since he already holds a win over Mayes it’s not surprising to see Nascimento as the -200 favorite but +165 for Mayes might tempt a few bettors out there.

Heavyweight Bout: Don’Tale Mayes (10-5 1 NC, 264 lbs.) vs. #15 Rodrigo Nascimento (10-1 1 NC, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mayes is four inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Both men feint early, Mayes tries a leg kick but Nascimento counters with a one two. Nascimento lands another right along the fence but Mayes is able to slip away and reset. Nascimento keeps trying to jab his way in close. Bit of a leg kick from Mayes, Nascimento then pushes close but nothing comes out of a brief clinch. Uppercut from Nascimento lands. Both men fall short with punches. Body kick from Nascimento. Mayes misses a couple of punches and Nascimento cracks him with a couple of punches. Left elbow from Mayes. They trade rights then tie up and punch out of a clinch. Double jab from Nascimento. Nascimento punches in close and wobbles Mayes with an uppercut before they clinch. Mayes with a knee then gets out of the clinch. Nascimento lands a right hand then they both miss and clinch. Nascimento hits a single leg but Mayes scrambles around to grab a front headlock as he wall walks. They trade knees in the clinch as Mayes gets Nascimento on the fence. Eventually they break and reset, both men look a little fatigued because they’re heavyweights. Inside leg kick from Nascimento. A lot of staring and feinting, Mayes tries an uppercut but eats a leg kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nascimento

ROUND TWO: Nascimento moves forward and is working leg kicks. Both men land rights, Mayes has started fighting southpaw now. Right hand from Nascimento stuns Mayes, then a head kick and he looks to unload but Mayes is swinging back at him and that gets Nascimento to back off. Double leg from Nascimento but he can’t finish it against the fence and they wind up clinched. Some knees from Nascimento but not much on them. Mayes with a knee then some short uppercuts. Nascimento punches out of the clinch then clinches back up. Some knees go back and forth before they break the clinch. Bit of a head kick from Nascimento. Nascimento lands a right hand. Both men land some punches in close. Things have slowed considerably. Mayes with a few elbows in close, Nascimento returns them and they start with more slow paced sloppy clinch work. They break and Mayes misses a kick, the fans have begun waving cell phones out of boredom. A lot of staring ends the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Mayes misses a couple of punches. Bit of a left hook from Nascimento. Glancing left hand from Mayes. Nascimento grabs a double collar tie and lands a knee to the head. Mayes misses a right hand. Short right from Nascimento. Mayes walks into a jab, but he then avoids a head kick. Nascimento misses a few punches. Leg kick from Nascimento. They clinch up and hit the fence. Nascimento lands a right uppercut as they break the clinch. Mayes misses a couple of punches. They clinch again, both men with some short uppercuts before they break. Mayes misses a few more punches, this is just a bad fight. Left hand from Mayes. They split jabs then get close and hit the fence in another clinch. They break without incident. Mayes misses a few punches as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mayes, 29-28 Nascimento overall

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

That sucked, but we’re struggling to fill time so Nascimento gets an interview. He puts over sponsors in English first then says he might have broken his right hand in the first round. He goes to Portuguese for a bit then back to English to ask for a new contract and a top 15 opponent. No one cares.

Gabriel Bonfim is undefeated including two wins in the UFC, he’s hoping to begin the difficult transition from prospect to contender. Nicolas Dalby is currently on a three fight winning streak and has only lost once since returning to the UFC back in 2019, if he can be the first man to defeat Bonfim it’ll be a decent feather in his cap and might earn him a shot at ranked opposition next. Bonfim is a big favorite at -575 while +425 on Dalby is a real tempting value bet.

Welterweight Bout: Gabriel Bonfim (15-0, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Nicolas Dalby (22-4-1 2 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bonfim is two inches taller and 12 years younger but Dalby has two inches of reach advantage. Both men come out swinging and both land. Bonfim lands a calf kick. Dalby pushes forward and lands a right hand. Hard leg kick from Dalby then a front kick to the body. Bonfim lands a calf kick then a right hand. Bit of a left from Dalby then he ties up and they hit the fence. Dalby with knees to the body as they fight for position. Eventually they break and Dalby gets right back to pressure and volume. Bonfim fires a head kick that’s blocked. Elbow from Dalby in close. Dalby has started doing some stance switching as he keeps coming forward. Another leg kick from Dalby. Bonfim lands a one two then a body kick. Both men work the jab, then Dalby pushes forward and misses a head kick. They split jabs then Dalby lands a calf kick. They tie up, Bonfim hits a body lock takedown into half guard. Bonfim looks to pass, and he does get to side control. Some short elbows from Bonfim land. Full mount now for Bonfim and he starts looking to land strikes. Dalby off balances Bonfim and Bonfim moves to a cradle for control. Elbows from Bonfim now as he’s in side control. Hammer fists from Bonfim and that basically ends the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bonfim

ROUND TWO: Dalby gets back to pressure and lands a leg kick. Bit of a one two from Dalby. Bonfim doesn’t like this and hits a double leg against the fence into side control. Dalby looks to wall walk, he’s upright but Bonfim hits a single leg into half guard. Bonfim has a Von Flue choke tightening up now as he moves to side control. Dalby gets his arm away from the head of Bonfim and avoids the choke. Dalby looks to come up on a double leg, Bonfim sprawls away and uses a power half nelson for control then moves to the ride position but Dalby wrestles up to his feet in the clinch. Knees from Dalby now as he’s got Bonfim on the fence and they break. Bonfim might be fading as they trade elbows in close. Dalby just wont stop coming forward and they clinch up, Dalby landing knees to the body. They break and Dalby continues pursuing Bonfim and making him work. Bonfim tries a double leg but Dalby defends and lands a couple of elbows then they trade in close. Lefts from Dalby then a knee, he might be melting Bonfim with pace and pressure. More knees from Dalby then a right hand. Bonfim is just hanging out on the fence because Dalby wont let him off. Left hook from Dalby in close, then Bonfim gets free but Dalby wont give him a minute to breathe. Dalby blocks a single leg and keeps unloading on Bonfim with knees and elbows. A knee drops Bonfim, Dalby is on top and lands punches until the ref jumps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nicolas Dalby via TKO, knees and punches, at 4:33 of Round 2

I said when I previewed this fight that Dalby was better than the odds indicated and they were asking for trouble with where it was set. Mic time for Dalby after that upset, he puts over the Brazilian fans then says the Brazilian fighters are lucky to have fans like that and thanks them for the atmosphere. He says he didn’t get cut badly but Bonfim was tough and he expected the fight that Bonfim gave him, but Dalby likes a high paced dog fight and he got the victory. He says he’s not invincible but when his mind is right he can fight with anyone, and he’d like a top 15 opponent next then advocates for a UFC event in Denmark.

Pace, pressure, violence, and experience all came to the fore here and Bonfim just melted under the onslaught from Dalby.

Jailton Almeida is on a 14 fight winning streak dating back to 2018 and includes being 5-0 in the UFC with all of those being finishes and only one getting out of the first round. Almeida is trying to position himself in the title picture while the mess at the top of the heavyweight division sorts itself out over the next months. Derrick Lewis just broke a three fight losing streak when he beat Marcos Rogerio de Lima but he’s still just 2-4 in his last six fights but he could get his first winning streak since 2021 up and running if he can upset Almeida tonight. The odds are solidly with Almeida at -485 but with the power Lewis has his +370 comeback might tempt a few bettors.

Heavyweight Bout: #9 Jailton Almeida (19-2, 236 lbs.) vs. #10 Derrick Lewis (27-11 1 NC, 265 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height and have the same reach but Lewis is about 30 pounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. Almeida with a front kick, but doesn’t follow immediately with the double leg yet. Southpaw for Almeida, he fires a head kick then tries a single leg and after a bit switches to a double leg and is able to get Lewis down into side control. Almeida moves to mount, Lewis gives up the back and Almeida tries an arm triangle choke as they scramble around. Lewis gets pulled away from the fence and Almeida is working for the choke but Lewis gets his arm out of danger but Almeida is still mounted. Almeida is struggling to get offense off, but does land a few punches before Lewis rolls and gives up the back. Both hooks in for Almeida, Lewis is able to spin into him and force a stand up but Almeida grabs a leg and trips him up then climbs back into full mount. Bit of an elbow from Almeida but he’s still not quite able to find reliably offense. Almeida tries an arm triangle again, he’s trying to crank it down and looks to pass to side control but he switches back to mount and Lewis is able to break the choke position. A few punches from Almeida land now as he’s back in full mount. Almeida lands a couple of more punches then Lewis scrambles up and lands some elbows as Almeida hits a double leg to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Almeida

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Lewis feints his way forward and then avoids a kick. Almeida avoids a jumping kick. Bit of a right from Lewis but Almeida gets on his hips and hits a double leg into full mount. Almeida moves to the back again. Arm triangle attempt from Almeida but Lewis easily defends as Almeida moves to mount again. Some short punches from Almeida but not much going on here despite having full mount. Lewis gives up the back while trying to explode, Almeida gets both hooks in and starts fishing for the choke. The lack of ground and pound from Almeida is becoming an issue as Lewis can just kind of hang out despite being in a bad position. Almeida keeps after the choke but can’t quite get under the chin. A few body shots from Almeida now as he’s getting frustrated by Lewis just not giving him anything. Some lefts to the head from Almeida to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Almeida but you could go 10-8 again, 20-17 Almeida overall

ROUND THREE: Lewis comes out throwing uppercuts, Almeida gets under them and tries a takedown but has to settle for a clinch. Lewis tries to toss Almeida off but Almeida latches onto him and trips him down to get back on top then moves to full mount. Almeida lands a few punches, and the ref warns Almeida to stay busy despite being in full mount. Elbow from Almeida. A few punches from Almeida sneak in. Lewis gives up the back but Almeida slides off the top and Lewis gets on top and starts swinging punches at Almeida’s head. Almeida looks for a sweep, he’s able to force a trip from their knees and Almeida is back on top in full mount. Still not much from Almeida, then he lands an elbow. Almeida lands a few rights, he’s starting to open up with strikes and that’s making Lewis move. Lewis gives up the back and tries to scramble but Almeida gets to side control and starts landing some short blows again. Hammer fist from Almeida then some punches. Lewis fights to his feet and Almeida lands punches from the clinch as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again. Almeida with some front kicks. Leg kick from Almeida. Uppercut from Lewis but Almeida is on his hips and hits a double leg despite a fence grab from Lewis. Almeida is in full mount and lands a few punches. Lewis tries to push Almeida off but Almeida moves to side control and lands a knee to the body. Back to full mount for Almeida and he punches the body then head. Almeida with a few more punches then he gets the back and has both hooks in. Lewis is able to shrimp and get half guard. Slowly Almeida moves back to full mount and lands a couple of punches. Lewis tries to move, Almeida gets the ride position and lands punches. The round ends with Almeida in the ride still.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Almeida because I don’t think Lewis did much, 40-34 Almeida

ROUND FIVE: They hug to start the last round, not much different from most of the rest of the fight. Lewis stalks forward and misses an uppercut but Almeida with a single leg, then tries a double leg but Lewis gets a leg free and tries to sprawl away but Almeida will not let him get away and they wind up clinched on the fence. Almeida hits a double leg into half guard, the man is relentless if nothing else. Full mount for Almeida. A few short blows from Almeida. Almeida with a few kidney shots, well at least that’s something. Another couple of punches from Almeida but the ref is warning Almeida about inactivity. Lewis tries to get his guard, Almeida easily pushes him back down and lands a few more body shots. Almeida moves to side control, Lewis explodes up but Almeida immediately double legs him again. Back to full mount for Almeida, then he gets the ride position. Lewis fights his way up, but Almeida takes him back down just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Almeida because why not, 50-42 Almeida overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jailton Almeida via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44 x2)

Well that sucked. Mic time for Almeida, he claims he put on a show and I can’t find words for how deluded a take that is. He knew Lewis hit hard and they had to come up with a strategy on the fly, but then says he’d like to fight Ciryl Gane next. Not the worst call out, both men are kind of one dimensional. To close he dedicates the win to his father, then gives love to his family and the fans.

On that note, UFC on ESPN+ 89 comes to a close. It was a card that had some promise on paper, but turned out to just have a few too many hurdles thrown at it. We’ll be breaking down all the fallout from this on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow, plus looking ahead to UFC 295 when the vacant light heavyweight title will be on the line plus we’ll have an interim heavyweight title fight. Let’s hope that card doesn’t suffer anymore setbacks, because it’s had a few already. But I’ll be back next week for that event and I hope you will as well. Until then thank you so much for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.