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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Grasso and Shevchenko Draw

September 17, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 85 Image Credit: UFC

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Alexa Grasso (124.5 lbs.) vs. #1 Valentina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.) – for women’s flyweight title
#14 Jack Della Maddalena (171 lbs.) vs. #13 Kevin Holland (170.5 lbs.)
Terrence Mitchell (135.5 lbs.) vs. Raul Rosas Jr. (135 lbs.)
Christos Giagos (156 lbs.) vs. Daniel Zellhuber (156 lbs.)
Kyle Nelson (146 lbs.) vs. Fernando Padilla (145.5 lbs.)

Loopy Godinez (116 lbs.) vs. Elise Reed (115.5 lbs.)
Josh Fremd (185.5 lbs.) vs. Roman Kopylov (185.5 lbs.)
Edgar Chairez (126 lbs.) vs. Daniel Lacerda (125.5 lbs.)
#14 Tracy Cortez (126 lbs.) vs. #15 Jasmine Jasudavicius (125.5 lbs.)
Charlie Campbell (155 lbs.) vs. Alex Reyes (155.5 lbs.)
Josefine Knutsson (115.5 lbs.) vs. Marnic Mann (115 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 85 also known as UFC Noche, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. A Happy Mexican Independence Day to those celebrating, that particular holiday is also why this card has a distinctly Mexican flavor to it, and honestly it’s a pretty good card overall though the original version was actually much better. This card lost some darn good fights like Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Kelvin Gastelum, Chris Curtis vs. Anthony Hernandez, Daniel Rodriguez vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio to say nothing of a few fights that only lost half of their participants. That said the card held up rather well despite those losses and we’ve got a title fight on free TV in the main event. Earlier this year Alexa Grasso scored a pretty big upset when she choked out Valentina Shevchenko for the women’s flyweight title, and given Shevchenko’s historical status she got an immediate rematch that’s taking place here. In the co-main we’ve got rising contender Jack Della Maddalena taking a step up in class against battle tested UFC veteran Kevin Holland, Holland has been looking more refined and serious lately and he’s trying to make a run at the top of the division that might need to start here. The rest of the card is fine but doesn’t carry much name value unless you’re in the weeds, but please take my word for it that on paper it’s pretty solid. Now let’s just hope the action lives to that promise on paper.

UFC Noche comes to the world from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Dominick Cruz on commentary so let’s hope Cormier learned to remain focused and not just banally podcast his professional broadcast. We’re in the bigger 30 foot cage since we’re not in the Apex, and keep in mind we have pretty much free access to instant replay while in Nevada as it’s one of the few things I think the NSAC has gotten right from a regulatory standpoint.

Josefine Knutsson is undefeated coming into her UFC debut, now she’s trying to keep that perfect record in tact. Marnic Mann won her last fight and is trying to get her UFC record off the ground with a win. Knutsson is a hefty favorite at -750 to +525 on Mann.

Strawweight Bout: Josefine Knutsson (6-0, 115.5) vs. Marnic Mann (6-1, 115)

ROUND ONE: Knutsson is three inches taller but Mann has four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Mann, and no touch of gloves. Knutsson moves forward and lands a left hook. Knee from Knutsson as she avoids a takedown, then knees the body again as Mann tires to come up on a single leg from her knees. Knutsson with punches before she gets away, then lands an inside leg kick. Both women land punches in close. Body kick from Knutsson, then a knee and another body kick. Knutsson with a right hand in close, Mann tries a bad headlock throw, that goes poorly and Knutsson winds up on top in half guard. Not much going on here. Eventually Knutsson passes to side control, then into full mount with under a minute left in the round. A few punches and elbows from Knutsson but Mann is able to control posture and limit damage. The round ends in Knutsson landing a couple of elbows.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Knutsson but a marginal one

ROUND TWO: Knutsson resumes coming forward, she lands a body kick but Mann gets a clinch and pushes Knutsson into the fence. Mann starts looking for a double leg but Knutsson spins free and lands punches. Hard knee from Knutsson, Mann looks a little broken at this point. Knutsson with punches then a couple of body kicks, Mann is still hurt to the body but I don’t think Knutsson realizes it as they clinch again. A few knees from Knutsson then an elbow. They break without an issue. Hard punch from Knutsson after she avoided a kick. More punches from Knutsson, Mann is just against the fence and posturing. Front kicks from Knutsson then they clinch again. Knutsson with some knees to the body then an elbow. Eventually Knutsson hits an inside trip and gets on top in half guard. Knutsson passes to mount again, and lands more punches but the round ends and probably saves Mann.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Knutsson, 20-16 Knutsson overall

ROUND THREE: Mann misses a spinning attack. Bit of a spinning back fist from Knutsson, then a right hand. Knutsson with a front kick. Mann lands an inside leg kick, then Knutsson returns it. Right hand then a left hook from Knutsson. Mann lands a right hand and they clinch up again. Outside trip from Knutsson and she’s on top in half guard. A few short blows to the body from Knutsson. Some more punches from Knutsson as she’s trying to set up a pass, and she does get to full mount. Mann rolls to her knees, and wall walks into a clinch. Knutsson with more knees then another trip into half guard. A bit more body work from Knutsson, she’s half trying for an arm triangle but Mann blocks it. Knutsson gets some posture and lands a few punches. Mann is just holding on, mostly trying to see the end of the round and she will barely as Knutsson gets the back and grabs at the choke just before the clock runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Knutsson, 30-24 Knutsson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josefine Knutsson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-24)

Not giving Knutsson a single 10-8 there seems wrong, especially for round 3. Mic time for Knutsson, she feels great and is over the moon to be part of the UFC. She really wanted a finish but wasn’t going to put herself in a bad position, and notes she’s had some shoulder issues leading up to this fight but isn’t making excuses.

Alex Reyes lost his UFC debut six years ago and between injury and illness, including losing the ability to walk for a while after a spinal infection, and a few fights falling through this year. Reyes is finally healthy and making his return though and looking to score that all important first UFC win. Charlie Campbell took this fight on fairly short notice when Natan Levy had to withdraw, but he’s coming in on a win and looking to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Given how long Reyes has been out it’s not too surprising to see the odds favoring Campbell at -550 but the +410 comeback on Reyes might not be the worst long shot bet on the card.

Lightweight Bout: Charlie Campbell (7-2, 155 lbs.) vs. Alex Reyes (13-3, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Campbell is an inch taller while Reyes has half an inch of reach advantage, Reyes is also 8 years older. Both men look to kick early, and they’re doing a lot of stance switching as well. Leg kick from Campbell. Campbell lands a right to the body. Bit of a leg kick from Reyes, Campbell is trying to get his leg kicks going though. Both miss punches, they clinch and Campbell lands a knee then they break. Jab from Reyes. Campbell with a leg kick then a left hook that staggers Reyes. Campbell pushes forward and drops Reyes with a right hand, he’s looking to finish and they clinch, he lands knees then an elbow before Reyes gets free. Jab from Campbell then a right hand and a leg kick. Hard right from Campbell, Reyes is still upright but he’s getting tuned up at the moment. Reyes clinches up, but Campbell spins free and eats a right hand while landing a spinning back fist. A couple of more rights from Campbell then a leg kick. Campbell with more jabs, Reyes finally gets dropped by another right hand and after he face plants the ref jumps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Charlie Campbell via TKO, punches, at 3:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Campbell for his work this evening. Mic time for Campbell he feels great and never believed in the jitters for his UFC debut and wasn’t going to fall for that. He references The Rock by asking Cormier a question then hitting him with the “it doesn’t matter what you think”, Cormier is a wrestling fan and so decides to allow Campbell to get away with that one. He talks us through the finish and notes he’s worked on taking his time, not rushing when the finish might be there. To close he asks for a post fight bonus, that he probably wont get.

Solid work from Campbell, he just battered Reyes for the whole fight.

Tracy Cortez is on a 10 fight winning streak but she’s been out of action for over a year, though if she can get another win here she’ll be taking a step towards the top of the division. Jasmine Jasudavicius has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, including a pretty notable upset win in her last fight. Jasudavicius is trying to earn another step up in class with a win here. Close one here but the odds tilt towards Cortez at -125 to +105 for Jasudavicius.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #14 Tracy Cortez (10-1, 126 lbs.) vs. #15 Jasmine Jasudavicius (9-2, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jasudavicius is two inches taller with two and a half inches of reach advantage. No touch of gloves from Jasudavicius. Both women show the jab early as they circle, Cortez is doing some stance switching but is mostly orthodox. Leg kick from Cortez. Bit of a right from Jasudavicius. Cortez with an inside leg kick, then a calf kick but Jasudavicius lands a counter right hand. Right hand then a left hook from Cortez in close. They trade calf kicks, then Cortez lands a couple of rights. More calf kicks go back and forth but there’s a power difference in favor of Cortez thus far. Jasudavicius lands a right hand to counter a leg kick. Another right from Jasudavicius lands. Bit of a body kick from Cortez. Jasudavicius walks into a couple of punches and sags in her stance but doesn’t go down. Cortez lands a calf kick. They trade rights in close then trade knees to the body. Another right hand from Cortez, Jasudavicius has some damage around her left eye now. Cortez lands another right hand. Cortez with a left hook in close then a calf kick. Jasudavicius forces a clinch, Cortez with knees to the body then a left hand as she gets free. Calf kick from Cortez, Jasudavicius returns it. Another Cortez right hand lands. They punch into a clinch, then trade knees and hit the fence. Cortez pulls free and blocks a high kick. Jasudavicius stalks forward and lands a front kick but eats a counter left. Another right from Cortez lands, then they clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cortez

ROUND TWO: Calf kick from Cortez. Cortez with a front kick then a calf kick. Jasudavicius blocks a right hand but can’t find a counter. They punch into a clinch, Cortez lands knees before pulling free and land a calf kick. Cortez with a knee to the body again. Right hand then a hard left hook from Cortez, Jasudavicius just eats it and keeps marching forward. Bit of a right from Jasudavicius. Cortez lands a left hand. Jasudavicius tries a takedown, Cortez defends and lands a couple of knees before getting free. Cortez with another right hand then a calf kick. Jasudavicius lands a right hand but misses a head kick. They trade punches then Jasudavicius does land a head kick. Jasudavicius lands a right hand to counter a leg kick. Cortez with a one two, then a few punches but Jasudavicius gets a takedown against the fence. Jasudavicius moves towards the back as Cortez stands, she’s trying to work mat returns as Cortez gets chest to chest. Double leg from Jasudavicius and she lands a few punches from half guard. Cortez wall walks into a clinch, they trade knees while fighting for position on the fence. Eventually Cortez pushes free and they reset. Bit of a right from Cortez. Body shot from Cortez then a hard couple of punches before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Cortez opens with a body kick, then they trade punches. Right hand from Cortez. Cortez with a couple of calf kicks. Jasudavicius keeps pushing forward, and gets a clinch after a failed double leg. Cortez doesn’t quite go down but Jasudavicius gets on her back in the clinch and works knees. Cortez spins free and lands a right hand. Calf kick from Cortez then a one two. Another exchange of punches, Cortez is landing better but Jasudavicius is in zombie mode and wont go away. Another right from Cortez then they clinch. Both women land knees then Cortez gets away from the clinch. Jasudavicius walks forward, and eats punches. They clinch again and hit the fence. Bit of a knee from Jasudavicius as they break. Cortez lands a right hand. They trade punches in close then clinch again. Cortez lands a right hand after avoiding a clinch. Jasudavicius lands a right hand to counter a calf kick, then Cortez cracks her with a left hook and a right hand. Another right from Cortez. Jasudavicius lands a knee in close. More knees from Jasudavicius but Cortez just eats them and starts walking forward with a one two of her own. Both women land punches in close. Cortez with another right hand then they clinch. Some positional moving then Cortez breaks and lands another right hand. Both women land punches in close, tie up, then end the round with another exchange.

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

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

Mic time for Cortez after that pretty fun fight, she’s very emotional and says life can’t break her no matter what it throws at her. She knows she’s a good wrestler but has been working very hard on her striking and thanks her coaches and the fans for their support. She wants to move up in the rankings and plans on getting the belt next year.

Edgar Chairez dropped his UFC debut to Tatsuro Taira a few moths back, but now he’s back in action and hoping to get that first UFC win under his belt. Daniel Lacerda has gone 0-4 in the UFC and will likely be looking at his walking papers if he drops to 0-5 here. The odds are with Chairez at -220 against +180 on Lacerda.

Flyweight Bout: Edgar Chairez (10-5, 126 lbs.) vs. Daniel Lacerda (11-5, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chairez has an inch of height and reach over Lacerda. They touch gloves to get us going. Chairez starts off jabbing and looking for calf kicks. Lacerda lands a calf kick. A few calf kicks go back and forth. Some stance switching from Lacerda, and Chairez is switching with him. Bit of a right hand from Chairez. Lacerda misses a wheel kick. Chairez lands a couple of calf kicks then a right to the body. Front kick from Chairez, Lacerda doesn’t like the body work but let’s see if Chairez realizes it. Lacerda hits a single leg and gets on top in full guard. Chairez starts working his guard up high rather quickly. A few punches from Lacerda land, then Chairez kicks him off and stands but Lacerda dives for another single leg and they clinch up on the fence. Chairez is fishing for an anaconda choke, it’s standing and Chairez is squeezing the standing kind of choke, Lacerda isn’t selling being conscious and the ref winds up stopping it when he thinks Lacerda’s arms go limp but he’s not out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – No Contest at 3:47 of Round 1

The ref got this one wrong and they’re reviewing it, so the result might change. Yeah, that’s unfortunate for Chairez but Lacerda wasn’t out so that’s the right call.

Roman Kopylov has gone 3-2 in the UFC but he’s on a three fight winning streak with all of those being finishes, if he can get that streak to four in a row here it might earn him a decided step up in class going forward. Josh Fremd has gone 2-2 in the UFC but he’s on a two fight winning streak and is looking to make the most of the step up in competition he’s getting here. Kopylov is a notable favorite at -325 to Fremd’s +260.

Middleweight Bout: Josh Fremd (11-4, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Roman Kopylov (11-2, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fremd is four inches taller but only has one inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Kopylov and they touch gloves. Some calf kicks from Kopylov as they circle. Fremd has a body kick blocked. Jab from Fremd. Kopylov keeps chopping with leg kicks as he’s looking for openings. Bit of a left hand from Kopylov. Fremd with a front kick. Another left from Kopylov partially lands. Fremd fires a leg kick that goes low and we’ve got a brief time out but Kopylov doesn’t want much time and we’re back to fighting almost immediately. Kopylov with a left to the body. Stiff jab from Kopylov. Fremd with a body kick, partially blocked. Kopylov with a quick body kick then a right hand. One two from Kopylov lands, he’s got a bit of a read now and is starting to land on Fremd. Kopylov lands a calf kick, then avoids a takedown as they hit the fence. Fremd can’t find a takedown and eats a knee as they break the clinch. Kopylov lands a right hand in close. Another body kick from Kopylov. Fremd tries another single leg, Kopylov defends as they hit the fence then break safely. Kopylov with another body kick, Fremd doesn’t like that. Spinning back fist from Kopylov then an uppercut to close the round as Fremd’s nose starts leaking blood.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kopylov

ROUND TWO: Kopylov lands a left to the body to start the round, Fremd’s nose is still leaking and he’s breathing from the mouth, that nose might be busted. Kopylov works his way closer, and avoids a punch then a takedown attempt. Fremd is trying to work the jab, but Kopylov counters with some rights then a left hand. Kopylov lands a calf kick, Fremd with a right hand and he tries a takedown but things stall out on the fence again. Fremd is really after a single leg but Kopylov defends and shoves him away. Head kick from Kopylov staggers Fremd but he stays upright. Body kick from Kopylov, then a few punches. Fremd is not in a good spot here. Kopylov lands another left hand. Jumping attack from Fremd but his foot hits the groin of Kopylov and we’ve got another time out. The foot definitely went into the groin of Kopylov. Kopylov only takes 20 seconds and we’re back but that might be the last time Fremd gets away with one of those. Kopylov with a one two then a flurry, Fremd fires back and gets him to back off then spits a ton of blood out of his mouth and nose. Jab from Kopylov. Body shots from Kopylov then a right hook to the head. A few jabs from Fremd but he’s not building on it. Glancing uppercut from Kopylov. Hard body kick from Kopylov, Fremd didn’t like that at all. Kopylov with a head kick, but Fremd remains upright. Fremd’s right arm might be hurt at this point too. A left to the body from Kopylov drops Fremd and the ref jumps in to stop it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Roman Kopylov via TKO, body shot, at 4:44 of Round 2

Absolutely wonderful performance from Kopylov from start to finish. Mic time for Kopylov and the translator, he plays with the crowd then says the fight went exactly as he expected and puts over his coaches. He talks us through the finish and knew he’d hurt Fremd to the body so he kept going to it. To close he puts over his team for all of their work.

Fremd was already hurt to the body, battered to the head, and Kopylov timed this well as he follows the jab back after half a beat to just crush Fremd’s liver. Kopylov is going to be a problem for that division, he had a rough start to his time with the UFC but he’s found his footing and has been schooling people for several fights now.

Lupita Godinez has gone 4-1 in her last five fights and is on a two fight winning streak, if she can get to three in a row here it might earn her a step up to ranked opposition her next time out. Elise Reed has traded wins and losses while going 3-3 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win though and is trying to get her first UFC winning streak up and running. The odds are solidly with Godinez at -380 while Reed’s comeback sits at +300.

Strawweight Bout: Loopy Godinez (10-3, 116 lbs.) vs. Elise Reed (7-3, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Reed is an inch taller with three inches of reach advantage. Godinez looks to press forward, Reed with a calf kick as she circles. Bit of a left from Godinez, Reed punches back and they clinch. Godinez quickly slips to the back standing and works knees to the leg. Outside trip from Godinez, she’s in half guard and starts fishing for an arm triangle. Reed wall walks pretty quickly and then separates. Both women work the lead hand now as they circle again. A left hook from Godinez drops Reed, but she’s out of position and Reed stands then gets taken back down. Godinez on the back with both hooks in and starts looking for the choke. Reed is trying to fight the choke, Godinez keeps going for it then switches to an armbar that gets extended but Reed is using her legs to fight the grip but eventually postures up and Godinez switches to a triangle choke attempt. Reed slams but Godinez tries the armbar again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Godinez

ROUND TWO: I don’t really know how Reed survived that first round armbar. Reed pressures forward and lands a jumping knee. Right hand from Reed partially lands. Godinez misses a couple of punches. Reed lands a body kick and they tie up again then Reed hits a headlock throw but Godinez pushes off the fence to sweep and get on top in full guard. Godinez stands and Reed stands, then Godinez hits a single leg into half guard. Reed shrimps to full guard. Reed kicks Godinez off and stands but Godinez lands a combination of punches then an elevated double leg slam into side control. Godinez thinks about a north-south choke but Reed fights up to her feet. Trip from Godinez and more punches then she goes into full mount and starts landing punches. Reed gives her back, Godinez grabs the choke and Reed has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lupita Godinez via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:38 of Round 2

That was just a beating from start to finish. Godinez gets an interview, she plays with the crowd first. Asked about switching to Lobo MMA, Alexa Grasso’s camp, she says the game plan and puts over her coaches. Asked about the future she’s healthy and is just waiting on the UFC call, then she puts her coaches over again.

Here’s the finish, Godinez just abused Reed down the stretch and this became inevitable.

That’s it for the prelims, onto the main card.

Fernando Padilla is currently on a three fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut earlier this year, he’s hoping to keep that momentum going here and get a UFC winning streak up and running. Kyle Nelson has gone 2-4-1 in the UFC but he is coming off of a win and is looking for his first winning streak since his pre-UFC days back in 2018. Padilla is your -245 favorite to +200 on Nelson.

Featherweight Bout: Kyle Nelson (14-5-1, 146 lbs.) vs. Fernando Padilla (15-4, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Padilla is two inches taller with a notable five inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Padilla probes with jabs and inside leg kicks, just measuring and range finding. Nelson lands a calf kick. Padilla keeps showing the jab, now he’s adding front kicks to the mix though. A left from Nelson in close gets Padilla’s attention, then Nelson lands a calf kick. Padilla with a right to the body then another jab. Nelson lands a jab. Padilla jabs the body, then Nelson lands a calf kick. A Nelson left seems to off balance Padilla for a moment. Padilla keeps stalking forward, he lands a bit of a right. Nelson with another calf kick. Right hand from Padilla. Both men swing rights in close. Nelson cross checks a body kick, that didn’t feel good. Padilla with more jabs as he closes distance, then he lands elbows in close and Nelson lands a right hand as he exits the pocket. Nelson lands a body kick. Padilla walks into a right hand but just eats it and lands a body shot. Padilla avoids a takedown attempt. Nelson with a left to the body but Padilla lands a couple of counters. Front kick from Nelson then a jab. Uppercut in close from Padilla, he’s starting to open up now. Both men land in close, then circle away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Padilla

ROUND TWO: Nelson lands a calf kick to start the round. Padilla keeps showing the jab then lands a calf kick of his own. Padilla showing front kicks again, but Nelson cracks him with a one two then lands a head kick. Nelson lands a hook in close, then another head kick but Padilla wont go down. Padilla misses a head kick then Nelson lands a body kick. Solid right hand from Nelson, Padilla might still be stunned as he’s not moving well. Padilla lands a right to the body. Bit of a left hook from Nelson, then a calf kick. Padilla pushes close and they trade knees then separate. Nelson with a calf kick. Bit of a front kick from Padilla. Nelson misses a couple of head kicks. Nelson lands a calf kick. Body kick from Nelson. Front kick from Nelson, he’s still got Padilla stuck in second gear. Padilla shows the jab again, and then eats a body kick. Uppercut in close from Padilla. Nelson lands a front kick. Another calf kick from Nelson. Another head kick from Nelson lands, Padilla then forces a clinch. Nelson misses a head kick as they break, then he lands a front kick. Calf kick from Nelson, and that’ll be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nelson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men moving well enough as the round starts. Nelson lands a calf kick, he’s starting to go forward more this round. Padilla with a short right in close. Glancing head kick from Nelson. Padilla with an inside leg kick, then a calf kick to follow up. Another calf kick from Padilla. They trade rights in close, then Nelson lands another overhand right. We get a time out after a low blow to Nelson. Replay shows the foot of Padilla hit the groin of Nelson, accidental but still there. Nelson takes 45 seconds and we’re back to fighting. Padilla shows the jab again, and Nelson lands a body kick. Bit of a right from Nelson. Padilla lands a right hand. Nelson with another calf kick, then he misses a couple of hooks. Bit of a left from Nelson. Padilla avoids a double leg. Nelson lands a left in close then a front kick. Jab from Nelson. Padilla moves forward more now, he lands a calf kick but Nelson counters with a right hand. Nelson lands a left to the body, then a glancing left hook. They trade rights in close. Nelson lands another calf kick. Left hook from Nelson. Padilla pushes forward but can’t find offense yet. Double leg from Nelson, he finishes it then lands a knee as Padilla stands. Padilla pushes close, they trade in close and we get a little bit of a brawl to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nelson but a close one, 29-28 Nelson overall

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

I can’t get behind 30-27 for Nelson, Padilla should have had the first, but that’s our first underdog win of the night. Nelson is happy as his fiancé is pregnant, then thinks he did enough to win and dedicates the win to his coaches, family, and all the kids out there being unfairly kept from their fathers. He plays a little bit with the crowd and just feels good despite their booing, and promises to be back and would like to fight Cub Swanson in January.

Daniel Zellhuber has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of that win and could build his first UFC winning streak here as he tries to establish himself as a notable prospect in the division. Christos Giagos has gone 5-4 in his current UFC run but he’s coming off of a win and is trying to halt the budding hype around Zellhuber by getting his first winning streak in a little over two years up and running. The odds are with Zelhuber at -305 while +245 on Giagos might not be the worst value bet to look at.

Lightweight Bout: Christos Giagos (20-10, 156 lbs.) vs. Daniel Zellhuber (13-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Zellhuber is three inches taller with five and a half inches of reach advantage. Some forward pressure from Zellhuber as both men look to figure out the range. Both men fall short with leg kicks, oh Brandon Moreno has joined commentary to make it a four man booth. Bit of a left then a right from Giagos. A left from Giagos staggers Zellhuber, he looks to follow up but Zellhuber circles away and is able to recover. Giagos avoids a high kick. Body kick from Zellhuber. Bit of a left hook from Giagos in close. Calf kick from Giagos. Bit of a right from Giagos. Zellhuber avoids a takedown attempt. Giagos lands a body kick. Calf kick from Giagos then he lands a right hand. Both men miss punches, but Zellhuber’s uppercuts are getting closer. Another left hook then a right hand from Giagos land. Zellhuber keeps stalking forward, and they trade rights. Giagos tries a double leg, but he loses drive and Zellhuber is able to defend and separate. Some leg kicks go back and forth. Zellhuber lands a leg kick as the final blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Giagos

ROUND TWO: Zellhuber comes out kicking again. Giagos lands a right hand. Calf kick from Giagos, then Zellhuber lands a leg kick. Both men land punches in close. Bit of a one two from Zellhuber, then Giagos lands a right hand. A bit of stance switching from Giagos now, and they trade punches in close. Again they trade in close, Giagos keeps landing hooks when they get into the pocket. Giagos tries a takedown, he gets close but can’t finish and they hit the fence. Zellhuber’s balance and hips are great here, and he spins Giagos into the fence. They break without incident. Zellhuber probes with the jab again, then they trade calf kicks. Jab from Zellhuber. Both men miss punches. Bit of a right from Giagos. Giagos lands a left hook. They trade rights in close, Giagos reaches for a takedown but Zellhuber counters with an anaconda choke and that gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Daniel Zellhuber via Submission, anaconda choke, at 3:26 of Round 2

Mic time for Zellhuber, he opens with Spanish to play with the crowd before saying the fight was tough and Giagos hit him really hard in the first round but he stayed composed and saw the opportunity later. Asked about his front headlock series he mentions working on them a lot, he wanted a knockout but knows anything can happen in MMA. He puts over the crowd and feels he’s a crowd fighter and he’s glad to get a win here.

Here’s the very end. This is a nice anaconda choke from Zellhuber, and if you’ve got long arms then a good front headlock series will help your takedown defense or deterrence immensely.

Raul Rosas Jr. has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of that loss and is hoping to rebuild a bit of the hype he had by avoiding his first losing streak. Terrence Mitchell dropped his UFC debut back in July and now hopes to dash the prospects of Rosas by getting his first UFC win at his expense. Rosas is tied for the biggest favorite on the card at -750 while +525 on Mitchell has to tempt some bettors out there.

Bantamweight Bout: Terrence Mitchell (14-3, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Raul Rosas Jr. (7-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mitchell is an inch taller with an important seven inches of reach advantage, he’s also 15 years older. Rosas starts switching his stance early, and he swings wild early. Both men miss punches. They tie up, then break. Mitchell lands a couple of rights. Rosas drops Mitchell with a left hand, he jumps on top into side control. Full mount for Rosas, he unloads and gets the back then the ref jumps in to stop things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Raul Rosas Jr. via TKO, punches, at :54 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rosas for his work this evening. Mic time for Rosas, he plays with the crowd and says he had to prove a point that his last fight was an aberration, then he asks Dana for a post fight bonus. Dana’s not even here tonight my man. He expected a wild fight and puts over Mitchell. He talks us through the finish and is grateful for the performance.

Here’s the finish. I’m still not sold on Rosas long term, but he needed the rebound and got it here.

Kevin Holland has been keeping a busy schedule for the UFC over the last years which has led to mixed results such as being 2-2 in his last four fights; however, he’s on a two fight winning streak with both of those being finishes. Holland is trying to halt the rise of his opponent and prove he’s finally found his footing and is ready to make a serious run at the top of the division instead of just being an action oriented high level gatekeeper. Jack Della Maddalena is on a 15 fight winning streak including being 5-0 in the UFC, he’s taking another step up in class here to the more battle proven Holland but a win would move him even higher in the rankings and would make his further ascension seem almost inevitable. Pretty close one here on the odds, but they’re with Della Maddalena at -135 to +115 on Holland.

Welterweight Bout: #14 Jack Della Maddalena (15-2, 171 lbs.) vs. #13 Kevin Holland (25-9 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holland is four inches taller with a big eight inches of reach advantage. Both men open orthodox but Holland will switch around if he feels like it. Della Maddalena feints his way forward, Holland looks to keep him at distance with a jab. Some jabs from Della Maddalena fall short then he lands a calf kick. Another calf kick form Della Maddalena. Holland probes with an inside leg kick, Della Maddalena looks to counter but can’t quite land. Bit of a side kick from Holland. Della Maddalena keeps showing the jab and looking to close distance, then he lands a left to the body. Holland avoids a couple of punches. They tie up, Della Maddalena lands a right hand then Holland lands a knee. Della Maddalena keeps moving forward and lands a couple of rights, then digs the body in close. Holland fires a few punches then misses a head kick. More lefts from Della Maddalena after he avoids a side kick. Inside leg kick from Della Maddalena. Della Maddalena lands a head kick and they tie up, Della Maddalena lands body shots then they trade elbows and break. The volume of Della Maddalena is troubling Holland, Holland might have more one shot power but he’s not throwing as much volume. Della Maddalena jabs the body, then eats a counter right. Another body jab from Della Maddalena, again Holland lands a counter. Another body shot from Della Maddalena in close. Leg kick from Della Maddalena then a left to the body. Holland has some punches blocked. They get close and Della Maddalena lands to the body again. That’ll be the last meaningful exchange of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Della Maddalena

ROUND TWO: Della Maddalena pushes forward again as the round starts, and jabs the body. Holland with jabs of his own as he starts coming forward now. Della Maddalena with a left to the body again. Holland keeps working front kicks to maintain distance. Some more side kicks from Holland as he circles. Della Maddalena lands a body kick. Left hook from Della Maddalena seems to off balance Holland for a second. Both men have started stance switching now. Della Maddalena avoids a side kick, he keeps getting behind Holland and landing punches from there. Right hand from Della Maddalena lands. Holland with a one two. Della Maddalena lands a body kick, then another left to the body and a calf kick. Holland avoids a few punches then lands a right hand. Della Maddalena punches in close. Side kick from Holland. Bit of a high kick from Holland. Della Maddalena lands a right hand. Holland avoids a left hook, Della Maddalena partially lands a head kick and Holland responds with a right hand. Della Maddalena ducks under a hook and lands a left hand of his own. Glancing left from Della Maddalena, then a calf kick to follow up. Hard couple of body shots then a few punches up top from Della Maddalena. Holland with a combination, mostly blocked but a right hand does get through. They trade leg kicks. Della Maddalena blocks a double leg and they trade elbows in close. Right to the body from Della Maddalena. They trade lead hand punches in close. Holland catches a body kick, lands a punch and trips Della Maddalena just before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Della Maddalena pushes forward again as the round starts. Holland misses a few jabs, then Della Maddalena lands a right hand and a left to the body. Both men block punches in close. Holland misses a few kicks. Della Maddalena lands a body kick, then avoids a right hand. Holland lands a body kick. Della Maddalena blocks a combination then lands a couple of left hooks in close, but Holland does sneak in an elbow strike. Della Maddalena lands a right hand in close then a left, Holland fires back and lands a right of his own. Della Maddalena punches in close again and lands a few punches. A couple more body punches from Della Maddalena land. Holland lands a right hand. A few jabs go back and forth. Another body shot from Della Maddalena. Holland lands a front kick, then eats a leg kick. Combination from Holland mostly lands. Della Maddalena has a high kick blocked then lands an inside leg kick. Della Maddalena lands a right to the body. Another left from Della Maddalena lands. Both men evade punches in close, the crowd is booing for no good reason, this is a good fight. Jab from Della Maddalena. Another combination from Della Maddalena mostly lands. They tie up, Della Maddalena lands an elbow then a right hand to close the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Della Maddalena via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Mic time for Della Maddalena, he got what he expected in this fight, Holland got him talking a bit then he plays with the crowd just a bit. He knew the fight was close but he’s not a judge so he’ll take it. He expected the fight to be like this, be defensive and look for counters. Asked about the future he’ll take whatever.

Valentina Shevchenko is one of the premier female fighters of this generation and is the former flyweight champion, she just lost that title in her last fight when she also suffered her first ever loss in this weight class. Shevchenko is trying to buck the general trend of champions losing immediate rematches, and the trend for female fighters over the age of 35 in title fights (1-11 if you’re curious) by reclaiming that title her and reestablishing herself as the top of the division. Alexa Grasso is the reigning champion and has not yet lost at flyweight, she’s riding a five fight winning streak that includes finishing Shevchenko earlier this year for the title. Grasso is trying to prove that first win was no fluke and get her title run off the ground with her first successful title defense. The odds are a lot closer than they were for their first meeting, but still favor Shevchenko at -165 to +140 for the champion Grasso.

Women’s Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Alexa Grasso (16-3, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #1 Valentina Shevchenko (23-4, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Shevchenko has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Shevchenko, Grasso opens orthodox. Bit of a right to the body from Grasso, Shevchenko responds with a body kick. Left hand from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko keeps looking to counter kicks with a step in one two. Grasso blocks a left hand, then falls short with a couple of punches. Shevchenko lands a left hand. Another body kick from Shevchenko lands. Grasso goes southpaw now, and they trade punches in close. Leg kick from Grasso. Bit of a left from Shevchenko. They trade and clinch, then both punch on the break. Grasso avoids an elbow. Shevchenko starts showing the jab, then they clinch and Grasso lands a knee but eats an elbow as they break. They split jabs. Front kick from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko keeps showing the jab, she’s having mixed success with it. Both women land in close. They clinch up, and Shevchenko trips Grasso down into half guard. Shevchenko with some shoulder strikes and she starts looking to pass. Mount for Shevchenko now, then the back but Grasso forces a scramble and they trade as they clinch back up. A few knees go back and forth, not much on them, and the round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko

ROUND TWO: Grasso is southpaw again now, I think she prefers it because it changes up how Shevchenko has to use the power leg. Bit of a one two from Shevchenko. Grasso with a double jab. They punch in close, tie up and Shevchenko gets things to the fence then pushes free. Jab from Shevchenko. Grasso lands an inside leg kick. Shevchenko lands a left hand. Another left from Shevchenko, but Grasso counters with a right hand of her own that drops Shevchenko. Grasso charges close and they clinch up on the fence again as Shevchenko stands. Grasso with knees to the body and uppercuts in the clinch. They trade in the clinch and they separate. Double leg from Shevchenko and she’s on top in full guard. Grasso has tied things up to try and stall things out. Shevchenko pulls her head free and starts landing punches from top position. Elbow from Shevchenko, Grasso kicks her off and Shevchenko stands over her landing leg kicks for a bit then misses an ax kick. Another leg kick from Shevchenko, Grasso is just poking at her legs but isn’t trying to get up and Shevchenko returns to her guard then lands a right hand. Shevchenko with an elbow and some punches to the head. Some body to head punches from Shevchenko. The round ends with Shevchenko still on top landing an elbow.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grasso, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Grasso opens orthodox this round. Bit of a body kick from Shevchenko. Grasso falls short with a few punches then goes southpaw again. Shevchenko lands a couple of inside leg kicks then a one two is partially blocked. Bit of a left from Shevchenko. Short right from Shevchenko in close. Grasso lands a jab. They trade jabs for a bit while circling. Shevchenko misses a one two. Knee tap from Shevchenko and she’s on top in half guard. Side control for Shevchenko, Grasso scrambles up but Shevchenko jumps on a guillotine, mounts with it and starts cranking the choke. Grasso is trying to fight the grip, Shevchenko seems to not love her grip at the moment and is working to adjust it. Shevchenko bails on the choke, but gets the back as Grasso tries to stand. Grasso starts hand fighting again as Shevchenko starts working for a choke with a body triangle. Shevchenko is riding well, avoiding losing the position and maintaining the back. Some small punches are going back and forth as Shevchenko tries to open up a choke attack. Shevchenko lands a few harder punches, Grasso is trying to turn into her but Shevchenko’s body triangle is making that hard. Eventually Grasso does come up on top, Shevchenko grabs an armbar attack just before the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Grasso opens orthodox again, she’s starting to flirt with switching more in motion now. Shevchenko blocks a high kick. Grasso goes southpaw, and they trade inside leg kicks. A couple of jabs from Shevchenko land. Grasso eats a jab then lands a calf kick. Both women land punches now. More jabs go back and forth, then Shevchenko lands a left hand. Another couple of rights from Shevchenko land. Grasso avoids a double leg then lands a few knees holding a front headlock, dubious legality but the ref said play on so they do. Knee from Grasso in the clinch as they hit the fence. Grasso slips to the back, hits a mat return but gets a little aggressive going for an arm and Shevchenko spins into her then comes out on top in full guard. Grasso wall walks and Shevchenko lands an elbow before they break, now Grasso is bleeding. They split some more jabs. Stiff jab from Shevchenko. Bit of a one two from Shevchenko. Glancing jab from Grasso. A right hook from Shevchenko seems to bother Grasso for a second. Another right from Shevchenko, then they clinch up and Shevchenko trips Grasso down against the fence. Grasso wall walks but Shevchenko is on her back now standing. Grasso rolls for a leg, she grabs at a heel hook but wont find anything before the last couple of seconds tick away.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko but a very close one, 39-37 Shevchenko overall but could be 2-2

ROUND FIVE: Grasso opens orthodox to land a right, then goes southpaw. Shevchenko starts jabbing as she moves. Right hand from Shevchenko. Grasso lands a left, and they trade in close. Again they trade in close. Stiff jab from Shevchenko lands. Grasso misses her counter to the jab. They trade in close again, Grasso is bleeding around the left eye still. More jabs from Shevchenko as she’s circling. Grasso lands a jab. One two from Shevchenko lands. Grasso is getting stuck with that jab reliably now. Body kick from Shevchenko. Grasso reaches for a single leg but can’t find it. Shevchenko with a few more jabs. Grasso misses a blitz attack, then eats a counter left. Both women land in close. Another close exchange. Shevchenko clinches up, tries an inside trip but slips and Grasso spins to her back. Grasso with hammer fists and punches. Another choke attack from Grasso, Shevchenko defends though and Grasso bails on it. Grasso keeps fishing for a choke but wont find one before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grasso, 48-47 Shevchenko overall but 48-47 either way is perfectly fine

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – split DRAW (47-48, 48-47, 47-47)

Grasso retains the title on the draw, not sure which round was 10-8 there. Mic time for Grasso, she feels she won the fight and did more damage. She reiterates she felt she won and doesn’t know what’s next.

Shevchenko gets an interview as well, she thinks she won 3-2 and thinks the judges favored the Mexican fighter because of the date. She expected a tough fight and fought to the end, she reiterates that in a fair fight victory would be hers.

I’m inclined to agree with Shevchenko here, we know the 47-47 came from Mike Bell and his 10-8 round was for Grasso in the 5th. I’m not going to cry corruption here, I’d need evidence, but in no way at all does round 5 merit a 10-8 score in favor of Grasso. There’s a better argument for Shevchenko getting a 10-8 in the third than Grasso a 10-8 in the fifth. But on that somewhat bizarre note, UFC Noche comes to a close. We’ll be unpacking all of the fallout from this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus looking ahead to next week. I’ll be back here for that card and I hope you will as well, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.