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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Holloway Outlasts Rodriguez

November 13, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 55

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
#1 Max Holloway (146 lbs.) vs. #3 Yair Rodriguez (145.5 lbs.)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (259 lbs.) vs. Ben Rothwell (265 lbs.)
Leah Letson (145 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (145.5 lbs.)
Miguel Baeza (170.5 lbs.) vs. Khaos Williams (169 lbs.)
Julio Arce (135.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Song Yadong (135.5 lbs.)

Joel Alvarez (157.5 lbs.)* vs. #15 Thiago Moises (155 lbs.)
#5 Cynthia Calvillo (126 lbs.) vs. #12 Andrea Lee (125.5 lbs.)
Collin Anglin (146 lbs.) vs. Sean Woodson (145.5 lbs.)
Cortney Casey (125 lbs.) vs. Liana Jojua (128.5 lbs.)*
Rafael Alves (155 lbs.) vs. Marc Diakiese (156 lbs.)
Da-un Jung (204.5 lbs.) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (205 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 55. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the violence today. On the heels of back to back numbered events that delivered pretty much from top to bottom the UFC is back for another Fight Night. This time we’ve got a relevant featherweight main event when former champion Max Holloway looks to potentially force another shot at the title he used to carry when he battles perennial contender Yair Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been inactive for a couple of years, but he’s someone the UFC has always wanted to push and if he can get by Holloway tonight he could be next in line for Alexander Volkanovski. Elsewhere on the card we’ve got welterweight prospect Miguel Baeza trying to rebound from his first career loss when he takes on power punching Khaos Williams. Also down at bantamweight Song Yadong and Julio Arce could produce some serious fireworks. On the prelims Thiago Moises and Joel Alvarez could be fun, and Cynthia Calvillo looks for a pivotal win when she battles Andrea Lee. Beyond that, we’ll just kind of have to wait and see what the action produces.

UFC on ESPN+ 55 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping on commentary. As for the rules, Nevada uses a hybrid set up that has adopted most of the changes but you still only need one hand on the mat to be downed. They do have the use of instant replay, a replay official outside the cage, and the fight can be restarted after the use of instant replay if that’s applicable to the situation. Also keep in mind we’re in the smaller 25 foot cage instead of the 30 footer.

Kennedy Nzechukwu has gone 3-1 in the UFC but is on a three fight winning streak with two consecutive finishes, he’s trying to start the difficult transition from prospect to contender in a division perpetually in need of fresh blood. Da Un Jung has yet to lose in the UFC, going 3-0-1 in the promotion with an overall winning streak dating back to 2015. Jung is looking to derail some of the hype that’s built around Nzechukwu and prove himself the rising prospect at light heavyweight you should be watching. The odds are close on this one, but lean towards Jung at -120 to an even +100 for Nzechukwu.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Da-un Jung (14-2-1, 204.5 lbs.) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (9-1, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nzechukwu is an inch taller and has four and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Nzechukwu fighting southpaw. A lot of circling and loose probing to start. The feeling out part is taking quite a bit, Jung lands a bit of a left hook. Jung lands a right hand. Both men are kind of just pot shotting from in close. Nzechukwu lands a left. Jung has started landing an uppercut. Clubbing right from Jung, he might have wobbled Nzechukwu and looks to press him against the fence. A flurry of elbows from Jung crumple Nzechukwu and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Da-un Jung via KO, elbows, a 3:04 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jung for his work this morning. Mic time for Jung and his translator, he knew both of them were slow starters but he felt he had better footwork and could beat up the guard then start landing power hooks and elbows. Asked about the future he says he’ll fight everybody.

Here’s the finish. Jung wobbles Nzechukwu with a right, he’s devoted time to beating up the guard and arms to weaken his ability to resist blows then follows up with brutal elbow strikes. Nice stuff from Jung.

Marc Diakiese has gone just 2-4 in his last six fights and is coming off of a loss to Rafael Fiziev, he’s trying to avoid another losing streak and score his first win in over two years. Rafael Alves had a five fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut earlier this year, he’s trying to rebound by scoring that all important first UFC win. Diakiese is your -220 favorite to +180 on Alves.

Lightweight Bout: Rafael Alves (19-10, 155 lbs.) vs. Marc Diakiese (14-4, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Diakiese is two inches taller and has a notable five inches of reach advantage. Diakiese declines a glove touch, Alves tries an inside leg kick and that hits the groin so we’ve immediately got a timeout. Diakiese takes about 45 seconds then we’re back to fighting. Alves tries a flurry of punches that don’t really find the target. Diakiese starts stalking forward, Alves has gone southpaw now and misses a high kick. A lot of stance switching from Alves. Alves lands a right hand to counter a body kick. Diakiese lands a calf kick. Stiff jab from Alves wobbles Diakiese, then he follows up with a flying knee and grabs a guillotine as Diakiese tries to tie up and that forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rafael Alvez via Submission, guillotine choke, at 1:48 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Alves for his work this morning. Mic time for Alves and his translator, he thanks God first and foremost and notes a bunch of hardships he’s had to overcome to get here and win. He talks us through the finish, and feels he’s ready to start coming for the title.

This is a nice finish from Alves, he staggers Diakiese with a power jab then quickly snatches up the neck as Diakiese tries to take him down following the flying knee.

Cortney Casey has been wildly inconsistent in the UFC, she’s just 2-3 in her last five fights and finds herself on a two fight losing streak. Casey needs a win badly to salvage her UFC run and get her career record above the .500 mark. Liana Jojua has traded wins and losses while going 1-2 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first UFC losing streak. Jojua did miss weight for this fight, making a win even more important. The odds are with Casey at -280 to a +230 comeback for Jojua.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Cortney Casey (9-9, 125 lbs.) vs. Liana Jojua (8-4, 128.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Casey is three inches taller and has a notable five inches of reach advantage, plus of course Jojua missed weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Both women probe with the jab as they circle. Both women miss some punches, then they trade rights and Casey lands a front kick to the body. Casey lands a right hand. Right to the body from Casey, then they trade rights. Casey lands an uppercut. Jojua lands a right hand. Casey lands a right hook, she’s finding the target reliably. They trade in close but Casey is getting the better of these exchanges. Casey lands another right, her footwork is better than Jojua’s as well and that’s exacerbating her advantages. Some kicks from Casey now as she’s getting more comfortable. Head kick and punches from Casey, Jojua lands a front kick to the face but that barely gets Casey to back off. Jojua’s nose is bleeding now, but she gets a double leg into full guard. Both women unload with strikes on the mat until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Casey, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Casey lands a leg kick, she’s trying to keep a bit more distance now as a form of takedown defense. Stiff right from Casey. Jojua avoids a few kicks then lands a right hand. Calf kick from Casey. Jojua lands a bit of a right. Casey lands a front kick to the body then a bit of a head kick. Jojua lands a right hand. Casey lands a right to the body. Another right hand lands for Casey. Casey slips landing a left hook and Jojua jumps into her guard after taking a couple of up kicks. Jojua lands some body shots, Casey lands elbows to the shoulder. Elbow from Jojua and she passes to side control as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Casey lands a bit of a right hand. Jojua’s nose is still leaking. A few punches from Jojua but she needs to close distance and she’s actively avoiding doing so. Jojua lands a front kick to the body. Casey lands an uppercut and a left hook. Left hook from Casey lands. Casey angles away from a clinch attempt. Jojua lands a right hand. They trade rights again. Casey lands a solid right hand. A right to the body then a left hook from Casey. Another Casey combination mostly lands. Casey lands a leg kick. Casey lands a head kick, but misses another one. Jojua punches into a clinch and they trade there before breaking. Casey avoids a few punches, Jojua tries a double leg and gets it against the fence with less than ten seconds left in the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cortney Casey via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Pity about Jojua’s decision making, she could have made that a closer affair. Mic time for Casey, she calls the win good and notes she might have broken her hand in the first round. She notes she’s worked a lot on her high kick game and finally had a fight where she could use them.

Sean Woodson has gone 2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win and is trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. Collin Anglin had a rough UFC debut when he was stopped in the second round to end a seven fight winning streak, now he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first ever losing streak. Woodson is a heavy -330 favorite while Anglin’s comeback sits at +260.

Featherweight Bout: Collin Anglin (8-2, 146 lbs.) vs. Sean Woodson (8-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Woodson is five and a half inches taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Woodson, and they touch gloves to get us going. Woodson starts switching his stance early, probing with long range weapons. Bit of a right from Woodson, then a front kick to the body. Anglin is struggling with the range here, not that I entirely blame him given the frame on Woodson. Woodson lands another front kick to the body. Anglin lands a right then a follow up left hook. Anglin blocks a high kick. Woodson lands a bit of a left. Bit of a one two from Woodson. Woodson lands a calf kick, Anglin returns it. Another calf kick from Woodson. Anglin backs Woodson to the fence but misses punches and tries a single leg. Woodson defends rather easily and spins Anglin into the fence. Knees from Woodson as they jockey for position then he spins free. Woodson lands a stiff jab. Bit of a right from Anglin. Woodson keeps attacking the legs at distance, then he lands a right hand. Glancing head kick from Woodson, then a one two and a left to the body. More body shots from Woodson, those have Anglin locked up on the fence. Woodson starts digging body shots in the clinch before Anglin gets free. Another combination from Woodson, Anglin is hurt to the body and a few more liver shots drop him and that prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean Woodson via TKO, punches, at 4:30 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Woodson for his work this afternoon. Woodson gets an interview, he’s thrilled with the performance and notes it feels great to get his first UFC finish. He talks us through the finish, noting he knew when Anglin got hurt to the body and he just had to follow up intelligently. He expected more wrestling from Anglin and puts him over for the fight. Asked about the future he wants to enjoy the holidays but he’d like to fight in March or so.

Pay attention to the time here. When you’ve hurt someone to the body you don’t have to rush, you’ve got a bit more time than you think to go back to it and get the finish. Woodson hurts Anglin quickly, but intelligently draws the hands up with punches then goes back to the body. You really don’t need to rush if you actually hurt someone to the body, be aware and attack it but you don’t need to abandon technique to do so.

Cynthia Calvillo was once thought to be a future title contender at strawweight before a series of weight issues forced her to move up to flyweight. Since moving to 125 lbs. Calvillo has gone 1-2 and is on a two fight losing streak, she badly needs a win to defend her top ranking and retain relevance in the title picture. Andrea Lee just broke a three fight losing streak when she submitted Antonina Shevchenko, if she can get another winning streak up and running her she could find herself in the title picture in rather short order. This one is close according to the odds but they favor Calvillo at -135 to +115 for Lee.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #5 Cynthia Calvillo (9-3-1, 126 lbs.) vs. #12 Andrea Lee (12-5, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lee is two inches taller and has a notable five and a half inches of reach advantage. Both women come out jabbing, Lee working to keep things long and avoid contact. Lee lands a right hand. Some combinations from Lee as she keeps mobile. Both women land punches in close. Lee is keeping her jab active and circling. Calvillo gets a clinch, Lee lands a knee to the body then separates. Lee jabbing again, she lands a right to the body as well. Another body shot from Lee, she’s clearly trying to dissuade a level change from Calvillo. Lee lands a stiff one two. Calvillo lands a bit of a right. Lee lands another body shot then a leg kick. Calvillo catches a head kick but Lee just punches and limp legs away from her. Lee goes southpaw and lands a knee to the body. Calvillo is bleeding from the nose, but does land a right hand. Lee keeps landing her jab, and follows up with a right to the body. Calvillo tries another takedown, lee stuffs it immediately and gets back to punching. Lee is bleeding from the nose as well. Calvillo lands a right, Lee responds with a combination then barely misses a head kick. Lee lands a right hand. Lee lands punches, Calvillo catches a kick and gets a takedown but Lee bounces up and they hit the fence. Calvillo is trying to stay on the back with one hook in as they stand but Lee breaks her grip and spins free. Lee back to punching and she lands a leg kick as well. Head kick from Lee, then a body kick to close the round.


ROUND TWO: Lee gets right back on offense, she’s trying to keep the pace high and wear down Calvillo. Leg kick from Lee, then a front kick to the body hurts Calvillo just a bit. Lee with more front kicks to the body, Calvillo does not like those. Lee lands a knee to the body then a body kick, she’s trying to keep Calvillo on the back foot. Calvillo lands a couple of body jabs. Lee lands a left hook then a right to follow. Another body kick from Lee then a right uppercut. Lee lands a right uppercut. Calvillo is trying to grit through this spot. Lee avoids a front kick and lands a counter right. Lee lands a stiff left hook. Calvillo eats a right hand. They clinch up, but Lee separates immediately. Lee might have hurt her left hand, but she’s still throwing it. Body kick then an uppercut from Lee. Calvillo lands a right hand. Lee lands another combination. Some stance switching from Lee, she lands a couple of left front kicks to the body then a head kick but Calvillo just eats it. Lee lands another combination, she’s looking very sharp thus far. Lee lands a body shot, Calvillo lands a left hook. Straight right from Lee wobbles Calvillo, she’s following up with punches. They clinch up and Lee lands a knee then separates. A final right from Lee ends the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lee borderline 10-8, 20-18 Lee overall

ROUND THREE: Calvillo doesn’t answer the bell for round 3, no shame there as Lee beat her badly in that second round.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrea Lee via TKO, corner stoppage, at 5:00 of Round 2

Heck of a second round from Lee. Lee gets an interview, she feels on cloud 9, and thanks her opponent for taking the fight on short notice and making it happen. She feels great and is thrilled to get a finish. Asked about her hand, she doesn’t think it’s broken but she definitely felt that punch and her knuckle is swollen up.

Thiago Moises has gone 4-3 in the UFC but just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Islam Makhachev, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak while defending his top fifteen spot. Joel Alvarez has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, unfortunately he’s now missed weight twice in a row and needs a win just for a big of job security. Moises is a significant favorite at -260 while the +210 comeback on Alvarez might be a tempting value bet.

Lightweight Bout: Joel Alvarez (18-2, 157.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Thiago Moises (15-5, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Alvarez is a whopping six inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach advantage but did miss weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Moises lands a leg kick but misses the follow up punches. Alvarez lands a knee to the body, eats a counter right and then lands a calf kick. Hard right from Moises lands. Moises jabs the body, then misses a follow up right. Bit of a right from Alvarez then a knee to the body. Alvarez is pressing forward but both men seem to be adjusting a bit. Moises lands a left hook to counter a right. Alvarez keeps coming forward, lands a couple of right elbows and Moises is hurt. Moises blocks a high kick. Alvarez tries a wheel kick that’s blocked. Moises eats a few more elbows then body shots against the fence and the ref steps in to halt the action.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joel Alvarez via TKO, elbows and punches, at 3:01 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Alvarez for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Alvarez and his translator, he knows he’s a striker and while he can grapple this is what he loves to do. Asked about the future he will fight anyone because the division is full of lions.

Here’s the finish, brutal elbows from Alvarez who looked really good all fight.

Well that ends the prelims, we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card though.

Song Yadong has only lost once in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win and is looking to build another winning streak while regaining momentum in the stacked bantamweight division. Julio Arce has gone 4-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win in his return to bantamweight and is looking to establish himself as a relevant contender in the competitive division. The odds are close for this one but favor Song at -135 to +115 for Arce.

Bantamweight Bout: Julio Arce (17-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Song Yadong (17-5-1 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Song is an inch taller while Arce has three inches of reach advantage, Arce is also 9 years older. They touch gloves to get things started, Arce fighting southpaw. Both men feinting and circling at first. Song misses a few punches. Bit of a right from Song, that got Arce’s attention. Arce lands a jab. Song is trying to back Arce up, he misses a series of hooks as Arce avoids him. Bit of a right from Song. Arce blocks a head kick. Arce lands a left hand. Leg kick from Song. Song lands a left hook. Arce lands a body kick but takes a counter punch. Song lands a right to the body then a left hook. They both block high kicks. They feint away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Song

ROUND TWO: Arce comes out and is looking to push the pace a bit more this time. They get close and trade, Song also seems to be upping the output this round. Song is finding some body to head combinations, his hand speed is impressive. Song lands a head kick, that wobbles Arce and Song presses him to the fence then unloads until Arce falls and the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Song Yadong via TKO, punches, at 1:35 of Round 2

Mic time for Song and his translator, he notes he wanted to be more strategic this time instead of his usual more aggressive self. He notes both of them like to throw head kicks and figured his would be more powerful.

Here’s the finish. Song’s ability to land the head kick at this range is impressive, and his hand speed as well as killer instinct are top notch.

Miguel Baeza just suffered his first professional loss in his last fight, now he’s trying to rebuild some of the hype he’d generated and avoid his first losing streak. Kalinn “Khaos” Williams has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, if he can build another winning streak at the expense of Baeza here it could be Williams who emerges as the rising contender at welterweight. Baeza is your favorite at -150 to +125 for Williams.

Welterweight Bout: Miguel Baeza (10-1, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Khaos Williams (12-2, 169 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Baeza is two inches taller but Williams has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. A lot of circling from Baeza as they get a feel for each other. Williams misses a left hook. Baeza tries to tie up, Williams avoids that and misses a hook. Bit of a calf kick from Williams. Another calf kick from Williams. Baeza lands a left hook that stuns Williams for a second but he recovers. They trade rights, things are breaking down now but both men seem a little content to reset after they both got stung like that. Baeza lands a right then tries a head kick that’s blocked. Williams kicks the legs from under Baeza and jumps into his guard, Baeza inverts for a kneebar, starts switching back and forth between that and a toe hold but eventually he does straighten the leg. Williams defends but Baeza switches to a toe hold, then back towards the heel hook. Williams lands some punches but Baeza gets the inside heel hook and starts cranking on it. Baeza needs more control over the knee line to make this pop. Williams keeps trying to punch out of this, he lands a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Williams but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Baeza is back to circling and looking for openings. Both men show the lead hand, Baeza lands an inside leg kick. Calf kick from Baeza lands. They trade calf kicks. Williams misses a few punches then eats a jab. Baeza lands a front kick to the face. They trade lefts. Some jabs from Baeza, Williams tries an inside leg kick but that strays into the groin so we’ve got a timeout. Baeza is good to continue after about 50 seconds we’re back to action. Hard couple of calf kicks from Baeza, those are adding up quickly. More calf kicks from Baeza, Williams tries to fire a counter combination but his movement is hampered enough that he can’t quite find the target. Baeza lands another calf kick then avoids a few wild hooks. Bit of a right from Baeza. Williams is backing up more now, he jabs the body while doing so. Baeza lands another calf kick, Williams lands a counter left this time. Both men miss rights, then Baeza lands a right. Williams avoids a few punches and clinches up, then knees Baeza in the groin so we’ve got another timeout. Replay confirms the low blow, and Williams gets a stern warning, Baeza takes 100 seconds then we’re back to fighting. Both men land rights then Williams misses a high kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Baeza, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men come out jabbing and circling. Baeza lands a calf kick. I’m a little surprised Baeza hasn’t tried to wrestle a bit more. Both men miss punches, then Williams lands a calf kick. Glancing right from Baeza then a couple of hard calf kicks but Williams pushes through them to land a couple of hooks that floor Baeza and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khaos Williams via TKO, punches, at 1:02 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Williams for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Williams after that, he says the heel hook in the first wasn’t that close. He talks us through the finish, saying he’s made for this and he’s used to being counted out. Asked about the future he wants back as soon as reasonable, and notes his calf is a bit beat up but he’ll battle through it.

Two big dangers are demonstrated here, predictability and an immobile head. Baeza fires a few too many calf kicks in succession, then when Williams forces his way into punching distance Baeza doesn’t move his head off the center line and Williams crushes him with a right hand.

Felicia Spencer has gone 2-3 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, she’s trying to halt that skid and prove she’s still a worthwhile addition to the roster. Leah Letson has been out of action since 2018 when she won her UFC debut, now she’s trying to get back to action and could get the biggest win of her career when she takes on the former UFC title challenger. Spencer is a rather heavy -310 favorite against +250 for Letson.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Leah Letson (5-1, 145 lbs.) vs. Felicia Spencer (8-3, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Letson is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Letson. Spencer gets right after the fight, punching close and forcing a clinch on the fence. Some knees to the body and thigh from Spencer, Letson is struggling to get free. A few short elbows from Spencer land, she’s starting to use head position to set up punches in the clinch as well. Spencer tries for a single leg, Letson defends but can’t get free. Letson is bleeding from the nose, Spencer has been roughing her up in the clinch consistently. More short punches and knees from Spencer, Letson tries to dig the body but there’s no power in her strikes yet. Spencer lands another couple of elbows, Letson lands a few punches and gets off the fence but can’t get out of the clinch and Spencer drives her back to the cage and lands more elbows. A hard elbow from Spencer lands, she’s working knees to the body now as well. Letson lands a few punches in close, Spencer counters with elbows while keeping her on the fence. More elbows from Spencer end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Spencer but a marginal one

ROUND TWO: Spencer gets right back to forward pressure and forces another clinch. Spencer starts working punches in the clinch then gets an trip. Letson bounces back up quickly but now Spencer is on her back. Letson is able to sling Spencer down, Spencer quickly moves to her feet and resumes working knees in the clinch. Rights to the body and head from Spencer. Spencer lands a few more elbows and knees, she’s breaking down and overwhelming Letson. Letson lands a left but her offense is incredibly muted. Spencer tries a single leg but can’t secure it as Letson defends. Another elbow from Spencer. Spencer gets a double leg, Letson looks to wall walk immediately and does so but is still clinched. A steady stream of offense from Spencer continues, then Letson finally pushes her off. Letson lands a body kick but Spencer takes her down and starts working on the mat. Letson looks to wall walk, Spencer into the ride position and lands more punches then a hard knee to the head as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Spencer but could be another 10-8, 20-17 Spencer overall

ROUND THREE: Spencer starts pressuring forward again, Letson has had enough of this and hits a double leg into full guard. Letson tries to retain top position as Spencer looks to sweep or off balance. Spencer does sweep and gets into the ride position, she lands punches as Letson wall walks. Spencer is back to landing punches and knees as Letson is wilting against the fence. Elbow from Spencer, then more punches to the head. Spencer’s motor is impressive, she cracks Letson with a few more elbows while keeping the clinch. Knees from Spencer connect but she can’t find the takedown. Letson gets free and lands a right but Spencer double legs her and lands in half guard. Spencer postures up and lands punches and elbows, she’s close to getting a stoppage here. Spencer is looking for mount, gets 3/4 mount and tees off with enough punches to get the ref to intervene.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Felicia Spencer via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:25 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Spencer for her work this afternoon. That was a beat down from start to finish. Mic time for Spencer, she says she fought where she’s best tonight and then puts over Letson as a tough opponent. She talks us through the finish, and talks about increasing the intensity in the fight and working on that skill set.

Here’s the finish. As noted above, this was just a beat down. Once Spencer got on top and could secure position she unloaded with ground and pound, then passed to a dominant position and forced the stoppage.

Ben Rothwell has gone 3-1 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a win and needs to build another winning streak here if he wants to possibly get into title contention before his already extensive career wraps up. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been trading wins and losses going all the way back to 2014, he’s coming off of a win though and could get his first UFC winning streak since 2014 up and running here. Rothwell is the favorite at -170 to a +145 payout for de Lima.

Heavyweight Bout: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (18-7-1, 259 lbs.) vs. Ben Rothwell (39-13, 265 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rothwell is three inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Rothwell lands a jab, de Lima lands a couple of calf kicks then a right that wobbles Rothwell. De Lima gets close along the fence and tees off with punches, he clobbers Rothwell several times, mostly goes down, and the ref steps in to halt the action.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marcos Rogerio de Lima via TKO, punches, at :32 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. de Lima for his work this afternoon. Mic time for de Lima and his translator, he puts over Rothwell as an opponent and thanks his team for all of their work that got him to this point. Asked about the stoppage, he knew he was landing hard punches and feels good about doing this to Rothwell. He and Bisping joke about his nickname, then de Lima thanks the UFC brass and his family.

Here’s the finish. Not much technique outside of the initial right that troubles Rothwell, but here you are anyway.

Max Holloway is the former UFC featherweight champion, one of the best featherweights of all time, and in his last fight put a statistically historic beating on Calvin Kattar. Holloway is trying to force a third fight with Alexander Volkanovski to possibly reclaim the title. Yair Rodriguez has only lost once in the UFC but he’s been out of action for over two years, now Rodriguez has a big opportunity as if he can get by an all time great like Holloway he should get the next shot at the featherweight title. The odds are overwhelmingly with Holloway at -650 while the +475 comeback on Rodriguez might tempt a few bettors.

Featherweight Bout: #1 Max Holloway (22-6, 146 lbs.) vs. #3 Yair Rodriguez (13-2 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Rodriguez has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Holloway immediately pressures forward with feints. Rodriguez has started switching his stance. Holloway blocks a few kicks then jabs Rodriguez down and lets him up. Holloway lands a few jabs. Stiff right from Holloway, and he avoids the counters. Rodriguez lands an inside leg kick, then a right hook in close. Hard right from Holloway lands. Holloway lands a right to the body, then a skipping jab. Lefts to the body and head from Holloway then they trade rights. Rodriguez misses a front kick. Holloway with another jab, he’s already starting to chew up Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a right hook but he’s over swinging a lot of his strikes. Calf kicks from Rodriguez, but Holloway is jabbing to counter. Rodriguez lands a body kick. Holloway lands a body kick, then a right to the body. Rodriguez keeps chopping at the legs of Holloway, those could pay dividends down the stretch. Another calf kick from Rodriguez lands. Rodriguez with a bit of a head kick, then Holloway stuns Rodriguez with a right. Holloway stalks forward, he lands a few front kicks to the thigh to manage distance. Rodriguez is bleeding on the left cheek. Holloway lands a right, Rodriguez tries to fire back but he’s mostly just out of range. Rodriguez smothers a spin kick and gets the back standing as they hit the fence. Holloway easily wall walks and starts fighting the grip of Rodriguez. They get chest to chest, then Holloway avoids a single leg and kicks Rodriguez in the head. Rodriguez slips on a jumping kick and Holloway gets on top in half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Rodriguez lands a calf kick, Holloway punches him in the body then they trade calf kicks. Rodriguez is coming forward, Holloway is content to jab and let him use energy. Rodriguez lands a jab. A few more jabs from Rodriguez land, Holloway returns them then clubs the body a few times. Rodriguez lands an inside leg kick, he’s timing Holloway when he closes distance rather nicely. Holloway lands a few body shots then kicks the body as Rodriguez heads away from the fence. Another one two from Holloway then he avoids a wheel kick. More body shots form Holloway, then he blocks a body kick. Rodriguez tries to kick but Holloway is all over him, he’s going to make Rodriguez keep this pace. Bit of a right from Holloway. Both men are doing a lot of stance switching. Rodriguez lands a series of leg kicks. Holloway keeps pressing forward through the calf kicks and digs the body and head. A left from Holloway stuns Rodriguez, then he digs the body again. Rodriguez lands a right in close, then they both trade in close. Holloway lands a right. More calf kicks from Rodriguez as he circles. Holloway gets close, eats an up elbow and unloads with punches. Rodriguez lands another calf kick, but takes another body shot in return. Holloway lands more body shots, then a few head shots. Knee to the body from Holloway as they clinch and he’s got Rodriguez on the fence. A Holloway elbow lands before they break. Rodriguez misses an elbow strike, then Holloway kicks him down and lands a right as he goes into the guard and the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Holloway resumes pressuring forward and lands a body kick. Rodriguez misses a few hooks, then Holloway lands a double jab. Right then a jumping knee from Holloway and he clinches Rodriguez on the fence. Holloway with knees to the body before he separates. Rodriguez misses a few punches but he’s trying to come forward. Calf kick from Rodriguez, but Holloway lands a one two to counter. Holloway lands a left hand. Holloway jabs Rodriguez down on a calf kick and gets on top. Damaging punches from Holloway, he’s in 3/4 mount on the ground and uses an arm triangle attack to move to full mount. Holloway gets high in his mount and unloads with punches. Rodriguez bucks and gives up his back, Holloway is riding Rodriguez quite well. Hammer fists from Holloway, now punches as well as Rodriguez tries to squirm but he can’t get Holloway out of position. Holloway has the back now with both hooks in and lands punches. Rodriguez is able to strip one of the hooks and Holloway moves to the front headlock position. Holloway into the ride and lands knees to the body as they stand and separate. Rodriguez lands a couple of punches, he looks to unload but Holloway fires back then avoids a takedown and they trade knees in close again. Hard one two from Holloway. They split a few jabs then Holloway gets a double leg into side control. Holloway postures up and lands knees to the body before moving on to some punches. Rodriguez tries to hand fight but takes more knees to the body as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: They touch gloves again. Holloway starts pressuring forward again, and lands a body shot. Holloway lands a right in close. Rodriguez misses a calf kick, they get close and both men land punches. Holloway lands another couple of body shots. Rodriguez lands a calf kick but doesn’t seem to have a building plan for it. Holloway pushes forward, punches the body again and lands another knee the body then grabs a standing guillotine. Holloway rides Rodriguez down with the guillotine, he doesn’t get the choke but he does get top position and starts looking to work from half guard. Punches to the body and head from Holloway. Rodriguez tries to invert for a leg lock, Holloway spins free and moves to side control. Elbows from Holloway but Rodriguez moves around to get full guard. Holloway stands and punches to pass into knee on belly. Nearly full mount now for Holloway, he lands more strikes to set up the pass. Holloway into the ride position and lands more punches. Rodriguez wall walks but eats knees along the way before they break. Rodriguez lands a calf kick but Holloway lands some punches to punish him. Holloway avoids a few spinning attacks, Rodriguez is running out of ideas. Rodriguez takes an eye poke, well technically it was a thumb while the fist was closed so I’m not sure about the ruling there. The doctor is in to check on Rodriguez, he can continue and we’re back to fighting after 50 seconds. Rodriguez lands a punch to avoid a jumping knee. Holloway lands a right hand and backs Rodriguez up. Holloway blocks a few kicks and keeps backing Rodriguez up. Holloway lands a right in close. Bit of a flurry from Holloway. Rodriguez avoids a spinning attack, then they get close and both men swing punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway, 40-36 Holloway overall

ROUND FIVE: They hug to start the last round. Holloway starts banging the body right away, Rodriguez lands a right then a left hook. Both men land rights. Stiff jabs from Holloway. Rodriguez lands a couple of body kicks. Holloway fires back with punches. Holloway lands a knee in close then a knee to the body. Body shots from Holloway, then Rodriguez lands an elbow in close. Holloway punches in close and knees the body, Rodriguez might be hurt to the body now. Some long range punches from Holloway. Rodriguez lands a calf kick. A few punches from Holloway, then he hits the body again. Rodriguez misses a Pele kick and Holloway gets on top again. Holloway moves to half guard with ease, but Rodriguez sweeps him and gets on top in full guard. Holloway scrambles to the fence and looks to wall walk. They fight up, Rodriguez is slower to his feet and Holloway punches then knees him along the fence. Another knee from Holloway lands and they break. Rodriguez lands a body kick, then they trade punches. Holloway lands some jabs, but gets poked in the eye so we’ve got another break. Replay confirms the poke, and Holloway wants right back into the fight after 20 seconds. Both men land punches and clinch up then break. Jabs are traded then they clinch again. Holloway avoids a takedown but they separate. Rodriguez lands a spinning back kick but Holloway clinches him into the fence again. They trade in the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holloway, 50-45 Holloway overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Max Holloway via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2)

No issues with Rodriguez taking the first, not as sure about the fifth. Mic time for Holloway, he puts over Rodriguez as a beast of an opponent first and foremost. He feels great, but jokes he couldn’t call himself the best grappler after getting swept in the fifth. He says his legs are OK and notes Rodriguez was good about using elbows in his boxing. Asked what he wants next he tells the match makers to do their job but has a few ideas about 145, or 155, or even a rematch with McGregor.

Rodriguez gets an interview too, ne notes his foot is hurt, it’s visibly swelling, but puts over Holloway as the better man tonight but he’ll still be back.

Alright, on that note UFC on ESPN+ 55 comes to a close. Boy did this card over perform, and I thank all the fighters for that. We’ll unpack all of the results from this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus look ahead to next week for UFC on ESPN+ 56. I’ll be back for that event, and I hope you will as well. Until then thank you again for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC Fight Night, Robert Winfree