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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Lewis Wins

December 18, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 57

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
#3 Derrick Lewis (265 lbs.) vs. #7 Chris Daukaus (235.5 lbs.)
#10 Belal Muhammad (170.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Stephen Thompson (170.5 lbs.)
#12 Angela Hill (115.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Amanda Lemos (115 lbs.)
#12 Raphael Assuncao (136 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (135.5 lbs.)
#12 Diego Ferreira (156 lbs.) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (155.5 lbs.)
Darren Elkins (145.5 lbs.) vs. Cub Swanson (145.5 lbs.)

Gerald Meerschaert (185.5 lbs.) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (185.5 lbs.)
Harry Hunsucker (238.5 lbs.) vs. Justin Tafa (267 lbs.)*
Sijara Eubanks (127.5 lbs.)* vs. Melissa Gatto (125 lbs.)
Andre Ewell (145 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (145.5 lbs.)
Macy Chiasson (148.5 lbs.)* vs. Raquel Pennington (145 lbs.)
Don’Tale Mayes (256.5 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (262 lbs.)
Jordan Leavitt (155.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Sayles (155.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 57. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. First I’d like to congratulate everyone on making it, this is the final UFC card of the year. To close out the year the UFC brought a decent little card, our main event pits rising heavyweight contender Chis Daukaus against veteran and former title challenger Derrick Lewis. The winner of that fight could figure into the title picture next year. Also on this card Stephen Thompson and Belal Muhammad battle for position around the welterweight title, Amanda Lemos looks to continue her ascent through the strawweight ranks, Raphael Assuncao tries to salvage his career against hard charging Ricky Simon, and veterans Cub Swanson and Darren Elkins will see which of them is closer to retirement. We also had three fighters miss weight for their prelims, including a first ever miss at heavyweight. I mean it had to happen eventually but man, missing weight at heavyweight is a serious albatross to have to carry around. It’s not the sexiest card overall, but it’s a lot better than it might appear at first blush.

UFC on ESPN+ 57 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer rules but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We will have the use of instant replay if necessary, there’s an extra official outside the cage who can request replay be used, and the fight can be restarted after instant replay is used if that’s applicable. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping on commentary.

Unfortunately earlier this morning we lost Roani Barcelos and Victor Henry after Henry tested positive for Covid. That sucks, I like Barcelos as a fighter and was looking forward to that one. Hopefully Henry’s case isn’t serious.

Jordan Leavitt is coming off of his first professional loss, a loss that brought his UFC record to 1-1 and now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Matt Sayles has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and a slightly over two year layoff but he’s hoping a move to lightweight will reinvigorate his career. The odds are close here but lean towards Leavitt at -135 to +115 for Sayles.

Lightweight Bout: Jordan Leavitt (8-1, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Sayles (8-3, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Leavitt is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, both men feinting and probing with long range strikes. Leavitty fighting southpaw, he rattles Sayles with a head kick. Sayles lands a leg kick. Leavitt lands a front kick to the body. They get close, Sayles sprawls away from a takedown and grabs a front headlock but Leavitt is tying up his arms and spins him into the fence then works from the clinch. Leavitt starts working for trips, Sayles defends and looks for a standing guillotine but can’t get it and he’s clinched up again. Outside trip from Leavitt and he lands in half guard. Some short punches and elbows from Leavitt as he looks to set up a pass. Sayles is trying to wall walk, but Leavitt passes to full mount. Some quick hips from Sayles and he gets butterfly guard. Leavitt lands an elbow and looks to pass again, he wraps up an anaconda choke and compresses things. Sayles is fighting to get out, Leavitt can’t quite find the bite on the choke but he adjusts to a guillotine as they roll. Leavitt bails on the choke, Sayles tries a single leg but Leavitt rolls through with him and tries another choke then uses that to roll to the ride position. They fight up to the feet and Sayles has a few punches blocked to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Leavitt

ROUND TWO: Another touch of gloves for the round. Leavitt keeps showing that left head kick, he’s backing up Sayles more this round. Sayles lands a right hand and avoids a takedown attempt. Both men land punches in close then Sayles lands a right. A few body shots from Sayles as he’s the one going forward now. Leavitt lands a side kick then they clinch up. Sayles tries a single leg, Leavitt jumps guard with a guillotine attack and while he loses the choke he uses it to switch position. Another takedown from Sayles, Leavitt locks up an inverted triangle choke. I’m not sure he’s got that, he starts fishing for a leg as well but that triangle must have been tight as Sayles taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Jordan Leavitt via Submission, inverted triangle choke, at 2:05 of Round 2

That’s a heck of a rare submission to pull off. Mic time for Leavitt, he promises he’s well rounded but isn’t quite comfortable on the feet out here yet and knows his grappling is better. He was happy to show off his counter wrestling a bit and says he likes the inverted triangle as a fun little technique to have in his back pocket.

Here’s the finish, one of the more unique submissions of the year. I love all the little things Leavitt does here, the way he clamps his legs down, angles his body, and even uses a grip on the leg to maximize the compression on the neck.

Don’Tale Mayes has gone 1-2 in the UFC but he’s coming off of his first UFC win and is hoping to convert that into his first UFC winning streak. Josh Parisian has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s likewise coming off of a win and is trying to build his first UFC winning streak. Mayes is your -170 favorite to +150 for Parisian.

Heavyweight Bout: Don’Tale Mayes (8-4, 256.5 lbs.) vs. Josh Parisian (14-4, 262 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mayes has two inches of height and reach over Parisian. Both men circling, Mayes lands a leg kick. Parisian lands a jab. Front kick from Mayes, then they clash and trade punches. Mayes tries a takedown, they hit the fence but Parisian stumbles backwards and lands on his back. Bit of an up kick from Parisian as Mayes stands over him, then Mayes lands a right as he passes the legs and lands in side control. Mayes has a mounted crucifix if he recognizes it, he doesn’t and Parisian wall walks. Mayes uses the clinch to take Parisian down again, again he lands in side control and starts working. Parisian starts working, he shrimps and regains his feet and drives Mayes into the fence. They fight for position along the clinch, Parisian lands a knee. Mayes gets another body lock and hits a lateral drop to get side control again. Mounted crucifix now for Mayes, he’s controlling it this time and lands short punches and elbows as Parisian is struggling to get free. Mayes works for an americana but loses the grip. Parisian has caught half guard and that makes him a bit safer here. Mayes tries to work his half guard, but he can’t quite finish a sweep attempt and Mayes rolls for a kneebar but wont find it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mayes

ROUND TWO: Mayes comes out looking to strike, he uses a flying knee to get close and lands body shots before they clinch up. Single leg attempt from Mayes, and he gets Parisian down but Parisian is using a kimura grip to try and threaten him. Mayes is in side control, he lands some body shots as Parisian keeps fishing for the arm. Parisian loses the grip and Mayes settles into side control. Parisian scrambles back to his feet and they resume fighting in the clinch. Some body work from Parisian, he tries a trip takedown but Mayes reverses it and lands on top again. Mayes is working from half guard but the pace is slowing. Some body and head shots from Mayes. Parisian starts fishing for a kimura again but Mayes pulls his arm free. Mayes lands a few short elbows as he passes to full mount. Mayes into the ride position as Parisian tries to roll and he starts laying in punches and hammer fists to the head. Parisian goes to his back, he’s cut around the left eye. Mayes moves to north-south, he tries some hip strikes to the head and is properly admonished by the ref as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Mayes but a marginal one, 20-17 Mayes overall

ROUND THREE: Parisian comes out looking to strike, but Mayes fights with him before getting rattled by a spinning elbow and deciding to take things down. Mayes gets a rather easy takedown into half guard and starts working body strikes. Parisian fishes for a leg lock and Mayes stands free, he stands over Parisian then misses a punch as Parisian regains his feet and they clinch up again. Mayes slips to the back and takes Parisian down again and lands in the ride position. Parisian to his knees but he can’t get free as Mayes lands short blows to the head. They wind up in north-south again, Mayes moves to side control and starts looking for the mounted crucifix again. Mayes gets the mounted crucifix and lays in elbows to the exhausted Parisian until the ref stops things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Don’Tale Mayes via TKO, elbows, at 3:26 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Mayes for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Mayes, he wanted to prove he’s more than a striker with this fight and worked a lot on being heavy on top in camp. He says he’s got skills on the mat and wants people to respect his abilities.

Raquel Pennington finds herself on a two fight winning streak coming into this fight, and if she’s able to get to three in a row here she might be able to earn a second crack at Amanda Nunes though this time for the featherweight title instead of bantamweight. Macy Chiasson missed weight for this fight, never a good thing but in this case somewhat mitigated by her taking the fight on about a weeks notice. Chiasson is trying to get her own three fight winning streak as well as positioning herself in the title picture. The odds are with Pennington at -145 to a +125 comeback on Chiasson.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Macy Chiasson (7-1, 148.5 lbs.) vs. Raquel Pennington (12-8, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chiasson is four inches taller and has four and a half inches of reach advantage in addition of course to her weight miss. A lot of circling from both women. Pennington lands a calf kick. Chiasson keeps showing kicks, and lands a left hook that stuns Pennington for a second. Pennington keeps looking to blitz, she’s having mixed success thus far. Chiasson lands an uppercut in close. Again Chiasson lands a left hook in close, then an uppercut to follow up. Some stance switching from both women, Pennington lands a left hook now. Pennington lands a right in close. Chiasson takes a leg kick then lands a body kick. They tie up and trade some close punches before hitting the fence. Pennington lands a knee to the body. They break and trade punches, Chiasson keeps on offense and Pennington is pushing forward but she’s taking damage while trying to come forward. Chiasson lands a left uppercut then avoids a takedown from Pennington. They clinch up and hit the fence, Chiasson lands knees to the body then hits a takedown into half guard. Pennington moves to 50/50 guard then hooks her leg around the neck to try and control Chiasson. Chiasson gets her head free and lays in shoulder strikes to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chiasson

ROUND TWO: Chiasson has a high kick blocked to start the round. Body kick from Chiasson, Pennington keeps coming forward and they start trading in close. Another body kick from Chiasson. Pennington blitzes in, she lands a right but eats a left hook as they clinch up. Chiasson breaks the body lock Pennington has and lays in serious knees to the body then Pennington lands some punches as they break apart. A left from Chiasson lands, she’s getting a read on Pennington’s timing now. Another body kick from Chiasson lands. Pennington lands a right. Chiasson fakes a body kick, Pennington bites hard on that, I think those body kicks have begun adding up. A lot of stance switching from Chiasson now. Pennington punches in close and they tie up again. Chiasson looks for a double leg, Pennington grabs a front choke though and then collapses the weight down on top of Chiasson to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Raquel Pennington via Submission, front choke, at 3:07 of Round 2

Mic time for Pennington, she thanks everyone for coming out, her family who was able to make it, and says the camp was very frustrating. She notes the constant opponent changes she dealt with and thanks Chiasson for taking the fight. She talks us through the finish to close.

Here’s the finish, Chiasson gets a little sloppy with her head position while dropping her level, Pennington is able to get her hands around the neck and lock things up from there.

Charles Jourdain has gone 2-3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss to Julian Erosa, he’s fighting out his current contract here and needs a win to help secure a better offer from either the UFC or other promotions going forward. Andre Ewell has gone just 2-2 in his last four fights and is on a two fight losing streak, he’s hoping a return to featherweight will turn his career around and halt his current skid. Jourdain is a notable -200 favorite while Ewell’s comeback sits at +170.

Featherweight Bout: Andre Ewell (17-8, 145 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (11-4-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jourdain is an inch taller but Ewell has a significant six inches of reach advantage. Ewell starts jabbing early. Jourdain with some leg kicks to try and counter the jab. Jourdain lands another leg kick. Ewell lands a jab. They tie up briefly then break as both men land glancing left hooks. Jourdain lands another leg kick. A bit of stance switching from Ewell as he moves, he’s punching well but Jourdain is using a high guard to block a lot of his punches. Body kick from Ewell. Both men land punches in close, then Ewell lands a stiff jab. Both men doing stance switches now. Jourdain lands a leg kick, he seems to like southpaw at the moment. Bit of a head kick from Jourdain. Ewell lands a one two. Jourdain lands a leg kick. Stiff left from Ewell lands. Jourdain lands a body kick. Some lefts from Ewell as he moves around Jourdain. Jourdain avoids an overhand left. Ewell lands an uppercut as Jourdain is jumping, and they tumble to the ground with Ewell on top in full guard. Jourdain uses a guillotine threat to regain his feet. Leg kick and a left from Jourdain closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jourdain but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Jourdain comes out kicking to the leg and head. Ewell catches a kick and lands a few punches. Jourdain lands a calf kick. Stiff left from Jourdain lands. Ewell lands a jab. Those leg kicks from Jourdain are adding up, he lands a few more then lands a punch to follow up. Ewell lands a body shot. They trade leg kicks then Jourdain lands a left hand. Ewell lands a left of his own. Another leg kick from Jourdain. Ewell lands a leg kick but Jourdain counters with a few punches. Jourdain lands a left to the body. Bit of a left from Jourdain and he forces a clinch then lands a right hand as they break. Hard left to the body from Jourdain, he’s melting Ewell with his pressure and accuracy. Jourdain lands a left then a few more punches along the fence. They trade lefts. Jourdain with body shots then a knee and elbow. Ewell moves away from him but slips and Jourdain gets on top in half guard. Jourdain postures up and lands some punches to the body and head. A flurry of offense from Jourdain, Ewell defends and Jourdain grabs at the neck for a choke as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Ewell comes out jabbing again. Jourdain lands a leg kick. A blitz from Jourdain is mostly successful. Jourdain lands a jab. Some body to head punches from Jourdain, Ewell is still struggling to find anything. Leg kick from Jourdain lands. Another leg kick from Jourdain. Jourdain lands a left hand. Ewell is getting beaten up along the fence line, then lands a front kick to the face that hurts Jourdain. Jourdain shakes that off and lands hooks along the fence, he seems to have recovered. Another leg kick from Jourdain. Jourdain lands a left then lands a right hook. Ewell avoids a head kick and lands a jab. Jourdain lands a left to the body. Left from Jourdain and they tie up, then Jourdain lands an elbow and they break. They tie up again, Jourdain keeps digging the body with punches and knees, Ewell is hurt to the body now as they break. Jourdain grabs a front headlock and lands knees to the head. More knees from Jourdain to the head, he wants the finish but Ewell gets his head free. A wheel kick from Jourdain lands as they break then he pushes Ewell over with a front kick to the chest as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Jourdain but another marginal one, 30-26 Jourdain overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Charles Jourdain via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-27)

That was a beating down the stretch. Mic time for Jourdain, he feels he needs to prove himself worthy of fighting the top fifteen and while he’s not there yet he’s getting there. He notes this was his last fight on his contract and gave the fight his all to try and earn a bigger one next.

Sijara Eubanks missed weight here, her second time doing so at flyweight under the UFC banner, and now needs a win to help smooth over that particular issue. Melissa Gatto is undefeated as a professional including a successful UFC debut a few months ago, she’s looking to remain undefeated and secure the biggest win of her career over a veteran of the sport. The odds are with Eubanks at -160 to Gatto’s +140.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Sijara Eubanks (7-6, 127.5 lbs.) vs. Melissa Gatto (7-0-2, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gatto is an inch taller, has two inches of reach advantage, and is 11 years younger than Eubanks and of course Eubanks missed weight. Eubanks starts probing with the jab as they begin. Gatto lands a leg kick then they trade punches in close before Gatto smothers a takedown and gets on top. Eubanks is able to wrestler her way back up and gets a takedown into full guard. Gatto tries to get her guard in play, she lands a few hammer fists as she climbs her guard up. Eubanks lands a few elbows but Gatto gets her left leg up to the shoulder level. Gatto starts fishing with her guard up high, Eubanks passes it to the ride position then gets on top in half guard. Eubanks avoids a double wrist lock but defending allows Gatto to get full butterfly guard. Gatto starts after that kimura again, Eubanks moves to half guard and Gatto bails on the arm. Gatto nearly slips around to the back and winds up with full guard. Eubanks with some body punches, Gatto fires elbows from her back. Some punches from Eubanks land to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Eubanks but a close one

ROUND TWO: Eubanks comes out double jabbing. Gatto lands a leg kick. A jab from Gatto but Eubanks forces a clinch on the fence. Gatto tries an inside trip and nearly gets it. Knees from Gatto then they trade body shots as they break. Gatto lands a one two, then another one. Eubanks tries a double leg, she gets it into half guard. Gatto grabs at the kimura again but Eubanks defends. Gatto hits a lovely sweep to get on top in half guard. Eubanks starts looking to stall right away, Gatto lands a few small punches to the body and head. Some impressive shoulder pressure from Gatto, she then transitions to short elbows. Gatto lands a right hand. Some body shots from Gatto, Eubanks looks to shrimp and regain her feet but Gatto is threatening with a cravate to control the head. Gatto gets back on top, stands free and lands a few leg kicks to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gatto, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Eubanks looks a touch fatigued here. Gatto lands a leg kick. One two from Gatto lands. More jabs from Gatto then an inside leg kick. A front kick to the body from Gatto folds Eubanks in half and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Melissa Gatto via TKO, body kick, at :45 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Gatto for her work this evening. No interview for Gatto.

Here’s the finish, unfortunate timing for Eubanks as Eubanks tries to counter the kick with a right hand but instead of a round kick Gatto opted for a stabbing front kick to the body. That kick winds up digging deep into the body as Eubanks was leaning forward on her punch, brutal blow from Gatto.

Justin Tafa made a bit of history here, he’s the first person to ever miss weight for a heavyweight fight. I’d have put money on Greg Hardy being the first to do that, but nope it’s Tafa that earns that ignominious distinction. Tafa’s also just 1-3 in the UFC and on a two fight losing streak, he badly needs a win here to give the UFC the barest hint of a reason to keep him on the roster. Harry Hunsucker lost his UFC debut at the start of the year, now he’s back in action and looking to get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Despite the weight miss, or perhaps because of it, Tafa is a -310 favorite against +245 for Hunsucker.

Heavyweight Bout: Harry Hunsucker (7-4, 238.5 lbs.) vs. Justin Tafa (4-3, 267 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hunsucker is two inches taller with an inch of reach advantage while Tafa is heavier including his weight miss. Southpaw for Tafa, Hunsucker lands a side kick to the knee. Tafa off balances Hunsucker with some punches, gets on top but Hunsucker regains his feet and they start fighting in the clinch. Hunsucker is fishing for a kimura grip to break the body lock of Tafa, they spin to the mat and Hunsucker is still after that kimura but Tafa is on top. Tafa moves to side control but Hunsucker scrambles to his feet and they separate. They trade punches, then Hunsucker lands a right hand. Tafa avoids a double leg and ENDS Hunsucker with a head kick.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Justin Tafa via KO, head kick, at 1:53 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Tafa for his work this evening, and are happy to have finally arrived at the venue and respectfully ask that Las Vegas figure out its traffic issues. Mic time for Tafa, he sends love to people back home and knew that Hunsucker hadn’t quite recovered from the left hand earlier and then used his legs. Asked about the future he wants to be on the February 12th card with Israel Adesanya, and is willing to have a rematch with Carlos Felipe if possible.

Here’s the finish, even though Hunsucker gets both of his hands up to try and block it looks like his neck isn’t braced and the whiplash from a kick of that power even blocked causes enough trauma to get the knockout.

Dustin Stoltzfus has gone 0-2 in the UFC, now he’s in pretty bad need of a win here as he needs to find that first taste of success in the UFC. Gerald Meerschaert is currently on a two fight winning streak, he might find himself earning another step up in class if he can get to three in a row here. The odds are with Meerschaert at -240 to a +195 payout for Stoltzfus.

Middleweight Bout: Gerald Meerschaert (33-14, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Meerschaert is an inch taller with two and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Meerschaert. They trade punches right away then Meerschaert avoids a high kick. They trade lefts. Meerschaert with a body kick, Stoltzfus returns a leg kick. Double leg from Meerschaert and he gets on top against the fence. Stoltzfus looks to wrap the head for control, but he really should be trying to wall walk here. Meerschaert spins them away from the fence and settles into a loose kind of leg drag/half guard. Stoltzfus works to use his knee shield and is able to get half guard but Meerschaert is very high and moves towards mount but Stoltzfus regains half guard right away. Stoltzfus is able to fight up and hit a single leg, Meerschaert is fishing for a kneebar with an arm trapped but can’t finish it and Stoltzfus lands a few punches as he moves to a front headlock. Meerschaert rolls and gets half guard, Stoltzfus lands a few elbows from top position. Another front headlock from Stoltzfus as he controls Meerschaert, but Meerschaert rolls from the turtle to grab an armbar that’s pretty close but Stoltzfus is able to get his arm free and get on top in side control. Meerschaert gets half guard and that’s where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Meerschaert but could go the other way

ROUND TWO: Both men southpaw to start this round. Bit of a right hook from Stoltzfus and they both miss punches. Stoltzfus lands a leg kick. They clinch, Meerschaert lands a knee to the body then they break. Both men land some punches in close then Stoltzfus gets a double leg as Meerschaert threatens him with a choke. Stoltzfus gets his head free and starts working from full guard. Meerschaert kicks Stoltzfus off but can’t regain his feet before Stoltzfus gets back on top in full guard. Meerschaert is able to get his guard high, he’s threatening an armbar but Stoltzfus gets his arm free and lands an elbow then passes to half guard. Stoltzfus lands body shots then an elbow, Meerschaert moves to his knees but Stoltsfus controls him with a stack on the neck. Bit of a Peruvian Necktie attack from Stoltzfus but Meerschaert defends and gets his guard back. A right form Stoltzfus lands and he passes to side control. An elbow from Stoltzfus closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stoltzfus, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Meerschaert comes out and lands a left then they clinch. They fight along the fence, Meerschaert tries a guillotine but Stoltzfus is on the safe side and mounts the legs. That choke is still pretty tight and Stoltzfus has to move back and forth to get his head out and lands in side control. Elbow from Stoltzfus but Meerschaert gets his up and they separate. Stoltzfus lands a right hook. Bit of a head kick from Meerschaert, both men are pretty gassed at this point. Double leg from Stoltzfus is successful and he gets to side control. Meerschaert is able to scramble up to his base, Stoltzfus tries for a leg lock but Meerschaert gets on top. Stoltzfus tries to come up on a single leg then rolls for a heel hook. Meerschaert gets his leg a bit safe and moves to the ride position then looks to take the back. A full back take from Meerschaert, he’s got the choke and Stoltzfus has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Gerald Meerschaert via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:58 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Meerschaert for his work this evening. Mic time for Meerschaert, he says this was the best birthday a guy could ask for and is happy with his 2021 and calls this a good night. He says he sometimes tries to do the round peg in a square hole thing but he’s a tough guy and keeps going for it then talks us through the finish.

This is rather typical stuff from Meerschaert, but doing the basic things correctly is very impressive and here he gets back control then locks up the choke.

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

Cub Swanson just had a two fight winning streak snapped by rising contender Giga Chikadze, and while his long career is winding down now he’s still looking for a few more moments of success before hanging up the gloves. Darren Elkin is on a two fight winning streak and while he’s another veteran likely winding down his career he’s might be able to make another run at the top of the division if he can extend that streak here. Swanson is your -160 favorite while the +140 comeback on Elkins might be a tempting value bet.

Featherweight Bout: Darren Elkins (26-9, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Cub Swanson (27-12, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins is two inches taller with one inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Swanson starts showing the jab and looking to keep distance. Jab from Swanson lands then they both miss rights in close. Elkins lands a clubbing right hand. Swanson lands another jab. Bit of a right from Swanson then he avoids a double leg attempt. Swanson lands a combination. Southpaw for Swanson, then he drops Elkins with a lunging right and makes him stand back up. A very patient approach from Swanson, he lands another left hand. Hard combination from Swanson badly drops Elkins, but the ref doesn’t stop this. Swanson with a left hand then a grazing wheel kick but the way Elkins doesn’t respond is enough to prompt the ref to wave this off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Cub Swanson via TKO, punches, at 2:12 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Swanson for his work this evening. Mic time for Swanson, he says this is a big moment for him and he feels good but also finally got to show it. He knew if he stayed fast and composed he’d be fine and while he didn’t expect the first round stoppage he’s fortunate to get it. He talks us through the finish, noting he likes to move laterally and strike from odd angles. Asked what doing this in front of his wife and kids means he just wanted to be sure they had memories of him as a fighter and not just stories so this means everything.

This was a brutal stoppage, Swanson clobbers the static Elkins with punches in close then allows him up so he can keep unloading. Credit to the ref for the stoppage, this was a perfectly fine time to stop this fight.

Carlos Diego Ferreira has had a 2021 to forget, losing two fights in a row and missing weight for the most recent one and now he’s looking for a win to salvage his competitive year while possibly setting up for a better 2022. Mateusz Gamrot has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak with two finishes to his name, he’s looking to continue that momentum and take out a ranked opponent here while setting up for a run towards the top of the division next year. The odds are with Gamrot at -210 to +175 for Ferreira.

Lightweight Bout: #12 Diego Ferreira (17-4, 156 lbs.) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1 1 NC, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gamrot is an inch taller but Ferreira has three and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Some stance switching from Ferreira but he prefers orthodox. Gamrot lands a calf kick. Ferreira showing low and high kicks as he switches his stance. Gamrot lands another leg kick. Body kick from Gamrot. Ferreira avoids a single leg but Gamrot spins things down then they scramble back up. Calf kick from Ferreira. Gamrot lands a right hand. Single leg from Gamrot and he gets Ferreira down then starts working from top position. Ferreira kicks him off and they reset on the feet. Gamrot lands a body kick. A couple of rights land for Gamrot who has begun also switching his stance. They trade punches, Ferreira catches a kick and they trade again then separate. Gamrot lands a left hook. They trade punches in close. Double leg from Gamrot, Ferreira tries to scramble right away and while he takes punches he’s able to regain his feet. Ferreira lands a right hand. They clash on punches then Ferreira misses a body kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gamrot but a close round

ROUND TWO: Gamrot lands a leg kick to start the round. Ferreira misses a few punches and Gamrot lands a one two. Jab from Gamrot lands. Ferreira avoids a takedown attempt then lands a front kick to the body. Ferreira lands a left hand. Gamrot lands a right hook then tries a takedown, and they scramble to the mat where Ferreira has to scoot towards the fence then eats a right hand on the way up. Gamrot lands a jab. They trade power hand punches. Both men land punches, they’re slowing just a bit which isn’t surprising given the pace. Jabs from Gamrot as he circles. Gamrot lands a right, gets a knee tap but can’t get control and Ferreira is back up immediately. Ferreira lands a one two. Bit of a left from Ferreira, Gamrto then takes him down and gets the back on the fence. Gamrot lands a knee to the kidney from the back, that badly hurts Ferreira and he tells the ref he’s done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Mateusz Gamrot via TKO, knee to the body, at 3:26 of Round 2

Gamrot gets an interview, he thanks everyone for being here and says today is his daughter’s birthday and gets the crowd to cheer for her. He talks us through the finish, he thanks his training partners for helping him with this technique and feels he’ll be a problem for everyone in the division and looks forward to his next fight. Asked what he wants next he jokes that everyone wants to fight Conor McGregor but McGregor’s a businessman now not a fighter and says he’d love to fight Michael Chandler. Well take your shot if you’re gonna shoot I guess.

Here’s the finish. Gamrot has the back and takes the opportunity to drive a knee to the ribs and liver area, knees to the body on the mat are underused as weapons and this one is enough to make Ferreira give it up.

Raphael Assuncao used to be a top contender at bantamweight, but currently finds himself on a three fight losing streak and was last seen 18 months ago when he was knocked out by Cody Garbrandt. Assuncao needs a win here if he wants to defend his top ranking and prove he’s still a relevant fighter in the division. Ricky Simon is riding a three fight winning streak and a win here could easily see him return to the top fifteen ranks. Simon is a heavy favorite at -300 to a +235 comeback on Assuncao.

Bantamweight Bout: #12 Raphael Assuncao (27-8, 136 lbs.) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Simon is half an inch taller with two and a half inches of reach advantage, he’s also a full decade younger. They touch gloves to get us going. Assuncao lands a left but he takes a kick to the groin so we’ve got an immediate timeout. No doubt on that groin kick on the replay. Assuncao takes about 50 seconds then we’re back to fighting. Calf kick from Assuncao. Simon lands a body kick. Another calf kick from Assuncao lands. Simon gets close and hits a double leg to get on top. Assuncao looks to wall walk, Simon is trying to keep him down. Simon can’t stop the wall walk but he keeps close and looks for another takedown. Assuncao gets slammed down and Simon starts working from full guard. Simon moves to half guard. Elbow from Simon. Assuncao can’t find an angle on the ground, he starts scooting to the fence, and we get “woo’s” from the crowd and I can’t believe how obnoxious that is in the smaller venue. Full guard now for Assuncao. Simon lands some hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Simon

ROUND TWO: Assuncao lands a calf kick to start the round. Body kick from Assuncao. They clash on kicks, then Simon lands a glancing right. Assuncao avoids a takedown attempt. Bit of a right from Assuncao but Simon is backing him up. Simon lands a right. Another right from Simon drops Assuncao then a follow up right on the mat finishes things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Ricky Simon via KO, punches, at 2:14 of Round 2

Big win for Simon here, and he showed off better striking to compliment his endless wrestling. Mic time for Simon, he jokes about his mullet looking good then says the more comfortable he is the more dangerous he is and he’s feeling really comfortable these days. He talks us through the finish, noting he needed to find angles and avoid Assuncao’s power punches. Asked what he wants next he would like to fight Sean O’Malley but he wont bully O’Malley and he’ll fight anyone who’ll get him closer to the title.

Here’s the finish, watch the way Simon adjusts his feet while still throwing punches as it allows him to find sneaky angles and a right hand crushes Assuncao. The follow up punches are nice as well.

Amanda Lemos is on a four fight winning streak and has finished her last two opponents, a streak that has seen her crack the top rankings at strawweight. Lemos is trying to extend that streak here and position herself in the title picture for 2022. Angela Hill has gone 1-3 in her last four fights, she’s coming off of a loss to Tecia Torres and is trying to halt the rise of Lemos here. Lemos is a big favorite at -280 while a Hill win would payout at +225.

Strawweight Bout: #12 Angela Hill (13-10, 115.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Amanda Lemos (10-1-1, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lemos is an inch taller with half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Lemos, and they touch gloves to get us going. Lemos lands an inside leg kick. Some stance switching from Lemos, then she lands a calf kick. Hill lands a left hook. Both women miss power punches then Lemos drops Hill with a front kick to the face and swarms her on the mat but Hill gets full guard and ties things up. Some elbows from Lemos as Hill tries to roll for a leg attack but Hill bails on that. Hill kicks Lemos off and hits a double leg but Lemos is after a guillotine from half guard. Hill is mostly safe here as she breaks the grip but Hill is after the Von Flue choke and Lemos releases the head to save herself from the choke. Lemos elevates Hill and they fight up to the feet then trade blows in the clinch. Hill lands a right. Bit of a left from Lemos then they trade punches. A right from Hill stuns Lemos. Lemos goes southpaw and lands a body kick. A left from Lemos lands. Another jab from Lemos then Hill lands a knee in close. Bit of a body kick from Lemos. They tie up and trade knees then punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lemos

ROUND TWO: Lemos avoids a calf kick. They trade hooks in close but Lemos has superior firepower. A right and a left form Lemos then they trade jabs. Hill lands a right and they clinch up. Lemos gets Hill on the fence and looks for some takedowns. Some short punches from Lemos then they trade knees while fighting for position. More knees go back and forth then Hill lands an elbow as they break. They clinch again and hit the fence. Hill with knees to the body, Lemos returns them and they break. Some jabs from Lemos then a body kick. Lemos lands a right. Inside leg kick from Lemos. Hill misses a right hand. They trade lefts in close. Hill forces another clinch and works knees from there. Both women land knees to the body, Lemos lands an uppercut as well. Lemos shoves Hill away and they reset. Hill lands a combination after taking a left hand. Hill forces one final clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Hill lands a left to start the round. They trade leg kicks then Lemos lands a right. Lemos lands another front kick to the face but Hill just eats this one. Some jabs go back and forth then Lemos lands a body kick and uppercut. More jabs from Lemos as she circles. Hill can’t seem to enter on an angle. Lemos lands a calf kick but slips and Hill gets on top. They quickly scoot to the fence and Lemos wall walks. Hill has the back standing, she gets a takedown but Lemos reverses and gets the back standing. Hill gets chest to chest and they resume landing knees to the body. They break with an elbow from Hill. Lemos lands a front kick to the body then has a head kick blocked. Both women land jabs, then Lemos lands a spinning back kick to the body. Hill tries a double leg, but can’t secure the takedown and they hit the fence. Knees from Hill but Lemos returns them and they separate. Lemos lands a body kick. A right from Lemos lands. They trade jabs then Lemos lands a few punches in close. Another right from Lemos, Hill off balances Lemos with a spinning attack but Lemos pops back up. They trade rights. A Hill jab closes the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Amanda Lemos via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

30-27 for Lemos seems wrong after the second round, no issues with 29-28 for either woman though. Mic time for Lemos and her translator, she thinks her power punches scored more and ultimately led to her victory. She’s a little surprised she didn’t get the finish in the first and puts over Hill’s toughness.

Stephen Thompson just had a two fight winning streak broken by Gilbert Burns earlier this year, now he’s trying to rebound with a win and close out the year with a win while moving back towards the title picture. Belal Muhammad hasn’t lost since facing Geoff Neal back in 2019, since then he’s gone 5-0 with 1 No Contest. Muhammad is looking to score arguably his most impressive win and could position himself in the title picture going into 2022. The odds are with Thompson at -210 while the +175 comeback on Muhammad might tempt a few bettors out there.

Welterweight Bout: #10 Belal Muhammad (19-3 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Stephen Thompson (16-5-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Thompson is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Thompson does a lot of stance switching. Side kicks early from Thompson as he circles. Thompson lands a hook kick to the face. Muhammad tries a double leg, they hit the fence and he can’t finish it and Thompson buzzes him with punches. A wheel kick from Thompson partially lands. Muhammad lands a left hook. Thompson lands a one two. Double leg from Muhammad, he gets Thompson down but can’t keep him there and they trade punches from their knees while Thompson looks to wall walk. They fight to their feet but still in the clinch. Knees from Thompson to the body of Muhammad as they jockey for position. Muhammad reaches for a guillotine but bails on that. Thompson lands a left then a knee to the body. Muhammad tries a single leg, he gets Thompson down but Thompson immediately starts wall walking. Thompson lands some body shots and wall walks but Muhammad is on his back. Muhammad tries a double leg again, he jumps to the back and looks for the choke, he flattens Thompson out and lays in punches but Thompson is in trouble. Thompson is just going to ride out the round in this spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Muhammad

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Thompson lands a left. Side kick from Thompson. Muhammad blocks a high kick. A few punches land for Thompson. They trade punches, then Thompson lands a combination and Muhammad shoots a double leg against the fence. Muhammad can’t keep Thompson down as he wall walks quickly. Muhammad with a high crotch lift then an ankle pick as they’re coming down and Muhammad lands in half guard. Thompson again starts looking to wall walk, Muhammad grabs for a kimura. Muhammad goes for the straight armbar but Thompson gets his arm free. Muhammad is still after that kimura but he can’t quite finish it. Thompson is looking to wall walk but Muhammad moves to side control still holding the arm. Muhammad looks for mount, but Thompson gets half guard back. Some punches and elbows from Muhammad. They end the round in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Thompson lands a few punches but Muhammad forces a clinch and looks for a takedown. Muhammad finishes a single leg and gets Thompson down against the fence. Some punches from Muhammad as Thompson tries to wall walk. Thompson moves to his knees, he gets up but they’re still clinched. Thompson uses a guillotine to separate and reset. Punches from Thompson but Muhammad shoots a double leg and on the second effort he gets Thompson down to half guard. Not much going on from here but Muhammad has good control and he’s finding a few punches here and there. Muhammad passes to side control, then knee on belly and he lands some elbows. More elbows from Muhammad, and he’ll end the round on top.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2)

Best performance of Muhammad’s career, who calls out Kamaru Usman and disparages Leon Edwards along the way. Apart from a title fight he’d like a rematch with Edwards and calls himself the hype of the division. He wasn’t surprised by anything in the fight, then trash talks a jerk in the crowd. To close he notes he lost his aunt on Thanksgiving and gives love to his family and those close to him.

Derrick Lewis just had a four fight winning streak snapped when he fought for the interim heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane who stopped him in the third round. Lewis is trying to defend his top ranking and possibly get into position for another crack at the heavyweight title. Chris Daukaus is on a five fight winning streak including four wins in the UFC, all four coming by way of finish and if he’s able to add Lewis to his list of victims it would not only be the biggest win of his career it would place him firmly in the title picture going forward. Daukaus is a slight -150 favorite to +130 on Lewis.

Heavyweight Bout: #3 Derrick Lewis (25-8, 265 lbs.) vs. #7 Chris Daukaus (12-3, 235.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Lewis has three inches of reach advantage in addition to being about 30 pounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. Daukaus is moving a lot and feinting while Lewis plods along. Some stance switching from Daukaus as he looks for an angle in. Bit of a right from Daukaus. Lewis is just slowly trying to walk Daukaus into the fence. Leg kick from Daukaus lands. Calf kick from Daukaus and he blocks the counter punch from Lewis. Lewis lands a leg kick. A right from Daukaus lands flush and Lewis can’t find a counter. Lewis has a high kick blocked. Daukaus lands another leg kick then a jab. Another leg kick from Daukaus, I’m surprised he isn’t going to the body. They get close and Lewis unloads with punches but Daukaus stands up to him and they clinch. Another right from Lewis connects and Daukaus drops to end the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER — Derrick Lewis via KO, punches, at 3:36 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lewis for his work this evening. Lewis is now your all time leader in knockouts in the UFC with sole possession of the top spot. Mic time for Lewis, he feels good and is happy to be the first clean fighter to be number one in knockouts. Asked about throwing his cup to the audience he says he did so it could be an NFT and he can make money off of that. He laments being in a five round fight as he hates them and just wants three rounders. He talks us through the finish, and when asked about what’s next he wants another title fight but only if it’s a three round fight. Lewis is definitely a character.

Mic time for Daukaus as well, he says it was awesome until he got caught and this is what happens at heavyweight. He’s going to focus on getting his brother ready for a fight but he’ll be on call for whatever the UFC needs.

Alright everyone, on that note the UFC closes 2021. My thanks to all of you reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ve got some weeks off now, but we’ll be reviewing all of the action on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow. I’ll be back on January 15th for UFC on ESPN+ 58 (UFC Fight Night 200) when Calvin Kattar takes on Giga Chikadze. Until then everyone enjoy the holidays, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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