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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Vettori beats Costa

October 23, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
Paulo Costa (204.5 lbs.) vs. Marvin Vettori (204 lbs.)
Grant Dawson (156 lbs.) vs. Ricky Glenn (155.5 lbs.)
Jessica-Rose Clark (135.5 lbs.) vs. Joselyne Edwards (134.5 lbs.)
Alex Caceres (146 lbs.) vs. Seungwoo Choi (145.5 lbs.)
Dwight Grant (170 lbs.) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (169.5 lbs.)
Nicolae Negumereanu (204.5 lbs.) vs. Ike Villanueva (205 lbs.)

Jun Yong Park (185.5 lbs.) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (185.5 lbs.)
Mason Jones (156 lbs.) vs. David Onama (153.5 lbs.)
Maria Oliveira (115 lbs.) vs. Tabatha Ricci (115 lbs.)
Jamie Pickett (184.5 lbs.) vs. Laureano Staropoli (185.5 lbs.)
Jai Herbert (155 lbs.) vs. Khama Worthy (155 lbs.)
Daniel da Silva (125 lbs.) vs. Jeff Molina (125 lbs.)
Randa Markos (115 lbs.) vs. Livinha Souza (115 lbs.)
Zviad Lazishvili (135 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (135 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 54, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the event. This one has been kind of a clown fiesta, especially the main event. We were supposed to get Paulo Costa taking on Marvin Vettori in a battle of middleweight contenders, both men coming off of failed title shots and hoping to preserve their position in the title picture. Then Costa showed up to fight week and publicly stated he couldn’t make 185 and lobbied for a catchweight of 195. Vettori agreed to that, though he still gets 20% of Costa’s purse, before Costa apparently couldn’t or didn’t want to make 195 and it wound up as a light heavyweight fight. Combining this bizarre week with Costa’s near melt down after losing to Adesanya and he’s on a very bad track. Part of the reason that got so much attention is this is kind of a one fight card, despite being 14 fights in total there’s nothing else that could have served as a remotely interesting main event. If you’re looking for other fights to care about then super prospect Grant Dawson taking on rugged veteran Rick Glenn is worth a look. On the prelims there’s a lot of debuting fighters, but Zviad Lazishvili stepping in on less than a weeks notice for our first fight of the show might be worth looking at, and Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli has some potential to be entertaining. Beyond that, we’re mostly hoping for better action in practice than there is interest on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 54 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping. As for the rules, Nevada uses most of the newer ones except the downed fighter definition. We do have the use of instant replay, a replay official outside the cage, and the fight can be restarted after the use of replay if that’s applicable to the situation.

Jonathan Martinez has gone 4-3 in the UFC but he’s coming off of his first stoppage loss when Davey Grant knocked him out earlier this year. Martinez is trying to bounce back from that loss and avoid his first ever losing streak. Zviad Lazishvili is undefeated, took this fight on about 3 days notice, was the reigning LFA bantamweight champion before vacating it to sign with the UFC. Lazishvili could make a serious impression if he bests Martinez. The odds here closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Bantamweight Bout: Zviad Lazishvili (12-0, 135 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (13-4, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Martinez is two inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Martinez to get things started. Some long range probing from Martinez, a lot of inside leg kicks. Lazishvili starts working his way forward, he gets a clinch and tries a high crotch against the cage. Martinez is defending at first, Lazishvili looks to get an outside reap but he’s attacking the same leg and Martinez is defending. Lazishvili works some knees to the body and leg then settles more for a body lock. Martinez slips free but eats a left hook that off balances him as he does so. Lazishvili lands an inside leg kick, Martinez lands a knee to the body. Front kick to the body from Martinez, then another inside leg kick. Lazishvili slips a jab but misses a right hand counter. Leg kick from Lazishvili, Martinez returns it. A lot of those long range weapons from Martinez are still landing, he’s keeping Lazishvili at bay. Lazishvili slips a jab and lands a counter right hand. Lazishvili with a body kick of his own. Martinez misses a left, but at some point he cut Lazishvili under the left eye, probably with his jab. The cut isn’t bad but it’s there. Martinez with another jab, then lands a combination off of it to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez

ROUND TWO: Both men feinting and working long range weapons. Lazishvili lands a front kick to the body. Bit of a left from Martinez. Hard calf kick from Martinez, he’s starting to really chew up Lazishvili at the end of his range. Martinez lands a left, bit of a right from Lazishvili. Lazishvili catches a knee but can’t get the takedown off of it. A few punches in close from Lazishvili, then they trade elbows in the pocket. Lazishvili lands a front kick to the body but Martinez lands a jab. That jab from Martinez is really troubling Lazishvili. Bit of a head kick from Martinez. Lazishvili lands another body kick. Martinez lands a left in close. Martinez takes a body kick but lands a counter left. Another front kick from Martinez, Lazishvili did not like that one. Lazishvili blocks a head kick to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: That left eye of Lazishvili is becoming a problem, not fight ending but it doesn’t look good. Martinez eats a right and lands a counter left. Quick combination from Martinez then a calf kick. More Martinez jabs connect as they circle. Lazishvili is fading a bit at this point, and those jabs from Martinez keep landing. Lazishvili lands a jab. Martinez misses a left, Lazishvili tries a double leg but Martinez is able to sprawl away and reset. Those jabs from Martinez just keep landing, then an elbow behind them. Martinez lands a body kick, he’s flowing quite nicely right now. Martinez avoids a right hand and lands a series of jabs. Both men block high kicks, then Martinez lands a left hand. More Martinez jabs, he’s active and accurate with it. Counter one two from Martinez lands flush. Both men land lefts, but with such little time left Martinez opens up for the final seconds before the clock runs down.

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

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

Not sure which round went to Lazishvili, maybe if you value his control time in the first or though the left hook was more knockdown than off balance. Either way the right man won. No interview for Martinez.

Livia Renata Souza has gone 3-2 in the UFC but has been struggling lately, she suffered her first loss via finish in her last fight and is now trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Randa Markos has gone just 1-5 in her last six fights and is on a four fight losing streak, she’s probably fighting for her job here. The odds are slightly in favor of Souza at -125 while the comeback on Markos sits at +105.

Strawweight Bout: Randa Markos (10-11-1, 115 lbs.) vs. Livinha Souza (14-3, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Markos is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach advantage, she’s also six years older. Both women start probing with the jab as they circle. Markos lands a calf kick. Souza lands a jab. Markos punches into a clinch and lands an elbow, then another one along the fence. Souza moves Markos onto the fence as they start jockeying for position. Markos gets Souza on the cage and works some knees and short punches. Credit to Markos, she’s come out with some urgency that her losing streak merits. Souza tries a whizzer kick but Markos avoids it. A couple of Markos rights land as they separate. Markos lands a leg kick, they clinch but Souza gets a headlock takeover into the scarf hold position. Souza tries a scarf hold armlock, she works a few hammer fists as well but she loses the grip on the arm but gets to the ride position. Markos wall walks but gets pulled back down. Souza with one hook in, she’s after the choke but that lack of a second hook costs her as Markos spins to her back to release the choke. Markos stands up and lands a knee then an elbow. Another elbow from Markos in the clinch. Markos lands a knee as Souza gets free then doggedly chases Souza into the fence again and Souza winds up pulling guard to halt the barrage of strikes. The round ends with Markos on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Markos but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Markos working the jab again as they start the round. Some short rights from Markos in close, and Souza tries a takedown that hits the fence. Souza is looking for a high crotch, she gets the lift and takes Markos down. Markos tries a 100% shoulder lock, she loses the grip around the head though as Souza starts working on passing. Souza gets her head completely free and settles into half guard. Markos looks to sweep but the fence blocks their momentum, so she uses an underhook and bases up then sweeps to get on top in half guard. Some body work from Markos, she’s looking to pass but those elbows to the ribs are adding up. More elbows from Markos as she turns Souza away from the fence. Souza tries to shrimp under for a sweep but Markos is fighting her off and keeping her on a hip. Markos passes over a brief knee shield and lands a series of elbows before Souza hip escapes to full guard. Souza tries to roll for an armbar but Markos avoids it and lands more punches. Now Souza reaches for a leg, again Markos defends and works elbows to the body and head as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Both women circling, they’ve kept a decent pace so a bit of fatigue is understandable. Markos with a leg kick then a body kick. They trade some punches, then Souza lands a right but Markos closes distance and lands a barrage of elbows. More punches from Markos, Souza is fading and throwing very few punches at a time. Markos lands a couple of more rights and clinches up again. Souza with that headlock takeover again, but this time Markos starts moving to take the back and comes up in a leg ride. Markos moves towards a crucifix position, grabs at the choke but without hooks only uses it to sweep into half guard on top. Souza gets full guard, Markos stands and passes to half guard again. Markos with some hammer fists, Souza keeps looking for a sweep but the base of Markos is too strong right now. A few more elbows from Markos and she passes to side control. Souza to her knees, tries a roll through but Markos latches onto a crucifix as they roll and lands a few elbows. Markos with more elbows then moves towards the mounted crucifix. Souza gets her arm free but eats an elbow as she tries to shrimp again. Markos with more elbows from the regular crucifix as the round ends.

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

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

No objection to Souza getting the first, but there was also no doubt about the winner by the end of that. No interview for Markos, with 14 total fights if you don’t get a finish on the prelims you’re probably not getting a mic.

Jeffrey Molina is on an eight fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut earlier this year, he’s trying to extend that streak here and prove himself a prospect of note in a division that could use them. Daniel Lacerda brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut and now he’s trying to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Molina is the -155 favorite while a Lacerda win would payout at +135.

Flyweight Bout: Daniel da Silva (11-1, 125 lbs.) vs. Jeff Molina (9-2, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Molina is half an inch taller while da Silva has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for da Silva, who comes out kicking early. Body kicks from da Silva, and inside leg kicks as well. Molina lands a calf kick. They clash on kicks then clinch up, da Silva on the back looking for a mat return. Da Silva jumps to the back, gets the backpack position and starts fishing for the choke. Molina is able to shake da Silva over his head, but da Silva transitions to an armbar that Molina has to fight to get out of before settling into full guard. Some hammer fists from Molina, and body shots as well. Da Silva tries a triangle choke, Molina defends without much difficulty and lands a few rights. Molina with body to head shots, he really unloads with punches and da Silva tries another armbar. This one gets a bit closer but ultimately Molina gets free and lands another series of rights from top position. Molina postures up for a moment and lands punches, then a few elbows as well. Da Silva kicks off the fence for a sweep but Molina moves with him and passes to half guard, where he ends the round landing punches to the body and head.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Molina

ROUND TWO: Both men come out striking, Molina drops da Silva with a right hand to counter an inside leg kick and gets on top. Full mount for Molina, he lands punches then gets the back and flattens da Silva out, lands more punches and forces the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jeff Molina via TKO, punches, at :46 of Round 2

Jeff Molina is a flyweight to keep an eye on. Mic time for Molina, he was prepared for the fast start from da Silva and he swims in deep waters every day in training. He talks us through the finish, he knew da Silva liked the open stance body kick and was dialed in to land that counter. Asked about the future he notes he’s 24 and only getting better with already about 10 years under his belt, the title is his goal maybe not today, or this month, or even this year, but sooner or later he’s coming for that belt.

Check the timing on this counter, Molina reads that kick coming and times him with a counter right that’s straight down the pipe. From there it’s all over as Molina gets on top, secures dominant positions and unloads with punches to force the stoppage.

Khama Worthy has gone 2-2 in the UFC but is on a two fight losing streak, making matters worse he’s been finished in both of those in the first round. Worthy needs a win to get his UFC record above the .500 mark and regain some positive momentum. Jai Herbert (10-3) has gone 0-2 in the UFC and needs to find that first UFC win in the worst kind of way here, an 0-3 start could easily end his time in the UFC. The odds are with Herbert at -180 to a +155 comeback on Worthy.

Lightweight Bout: Jai Herbert (10-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Khama Worthy (16-8, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Herbert is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Both men doing some feinting early as they try to get a read on the fight. Worthy lands a right to the body. Herbert has a high kick blocked. Body kick from Herbert lands after a brief southpaw stance. Herbert lands a right hand. Worthy lands an inside leg kick then a right hand. Calf kick from Worthy, that was a hard one. Herbert lands a right, that gets Worthy backing up and he follows up then unloads along the fence and drops Worthy with a left hook. Herbert gets on top and lands more punches to eventually force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jai Herbert via TKO, punches, at 2:47 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Herbert for his work this evening. Mic time for Herbert after his first win, he’s notes he had a couple of very tough fights for his first two fights and is over the moon to have saved his job. He talks us through the finish, thanks his team and continues to shout out his locale in England. Asked what he wants next he has no name but would like to fight again before the end of the year or early next.

Lovely little finish here, Herbert backs Worthy up with a right hand, then the high kick seems to daze him just a bit. After that he unloads with some accurate punches and drops Worthy, from there is all over but the shouting.

Jamie Pickett has gone 0-2 in the UFC and finds his back against the metaphorical wall here as he continues to look for that all important first UFC win. Laureano Staropoli is on a three fight losing streak that brought his UFC record to 2-3, he badly needs to halt his current skid and get his UFC record to the .500 mark. Staropoli is your -225 favorite to +180 on Pickett.

Middleweight Bout: Jamie Pickett (11-6, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-4, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pickett is an inch taller but has a whopping eight and a half inches of reach advantage. Staropoli is able to force a clinch after eating some jabs and they hit the fence. Pickett with some knees to the body. Staropoli is using good head position to control Pickett and looks to wear him down en route to a takedown. Staropoli tries a single leg, Pickett defends and lands some short lefts to the head. Another knee from Pickett lands but he needs to get off the cage. More of those knees from Pickett connect, but he needs to get free. The ref has seen enough of the clinch and resets them. Pickett tries a high kick, Staropoli ducks under it and forces another clinch. Pickett spins Staropoli to the fence and lands an elbow. Staropoli lands a knee as Pickett exits the clinch. Head kick from Staropoli is partially blocked. Pickett punches forward, misses, and they clinch up to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pickett

ROUND TWO: They clinch up rather quickly, Pickett tries an outside reap and slips to the back as they hit the fence. Staropoli is on his knees looking to wall walk, Pickett lands punches as he does so. Pickett with another punch as he gets the back standing. Staropoli gets chest to chest, his left eye is a little messed up and starting to swell. Pickett with another knee, then Staropoli lands a right hook as they exit the clinch. Both men land in close then Pickett misses a left hand. Staropoli lands a right hook to counter a lazy jab and then clinches again. Pickett pulls free without incident. Both men land in close, Pickett then avoids a looping right hand. Staropoli goes southpaw, and forces another clinch that hits the fence. Pickett fights free with a knee and they reset. Staropoli blocks a head kick, then Pickett lands a body kick. Both men miss power hand punches. Staropoli gets a high crotch lift just as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Staropoli pushes forward and lands a bit of a right then tries a high crotch but can’t finish it and Pickett hits an inside trip after defending and lands against the fence. Pickett moves to the ride position as Staropoli tries to wall walk, Staropoli gets up and they separate. Jab from Pickett. Staropoli gets another clinch and they hit the fence. They trade knees, but Pickett hit Staropoli in the groin so we’ve got a timeout. Replay shows the low blow was a bit disputed, might have just been the angle, but Staropoli only takes about 20 seconds and we’re back to fighting. OK, another replay angle shows the knee from Pickett did NOT hit the groin, it didn’t matter as Staropoli didn’t take long. Pickett with a few punches. Staropoli misses a punch and Pickett lands a counter combination. They clinch up again and hit the fence. Staropoli keeps Pickett on the cage before Pickett eventually spins free. Both men land rights then Pickett tries a head kick that’s blocked. Staropoli lands a right and they hit the fence. Pickett lands a knee to the body and reverses position. Staropoli complains of another low blow, this one definitely hit the groin. 30 seconds later we’re back to fighting. Both men land punches, suddenly they’ve come alive with 20 seconds left in the fight. Pickett lands a hard knee to the body. Staropoli lands a body kick, they clinch again then break just as the round ends.

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

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

Wasn’t exciting, but Pickett needed the win. No interview for Pickett.

Tabatha Ricci suffered her first professional loss when she got run over by Manon Fiorot back in June, now she’s hoping to showcase more of her skills and get that first UFC win under her belt back at her more natural weight class. Maria Oliveira brings a two fight winning streak into her UFC debut and she’s trying to maximize the only chance she’ll get to make a first impression. Ricci is your favorite at -275 while Oliveira’s comeback sits at +220.

Strawweight Bout: Maria Oliveira (12-4, 115 lbs.) vs. Tabatha Ricci (5-1, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oliveira is five inches taller and has a whopping eight inches of reach advantage. Ricci tries an Imanari roll but Oliveira avoids it. Bit of a right from Ricci then a calf kick. Oliveira is standing fairly square, trying to set up to defend the takedown. Oliveira avoids a rush and a clinch. Ricci doesn’t have good entries, she’s just winging an overhand right and hoping Oliveira doesn’t actually circle. There’s a right from Ricci that lands, she got closer before throwing that one. Ricci is able to force a clinch and they hit the fence. Some knees from Ricci land before Oliveira is able to pull free. They both do a bit of stance switching, but things are settling down now. Oliveira lands a leg kick. Ricci lands a couple of rights, she’s backing Oliveira up towards the fence. Both women land leg kicks. Oliveira lands a right, then Ricci forces a clinch on the fence. Both women land knees then they separate. Ricci lands a right. A lot of missed punches from both women. Bit of a right from Oliveira, then a leg kick but Ricci catches the kick and hits an inside trip to land in the guard of Oliveira. Ricci looks to posture up and land punches, Oliveira is just stalling. Bit of a flurry from Ricci closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ricci

ROUND TWO: Oliveira lands a right to the body. Both women miss, and apparently Oliveira took a finger to the eye. Replay confirms that, but Oliveira didn’t want much time and we’re back to fighting. Ricci punches into a clinch but she keeps coming in wide with her arms and Oliveira constantly gets double under hooks and uses them here to separate. Oliveira with a few inside leg kicks, Ricci then hits a single leg into side control. Ricci into full mount with ease, she moves up with her mount then starts landing hammer fists and elbows. Oliveira is in some trouble here, Ricci keeps unloading with strikes while looking to set up submission attacks. Oliveira is able to use the fence to walk over and kick off then scramble free and reset on the feet. Both women fall short with punches for a bit. Ricci lands a right, Oliveira counters with a left. Ricci baits Oliveira to coming forward, then hits a double leg into full guard with a little under a minute left in the round. Some body to head punches from Ricci as she looks to set up a pass. Oliveira just closes her guard and looks to stall until the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Oliveira comes out kicking again, Riccir circling and trying to time something. A lot of circling from Ricci, then she avoids a right hand and clinches up. Both women land knees before Oliveira gets free. Ricci lands a counter right. Bit of a right from Oliveira, but Ricci hits a double leg into full guard. Oliveira goes to a body triangle from the bottom. Ricci lands lefts to the body and head then moves to half guard. Oliveira tries to set up a wall walk, Ricci unloads with lefts to the head as she tries to establish leg drag. They fight up into a clinch but Ricci can’t find a throw before Oliveira gets free. Oliveira lands a jab. Ricci catches a kick and gets another double leg takedown into full guard. Some punches from Ricci, Oliveira is again looking to stall. Ricci can’t find her way around the guard and just lands some more punches. Some hammer fists from Ricci as the clock winds down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tabitha Ricci via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

No interview for Ricci.

Mason Jones has yet to win in the UFC after his last fight went to a No Contest, which was unfortunate for him as he was well on his way to winning that fight. Jones is trying to find his first win in the UFC and get his hype train back on track. David Onama is undefeated but took this fight on short notice when Alan Patrick withdrew from the fight, he’s trying to maximize the opportunity and prove he belongs at this level. For those who keep track of these things, Onama is the first Ugandan fighter in UFC history. Given the short notice replacement for this fight it’s no shock Jones is your favorite at -425 to a +320 payout on Onama.

Lightweight Bout: Mason Jones (10-1 1 NC, 156 lbs.) vs. David Onama (8-0, 153.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Onama is an inch taller while the reach is identical. Both men come out jabbing then Jones lands a calf kick. Jones punches in close and lands an uppercut. Onama land a couple of rights. They split jabs, Jones wobbled Onama though and he looks to pressure and they wind up in the clinch. Onama lands a right as they break. Jones is starting to work the jab, Onama goes southpaw. They clash again, Onama lands a knee but Jones catches it and gets a takedown into half guard. Onama to his knees and looking to wall walk, he’s up but can’t get free and Jones lands a few knees while keeping the back. Jones gets a mat return and looks to work from the ride position but Onama regains his feet only get to taken down via a body lock slam into half guard. Onama is flat on his back, that’s bad, and Jones passes to full mount. Some punches from Jones, he gets the back as Onama defends but Onama is able to explode up and free then clocks Jones with a left hand. Jones lands a spinning back kick. Onama lands a calf kick then a left hand. Body kick from Jones, Onama counters with a left hand. Combination from Jones lands then he has a head kick blocked. Both men are happy to trade in the pocket. Jones lands an uppercut, but Onama fires back with a long combination. They clinch u and end the round with a Jones lateral drop.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jones

ROUND TWO: Onama comes out jabbing again, and Jones walks right into it. Both men land punches again, these two are here to just wear each other out. They punch into a clinch but break without incident. Jones lands a one two. Onama with a one two of his own, they’re just trading at close range. Jones gets a clinch and they hit the fence. Some knees from Onama then elbows to the head as Jones gets a takedown into the ride position. Both hooks in now for Jones as he gets the back, and moves to a body triangle rather quickly. Onama is able to shake Jones off over his head once he based up and then lands a series of punches. Jones got tagged during that flurry and forces a clinch to stymie the flurry. Jones gets the back standing, Onama looks to get his hand on the mat to avoid a knee, Jones knees him anyway and we’ve got a timeout. The ref gives Jones a stern warning, and after about 50 seconds we’re back to fighting. Onama lands a few punches. Hard right from Onama, Jones just eats it and they get into another bit of a dog fight for a few seconds. Onama lands a left to counter a body kick. More rights from Onama then a knee and Jones forces a clinch on the fence. Jones slips to the back standing again but Onama spins free rather quickly this time. Bit of a left hook from Jones and he clinches up again. Jones is able to drag Onama down to his knees and starts working from the ride position. Onama looks to wall walk, Jones holds the back with one hook as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Onama looking to jab again, they then trade power hand punches. Onama lands another right. Bit of a left from Onama. A straight left from Onama stuns Jones for a second. Another series of punches from Onama, Jones is hurt but he hits a double leg into half guard as Onama got a bit too anxious looking to finish. Jones moves into full mount incredibly quickly. Onama looks to scramble but Jones rides him and keeps full mount. Jones tries for an arm triangle choke, the angle isn’t right as Onama moves to his hip to defend. Onama to his knees, Jones gets the ride position but Onama is up only to get mat returned. Jones gets one hook, he’s riding well as Onama tries regain his feet. Onama spins into Jones, they scramble back into the clinch but again Jones is able to get around to his back. Double leg from Jones, his clinch grappling has been the big difference thus far. Onama looks to wall walk again, Jones with some punches as he tries to take the back. Onama spins and gets top position but Jones forces him to keep scrambling and retains the back as they stand. Jones keeps the clinch as Onama lands a knee to the body. Both men land punches then they break. Onama lands a hard right hand, then a long flurry but Jones forces another clinch to ice the final seconds of the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mason Jones via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fun scrap, Mason Jones is only ever in dog fights. No issues with Onama getting the second. Mic time for Jones, he says he didn’t expect the fight to be that hard and feels he gassed out in the second round and thinks it might have been a poorly timed cut. He says the first win in the UFC means everything, and says he hopes Alan Patrick gets cut after running from him before putting over Onama as a warrior. He still doesn’t feel he’s really shown the best of himself, but onto the next one.

Jun Yong Park has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, he’s trying to break through and earn a shot at some bigger names for his next fight. Gregory Rodrigues is on a three fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut, he’s trying to extend that streak here and prove that he’s someone the middleweight division should be paying attention to. The odds are close but lean towards Rodrigues at -140 to an even +120 for Park.

Middleweight Bout: Jun Yong Park (13-4, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (10-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodrigues is five inches taller but only has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Some feinting from both men, they’re just trying to get a feel for things. Park is slowly backing Rodrigues up. Rodrigues lands a right to the body. Park with a calf kick. Jab from Park lands. Rodrigues keeps landing rights to the body, then they get close and trade hooks. Park lands another calf kick. They trade rights, then Rodrigues forces a clinch and lands an elbow as Park gets free. Rodrigues wobbles Park for a second with straight punches. Park keeps sticking his jab out there, but Rodrigues has started timing his right to the body under it. Rodrigues tries a single leg, elevates it and kicks the other leg out and gets on top. Side control for Rodrigues, then full mount and he moves to the back as Park scrambles. Park is trying to turn into Rodrigues, but the body triangle and his lack of wrist control is stopping him from being successful. Rodrigues fully secures his body triangle, he’s riding well and starts looking to isolate an arm. Punches from Rodrigues as he’s riding and looking to open up submission attempts. Rodrigues lands some short elbows now as well as punches, he’s looking to unload for the final seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodrigues, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Park lands a couple of rights, then a left hook that wobbles Rodrigues. Park backs Rodrigues into the fence and unloads in the pocket. Rodrigues forces a clinch to break that, tries a double leg but Park sprawls then goes for an anaconda choke from a front headlock. Park switches towards a seated arm triangle choke but over committed to it and Rodrigues gets his head free then moves to the back again. Rodrigues gets a body triangle, Park breaks it this time and regains his fee. Park with punches, he wants to end this and keeps landing punches in close. Rodrigues gets a clinch and hits a judo hip toss to land on top again. Park quickly looks to scramble, he wall walks back up and begins hand fighting. They separate and Rodrigues lands a right. Park lands a right hand and they start trading punches in the pocket again. Rodrigues looks a little tired, Park is pouring on the offense and looking to break him down. More punches from Park, Rodrigues then backs him off with a right hand. Another right form Rodrigues staggers Park, Park is on the fence and takes a final uppercut that gets the ref to stop the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gregory Rodrigues via KO, punches, at 3:13 of Round 2

Wild little fight there. Mic time for Rodrigues, he gives glory to God first and foremost then puts over Park as a tough opponent. He felt the power of Park but kept his mind focused and was able to find counters, plus he knows he’s got power and found the punches this time.

Not much fancy here, just two guys going toe to toe and slugging it out. The uppercut from Rodrigues at the end is really nice shot selection, and clearly hurt Park badly.

That’s it for prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Nicolae Negumereanu has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a win and looking to build his first UFC winning streak. Isaac Villauneva has gone 1-3 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid yet another losing streak. Negumereanu is the -255 favorite while the +205 payout on Villanueva might be a tempting value bet.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1, 204.5 lbs.) vs. Ike Villanueva (18-12, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Villanueva is an inch taller while Negumereanu has five inches of reach advantage, Villanueva is also a full decade older. They touch gloves to get us going. Negumereanu lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Villanueva. Villanueva lands a left hook. Negumereanu forces a clinch off of a failed single leg attempt, they hit the fence then trade punches and break. Villanueva lands a right hand. Both men land rights, we get a slug fest for a few seconds before Negumereanu drops Villanueva and lands hammer fists to get the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nicolae Negumereanu via TKO, punches, at 1:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Negumereanu for his work this evening. Mic time for Negumereanu and his translator, he trained very hard for this fight and while the strategy was to get him to the ground he got there via punches this time. He doesn’t think he hit Villanueva in the back of the head, he did at least twice in the finishing sequence. In fairness to Negumereanu the punch that dropped Villanueva was legal.

Here’s the finish, you can decide for yourself if Villanueva’s anger over the blows was accurate or not.

Dwight Grant has gone 3-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win and is looking to build another UFC winning streak while hopefully finding some consistent success in the promotion. Francisco Trinaldo just had a three fight winning streak broken when he moved up to welterweight and took on Muslim Salikhov, now he’s trying to rebound in his new weight class and get back on the winning side of things. The odds are close here but lean towards the veteran Trinaldo at -140 to +120 for Grant.

Welterweight Bout: Dwight Grant (11-3, 170 lbs.) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (26-8, 169.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Grant is four inches taller and has a significant six inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Trinaldo, per usual. Both men are probing with the lead hand, trying to get a feel for the range. Bit of a right from Grant, he’s keying off of the left kick of Trinaldo. Trinaldo avoids a right, then lands a bit of a left. Grant lands a right hand. Trinaldo doesn’t have a feel for the range right now. Bit of a left from Trinaldo. Trinaldo lands a leg kick. Grant rolls with a left hand. Both men land in close. Grant is always circling to his own left, Trinaldo lands a bit of a high kick. There’s a right from Grant, partially blocked by Trinaldo. Grant lands a right to the body, Trinaldo responds with a body kick. Trinaldo lands a left hand that wobbles Grant, Grant had shifted to circling the other way and paid for it. Grant lands an inside leg kick, but eats a counter left for his troubles. Trinaldo with a bit of a high kick, he’s got a feel for the range now. A glancing right from Trinaldo closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Trinaldo

ROUND TWO: Grant is back to circling and looking to work the right. We get a warning to Trinaldo for his fingers being pointed out, no poke but Trinaldo was extending them. Bit of a head kick from Trinaldo in close, he’s crowding Grant a lot more consistently now. Grant lands a right that off balances Trinaldo as Trinaldo was throwing a kick, he gets on top and looks to unload but Trinaldo is able to off balance him and regain his feet. More pressure from Trinaldo, he lands a body kick. Inside leg kick from Trinaldo. Bit of a jab from Grant but Trinaldo lands a left then gets a clinch and moves to the back standing. Trinaldo with some knees to the legs from the back, Grant gets chest to chest. Grant is able to spin free and reset. Both men swing in close, but not much will come of it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grant, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Trinaldo resumes his forward pressure as Grant circles and looks for an angle of entry. They clash on kicks, Grant caught that kick between the legs and we’ve got a timeout for him. Replay easily confirms the low blow, Grant takes a shade over a minute then we’re back to fighting. Another exchange, this time Grant took a nasty eye poke and we’ve got another timeout. Grant is down to his knees for a bit, the doctor is in to check on him. He says he can still see, and the doctor is OK with that after a brief examination. The ref takes a point from Trinaldo for the poke, then we’re back after about 2 minutes since the break. Both men are jabbing as they get going again. Trinaldo misses a left. Grant lands a left hook then a right to the body. Trianldo lands a left and gets a body lock takedown off of it, right into half guard. If Trinaldo wants to win he needs a finish or a 10-8 round after that point deduction. Trinaldo is looking to pass to full mount, Grant is trying to keep him in half guard. Trinaldo looks to get 3/4 mount, he’s got it and lands some short punches. Brief arm triangle attack from Trinaldo but Grant defends. Trinaldo finally gets to full mount and hammers home body shots to try and open up a submission. Grant avoids an arm triangle attempt, Trinaldo is able to find some right elbows. A final barrage from Trinaldo as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction, 28-28 DRAW overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Francisco Trinaldo via split decision (27-29, 29-27 x2)

I suppose there’s an argument for Trinaldo taking the second, I disagree but I’d have to rewatch it. Mic time for Trinaldo, he thinks he deserved the win as Grant spent the whole fight running. He trains religiously and that’s what allows his longevity.

Alex Caceres has been with the UFC since 2011 and currently finds himself on a four fight winning streak, if he can get to five in a row here he could find himself looking down some ranked opposition next. Seung Woo Choi has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is on a three fight winning streak and seems to have finally found his footing in the UFC, if he can take out Caceres here it will be the biggest win of his career and might signal his own step up in class next time out. Choi is a surprisingly heavy favorite at -280 while the +225 comeback on Caceres has to tempt a few bettors.

Featherweight Bout: Alex Caceres (18-12 1 NC, 146 lbs.) vs. Seungwoo Choi (10-3, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Choi is two inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Caceres, and they touch gloves to get us going. Both men looking to kick early. Caceres is doing a lot of the backing up thus far. Bit of a left from Choi. Caceres avoids a high kick. Caceres lands a high kick, but eats a counter punch. Choi lands a right hand but Caceres avoids the follow ups. Choi lands a left in close. Another right from Choi lands. Choi floors Caceres with a right to counter a body kick, then gets on top and looks to pound him out. Caceres tries to fight up to his feet, Choi lands a knee to the head of Caceres and we’ve got time as the ref wants to review that moment. Pretty clear foul, Caceres has hurt by that but the doctor is in to check on him. The ref is taking a point from Choi for that, and we’re back to fighting after about 2 total minutes of stoppage. Both men are high kicking again, Caceres eats a right hand while circling. For what it’s worth Caceres looks to be more or less recovered. Caceres lands a body kick. Both men land punches in close. Caceres lands a left then a few body shots in close. Choi lands a couple of straight rights. Caceres lands a body kick. Choi off balances Caceres with a left hook, but he mostly remains upright. A Caceres side kick closes the round.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction

ROUND TWO: Caceres avoids a right hand, he’s circling again. Choi continues stalking forward, he blocks a left hand. They clinch up and hit the fence, Choi lands a body kick as they break. Choi punches into another clinch and they hit the fence. They break and Choi lands another body kick. Caceres avoids a high kick. Caceres lands a right. Some more upper body movement from Caceres to avoid the offense of Choi, then Choi lands a right. Head kick from Choi wobbles Caceres just a bit. Caceres lands a left hand, then they trade hooks in close. Choi lands a body kick then they clinch and Caceres jumps for his back and gets the backpack position. Caceres has a body triangle and starts fishing for the choke, he gets it as they sing to the mat and Caceres forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Caceres via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:31 of Round 2

Mic time for Caceres, he still doesn’t know what happened in the first round but he regained his composure very quickly though he definitely got hit hard. He talks about drilling to avoid the power punches and get the back, something he knew the hard charging Choi would be susceptible to.

Here’s the finish, just the usual back work for someone who knows what to do in that position.

Jessica-Rose Clark just broke a two fight losing streak when she got a win over a year ago, now she’s trying to bounce back and get another winning streak going while moving closer to ranked opponents in a division that badly needs some turnover. Joselyne Edwards has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss to Karol Rosa, she’s trying rebound from the loss and get her UFC record above the .500 mark. Another close fight by the odds, but they favor Clark at -160 to the +140 of Edwards.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Jessica-Rose Clark (10-6 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-3, 134.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Edwards is three inches taller with a significant five and a half inches of reach advantage, Clark is also seven years older. Clark starts pushing forward, she eats a right but gets a clinch and trips Edwards down into half guard. Edwards hip escapes to full guard, and Clark stuffs her against the fence. Rubber guard from Edwards, just stalling things out. Clark with some body shots and Edwards goes back to full guard. Some lefts from Clark but she’s struggling to get her posture up. The ref stands them up as they’d stalled out. Clark forces the clinch right away and begins working from the clinch. Edwards rolls through a single leg and they resume clinch fighting. They break as Edwards misses a head kick. Both women land kicks, then Edwards lands some punches. Clark tries a double leg, they stall out on the fence and Clark gets a misdirection trip to land in full guard again. Edwards kicks Clark off, Clark dives back on top of her as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Clark

ROUND TWO: Edwards lands a leg kick, Clark counters with a right hand. Edwards starts looking to jab, Clark presses forward into a clinch and they hit the fence. Clark is working some short elbows as Edwards is keeping her on the cage. They jockey for position, trade some knees, then Clark tries a single leg and gets it into half guard. Clark thinks about an arm triangle attack, but Edwards is defending that without too much difficulty. Clark gets the full mount with about two minutes left. Edwards is setting to buck, Clark grapevines her legs and breaks her base down. Some rights from Clark but they’re short and she’s not posturing up. Clark with some elbows now, Edwards gets her legs up and is able to off balance Clark and they reset. Both women land some kicks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Clark, borderline 10-8 with all that mount time, 20-18 Clark overall

ROUND THREE: Both women kick as the round starts, then they trade punches. The superior volume of Edwards is an issue but Clark gets a clinch and starts working against the fence. Knees from Clark then she trips Edwards down. Edwards closes up full guard. Clark has bloodied up Edwards’ nose and starts looking to posture up again. Some punches from Clark, she finally postures up and lands a punch. Clark passes to half guard, tries the arm triangle again but again can’t really force the threat to develop. Edwards tries to use the fence to escape but can’t make that work. Clark is doing very little here, she lands a knee to the head as Edwards wall walks. Another trip from Clark and she lands in half guard. Clark into full mount again, sneaks in a couple of elbow strikes as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jessica-Rose Clark via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

Not sure which round you could give Edwards, it wasn’t exciting but it was clear that Clark won. Mic time for Clark, she feels amazing but notes that Edwards was able to stop a lot of what she wanted to do. She puts over her coaches for their work.

Grant Dawson is on an eight fight winning streak including being 5-0 in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that impressive run here and begin the difficult transition from prospect to legitimate contender in the stacked lightweight division. Rick Glenn has been up and down in the UFC going 4-3 in the promotion, but he looked quite good in his return to lightweight in his last fight and now looks to halt the hype around a serious talent. Dawson is a rather heavy -525 favorite, the largest on the card, to a +385 comeback on Glenn.

Lightweight Bout: Grant Dawson (17-1, 156 lbs.) vs. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Glenn is two inches taller while Grant has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Glenn. Some early kicks from Glenn as he circles. Dawson lands a body kick, then an inside leg kick. Glenn lands a body kick, Dawson then tries a double leg that’s partially successful. Glenn wall walks, Dawson quickly returns him to the mat and lands in side control. A few knees to the body from Dawson. Glenn to his knees, Dawson looks for the back but can’t find it and has to settle for a quick ride then the gets the body triangle and forces Glenn back down. Hammer fists from Dawson as he looks to open up a choke. Dawson lands some punches and hammer fists, Glenn is still patiently defending. Dawson keeps fishing for the choke but Glenn is defending correctly and maintaining his composure. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawson

ROUND TWO: Dawson is quickly after a single leg, Glenn rolls through then scrambles up and free. Glenn defends another single leg as they hit the fence. Dawson gets Glenn to a knee but Glenn wall walks without issue. Some knees from Dawson then he hits a trip takedown into side control. Glenn shrimps to full guard. Dawson is able to pass into side control again, and lands some hammer fists. There’s an arm triangle attempt from Dawson, but he’s still in side control and despite Glenn’s face turning red he’s able to get his arm out of danger. Glenn is able to get half guard, Dawson lands some rights. The round will end in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Glenn lands a body kick, then avoids a single leg and lands a knee to the body. Dawson tries another takedown but again Glenn defends and lands a kick. Dawson pulls half guard and starts looking to come up on a single leg. Glenn lands some short rights from top position as Dawson looks to invert for a leg. Glenn moves up to his feet, and Dawson pulls half guard again. Dawson starts looking for a sweep, Glenn lands some short punches and elbows while working to not get swept. Glenn works towards an arm triangle but Dawson defends without much issue. Elbows from Glenn but he needs a finish. Another arm triangle attempt from Glenn, but Dawson catches him in full guard and nullifies the attempt. Glenn moves towards full mount, he lands punches and elbows as he moves to half guard. Hard elbows from Glenn, then hammer fists. More hammer fists and elbows from Glenn, then body shots and more punches. Glenn is after a d’arce choke, there’s not enough time though as the round ends before Glenn can finish it.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Glenn, 28-28 DRAW overall

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

Dawson really fell apart in that last round, credit to Glenn for overcoming some rough spots early and coming on strong when he could.

Paulo Costa is the reason this fight between two middleweight contenders is being contested at light heavyweight, but his only professional loss was a middleweight title fight when he was stopped in the second round by Israel Adesanya in his last fight. While Costa’s middleweight title hopes might be dashed by how he’s handled this fight week he’s still got to avoid his first losing streak. Marvin Vettori just had a five fight winning streak snapped when he failed to do anything against Israel Adesanya in a title shot, now he’s trying to bounce back and possibly maintain his position in the title picture if he can best Costa. The odds are with Vettori at -195 to +165 for Costa.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Paulo Costa (13-1, 204.5 lbs.) vs. Marvin Vettori (17-5-1, 204 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Costa is an inch taller while Vettori has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Vettori. Costa misses a body kick. Vettori misses a high kick. Inside leg kick from Costa. Vettori blocks a high kick, then off balances Costa and presses him into the fence. Vettori lands a left then a body shot. Costa lands a body kick. They clinch up and Vettori gets Costa on the fence. Bit of a knee from Costa, Vettori lands an elbow as they break. Vettori lands a left, he’s got Costa backing up now. Costa lands a jab. A few body kicks from Costa but Vettori lands a right hook. They trade rights, then Vettori lands a left to the body. Costa lands a right to the body. Vettori’s left hand is close to his ribs, if Costa goes high he might land with that kick. Vettori lands a body kick. Jab from Vettori lands. Vettori punches Costa to the fence and looks to unload, he’s keeping a high pace and Costa is fading already. Costa’s legs aren’t under him properly, this could go badly for him in a hurry. Vettori blocks a right hand. Costa lands a body shot but eats a stiff jab. Vettori lands a body kick. Vettori punches Costa to the fence again and lands an uppercut. Costa again lands that right to the body, but he’s got capitalize on it. Costa misses a high kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori

ROUND TWO: Vettori starts pushing forward again, they trade body kicks. Flurry from Vettori as Costa circles along the fence. Costa lands a body kick. Costa lands a right. Vettori jabs Costa to the fence again then lands a left to the body. Costa lands a head kick, Vettori is stunned but he stays upright. Body shots from Costa, he’s looking for a finish but Vettori is slipping and countering. Vettori lands a knee to the body. One two from Vettori, then a few punches in close. Vettori with a body kick. Costa is fading now, fightin gonly in spurts. Vettori lands a few punches, Costa digs the body and backs Vettori up for a bit. Costa lands a left hook. Vettor gets a clinch and drives Costa to the mat. Vettori on the back now in the ride position against the fence. Costa looks to wall walk, he’s up and Vettori chooses to separate. Vettori takes an eye poke and we’ve got timeout. Replay confirms the poke, the ref gives Costa a stern warning and the doctor is in to check on Vettori. The ref decides to take a point from Costa, and we’re back after just under two minutes down. Vettori gets right back to offense and pushing Costa back with body kicks. Costa has a few head kicks blocked. Vettori lands an inside leg kick, then a left hand. They clinch up, Vettori pours on offense with punches and elbows, Costa’s legs are pretty shaky. Another flurry from Vettori then they trade power hand punches. A Costa body kick is the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction, 19-18 Vettori overall

ROUND THREE: Vettori is right back on the pressure. Costa lands an inside leg kick. Vettori avoids a head kick then lands a left to the body. Right hook from Vettori then a body kick. Costa tries to swing back but he’s pinned along the fence right now. Costa misses a wheel kick. Vettori lands a left that stuns Costa. Bit of a right from Costa but Vettori is pressing him constantly. Costa’s nose is bleeding. They clinch up and Vettori drives Costa to the fence then lands an elbow as he pulls free. Costa lands a right, Vettori just eats it. Vettori lands a left. Another combination from Vettori lands. Vettori lands a knee in close, but Costa gets a takedown off of it. Some elbows from Costa on top, Vettori kicks him off and moves to his knees, then Costa pulls for a front choke and Vettori easily slips free into top position. Vettori lands some body shots as Costa closes his guard. A few short hammer fists from Vettori and elbows close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori, 29-27 Vettori overall

ROUND FOUR: Vettori starts pushing Costa back again, Costa lands a body kick but Vettori returns fire and keeps him backing up. A left lands for Vettori and he gets a clinch on the fence. They break then trade lead hand hooks. Vettori lands a jab then a left hand. Hard one two from Vettori then a knee. Costa misses a head kick after eating a jab. Vettori with another combination, this time he digs the body before going to elbows. Costa with body shots as well on the return and they separate. A right from Costa lands. Vettori punches in bunches in close. Costa lands a body kick. They trade lefts, then Vettori lands a one two. Hard left from Vettori connects. A few body kicks from Costa but his punches are getting loopy. Vettori avoids a punch and lands a knee to the body. Combination from Vettori, Costa just covers up then swings back and Vettori resets. Stiff jab from Vettori. Vettori tries a double leg, they hit the fence and stall out. Bit of a right from Vettori as they break. Costa lands a body kick. Vettori lands a body kick, Costa didn’t like that, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori, 39-36 Vettori overall

ROUND FIVE: Costa lands a right to start the last round. Vettori lands a body kick. They both trade punches in close. Vettori lands a left. Another left from Vettori connects. Costa lands a body kick. They trade jabs, Costa is coming on strong and lands more body blows. Vettori lands a left, tries a takedown but Costa stands strong. Vettori forces another clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Some jabs go back and forth. Costa lands a right hand. Vettori lands a left. More body shots from Costa, Vettori just eats them. Vettori tries a single leg, that stalls out on the fence and they clinch up. They break without incident. Another body kick from Costa. Vettori lands a body kick of his own. A few rights from Costa land, Vettori is the one fading now. Vettori lands an uppercut. They trade punches again, again Costa gets the better of it. Vettori checks a leg kick. Vettori tries a takedown, that stalls out on the fence. They’ll just ice the round there in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Costa, 48-46 Vettori overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (48-46 x3)

Well that picked up as it wore on and turned into a very enjoyable brawl. Mic time for Vettori, he’s most censored but feels this was an improving experience for him and feels he has the biggest heart and will. He thinks Costa came ready and played a trick to not have to cut weight. He says the kicks from Costa were hard and mentions Costa was large but he was ready and when Vettori is ready there’s nothing you can do. Asked about the weight issues he says he should have made weight but plans on buying another watch with Costa’s money. When the future comes up he still wants to be champion but is focused on fighting the best, he’s not fixating on the belt because it’ll come as he keeps beating the best. He thanks everyone back in Italy watching the fight.

On that note UFC on ESPN+ 54 comes to a close. Ultimately an entertaining main event, but 14 fights is more than probably should happen on any single event. I’ll unpack all of these results on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast tomorrow, plus look ahead to next week when UFC 267 comes around. As a reminder the prelims for UFC 267 start at 10:30 am next Saturday, it’s a really good card on paper so I hope you’ll be back here for coverage. Until next time thank you for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.