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411’s UFC on ESPN 16 Report: Holm Wins

October 4, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 16

MAIN CARD (ESPN, ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET)
#2 Holly Holm (136 lbs.) vs. #6 Irene Aldana (136 lbs.)
Yorgan De Castro (261 lbs.) vs. Carlos Felipe (263 lbs.)
#1 Germaine de Randamie (136 lbs.) vs. #4 Julianna Pena (135.5 lbs.)
Cameron Else (136 lbs.) vs. Kyler Phillips (136 lbs.)
Dusko Todorovic (186 lbs.) vs. Dequan Townsend (186 lbs.)

Carlos Condit (171 lbs.) vs. Court McGee (170.5 lbs.)
Josh Culibao (145.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (145 lbs.)
Nassourdine Imavov (185.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Williams (182 lbs.)
Jinh Yu Frey (116 lbs.) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (116 lbs.)
Heili Alateng (136 lbs.) vs. Casey Kenney (136 lbs.)
Jessin Ayari (156 lbs.) vs. Luigi Vendramini (156 lbs.)

Hey there everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 16. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action just as I see it. This card, I’m not going to lie to you people it’s slim pickings. Your main event sees former champion Holly Holm trying to possibly get back into the title picture while Irene Aldana tries to capitalize on her brutal knockout win last time and make her name at Holm’s expense. There’s another women’s bantamweight fight when Germaine de Randamie battles Julianna Pena, the next title challenger likely comes from whoever has the more impressive win from those two fights. After that there’s our regularly scheduled aging former awesome fighter continuing their decline when Carlos Condit takes on Court McGee. Rising bantamweight prospect Casey Kenney is back against Heli Alateng. Jinh Yu Frey stumbled in her UFC debut but is trying to bounce back against Loma Lookboonmee. It’s not a great card, but let’s all hope for better fights in practice than on paper.

UFC on ESPN 16 is the UFC’s return to the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They’ll be at this venue until the end of October. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Dan Hardy, and Paul Felder. As for the rules we’re using most of the new ones, but you still need just one hand to be downed and instant replay can only be used on fight ending sequences and once replay is used the fight cannot be restarted.

Luigi Vendramini suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut, now with a layoff of slightly over two years he’s trying to get that all important first UFC win. Jessin Ayari has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he hasn’t fought in almost two years and is trying to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. The odds are with Ayari at a slight -115 to -105 for Vendramini.

Lightweight Bout: Jessin Ayari (16-5, 156 lbs.) vs. Luigi Vendramini (8-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ayari is four inches taller but has just half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Leg kick from Vendramini early. Ayari is working Vendramini backwards. High kick from Ayari is partially blocked then he avoids a takedown attempt. Left hook from Vendramini in close wobbles Ayari, we get some brawling then a head kick from Vendramini drops Ayari face first and a couple more shots on the ground end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Luigi Vendramini via TKO, head kick and punches, at 1:12 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Vendramini for his work this evening. Dan Hardy heads into the cage to interview Vendramini, who’s in tears hugging his father. He says he works hard and mentions the two year layoff and the series of injuries he had to overcome, but believes it all worked to his advantage and his life/career begin now. He mentions his debut up at welterweight and how he hurt himself very early, but he’s changed everything ahead of this and feels the win is the product of that. Asked about what’s next he wants a fight in December but doesn’t elaborate beyond that.

This is really nice. Ayari is a little sloppy with his hands and head position, Vendramini cracks him with a left hook. He follows up, never letting Ayari off of the hook, and that close quarters head kick is downright impressive. I am quite envious of his flexibility in that regard.

Casey Kenney has gone 3-1 in the UFC submitted Louis Smolka in his last fight, he’s trying to build another winning streak and start making some headway in the stacked bantamweight division. Heili Alateng has gone 2-0 in the UFC but last fought about a year ago, now he’s battling a fellow rising prospect for momentum in the division. Kenney is a hefty favorite at -370 to a +300 comeback on Alateng.

Bantamweight Bout: Heili Alateng (14-7-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Casey Kenney (14-2-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: They goofed on the graphic so no tale of the tape for these two. Commentary tells me Kenney is two inches taller with an inch and a half of reach. Southpaw for Kenney, he lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a left from Kenney then he checks a leg kick. Alateng blocks a high kick. Kenney lands a body kick. Kenney is really keying into that body kick, and Alateng isn’t dealing with it. Right hook lands for Kenney. Bit of a left from Kenney. Alateng lands a left. More body kicks from Kenney, those are starting to have a real impact. Kenney slips a few punches. Straight left from Kenney is partially blocked. Kenney lands a right hook, Alateng is getting torn up at this point. Hard body kick from Kenney. A couple of straight lefts from Kenney, he’s really getting to Alateng. Alateng’s face is kind of a mess now. Body kick again, Alateng has no answer to Kenney’s offense he’s just kind of hoping for a brawl and Kenney isn’t obliging that. Kenney lands another body kick. Crushing body kick then a left from Kenney. They trade in close then another body kick from Kenney, will basically end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kenney but there’s a real 10-8 argument in there

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Kenney is back to pressing forward. Head kick from Kenney is partially blocked but he’s making contact. Inside leg kick from Kenney then a bit of a left. Another body kick, those hurt me just looking at this point. Alateng is just blocking the kicks high, he can’t get out of the way. Kenney walks into a left hook but just eats it. If nothing else Alateng is physically tough. Kenney lands a left. Another left then a body kick from Kenney. Kenney still kicking the body and head, eventually those are going to drop Alateng. Another body kick from Kenney. I don’t know how Alateng is upright after all these body kicks, his ribs are a total mess. Head kick from Kenney. Alateng is upright still but he’s getting abused without point now. Alateng’s corner should seriously consider stopping this between rounds, he’s just getting abused. Kenney with another body kick and a superman punch. They trade punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Kenney, 20-17 Kenney overall

ROUND THREE: A touch of gloves for the final round. Kenney with an inside leg kick, then another body kick. Alateng eats a right hook then blocks a high kick. Body kick from Kenney. Kenney with another body kick. Have we confirmed that Alateng even has internal organs, because I’m at a loss to explain this. Kenney lands a straight left. Bit of a left from Alateng. Kenney lands a jab. Alateng blocks a high kick. Another body kick from Kenney. Kenney easily avoids a spinning back fist, then lands one of his own. Body kicks again from Kenney. Alateng lands a bit of a right. Kenney slams home another body kick. One two from Kenney then a bit of a high kick. Alateng blocks a high kick, and eats a series of punches. They trade one more time just as the clock winds down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kenney, 30-26 Kenney overall but should probably be 30-25

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Casey Kenney via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)

The lack of 10-8 on that score card is near criminal. Mic time for Kenney, he mentions working hard on avoiding the right of his opponent and working at long distance. He mentions the movement being key to shutting down Alateng’s potential grappling and he worked to keep the fight where he was winning. He says he wants to fight next weekend, we’ll see how his leg and foot feels after all those kicks.

Some brutal kicks from Kenney, those ribs are toast.

Loma Lookboonmee has gone 1-1 in the UFC and looked fairly good in both fights, she’s coming off of that loss though and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Jinh Yu Frey lost her UFC debut earlier this year, she’s now trying to make headway in a very stacked division by getting that all important first UFC win. Lookboonmee is a slight -135 favorite to a +115 payout on Frey.

Strawweight Bout: Jinh Yu Frey (9-5, 116 lbs.) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (4-2, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Frey is two inches taller, has three and a half inches of reach advantage, and is 11 years older. Southpaw for Frey. Lookboonmee lands an inside leg kick. A lot of kicks early from Lookboonmee, she’s mostly range finding but those have heat on them. Frey is pressuring forward but isn’t cutting the cage much yet. Frey forces a clinch on the fence. Some knees go back and forth, mostly fighting for position right now. Elbows are traded as they break the clinch. Frey lands a straight left. Lookboonmee lands another inside leg kick. Body kick from Lookboonmee. Another clinch and knees from Lookboonmee then an elbow. More elbows on the fence. Lookboonmee with more elbows and knees. Frey slips free and lands an elbow of her own. Lookboonmee avoids a takedown attempt and they clinch again. Those knees from Lookboonmee are adding up, she lands a few more elbows as well and Frey is cut under the right eye as they break. Frey lands a left but eats another elbow. Both women land punches then elbows in a clinch before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lookboonmee

ROUND TWO: Lookboonmee back to kicking as the round begins. Frey is moving forward, they clinch again but the knees and elbows from Lookboonmee are tearing her up. More knees from Lookboonmee then elbows. Lookboonmee’s clinch game is working very well. Frey lands a couple of her own elbows as they separate. Lookboonmee lands a front kick to the body. Another clinch and more knees from Lookboonmee before they break. Frey lands a left. Bit of a right hook from Frey. Frey is really struggling here, when they get into boxing range she does alright but she’s not cage cutting and gets clinched up a bit too easily. Straight left from Frey lands. Lookboonmee lands a couple of punches. Body kick from Lookboonmee. Lookboonmee lands an inside leg kick but Frey lands a counter left. That will be the last meaningful exchange of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Frey comes out pushing forward, she tries a single leg and gets it into the full guard of Lookboonmee. Surprisingly easy takedown there. Frey lands a few lefts and looks to posture up. Frey passes to side control. Short lefts from Frey. Lookboonmee scrambles up, Frey jumps for her back as they’re on the feet but she can’t secure it and they break apart. Lookboonmee lands an inside leg kick. Body kick from Lookboonmee. Frey lands a left during an exchange. Lookboonmee lands another body kick. High kick from Lookboonmee is partially blocked. A few more kicks from Lookboonmee. Frey lands a left. They clinch again, Lookboonmee lands a knee as they hit the fence. They trade on the break. Front kick from Lookboonmee, Frey lands a left hand. More front kicks from Lookboonmee to keep distance, then a bit of a head kick as the last blow before time runs out.

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

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

Fire that judge who gave Frey the last round, probably the same jerk who didn’t give Kenney a single 10-8. Mic time for Lookboonmee, she expected Frey to be tough and then thanks the UFC and her fans for their support. She mentions having worked hard on her ground game and just wants to keep fighting and getting better for the immediate future.

Jordan Williams went 1-1 on the Contender Series but won his last fight on the show, now coming into his UFC debut he’s trying to make a good impression on the wider UFC audience. Nassourdine Imavov brings a five fight winning streak into his UFC debut and is likewise trying to display his skills to the biggest audience he’s had. The odds are with Imavov at -120 to a +100 comeback for Williams.

Middleweight Bout: Nassourdine Imavov (8-2, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Williams (9-3 1 NC, 182 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Imavov is two inches taller but Williams has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, southpaw for Williams. Williams lands an inside leg kick. A bit of range finding kicking from Williams, Imavov lands an inside leg kick. They clash on punches, Imavov seems to have lost his balance a bit but he does hit a double leg to buy himself some time. Williams back up, apparently what we had there was a clash of head and Williams is now bleeding from the hairline. They break without incident, and both men are cut I think, Imavov’s is around the right eyebrow. They clinch up again and hit the fence. Some knees go back and forth, Williams lands a bit of a right as they break. OK, it looks like Imavov isn’t cut now but Williams definitely is. They trade some power hand punches a few times. A low blow from Imavov as they clinched up, it was a knee and we’ve got time for Williams to recover. Replay confirms the knee to the groin, both men were coming towards each other as well so that makes it worse. Imavov gets a stern warning. They restart and Imavov apologizes. Williams misses a body kick but lands a left and Imavov is shooting another takedown attempt into the fence. Some short blows from Williams as he’s defending. Imavov is switching from single to double here looking to get things down, he gets it and hops to the back but Williams is up and is after his own takedown on the cage. Imavov grabs a guillotine, switches to a ninja choke and Williams goes to his back and rolls out of it then comes up but is back in the choke attempt as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Williams

ROUND TWO: Imavov avoids a couple of lefts and hits a few counter rights. Combination from Imavov. Williams with a bit of a left but he’s getting turned more now as Imavov tries to avoid the clinch. Imavov lands another right. Williams looks a little tired but he’s still coming forward. Imavov with a few more rights, he’s leading Willimas into those. They clinch up and Williams pushes things into the fence. Williams looking for a single leg now, Imavov defending so far. Elbow from Imavov. Imavov spins free and lands a combination then they trade power hand punches. They clinch again, Imavov is after a takedown but lands elbows as they break. Imavov with another right. Williams is tough but he’s slowed visibly at this point. Imavov defends a double leg attempt and grabs another guillotine against the fence. Williams is trying to adjust his position but Imavov grabs the ninja choke and holds it as they hit the ground. Williams is hand fighting and turning and he finally gets free but is on bottom in half guard. Imavov with hard rights and lefts. Hammer fists from Imavov, Williams is just trying to survive until the end of the round which he will.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Imavov, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Imavov showing kicks again. Williams tries to rush but he’s on straight lines and Imavov is angling on him. Imavov with an inside leg kick. Another clinch and Imavov has Williams on the fence. Knee from Imavov on the break. Imavov lands a body shot. Williams coming forward but he’s just kind of stumbling into the clinch. Right from Imavov on the break. Right from Imavov, they both kind of stall I’m not sure why. They keep fighting and Imavov lands another right. Williams keeps walking into the right of Imavov. Single leg from Imavov hits the fence and they stall out a bit. The ref breaks them up and we’re fighting again. Both men miss power hand punches, they’re both fairly tired at this point. Right from Imavov again. Williams misses a left and they clinch up again. Knees to the body from Imavov, those hurt. Imavov unloads in close but Williams fires back and they reset. Willaims still walking onto punches, they trade one last time as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nassourdine Imavov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

No issues with a 10-8 second for Imavov. Mic time for Imavov and his translator, he was surprised by Williams power in the first but survived and adjusted as the fight went on.

Charles Jourdain has gone 1-1 since returning to featherweight, and while he’s coming off of a loss it was a hotly contested fight against Andre Fili. Jourdain is trying to get back on the winning side of things and prove he’s found his footing in the UFC. Joshua Culiabao suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to get his first UFC win. Jourdain is a prohibitive -475 to a +375 comeback for Culibao.

Featherweight Bout: Josh Culibao (8-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Charles Jourdain (10-3, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Culibao is one inch taller but has four inches of reach over Jourdain. Southpaw for Jourdain, who misses a running attack early. Switching now for Jourdain. Culibao is switching as well as he circles along the fence. Jourdain misses a flying knee and they clinch, Culibao getting the back standing. Culibao is working on an outside reap but Jourdain is defending. Jourdain is able to separate and reset at distance. Leg kick from Jourdain. More leg kicks from Jourdain. Culibao with a bit of a left then a body kick. Hard leg kick from Jourdain. Right from Culibao floors Jourdain, Jourdain back up but he’s stuck in a guillotine as they hit the fence standing. Culibao with knees and bails on the choke, Jourdain is bleeding a fair bit from his nose. Jourdain is after a guillotine of his own but Culibao is defending that while looking for a takedown. Culibao slips around to the back, comes around for a single leg but again Jourdain is defending. Jourdain grabs the guillotine and pushes Culibao over, he’s in north-south but Culibao gets free and they’re up. Jourdain with more leg kicks, Culibao lands a right. Culibao with a body kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Culibao

ROUND TWO: Culibao pushing things early, he lands a right then a left behind it. That was a flush left, Jourdain is backing up. Culibao lands a body kick, Jourdain returns it. Culibao is working front kicks to the body now. Jourdain lands a leg kick. Long right from Culibao. We get time as Culibao got poked in the eye. He doesn’t want much time and they’re back to fighting. Both men with body kicks, and Jourdain tries a clinch but can’t secure it. Jourdain is coming forward more now, but walks into a left then a body kick. Culibao with another front kick to the body, then a round one. Right from Culibao, Jourdain with a bit of a right hook. Jourdain is coming forward still. Left from Jourdain lands. Body shots from Culibao then he’s after a single leg, Jourdain jumps for a guillotine but can’t get the grip together. Jourdain up into a front headlock position and lands body shots. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jourdain but a very close one

ROUND THREE: Jourdain coming forward, they trade punches and clinch up. Culibao is after a takedown against the fence but can’t finish it. They break without incident. Both men punch in close, Culibao gets wobbled but stays upright. Jourdain tries a head kick and more punches in close, but Culibao fires back. Bit of a left from Culibao, and another one. Jourdain lands a jab. Inside leg kick from Jourdain cuts the legs from Culibao and he’s got the front headlock again. Jourdain with body work from this spot, then he tries to grab a guillotine choke again. Culibao is defending from half guard. Hammer fists from Jourdain. Right from Jourdain as Culibao gets full guard. Jourdain postures up and lands a leg kick, that hurt. They hit the mat again and Jourdain is after an inverted triangle armbar, he keeps adjusting it but Culibao isn’t tapping out. Jourdain is working to adjust his armbar attack but Culibao breaks the triangle and is upright again. Both men swinging hard punches now. Jourdain is trying to sit on the round. Neither man will commit to a fire fight at the end and time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jourdain, 29-28 Jourdain overall but this comes down to the second round

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – DRAW, split (30-27 Jourdain, 29-28 Culibao, 28-28)

30-27 Jorudain is crap, no way he took the first but the result would have been the same if you split 29-28’s and give Jorudain a 10-8 third after Culibao the first two. No interview for either man. Oh, also no issue with 10-8 Jourdain in the third though it’s a marginal one.

Carlos Condit is a name that might carry a lot of weight with the hardcore fan base, but given how even that has cycled through almost a generation of fans it’s hard to say how much value his name has. Condit is on a bad streak right now, he’s lost his last five fights with three of those being finishes and if he wants to retain his spot on the roster he needs a win here badly. Court McGee has gone just 1-4 in his last five fights and much like Condit is probably fighting for his spot on the roster here. McGee is a slight -130 favorite to a +110 payout for Condit.

Welterweight Bout: Carlos Condit (30-13, 171 lbs.) vs. Court McGee (19-9, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Condit is three inches taller but the reach is identical. Condit comes out southpaw. Both men feinting early. Body kick from McGee. McGee lands an inside leg kick. Right to the body from McGee. Condit with an inside leg kick. Neither man has much of a feel for the fight yet, still getting a feel for it. Condit doing some stance switching. McGee lands a leg kick. A couple of body shots and leg kicks from McGee. Side kick to the body from McGee. Condit with a bit of a kick. McGee avoids a punch and lands to the body in close. McGee keeps catching a body kick and landing a right to the body. Bit of a left from Condit, McGee counters to the body. Another couple of body shots from McGee. Both men land in close, a right from Condit sits McGee down just at the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Condit

ROUND TWO: McGee’s nose is broken from that last punch from Condit. Condit stalking forward more than backwards now, they both land in close. Both men land power hand punches but McGee’s nose is seriously compromised. They split jabs, then Condit lands a leg kick. Leg kick from McGee lands. McGee lands an inside leg kick but he’s struggling to land meaningful offense. Condit lands a left, then eats a leg kick. McGee’s constant low kicks are annoying Condit, they’re starting to add up a bit. Left hook from McGee then they trade leg kicks. Body kick then a right from Condit, he’s looking really solid so far this round. Head kick from Condit partially lands, they trade body kicks and Condit lands a bit of a right. Condit is putting longer combinations together now and that’s helping him pull away from McGee now. McGee avoids a spinning attack. McGee lands a right. A front kick from Condit closes the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Condit avoids some offense early. McGee lands a leg kick. Condit lands a body kick. McGee lands a leg kick. Both men miss power hand punches. Condit lands a leg kick then a couple of punches. McGee lands a right to the body. Bit of a flurry from Condit, he ends that with a leg kick. McGee lands a couple of body shots in close. Left from Condit lands flush. Condit with a lead uppercut. McGee lands a right after taking an elbow. Condit is upping the pace now, trying to overwhelm McGee with volume. They trade rights. McGee lands a right, Condit just eats it. Condit still working combinations. They trade a bit, McGee lands a right but Condit keeps swinging back as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlos Condit via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Mic time for Condit after that, he notes the ups and downs he’s had recently but feels it was an honor to fight a tough opponent. He wants to focus on the work and the next step. He puts over McGee’s toughness and notes he couldn’t spend too much trying to finish him because that could easily have backfired.

The knockdown at the end of the first, a really nice step through right hook from Condit as McGee was still expecting him to be southpaw.

That’s it for preliminary action, there’s a football game going long so they’re still on ESPN+ or ESPN News while that finishes up.

Dequan Townsend has gone 0-3 in the UFC across middleweight and light heavyweight, he’s in pretty dire straights here as an 0-4 start to your UFC career almost certainly spells the end of it. Dusko Todorovic is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s trying to remain that way while showcasing his skills to the wider UFC audience. Todorovic is your favorite at -360 while the +280 payout on Townsend has to tempt a few bettors.

Middleweight Bout: Dusko Todorovic (9-0, 186 lbs.) vs. Dequan Townsend (21-11, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Townsend is two inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men feinting a bit, Todorovic lands a couple of left hooks and they clinch up. Townsend has Todorovic on the fence but Todorovic is landing some knees. Left hook from Todorovic on the break and they clinch again. Short punches from Todorovic, he’s looking fairly smooth so far. Townsend tries a knee to the body, hit the cup but Todorovic wants to continue. Body shots from Todorovic then they break. Todorovic lands a calf kick. Townsend with some counter punches, Todorovic lands a calf kick. Both men land punches in close. Todorovic lands another calf kick. Right from Todorovic and they trade in close as they clinch. Body shots from Todorovic, they trade knees as well. Todorovic’s work rate is helping him get the better of Townsend so far. They break without issue, then Todorovic lands a right. Todorovic avoids a few punches, then takes a calf kick. Calf kick from Todorovic. Right then left from Todorovic, he unloads in close but Townsend remains upright. They separate and Todorovic lands a left hook. Todorovic with a calf kick. Another combination from Todorovic and they clinch. Todorovic punches and lands a knee as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Todorovic

ROUND TWO: Todorovic coming forward again. Townsend with a left and he’s pushing the issue now. Todorovic lands a calf kick. They both miss spinning kicks. Todorovic keeps chopping at that leg, and he gets a double leg now into full guard. Townsend closes his guard. Some short elbows from Todorovic and he moves to half guard. Todorovic is working on passing, he moves towards mount but Townsend recovers half guard immediately. There’s a steady diet of offense from Todorovic, he moves to side control now. Knee on belly, now full mount for Todorovic. Punches from Todorovic, Townsend is trying to move but he’s in real trouble. Townsend gives up the back, and gives up the mount again. Todorovic keeps unloading and eventually the ref has seen enough of this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dusko Todorovic via TKO, punches, at 3:15 of Round 2

Mic time for Todorovic, he puts over Townsend as a durable fighter so he worked things to the ground where he could showcase his skills. He says it’s unreal to be winning in the UFC and notes the support he has at home. Asked about the future he wants to continue improving while maintainging his undefeated status.

The ground and pound from Todorovic is impressive, powerful and accurate.

Kyler Phillips won his UFC debut earlier this year, and is hoping to remain perfect in the UFC with another win here. Cameron Else is stepping in for Danaa Batgerel on short notice, but he’s on a six fight winning streak and has a chance to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Phillips is the -425 favorite against a +345 comeback for Else.

Bantamweight Bout: Cameron Else (10-4, 136 lbs.) vs. Kyler Phillips (7-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Else is an inch taller while Phillips has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Phillips lands a leg kick. Both men probing the defense of the other, they trade some leg kicks. Phillips is working leg kicks. Else coming forward at the moment, there’s an exchange of lefts. Phillips misses a wheel kick, but his general activity level is edging out Else right now. Else lands a right. Phillips lands a right of his own. Bit of a left hook from Phillips. Phillips hits a double leg, he stands over Else and they trade some kicks. Phillips passes to side control, nearly gets swept but winds up standing over Else again. Down into side control again for Phillips. Some short punches from Phillips, he gets the back in transition and looks to unload. Phillips nearly gets reversed, but scrambles back to top position and unloads from half guard with blows to the body and head as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Phillips

ROUND TWO: Phillips coming forward again, he lands a calf kick. Else lands to the body in close. Head kick from Phillips and he clinches up then gets a takedown into side control. Full mount for Phillips, now the back and he starts landing blows until the ref waves this off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kyler Phillips via TKO, strikes, at :44 of Round 2

Mic time for Phillips, he thanks Else for taking the fight on short notice and puts him over. He thanks everyone, especially the crowd and the UFC brass. He wants another fight soon, and jokes he wants to live at this facility likening it to a cruise ship. Asked specifically for an opponent, he has no name.

Germaine de Randamie was last seen almost a year ago when she lost a terribly uninteresting and non-competitive fight with Amanda Nunes, but she’s never yet lost consecutive fights and is hoping to get back into the title picture with a win here. Julianna Pena has gone 5-1 in the UFC, only losing to Valentina Shevchenko, but injury and inactivity (this is just her seventh fight in seven years) have plagued her career. A win over a former champion like de Randamie would be the biggest win of Pena’s career and could set her up for a title shot as well. De Randamie is a slight -145 favorite to +125 for Pena.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #1 Germaine de Randamie (9-4, 136 lbs.) vs. #4 Julianna Pena (9-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: De Randamie is three inches taller and has two inches of reach over Pena. Pena feinting her way forward, de Randamie circling. De Randamie is working to establish her jab, Pena coming forward still. Bit of a body kick from de Randamie. Right from de Randamie wobbles Pena. Pena trying to throw back, and de Randamie backs off. Right from Pena but she can’t get the clinch off of it. De Randamie showing the uppercut but isn’t finding it yet. Jabs from de Randamie are working. Both women land rights in close, de Randamie landed better. Pena is still struggling with the range. Bit of a right from de Randamie. That overhand right from de Randamie is finding the target more often now. Pena catches a kick and gets a clinch on the fence. They trade some knees in the clinch and Pena trips de Randamie just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Randamie

ROUND TWO: Pena coming forward early, and they trade in close before Pena gets hurt and forces a clinch. Knees from de Randamie as she breaks the posture of Pena. Pena is after a trip but de Randamie is staying upright. Inside trip from Pena into the guard of de Randamie. Pena is trying to pass the guard but can’t complete it. Butterfly guard for de Randamie now. De Randamie gets full guard, Pena postures up but eats an elbow. Both women land hammer fists and Pena decides she doesn’t like the range and gets close again. Pena is trying a can opener, she lands an elbow. Half guard now for Pena. Hammer fists from Pena to the body, she’ss just trying to stay busy and not get stood up. Pena fishes for a top position guillotine, de Randamie breaks the grip and Pena winds up on bottom looking for a d’arce. De Randamie has a counter Von Flue opportunity, she’s after it but there’s short time left in the round so the position wont develop further.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pena, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. De Randamie showing the hands more at the start here. Jabs from de Randamie. Pena with a right and she bulls forward but de Randamie punches her back. De Randamie lands a right. Right from de Randamie off balances Pena but she stays upright. One two from de Randamie, Pena with some short punches in close. Pena is missing her long range attacks rather badly, but de Randamie isn’t countering aggressively. They clinch up and hit the fence. Some knees from Pena, de Randamie returns them. Pena tries for a single leg, de Randamie grabs a guillotine and puts Pena to sleep with it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Germaine de Randamie via Technical Submission, guillotine choke, at 3:25 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. de Randamie for her work this evening. Mic time for de Randamie now, she feels she was sloppy and stiff at the beginning but she’s competent enough to put you to sleep if you give her her neck. She mentions expecting to land that guillotine at some point, then puts over first responders, police, military and nurses who all put their lives on the line during the trying times. She feels she’s still the number one contender, congratulates Nunes on her new family but isn’t done coming for the belt yet.

Pena goes back and forth attack the double leg, but as she switches to her own left de Randamie switches which of her arms is attack the neck. That means as Pena gets the takedown she’s on the dangerous side of the choke, with the fence blocking her passing to the safe side. A few minor grip adjustments and de Randamie puts her to sleep.

Yorgan De Castro has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss to Greg Hardy, he’s trying to avoid his first losing streak and prove he’s still a heavyweight prospect to take seriously. Carlos Felipe lost his UFC debut earlier this year, now he’s back and trying to get his first UFC win. De Castro is the -230 favorite to +190 for Felipe.

Heavyweight Bout: Yorgan De Castro (6-1, 261 lbs.) vs. Carlos Felipe (8-1, 263 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Felipe has an inch of reach advantage. Both men feinting a little early. Felipe misses a right. De Castro showing some kicks. Not a whole lot going on. De Castro trying to work a body kick now. Felipe lands a leg kick. They clash on leg kicks a few times. De Castro lands a leg kick, Felipe lands a right to the body. Felipe lands a right. De Castro lands a leg kick. Hard leg kick from De Castro. Bit of a one two from Felipe. Felipe is backing De Castro to the fence, and they trade jabs. Felipe lands a one two. They just stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Felipe

ROUND TWO: Both men come out throwing but neither of them really land. De Castro is pushing the issue, Felipe lands a right that wobbles him. Body shots from Felipe, De Castro lands a left hook. They clinch up and hit the fence. Knee from Felipe as they break. De Castro lands a stiff jab, and another. Felipe covers up and blocks most of a flurry. Left to the body from Felipe. De Castro lands a hard leg kick. They swing and miss until they clinch up. The ref breaks them up, feeling De Castro was grabbing the fence to maintain the position. Felipe covers up and blocks a combination. Both men land some glancing punches. Felipe’s forward pressure is getting to De Castro at this point. Felipe digs the body a few times. Left from Felipe and they clinch again. They jockey for position, and there’s a bit of a right from De Castro as they break. Felipe lands a leg kick, they brawl a bit in close. De Castro lands a body kick, then a leg kick and Felipe lands body shots and clinches. The ref breaks them again, Felipe was grabbing the fence. De Castro has a combination blocked. Felipe walking forward and they trade a bit before the end of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Felipe backs De Castro into the fence, looks to unload but winds up clinching. They stall out and the ref breaks them, this ref has a very quick trigger on separating these guys. They get close and swing, De Castro tries a double leg but decides against it and just settles for a clinch. They get broken up again, and immediately clinch up. Some slow motion knees go back and forth, both men are tired. The ref breaks them again. De Castro bulls forward, and we have another clinch on the fence. Things stall out, and they’re broken up. De Castro forces another clinch and lands some rights. Knee from Felipe. The ref breaks them again. Felipe lands a knee as De Castro gets yet another clinch on the fence. The ref breaks them quickly. Felipe walking forward, and lands a right to the body. De Castro gets a clinch again and works the legs with knees as they’re on the fence. Knee from Felipe. More short blows from De Castro and the ref breaks them up. They just kind of circle and stare for the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 De Castro, 29-28 Felipe overall

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

That was interesting for some small portions, but just got worse and worse. Mic time for Felipe, he says he loves fighting and fights to have fun. Asked what he wants next he says Raphael Pessoa has been running from him since their regional days, he implores him to stop running from him. He feels he deserves a post fight bonus, Dan Hardy agrees just to be diplomatic.

Holly Holm has had a really good combat sports career but recently has been trading wins and losses. She’s also lost her last four title fights, and if she wants to reclaim the title she used to hold then at age 38 (she’ll turn 39 a little later this month) she needs an emphatic win here in the worst way. Irene Aldana has gone 5-3 in the UFC and finds herself in this spot based on her pretty brutal finish of Ketlen Vieira in her last fight, a win over a high profile opponent like Holm would be the biggest win of Aldana’s career and could put her into the title picture as well. Holm is a very slight -125 favorite to +105 for Aldana.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #2 Holly Holm (13-5, 136 lbs.) vs. #6 Irene Aldana (12-5, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Aldana is an inch taller while Holm has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Holm fighting southpaw. Aldana circling on the outside early. Bits of feinting from both women, just trying to get a feel for the fight. Aldana has been working an outside leg kick, just range finding mostly. Holm lands a left. A whole lot of circling going on. Bit of a left from Holm again. Aldana blocks a blitz attack. Holm lands a side kick to the body. Neither women doing much cage cutting, they’re both just circling. Holm lands a left. Bit of a right from Aldana, Holm lands a leg kick. High kick from Holm is blocked. A few body shots from Holm, then a side kick. Aldana lands a leg kick. Right from Aldana but she’s not working combinations yet. Holm tries a takedown, can’t finish it and they wind up on the fence. Some short rights from Holm to the body and head. Holm gets a takedown into half guard where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holm

ROUND TWO: More circling as the round begins. Aldana lands an inside leg kick. Right from Aldana lands, and she blocks a counter combination. Both women land power hand punches. Left from Holm staggers Aldana for a second. Another left from Holm. The right side of Aldana’s face is swelling up. The lack of cage cutting from Aldana is biting her here, she’s just following Holm around in a circle. Aldana avoids a high kick. Holm lands that straight left again. Knee from Aldana in close as she avoided a takedown attempt. Holm blitzes into a clinch on the fence. Holm gets a takedown and moves to half guard. Side control now for Holm, Aldana shrimps to full guard. Holm to half guard now. Aldana gets butterfly guard and kicks Holm off but can’t regain her feet right away. Aldana up but took a hard leg kick on the way. Combination from Holm then a side kick to keep Aldana off of her. Aldana lands a leg kick. Another side kick from Holm. Leg kick from Aldana, another side kick from Holm as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Aldana lands a leg kick. They trade rights. Aldana avoids a combination. High kick from Holm is partially blocked. Holm lands a left. Aldana lands a bit of a right. Left hook lands for Aldana. Holm gets a clinch, and stifles a throw attempt to get on top in half guard. That’s got to be demoralizing for Aldana, she was doing well on the feet finally and now she’s on her back again. Holm to side control, she’s attacking a kimura but Aldana defends. Aldana gets half guard, she’s trying to shrimp but Holm mounts her. Holm looks to unload with punches and elbows, Aldana defending so far but she’s got to address the position. Nice shrimp from Aldana, Holm lands hammer fists as Aldana regains her feet then bulls into another clinch. Knee from Aldana as she spins free and resets. Aldana coming forward but still not cutting things off. Holm with a side kick to the body. Left from Holm then a body kick. Aldana runs into another side kick as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Aldana needs a real adjustment here. Holm is jabbing to start this round, Aldana walks into it a few times. Another couple of jabs from Holm. Aldana lands a bit of a body shot but she’s still following. Holm lands a body kick. Another body kick from Holm. Aldana just has no ideas here, she’s running her head into the same wall she was in the first round. Holm lands another side kick to the body. Inside leg kicks are traded. There’s a clinch that hits the fence, Aldana is trying to defend but Holm trips her down and lands in full guard. Holm stands, Aldana back up but eats a few punches before they break. Left to the body from Holm. Aldana lands a right. High kick from Holm, partially successful. Combination from Holm is punctuated with a side kick to the body. Another clinch, but Aldana breaks this one quickly. A few side kicks from Holm, Aldana coming forward and lands a couple of rights. Holm with more side kicks as the round ends.

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

ROUND FIVE: Holm jabbing again as the round starts. Aldana trying to force the issue but still no cage cutting so she’s just walking onto stuff. Holm lands a stiff left. Aldana lands an inside leg kick. More jabs from Holm as she’s circling. Aldana lands a right but can’t follow up. Both women miss punches. Holm lands a body kick. Clubbing left from Holm, Aldana just can’t find any reliable offense. Side kick to the face from Holm. Holm lands another left. Aldana lands a right, then walks onto a left. Holm still managing distance and keeping Aldana off of her. Left from Holm wobbles Aldana for a second. Bit of a right from Aldana. Holm gets a trip takedown into the guard of Aldana. Aldana is trying to land elbows from her back. Some punches land for Holm, Aldana kicks her off and gets up but eats a high kick along the way. Holm lands a left, Aldana is stunned. Another left from Holm, then a side kick to the face. Aldana covers up a blitz and forces a clinch to ice the round. One final flurry from Holm just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holm, might be 10-8 numerically, 50-45 Holm overall

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

Shut out from Holm, she doesn’t want to give up her spot yet. Holm on the mic, she puts over her coaches for telling her what to do and feels things came together tonight. She mentions needing to still work on things. Asked about the future, she wants to keep working hard and get back to the title. She mentions working hard on all aspects of the sport. When asked who she’d want next, she’s happy to let the future unfold and focus on her training. To close she thanks everyone at home.

Alright everyone, that wraps up UFC on ESPN 16. Thanks for being here and reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all the action from this card on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA podcast, plus look ahead to next week when top bantamweight contenders Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen square off. That should be a heck of a fight. I’ll be back for that event, so until next time stay safe out there and keep checking 411mnaia for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN, Robert Winfree