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411’s UFC Vegas 15 Report: Smith Wins

November 29, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 18

MAIN CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
Devin Clark (204.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Anthony Smith (205 lbs.)
Miguel Baeza (171 lbs.) vs. Takashi Sato (170 lbs.)
Josh Parisian (265.5 lbs.) vs. Parker Porter (263 lbs.)
Bill Algeo (146 lbs.) vs. Spike Carlyle (145.5 lbs.)
Norma Dumont (139.5 lbs.)* vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (135.5 lbs.)
Kai Kamaka III (145 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Pearce (145.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
Martin Day (135.5 lbs.) vs. Anderson dos Santos (135 lbs.)
Gina Mazany (125.5 lbs.) vs. Rachael Ostovich (125.5 lbs.)
Malcolm Gordon (126 lbs.) vs. Su Mudaerji (126 lbs.)
Nate Maness (139.5 lbs.) vs. Luke Sanders (140 lbs.) – 140-pound catchweight


Hey there everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 18. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action just as I see it. This poor card. It wasn’t exactly great to begin with but the last week or so has truly wrecked it. First the best fight on the card, Renato Moicano vs. Rafael Fiziev, got bumped to UFC 256 then yesterday we lost the main event between Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes after a positive COVID test on the part of Blaydes. I’m usually happy to avoid a heavyweight fight, but that fight was at least relevant to the division and losing it really did hurt the relevance of the card. Our new main event is a light heavyweight fight between Anthony Smith and Devin Clark, and despite the last minute change both fighters agreed to keep it a five round main event so they both get some kudos for that. The co-main event is now the best fight on this card when undefeated rising prospect Miguel Baeza meets fellow rising welterweight Takashi Sato. Beyond that we’re really just hoping for a card that over performs because there isn’t a whole lot on paper to get really excited about.

UFC on ESPN 18 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Paul Felder. Reminder that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has adopted most of the new rules, but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. They will allow instant replay whenever either the in cage ref or an official out of the cage wants to review something and the fight can be restarted if appropriate. Because we’re in the APEX we’re also using the smaller 25 foot diameter Octagon.

Luke Sanders last fought way back in February 2019 when he knocked out former champion Renan Barao, now he’s back trying to build on that momentum by getting his first UFC winning streak up and running. Nate Maness scored a win in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak as well and prove he’s a prospect of note in a crowded division. The odds are with Sanders at -160 to a +135 comeback on Maness.

Catchweight Bout: Nate Maness (12-1, 139.5 lbs.) vs. Luke Sanders (13-3, 140 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Maness is four inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Sanders fighting southpaw. Both men with some range finding leg kicks. Bit of a left from Sanders. Maness lands a body kick, then they trade power hand punches. Both men miss punches in close. They swing into a clinch, then break. Maness avoids a few punches, Sanders lands a calf kick. Maness doing some stance switching. Another calf kick from Sanders, those are adding up quickly. Another clinch, they break without much happening. Sanders has a punch blocked. Neither man has found a whole lot of success yet. Maness lands a left in close. Sanders misses some hooks, then punches into a clinch. Takedown from Maness, gets the back but loses it as Sanders stands and they resume clinching then separate. A couple of short rights from Maness, then Sanders lands a calf kick. They get close and Sanders lands a flurry of punches then they clinch. Maness escapes and avoids a head kick. Maness avoids a calf kick as the round closes.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sanders

ROUND TWO: Sanders opens with a calf kick. Overhand left from Sanders, he’s pushing forward now and lands another leg kick. They get close and brawl, Maness landed a punch that sagged the legs of Sanders. Both men land power hand punches, then they get wild again in the pocket before clinching. They break without incident. Hard left from Sanders, he gets a clinch and lands knees before Maness gets free. Maness lands a right that floors Sanders, Sanders back up but still clinched and Maness gets a trip takedown. Full mount for Maness, he gets the back in transition, gets the choke and Sanders has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nate Maness via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:29 of Round 2

Poor Luke Sanders, he never recovered after he and Becky Lynch broke up. Mic time for Maness, he puts over Sanders as a tough opponent but he wanted to keep the pace high given the long layoff for Sanders. He talks us through the finish, then says he’d like to fight Adrian Yanez or Nathaniel Wood. Wood might be too much too soon, but Yanez is a very reasonable call out. To close he gives glory to God.

You can see Sanders dropping his hands or widening his guard as they break the clinch, leaving a nice punching lane for Maness to drop him. From there Sanders tries to recover but Maness trips him down and very quickly sneaks that choke in during the transition to the back.

Su Mudaerji got his first UFC win in August of 2019, he’s back now and trying to get his UFC record to an even 2-2. Su is making his flyweight debut here, which could help extend his career even if he loses. Malcolm Gordon had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut back in July, he’s trying to get on the winning side of things this time and get that first UFC win. Su is a hefty favorite at -360 to a +280 payout for Gordon.

Flyweight Bout: Malcolm Gordon (12-4, 126 lbs.) vs. Su Mudaerji (12-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Su has an inch of height and reach advantage. Southpaw for Su, he opens with kicks while circling. Gordon pressuring forward, eating some kicks but trying to corral Su. Left to the body from Su then an inside leg kick. A couple of straight lefts stagger Gordon, he keeps landing that left and Gordon Flair Flops to close the show.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Su Mudaerji via KO, punches, at :44 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Su for his work this evening. Nice debut at flyweight for Su, and flyweight could always use more talent after the gutting the division went through last year. Mic time for Su, he really didn’t want to make the second round and get his first UFC finish. Asked who he’d like next he thanks his coaches before saying just anyone in the top ten. He closes with some more thanks.

Su Mudaerji with a textbook straight left into the opposite stance opponent here. He steps to the outside, fires straight down the pipe and Gordon never adjusts. If your opponent keeps giving you the same opening, keep taking advantage it.

Gina Mazany has gone 2-4 in the UFC, she’s trying her had a flyweight for the first time tonight and looking to salvage her UFC run in the new division. Rachel Ostovich has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, she likewise needs a win to try and get her career on track. Mazany is the -200 favorite to +170 for Ostovich.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Gina Mazany (6-4, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Rachael Ostovich (4-5, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mazany is three inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Mazany, she’s showing the jab early. Both women with some range finding. Ostovich lands a body kick. Counter jab from Ostovich, they trade rights in close. They clinch up, hit the fence and Mazany with an outside reap into half guard. Mazany to the back in transition, goes to a body triangle. Ostovich trying to scramble but Mazany is riding. There’s another scramble and Ostovich breaks the body triangle and scrambles up. Bit of a right form Ostovich. Ostovich lands another body kick. Mazany lands a left to the body. A couple of right hooks land for Ostovich. Ostovich lands a body kick, Mazany catches it and gets a clinch. Mazany moves around to the back, lands some knees to the thigh before Ostovich gets free. Both women land kicks then Mazany lets Ostovich off of the fence. They trade rights. Left hook from Ostovich lands. Mazany avoids a few kicks. Mazany lands a straight left as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mazany

ROUND TWO: More forward pressure from Mazany, they both land punches but Mazany gets the clinch. Ostovich can’t avoid a clinch takedown, Mazany has the back as they stand and Mazany gets a mat return into full guard. Ostovich tries an armbar but Mazany defends and lands some hammer fists. Mazany avoids a triangle attempt and passes to north-south. There’s a north-south choke possible for Mazany, she doesn’t want it and moves to side control again. She’s after the north-south choke again, Ostovich tries to flip over and get the back, she does and Mazany has to scramble back up. Fairly crazy escape from Ostovich there, you need to be insanely flexible to make that work. Body kicks from Ostovich, and they trade power hand punches. Mazany gets a takedown into half guard. Pretty much 3/4 mount for Mazany now as she’s looking to unload blows. Ostovich tires to explode, Mazany rides to her back and hits a mat return as they stand. Hammer fists from Mazany, Ostovich up and Mazany returns her again. Ride position for Mazany as she lands punches. Back up, Mazany lands an elbow. They trade in close then break as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Mazany stalking forward, runs into a right hand. They clinch, Mazany with some knees along the fence. Elbow from Mazany and she slips around to the back. Back chest to chest, Ostovich misses a right on the break. Mazany lands a couple of lefts and gets another clinch. Knees go back and forth then they break. Ostovich lands a right. Mazany is getting her lead had working now. Ostovich lands a right. Another clinch that hits the fence, they trade rights as they break. Mazany ducks under a punch and gets a double leg into side control and moves to mount immediately. Elbows from Mazany, Ostovich gives up the back but does survive that flurry. Mazany loses the hooks and Ostovich is up and free. Both women looking tired, Mazany lands a body kick that buckles Ostovich. They hit the mat, Mazany on the back landing some punches but Ostovich guts through it and stands. One more front kick from Mazany to the body, Ostovich drops again and the ref waves this one off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gina Mazany via TKO, body kick, at 4:10 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Mazany for her work this evening. Mic time for Mazany, she jokes with Felder about his moustache before moving on to the cut to 125 being a process but she doesn’t regret hard work. She talks about changing camps ahead of this fight, thanks her new team for the results. She talks us through the finish, noting Ostovich felt a little soft to the body earlier in the fight and she went back to it later.

Bas Rutten is fond of saying if you hurt someone to the body don’t panic, you’ve got about 20-25 seconds before they’re recovered so you don’t need to put yourself at unnecessary risk. Here Mazany cripples Ostovich by digging the toes and ball of the foot into the liver, then when Ostovich fights back up she just does it again to get the stoppage. That short range stabbing pendulum kick is brutal when used properly, Mazany does so here.

Martin Day has gone 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win rather badly to justify his spot on the roster. Anderson dos Santos has also gone 0-2 in the UFC, he’s also been off for about 18 months and badly needs a win. Day is the favorite at -165 to a +140 payout on dos Santos.

Bantamweight Bout: Martin Day (8-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Anderson dos Santos (20-8, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Day is five inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach over dos Santos. Circling to start, dos Santos with inside and outside leg kicks. Day is trying to fight long. Some more leg kicks go back and forth. Day showing some stance switches now. Kicks from Day are blocked, dos Santos tries to clinch but can’t secure it. Dos Santos lands a couple of rights, eats a leg kick but gets close and gets the clinch on the fence. Day is fighting to stay upright, dos Santos gets the back standing. some knees to the thigh from dos Santos but he can’t get the takedown he’s looking for. Dos Santos slips around and gets an elevated double leg into half guard. Dos Santos passes to side control. Some knees to the body from dos Santos. Day keeps trying to bridge, but he’s using muscle more than technique and is wearing himself out. Day shrimps to butterfly guard. Dos Santos lands some elbows, Day kicks him off and hits a double leg but dos Santos grabs a guillotine choke. There’s not a lot of time, dos Santos keeps squeezing though and Day taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anderson dos Santos via Submission, guillotine choke, at 4:35 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. dos Santos for his work this evening. Mic time for dos Santos after his first UFC win, he says the year has been tough on him and implores anyone listening to respect jiu-jitsu. Is that really a talking point in 2020? He talks us through the finish, then says he’d like to make up for the 18 month layoff and would fight again next week if they let him.

Day leaves his head on the outside for the double leg, but never addresses the catch around his neck by either passing the legs on the safe side during the takedown or trying to deal with the choking grip. He only tries to address the danger after the choke is locked in and by then it’s too late, especially given the grappling skill differential.

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

Kai Kamaka III is on a six fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut a few months back, he’s trying to capitalize on that momentum and keep climbing up the ranks. Jonathan Pearce suffered a loss in his UFC debut over a year ago, he’s back now and hoping to get that all important first UFC win. Kamaka is the favorite at -310 to +250 for Pearce.

Featherweight Bout: Kai Kamaka III (8-2, 145 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Pearce (9-4, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pearce is five inches taller but only two inches of reach over Kamaka. They touch gloves to get us going. Some stance switching from Pearce, he lands a body kick. Body kick from Kamaka lands. Kamaka lands a right to the body. Another right to the body from Kamaka. Pearce keeps walking into body shots. Leg kick then a jab from Kamaka. Kamaka lands another leg kick. Pearce has a high kick blocked. Kamaka lands a right, and gets a takedown. Pearce stands up quickly and they reset. Pearce jabbing the body now, Kamaka lands a calf kick. Right from Pearce lands, Kamaka lands a one two. Stiff jab from Kamaka, Pearce just hasn’t found consistent offense. Kamaka lands another leg kick, and avoids a jumping knee. Pearce lands a leg kick. Right to the body from Pearce, Kamaka lands a one two then avoids a single leg attempt. Pearce ducks under a right and gets a double leg into half guard. Kamaka gives up the back, Pearce can’t get both hooks in though and they’re up and clinched. Knee from Pearce, then a left and they break. Kamaka lands a jab. Both men with rights as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kamaka but a close one

ROUND TWO: They start brawling early as the round starts, Pearce gets a body lock takedown and moves towards the back. Again only one hook for Pearce as Kamaka stands. Kamaka drops backwards and gets on top, Pearce scrambles up and they reset. Both men land jabs, Pearce is working higher volume now though and that’s starting to get to Kamaka. Kamaka lands a couple of body shots, Pearce didn’t like those and gets a takedown into half guard. Hard left from Pearce as he passes, he gets the ride position as Kamaka tries to work up to his feet. They’re up, Pearce hits a mat return and gets the back with both hooks in this time. Pearce with punches, that opens up the choke but he can’t finish it yet. Elbow from Pearce, he flattens Kamaka out and looks to unload. Pearce winds up on his back, Kamaka spins into him and gets on top. Kamaka lands a right, and gets the ride position but Pearce is up and they’re clinched. Kamaka lands another body shot, Pearce shoots to try and get away from those, nearly gets caught in a guillotine but he moves to full mount in it and starts working again. Punches from Pearce, Kamaka gives up the back. Pearce has Kamaka flattened out on the mat, he lands enough blows before Kamaka can move to prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jonathan Pearce via TKO, punches, at 4:28 of Round 2

Pretty wild fight, the volume and diversity of Pearce’s game just wore down Kamaka as the fight went longer. Mic time for Pearce, he’s happy with the win but kind of expected Kamaka to keep fighting for longer than he did. He talks us through the finish briefly, then says the win tonight was everything to him.

Watch the body line on Kamaka, proper back control actually bows you like that because the guy on top drives down and back with the hips and legs, it puts you in a position you where you can’t really do anything.

Ashlee Evans-Smith has gone 1-1 since moving to flyweight, she’s coming off of a loss though and is moving back up to bantamweight hoping to resuscitate her career. Norma Dumont suffered her first professional loss when she ran into the right hand of Megan Anderson back in February, she missed weight for her bantamweight return here and needs a win badly to try and salvage her time in the UFC because missing weight and going 0-2 could get her cut easily. Evans-Smith is a slight -150 favorite to +125 for Dumont.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Norma Dumont (4-1, 139.5 lbs.) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Evans-Smith is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach advantage, of course Dumont also missed weight. Some kicks from Evans-Smith early, Dumont showing some stance switches. Body kick from Evans-Smith lands. Dumont lands a leg kick. Neither woman has a real feel for the fight yet. Bit of a right from Dumont. Dumont with a one two to counter a body kick. Leg kick from Dumont, Evans-Smith lands a right to counter. Hard leg kick from Dumont. Evans-Smith avoids most of spinning back kick, but I think the heel grazed her body. Dumont lands a combination. Dumont is pushing forward more now. Evans-Smith coming forward, walks into a left hook. Hard right from Dumont. Evans-Smith misses some punches and a kick. I’m kind of surprised Dumont hasn’t gone back to the body. Evans-Smith lands a right, both women land punches and they clinch up. Elbow from Dumont against the fence. They break, Dumont’s superior firepower is giving Evans-Smith problems. Another clinch, knees are traded then Dumont gets a trip into the guard of Evans-Smith. Some blows from Dumont land as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dumont

ROUND TWO: Evans-Smith coming forward, Dumont circling and switching her stance. Dumont catches a kick and lands a few punches. They clinch, Evans-Smith gets a headlock takeover but gives up her back and Dumont holds the back as they stand. Mat return from Dumont, she stays on top and moves to north-south position. Now more side control for Dumont, she lands an elbow. Evans-Smith gives up her back, Dumont lands an elbow as Evans-Smith hip escapes to quarter guard. Full mount for Dumont. Dumont with short elbows while fighting to posture up. More short blows from Dumont, Evans-Smith is trying to tie her up but isn’t able to address the position yet. Evans-Smith gets quarter guard back, Dumont lands elbows as Evans-Smith scrambles back up and eats a knee to the body. Dumont lands a right. Evans-Smith is trying to come forward but her face is kind of a mess. Dumont lands a left hook. Leg kick from Dumont. Dumont keeps getting off line of Evans-Smith’s attacks and landing a lead hand blow. Left uppercut then a right from Dumont land. Evans-Smith lands a body kick. Stiff jab from Dumont lands. Evans-Smith has a kick blocked to end the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Some feinting and circling. Dumont lands a jab. Evans-Smith lands a body kick, but Dumont lands a couple of counter punches. Dumont avoids a few kicks. Bit of a right from Dumont, then a left hook. Evans-Smith just can’t close distance without eating punches. Evans-Smith lands a jab, Dumont lands a better one. They clinch, Evans-Smith lands a knee and Dumont hits a couple of elbows as they break. Evans-Smith lands a body kick, Dumont lands a right to counter. Solid right from Dumont. Calf kick from Dumont. Another leg kick lands for Dumont. Evans-Smith blocks some punches but doesn’t have a counter for them. They clinch up, both women land knees to the body. Another knee from Dumont as they break. Counter punches from Dumont after she avoided a kick. Dumont lands a right. Left uppercut from Dumont drops Evans-Smith, she looks to follow up but Evans-Smith comes up on a single leg. Dumont defends that and lands body shots before Evans-Smith clinches. There’s a whizzer kick from Evans-Smith, Dumont reverses her on the mat and time runs out with her on top.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dumont, 30-26 Dumont overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Norma Dumont via unanimous decision (30-26 x3)

Pity the weight miss is going to hang over Dumont, but if she can figure that out she might be a relevant fighter at bantamweight. Mic time for Dumont, Felder asks her about the weight miss first and she says she struggled to get all the way down after putting on weight for featherweight and says the timing relative to her “woman’s issue” caused her to stop dropping weight but she’ll be on for her next one. She says she felt great in the cage and thinks she’s a hard hitter for bantamweight and can’t wait to get back in there. To close she dedicates the win to her mom, grandmother, and sisters.

Spike Carlyle has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss, he’s looking for a win to get his UFC record above the .500 mark with a win. Bill Algeo dropped his UFC debut against Ricardo Lamas, he’s trying to get his first UFC win and prove his worth on the roster. Carlyle is the -180 favorite to +155 for Algeo.

Featherweight Bout: Bill Algeo (13-5, 146 lbs.) vs. Spike Carlyle (9-2, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Algeo is four inches taller and has two inches of reach advantage. Carlyle comes out pressing the action, lands a calf kick. Calf kick from Algeo, then Algeo lands a right in close. Both men doing a lot of stance switching. Calf kick from Carlyle then he blocks a head kick. Carlyle misses a few hooks. They trade jabs. Algeo is moving well around the cage. They trade leg kicks. Spinning back kick to the body from Algeo. Algeo lands a left hook, Carlyle comes forward and gets a clinch. Takedown from Carlyle, he jumps for the back but Algeo is up and in the clinch. Carlyle hits a mat return, Algeo up and looks for a switch but can’t finish it. Algeo gets chest to chest, hits a trip but Carlyle grabs a bulldog choke in transition and starts squeezing. Algeo is trying to fight, it takes a bit but he does get his head out and starts landing punches from the ride position. Carlyle spins into him, Algeo lands an elbow but they’re up and trading on their knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Algeo but a close one

ROUND TWO: Algeo feinting his way forward, has a head kick blocked. Leg kick from Carlyle. They clinch up, but nothing comes of it before they break. Carlyle gets a single leg, gets the back but has no control so Algeo scrambles up in the clinch. Bit of an elbow from Algeo then a knee to the body. Both men with some knees to the body while they fight for position. Algeo gets a trip, and gets the back as they hit the mat. Full body triangle for Algeo, Carlyle is trying to turn into him. Carlyle goes belly down, Algeo is after an arm triangle choke but Carlyle defends. Carlyle gets to his knees, Algeo working short blows to the head. Algeo flattens Carlyle out, but can’t keep it and loses a hook so he moves to the ride position. Knees to the body from Algeo as Carlyle tries to work up to his feet. Both hooks in again for Algeo but Carlyle reverses this time and gets on top. Algeo with elbows from his back, Carlyle lands some punches from the full guard. Carlyle to half guard, lands some heavy punches. Algeo tries to tie up a leg attack as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Carlyle comes out but Algeo is trying to slow the explosion down. Body kick from Carlyle. Algeo lands a couple of rights. Bit of a head kick from Carlyle but he’s gassed. Algeo lands a high kick, but eats a counter uppercut. Algeo avoids a few hooks then lands a calf kick. Body kick from Algeo. Bit of a pull back one two from Algeo. Carlyle forces a clinch and gets the back, tries a mat return but Algeo scrambles to a front headlock. Carlyle pushes Algeo into the fence and they keep fighting in the clinch. Knee to the body from Carlyle. They break without incident. High kick from Algeo is blocked. Carlyle dives for a double leg, it takes him a bit but he gets it. Algeo to his knees, Carlyle is after his back but can only get one hook in. They’re up, but Carlyle is still on the back. Algeo gets chest to chest, and there’s a bit of an uppercut from Carlyle on the break. Carlyle goes for another takedown, Algeo lands a knee and starts defending. They’re on the fence, elbows from Algeo as they fight for position. Elbow from Algeo as they break. Carlyle misses a few hooks, and eats a left. They clinch again. Algeo lands a knee to the body, they break, then Carlyle lands a body kick as the last blow of the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bill Algeo via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Fun if slightly sloppy scrap there. Algeo gets an interview, he says he wanted to stand up more but everyone wants to take you down after you knee them in the face a few times. He down plays the bulldog choke in the first, but mentions Carlyle has a history of gassing as the fight goes longer and he played into that. He thanks the UFC for still running and helping him earn money. To close he says Giga Chikadze is still a punk who’s ducking him.

Josh Parisian brings a six fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s hoping to continue that momentum here and prove himself a prospect of note in a division perpetually in need of them. Parker Porter lost his UFC debut a few months ago, he’s trying to bounce back with his first UFC win and likewise inject some fresh blood into the heavyweight division. Parisian is the favorite at -210 to a +175 payout on Porter.

Heavyweight Bout: Josh Parisian (13-3, 265.5 lbs.) vs. Parker Porter (10-6, 263 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Parisian has four inches of height and reach over Porter. They touch gloves to get us going. Parisian is feinting and showing the jab. Porter gets close and punches into a clinch. They trade elbows and knees then break. Porter still coming forward, lands a right. Parisian gets a clinch, they trade in close. Both men land knees then they break. Porter lands a one two and clinches again. More knees from Porter, and they trade elbows. Hard right from Parisian as they break. Parisian looks to unload with a long combination, Porter is trying to fire back. Right from Parisian. Things are slowing down now, these are some big guys. Bit of a right from Porter. Porter lands a leg kick, he’s the one forcing the issue right now. Hard right from Porter backs up Parisian, he lands punches in close but Parisian lands a spinning back fist. They resume trading in the clinch, both men with knees and elbows before they break. Porter coming forward again, tries a single leg and lands lefts along the fence as they clinch. Parisian lands an elbow, Porter with a knee to the body as they break. They tie up again, and break. Porter lands a right. They split some jabs, more rights and a leg kick from Porter. Parisian is sucking a lot of wind. Elbow from Porter, Parisian tosses him down and the round ends on the mat.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Porter

ROUND TWO: Porter lands a leg kick to get the second round going. Parisian is still sucking some wind. Another leg kick from Porter. Porter backs Parisian up and lands another leg kick after missing punches. A leg kick from Porter drops Parisian, Parisian fights up but Porter grabs a front choke and drives him to the fence. Porter is trying to switch to a guillotine, the angle isn’t right though. Porter moves to the ride position, lands punches as they stand. Both men land as they break apart. They trade some leg kicks and punches. Parisian lands a left hook, and they clinch again. Elbow from Porter. They break then Porter lands a bit of a right. Parisian comes forward, the sloppy exchanges of punches continue. Leg kick from Porter. Porter pushes into another clinch and lands a knee to the body. Trip from Porter and he lands in side control. Hammer fists from Porter, he’s trying to mount but gets stuck in half guard. Parisian is going to struggle to get up from here. Short elbows from Porter, he’s after an americana and starts trying to crank but the elbow is too high and needs to come closer to the hip. Porter bails on that and lands some punches. Hammer fists from Porter, he’s posturing up now. Parisian tries to get up, but flops back to his side against the fence. Porter lands some punches as Parisian wall walks. Knee from Porter in the clinch, he lands punches as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Porter walking forward again. Parisian is trying to circle, he accidentally kicks Porter in the groin so we’ve got time. Replay confirms the low blow, but Porter doesn’t want to give Parisian time so we’re fighting again quickly. Porter lands a left hook. Bit of a jab from Parisian. Porter lands another leg kick. Another leg kick from Porter. They trade lefts. Porter is investing in those leg kicks this round. Parisian lands a left, takes a leg kick, and lands a right. Porter with a leaping left hook then a right. Parisian misses a spinning back fist and Porter lands a right. Stiff jab from Porter. Bit of a right from Parisian, then a front kick to the chest. Porter lands a couple of rights. Parisian is still trying to swing. One two from Porter, he’s got Parisian on the fence again and starts looking to tee off. Parisian lands a leg kick, and takes a counter right. Some jabs go back and forth, Porter tries a trip but can’t get it. Parisian lands a right, he’s still trying. Both men land punches again. They clinch, but they’re both gassed. Porter lands a knee to the body. They break, and Porter hits one final flurry as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Porter, 30-26 Porter overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Parker Porter via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Thus concludes your regularly scheduled walrus fight. Porter gets an interview after that, he’s happy as he’s been trying to get his foot in the UFC door for fifteen years. He thought the first round was close, but both of them were going for the kill and he knew he could win over the long haul. He mentions being aware of Parisian gassing, but feels he still has work to do on his own to carry his power later into a fight.

Migeul Baeza is undefeated including two wins in the UFC, he knocked out Matt Brown his last time out and is now looking to set his sights on even bigger names if he can remain perfect after this fight. Takashi Sato has gone 2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak at the expense of the undefeated Baeza. Baeza is your favorite at -200 to a +170 comeback on Sato.

Welterweight Bout: Miguel Baeza (9-0, 171 lbs.) vs. Takashi Sato (16-3, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Baeza is four inches taller but has just and inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Sato, they touch gloves to get things started. Sato is feinting his way forward, Baeza circling. Baeza misses a right. Left to the body from Sato. Sato blocks a high kick. Baeza lands a front kick to the body. Baeza lands a right, Sato is backing up now. Sato blocks some kicks. Body kick from Baeza then a high kick that’s blocked. Both men land power hand punches. Sato lands a left to the body. They clinch and Sato takes a knee to the groin so we’ve got time. Sato takes 48 seconds and then we’re back to fighting (serious thanks to the broadcast for including the clock on that now). Baeza kicking now, Sato lands a bit of a left. They clinch up, and trade knees then Baeza lands a right as they break. Baeza barely misses a head kick. Something in that last exchange cut Sato under the right eye, it’s not bad but there’s blood. Sato is coming forward again, lands a bit of a left. Baeza has some long range strikes blocked, then Sato off balances him with a well timed jab as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Baeza

ROUND TWO: Sato showing the jab and trying to move forward. Bit of a body kick from Baeza. Baeza lands a right. Another right from Baeza. Sato lands a jab. Another body kick from Baeza. Sato lands a left to the body. Right from Baeza lands, Sato responds with a jab. Baeza lands another body kick, Sato replies in kind. Another body kick from Baeza, then a right to the body. One two from Baeza, he’s upping the pressure now. Baeza hits a double leg, Sato gives up the back looking to wall walk and Baeza gets the ride position. Some rights from Baeza, he’s after the choke but can’t get it as he does get both hooks in. Arm triangle attempt now from Baeza, Sato tries to get half guard but loses it and then has to tap as the choke locks down.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Miguel Baeza via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 4:28 of Round 2

Baeza is a legitimate prospect, shame he had so much time off after the Brown win but hopefully he can stay healthy now. Mic time for Baeza, he’s glad to show off his grappling credentials tonight and talks us through the finish. Asked what’s next for him he says he doesn’t choose, he just fights and jokes that Paul Felder was on deck for the main event tonight. To close he dedicates the fight to a cousin who recently passed away.

This is a slick transition from back mount to threaten the choke as Sato gets to a hip trying to grab half guard with his legs. When he can’t get the half guard Baeza is able to really clamp down on the choke and force the tap.

Anthony Smith has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights, he’s on a two fight losing streak right now but retains a top ten ranking because of the anemic nature of light heavyweight. If Smith wants to get back to the title picture he can ill afford a three fight skid here. Devin Clark has been with the UFC since 2016 and has gone 6-4 during that time, he’s on a two fight winning streak and could get the best win of his career if he takes out Smith here. Smith is a slight favorite at -135 to a +115 comeback on Clark.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Devin Clark (12-4, 204.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Anthony Smith (33-16, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smith is four inches taller but has just one inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Clark comes out aggressively and lands a couple of rights into a clinch but Smith hits a body lock takedown into side control. Smith drags Clark away from the fence. Smith takes the back, just one hook in right now though and he goes to the lockdown on the left leg of Clark. Clark is landing heel strikes to the thigh of Smith while Smith tries to set up a twister. Clark spins into Smith and gets on top in full guard. Smith with some elbows from his back as Clark looks to pass. Triangle choke attempt from Smith, he’s got the position locked down and he hits the angle, hooks the leg and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Smith via Submission, triangle choke, at 2:34 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Smith for his work this evening. Smith is still good enough to beat the lower level of the division, though I would worry about him against the top given the beatings he took in the two fights before this. Mic time for Smith, who loves Felder’s moustache which is pretty nice. He says you think you make it to the top but then it falls away. Asked about wanting five rounds on short notice he says he owes it to himself, the fans, and the UFC after some boring fights. He knew Clark couldn’t keep that pace for three rounds, much less five. He talks us through parts of the finish, reiterating that Clark rushes and couldn’t maintain the pace but does note how strong Clark is. Asked what’s next he says he’s just going to take the fights in front of him and focus on growing, which will lead to the title again inevitably. To close he puts over Felder’s last fight.

A look at the finish, it’s a fairly standard triangle choke. The thing to pay attention to is how Smith angles his body, you want to be perpendicular to your opponent to maximize the choke and as he keeps turning the pressure increases leading to the tap.

Alright everyone, that will end UFC on ESPN 18. Thanks for being here and reading, be that live or after the fact. The 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast will review this event tomorrow, plus look ahead to UFC on ESPN 19 next week when Marvin Vettori steps in on short notice to take on Jack Hermansson in the main event. I’ll be back next week for that card, and I hope you will as well. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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Robert Winfree