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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 2 Report: Moraes Wins

February 2, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

#3 Raphael Assuncao (136 lbs.) vs. #4 Marlon Moraes (135 lbs.)
#2 Jose Aldo (146 lbs.) vs. #5 Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (145.5 lbs.)
Lyman Good (170.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Demian Maia (170.5 lbs.)
Charles Oliveira (154.5 lbs.) vs. David Teymur (156 lbs.)
Justin Ledet (205 lbs.) vs. Johnny Walker (205 lbs.)
Sarah Frota (123 lbs.)* vs. Livia Renata Souza (115.5 lbs.)


Anthony Hernandez (184.5 lbs.) vs. Markus Perez (185.5 lbs.)
#12 Mara Romero Borella (125 lbs.) vs. Taila Santos (125 lbs.)
Thiago Alves (170.5 lbs.) vs. Max Griffin (170 lbs.)
Junior Albini (265.5 lbs.) vs. Jair Rozenstruik (241.5 lbs.)
Felipe Dias Colares (145 lbs.) vs. Geraldo de Freitas Jr. (145.5 lbs.)
Said Nurmagomedov (135 lbs.) vs. Ricardo Ramos (135.5 lbs.)
#11 Magomed Bibulatov (127 lbs.)* vs. Rogerio Bontorin (124.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night 144/UFC on ESPN+ 2. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. I’m going to apologize in advance for a bit of the quality here, I’ve been battling some illness over the last week or so, so please bear with me if things get dicey.

This card is pretty stacked on paper for the discerning MMA fan, the rematch between top bantamweight contenders Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes, the great Jose Aldo takes on rising contender Renato “Moicano” Carneiro in one of Aldo’s last fights, Charles Oliveira and David Teymur battle for position in the lightweight division, and rising strawweight contender Livia Renata Souza tries to continue her ascent in the UFC. While I wont fault anyone for overlooking this card based on the lack of big name attractions, for those who watch enough MMA to recognize the names on the main card you know what kind of potential this event has.

The UFC is back in Brazil for this event, specifically the Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald alongside former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. This will be Bisping’s first commentary gig, he’s been doing the analyst desk bit for a while now but this will be his first time cage side so let’s see how he does in that role. They didn’t have the usual rules update, though if memory serves Brazil uses the newer rules so you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed (or a knee of course), and the scoring language is clearer while encouraging more 10-8’s. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t update us, I mean I know it’s a bit annoying but given the different rules structure the fighters could be fighting under it is an important bit of information.

Oh there’s the update on the rules, they just waited until the first fight was about to start after the in cage introductions. Odd placement for that.

Magomed Bibulatov missed weight for this fight and is coming off of the first loss of his career. That’s a bad combination of circumstances generally, it’s even worse when you factor in the murky fate of the entire flyweight division. Bibulatov is trying to avoid the first losing streak of his career and get his UFC record above .500. Rogerio Bontorin brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, the last of which was on some version of Dana White’s Contender Series and now he’s looking to get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Bibulatov is a significant favorite at -310 against +250 for Bontorin.

Flyweight Bout: #11 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1, 127 lbs.)* vs. Rogerio Bontorin (14-1 1 NC, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Bontorin has an inch and a half of reach on Bibulatov. Circling to start, bit of a body kick from Bibulatov. Another body kick from Bibulatov this time he tries a spinning back fist to follow it up. Bibulatov doing stance switching now, lands another body kick and they clinch up. Judo trip from Bibulatov but Bontorin tries an omoplata quickly, Bibulatov escapes and we’re back standing. Bibulatov misses a wheel kick but lands a one two. There was an exchange then my stream stuttered, we come back with Bontorin on the back of Bibulatov on the mat. Not sure what happened there, thanks ESPN+. Bontorin is looking for the choke, mostly trying to soften up Bibulatov with strikes to set it up but Bibulatov is defending so far. Some hand fighting, Bontorin gets a hand under the chin but the other hand isn’t free yet. Bontorin going palm to palm but Bibulatov is able to spin from a hip and wind up chest to chest though he’s on bottom in full guard. Bibulatov explodes to his feet and misses a wheel kick. Both men land punches as they start moving again. A couple of body shots from Bibulatov, Bontorin might be slowing from the body work. More body shots from Bibulatov but Bontorin lands uppercuts from a collar tie up. They clinch and Bibulatov misses a hip toss, Bontorin tries a single leg as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bontorin based on what I saw

ROUND TWO: They clinch up quickly, Bontorin gets Bibulatov to the fence. They break without incident, Bontorin doing some stance switching of his own now. Another clinch and they trade knees to the body as Bibulatov gets Bontorin on the fence. Rights to the body and head from Bibulatov as they break. We get a quick break as the ref warns Bibulatov for grabbing the shorts, good job ref. Spinning back fist from Bibulatov and a front kick to the body. Bontorin lands a left, he likes southpaw at the moment. Bibulatov is coming forward, lands a bit of a hook kick. Uppercuts to the head and body from Bibulatov then a side kick to the knee. Bontorin misses a couple of lefts, Bibulatov might have a read on him now. Bontorin lands a left but Bibulatov just eats it. Spinning back kick to the body from Bibulatov, that looked painful. They strike into the clinch again, Bibulatov gets a single leg into the guard of Bontroin. Punches from Bibulatov and a short elbow as he’s got Bontorin pressed into the fence. Bontorin kicks him off and we’re back to standing. Another wheel kick attempt from Bibulatov misses but he lands a hook kick follow up. A couple of punches land for Bontorin, Bibulatov avoids a takedown attempt and lands a couple of punches. Uppercut from Bibulatov lands. Spinning back kick to the head from Bibulatov lands just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bibulatov, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Bisping is doing a bit of unofficial scoring, not giving numbers but he says it’s a round each coming into the third. Bibulatov opens with a body kick. Left to the body from Bibulatov, Bontorin definitely slowing a bit but that’s relative to the pace they were keeping early. Side kick to the body from Bibulatov, Bontorin lands a right to the body but eats a counter left hook. Stepping knee to the chest from Bibulatov lands but Bontorin lands a left then a right that land flush. Bontorin coming forward now, Bibulatov lands a head kick. Straight right from Bibulatov lands then he avoids a counter hook. Body shot from Bibulatov lands again. Bibulatov punches into a clinch on the fence and is after a takedown. Bontorin breaks his grip against the fence and is defending. Knees from Bontorin, Bibulatov returns them and lands rights to the body. Right from Bontorin lands, they break without incident. They trade rights, Bibulatov lands a side kick to the body. Double leg attempt from Bibulatov but Bontorin defends and they hit the fence, this time Bibulatov defends a double leg and they break. Both men land body shots and they clinch again, Bontorin gets a takedown and he’s after the back in transition but only gets one hook in. Bontorin after the choke again but wont get it before time runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rogerio Bontorin via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Fun little fight to kick things off, I’m going to miss this division. Bibulatov did good work in the third, I don’t hate the split decision. Mic time for Bontorin and the UFC translator, he thanks God and his family, thanks everyone who’s helped him reach this point in his career, then just before Bisping ends the interview he grabs the mic to thank his wife. Good call there, don’t want to have to sleep on the couch.

Ricardo Ramos is on a four fight winning streak including three wins in the UFC, he’s trying to extend that streak here and establish himself as a prospect in the bantamweight division. Said Nurmagomedov has a six fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut but he’s moving up to bantamweight here and hoping to continue that streak in a division that’s on more sure promotional footing. The odds are with Ramos at -150 while Nurmagomedov’s comeback sits at +130.

Bantamweight Bout: Said Nurmagomedov (12-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Ricardo Ramos (12-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ramos is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Inside leg kick from Nurmagomedov, both men moving well so far. Leg kick from Nurmagomedov. Another leg kick from Nurmagomedov then a right hand. Spinning back kick from Nurmagomedov off balances Ramos but he’s still upright. Ramos tries the spinning elbow but misses. Wheel kick to the head from Nurmagomedov lands in a glancing fashion. Nurmagomedov lands a leg kick, Ramos really seems stuck in first gear so far. Ramos blocks a spinning back fist. Another spinning back kick to the body from Nurmagomedov this one hurts Ramos and he pounds him out along the fence until the ref jumps in.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Said Nurmagomedov via TKO, body kick and punches, at 2:28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Nurmagomedov for his work this evening. No interview for Nurmagomedov, I assume they don’t have a Russian translator because that’s the only excuse after a quick first round finish like that.

Here’s the finish. Nurmagomedov lands the spinning back kick, the heel starts at the solar plex area and is pushed hard across the liver and ribs which crumples Ramos along the fence. Bisping on commentary was right about a body shot like this, all you want to do is curl over and cry for a moment or two.

Slightly different angle, that heel goes straight into the liver/floating rib area. Hurts just looking at it.

Geraldo de Freitas is on a six fight winning streak coming into his UFC debut, he’s trying to make a good first impression to the UFC audience while extending that streak. Felips Colares is undefeated as a professional and is also making his UFC debut, and is similarly trying to capitalize on the lone chance one gets to make a good first impression. The odds are close but favor de Freitas at -125 to +105 for Colares.

Featherweight Bout: Felipe Dias Colares (8-0, 145 lbs.) vs. Geraldo de Freitas Jr. (11-4, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Colares is half an inch taller but de Freitas has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Leg kick from Colares, de Freitas working his jab. Colares aborts a couple of kicks, both guys still trying to get a read on each other. De Freitas lands a solid one two combination. Another jab from de Freitas then a left body kick. Bit of a left from Colares and he pushes into a clinch. Knees from de Freitas as they break. Another body kick from de Freitas then a left to the body, Colares’ posture is broken but he ducks for a double leg and elevates then finishes the takedown. De Freitas gives up his back but shakes Colares over his head and gets on top landing offense as Colares regains his feet. Colares is able to ride him down and get on top, de Freitas tries to get his legs in play but Colares postures through the attempt. De Freitas is able to sweep as Colares was trying a knee slice pass, they wind up standing in the clinch again. De Freitas blocks a trip attempt and pushes Colares over then gets on top in half guard. Colares sits up and is trying to move but de Freitas stays close to smother the motion. Half guard for de Freitas, now side control, he steps over the head and looks for a kimura. De Freitas has the double wrist lock but can’t transition and when he goes for an armbar he loses the grip, Colares is on top landing elbows to the body and head from half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Freitas

ROUND TWO: On the replay for that big slam we got close to a replay of Torres and Brooks when Brooks KO’d himself on a slam. De Freitas opens with body work again then a right hand. One two from de Freitas, he’s got Colares wobbled and is looking to swarm but they wind up clinched. Colares is bleeding from a cut but he’s buying time in the clinch. De Freitas gets a takedown into butterfly guard, now half guard, now full mount. Colares is still a little out of sorts, de Freitas lands hammer fists, Colares gives up the back but has been more comfortable on the mat than on the feet. De Freitas gets a body triangle, bails so he can ride as Colares moves around, then tries for an armbar as he slips but Colares gets on top again. I’m surprised de Freitas forced the grappling, he’s the far superior striker of the two. They scramble a bit, Colares has leg drag position for a moment but winds up with just half guard. Full guard now for de Freitas, he tries to wall walk and he’s up but looking for a takedown. Just separate and take this guys head off man. De Freitas gets the double leg, Colares wall walks instantly and we’re still in the clinch. Body shots are traded then they break. Both men miss wide hooks, de Freitas gets a double leg, Colares back up along the fence and lands an elbow as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Freitas, 20-18 de Freitas overall

ROUND THREE: Colares comes forward and lands a couple of lefts, de Freitas gets a takedown against the fence. Colares wall walks because de Freitas doesn’t have much control on the mat. They’re still clinched, Colares tries an armdrag but they break and de Freitas lands a couple of punches then a knee to the body. Knee to the head from de Freitas then a left hook. Another combination from de Freitas and he lands a double leg into half guard. They scramble and de Freitas lands some offense as Colares gets butterfly guard. De Freitas into full mount and lands an elbow as Colares tries to wall walk again. Near back take from de Freitas but Colares is back up and they’re still clinched. Colares eats a solid combination from de Freitas on the break and de Freitas again ends it with a double leg. That is baffling decision making from de Freitas, seems more like rote memorization of that sequence than adaption to the setting. Colares wall walks and gets the back standing, he ducks through for a double leg but de Freitas wall walks, Colares to the back again. A final flurry from both men bring time all the way down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 de Freitas, 30-26 de Freitas overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Geraldo de Freitas Jr. via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)

Rather generic affair, de Freitas could have finished that in the third with better decision making. No interview for the winner of that one.

Junior Albini had some hype coming into his UFC run, and started off well by starching Tim Johnson in the first round. Unfortunately since then he’s struggled, dropping a decision to Andrei Arlovski and getting Ezekiel choked by Alexei Oleinik. Now Albini is trying to avoid the dreaded three fight losing streak and get back on the winning side of things. Jairzinho Rozenstruik is undefeated and looking to establish himself as an up and coming heavyweight here. Albini is your favorite at -130 against +110 for Rozenstruik.

Heavyweight Bout: Junior Albini (14-4, 265.5 lbs.) vs. Jair Rozenstruik (6-0, 241.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rozenstruik is an inch taller and has a significant four inches of reach on Albini. Albini is the heavier party by a little over twenty pounds. They touch gloves to get things going. Albini tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence, he switches to a single leg and gets Rozenstruik down in half guard. Rozenstruik staying on a hip looking to move, Albini trying for a double wrist lock, he’s got it and is after the kimura. Albini steps over the head for a moment but loses the grip and just settles into side control. Knee on belly for Albini then full mount, Rozenstruik gets half guard but it’s really lose. Rozenstruik flips Albini over and he’s back up though they’re clinched on the fence still. Albini tries a trip, can’t get it, tries again and this time gets the back in transition with both hooks in. Just one hook now for Albini and Rozenstruik spins into him and is on top in full guard. Rozenstruik stands free and makes Albini get up. Albini lands a right, he backs Rozenstruik into the fence and lands again then clinches up. We get time, not sure why and they get reset at distance. Hard body kick from Albini then a leg kick. Rozenstruik lands a left hook then a jab. Albini leans into a double leg attempt that winds up as a clinch on the cage. Elbow from Rozenstruik, Albini works a few knees to the body. They break without incident. Both men land lefts, Rozenstruik blocks a double leg then lands a couple of punches. Right then a head kick from Rozenstruik will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Albini, nearly a 10-8

ROUND TWO: Leg kick from Albini to get us going in the second. Both men look tired, and they trade leg kicks. Another leg kick from Albini. They trade, Rozenstruik floors Albini with a left hook, straight right, then a left head kick, he pounds him out on the mat against the fence and Albini just turtles up until the ref waves it off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jair Rozenstruik via TKO, head kick and punches, at :54 of Round 2

Lucky that ended when it did, that was only going to get uglier. Mic time for Rozenstruik and the translator for the crowd, he apologizes for not recognizing Bisping when they ran into each other earlier in the week. He talks us through the finish, then says he’s working hard on becoming a well rounded MMA fighter. To close he switches to Portuguese to say he likes Brazil, the crowd appreciate that.

Here’s the finishing sequence. That left high kick from Rozenstruik catches Albini in the face as Albini is falling, nasty stuff.

A slightly better angle on that final kick, definitely unpleasant for Albini.

Thiago Alves is an old warhorse at this point having been with the UFC continuously since 2005 and once challenged Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title, but recently he’s just 1-4 in his last five fights and is on his second losing streak during that time. Alves is trying to avoid what would be his first three fight skid and get a win in his native Brazil for the first time since 2003. Max Griffin has been trading wins and losses in the UFC while going 2-3 in the promotion. He was last seen losing to Curtis Millender, he’s trying to avoid what would be his first losing streak while also taking out the biggest name value opponent he’s faced in the UFC. Griffin is your -190 favorite against +160 for Alves.

Welterweight Bout: Thiago Alves (22-13, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Max Griffin (14-5, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Griffin is two inches taller and has a whopping six inches of reach on Alves. They touch gloves to get us going. Griffin looking to jab, Alves lands a solid leg kick. Another leg kick from Alves, Griffin responds with a combination that wobbles Alves, he flurries then they clinch up along the fence. Elbow from Griffin on the break. Griffin back to jabbing, Alves has his legs back under him at least. Alves lands a leg kick but eats a counter right. Alves is out of range with much of his offense, Griffin has a better feel for where he can catch Alves. Griffin working the jab again, he’s splitting the guard of Alves with it, and lands a follow up right. Body shots from Griffin then a knee into a clinch, and an elbow on the break. Calf kick from Alves but those low kicks have been his only real offense. Griffin goes back to the body. Bit of a left from Alves. Right from Griffin lands, he’s throwing good straight punches. Alves coming forward now but he’s still struggling reliably finding the target. Griffin lands a heavy stepping knee, looked to have gone low but Alves waves it off. Knee from Griffin to the body. More jabs from Griffin, Alves’ has some damage round his nose and right eye. Left to the body from Griffin then a front kick. Alves pushes forward but gets rocked and dropped just as the round ends. The bell saved Alves there as Griffin was going to swarm him on the mat.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Griffin

ROUND TWO: There’s swelling under both of Alves’ eyes, not bad but bears watching. Griffin jabbing again, still coming forward. Alves lands a leg kick but eats a right. The outside work from Griffin has been impressive, he’s landing and avoiding almost everything from Alves. Griffin is starting to hook with his left instead of just jab but Alves is coming forward now looking to force things. Griffin landing more lefts, Alves lands a leg kick. Body kick from Griffin, Alves lands a leg kick that sweeps the leg but Griffin is back up and Alves pushes forward and lands a couple of hard left body kicks. Griffin responds with a right, we’ve got a full on Road House brawl going on between these two for a few seconds then they clinch up. Griffin gets a body lock and they get a sloppy takedown as Griffin gets the ride position. Alves back up, eats a knee to the body and one to the head as they break. Credit to Alves, he’s still coming forward. Griffin slips around under a punch and gets a clinch to the back but Alves turns into him quickly. They start jockeying for position along the fence, Griffin lands a combination as they break. Another exchange of rights, both men land then separate. Griffin looks tired, Alves is stalking him down. Alves lands an inside leg kick then a left, Griffin lands a right in close. Body kick from Alves. Another pocket exchange, Alves misses a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Alves, 19-18 Griffin overall

ROUND THREE: That was a crazy round, we get a touch of gloves for the third. Alves lands a left, Griffin lands a right. Leg kick from Alves, Griffin isn’t managing distance well this time around and Alves is walking him down. Alves lands a right into a clinch along the fence. Griffin with some knees but he can’t get free. Alves lands a knee then Griffin lands a body kick as they break then Griffin gets a double leg off of a spinning elbow from Alves. Griffin can’t keep Alves down, lands a knee to the body as Alves got up. Body lock takedown from Griffin into full mount along the fence. Alves shrimps to a loose 1/4 guard, Griffin punches him and is looking for the back. Full half guard now for Alves and he’s looking to sweep or stand, he’s to his knees but Griffin is keeping him on the fence and on his butt. Side control for Griffin, now the back without hooks, now the ride position. Alves back up but Griffin still has him on the fence. Griffin after the takedown again, lands a knee to the body but Alves gets free. Body kick from Alves is partially blocked. Another clinch as Alves missed a wild left, Alves gets the body lock and is after a takedown but can’t get it. Griffin with knees to the body, Alves tries a single leg, Griffin sits for a kimura roll but the fence blocks it so Griffin slips free and gets top position along the fence. Lefts from Griffin as Alves is up, knee from Griffin in the clinch as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Thiago Alves via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Really good fight, especially the second round in terms of drama and action. Terrible decision, Alves was too defensive all third round to have taken it. Alves on the mic, he puts over Griffin, then says he wasn’t that hurt at the end of the first and knew what adjustments needed to be made.

Just a quick bit of the flurry from the second round.

Mara Romero Borella has gone 1-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss to Katlyn Chookagian, she’s trying to defend her top ranking here and establish herself in the still somewhat embryonic women’s flyweight division. Talia Santos is undefeated as a professional and earned her spot here with a win on Dana’s Contender Series, now she’s trying to start her march up the ranks of flyweight with a win over a ranked opponent. The odds are with Borella at -170 against +145 for Santos.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #12 Mara Romero Borella (11-5 2 NC, 125 lbs.) vs. Taila Santos (15-0, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height, Borella has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Inside leg kick from Santos, Borella pushes into a clinch on the fence. They pummel for position, Borella winds up on the fence and Santos works knees to the body and thigh. Trip from Santos and she’s on top in near full mount. Borella gives up the back, Santos has both hooks in and is after the choke as they stand. Full backpack position for Santos, she’s getting close to the choke with each attempt but Borella breaks the grip and forces the separation. Borella pushes into another clinch that hits the fence, this time she’s got a body lock and gets Santos down into side control. Short punches from Borella, Santos is holding the head and giving up a Von Flue choke if Borella can see it. Elbows from Borella, Santos bridges and gets half guard back. Borella’s top game is really solid. Short elbows from Borella, Santos is able to get full guard. High guard from Santos, now rubber guard and a triangle choke threatened but Borella pulls free and lands a right. A few more punches from Borella bring the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Borella but 10-10 is probably more accurate based on scoring criteria

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Borella lands a right then bulls forward into a clinch. Santos with some knees to the thigh, Borella gets a foot sweep but Santos bounces back up immediately. Another knee from Santos to the body and she’s got a Thai clinch now, she lands a few more knees before going back to a greco clinch. More knees from Santos to the knee and body. Santos with more knees to the body. Borella lands a few knees but can’t get the takedown she’s after. The ref breaks them apart after things stall out a bit. Borella immediately pushes into the clinch again looking for a takedown but can’t get the single leg. Santos lands a knee as they break then a body kick. Santos lands a right as Borella tried to dive for a clinch. Borella does dive for a second clinch and gets this one on the fence. Knees from Santos but things are just gonna stall out here for the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Santos but another 10-10 isn’t out of the question, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves then Santos lands a body kick. Bit of a left from Santos. Borella tries a clinch, but can’t keep it. Leg kick from Santos but Borella gets a front headlock off of it, but she can’t do anything and they break. Santos lands a jab then a right hook. Santos keeps trying to land a chopping check left hook. Front kick then a right from Santos. Body kick from Santos seems to have hurt Borella a bit, don’t know if Santos saw that though. Leg kick from Santos and she avoids a takedown attempt. Stiff jab from Santos. Rights from Santos as she backs Borella to the fence and is looking to tee off. Santos avoids a bad takedown then lands a right. Borella thinks she’s won the first two rounds and is mostly playing defense here. Right to the body from Santos. Santos misses a spinning back fist. Right uppercut from Santos in close then a combination. Borella just disengages until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Santos, 29-28 Santos overall but who knows between the action and the judging tonight

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mara Romero Borella via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Someone is going to have to justify the existence of that division really soon because that was awful. No interview as we could be short on time and the main card is only on ESPN+ for the USA, in other countries they still have terrestrial broadcast deals.

Markus Perez has gone 1-2 in the UFC, he’s trying to get his UFC record to the .500 mark here and avoid the first losing streak of his career. Anthony Hernandez has yet to lose a fight though his last appearance was on the Contender Series and went to a No Contest, now he’s trying to remain undefeated in his UFC debut. Hernandez is favored to do just that at -150 to a +130 comeback on Perez.

Middleweight Bout: Anthony Hernandez (6-0 1 NC, 184.5 lbs.) vs. Markus Perez (10-2, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Perez is an inch taller while Hernandez has two inches of reach on him. Southpaw for Perez, and he lands a leg kick to get us going. Hernandez lands a series of punches into a clinch along the fence. Perez spins him and gets a body lock, Hernandez looking to pummel and fight for position. They spin a few times, Perez gets a rear waist lock and hits an elevated mat return but can only get on hook in as Hernandez regains his feet. Still a rear waist lock for Perez, Hernandez has a double wrist lock to break the grip but loses it and Perez can’t get him down. Elbow from Hernandez on the break. Body kick from Perez and he avoids some punches but they do wind up clinched again. They jockey for position then break without much issue. Elbow from Hernandez in close then an overhand right as they separate from the pocket. Left from Perez then a right uppercut and he’s in on a double leg but Hernandez breaks free and misses a right as they break. Bit of a cut around the right eyebrow of Hernandez, can’t tell if it’s above or below the brow ridge. Hernandez punches into another clinch that breaks without incident. Right from Hernandez, calf kick from Perez. Spinning leg kick from Hernandez and he lands an uppercut in close but he winds up smothering his own offense in the pocket. They both land in close quarters, and a front kick from Hernandez brings the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hernandez but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Commentary tells me that cut is in a bad spot, Perez lands a body kick that clearly hurts Hernandez. Perez gets the back with just one hook in as Hernandez is turtled up, Perez avoids being tossed over the top and they scramble back up. A standing anaconda choke from Perez, he rolls backwards and drags Hernandez down then finishes the choke and gets Hernandez to tap. Either that or he went out, but either way it’s over.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Markus Perez via Submission, anaconda choke, at 1:07 of Round 2

Mic time for Perez, he says he wasn’t hurt in the first round but just has odd movement. He talks us through the finish, says it’s his favorite choke and thanks everyone for coming out and his coaches.

Check out the choke finish. Perez has the grip appropriately deep, he’s got his hand on his own opposite biceps as you should, then rolls correctly on the mat to tighten things up and force the tap.

That does it for prelims, to the main card. For me it’s still on ESPN+ but depending on where you are in the world it might be different.

Livia Renata Souza is on a three fight winning streak, is a former Invicta strawweight champion, and her lone professional loss was a close split decision. Souza is trying to continue her ascent up the ranks at strawweight here. Sarah Frota missed weight by a catastrophic 7 pounds for a non-title fight, but she is undefeated and could upset one of the rising prospects in the division with a win here. Souza is favored rather heavily at -210 to a +175 payout on Frota.

Strawweight Bout: Sarah Frota (9-0, 123 lbs.)* vs. Livia Renata Souza (12-1, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Frota is three and a half inches taller and has six inches of reach on Souza, as well as badly missing weight. They touch gloves to get us going. The size difference is obvious as they square up, Frota fighting southpaw. Souza with a couple of inside leg kicks and body kicks. Left from Frota lands and they clinch up, Souza with knees to the body then hits a hip toss into side control. Frota with a reverse triangle but Souza pulls free then sits for a guillotine, Frota pulls her head free quickly and is in the guard of Soza. Souza is trying to work some arm traps, Frota with a few weak hammer fists. Elbow from Frota, Souza angles her hips but can’t catch an arm and closes her guard again instead of getting passed. Very sedate pace here, Frota hasn’t done much but Souza hasn’t dome anything to get up. Another armbar attempt from Souza, nearly gets it but Frota hitchhiker escapes free and they wind up standing again. Front kicks from Frota, Souza dives for a takedown but Frota sprawls easily and they wind up clinched on the fence. Souza tries another throw, can’t quite finish it and they’re still clinched. Single leg attempt from Souza now, Frota jumps for a guillotine but loses it and Souza is on top now. Frota moves to rubber guard to lock down Souza’s posture. Souza postures through and lands punches and hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Souza

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Both women with some kicks, and they miss punches. Left from Frota wobbles Souza, Souza lands a bit of a right but that one got to her. Left in close from Frota, Souza lands a right then a double leg into the guard of Frota. Again Frota went to rubber guard, she’s just controlling posture rather than threatening anything so far. If Frota could get an under hook with one of her arms she could really lock things down. Souza lands, we got a time skip and we come back to them on the feet. Right from Souza lands and she’s after a double leg but Frota sprawls free and gets a front headlock as they stand. They wind up on the fence again with knees from Frota, Souza gets a throw and has the back with both hooks in but there’s short time. Punches from Souza, that opens up the choke and she’s after it but Frota holds on for the end of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Another touch of gloves. Frota coming forward, Souza lands a body kick. Both women land punches but Frota has more pop on hers and they clinch up then break without incident. Bit of a right from Souza, she winds up pulling guard after a failed takedown and she’s got guard on Frota. Nothing happens and the ref stands them up. Frota coming forward with front kicks to the body. The size difference is really playing a factor here. Souza fails on a takedown, Frota lands a couple of leg kicks as Souza is on her back. The ref steps in and stands them up, a little early from where I sit. Both women miss punches, Frota lands a hook. Bit of a right from Souza. Another right from Souza as she eats a right from Frota. Frota off balances Souza with a left but can’t follow it up. Both women miss as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Frota, 29-28 Souza overall but this could be all over the place as well

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Livia Renata Souza via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Not a good fight, and no interview for the winner.

Johnny Walker has an impressive seven fight winning streak going on including a first round knockout win in his UFC debut. Walker is trying to prove that he can consistently win at the UFC level and possibly establish himself as a prospect in a division in dire need of them. Justin Ledet just suffered his first professional loss when he returned to light heavyweight, now he’s looking to avoid the first losing streak of his career and reclaim his title as a rising prospect. Walker is your -190 favorite against a +160 comeback for Ledet.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Justin Ledet (9-1 1 NC, 205 lbs.) vs. Johnny Walker (15-3, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Walker has two inches of height and reach on Ledet. Ledet comes out jabbing, Walker lands a hook kick then a spinning back fist that floors Ledet, a few more blows on the mat prompt the stoppage. That was nuts, especially for a man of his size.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Johnny Walker via TKO, spinning back fist and punches, at :15 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Walker for his work this evening. There was a near illegal kick there from Walker, it missed or just glanced off the body of Ledet with the toes. Walker on the mic, he jokes this was very easy, he wants to fight soon, like at UFC London or again tonight. Bisping jokes that he’ll fight him, Walker says he’ll take on all comers. He apologizes for the near illegal kick, then says he does what he loves and does it for everyone in the crowd. He grabs the mic one last time to I think pimp his instagram. That is a goofy man but all kinds of fun to watch.

Here’s the finish. That was nuts.

Charles Oliveira seems to have finally found his footing in the UFC, he’s 4-1 since returning to lightweight and is currently on a three fight winning streak. That wont stop him from asking to return to featherweight yet again if he wins here. Oliveira is trying to get that streak to four and earn a shot at a ranked contender for his next bout. David Teymur hasn’t lost since his professional debut and has gone 5-0 in the UFC, he’s quietly become a guy making the move from prospect to contender and can solidify that move here with a win over Oliveira. The odds are close for this one, -130 for Oliveira to +110 for Teymur.

Lightweight Bout: Charles Oliveira (25-8 1 NC, 154.5 lbs.) vs. David Teymur (8-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oliveira has an inch of height and reach on Teymur. Teymur fighting southpaw, they touch gloves to get things going. They trade inside leg kicks. Bit of a head kick from Teymure, Oliveira complains of an eye poke and we get time. Replay shows it was a finger on the disengage from Teymur not a toe or anything else. The doctor is in to check on Oliveira he seems OK with Oliveira continuing, Oliveira is good to continue of his own accord and the ref takes a point from Teymur. His reasoning is that it was bad enough to impact the fight, I’m not opposed as consistently enforcing eye pokes would make the sport better. They touch gloves on the restart. They both paw with punches and Oliveira complains of an eye poke, the ref didn’t see the poke and says it was a punch so no break for Oliveira. Oliveira coming forward now, both men land power hand punches, Teymure drops Oliveira with a left and follows him down to the mat. Full guard for Oliveira and Teymur lands on him, elbows from Oliveira and Teymur lets him back up. Both men miss lefts, Teymur is cut from those elbows on the mat. We get a skip in time, Oliveira has top position but loses the back and Teymur hammer fists out of a knee bar attempt and makes Oliveira stand again. Bit of a body kick from Oliveira. Oliveira misses a spinning back fist. Teymur lands a left, bit of a jumping knee from Oliveira. Right from Oliveira, Teymur lands a left to the body. Oliveira goes to the jumping knee again. A couple of rights from Teymur land, Oliveira lands a left hook. Inside leg kick from Teymur. Left to the body from Teymur. Oliveira misses a spinning kick. Teymur goes orthodox and lands a couple of lefts before switching back. There’s a high kick blocked from Teymur and that’ll end the round.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the -1 point to Teymur

ROUND TWO: Teymur’s right eye is swollen up, there was a jumping front kick from Oliveira in the first that had a toe go into the eye that seems to have caused the swelling. Both men with some low kicks, they trade punches. Stepping elbow from Oliveira wobbles Teymur and he swarms along the fence, Teymur gives up a front headlock and Oliveira wraps up an anaconda that gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Charles Oliveira via Submission, anaconda choke, at :55 of Round 2

Lots of weirdness in that one but when they got down to the action it was pretty good. Some slickness from Oliveira there, he’s really good. Mic time for Oliveira, he thanks God because he struggled with his vision in the right eye after the pokes but persevered. He doesn’t think the pokes were intentional, they’re just here to fight. Asked about the continued submission prowess he says he’s not the best he’s just got the most but he’s great at striking as well and can fight anywhere. Next asked who’s next, he wants to fight in Miami but doesn’t have a specific name just wants on that card.

Here’s the finish, he hurts Teymur with a stepping upward elbow then an uppercut. From there as Teymur tries to recover he winds up with broken posture bent at the waist, Oliveira wraps up his head very quickly then rolls through with the anaconda choke and it’s academic from there.

Demian Maia has fought for titles at both middleweight and welterweight but his age seems to be catching up with him as he’s lost his last three fights, granted those were against Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Kamaru Usman but it’s still a bad look to drop three in a row. Maia is trying desperately to right the metaphorical ship of his career here and prove he still belongs in the UFC. Lyman Good has gone 2-1 in the UFC with the loss being a split decision to rising contender Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and he was last seen starching Ben Saunders in the first round. This represents a step up in many ways for Good and he’s hoping to take out a respected veteran here and earn the biggest win of his career. Despite the recent losing streak the odds favor the experience of Maia to the tune of -190 while Good’s comeback sits at +160.

Welterweight Bout: Lyman Good (20-4 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Demian Maia (25-9, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Maia is an inch taller while Good has two inches of reach advantage. Maia fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get things going. Good backing up early, bad decision as Maia loves to get you against the fence and shoot a single leg. Like clockwork Maia dives for the single leg and gets it, Good is back up but taken back down. Good posting on an arm looking to wall walk, Maia is still low on the hips with his hands and Good is fighting up. They’re up but Maia has a rear waist lock and jumps to the back, rides Good down, Good back up but Maia has the backpack position and is after the choke. Good still fighting for the hands but Maia is after the choke and is really close to finishing it. Maia has gone to a body triangle now to help him keep the backpack position, he’s still fishing for the choke as Good hand fights. A few adjustments from Maia and Good finally can’t keep up his hand fighting and has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Demian Maia via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Maia for his work this evening. Maia is now tied with Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre for second most wins in UFC history at 20. Mic time for Maia, he says his jiujitsu game is strong, puts over Good as a tough opponent, but felt good. Asked about being 41 and how long he’ll stick around the UFC, he says he’s got 2 more fights on his contract and after that we’ll have to wait and see. To close he expresses love to the family members of friends of his who apparently went out in a bad way recently.

The finish. Just textbook stuff from Maia.

Jose Aldo is the most accomplished featherweight in the sports history (though Max Holloway could wind up taking that title from him as well) but he’s made it known the end is coming. Aldo plans to have his last three fights this year and retire before the end of 2019. He’s coming off of a win when he stopped Jeremy Stephens with a wicked body shot and is after his first winning streak since 2014. Renato Moicano has been steadily rising through the ranks, he’s 5-1 in the UFC with his lone setback coming to top contender Brian Ortega in a fight where Moicano did very well. Moicano is on a two fight winning streak and looking for the biggest win of his career here, he could become the first man to best Aldo in a non-title fight since way back in 2005, and vault himself into probably number one contender status. Moicano is a surprising favorite at -135 to a +115 payout for Aldo.

Featherweight Bout: #2 Jose Aldo (27-4, 146 lbs.) vs. #5 Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (13-1-1, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Carneiro is four inches taller but only has two inches of reach on Aldo. They touch gloves to get us going. Aldo probing a bit with the jab, Carneiro stalking forward slowly. Carneiro misses a spinning back kick. Aldo avoids a leg kick. Bit of a right from Carneiro and both men miss punches. Counter right from Aldo and Carneiro misses a couple of counters. Leg kick from Aldo. Another leg kick then a left hook behind it from Aldo. Carneiro is fighting southpaw now, he does a fair bit of stance switching generally so he’s back to orthodox soon. Aldo misses a leg kick and eats a bit of an uppercut. Careful work from both guys so far. Left to the body from Aldo. Another body shot from Aldo, Carneiro is goading him and lands a jab. Carneiro is getting his jab working more now, he avoids a leg kick. Aldo checks a leg kick. Jab from Carneiro and he avoids the counter. They trade left hooks. Both men feint in a rather amusing looking sequence to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Aldo

ROUND TWO: The first round was a lot of feeling out, let’s see who adapts to that info. Aldo landed something but I missed it, stupid glitch, I come back to Aldo teeing off as Carneiro tries to dodge, Aldo with uppercuts and hooks, he unloads on Carneiro until the ref stops it. Aldo runs out of the cage and jumps into the crowd to celebrate.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jose Aldo via TKO, punches, at :44 of Round 2

It was the body shots from Aldo that led to the end, he dug the body and hurt Carneiro, went back to it intelligently then just never let him recover. Aldo on the mic, says he wanted to vary the offense to the body and head and exploit the longer torso of his opponent if possible. The crowd is singing for him, Bisping asks him about it and he gets a little emotional thanking the people, mentions he was the underdog here but knew he could win and even when no one believes in you you have to persevere. Asked about the retirement talk he’s been giving lately or if he wants another shot at the belt he says we’ll see who’s next he just wants to be on the next Brazil card.

Since I missed parts of it, here’s the finish. Aldo lands a lovely counter left hook to a knee attempt from Carneiro, goes to the body when he covers his head and never relents. It’s a shame that man is leaving the sport, but after all he’s given to it it’s well deserved.

Raphael Assuncao has a stellar overall record and his record specifically at bantamweight is even better, his long loss at 135 so far is to current champion TJ Dillashaw who he also holds a win over. Assuncao is on a four fight winning streak and could finally earn a crack at the title if he gets an impressive win here. Marlon Moraes is another stellar bantamweight with a great overall record, his UFC run is just 3-1 but he’s on a three fight winning streak and has violently knocked out both of his last two opponents, he could likewise lay claim to a title shot with a win here. These two fought to a split decision in 2017 with Assuncao taking it, for the record I thought Moraes won, and now with a full five rounds to fight over both men are hoping for a more definitive outcome to lay claim to a title opportunity. Despite losing the first fight Moraes is your -145 favorite while Assuncao sits at +125.

Bantamweight Bout: #3 Raphael Assuncao (27-5, 136 lbs.) vs. #4 Marlon Moraes (21-5-1, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Moraes is half an inch taller which mirrors his reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Leg kick from Moraes lands. Assuncao has a couple of punches blocked. Assuncao showing stance switching, Moraes matches him then lands a leg kick. Missed spinning back kick from Assuncao. Moraes working the jab now. Bit of a left hook from Moraes then a right that drops Assuncao. Assuncao is down and Moraes is on top in his guard and quickly moves to half guard. Moraes has cut Assuncao, not a bad one but it’s there. Moraes lands some rights to the face, Assuncao is struggling to control his posture. Elbow from Moraes, Assuncao tries to sit up and Moraes rolls to a mounted guillotine that gets the tap. Give that man his title shot.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marlon Moraes via Submission, mounted guillotine, at 3:17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Moraes for his work this evening. That’s the first time Assuncao has been finished at bantamweight, and marks Moraes’ third straight first round finish. Mic time for Moraes, he tries to grab the mic but Bisping asserts himself and then hands it over. Moraes says you almost lost the main event as he got some kind of illness this week that messed him up, but says God gave him strength, expresses love to a bunch of people going through tough times. Asked about what’s next he says he’s the best in the division and deserves the title shot since the champion just wasted time at flyweight, he says he’s not sure if TJ has earned a shot at him after his last performance, he might choose someone else and let TJ keep chasing the “little boys”.

Here’s the finish. Moraes lands the overhand right, goes back to it when Assuncao is stunned and drops him. On the mat Assuncao tries to sit up against the fence but leaves his neck out, Moraes grabs the guillotine but makes sure to roll all the way through so that if he loses the choke he’s still got dominant position, he doesn’t lose the choke and even traps one of Assuncao’s arms with his guard to remove more defensive avenues.

Alright everyone, that wraps up UFC Fight Night 144. Tomorrow on an early edition of the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show we’ll take a look at all the results from this event, preview next weeks UFC 234 when middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defends the belt against Kelvin Gastelum, and of course talk about all the news of the week. It was a busy week news wise as the NSAC finally got off their collective backsides and did something, so we’ll be talking about the ruling on McGregor, Nurmagomedov, Jones, and the general clown fiesta that commission is.

I’ll be back next week for the aforementioned UFC 234, in the mean time you can also find me Fridays in the wrestling zone covering Impact while 411 bossman Larry Csonka is recovering so feel free to come laugh at how bad I am over there. Until then everyone thank you for being here, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.