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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Rodriguez Wins

May 9, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 24

Marina Rodriguez (125.5 lbs.) vs. Michelle Waterson (125 lbs.)
Donald Cerrone (170 lbs.) vs. Alex Morono (170.5 lbs.)
#9 Neil Magny (170.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Geoff Neal (171 lbs.)
Maurice Greene (237 lbs.) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (264.5 lbs.)
#12 Diego Ferreira (160.5 lbs.)* vs. #14 Gregor Gillespie (156 lbs.)
Kyle Daukaus (186 lbs.) vs. Phil Hawes (186 lbs.)
#12 Angela Hill (116 lbs.) vs. #11 Amanda Ribas (115.5 lbs.)

Ludovit Klein (146 lbs.) vs. Mike Trizano (146 lbs.)
Tafon Nchukwi (186 lbs.) vs. Jun Yong Park (186 lbs.)
Christian Aguilera (170.5 lbs.) vs. Carlston Harris (170.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 24. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host, back after missing a week for the first time in almost 10 years. It felt weird. Tonight the UFC is running a very lackluster card, and one that has been kind of cursed. About a week ago we lost the original main event of Cory Sandhagen taking on a returning TJ Dillashaw, at one point Holly Holm vs. Julianna Pena was scheduled for this but that got the ax when Pena was bumped up to a title shot, Diego Sanchez was supposed to be on this card but due to a variety of reasons he was released from the UFC on April 28th. And that’s all before we got to weigh in day when we lost a heavyweight fight between Ben Rothwell and Philipe Lins and the flyweight fight between Ryan Benoit and Zarrukh Adashev, oh and Diego Ferreira missed weight badly for his lightweight fight. So, kind of a mess. Hopefully with only 10 fights we can get out of here in time for me to catch the Canelo vs. Billy Joe Saunders boxing bout, but I’m not holding out too much hope.

After all the fight issues our main event is two strawweights fighting at flyweight when Marina Rodriguez takes on Michelle Waterson. Donald Cerrone remained on the card and now takes on Alex Morono, but the two best fights on paper are Neil Magny vs. Geoff Neal in a very relevant welterweight fight, and two rising lightweights battling it out when Diego Ferreira takes on Gregor Gillespie. There’s not a whole lot to get excited about outside of that, but per usual fights can always deliver in practice when they’re a little iffy on paper. UFC on ESPN 24 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we’ve got Jon Anik, Dominick Cruz, and Daniel Cormier. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer set, except the downed fighter definition so you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed, and they have a replay official outside the cage who can ask for the use of instant replay and if replay is used the fight can be restarted if that’s applicable. Also keep in mind that the Apex uses the smaller 25 foot diameter cage set up.

Well, the curse continues as a few hours before the event word came down that Amanda Ribas vs. Angela Hill is off after some positive Covid tests from Ribas and her father.

Christian Aguilera has gone 1-1 in the UFC, he lost his last fight but is looking to rebound with a win here and get his UFC record above the .500 mark. Carlston Harris brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, I believe he’s also the first fighter from Guyana to make it to the UFC, and is trying to make a good first impression to the fans. Harris is the favorite at -170 to a +145 comeback on Aguilera.

Welterweight Bout: Christian Aguilera (14-7, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Carlston Harris (15-4, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Harris is three inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Aguilera switching his stance and pressing forward, gets caught up in a body lock from Harris and they hit the fence. Harris sneaks around to the back, Aguilera is able to get back chest to chest and they start fighting for position. Aguilera slips free and they reset. Bit of a body kick from Harris. They trade rights, Harris got a little stunned there. Harris lands an inside leg kick and clinches up. Aguilera spins free and resets. Both men with rights, then left hooks and now it’s Aguilera backing up. Harris lands a long right, Aguilera tries a single leg and Harris counters with an anaconda choke and he puts Aguilera to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Carlston Harris via Technical Submission, anaconda choke, at 2:52 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Harris for his work this evening. Harris talks with Daniel Cormier, he says winning feels great. His accent isn’t too hard to understand, Guyana is an English speaking country but the accents can get weird to parse out sometimes. He says he knew he could always compete at this level, puts over the UFC brass, gives love to his family and other people back home. He talks us through the finish and says there’s nothing better than winning. To close he gives love to the Guyanese around the world and speaks some Portuguese.

This is really lovely, Harris uses the palm to palm grip at first to defend and control, then when Aguilera doesn’t address the position he’s able to adjust his grip to grab the biceps and lock down the choke. Seriously good stuff.

Jun Yong Park has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak and looking to extend that to three here while climbing up through the UFC ranks. Tafon Nchukwi is undefeated including a successful UFC debut last year, he’s taking a slight step up in competition here but is looking to remain perfect while proving himself a prospect to pay attention to. Nchukwi is a slight -140 favorite to +120 for Park.

Middleweight Bout: Tafon Nchukwi (5-0, 186 lbs.) vs. Jun Yong Park (12-4, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nchukwi is two inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. There’s a large lesion on Park’s chest, looks like staph to me. Nchukwi starts hitting the body early, Park countering a bit to the head. Park lands a one two. They clinch, trade knees to the body then break. A lot of body work from Nchukwi. Park with a one two combination. Nchukwi lands a left to the body. Park is really starting to get his jab dialed in and Nchukwi might be slowing a bit as he’s muscling a lot of his punches. Bit of a leg kick from Nchukwi, Park with a series of jabs to counter. Calf kick from Park, he’s the calmer fighter and is slowly finding Nchukwi over and over. Park lands a left hook. Nchukwi tries a low kick as Park exits the pocket, and that hit the groin so we’ve got a time out. Replay confirms it, that didn’t look pleasant. Park takes about a minutes, Nchukwi gets a warning and then we’re back to fighting. Both men jabbing again as they move around. Park lands a calf kick. Nchukwi with a few body kicks that are blocked to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Park

ROUND TWO: Park back to probing with the leg kick. More jabs from Park, a bit of cage cutting from Nchukwi would help his cause out a lot. Nchukwi misses punches in a blitz, they clinch then break as Park lands a right. Body kick from Nchukwi is caught, Park tries a takedown but Nchukwi stays upright against the fence though Park has a front headlock. A knee from Nchukwi goes into the groin, the ref misses but Nchukwi does it again and this time Park drops and we’ve got another time out. Should probably cost Nchukwi a point this time, and yes it does. Park takes 1:45 to recover and we’re back to fighting. Left hook from Park. Nchukwi punches close but he’s struggling with the defense of Park. Park keeps his lead hand active while moving around. Park grabs a single leg, but Nchukwi reverses him on the mat and lands on top in half guard. Nchukwi doesn’t really have control yet as Park scrambles under him, and regains his feet. More jabs from Park, Nchukwi lands a right. Nchukwi lands a leg kick, gets jabbed more for it though. Nchukwi grabs a high crotch takedown, Park grabs a tight guillotine on the way down though, he’s got it pretty tight but the round ends and might have saved him.

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

ROUND THREE: Both men working the jab as the last round gets going. Park with a left hook in close. Nchukwi lands a right, but he misses the follow ups. A few more jabs from Park, Nchukwi’s defense isn’t really there right now. Park catches a body kick and gets a takedown into half guard. Nchukwi is working to the fence and looking to wall walk. Park works well to keep Nchukwi on the mat, but eventually he’s back up though still clinched. Body lock takedown from Park, he nearly gets full mount but settles for 3/4 mount. Elbows from Park, he gets the choke as Nchukwi kind of turns but can’t finish it and bails to land punches. Hard lefts from Park, then another choke attempt to force him all the way onto his back. More elbows from Park, Nchukwi is bleeding now. Nchukwi tries to shove him off but Park dives back onto him and keeps top position in half guard. A final flurry of elbows from Park land as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Park but a marginal one, 29-26 Park overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jun Yong Park via majority decision (28-28, 30-25, 29-26)

OK, fire that 28-28 judge. Park might not be the flashiest fighter in the world but that man is no one’s stepping stone. Park gets an interview with his translator, he thanks his coaches and partners and says the third win feels great. He says he’s a good boxer, his boxing defense is quite good, when asked about his late takedowns and jokes he learned his wrestling by watching Daniel Cormier videos.

Ludovit Klein is on an eight fight winning streak that includes a head kick win in his UFC debut, he’s trying to build on that momentum and continue climbing the stacked featherweight ranks. Mike Trizano has gone 2-1 in the UFC winning two split decisions before being choked out in his last fight. That loss was almost 2 years ago though and he’s hoping to return to his winning ways tonight. The odds are with Klein at -240 while Trizano’s comeback sits at +200.

Featherweight Bout: Ludovit Klein (17-2, 146 lbs.) vs. Mike Trizano (8-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Trizano is four inches taller while Klein has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Klein as we get going. Stiff jab from Klein, then a bit of a hook behind it. Trizano is trying to walk Klein down but he’s not cage cutting yet. One two from Klein partially lands. Trizano lands a right. Klein lands a long left. Another left from Klein. Trizano lands a left hook, he’s getting Klein towards the fence more now. Klein lands a front kick to the body. Both men miss some punches, then Klein lands a glancing body kick. Klein lands another jab and blocks a body kick. Trizano lands a jab. Takedown from Klein, he gets Trizano to his seat against the fence. Trizano tries to wall walk but Klein mounts his legs. Trizano goes finally wall walk but he’s still clinched on the fence. Some knees from Klein in close and then they break. Klein lands a body kick, bit of a right from Trizano and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klein

ROUND TWO: Trizano comes out and lands an inside leg kick. Stiff right from Klein after a body kick. Klein lands a leg kick. Trizano avoids a high kick. A back fist from Klein then a body kick. They clinch up and hit the fence then Klein starts working for a takedown. Knee from Trizano as they break. Some inside leg kicks from Trizano, then Klein lands a hard left hand. Trizano has picked up his pace this round and it’s working for him so far. Spinning back fist from Klein partially lands. Bit of a combination from Klein. They trade inside leg kicks. Both men land some jabs, then a combination from Klein mostly lands. Double leg from Klein against the fence and Trizano is on his seat again. Trizano digs the body from his seat as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Trizano but a close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Klein lands a body kick. Hard one two from Trizano staggers Klein and he’s looking to follow up. Left from Klein lands and that kind of resets things. Another one two from Trizano lands, Klein responds with an inside leg kick. Body kick from Klein lands. Both men land punches then trade body kicks, they’re really going at it. Another body kick from Klein, he tries a spinning back fist but misses. Klein kicks the body again, Trizano responds with a right. Another right from Trizano, Klein tries a double leg against the fence and gets it after a bit. Trizano wall walks after a bit and gets free. Jab from Trizano, Klein hits a body kick. Klein with a double leg, Trizano tries to get a guillotine, he’s trying to tighten things up and it gets tight but the round will end and likely save Klein.

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

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

That 30-27 seems wrong, Klein should have taken the first but I don’t object to Trizano winning. No interview for Trizano, and we’re on to ESPN proper for the main card.

Phil Hawes is on a six fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC, he’s looking to establish himself as a prospect to pay attention too by extending that streak here. Kyle Daukaus has gone 1-1 in the UFC, but he did get that first UFC win in his last fight and now will try to build his first UFC winning streak. Daukaus is your favorite at -130 while the +110 comeback on Hawes is a tempting value bet.

Middleweight Bout: Kyle Daukaus (10-1, 186 lbs.) vs. Phil Hawes (10-2, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Daukaus is three inches taller while Hawes has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Daukaus as we get going. Hawes comes out jabbing and backing Daukaus up. Hawes with an inside leg kick that strays into the groin, Daukaus just shakes it off. Both men land punches in close. Hawes lands a front kick to the body. Hawes lands a right in close. Takedown from Hawes, into half guard as Daukaus holds his head. Hawes is actually after a Von Flue choke, the half guard is limiting it but he’s really after it. Daukaus uses the forward pressure to sweep Hawes and get on top in half guard. Hawes with some elbows, he tries to back roll out of the position and does so. Back up, Daukaus after the takedown along the fence now while Hawes defends and lands elbows. Daukaus can’t find the takedown out of the clinch, Hawes is landing short blows to the body and head. Daukaus digs the body for a series of shots. Hawes can’t seem to get off the fence but Daukaus hasn’t had a ton of offense from here. Hawes defends a double leg attempt and lands a knee to the body. Left from Hawes as they break. They’ll just stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hawes but a close one

ROUND TWO: Hawes comes out a little more aggressive this round. Daukaus misses a head kick but lands a spinning back fist and has Hawes hurt. Daukaus looks to force the issue but they wind up clinched and Hawes gets a takedown. Back up quickly but still clinched now. Daukaus is able to spin Hawes into the fence then break free. Combination of punches from Daukaus, he’s flowing nicely with the punches. Hawes hits the body a few times. Bit of a right from Daukaus. Hawes staggers Daukaus with a right and they wind up clinched again. Daukaus has Hawes on the fence and things seem to slow down for a bit. Elbow from Hawes as they break. Stiff jab from Hawes. Front kick to the body from Hawes then a right to the body. Another body shot from Hawes, they clinch up and both throw knees but Daukaus took one to the groin so we’ve got time out. Daukaus only takes about 30 seconds and we’re back to fighting. Hawes lands a left to the body, his body work is adding up. Daukaus lands a right but he’s getting backed up more this round. Hawes lands a right along the fence. Body kick from Hawes then a right behidn it, he’s landing well as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hawes but another close one, 20-18 Hawes overall

ROUND THREE: Hawes comes out and lands a double jab then a right. Both men land in close, Hawes then lands a body kick. That body kick is digging for Hawes, then he gets a single leg along the fence into full guard. Daukaus looks to work his guard, tries a triangle but Hawes defends. Hawes lands some rights. Short elbows for Hawes now while Daukaus has his guard closed. There’s a cut under the left eyebrow of Daukaus, it happened in the second round but it’s leaking a bit more now. Hawes digging the body from the top. Lefts from Hawes, Daukaus gives up his back looking to escape and Hawes punches from the ride position before Daukaus gets half guard. More elbows from Hawes, he’s beating Daukaus up rather badly. Hawes working a decent pace of ground and pound while he keeps Daukaus on the mat. The clock winds down in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hawes, might be a 10-8 argument in there, 30-27 Hawes overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Phil Hawes via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27 x3)

No issues with a 10-8 for Hawes in the third, and easily the best performance of Hawes’ time in the UFC. Mic time for Hawes, he puts over Daukaus as a tough opponent but it felt good to shut him up. He says he got rocked in the second round but felt more like it wound up waking him up as he kept going. He puts over his team for all of their work trying to get him ready for Israel Adesanya, it’s nice to have goals.

Diego Ferreira just had a six fight winning streak snapped when he lost a barn burner of a fight to Beneil Dariush. Ferreira missed weight rather badly for this fight, his second time doing so in the UFC, and he needs a win to help smooth over that gaff and resume his run towards the top of the division. Gregor Gillespie suffered his first professional loss in his last fight when he was head kicked by Kevin Lee, he’s trying to rebound from that setback by taking out another ranked opponent and resume his ascent through the division. Gillespie closed as the favorite at -160 while the +135 payout on Ferreira is a tempting bet.

Lightweight Bout: #12 Diego Ferreira (17-3, 160.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Gregor Gillespie (13-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ferreira is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage, plus the weight miss of course. Gillespie feinting his way forward, both men measuring with lead hand work. They trade hooks in close. Inside leg kick from Gillespie. Ferreira showing some stance switches now while circling. Bit of a right from Ferreira. Gillespie tries a single leg, eventually gets Ferreira down and nearly gets the back before Ferreira stands. They scramble over a single leg, then break without incident. Long left from Ferreira lands. Ferreira lands a three punch combination. Gillespie tries a low single leg, can’t finish it and Ferreira lands a right. Another takedown from Gillespie, he keeps almost finishing them but Ferreira never concedes the position. Ferreira winds up working a crucifix but Gillespie spins him down. Omoplata attempt from Ferreira, Gillespie rolls out of it and is on top in near mount but again Ferreira wont concede and keeps scrambling back up and free. Single leg from Gillespie, and he gets Ferreira down but Ferreira wall walks and shakes Gillespie over his head. Ferreira on the back now looking for a choke but he wont find it before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ferreira

ROUND TWO: Gillespie looks dead tired, the scrambling pace that Ferreira put on him in the first was insane so I can’t blame him too much. Ferreira throwing punches as the round starts. Bit of a right from Ferreira. Gillespie is after a takedown against the fence but he can’t get it and Ferreira separates. Bit of a right from Gillespie into a takedown but he can’t finish it. Ferreira still defending takedowns but Gillespie gets one though Ferreira counters him on the mat and they resume scrambling. Finally back up, Ferreira works a kimura roll, uses that to get the back briefly but Gillespie breaks a hook and gets on top in half guard. Ferreira still fishing for that kimura grip but bails on it to try and wall walk. Gillespie does a better job of keeping Ferreira down this time around, he lands a few short punches. Armbar attempt from Ferreira causes another scramble and then he hits a roll from the feet but he can’t get out from under Gillespie this time. Gillespie gets the back, then 3/4 mount and lands an elbow. Gillespie is flowing and wrestling all over Ferreira now, he gets the back with both hooks in and lands some lefts to the body and head. Ferreira gets to his knees, Gillespie gets him over and has mount still working punches while riding Ferreira. Full mount for Gillespie and he unloads, gets the back and unloads to get a stoppage just before the round ends.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gregor Gillespie via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:51 of Round 2

Wild fight, that pace on the ground was utterly bonkers. Mic time for Gillespie, he says not much compares to seeing a replay of his win because it’s been such a long time since he won a fight and calls this a special win. He acknowledges he got tired, but all that work also got Ferreira tired and he knew that the takedowns in the second came easier and he could make Ferreira quit the longer it went. He says being out as long as he was was hard and he felt the doubt creeping in, and the layoff was worse in some ways than the loss in his prior fight. Cormier says he knows Gillespie will go fishing after the win but asks what he’d like next in the cage, he just wants someone ranked above him again as knows he’s not spring chicken at 34 and can’t spend too much time playing around.

This fight was nuts, crazy scrambles and pace. Here we see the end, Ferreira is just exhausted and Gillespie has found his second wind so he’s able to always find the next position first and punish Ferreira until the ref had to stop it.

Maurice Greene has gone 4-3 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a TKO loss to Greg Hardy though and despite heavyweight being a thin division he really needs to find some consistency if he wants to be a relevant player in the division. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been very up and down in the UFC, he’s been trading wins and losses since 2015 and is coming off of a loss to Alexander Romanov. De Lima is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak, and could be fighting for his job given just how long he’s been treading water in the promotion. De Lima is your -200 favorite to +170 on Greene.

Heavyweight Bout: Maurice Greene (9-5, 237 lbs.) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (17-7-1, 264.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Greene is six inches taller, has five and a half inches of reach advantage but de Lima is some thirty pounds heavier. Southpaw for Greene, and he lands a left early. Another left from Greene but de Lima fires back with a left hook in close. De Lima lands a right to the body. They punch into a clinch and hit the fence. De Lima gets an inside trip into full guard while Daniel Cormier exposes his ignorance of broadcasting. Some rights from de Lima while Greene just kind of keeps full guard. Greene keeps trying to set up a wall walk but he’s not on a hip or using his legs to help the process. De Lima staying fairly active with punches. A few rights to the body from de Lima, Greene is just holding on from the bottom. The round ends in that same spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Lima

ROUND TWO: Greene misses a left, gets clinched and taken down into side control. Greene scoots to the fence but de Lima grabs half guard to get some leverage to keep him down. Rights from de Lima. Greene tries to roll but eats more punches along the way and winds up on his back again. De Lima with some punches while Greene seems a little lost on his back here. De Lima with a series of rights when he was kneeling on the right arm of Greene to limit his defense before Greene gets his arm back. Greene tries a wall walk but he makes a few mistakes, mostly draping his arm over the head of de Lima which lets de Lima easily strip a posting arm and drive him back down to the mat. More short punches from de Lima as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 de Lima, 20-17 de Lima overall

ROUND THREE: There was a near scuffle after the first round, de Lima threw a late punch and there was some allegations of eye poking. The ref warns Greene about his fingers and tells de Lima another foul like that might cost him the fight. Greene misses a left on the start and de Lima gets a body lock then a takedown against the fence into half guard. Well I wonder what will happen from this position. Greene still can’t get up, and de Lima works short punches to the body and head. Even commentary is burying this as de Lima passed to side control. Into north-south now but still very little coming of this. Greene bridges and gets half guard back. The round ends in that same spot.

SCORECARD: 10-8 de Lima, 30-25 de Lima overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marcos Rogerio de Lima via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)

That could not have been more different from the prior fight. I also question the judges only giving de Lima a single 10-8, or none at all in one case. No interview for de Lima.

Neil Magny has gone 3-2 in his last five fights but is coming off of a loss to Michael Cheisa, he’s hoping to rebound here with a win over a fellow ranked contender while avoiding his first losing streak since 2013. Geoff Neal just had a seven fight winning streak snapped when he dropped a decision to Stephen Thompson, he’s hoping to bounce back from that loss and avoid his first ever losing streak while reminding everyone that he’s still a viable contender at welterweight. The odds are with Neal at a surprisingly heavy -190 while the +160 payout on Magny is a tempting value bet.

Welterweight Bout: #9 Neil Magny (24-8, 170.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Geoff Neal (13-3, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Magny is four inches taller and has five inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Neal. Magny fighting long, eats a right hook from Neal. Neal lands a left after slipping a punch. Another left from Neal and they clinch up on the fence. Magny goes to a Thai clinch to stymie Neal but Neal pulls free and unloads with punches. Neal lands a hard left hand. Magny tries to jab and move but he eats another punch and they clinch up. They battle for position and trade body work. Neal slips free and resets. Magny avoids a few punches. Bit of a left from Neal. Magny has a bunch of punches blocked and they clinch again. Neal’s head position in the clinch is quite nice. Magny slips around to the back and works for a mat return. Neal down to a knee and Magny into the ride position. Neal back up and free then eats an elbow. Bit of a left from Neal. Magny lands a body kick, but he’s swelling around the left eye. They clinch up again, and ride out the round there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal

ROUND TWO: Mangy looking to jab as the round begins. Neal looking to find his range. Magny with a bit of a high kick. Neal lands a left then a right follow up. Another long range left from Neal. Bit of a body kick from Magny and he avoids a counter left. Bit of a right from Magny, Mangy has upped his output this round. Both men land punches in close. Neal gets a body lock takedown into the back and unloads lefts as Magny fights up to his feet. Neal blocks a double leg and lands punches against the fence before Magny forces a clinch. They break without incident. Magny lands a body kick but eats a hard counter left and gets a clinch. Neal blocks the single leg attempt but Magny slips around to the ride position on the mat. Back up but still clinched, Neal drives Magny into the fence and then pulls free. Magny lands a couple of jabs. A lot of moving from Magny and striking, Neal forces a clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Neal lands a left in close and they clinch again. Right from Neal on the break, then a couple of lefts as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal but could go either way, 20-18 Neal overall

ROUND THREE: Mangy working volume punches early. Neal avoids some punches, he’s got a good read on Magny’s offense but he’s not firing much yet. Neal lands a quick little flurry. Magny lands a right hook. Bit of a knee from Magny. Some body work from Magny, he’s still upping the volume. Neal avoids a takedown, lands a bit of a right. A couple of lefts from Neal then Magny forces a clinch. They break and Magny lands a few punches. A lot of jabs from Magny now. Neal misses a high kick. Magny gets a body lock, and a takedown into side control. Neal fights back up in the clinch, eats a few knees before getting free. They clinch in open space, but nothing comes of it before they break. Magny lands a jab. Neal lands a flush left that wobbles Magny for a moment. Another left from Neal, Magny fires back with a barrage. They get close and trade a bit as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Magny, 29-28 Neal overall

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

30-27 for Magny seems objectively wrong, but no objection to Magny winning overall. Mic time for Magny, he says proving the doubters wrong always feels amazing. He talks about weaponizing his cardio, then puts over Neal as a tough opponent and hopes to fight someone in the top ten next.

Donald Cerrone is a legend of MMA but the end is drawing near for him, he hasn’t won a fight since battling Al Iaquinta in 2019 and he’s 0-4 with 1 No Contest since then. Cerrone is looking to add to his legacy with a win. Alex Morono has gone 3-2 in his last five fights but is coming off of a loss to Anthony Pettis. Morono took this fight on short notice, but is looking for the highest profile win of his career given how beloved Cerrone is as well as trying to avoid his first professional losing streak. Cerrone is your favorite at -210 to a +175 comeback on Morono.

Welterweight Bout: Donald Cerrone (36-15 2 NC, 170 lbs.) vs. Alex Morono (18-7 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cerrone is two inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Morono misses a right and they clinch up on the fence. Both men with some body shots in close. A few uppercuts from Morono and they break. Head kick from Morono partially lands. Cerrone showing southpaw, he lands a body kick that freezes Morono for a second. Morono checks a leg kick. Cerrone avoids a few punches then lands a body kick. Bit of a right from Morono, and another. Cerrone lands another body kick. They clinch up and hit the fence, Morono trips him down then lands a right as Cerrone stands up. Cerrone avoids a few punches and clinches but they break without incident. Right from Morono in close. Cerrone lands a front kick to the body. Right from Morono stumbles Cerrone for a second. Jabs from Morono land. Morono lands a left hook. They trade rights, Cerrone is staggered though and Morono unloads on the fence. Body work from Morono, he unloads until the ref steps in to halt the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Morono via TKO, punches, at 4:40 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Morono for his work this evening. Mic time for Morono, he says short notice fights have always done him well and then puts over Cerrone but he’s grateful to have won for his team. He puts over a teammate who’s on the current season of TUF, and notes he’s probably going to get chewed out for this performance because of his technique to close.

Both men trade in close, Cerrone’s left hand drifts low though and that leaves him open to the right hand. From there Morono never lets Cerrone recover and batters him against the fence to get the win.

Marina Rodriguez has gone 3-1-2 in the UFC but the beating she put on Amanda Ribas in her last fight earned her a step up in competition for this bout, and if she can best the well regarded Waterson she might be on the fast track to the title picture. Michelle Waterson has gone 4-2 in her last six fights, she’s coming off of a close split decision over Angela Hill in her last fight but if she’s able to halt a rising contender like Rodriguez she could find herself back in the title orbit. Rodriguez us the favorite at -210 to a +175 comeback on Waterson.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Michelle Waterson (18-8, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rodriguez has three inches of height and reach over Waterson. Southpaw for Waterson to start but she’ll switch her stance frequently. Rodriguez probing with the lead hand, both women feinting and getting a read on each other. They trade power hand punches. Rodriguez lands a front kick to the body. Rights from Rodriguez in close, she’s got Waterson backing up now. Waterson with a lead leg side kick high, Rodriguez just eats it. Rodriguez lands a right. Waterson misses a combination. Some kicks to the leg from Rodriguez, then a left hook in close. They trade rights again. Another front kick to the body from Rodriguez, she’s aiming that at the liver since Waterson is fighting southpaw. Waterson avoids a few kicks, then lands a leg kick. Rodriguez lands a right. Body kick from Rodriguez along the fence, she’s backed Waterson up fairly consistently. Waterson lands a side kick to the leg and off balances Rodriguez. Right from Rodriguez lands. They tie up, Rodriguez lands a few knees just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rodriguez

ROUND TWO: Rodriguez lands another front kick to the body to get the round going. Waterson tries a side kick to the face but misses. Right from Rodriguez lands. Bit of a right from Waterson. Waterson lands a body kick but she’s struggling with the counters from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a left hook. They trade rights in close, then Rodriguez gets a clinch and punches Waterson on the break. Rodriguez has backed Waterson up again, gets another clinch and starts working knees to the body before Waterson spins free. Jab lands for Waterson but she’s struggling thus far. Rodriguez lands a right. Bit of a combination from Rodriguez, she gets another clinch and unloads a few knees but Waterson fires back before slipping free. Rodriguez checks a couple of leg kicks. Another right from Rodriguez. Waterson lands a jab. Waterson grabs a single leg, they wind up clinched and she lands a knee then slips free. Long combination from Rodriguez into a clinch. Knees from Rodriguez, then an elbow as they break and the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Waterson misses a side kick to the knee, Rodriguez lands a punch to counter. High kick from Rodriguez wobbles Waterson and they clinch up again. They trade some knees from the clinch then break apart. Body kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a right to the body. They trade rights, Rodriguez unloads along the fence but Waterson fires back and gets her to back off. Some leg kicks from Waterson, that lead leg of Rodriguez might be a little hurt from the side kicks to the knee. Rodriguez lands a right. They trade body kicks, then Rodriguez lands another right. Knee then a few punches from Rodriguez, Waterson’s nose is bleeding now. Waterson lands a jab. Waterson lands a left, but eats a counter punch that wobbles her. Rodriguez lands another right. Combination from Rodriguez mostly lands. Waterson lands a body kick then they trade power hand punches. Right then a knee from Rodriguez, she unloads in the clinch but Waterson hits her with an uppercut and breaks. More offense from Rodriguez, Waterson circles away as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Rodriguez back to forward pressure. Waterson kicks the knee again. High kick from Rodriguez then they trade power hand punches. Waterson lands an elbow in close, and eats one in return. Body kick from Waterson. A few rights from Rodriguez then a high kick that’s mostly blocked. They clinch up, Waterson gets a trip takedown into full guard. Rodriguez is trying to set up a wall walk, Waterson lands a punch. Some lefts from Waterson land while Rodriguez tries to wall walk. Waterson keeps Rodriguez on the mat, lands a few more short punches. Rodriguez is fishing for a kimura grip but can’t find it. Some hammer fists from Waterson and she looks to pass. the round ends with Waterson in half guard.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Waterson, 39-37 Rodriguez overall

ROUND FIVE: They touch gloves for the final round. Bit of a right from Waterson. Rodriguez lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Rodriguez. Waterson avoids a combination. High kick from Waterson lands, Rodriguez just eats it. Waterson lands a side kick to the body, that hurt Rodriguez but she doesn’t follow up. Rodriguez lands a right. Another right from Rodriguez stumbles Waterson for a second. Rodriguez avoids a takedown attempt. Waterson blocks a few punches while against the fence. Body shot from Rodriguez and she avoids a clinch attempt. Waterson lands a right, she’s gone orthodox. They trade rights at distance, then Rodriguez lands a leg kick. Another right from Rodriguez lands. They get close again, bit of a body kick from Rodriguez. Another right from Rodriguez, then a head kick that mostly lands. A final burst of offense from Rodriguez, both women unload in close as the clock winds down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Waterson but a close one, 48-47 Rodriguez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marina Rodriguez via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2)

That turned out to be a nice little back and forth fight down the stretch, kudos to both women. There was some swelling around the jaw of Rodriguez after that head kick in the last round so it doesn’t look like she’ll get an interview for medical concerns.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 24 comes to a close. A card that suffered a ton of adversity but had a few good moments when it was all said and done. We’ll unpack this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast as well as preview UFC 262 next week. I’ll be back here for that card, which is headlined by a lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira. Until next time everyone, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC Fight Night, Robert Winfree