mma / Reports

411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Dillashaw Wins

July 24, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 27

#2 Cory Sandhagen (136 lbs.) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (136 lbs.)
Raulian Paiva (135.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Kyler Phillips (135.5 lbs.)
Darren Elkins (146 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (145.5 lbs.)
#14 Maycee Barber (125.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Miranda Maverick (125.5 lbs.)
Randy Costa (135 lbs.) vs. Adrian Yanez (135.5 lbs.)

Brendan Allen (185.5 lbs.) vs. Punahele Soriano (185.5 lbs.)
Ian Heinisch (185.5 lbs.) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (185.5 lbs.)
Mickey Gall (169.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Williams (170.5 lbs.)
Julio Arce (135.5 lbs.) vs. Andre Ewell (135 lbs.)
Sijara Eubanks (125 lbs.) vs. Elise Reed (125 lbs.)
Diana Belbita (114.5 lbs.) vs. Hannah Goldy (115.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 27. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host, relaying all of the action to you people just as I see it. Tonight we’ve got a very non-sexy card but one that has some hidden gems along the way. The main event is a really good fight, former two time champion TJ Dillashaw returns from a two year drug suspension and jumps right into the deep end of the pool opposite surging contender Cory Sandhagen. The winner should get the next title shot after Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan settle their business. Elsewhere on the card Miranda Maverick will meet Maycee Barber in a battle of flyweight prospects, Brendan Allen and Punahele Soriano has fireworks written all over it, and Randy Costa taking on Adrian Yanez is a dark horse contender for Fight of the Night.

UFC on ESPN 27 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald, Dominick Cruz, and Daniel Cormier. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer ones except the new definition of a downed fighter, so you only need one hand on the mat to be considered down. Nevada also uses a replay official, an official outside of the cage who can signal for replay to be used over a sequence or a foul and of course the in cage ref can request replay be used as well. Also keep in mind that the Apex has the smaller 25 foot diameter cage set up instead of the 30 footer.

Diana Belbita has gone 0-2 in the UFC and now finds herself with her back against wall in dire need of her first UFC win. Hannah Goldy suffered her first professional loss in her UFC debut had has had three canceled fights since, now she’s looking for that all important first UFC win. The odds closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Strawweight Bout: Diana Belbita (13-6, 114.5 lbs.) vs. Hannah Goldy (5-1, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Belbita is three inches taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Bit of a high kick from Goldy, Belbita counters with a combination. Goldy keeps showing the lead leg high kick, she’s finding some success with that. Belbita lands a right hand. Some leg kicks from Belbita, then they clinch up and hit the fence. Both women land some knees in the clinch, Goldy is cut around the left eyebrow from one of those rights at distance. They break with a left from Goldy. Another left head kick from Goldy mostly lands. Body kicks go back and forth, Belbita’s leg kicks have started to add up. Belbita catches a leg kick and lands a straight right that floors Goldy. Goldy fights back up, Belbita is all over her looking for a finish but gets a little sloppy on a kick and Goldy gets a takedown into half guard. Some punches from Goldy as Belbita wall walks then they break. Belbita tries to pressure again, lands a bit of a right but gets tied up in another clinch. Goldy lands knees to the body in the clinch while they jockey for position. They break with a left from Goldy. Belbita lands a right hand, and they clinch again to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Belbita, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Bit of a head kick from Goldy gets the round going. Left head kick and a jab from Goldy. Belbita lands a leg kick. More leg kicks from Belbita. Goldy lands a couple of rights. One two from Belbita. Another right from Belbita and Goldy gets a clinch then forces Belbita into the fence. They break the clinch as Goldy misses an elbow. Belbita lands another right, she’s finding that punch reliably. Goldy forces another clinch and works some knees to the body. Both women land knees to the body, then they break after a series of them from Goldy. Belbita lands a left to the body. They trade right hands. Goldy lands a body kick. A head kick from Goldy stuns Belbita for a second, and we get some brawling to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Belbita but could go to Goldy, 20-18 Belbita overall

ROUND THREE: Both women working kicks as the round starts. Bit of a right from Goldy. Belbita lands a leg kick. Bit of a blitz from Goldy, she lands a right that Belbita didn’t like. Belbita fires back with a right of her own. Another leg kick from Belbita, Goldy lands a right and Belbita fires a high kick of her own. Some jabs from Belbita, Goldy lands a body kick then a head kick. Belbita staggers Goldy with a right hand and looks to flurry along the fence. Goldy tries a double leg, winds up just getting a clinch on the fence. Both women work knees but there’s not a lot happening here. Bit of an elbow from Goldy as they break. Belbita lands a leg kick. They trade right hands. Another trade of rights then Glody gets a takedown into full mount. Goldy goes nuts with elbows but wont get the finish she probably needed.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Goldy but another close one, 29-28 Belbita overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Diana Belbita via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

No issues with Belbita getting the third, it’s probably more accurate. Mic time for Belbita, she’s happy to finally get a win in the UFC and worked very hard for this moment. She felt she was close to a finish and believes in her right hand power but Goldy was incredibly tough.

Sijara Eubanks has gone 2-4 in her last six fights and is on her second two fight losing streak of that skid, if she wants to remain a viable contender in the division she can ill afford a third straight loss here. Elise Reed is undefeated coming into her UFC debut, and could get the biggest win of her career if she’s able to best a UFC veteran in Eubanks. Eubanks is the biggest favorite on the card at -420 to a +330 comeback on Reed.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Sijara Eubanks (6-6, 125 lbs.) vs. Elise Reed (4-0, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Eubanks is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Reed opens southpaw, Eubanks punches into a double leg and eventually gets an outside trip to land on top in half guard. Eubanks moves to side control. Reed is able to hip escape to half guard again. Eubanks lands an elbow. Some more strikes from Eubanks, which set up her pass into full mount. Eubanks thinks about going for an armbar, but doesn’t like something about the position and goes back to landing elbows. Reed is able to buck off the fence and force Eubanks to side control. Reed moves to half guard, Eubanks is still working her over with strikes. Eubanks moves to side control then back to full mount and looks to unload. A flurry of punches from Eubanks prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sijara Eubanks via TKO, punches, at 3:49 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Eubanks for her work this evening. Mic time for Eubanks, joking about how she had to end this quickly so her coach could catch a flight. She changed a bunch of stuff in her life this year and feels great at 125 now, and feels no one in the division can mess with her on the ground. Asked who she’d like next she wants a ranked opponent and mentions a few people who are ranked that she’s already got wins over and plans on going for the title as soon as possible.

Here’s the finish. Reed isn’t really able to fight the hips, which is key to escaping mount, and Eubanks is able to just tee off with punches. Reed’s right eye is mostly shut at the end of this, Eubanks landed some nasty elbows earlier from this position.

Julio Arce has gone 3-2 in the UFC with his only losses being close split decisions, he’s coming off of a split loss to Hakeem Dawodu and is looking to avoid his first UFC losing streak. Andre Ewell has been a bit up and down in the UFC, going 4-3 during his time in the promotion. Ewell lost his last fight and is likewise trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. The odds are with Arce at -215 while Ewell’s comeback sits at +180.

Bantamweight Bout: Julio Arce (16-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Andre Ewell (17-7, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ewell is an inch taller and has a significant five inches of reach advantage. Both men open southpaw. Some jabs from both men, then Arce lands a leg kick but they’re mostly range finding right now. More leg kicks go back and forth. Arce catches a front kick and lands a left hand. Right hook then a left hand from Arce both land. Arce’s counter game is on point thus far. They trade left hands. Bit of a right hook counter from Arce. Ewell lands a leg kick. Bit of a left from Arce but Ewell responds with a quick one two. Hard left from Arce wobbles Ewell, he’s looking to stalk forward now. Both men with glancing punches in close. They both miss rights. Arce lands a combination in close and they clinch up. They’ll ice the round in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arce

ROUND TWO: Both men working the jab again, Ewell is trying leg kicks but the range isn’t quite right. Some lefts from both men barely miss. Ewell lands a few jabs, there’s a small cut around the right eyebrow of Arce. Arce is backing Ewell to the fence but can’t quite draw out his offense yet. Some front kicks from Arce now. Arce lands a leg kick. Bit of a counter right from Arce, his pressure is getting to Ewell a bit. Arce lands a left to the body, and another one. Bit of a one two from Ewell. Arce lands a left in close to counter a body shot. Leg kicks are traded. A left from Arce staggers Ewell, this time he unloads along the fence and prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Julio Arce via TKO, punches, at 3:45 of Round 2

Mic time for Arce who talks a bit about the long layoff and how he’s been in the never ending camp, but he’s happy to be back and thanks his coaches for all their work. He puts over Ewell as a tricky opponent, but he was able to take his time and figure things out. Asked what’s next, he doesn’t have a name but would love to fight in September or October to get another one in before the year ends.

Ewell wasn’t thrilled with the stoppage, I was alright with it but here’s a look so you can decide for yourself. The first left Arce lands is nice, he hand traps with his lead hand then brings the left between the guard of Ewell and never lets him recover.

Mickey Gall has gone 4-3 in the UFC but has traded wins and losses over his last four fights, he’s coming off of a loss to Mike Perry over a year ago and is trying to avoid his first losing streak. Jordan Williams lost his UFC debut last year but is hoping to make a better second impression while getting his first UFC win. Williams is the favorite at -175 to a +145 for Gall.

Welterweight Bout: Mickey Gall (6-3, 169.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Williams (9-4, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gall is an inch taller while Williams has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Williams and they touch gloves to get us going. Williams lands a few combinations, then they get close and Gall clobbers him with a right that drops him. Gall on top, jumps for a guillotine but Williams is able to roll free and stand. Another right from Gall lands and they clinch on the fence then break. Williams lands a left. Another glancing right from Gall lands. Williams lands a left in close. Bit of a right from Gall but he got poked in the eye so we get timeout. Gall takes about 20 seconds then we’re back to fighting. A right from Gall lands, Williams tries a double leg but falls into a guillotine that Gall uses to sweep to full mount. Gall gets the back with both hooks in, he’s after the choke and eventually gets the choke in and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mickey Gall via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:57 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Gall for his work this evening. Mic time for Gall after the win, he says this win feels great and thanks all of his team for helping pick him up after a hard camp. He talks us through the finish and puts over Williams as someone who was going to fight to the bitter end. Asked about his future he wants to be back in soon and notes he wants to stay active then shouts out his sister who’s now seven years sober.

Here’s the finish, Williams is already hurt and you can see the blood coming from his nose so when Gall forces a continuous hand fighting scenario he can’t keep up and eventually has to tap.

Nassourdine Imavov has gone 1-1 in the UFC winning his debut then dropping a majority decision to Phil Hawes his last time out, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak by getting back on the winning side of things. Ian Heinisch has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights and is coming off of a loss to Kelvin Gastelum, he’s trying to avoid his second ever losing streak. Heinisch is your -165 favorite to +140 on Imavov.

Middleweight Bout: Ian Heinisch (14-4, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (9-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Imavov is four inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men moving around, Heinisch is showing off some stance switches. Heinisch lands a bit of a left hook and forces a clinch off of it, barely avoiding a knee from Imavov on the way in. Some short elbows from Imavov as he looks to get free. They break without an issue. Imavov lands a front kick to the body. Heinisch is working the leg kicks, both men are still mostly trying to get a feel for the fight. A couple of calf kicks from Heinisch land. Jumping knee from Imavov then a left hand as they clinch up. Imavov has a rear waist lock and starts kneeing the thigh from the back. Elbow from Imavov lands and they wind up chest to chest. Heinisch is bleeding from the brdige of the nose I think. Imavov avoids a trip and they separate. Heinisch lands a left, and takes a solid counter right. Jabs from Imavov, he’s busting up the face of Heinisch but Heinisch is landing calf kicks that are beginning to add up. Heinisch lands a left hand and takes a knee to the chest. Imavov is still pressuring forward. Imavov lands a right to counter a blitz, then misses a one two as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Imavov

ROUND TWO: Imavov still working the jab as the round begins. Bit of a left hook from Imavov. Heinisch lands a couple more calf kicks, Imavov needs to have a counter to that. Some more punches from Imavov as he’s backing Heinisch up to the fence. Imavov lands a right to counter a leg kick, then gets a double leg to counter a takedown attempt from Heinisch and gets him down along the fence. Heinisch back up but still clinched. They break without incident, then Imavov avoids a few punches. Imavov lands a left hook. Some stance switching from Imavov, he lands a one two. Imavov lands a front kick to the body. Another calf kick from Heinisch but he needs something behind that to really make it work. Hard left hook from Imavov staggers Heinisch then he lands a few follow ups on the fence. A knee from Imavov drops Heinisch, then he starts unloading from the ride position until the ref waves this one off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nassourdine Imavov via TKO, punches, at 3:09 of Round 2

Systematic destruction by Imavov, who’s got an interview now. He thinks it was a good fight against a tough opponent, he’d like to fight someone in the top ten next.

Here’s the finish. Imavov is a very accurate striker, he just kept breaking down Heinisch with reliable strikes and eventually he falls apart.

Punahele Soriano is undefeated including two first round stoppage wins in the UFC, if he can extend that to three in a row he’ll have proven himself a prospect to keep track of. Brendan Allen is a fellow rising prospect in the middleweight division, he’s gone 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win over Karl Roberson. If Allen can get another winning streak going here he’ll begin making the difficult transition from prospect to contender. The odds moved a lot on this one but closed at -115 for Soriano to -105 on Allen.

Middleweight Bout: Brendan Allen (16-4, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Punahele Soriano (8-0, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Allen is three inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Soriano. Allen feinting early, Soriano has a few high kicks blocked. Soriano misses a left and falls into a clinch. Soriano with a knee and tries to flurry but mostly misses. Allen lands a body kick after they break. Soriano lands a left, Allen returns a right to him. A couple of lefts from Soriano land, then Allen lands a body kick. Right to the body from Allen, he seems content to try and take this fight long and tire Soriano out. Soriano lands a left in close. Allen lands an inside leg kick and avoids the counters. Soriano lands a left. Allen with a few jabs while moving around. A couple of knees from Allen, then Soriano drives him backwards with a left hand. Allen jabbing and moving again. They trade leg kicks again. Allen lands a right then another inside leg kick. Soriano with a flurry, but he takes a bit of a head kick as he exits the pocket. Hard body kick from Allen. Soriano with a bit of a left in close. Some body shots from Soriano then they clinch and Allen looks for a front headlock. Allen lands an elbow as they break the clinch. Jabs from Allen, Soriano lands a left. Allen lands a combination. They trade power hand punches then Allen lands a knee just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Allen but a competitive affair

ROUND TWO: Allen lands a hard body kick to get the round going, Soriano fires a left hand to counter. Bit of a right from Allen then a right hand behind it. Soriano is slowing a bit, he puts everything into his strikes and that’s not a sustainable strategy. Allen lands a body shot then a knee to the head. A left to the body from Allen and he avoids the counters. Allen lands a body kick and a knee then a right elbow. More knees from Allen, he’s starting to pour on the offense as Soriano fades. Soriano avoids a double leg but he’s fading badly. Allen lands another body kick. Bit of a right from Allen, Soriano lands a left to the body. Allen with another body kick then a jab. They clinch and Allen is working knees from the double collar position. Soriano gets close and tries to unload but he’s not able to sustain the flurry. Soriano lands a left to the body. Allen with another body kick, those are killing Soriano. Soriano lands a left to the body. Allen back to jabbing and fighting long. Another body kick from Allen lands, those are really starting to hurt Soriano. Allen lands a few long distance punches. Another body kick from Allen. Soriano has a high kick blocked. A left from Soriano lands then Allen lands a body shot. Allen with another couple of body kicks and a knee to the body to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Allen back to kicking long as the last round starts. Several kicks later Soriano lands a bit of a left but the pop is all gone from his offense. Allen jabbing again, lands a bit of a knee as well. Soriano has a head kick blocked but lands a left hand. Allen lands a knee to the body then a right hand. A body kick from Allen lands, but Soriano with a counter left to back him off. Soriano lands a body kick. Allen lands another body kick then an inside leg kick. A body kick from Allen staggers Soriano for a second. Bit of a head kick from Allen. Allen digs a left to the body. Soriano misses a few punches then lands a front kick to the body. Allen lands a leg kick. Body kick from Allen. Some long rights from Allen, then a stepping knee to the chest. Allen lands a couple more body kicks. Allen lands a knee, and Soriano lands a counter left. Another left from Soriano. Allen lands a left in close. Another body kick from Allen. Soriano lands a long range left but can’t follow up. Allen with some punches then a knee. A final flurry from Allen along the fence and they swing for the final seconds.

SCOREARD: 10-9 Allen, 30-27 Allen overall

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

That’s your Fight of the Night thus far. Mic time for Allen after that, he feels good getting another UFC win and can’t wait to get home with his family. He talks us through some highlights and thanks his coaches for helping him. Asked about the future he wants to fight either Edmen Shahbazyan or Sean Strickland next, he and Strickland fought last year with Strickland earning a second round TKO.

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

Randy Costa has gone 2-1 in the UFC, is on a two fight winning streak with both of those being first round finishes. If Costa can get to three in a row here he might get a shot at someone higher up in the division next. Adrian Yanez is on a six fight winning streak including two finishes in the UFC, he’s likewise trying to establish himself as a prospect of note in a crowded bantamweight division. Yanez is a surprisingly heavy favorite at -230 while the +190 comeback on Costa might be a tempting value bet.

Bantamweight Bout: Randy Costa (6-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Adrian Yanez (13-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Costa is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Costa is probing at distance with kicks. Yanez with some jabs, he’s making reads right now. Some stance switching from Costa and he’s firing a lot of kicks from southpaw. Costa lands a jab. Both men land jabs. The pressure from Costa is getting to Yanez right now, he’s landing at the end of his range and Yanez doesn’t have the counters yet. They split some jabs but that’s favoring Costa right now. Yanez lands a few jabs. Bit of a right from Costa, he’s fighting well so far and has bloodied up Yanez. Costa with a counter right. Bit of a one two from Yanez. Yanez lands a right. Body shot from Yanez, he’s suddenly coming forward and looking to up the pace. Costa is slowing down a bit, Yanez lands a right hand. A head kick from Costa lands but Yanez just eats it. Yanez lands a leg kick, then a bit of a right hand. Combination from Yanez, then a left to the body. A bit of a jab from Costa closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Costa

ROUND TWO: Both men are bleeding around the nose after the first round. Yanez lands a leg kick to open the round then tries a head kick that’s blocked. Both men jabbing again. Bit of a left hook from Yanez. More jabs are being traded. Yanez is coming forward, he’s trying to tire Costa out and he might be succeeding. Both men still jabbing and moving. Combination from Yanez and he avoids a poor takedown attempt. Yanez lands a combination along the fence, then crumples Costa with a body shot and then punches him out as Costa is on his knees.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Adrian Yanez via TKO, punches, at 2:11 of Round 2

Yanez still has some things to iron out, but pay attention to that man. Mic time for Yanez, he says his last two fights he was pretty flawless but this one he got touched up a lot and started way too slow. He feels the fight should have been cleaner. He talks us through the finish and knew he couldn’t stop Costa with one shot and would need a barrage, he’s still really hard on his first round performance after getting outclassed by the jab of Costa.

This is a wonderful sequence from Yanez. He’s got Costa backing up, touches him lightly to draw a defensive reaction then fires a harder punch to close the combination. I’m also a sucker for body work and he puts in some good stuff here. Once Costa drops Yanez never lets him back into the fight.

Miranda Maverick is on a five fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC that have seen her crack the top fifteen rankings, she’s hoping to extend that streak and take a step up the rankings going forward. Maycee Barber was looking like a top prospect in the division but currently finds herself on a two fight losing streak and in serious need of at least a notable performance if she wants to retain her goals of getting to a title fight. The odds are with the streaking Maverick at -160 to +135 for Barber.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #14 Maycee Barber (8-2, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Miranda Maverick (9-2, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Barber is an inch and a half taller while Maverick has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Maverick fighting southpaw. Both of them feinting early, just trying to get a read on the fight. Maverick lands a body kick. Neither woman has a feel for the range yet. Bit of a head kick from Maverick. They’re both falling short with punches, still trying to feel out the range. Maverick avoids a shifting left. Another body kick from Maverick lands. Bit of a body kick from Barber. Maverick lands a left uppercut in close. A left from Maverick then a body kick, her pressure is getting to Barber. They get close and trade punches. They trade lefts, then Maverick lands a bit of a head kick. Glancing left from Maverick. Body kick from Maverick lands. Combination from Maverick lands, and a final left from her closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Maverick

ROUND TWO: Maverick pressuring forward again to start the second round. Barber avoids a combination but she’s not found much offensively. Maverick lands a leg kick. Barber falls short on punches. Maverick lands a combination. Bit of a left from Barber. Maverick punches into a clinch and drives Barber into the fence. Some knees to the body and leg from Maverick while she looks to off balance Barber. They break without incident. Both women land lefts and they clinch again, Barber gets a takedown but Maverick scrambles up into the clinch. Barber lands an elbow in the clinch. Another elbow from Barber, then Maverick gives up the back standing. The uglier this gets the better Barber is doing. Maverick gets free and they reset. Bit of a counter combination from Maverick. Both women land lefts. Double leg from Maverick and she gets on top against the fence. Barber gives up the back, Maverick jumps to it with both hooks in and looks to break her back to the mat. Barber sags to the mat and Maverick starts fishing for the choke. Maverick just unloads with punches since we’re on short time.

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

ROUND THREE: Circling to start the round, Maverick lands a few left hands. Inside leg kick from Maverick. Bit of a right from Barber. They clinch up and trade punches in close before breaking. Bit of a head kick from Maverick. Maverick lands a leg kick. Both women land punches in close. Barber lands a left and they clinch up, Barber gets a takedown into the ride position. Maverick wall walks rather easily but can’t get free. Barber lands a knee as they stand then an elbow as they break. Maverick lands a counter left. Both women land in close. Barber lands a left hook and clinches up against the fence. Maverick is defending but hasn’t found much offense yet. Spinning elbow from Barber lands as they break. Maverick with a bit of a head kick. They clinch up again, and kill the final seconds there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barber, 29-28 Maverick overall

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

29-28 for either woman is perfectly justifiable, even if I disagree. Mic time for Barber, she thought she deserved to win and knew this was going to be a tough fight but she was faster and could use that to her advantage. Asked about the future, she wants to fight Jessica Eye and then puts over some of her work against human trafficking.

Darren Elkins just broke a four fight losing streak in what was probably a fight for his job, now he’s trying to build his first winning streak since 2018 and prove he’s still a viable addition to the roster. Darrick Minner has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s trying for arguably the biggest win of his career against a durable UFC veteran in Elkins. Minner is your -160 favorite while an Elkins win would payout at +135.

Featherweight Bout: Darren Elkins (25-9, 146 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (26-11, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Elkins is three inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Minner starts feinting with kicks early. They clinch, both swing and miss, then break. Calf kick from Minner, Elkins counters with a let hook. Minner with a front kick to the face then some follow up punches. Elkins works for a double leg, Minner uses a front headlock to deter him and defend. Elkins gets a takedown and is able to get his head out of the front choke Minner was working on. Minner moves to his knees and sweeps Elkins to get on top in the ride position. Minner into the mount, gets the mounted triangle and switches to an armbar then cranks it but Elkins is able to step over the head and get free. They scramble again and Minner again winds up on top and mounts the legs against the fence. Elkins wall walks, eats a knee, and Minner looks for a takedown against the fence. Minner gets the takedown, and lands some punches from a front headlock. Elkins keeps avoiding submissions from the front headlock, Minner decides to land punches and elbows. Elkins rolls for a leg lock, Minner sits on him and lands elbows and hurts Elkins with them. Minner settles into top position in the full guard of Elkins. Some short elbows from Minner as the round ends in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Minner

ROUND TWO: Elkins is bleeding from the nose and around the right eye. Minner with a few punches then gets a double leg against the fence and mounts the legs. Elkins is now cut around the left eye as well. Minner rolls through a guillotine attempt and moves to the back with one hook in, then comes up on top in half guard. Elkins is able to get full guard but Minner punches him and passes his guard. Elkins to his knees, Minner grabs a guillotine threat and uses that to stifle him. Minner loses his front headlock and Elkins switches to one of his own and snaps Minner down into half guard. Bit of a crucifix for Elkins, he lands punches while Minner struggles to get free. Minner gets his arm free and tries working half guard but Elkins is landing punches and short elbows. Elkins moves to side control and works for the mounted crucifix. More short punches from Elkins as Minner tries to move. Elkins to the back and lands punches and hammer fists, Minner just covers up and eventually the ref has to stop the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Darren Elkins via TKO, punches, at 3:48 of Round 2

Typical Elkins fight, be Homer Simpson and let the other guy wear himself out punching you. Mic time for Elkins, he says he’s tough and knew he’d wear Minner down. He talks us through the finish and says he’s almost impossible to guillotine and knew Minner would wear himself out doing that. Asked who he’d like next he notes he’s 37 years old and knows the support of his wife and kids is what makes his possible, then says he’d like to fight in October but doesn’t have a name in mind.

A look at the finish, if you want to try and put Elkins out of commission you better be sure you can or that your cardio is on point because once Elkins goes zombie mode he will wear you down and out.

Kyler Phillips has gone 3-0 in the UFC and if he can extend that streak to four here he’ll prove himself a notable prospect in a very crowded division. Raulian Paiva took this fight on fairly short notice and is making his way up to bantamweight for the first time since 2013 and hoping to announce himself in that class in a big way. Phillips is the favorite at -270 to a +220 comeback on Paiva.

Bantamweight Bout: Raulian Paiva (20-3, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Kyler Phillips (9-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Phillips has two and a half inches of reach over Paiva. They touch gloves to get us going. Phillips working jabs and leg kicks early, range finding mostly. Paiva lands a counter right. Phillips misses a combination then lands a left that drops Paiva. Paiva back up but is still a little wobbled. Phillips lands a right. Paiva misses a blitz attack. Paiva catches a kick, gets a takedown but Phillips pops back up and starts working from the clinch. Phillips hits a switch, then gets a single leg and they wind up resetting at distance. Left hook from Phillips, then a right that badly hurts Paiva. Paiva falls into a single leg trying to save himself, Phillips lands a few punches before getting out of the takedown. Phillips tries a wheel kick, slips and Paiva gets on top in full guard. Paiva lands a few body shots, Phillips scrambles back up and gets on top in side control. Phillips winds up in half guard after trying to mount and lands some short elbows as Paiva gets up. Another elbow from Phillips lands as they break. Phillips lands another right that wobbles Paiva, Phillips looks to unload but Paiva fights back to his feet. Phillips lands a right elbow that floors Paiva, then he unloads on top but the round will end and save Paiva.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Phillips

ROUND TWO: Paiva is bleeding from a pretty bad cut around the right eyebrow. Bit of a jab from Paiva. Phillips lands a right to the body. Paiva tries to chase a leg lock, Phillips scrambles back up and gets free. Right then a left hook from Phillips land. Phillips lands an elbow in close. Paiva lands a right that drops Phillips, he looks for a finish along the fence but Phillips fights back with a right elbow. They trade in close then clinch up again. Another exchange of punches and they break. Phillips lands a jumping knee to the body, then they clinch up. Bit of an elbow from Paiva breaks the clinch. Phillips gets a takedown into the fence. Paiva wall walks, Phillips to the ride position then they wind up breaking. Right from Phillips lands. Paiva tries a double leg, he winds up on the back standing and lands a few rights as they break the clinch. Phillips lands a spinning elbow, gets the back in transition and winds up on top as they scramble. Again Phillips gets the back, only one hook in and he’s threatening with an arm triangle. Paiva wall walks and they break. Phillips lands a hard right hand, Paiva returns it. They clinch up and end the round on the fence.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Paiva but a close one, 19-18 Phillips overall

ROUND THREE: Both men working the jab as the last round starts. Phillips lands a couple of leg kicks. Hard right from Phillips. Paiva lands a couple of body shots. Paiva avoids a takedown attempt and they separate. Phillips gets a single leg, but Paiva back up immediately and avoids a spinning back fist. A right from Phillips lands. Bit of a knee from Phillips lands. Paiva lands a right to the body. Both men land hooks in close. Phillips gets a double leg, but Paiva wall walks and eats a left hand as they break. Another right from Phillips then they clinch again. They jockey for position in the clinch, Paiva gets a takedown into half guard. Some punches from Paiva but they’re both dead tired. Phillips lands an elbow from his back. Paiva slips off the back, and Phillips lands a couple of more rights as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Paiva, 28-28 DRAW overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Raulian Paiva via majority decision (28-28, 29-28 x2)

That’s probably the Fight of the Night at this point. The lack of 10-8’s in that first round is borderline criminal, Paiva was saved by the bell there. Mic time for Paiva, who feels he did enough to win and he didn’t come to America to play he’s here for work.

Cory Sandhagen has a stellar UFC record of 7-1 and has finished Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar in his last two fights. Sandhagen is hoping to get the biggest win of his career against a former champion and secure a title shot for his next bout. TJ Dillashaw is a former two time UFC bantamweight champion, he was last seen failing to claim the flyweight title when Henry Cejudo stopped him in 32 seconds back in 2019. Dillashaw then was stripped of the bantamweight title and served a two year suspension for a failed drug test, he’s coming back now and is hoping to knock off a top contender and get another crack at the bantamweight title he used to hold. The odds favor Sandhagen at -200 while the +165 payout on Dillashaw is a very tempting value bet.

Bantamweight Bout: #2 Cory Sandhagen (14-2, 136 lbs.) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (16-4, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sandhagen is four and a half inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men do a lot of stance switching, Sandhagen more than Dillashaw as a general rule. A lot of movement early from both men. Sandhagen lands an inside leg kick. Dillashaw lands a body kick. Sandhagen lands a straight right. Another inside leg kick from Sandhagen then a right and a jumping knee that stuns Dillashaw for a second. They wind up with Sandhagen holding a reverse triangle choke, it’s pretty tight but he bails on it to chase a leg lock. Dillashaw winds up on top in half guard. Sandhagen back up but still clinched. Dillashaw is on the back holding a rear waistlock. Sandhagen gets chest to chest and spins free. Both men land rights then Sandhagen lands a body kick. Dillashaw tries a takedown but Sandhagen granby rolls out of it. Sandhagen lands an inside leg kick. Dillashaw lands a shifting left hand. Sandhagen lands a left to the body. Some jabs from Sandhagen, he’s trying to lengthen things. Dillashaw forces another clinch and they hit the fence. Sandhagen granby rolls through a mat return but Dillashaw keeps top position. Some punches from Dillashaw, Sandhagen looks for a leg entanglement. They trade some small punches and hammer fists. Sandhagen grabs a heel hook, Dillashaw punches free of it as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen

ROUND TWO: Sandhagen starts jabbing and circling again, he lands an inside leg kick. Dillashaw forces a clinch on the fence, his left leg might be a little compromised after that heel hook in the first. Sandhagen gets free and lands a jab. Dillashaw lands a body kick, Sandhagen off balances him but he can’t follow up. Body shot from Sandhagen. Some lefts from Sandhagen, then a one two. Sandhagen lands a body kick. The range is a problem for Dillashaw, he likes to explode through it but when they’re hanging out at range Sandhagen is landing. They trade some leg kicks. Bit of an uppercut from Sandhagen. More jabs from Sandhagen, he lands a left that wobbles Dillahsaw but Dillashaw scrambles back up. Hard right from Sandhagen stuns Dillashaw. Dillashaw’s bleeding from around the right eyebrow and the ref wants the doctor to check it. The doctor thinks he can continue, but if that gets worse they might stop it. More jabs from Sandhagen, he’s drawing Dillashaw on and lands a flying knee then a few punches. Dillashaw lands a right but that cut is bothering him. Sandhagen lands a head kick then a left hook. Dillashaw gets a clinch on the fence and slips to the back standing. Sandhagen with some short punches as Dillashaw tries for a mat return. Dillashaw lands an elbow to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Between the cut and potentially bum knee Dillashaw has an uphill climb now. A few punches from Dillashaw land. Sandhagen lands a left. They trade front kicks to the body, then Sandhagen lands a spinning elbow that lands. Dillashaw forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Again Dillashaw slips behind to start working for mat returns. Sandhagen lands an elbow in the clinch and they break. Both men land rights. Hard counter right from Sandhagen lands. Dillashaw with a bit of a left. Calf kicks from Dillashaw, Sandhagen responds with a stiff right hand. Sandhagen lands a right that staggers Dillashaw. Dillashaw avoids a wheel kick and gets a takedown. Sandhagen rolls through and gets up with Dillashaw still holding him. They break without incident. Dillashaw lands a few leg kicks, but he’s eating long range punches from Sandhagen. Both men with leg kicks again. Sandhagen lands a few rights. Dillashaw lands a punch and gets a clinch. Sandhagen slips free, tries a takedown of his own but Dillashaw defends and they wind up clinched again. Dillashaw lands a knee to the head. Sandhagen with some back elbows. They trade in the clinch and Sandhagen lands a slightly late left hand as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dillashaw but a close one, 29-28 Sandhagen overall

ROUND FOUR: Dillashaw lands an inside leg kick. Some jabs from Sandhagen as he’s moving. Dillashwa lands another leg kick. Bit of a left hook from Sandhagen then a right hand. Dillashaw lands a series of leg kicks. Sandhagen misses a punch and Dillashaw gets another back clinch into the fence. Sandhagen gets free and checks a leg kick. Some jabs from Sandhagen, he’s the one coming forward now. Sandhagen lands a hard left hand. Both men land punches. Sandhagen lands a left to the body then a left hook. Another left to the body from Sandhagen and Dillashaw forces a clinch. Sandhagen spins chest to chest and gets free. Some long range punches from Sandhagen as he’s moving again. Sandhagen lands a couple of rights, Dillashaw gets the back standing again. A lot of stalling from Dillashaw, then Sandhagen gets free. Sandhagen avoids a few combination from Dillashaw. Dillashaw lands a couple of leg kicks. Spinning back fist from Sandhagen wobbles Dillashaw as the last relevant blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen, 39-37 Sandhagen overall

ROUND FIVE: Dillashaw comes forward and lands a leg kick. Sandhagen lands a right hand. A few lefts from Sandhagen at range. Both men land jabs as they move around. Hard right from Sandhagen. Dillashaw lands a right hand. Bit of a combination from Sandhagen, Dillashaw slips behind again and gets a rear waist lock. Sandhagen gets free and starts working the jab again. Dillashaw tries a double leg, they wind up clinched on the fence yet again. They break without incident. Sandhagen lands a left to the body. More jabs from Sandhagen as he moves around. Dillashaw lands a bit of a right. Sandhagen lands a one two then another left to the body. Some more long punches from Sandhagen, Dillashaw keeps walking into them. Dillashaw forces a clinch on the fence again. They break and trade punches again. Sandhagen lands a one two then a counter right. Dillashaw lands a left, and tries a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Sandhagen breaks free quickly. They trade rights then Sandhagen lands a left to the body. Dillashaw misses some power punches. Sandhagen lands jabs to counter a leg kick. A right from Sandhagen stuns Dillashaw to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen, 49-46 Sandhagen overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – TJ Dillashaw via split decision (47-48, 48-47 x2)

Yeah, that’s some bull. The judges all night have been questionable to bad, figures they’d cap it off with this. Mic time for Dillashaw, he puts over Sandhagen but feels he pushed the pace and should therefore win. That’s not how fights are scored, but OK. Asked about the knee and cut he says the cut has been an issue for a while but the knee popped in the first round and that stopped him from putting his hooks in as the fight wore on. He wants to get his belt back next, and thinks it’ll be easy.

Sandhagen gets an interview, he felt he should have won as he took no damage. He puts over Dillashaw’s chin as he was able to recover, but reiterates he should have won. For what it’s worth I agree with him.

Well on that note UFC on ESPN 27 comes to a close. Thank you for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all the action from this card, plus look ahead to next week, on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow. I’ll be back next week when Uriah Hall battles Sean Strickland for UFC on ESPN 28, and I hope you’ll be here as well. Until then thanks again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

UFC Fight Night, Robert Winfree