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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 30 Report: Figueiredo Wins

July 18, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 30

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
#1 Deiveson Figueiredo (125 lbs.) vs. #2 Joseph Benavidez (125 lbs.) – for vacant flyweight title
#7 Kelvin Gastelum (186 lbs.) vs. #6 Jack Hermansson (186 lbs.)
Marc Diakiese (156 lbs.) vs. Rafael Fiziev (156 lbs.)
Luana Carolina (126 lbs.) vs. Ariane Lipski (126 lbs.)
#7 Askar Askarov (126 lbs.) vs. #4 Alexandre Pantoja (125 lbs.)

Roman Dolidze (206 lbs.) vs. Khadis Ibragimov (206 lbs.)
Grant Dawson (150 lbs.) vs. Nad Narimani (150 lbs.) – 150-pound catchweight
Joel Alvarez (156 lbs.) vs. Joe Duffy (155.5 lbs.)
Montel Jackson (136 lbs.) vs. Brett Johns (136 lbs.)
Amir Albazi (136 lbs.) vs. Malcolm Gordon (135 lbs.)
Davi Ramos (156 lbs.) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (156 lbs.)
Carlos Felipe (261 lbs.) vs. Serghei Spivac (240 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 30. I’m Robert Winfree here for the second UFC event of the week, and I’ll be letting you all know everything that goes on. The UFC is back exclusively on ESPN+ for the main card of this event, the first time doing so since the real extent of the pandemic got going, and let us all hope that the main card pacing is better than usual. The card itself has some bright spots. Your main event is a rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez for the vacant flyweight title, Figueiredo TKO’d Benavidez back in February but had missed weight and therefore did not claim the title. This will also mark the 4th title shot for Benavidez under the UFC, and at this point it’s probably his last hurrah. The co-main is darn good as well, two top middleweights who need to rebuild after losses clash as Kelvin Gastelum and Jack Hermansson look to enter the title picture. As for the rest of the card, another flyweight fight stands out when undefeated Russian Askar Askarov battles top five opponent Alexandre Pantoja. Further down, unfairly buried on the prelims, Davi Ramos and Arman Tsarukyan should be an absolute banger of a fight. Beyond that, we hope the heavyweights don’t go long and that things work out in practice more so than on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 30 is being held from the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On commentary we have John Gooden, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping while Megan Olivi does the reporting gig. Our rules are a hybrid set, most of the newer set have been adopted but you only need one hand on the mat to be downed and instant replay can only check on a fight ending sequence.

Serghei Spivak has gone 1-2 in the UFC and he’s coming off of a loss, now he’s trying to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark and maybe prove he’s finding his footing in the UFC. Carlos Felips is undefeated and making his UFC debut in this bout, but hasn’t had an MMA fight since 2017, he’s trying to make a good first impression to the UFC audience with a win. The odds are with Spivac at -170 to +150 for Felipe.

Heavyweight Bout: Carlos Felipe (8-0, 261 lbs.) vs. Serghei Spivac (10-2, 240 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Spivac has three inches of height and reach over Felipe while Felipe is twenty or so pounds heavier. Felipe comes out quickly and starts backing Spivac up. Felipe has a few punches blocked then lands a right to the body. Jab from Spivac. Felipe can’t quite crack the guard of Spivac yet and Spivac lands a few stiff jabs. Combination then a knee from Spivac. Felipe still swinging on occasion but he’s not really landing cleanly. Both men have rights blocked. Felipe lands a right to the body, that’s been his only consistent offense. Spivac’s jab continues to trouble Felipe trying to close distance. More jabs from Spivac. They stare away the final 15 seconds or so.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Spivac

ROUND TWO: Spivac back to jabbing, Felipe still not finding much offensively. Felipe lands a left to the body. That might be a good adjustment from Felipe, commit to body work. High kick from Spivac is blocked. They trade jabs then Spivac lands a right. Spivac tries a double leg, can’t finish it but he lands an elbow before they separate. Another double leg from Spivac, they wind up on the fence though. Nothing comes of the clinch before they separate. Bit of a counter right from Spivac. Felipe has abandoned the body work again, but his jab is start to work. Spivac lands a counter right. Another elbow from Spivac in a brief clinch. Felipe gets an overhand right then lands a couple of body shots. Felipe lands another left to the body. Spivac misses a head kick. Bit of a combination from Spivac. Felipe misses an overhand right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Felipe but could go either way, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men jabbing again as the round starts. Spivac after a single leg, he gets Felipe down to a knee and gets the back with one hook in. Spivac breaks Felipe down and gets the ride position, landing some lefts as Felipe tries to wall walk. Felipe back up on the fence but Spiva takes him down again and has the ride position. Some short rights from Spivac, now a few elbows as well which prompts Felipe to get all the way up. Spivac is after a double leg this time and gets Felipe down again. Mount for Spivac now, he lands more short punches while looking to strip the posting limbs from Felipe. Spivac has the back now and unloads with hammer fists as well then starts looking for the choke. No choke yet, so Spivac lands more punches. Felipe doesn’t seem to have anything here, he tries to shrimp but winds up just holding half guard. Spivac keeps landing blows, nothing that will end the fight on its own but he’s scoring consistently. The round comes to a close in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Spivac, 29-27 Spivac overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Serghei Spivac via majority decision (28-28, 29-27 x2)

I can’t get behind Felipe taking the first round, massively overrated Felipe’s blows that constantly got blocked by the shoulders of Spivac.

Davi Ramos has gone 4-2 in the UFC but just had a four fight winning streak snapped by Islam Makhachev, he’s trying to bounce back and avoid his first ever losing streak. Arman Tsarukyan has gone 1-1 in the UFC but had an impressive showing in his debut despite losing, he’s coming off of a win and now looks for his first UFC winning streak. Tsarukyan is your -230 favorite to a +180 comeback on Ramos.

Lightweight Bout: Davi Ramos (10-3, 156 lbs.) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (14-2, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Tsarukyan is an inch taller, has two and a half inches of reach advantage, and is a full ten years younger. They touch gloves to get us going. Ramos coming forward early, bit of a counter from Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan keeps looking to blitz attack, he lands a bit of a spinning back kick. Ramos lands a right. Tsarukyan lands a calf kick but Ramos gets close, lands a knee to the body but he can’t get more than that. Another calf kick from Tsarukyan. They clinch up, Ramos tries a knee tap but Tsarukyan reverses and gets on top in full guard. Ramos instantly working his guard, trying to set up arm attacks. Tsarukyan lands a couple of punches. Elbow from Tsarukyan. Hard right from Tsarukyan and he finally backs out and forces Ramos to stand. Tsarukyan back to circling and making Ramos follow him. Both men feint away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tsarukyan

ROUND TWO: Back to forward pressure for Ramos but he’s not cutting Tsarukyan off. Tsarukyan lands a right. They trade punches, Ramos landed a good left hook. Tsarukyan keeps looking for a right then a left uppercut, it’s a good combination but he’s getting a little repetitive with it. Tsarukyan digs the body a couple of times. Ramos just isn’t a sharp technically with his striking, and Tsarukyan is starting to stifle him with jabs. Double leg from Tsarukyan, Ramos attacks a leg and they scramble back up into the clinch. Both men land knees, then trade punches on the break. Calf kick from Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan digs the body but Ramos defends his follow up double leg attempt. They get close and trade body shots then Tsarukyan lands a right. Bit of a calf kick from Tsarukyan. Ramos defends a double leg, lands a couple of elbows before they separate. They wind up staring away the last couple of seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. Ramos coming forward, Tsarukyan takes a low blow and gets some time to recover. Tsarukyan can continue and we’re back to fighting. Bit of a calf kick from Tsarukyan. Ramos is trying to corner him but he’s not cutting off the cage almost at all and that’s becoming a real problem. Ramos lands a right, Tsarukyan comes back with a combination. More jabs from Tsarukyan as he’s moving, Ramos can’t corral him. Counter combination from Tsarukyan, then a bit of a head kick. Ramos has slowed down a lot at this point and Tsarukyan is starting to pick him apart. Both men exchange in close. A couple of lefts from Tsarukyan land, Ramos is bleeding from the bridge of his nose I think. Tsarukyan avoids a double leg attempt. Spinning back kick from Tsarukyan, we get time after that as the doctor checks the cut on Ramos. The doctor says he can continue and we’re back to fighting. Body kick from Tsarukyan, then a side kick to the body as well. Ramos lands a right and bulls for a takedown and winds up clinched. Ramos tries to grab a guillotine, Tsarukyan gets a double leg into side control. Tsarukyan stands free after Ramos gets his guard and that basically ends the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision (39-28, 30-27 x2)

I don’t know which round went to Ramos. Hard to believe Tsarukyan is just 23, he fights very well.

A couple of exchanges, Tsarukyan mixes things up very well.

Malcolm Gordon brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut, as well as the opportunity to make immediate headway in a division the UFC barely has enough talent into justify the rankings. Amir Albazi is also making his UFC debut here, his only professional loss is to former UFC fighter Jose Torres. Albazi is also trying for a good first impression on the UFC audience. Albazi is a slight -140 favorite to +125 for Gordon.

Bantamweight Bout: Amir Albazi (12-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Malcolm Gordon (12-3, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gordon is two inches taller and has three inches of reach on Albazi. Both men showing the jab early. Right from Albazi. Bit of a right from Albazi. Neither man has a real feel for the offense yet, but they’re looking for one. Albazi lands a calf kick then a body kick. Single leg from Albazi and he lands in the guard of Gordon. Gordon is trying to angle in his guard, they wind up scrambling and Albazi winds up in half guard. Gordon is struggling to find a way to use his half guard as Albazi keeps him mostly flat. Some elbows from Albazi. More elbows, Gordon is stuck and in trouble. Albazi grabs a triangle choke as Gordon tried to sweep him, that’s pretty tight and Gordon has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Amir Albazi via Submission, triangle choke, at 4:42 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Albazi for his work this evening. that’s also the first triangle choke in the UFC all year. If there was an interview there I missed it, my computer decided to spaz out.

This is a really nice transition from Albazi, he’s setting things up even as he’s kind of swept by Gordon and then locks it up, pulls down the head and forces the tap.

Brett Johns has gone 4-2 in the UFC, he recently broke a two fight losing streak and is now looking for another winning streak in the red hot bantamweight division. Montel Jackson has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, a win over the highly touted Johns would be the biggest of his career and could get him a step up in competition going forward.

Bantamweight Bout: Montel Jackson (9-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Brett Johns (16-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND THREE: My apologies guys, I don’t know what happened to my computer but it just needed to be restarted. So I missed a lot of this fight. I rejoin the fight as Johns looks for a takedown against the fence. Johns gets the bodylock takedown then gets the ride position. Jackson back up and they hit the fence again. An exchange of rights and they break. Jackson lands a body kick, but Johns is after another takeodwn against the fence. Johns finishes the double leg, Jackson wall walks immediately then separates. Jackson back to one twos at distance. They trade in close then Jackson lands a front kick to the body. Johns is after a single leg, they hit the fence again but he does get the takedown. Jackson looking to wall walk, he’s on a knee as Johns holds his back but has no hooks. Back on the feet and Johns sits for a guillotine. Johns is tightening things up with that choke, Jackson is able to spin through and regain his feet but he’s still in the clinch. They close out the final seconds in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johns but I can’t really stand by that, again my apologies for my computer and some of the site issues.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brett Johns via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Mic time for Johns after the win, he puts over his new team but doesn’t feel good about his performance then apologizes for it. He notes he got dropped once or twice but he kept going, puts over his training partners and the UFC for the chance to have this kind of fight experience.

Joseph Duffy has gone 4-3 in the UFC but finds himself on a two fight losing streak in addition to a layoff of over a year, he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and prove he’s still got a relevant upside in the promotion. Joel Alvarez has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and looking to get his first UFC winning streak up and running. The odds are with Duffy at -290 to a +275 payout for Alvarez.

Lightweight Bout: Joel Alvarez (16-4, 156 lbs.) vs. Joe Duffy (16-2, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Alvarez is five inches taller and has four inches of reach on Duffy. They touch gloves to get going. Duffy feinting early, looking to get a read on Alvarez. Calf kick from Duffy. A couple of body shots from Duffy. Alvarez with a combination in return. Hard calf kick from Duffy. Alvarez fires back a leg kick of his own. They keep trading leg kicks, then a jab to lead hook from Duffy. Alvarez lands a left of his own. Both men still digging leg kicks. Double leg from Duffy, Alvarez sells out for a guillotine that gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joel Alvarez via Submission, guillotine choke, at 2:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Alvarez for his work this evening. Mic time for Alvarez after that one, he says he feels good and then jokes that despite being a striker he likes to finish so he’s happy to tap people out.

Here’s a look at the finish. Duffy goes for the takedown, but he keeps his head too close to the body and Alvarez gets a deep catch early on the choke. From there Alvarez adjusts his grip a few times but his one leg prevents the escape from Duffy and whe Duffy can’t break the grip he’s forced to tap.

Grant Dawson is on a six fight winning streak that includes three wins in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that here and start making a case for a step up in opposition going forward. Nad Narimani has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss and now looks to derail the hype around Dawson and possibly steal a bit of it for himself. Dawson is the favorite at -240 to a +185 comeback on Narimani.

Catchweight Bout: Grant Dawson (15-1, 150 lbs.) vs. Nad Narimani (12-3, 150 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dawson has two inches of height and reach on Narimani. They touch gloves to get going. Dawson opens with a strong calf kick. Narimani jabs the body. More calf kicks from Dawson but Narimani avoids a takedown attempt. Dawson lands another calf kick but misses a knee. Narimani checks a calf kick, then runs into a knee as he forces a clinch. Trip takedown from Dawson and Narimani has to fight quickly to get guard. Dawson moves to half guard. Half guard on the other side now, Narimani fights to make sure he doesn’t get any further along. Elbow from Dawson as Narimani gets full guard again. Both men land elbows for a bit. Half guard for Dawson now, he lands a knee to the body. Dawson lands some rights as Narimani gets full guard back. Dawson just doesn’t rest on top, he moves to full mount now and then gets the back but only has one hook in. Now Dawson gets the second hook in, moves to a body triangle as well. Some body shots by Dawson, he’s just working to try and open up the neck. Dawson can’t find the choke before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Dawson with a calf kick, tries a jumping knee but then eats a right. Bit of a head kick from Dawson. Now a single leg from Dawson and he’s got Narimani down into half guard. Narimani has butterfly guard now but he’s kind of stuck on his back. Dawson moves to half guard and lands some lefts. Narimani is trying to shrimp but Dawson keeps shutting him down and landing blows. Short elbows from Dawson cuts over Narimani around the left eye. Narimani to his knees and Dawson jumps to his back with both hooks in. Full body triangle from Dawson and he’s fishing for the choke. Choke attempt, Dawson doesn’t like the angle on it and has to try and adjust as Narimani defends. Dawson thinks about attacking an armbar from the back, but doesn’t want to lose the position. The round will end with Dawson still on the back of narimani.

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

ROUND THREE: Narimani trying to remain upright this round, he probably needs a finish. Dawson is still showing the knee when Narimani thinks about ducking in. Calf kick from Dawson. Body shot from Narimani, Dawson lands a right. Dawson lands another calf kick. Some jabs from Dawson now, then an overhand right. Those leg kicks are adding up now, Narimani is compromised. Dawson still picking at long range, he lands some punches in close. Narimani is falling short on host of his mpunches and he’s getting picked apart. Another calf kick from Dawson then a body kick. Narimani defends a takedown attempt and they brawl in close. Right from Narimani but he winds up clinched again. Dawson just ices the round in the clinch.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Grant Dawson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-27)

Time to move Dawson up in class, he’s earned some bigger opposition.

Roman Dolidze is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, and what with the state of light heavyweight he could make an immediate impact with a memorable win. Khadis Ibragimov has gone 0-2 in the UFC and while light heavyweight is far from a deep division if he goes 0-3 in his first three fights he could easily find himself out of the promotion. Dolidze is the favorite at -155 to a +145 comeback on Ibragimov.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Roman Dolidze (6-0, 206 lbs.) vs. Khadis Ibragimov (8-2, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ibragimov is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach over Dolidze. They touch gloves to get us going. Leg kick from Dolidze. Some stance switching from Dolidze now. Ibragimov is the one moving forward but neither man has found an avenue of success yet. Inside leg kick from Ibragimov. Bit of a combination from Ibragimov. Hard inside leg kick from Dolidze. Calf kick from Dolidze. Not a lot of action, not entirely sure why. Ibragimov punches Dolidze off balance but doesn’t want to follow him into the guard. They posture for a bit and the ref stands them back up. A knee from Dolidze and Ibragimov is down on his knees out of his mind, and Dolidze swarms him for the finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Roman Dolidze via TKO, knee and punches, at 4:15 of Round 1

Not much of a fight, but a pretty brutal finish from Dolidze. Mic time for Dolidze, he’s happy and says he doesn’t like being looked at the way Ibragomov looked at him. Asked about what’s next he just wants another fight soon, then apologizes for his English.

Here’s the finish. Dolidze has inside foot position in opposite stances, which leads his knee to have a shorter path than his shin and Ibragimov winds up leaning into the blow.

That wraps up the prelims, we’ll be exclusive on ESPN+ for the main card.

Alexandre Pantoja has gone 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a win over Matt Schnell, what with flyweight being fairly open in terms of opportunity he could find himself near the title picture with a win here. Askar Askarov has never lost a fight and scored a fairly impressive win over Tim Elliott in his last outing, now he could vault himself into the top rankings with a win over Pantoja. The odds are with Pantoja at -180 to a +160 payout on Askarov.

Flyweight Bout: #7 Askar Askarov (11-0-1, 126 lbs.) vs. #4 Alexandre Pantoja (22-4, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Askarov is an inch taller while Pantoja has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Askarov. Pantoja attacks quickly and jumps on a guillotine but Askarov shakes him off and gets on top. Triangle attempt from Pantoja but Askarov is defending. Armbar now from Pantoja but Askarov defends again and lands a punch. Half guard now for Askarov, Pantoja threatens the leg but Askarov defends with punches. Pantoja wall walks up but Askarov takes him back down. Another wall walk from Pantoja but Askarov is stuck to him along the fence. Askarov lands some knees to the thigh and gets Pantoja’s back standing. Pantoja tries to roll through, Askarov reads that and stands over the guard of Pantoja. Pantoja back up, but Askarov in on another takedown, he’s a relentless little guy right now. Askarov gets the double leg, Pantoja back up but Askarov stays on him. They scramble and Pantoja gets the back now with both hooks in. Body triangle from Pantoja, he’s after the choke but Askarov is hand fighting so far. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pantoja

ROUND TWO: Another touch of gloves. Askarov doing some stance switching now. They tie up but break without incident. Askarov lands an inside leg kick. Pantoja lands a body kick. Sorry guys, minor technical glitch and I missed a bit of the fight. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with my computer but it’s lagging like crazy right now. And I missed basically that entire round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pantoja I guess, 20-18 Pantoja overall

ROUND THREE: Pantoja drops Askarov with a right hand, but he’s back up quickly. Jab from Askarov lands. Askarov lands a right, Pantoja still coming forward though. More jabs from Askarov, Pantoja lands a leg kick. Askarov is trying to push the pace a bit, Pantoja is a little faded. Ugh, I might have to restart my computer again, I missed th ebulk of that round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pantoja, 30-27 Pantoja overall but it looked like a fun scrambly fight

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Askar Askarov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I can’t comment on that given how much I missed.

Ariane Lipski has gone 1-2 in the UFC but she is coming off of a win and looking to get a legitimate run in the UFC going. Luana Carolina scored a win in her UFC debut over Priscila Cachoeira, now she’s looking for a slightly more legitimate win to gain momentum in her UFC career.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Luana Carolina (6-1, 126 lbs.) vs. Ariane Lipski (12-5, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: OK, so my computer was badly over heating and I had to run to WalMart and buy some stuff to help it out. So I missed a lot.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ariane Lipski via Submission, kneebar, at 1:28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Lipski for her work this evening. That doesn’t look fun, nice stuff from Lipski in the highlight at least.

Marc Diakiese (14-3) had some momentum before a three fight losing streak back in 2017, he’s won his last two fights though and is hoping to finalize his rehabilitation in this fight before moving on to a higher level of opponent. Rafael Fiziev (7-1) has gone 1-1 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and could get the biggest win of his career over the still touted Diakiese.

Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (14-3, 156 lbs.) vs. Rafael Fiziev (7-1, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: I missed all of the first round of this fight.


ROUND TWO: Fiziev is pushing Diakiese back with powerful inside leg kicks and jabs. Diakiese is flashier but Fiziev is slipping a lot of his punches and returning with power blows. The technical disparity is very evident at this point. Fiziev lands a right and Diakiese forces a clinch. Bit of a left hook from Diakiese, he’s trying to force things into the pocket more consistently. Another leg kick from Fiziev. A few missed punches close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fiziev

ROUND THREE: Combination from Fiziev to get us going. General consensus is that Fiziev won the first round, so he’s probably up 2-0. Diakiese is switching his stance and trying to establish his jab. Body kick from Fiziev. Another body kick from Fiziev, he’s working well at kicking distance. They get close, Fiziev lands some body shots and they hit the fence. Diakiese quickly gets free and lands a body shot of his own. Fiziev lands another body kick. Spinning back kick from Diakiese. Diakiese tries a double leg, Fiziev defends and lands an elbow on the break. Fiziev lands another inside leg kick. Body kick from Fiziev but Diakiese meets him with a straight right, Fiziev just eats it. A one two from Diakiese lands. Fiziev digs the body with a left, then a body kick. Bit of a left hook from Diakiese, Fiziev responds with a spinning back fist. Fiziev avoids a few punches then lands a spinning back kick as the last blow of the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fiziev, 20-18 Fiziev overall based purely on what I was able to see

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

There was an argument for Diakiese in the third, but ultimately it seems like the right man won. Mic time for Fiziev, he gives glory to God and thanks Him for everything he has. He feels good to be showing himself and what he’s capable of but does want to continue growing going forward. To close he gives love to Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.

Jack Hermansson had a four fight winning streak snapped last year when he ran into the now streaking Jared Cannonier, he’s trying to rebuild after that loss and possibly move back into title contention. Kelvin Gastelum has shown championship ability on occasion but now finds himself on a two fight losing streak, one of those an all time great fight against now champion Israel Adesanya, but if he loses here it could take him out of the title scene for quite some time. The odds are close, -115 for Hermansson to -105 for Gastelum.

Middleweight Bout: #7 Kelvin Gastelum (15-5 1 NC, 186 lbs.) vs. #6 Jack Hermansson (20-5, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hermansson is four inches taller and has a whopping six inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Gastelum, Hermansson does a fair bit of switching. Gastelum starts walking forward immediately and is backing Hermansson to the fence. Body kick from Hermansson. They tie up, Hermansson tries a trip but Gastelum reverses it and lands on top in half guard. Some punches from Gastelum, Hermansson off balances him, grabs a leg and gets a heel hook. Gastelum can’t get out of the position, Hermansson adjusts a little and gets the finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jack Hermansson via Submission, heel hook, at 1:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Hermansson for his work this evening. Mic time for Hermansson, he says there’s nothing like winning in the UFC. He mentions being a little surprised at Gastelum’s engaging with him on the mat, and then jokes that when he gets back to training his gym mates will probably hang him in his white belt for using a leg lock. Asked about the future, he wants the winner of Whittaker and Till to help set up a title shot for himself soon. To close he jokes about how much he messes with his coach, who grabbed and threw him after the fight in a bit of good natured fun.

This is really nice. Gastelum looks to posture up, Hermansson is able to force a leg entanglement after isolating the left leg with his arm across his body. He’s able to off balance Gastelum from there, then uses his hips and legs to control the lower body and knee line of Gastelum and torques the knee to get the finish.

Deiveson Figueiredo has gone 7-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak, most recently finishing his current opponent with strikes in the second round. Figueiredo missed out on a title win in that fight because he missed weight, now he’s trying to rectify that and become the UFC flyweight champion with a second win over the highly respected Benavidez. Joseph Benavidez is getting his fourth shot at the UFC flyweight title here, he’s realistically looking at the final UFC title shot of his career and if he loses again one has to wonder just how much longer he’ll even be in the sport. Figueiredo is your favorite at -230 to a +200 comeback on Benavidez.

Flyweight Title Bout: #1 Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1, 125 lbs.) vs. #2 Joseph Benavidez (28-6, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Figueiredo is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They trade some leg kicks, both men still feeling each other out. Benavidez is switching his stance as he’s after an angle. Side kick from Figueiredo. Right from Figueiredo drops Benavidez, he gets on top in half guard. Short punches and elbows from Figueiredo, then a big elbow. More elbows from Figueiredo, he’s got the back and has the choke locked in. The choke isn’t under the chin though and he’s got to adjust. Another choke attempt from Figueiredo, he’s still not under the neck. One more choke attempt, this one is under the chin but he’s only got an S grip for tension and he loses the grip. They’re back up along the fence, Figueiredo still holding the rear waist lock. They break without further incident. Figueiredo avoids a rush of punches. Left to the body from Figueiredo. Bit of a left from Benavidez in close then a leg kick. Another right from Figueiredo off balances Benavidez but he bounces back up. Another couple of punches from Figueiredo, Benavidez is in trouble now. Body kick from Figueiredo, Benavidez with a couple of partial counters. Right from Figueiredo drops Benavidez again, he gets on top and lands elbows from full mount. Benavidez is trying to defend, there’s short time. Benavidez gives up the back, choke from Figueiredo and Benavidez goes out cold in the choke.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Flyweight Champion – Deiveson Figueiredo via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:48 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Figueiredo for his work this evening. That was a total massacre. That’s also the first time in Benavidez’s entire career he’s been submitted. The new champ gets an interview after that, he says he knew his time would come and it finally did then mentions he plans on defending this title for a long time. He talks a bit about his background and notes he grew up very rural and around wild animals which he feels has contributed to his power and mentality. He mentions wanting to use his power and take his belt back to his people as champion. When talking us through the finish he feels proud he was able to finish Benavidez in the first and be the first man to submit him. To close he mentions being quarantined for covid after his false positive, the difficulty cutting weight, but feels he’s the champion and that he will be for a long time.

Pictured here, Figueiredo holding a sleeping Joseph Benavidez.

Alright everyone, that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 30. My sincere apologies again for the technical issues on my end, and I thank you for your patience while they got resolved. We’ll unpack all the action from the last two cards Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast. I’ll be back next week for UFC on ESPN 14 when former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker returns to action against the resurgent Darren Till. That card also has the third fight between Shogun and Little Nog, a little over 15 years after their initial classic. It’s not like their rematch (ten years after the original) was anything special either. Oh well, I’ll still be here to cover it. Until next time everyone, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 30, Robert Winfree