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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 36 Report: Covington Wins

September 19, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 36 Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley

MAIN CARD (8 p.m., ESPN+)
#2 Colby Covington (171 lbs.) vs. #5 Tyron Woodley (171 lbs.)
Donald Cerrone (170.5 lbs.) vs. Niko Price (170.5 lbs.)
Khamzat Chimaev (185.5 lbs.) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (186 lbs.)
#12 Ryan Spann (205.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Johnny Walker (205.5 lbs.)
#15 Mackenzie Dern (115 lbs.) vs. Randa Markos (115.5 lbs.)
Kevin Holland (185 lbs.) vs. Darren Stewart (185.5 lbs.)

#14 David Dvorak (125.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Jordan Espinosa (126 lbs.)
Mirsad Bektic (144.5 lbs.) vs. Damon Jackson (145.5 lbs.)
Mara Romero Borella (125 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (125.5 lbs.)
Sarah Alpar (135.5 lbs.) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (135 lbs.)
T.J. Laramie (145 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (146 lbs.)
Randy Costa (135 lbs.) vs. Journey Newson (135 lbs.)
Andre Ewell (134.5 lbs.) vs. Irwin Rivera (135.5 lbs.)
Tyson Nam (136 lbs.) vs. Jerome Rivera (135 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 36. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, letting you know all the comings and goings that transpire. Hey, remember a couple of years ago when the possibility of Tyron Woodley vs. Colby Covington was fairly anticipated and a possible PPV headliner? Crazy how now it’s just a mundane turn over of the promotional gears, despite both men still being highly ranked. Might have to do with the UFC brass not especially caring for either fighter. Anyway our main event is that particular welterweight clash, Covington is trying to get another title shot while Woodley is trying to salvage his career as he’s lost not only his last two fights but all 10 rounds that made them up. The co-main is a fairly entertaining affair between Niko Price and Donald Cerrone, Cerrone trying to stop a four fight losing streak. Also the newest rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev returns and takes on battle tested veteran Gerald Meerschaert. That’s kind of it for stuff to get excited about on paper, though the talking points from parts of the fanbase have been that this is a PPV quality main card. The truly depressing thing is they’re probably right, which is more an indictment of the UFC’s PPV cards than praise of this one. We’ve also got a whopping 14 fights lined up, so this could be a long one folks.

UFC on ESPN+ 36 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Paul Felder, and Dominick Cruz. As for the rules Nevada uses a hybrid set, they adopted most changes but you still only need one hand on the mat to be downed. Also there’s some confusion about instant replay, last week the broadcast incorrectly said it could only be used on fight ending sequences after controversy surrounded a “foul” in the Herman vs. Rodriguez fight, but the ref can actually use it any time they want? Really no one knows what the hell is going on, they’re just winging it. We’re also still in the smaller 25 foot cage instead of the usual 30 footer.

Tyson Nam has been around the sport for a long time but only got his first UFC win in his last fight, bringing his UFC record to 1-2. Nam is trying to get his first UFC winning streak going and start making his move up through the crowded field at bantamweight. Jerome Rivera brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and a win over a veteran battler like Nam would be a solid way to introduce himself to the UFC fan. Nam is your -185 favorite to +165 for Rivera.

Bantamweight Bout: Tyson Nam (19-11-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Jerome Rivera (10-2, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rivera is three inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rivera, and he opens with an inside leg kick. Circling from both men, Rivera doing some stance switching as he does so. Bit of a right from Nam to counter an inside leg kick. Nam is looking for a counter right but he’s not found it yet. Rivera lands a left, he’s working more than Nam but Nam is still looking for that counter shot. Inside leg kick from Rivera. The single shot offense from Nam is going to limit his chances if he doesn’t start working combinations. Nam lands a bit of a right. Rivera is on the fence and circling but he’s a little gun shy now. Hard inside leg kick from Rivera, he’s landed several of those and they’re starting to add up. Nam lands a right to the body. Knee from Rivera in close, Nam lands a counter right. Spinning elbow from Rivera lands. Nam lands a left hook after a right to the body. A right to the body from Nam lands. They clinch up and that’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rivera but a close one

ROUND TWO: Inside leg kick form Rivera but Nam counters him with a right and he’s down. Nam follows Rivera to the ground and looks to unload, he keeps punching until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tyson Nam via TKO, punches, at :34 of Round 2

That’s 2 finishes in a row for Nam. Nam gets an interview after that, he says he wasn’t sliding off to his left enough to line up his right but in the second he found it. He wants to fight anyone they put in front of him but he would like to fight Joseph Benavidez next, if Benavidez is sticking around I wouldn’t object to that one.

Rivera lands a good inside leg kick, but watch his hands. He reaches rather than defends, combine that with how Nam does slide to his own left just a little with his feet to open up the lane for his power hand and you’ve got a recipe for this kind of finish. Bring your hands back to defensive position people.

Andre Ewell has been trading wins and losses while going 3-2 in the UFC, but he is coming off of a win and could get his first UFC winning streak going here. Irwin Rivera has gone 1-1 in the UFC but got a win his last time out when he moved back down to bantamweight and could likewise get his first UFC winning streak going. The odds are with Ewell at -210 to +180 on Rivera.

Bantamweight Bout: Andre Ewell (16-6, 134.5 lbs.) vs. Irwin Rivera (10-5, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ewell is two inches taller but had a whopping eight inches of reach advantage. Both men come out southpaw. Ewell looking to establish his jab while they circling. Ewell lands a left. High kick from Rivera is mostly blocked. Stiff jab from Ewell, then one to the body. Rivera lands a calf kick. Ewell lands a one two to the body. Blitz from Rivera lands. Ewell lands a cracking left, then one behind it and Rivera is backing up to the fence. Rivera tries a takedown to buy himself time, Ewell lands a knee to the head as he defends and separates. Left elbow from Ewell along the fence, he’s overwhelming Rivera at this point. Kicks to the body from Ewell, then a long left to the body as well. Rivera lands a glancing left of his own. Body kick from Ewell. Lunging one two from Rivera lands. Jumping knee from Rivera lands, that was well timed. Ewell sprawls away from a double leg attempt, he spins to the ride position and tries to get his hooks in. Rivera goes to turtle, Ewell is still trying to get his hooks in. One hook in for Ewell, now the second. Rivera spins into him and winds up in full guard which is where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ewell

ROUND TWO: Ewell picking at distance as the round begins. Rivera lunges with an uppercut, he seems to be relying on lunges or leaps to close distance. Ewell slips some jabs and lands a left. Rivera lands a leg kick. Missed back kick from Rivera but he throws a couple of hooks behind it that are blocked. Ewell lands a couple of punches. Left to the body from Ewell. Ewell lands a right hook. Rivera is trying to kick now bu the’s getting countered with punches. Both men have gone to more single shots instead of combination work. A few body shots from Ewell land. Rivera lands a leg kick but he eats a combination of punches from Ewell. A couple of body shots from Rivera bu the again gets countered. A couple of leg kicks from Rivera but Ewell backs him to the fence and lands an uppercut. Rivera lands a right hook. Rivera tries a single leg, Ewell defends. A leg kick from Rivera is the last blow of the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Both men jabbing early, both men going body and head with it as well. Ewell lands some front kicks to the body. Rivera lands a bit of a jumping kick but he can’t follow up. Counter left from Ewell lands. Both men land a few jabs. Some body shots from Ewell and he slips and counters. Both men get close and swing but Ewell is out working and out landing Rivera. Rivera lands a series of jabs. Knee and a right from Ewell. They trade some kicks to the leg and body. Ewell lands a left, Rivera tries a takedown but can’t secure it. One two from Ewell lands. Check right hook lands for Ewell. Rivera lands a punch, he’s trying to get his offense going but he’s struggling to put things together. Body shots from both men. Rivera lands a left, they trade in close after. We get a bit of a dog fight, Rivera gets a double leg into half guard and he tries to unload with elbows but time runs out on his efforts.

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

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

OK, I can see Rivera getting the third but in what world did he take either the first or second? No interview for Ewell, I imagine anyone who goes the distance wont get mic time given we’ve got 14 fights.

Journey Newson has yet to get a win in the UFC after the result from his previous fight was over turned, he needs a win pretty badly here. Randy Costa has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he is coming off of a win and now looking for his first UFC winning streak. The odds are close but lean toward Newson at -130 to a +110 comeback for Costa.

Bantamweight Bout: Randy Costa (5-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Journey Newson (9-2, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Costa is four inches taller and has five and a half inches of reach over Newson. They touch gloves to get us going. Costa feinting, and eats a right. Costa goes southpaw, and head kicks Newson into oblivion.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Randy Costa via KO, head kick, at :41 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Costa for his work this evening. Mic time for Costa after that one, he gets an F bomb through the time delay while saying he’s happy to be back and hopes he earned a post fight bonus. He says he figured one of them was going to sleep given the match up. He acknowledges he got fat for a period of time training but got disciplined and back down to bantamweight, he wants another fight before the end of the year.

Very common set up here, Costa throws the left but more as a distraction then when Newson slips to the side he winds up leaning into the head kick.

Darrick Minner lost his UFC debut earlier this year, now he’s trying to get that all important first UFC win. TJ Laramie brings a four fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s looking to capitalize on that momentum and score a memorable win. Laramie is heavily favored at -320 while the +260 payout on Minner has to tempt some bettors.

Featherweight Bout: T.J. Laramie (12-3, 145 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (24-11, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Minner is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Minner showing kicks early, both men swing some punches in close and clinch up. Laramie looks for a double leg, Minner threatens a guillotine and jumps guard for it. Laramie taps rather quickly as they roll to one hip for more pressure.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Darrick Minner via Submission, guillotine choke, at :52 of Round 1

The First round Finish Club thanks Mr. Minner for his work this evening. Mic time for Minner, he says this has been a long time coming but it was just a matter of time before he got here. He talks us through the finish then says he’ll fight whoever whenever but does want a post fight bonus.

This is fairly textbook guillotine, from the catch around the neck to the disruption so he can get his hands together. The guard pull along the fence was nice, he got to a hip in such a way that the fence blocked a possible escape from Laramie and he got the tap.

Jessica-Rose Clark has gone 2-2 in the UFC but is on a two fight losing streak and now looking to get back on the winning side of things for the first time since January of 2018. Sarah Alpar brings a three fight winning streak into her UFC debut, she’s hoping to keep that streak going and notch her first UFC win. Your favorite is Clark at -210 to a +180 comeback for Alpar.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Sarah Alpar (9-4, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (9-6 1 NC, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Clark is an inch taller and has an inch and a half of reach over Alpar. They touch gloves to get us going, Alpar fighting southpaw. Clark lands a right. Body kick from Clark. Alpar isn’t moving her head much, and she takes another straight right. Glancing right from Alpar. Alpar avoids a punch and gets a double leg, Clark wall walks immediately but they’re still clinched on the fence. Alpar drops for a single leg but can’t finish it, she switches to a double leg but Clark is able to defend. Elbows from Clark as Alpar is still after that takedown. Clark lands a knee to the body. Short elbows from Clark and Alpar turns her back. Clark rides her down to a knee, she’s got the back as they stand. Alpar has a double wrist lock, they fall down and Clark is on top in half guard. Clark gets her arm free, Alpar is tying her up with her legs but can’t do anything with it. Short punches from Clark, she moves to side control as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Clark

ROUND TWO: Clark lands a right. Alpar grabs a single leg and gets it but Clark again wall walks immediately and they’re clinched again. Alpar tries to drop her level, Clark with elbows while fighting off the takedowns. Knee to the body from Clark and she turns Alpar around. More knees from Clark as she gets the back standing. Elbows from Clark as she separates. Alpar is a little out of sorts, she doesn’t seem to have a plan B to her wrestling. Stiff right from Clark and they clinch again. They break without much issue. Clark lands an inside leg kick. Alpar lands a body kick but eats a right. Another clinch from Alpar and they hit the fence. More elbows from Clark, Alpar is wilting under the damage. Elbow from Clark then she defends a takedown attempt and spins to the back. Alpar in turtle as Clark moves to the ride. Knee to the body from Clark and punches as well. More punches from Clark, and elbows as well as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Clark as I don’t think Alpar had any real offense, 20-17 Clark overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Clark lands a couple of punches then sprawls away from a double leg and they hit the fence. Alpar is holding the foot of Clark trying to hold onto the takedown attempt. Elbows from Clark as they get back up but Clark pulls free then lands a front kick. Right from Clark then a knee that looked illegal as Alpar was dropping. The ref halts things, Alpar’s face is smashed. The replay shows that the blow looked legal, Alpar was sinking down but only her feet were on the mat. There’s some confusion about this, the ref didn’t stop the fight yet. The ref asks Alpar if she can continue after he confirms the blow as legal, she says she can and we’re restarting in that position with Alpar seated on the fence. Clark unloads with punches and elbows as she moves to the ride position. Alpar fights up but eats more knees and elbows, Clark is punishing her. Alpar’s face is smashed in. They hit the mat, Clark on to in half guard. Clark to full mount and she unloads. Alpar gives up her back, Clark gets more elbows and punches from the mount. Full back mount again for Clark, she moves to the ride position then the sprawl. Clark lands a knee as they get up, another couple of punches and the ref finally does stop the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jessica-Rose Clark via TKO, strikes, at 4:21 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Clark for her work this evening. That was about 2 minutes more of abuse than Alpar should have taken. That’s two weeks in a row where Chris Tognoni has botched a call. Mic time for Clark, who notes this is her first finish in several years and it felt amazing. She talks about the confusion around that first knee, she only wants to hurt people legally and is grateful the blow was legal. Asked about what’s next she wants to make money but does acknowledge she’s 3-2 in the UFC but hopes this fight helps her get a better contract soon.

Mayra Bueno Silva has gone 1-1 in the UFC, she dropped her last fight and is trying to avoid her first losing streak. Mara Romeo Borella has gone just 2-4 in the UFC and is on a three fight losing streak, she now finds her back up against the wall as a fourth consecutive loss could easily send her packing from the UFC. The odds are with Silva at a somewhat surprising -250 to +210 for Borella.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Mara Romero Borella (12-8 2 NC, 125 lbs.) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (6-1, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Borella has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Jab from Borella to get us going. Borella lands a right. They clinch up on the fence, Borella is looking for a takedown. Knee block takedown from Borella into the full guard of Bueno Silva. Punches from Borella land, Bueno Silva tries to get her guard in play but her right arm is tied up under the leg of Borella. Bueno Silva has a triangle position but no real lock or choke present yet. Hammer fists from Borella. Bueno Silva gets her arm free and starts looking to lock up the triangle. Bueno Silva switches to an armbar though and Borella quickly taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mayra Bueno Silva via Submission, armbar, at 2:29 of Round 1

Borella got way to complacent in the position and gave Bueno Silva way too much time to work. Mic time for Bueno Silva, she gives glory to God and apologizes for her English still being a work in progress. She thanks her jiu-jitsu coach for all of his work, then says she loves being in Vegas and wants to fight soon, also does the standard request for a post fight bonus.

Here we see Borella hanging out while in a triangle position. She doesn’t do much here to either escape or even punish Bueno Silva, Bueno Silva is able to get wrist control and quickly swing the leg over to swap to an amrbar attack and get the tap.

Mirsad Bektic used to be a rising contender in the division but inactivity and some key losses have completely derailed that momentum. Now on a two fight losing streak if Bektic wants to ever salvage a run towards the top of the division he must get a win here. Damon Jackson is stepping in on very short notice here, he’s returning to the UFC for the first time since 2016 when he was cut after going 0-1-1 with 1 No Contest. Jackson could get a significant win here if he takes out a veteran like Bektic in impressive fashion. Bektic is a hefty -360 favorite while Jackson’s comeback sits at +290.

Featherweight Bout: Mirsad Bektic (13-3, 144.5 lbs.) vs. Damon Jackson (17-3-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson is three inches taller but has just one inch of reach advantage. Bektic punches into a double leg and moves to half guard very quickly. Jackson tries to sweep, he’s back up in the scramble but Bektic gets him back down again. Bektic into the ride position and landing punches while they hit the fence. Jackson hits an arm roll but Bektic is on top again and lands a punch but the ref calls time as he felt that punch was to the back of the head. Jackson can continue and we’re back to fighting. They trade rights but Bektic lands a left and then gets a double leg into a half guard as Jackson sits for a guillotine. Bektic gets his head free and lands punches as he moves to the back while Jackson looks to stand. Jackson back to his knees, Bektic lands knees to the body as Jackson grabs a double wrist lock and sits for it. That got tight as Bektic landed on top but he was in side control and steps over the head to release the pressure. Punches from Bektic as he’s in the ride position. Another kimura attempt from Jackson but Bektic gets the back with both hooks in this time. Jackson is still moving but Bektic lands a series of blows as Jackson tries to come up on a single leg. Bektic slips to the ride position again as they sit on the fence. Some more punches from Bektic as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bektic but there’s a 10-8 argument in there

ROUND TWO: Bektic jabbing forward, he punches into another takedown along the fence. Jackson tries another guillotine, it’s fairly tight and Jackson gets to full guard with it. Bektic is trying to fight out of it, it takes a bit but he does get free. Jackson to his knees, Bektic hits him as he gets the back with both hooks in. Bektic tries for an arm triangle as they scramble, he winds up on the back again in the ride position. Jackson up along the fence. Another kimura attack from Jackson as he drops for the roll or attack, Bektic in half guard landing to the body. Bektic to the ride again, Jackson up and down again and again Bektic gets the back with both hooks in. Jackson back up but he can’t get free. Bektic rides him do his knees again then sits for his own guillotine attempt. Jackson is totally up and down with his head on the mat against the fence. Jackson gets free and takes top position, Bektic tries to attack a leg, Jackson lands a couple of elbows as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Jackson comes out and lands a right. Bektic circling, Jackson punches into a clinch. They trade in the clinch, Jackson uses knees as well. Jackson sets for a choke but Bektic takes him down. There’s a guillotine sweep from Jackson and he’s in full mount with the guillotine. Jackson keeps adjusting the choke and Bektic taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damon Jackson via Submission, mounted guillotine, at 1:21 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jackson for his work this evening. Mic time for Jackson who took this fight on three days notice. He says he was ready to fight as he’s been back and forth for the last few weeks on short notice fights. He mentions he’d slowed down on his sparring lately but increased his cardio, and felt his grip was weaker than usual because of it. When talking us through the finish he mentions he barely missed the early guillotine but was able to get it later. To close he says he can fight again in a few weeks.

Sadly we miss the sweep here, but Jackson does a great job of adjusting his grip and body position on top to eventually get the tap.

Jordan Espinosa has gone 2-2 in the UFC and just 1-2 at flyweight, though given how few fighters the UFC has contracted at that weight class that’s still good enough for a top fifteen berth. Espinosa is trying to build some momentum in the division with a win here. David Dvorak is riding a massive 14 fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut earlier this year, he’s trying to firmly establish himself as a rising contender in a division that could definitely use some. The odds have this one for Espinosa at -120 to an even +100 for Dvorak.

Flyweight Bout: #14 David Dvorak (18-3, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #13 Jordan Espinosa (15-7, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Espinosa has an inch of height and reach over Dvorak. Espinosa lands a leg kick, Dvorak lands a calf kick. Right from Espinosa lands, he’s moving well. Calf kick from Dvorak drops Espinosa for a second. Dvorak lands another calf kick, hen a bit of a right. Espinosa lands a right. Another leg kick from Espinosa lands. Bit of a combination from Dvorak. Short left from Dvorak lands in close. Another left from Dvorak, he’s finding that when they get close. Dvorak lands a calf kick. Espinosa tries out southpaw for a bit but nothing comes of it. Dvorak lands another calf kick. Bit of a body kick from Dvorak. Dvorak misses a wheel kick as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dvorak

ROUND TWO: Espinosa trying to establish his jab as he moves now. Dvorak lands another calf kick. Espinosa is moving more from southpaw now, trying to protect that left leg. Body kick from Espinosa but his left leg is a little compromised. Dvorak lands another calf kick but eats a knee to the body. Dvorak lands a right. Both men land rights. Counter right from Dvorak lands, that left hand from Espinosa is staying a little low and Dvorak is keying onto that. Espinosa is trying to get his jab going again but he eats a body shot. Jab lands for Espinosa, and they trade punches in a brief clinch. Another counter right from Dvorak then a calf kick behind it. Dvorak lands another calf kick. Espinosa is spending a lot of time southpaw now. A couple of calf kicks from Dvorak close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: A lot of stance switching from Espinosa still. Dvorak catches a kick and lands some punches as they clinch up. Both men land as they break. Dvorak lands a calf kick. Left hook from Dvorak lands. Another calf kick and Espinosa is limping now. Dvorak lands an inside leg kick then blocks a counter attack. Espinosa lands a right. Bit of a right from Espinosa. Dvorak finds another calf kick. Another leg kick from Dvorak, that one buckled and Espinosa goes southpaw. Dvorak lands a couple of punches in a rush. An inside leg kick from Dvorak lands. Espinosa has just been muted offensively all match. Dvorak lands another calf kick, and Espinosa is back southpaw. Bit of a right hook from Espinosa but he gets kicked again for it. They feint away the final seconds.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – David Dvorak via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Not a terribly engaging fight but a solid overall out from Dvorak. No interview for the winner as we head into the main card though still on ESPN+.

Kevin Holland has gone 5-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak right now, if he can get that to three in a row he could earn a step up in competition for his next fight. Darren Stewart has gone 3-1 in his last four fights and submitted Maki Pitolo his last time out, now he’s looking to keep building on that momentum and possibly take a step up in competition with a win. The odds are solidly with Holland at -260 to a +220 payout for Stewart.

Middleweight Bout: Kevin Holland (18-5, 185 lbs.) vs. Darren Stewart (12-5 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holland is three inches taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. They clash early with punches. Stewart eats a right and tries to clinch. They both land in close and hit the fence. Holland has Stewart on the cage, Stewart lands a knee to the groin so we’ve got time. No doubt about that one, straight knee to the groin. Holland can continue and we’re back to fighting. They trade leg kicks. Stewart lands a calf kick. Holland tries to counter a calf kick with a hook. Bit of a head kick from Holland, not much power though. Right from Stewart wobbles Holland, he walks into an uppercut and we get some RoadHouse brawling before Holland clinches up. Foot stomps and short palm strikes from Holland, then a knee to the body. Both men trading knees, then they break. Holland misses a side kick, and lands a bit of a hammer fist. Right from Holland. Stewart stomps on the knee, and eats a left hook. Stewart gets a clinch, he’s after a takedown but wont get it as they hit the fence. Holland slips around to the back, and misses a head kick on the break. They just stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Holland but a close one

ROUND TWO: Some feinting early from both men. Holland lands a leg kick. Stewart lands a calf kick. Stewart catches a kick and gets a takedown, he’s standing over Holland’s guard. Some leg kicks go back and forth before the ref stands them back up. Both men miss some punches. Holland lands a leg kick. Stewart lands a front kick to the knee, Holland counters with a couple of punches then misses a knee. Jab from Stewart then a leg kick. Holland misses a left hook, he tries a combination that’s entirely blocked. Another stomp to the knee by Stewart. Holland tries a double leg, Stewart defends and threatens with a guillotine. Front choke position now for Stewart, he bails and lands a few blows as Holland regains his feet. Elbow from Holland after he ate a punch. Another front kick to the knee from Stewart. Holland lands a leg kick. Jab from Stewart and he avoids a takedown attempt. Holland with a rush into the clinch, he lands a knee. Stewart gets a double leg just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stewart but another close round, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Holland lands a left hook. Bit of a leg kick from Stewart. Stewart catches a kick and gets a takedown. Holland looks to wall walk, but Stewart gets him back down. Holland up again but Stewart is on his back standing. Kimura roll attempt from Holland, Stewart rolls with him and gets back up still in the clinch. Some knees to the body go back and forth then they break. Both men land lefts. Stewart is coming forward, Holland lands a right. Knee kick from Stewart, and they clinch up again. Elbow from Stewart, that was a solid one. As they jockey for position Stewart gets a double leg into half guard. Short elbows from Stewart. Stewart lands some rights. Holland is trying to shrimp, Stewart lands another elbow. Stewart with more elbows and body shots. Holland just kind of hangs out on bottom as the round ends.

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

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

Sucks for Stewart, he won the only clear round of the fight but the first two rounds were close enough and could have gone to Holland. Mic time for Holland, he doesn’t feel good about that as he felt the 3rd could have been 10-8 and offers to run that back with Stewart. He jokes that he’ll fight Chimaev if Maia falls out in a month or so.

Mackenzie Dern has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a win, she’s hoping to build another winning streak here and start moving up the strawweight ranks. Randa Markos has been trading wins and losses since 2014, she’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Dern is a slight -165 favorite to +145 on Markos.

Strawweight Bout: #15 Mackenzie Dern (8-1, 115 lbs.) vs. Randa Markos (10-8-1, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Markos has half an inch of reach over Dern. They touch gloves to get us going. Markos circling. They clash on punches. Dern slips on a kick and Markos dives on top but gets caught up quickly in the guard of Dern. Dern has a triangle working, still needs some adjustment as Markos is trying to posture up through it. Markos is sitting on Dern’s left arm to keep it pinned, that might be all that’s really saving her right now. Dern switches to an omoplata sweep and gets on top in side control. Full mount for Dern, Markos shrimps to half guard but she’s not in a good spot. Dern is looking to pass to mount again, she lands a couple of elbows to help that process out. Dern sits back for an armbar, Markos is able to defend a bit and Dern adjusts her grip and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mackenzie Dern via Submission, armbar, at 3:44 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mrs. Dern for her work this evening. Mic time for Dern after that lovely submission, she’s happy but wanted to show off her striking more. She wonders why so many girls want to follow her onto the ground, fair observation, and puts over Markos as a tough opponent but notes she got a quick win and could have a turnaround if necessary. She talks us through the finish, noting some of what Markos did defensively but she had two minutes to work and knew she’d get there eventually given that much time. Asked about her future she doesn’t have a name but does want another fight this year. She asks for a bonus and hopes to fight again in November or December but doesn’t have an opponent in mind.

Watch the left leg of Dern here at the end, Markos keeps it trapped to try and stop Dern getting proper leverage through her hips. As the position develops Dern is able to find the angle with her leg to get her knee in play and then use it as the fulcrum point instead of just the lever. Very lovely stuff.

Johnny Walker was thought to be a big deal at light heavyweight, but back to back losses in his last two fights have completely erased his hype. Walker needs a win badly if he wants to start moving his career in a positive direction again. Ryan Spann has a long eight fight winning streak going including four wins in the UFC, he’s hoping to get another win here and then take the next step up in class going forward. Despite the losing streak Walker is a slight -130 favorite to +110 for Spann.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #12 Ryan Spann (18-5, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #11 Johnny Walker (17-5, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Walker is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Walker lands a leg kick and a right. Spann gets a double leg quickly, Walker wall walks and we’re in the clinch now. They jockey for position in the clinch. Spann with some knees to the thigh. They break without incident. Walker tries a front kick and Spann clobbers him with a left hook, he’s down and Spann moves to full mount. Spann loses the mount and they wind up on the feet again. Spann drops Walker with a right, he chases a double leg and Walker lands some hammer fists, several were illegal. Walker wall walks, lands an elbow to Spann who’s on his knees then a few hammer fists but that elbow basically ended things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Johnny Walker via KO, elbow and punches, at 2:43 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Walker for his work this evening. Several of those blows from Walker were to the back of the head, if we’re not going to pretend to care about those anymore can we at least get 12-6 elbows unbanned? Mic time for Walker, he says the division is full of power punchers, he just tried to stay quiet and use his jiu-jitsu to escape and then eventually his power would carry the day. He says he’s working hard on fixing his issues and promises to be even better next time. He talks us through the finishing sequence. Asked about the future he asks if anyone on the card wants to fight, specifically mentions maybe Anthony Smith but he’ll fight anyone in the division.

The finishing sequence here. Some of these look illegal to me, but no one actually calls blows to the back of the head anyway.

Khamzat Chimaev is undefeated and burst onto the UFC scene with two wins in ten days in July. With a win here Chimaev has a probable date with Demian Maia lined up for later in the year and he could move himself firmly into the Fighter of the Year conversation. Gerald Meerschaert has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, but he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid another UFC losing streak by derailing one of the bigger hype trains in MMA right now. Chimaev is the biggest favorite on the entire card at a nearly prohibitive -450 while the +360 payout on Meerschaert has to tempt some of the riskier gamblers out there.

Middleweight Bout: Khamzat Chimaev (8-0, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-13, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chimaev is an inch taller while Meerschaert has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Meerschaert, they touch gloves to get us going. Chimaev pressing forward early, lands a bomb of a right and we’re DONE.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khamzat Chimaev via KO, punch, at :17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Chimaev for his work this evening. Chimaev has now gotten to 3 wins faster than anyone in UFC history (66 days). Mic time for Chimaev, he wants a bonus (he’ll certainly get one) and says his mentality is to kill his opponent. He feels his boxing is coming along and is happy to show that off. Asked about the future, he’s unsure but will definitely be back and feels ready for everyone.

Here’s the entire fight. That punch, Chimaev lands is wonderful. There’s a slight flare of the elbow which gets Meerschaert to open the center line as he’s expecting a looping punch then the straight right crashes down the middle. Chimaev is a legitimate threat on the ground and on the feet, still need to see how he handles adversity but pay attention to him going forward.

Donald Cerrone is a legend of the sport and one of the true work horses still going, but he’s also coming towards the end of his career. Cerrone is on a four fight losing streak and was pretty violently finished in three of those, and while his name value to the hardcore fan base will probably never really diminish if he wants to be something more than an attraction fighter he really can’t afford to hit a five fight skid. That would be one of the worst losing streaks in modern UFC history. Niko Price has been trading wins and losses while going 3-3 in his last six fights, he was last seen losing a rematch with Vicente Luque and he’s now trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Price is your favorite at -140 to a +120 comeback for Cerrone.

Welterweight Bout: Donald Cerrone (36-15 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Niko Price (14-4 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cerrone is an inch taller while Price has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Price presses forward early, Cerrone lands a leg kick. High kick and a right from Price land. One two from Price, he’s landing consistently on Cerrone. Elbows from Price and uppercuts in close, he’s not giving Cerrone a chance to get going. Jabs from Price, then a right. Another couple of rights from Price, Cerrone trying to cover up but he’s taking damage. They trade knees in close. They clinch, Price with some knees to the body. On the fence now, both men taking a breather here. Both men land knees, Cerrone lands one to the head. They break and Cerrone blocks a high kick. Bit of a body kick and left from Cerrone. There’s a finger to the eye of Cerrone and we’ve got time for him. He wants to continue and we’re back to fighting. Price lands a right. They trade lefts. More pressure from Price, they trade rights. A left from Price wobbles Cerrone a bit. Cerrone lands a front kick to the body. Another clinch, Price lands a right as they break. Stiff jab from Price. Cerrone tries a takedown, Price defends. Jab from Cerrone now. They clash again and again Cerrone gets poked in the eye so we’ve got time. The ref takes a point from Price after that one, and we’re back to fighting. They brawl in close for a moment or two. Leg kick from Cerrone will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 9-9 after the point deduction

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves to get the round going. Price lands a leg kick and a one two. More leg kicks from Price, both inside and outside. Price lands a left. Body shot from Price and a knee. Price lands a body kick. Bit of a jab from Cerrone. Stiff left from Cerrone lands. Both men land jabs. One two from Price then a body shot from Cerrone. Cerrone lands a knee to the body. A couple of more body shots from Cerrone. Price lands a left and avoids a takedown attempt. Front kick to the body from Price. Cerrone lands a right. More body kicks from Price, Cerrone doesn’t like those. Price lands a couple of punches then more body kicks. Cerrone lands a body kick. Jab from Cerrone. Cerrone lands an elbow. Price lands a body kick and a right. Another body kick from Price, that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Price, 19-18 Price overall

ROUND THREE: They hug for the last round. Price lands a couple of leg kicks. Front kick from Price, he’s getting in Cerrone’s face quickly. Another front kick from Price, Cerrone tries a takedown but Price avoids it and gets back to jabbing. Both men land rights in close. A couple of lefts from Price land, he should go back to the body. Calf kick from Price. Cerrone lands a leg kick. Cerrone is still hurt to the body based on his reactions. We get a double eye poke, and both men take some time to recover. Both men can continue, they apologize and get back to fighting. Another calf kick from Price, Cerrone gets a takedown and looks for the back, he’s in the backpack spot as Price is based out. Price shakes Cerrone off, and lets Cerrone up. Left from Price. Cerrone lands a right to the body. A couple of lefts from Cerrone land. Price has abandoned his body work. They clinch again. Cerrone lands a high kick as they break, Price responds with a left hook. Price lands a right, we get some trading in close. A clinch, and they break then swing a little wild as time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Majority DRAW (29-27 Cerrone, 28-28 x2)

Somewhat remarkably that’s Cerrone’s first draw in his entire career. Price screwed himself on that one, no interview for either man.

Colby Covington is coming off of a failed bid to win the UFC welterweight title but he gave champion Kamaru Usman the toughest fight of his UFC run this far and wound up retaining a top ranking. If Covington wants another crack at the title he can ill afford a losing streak at this potentially critical career juncture. Speaking of critical career junctures, Tyron Woodley might be a former champion but is currently on the first losing streak of his career and has lost every round of his last two fights. If Woodley wants to remain a relevant player at the top of the division he cannot afford a third consecutive loss here, and at 38 years old his career might never fully recover if he does take the L. Covington is a notable -340 favorite to +280 on Woodley.

Welterweight Bout: #2 Colby Covington (15-2, 171 lbs.) vs. #5 Tyron Woodley (19-5-1, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Covington is two inches taller while Woodley has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Covington. Woodley showing the lead hand early, both men feeling each other out. They trade leg kicks. Covington avoids a right and hits a double leg into the fence. Woodley closes his guard. Covington starts landing punches to the body and head while Woodley is looking to stall. Woodley wall walks up, eats some knees along the way and they’re clinched. Both men land body shots, Covington lands an elbow and they break. Woodley blocks a high kick. Covington avoids a right. Bit of a left from Covington then a body kick. Body kick from Covington. Covington with a bit of a left. Right from Covington and they clinch again. Knees from Covington to the thigh and an elbow to the head. Another elbow from Covington. A stiff elbow from Covington lands as they break. More pressure from Covington, they clinch again and Woodley lands a knee to the body. Covington lands an elbow on the break. Both men miss punches and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Covington

ROUND TWO: Woodley misses a right to start the round. Body kick from Covington. Covington lands a jumping front kick to the face. Bit of a right from Woodley. Combination from Covington and then a body kick. Jumping knee from Covington into a clinch. Covington with body work in the clinch. Elbow from Covington, those have been solid weapons for him so far. They break without incident and Covington is back into Woodley’s face. Covington lands another body kick. Woodley gets a single leg then a front headlock position, Covington back up and looking for a single leg of his own. Elbow from Covington on the break. Woodley lands a right to the body. Another clinch, Covington drives Woodley into the fence. They break without incident. Covington lands a body kick then a couple of punches. Another body kick from Covington. Woodley lands a right to the body. Right from Woodley lands. Hard right from Covington and they trade in the pocket for a second. Another knee to the body from Covington, Woodley with a bit of a right to the chest as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Covington pushing forward again, lands a left. Woodley tries to counter but misses and gets poked in the eye. Replay confirms the poke. The doctor is in the check on Woodley, Woodley says he can still see but gets a long time to recover. Odd ruling by the ref. We’re back to fighting and Woodley misses a few rights. Bit of a left from Covington then a front kick to the body. Body kick form Covington. Covington avoids a right and lands a right hook. Jab from Covington and they clinch up again. Covington looking for a single leg, decides instead to land body shots. They trade knees to the body. Elbow from Covington. Knees go back and forth, but Covington is keeping busier. Covington lands an elbow. Both men working the body in close. Another elbow from Covington. Knees and elbows from Covington, Woodley is kind of stuck on the fence at this point. A couple of elbows from Covington as they break. They punch into the clinch again, then break as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Covington pressing forward, lands a bit of a head kick. Woodley lands a body kick. Covington after a takedown, they hit the fence though. Woodley defending, Covington reaches for a single leg and gets it. Covington gets the hips down and moves to half guard. Woodley looking to wall walk but Covington is landing rights. Full guard for Woodley now, Covington lands body shots and an elbow. Woodley just trying to hang on and stall out. Covington with punches, Woodley is bleeding around the right eye now. There’s a handcuff for Covington, he lands a couple of elbows before Woodley gets his arm back. Steady diet of ground and pound from Covington to the body and head. More blows from Covington and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Covington but a marginal one, 40-35 Covington overall

ROUND FIVE: Covington back to pressure, lands a body kick. Another body kick from Covington. Woodley misses some punches. They clinch again and Woodley is on the fence. Covington gets a takedown, Woodley is thinking about a guillotine but Covington postures through it. Woodley cries out in pain, his ribs got injured on the mat there, and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Colby Covington via TKO, rib injury, at 1:19 of Round 5

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Covington for his work this evening. Mic time for Covington, he thanks the commentary team for their work and says the silent majority is ready to talk. He says Trump’s victory in November will make that beating look likes child’s play. He thanks the first responders and dedicates the win to them, then calls out Usman and Masvidal.

Alright everyone that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 36. Thanks to everyone for being here, I appreciate all of you. We’ll break down all of the action from this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus we’ll look ahead to next week when UFC 253 goes down. The top two fights on that card are can’t miss. I’ll be back here next week covering that event, and I hope you’ll be back here as well. Until then thanks again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 36, Robert Winfree