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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 41 Report: dos Anjos Wins

November 14, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 41

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
Rafael dos Anjos (156 lbs.) vs. #7 Paul Felder (155.75 lbs.)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (172.5 lbs.)* vs. Khaos Williams (170 lbs.)
Miranda Granger (115.5 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.5 lbs.)
Brendan Allen (193.5 lbs.) vs. Sean Strickland (194.5 lbs.) – 195-pound catchweight
Kay Hansen (115.5 lbs.) vs. Cory McKenna (116 lbs.)
Louis Smolka (139 lbs.)* vs. Jose Quinonez (135 lbs.)

Randa Markos (116 lbs.) vs. Kanako Murata (115 lbs.)
Geraldo de Freitas (136 lbs.) vs. Tony Gravely (135.5 lbs.)
Rhys McKee (170.5 lbs.) vs. Alex Morono (170.5 lbs.)
Don’Tale Mayes (262 lbs.) vs. Roque Martinez (244 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 41. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. This card. This poor card. It wasn’t exactly great on paper to begin with, then the last week happened. About a week ago we lost half of the main event when Islam Makhachev fell out, then about five days ago Paul Felder agreed to step up and battle Rafael dos Anjos in the main event. On weigh in day we had several misses, lost a fight between Julian Marquez and Saparbeg Safarov when Safarov had medical issues and then earlier today we lost Eryk Anders vs. Antonio Arroyo when Anders suffered medical complications related to his weight cut. So all in all, a fairly cursed card.

Our main event now sees Paul Felder, who was originally part of the commentary team for this event, step in to battle the returning Rafale dos Anjos. Dos Anjos spent the last three years up at welterweight, and had a very respectable run there, but now is moving back down to lightweight in hopes of making one more run. Further down on the card we have a pretty good bantamweight fight between Louis Smolka and Jose Quinonez. All in all though we’re mostly hoping for great action to make up for a lack of excitement on paper.

Oh, scratch that. News broke that we lost Smolka vs. Quinonez about 30 minutes before the first prelim was set to start. This card has taken some serious hits lately. For what it’s worth the reporting is that none of those medical concerns are COVID related.

UFC on ESPN+ 41 comes to the world from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. As for the rules, Nevada uses a hybrid set up where they’ve adopted most changes but you still only need one hand on the mat to be downed. They do allow for instant replay whenever the ref wants it and the ref can restart the fight after instant replay if so desired. Also remember the APEX uses the smaller 25 foot octagon rather than the 30 footer.

Don’Tale Mayes has gone 0-2 in the UFC and is likely in a must win situation here, going 0-3 to start your time in the UFC probably means the end of it even in a division like heavyweight. Roque Martinez dropped his UFC debut fight, and now finds himself trying to score that all important first UFC win. The odds are with Mayes at -260 to a +210 payout on Martinez.

Heavyweight Bout: Don’Tale Mayes (7-4, 262 lbs.) vs. Roque Martinez (15-6-2, 244 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Mayes is eight inches taller and has nine inches of reach advantage in addition to the roughly 20 pound weight difference. Both men kicking early, just range finding so far. Mayes’s working the jab and backing Martinez up. Martinez lands a looping right. Both men missing leg kicks. Mayes moves to southpaw, he lands a bit of a left to counter a body kick. Bit of a left from Martinez in close, Mayes orthodox again after that flurry. Martinez working leg kicks now, Mayes lands a left to the body. Right to the body from Martinez. Mayes is using a lead leg front kick, mostly to the body. They clinch, Martinez lands a knee to the body as they hit the fence. Outside trip from Mayes and he starts landing blows from half guard. Body to head blows from Mayes as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mayes

ROUND TWO: Martinez with a bit of a one two. Mayes lands a leg kick but Martinez is the one pushing forward now. They trade body shots. We get time, and Mayes is warned sternly for extending the fingers and the next one will be a point. Mayes has been extending his fingers on his lead hand and it’s good of the ref to try and get a hold of this. Knee to the body from Mayes. Martinez still coming forward, he’s trying to get into the pocket and brawl. Another knee from Mayes but Martinez lands a left hook. Solid right from Mayes. Martinez isn’t feinting a whole lot, and that’s hurting him as Mayes has a pretty solid read on his intentions. Martinez lands to the body, and blocks some counters. Mayes pushes to the clinch, he unloads along the fence then separates. Left from Martinez. Martinez punches into the clinch this time, he’s after a takedown but Mayes is defending rather easily so far. Mayes avoids a takedown attempt and they separate. Bit of a combination from Martinez, Mayes lands a left to the body. Combination from Mayes partially blocked as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Mayes circling and switching his stance. Bit of a right from Mayes, he’s making Martinez chase him. Right from Martinez, Mayes gets a clinch and eats a knee. Mayes looks for a single leg, Martinez grabs a standing guillotine and push Mayes over to his knees. Martinez is really leaning into the choke but doesn’t seem to have the grip set. Martinez bails on that choke and they fight up to the fence again. Knee from Mayes. Bit of an elbow from Mayes as they break. Martinez lands an uppercut, then a one two. Mayes is trying to move but Martinez is walking him down and looking to take him out. They clinch on the fence again, Martinez looks for a takedown but can’t get it. Martinez can’t get much going here and they wind up breaking. Mayes back to circling, eats a punch and tries a spinning elbow but they just clinch up. Knee from Mayes then they separate. Jumping knee from Mayes, and another knee to the chin but Martinez punches him and resumes walking him down. Another flurry from both men, most of that misses, and the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez I guess, 29-28 Mayes overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Don’Tale Mayes via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

Generic low level heavyweight fight, nothing to see here. Mic time for Mayes, he feels he could have done better but knows the fight game is a process and he’s happy to have won. He talks about changing his strength and conditioning routine for this fight and getting stronger.

Alex Morono has gone 3-1 in his last four fights but is coming off of a big upset loss, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Rhys McKee got wrecked in his UFC debut when he was smashed by Khamzat Chimaev, he’s hoping to show more of his skills in this fight and get his first UFC win. Morono is a slight -170 favorite to +145 on McKee.

Welterweight Bout: Rhys McKee (10-3-1, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Alex Morono (17-6 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: McKee is three inches taller and has a notable six inches of reach advantage. Both men probing with the lead hand and kicks early. Some jabs from both men. Combination from Morono mostly lands. Morono lands a right. Another right from Morono. Bit of a right from McKee. McKee lands a right to the body. Morono gets a clinch and drives McKee into the cage. Elbow from Morono as he breaks the clinch. Both men land leg kicks, then a left from Morono. Another right from Morono, McKee needs to deal with that. Morono’s right hand can’t seem to miss. Flurry from Morono in close, McKee lands a left and gets a clinch. They trade knees to the body while jockeying for position. They break and Morono misses an uppercut. Some jabs are traded. McKee lands a left, Morono digs the body and they clinch again. Glancing knee from Morono, McKee lands a left. Morono lands a combination and wobbles McKee but McKee hangs on. A Morono spinning back kick ends the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morono

ROUND TWO: Both men with jabs early, and Morono lands a leg kick. Another calf kick from Morono, McKee is trying to come forward. Left hook lands for Morono. McKee lands a left to the body. Both men land in the clinch before they break. McKee lands a right to the body, he seems to have figured some things out at this point. Morono lands a right. Left hook, then a right from Morono and a knee. McKee lands an elbow as they clinch, then Morono gets a takedown. McKee back up immediately and they break. They split some jabs. Morono’s jab is doing more work, McKee’s face is becoming a mess. Jab from McKee lands, he’s frustrating Morono a bit. Hard right from Morono but McKee is still coming forward. They clinch, and Morono lands an uppercut when they break. Some pocket brawling will close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Morono but much closer, 20-18 Morono overall

ROUND THREE: Both men working the lead hand again. McKee with a bit of a left. Body shots from McKee in close. Morono lands a left. Knee and a right from Morono in close. Short rights from Morono in close, McKee lands a body kick. They trade rights. McKee punches to the body and lands a bit of an uppercut. More body shots form McKee, Morono doesn’t like that and gets a takedown into the full guard. Morono punches and passes, he gets too anxious and loses position but they’re up on the fence. Some knees from Morono as he holds a front headlock. They wind up breaking and we get a quick timeout as McKee lost his mouthpiece. The corner is supposed to have a spare mouthpiece, apparently it’s in McKee’s bag in the back. Doesn’t do a whole lot of good there. The thing fell under the cage so there are officials looking for it. One of McKee’s cornermen headed to the back to get the spare, on wait the camera man has found it I think. So we can see it but the ref hasn’t seen it. OK, they found it under the cage, washed it off and we’re back to fighting. Both men jabbing again. They clinch, trade knees to the body. Body shot from McKee and Morono lands a knee as they break. Takedown for Morono, he’s in full guard again. Both men land blows. Some punches and elbows from Morono and he moves to half guard. McKee is trying to wall walk, he can’t get up and Morono into full mount. Elbows from Morono but McKee is defending well enough. Morono flurries, but McKee will see the end of the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alex Morono via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

High paced fight, a much better affair than the card opener. We’re running a little short on time I guess, no interview for Morono.

Tony Gravely had a seven fight winning streak snapped when he dropped his UFC debut, he’s trying to bounce back from that loss and get his first UFC win. Geraldo de Freitas has gone 1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though and is now trying to get his UFC record above the .500 mark. Gravely is the favorite at -135 to +115 for de Freitas.

Bantamweight Bout: Geraldo de Freitas (12-5, 136 lbs.) vs. Tony Gravely (19-6, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: De Freitas is two and a half inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Quick punches are traded early. Leg kick from de Freitas and they clinch. Gravely counters a body lock takedown attempt and lands in side control. De Freitas is doing a good job of controlling from the bottom, he hits a nice stand up and we’re at distance again. Both men miss punches, then de Freitas lands a calf kick. De Freitas lands a jab, they trade hooks but Gravely got the worst of that and off of a clinch Gravely gets a takedown into half guard. De Freitas gets full guard rather quickly. Armbar attempt from de Freitas, Gravely slams out of it. Omoplata now from de Freitas, just trying to sweep but he can’t and Gravely lands a punch. Gravely stands over de Freitas, lands some leg kicks while looking to pass. Gravely down into the half guard, de Freitas kicks him off and gets up. Bit of a body kick from Gravely. De Freitas lands a jumping knee but gets taken down into half guard again. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Freitas

ROUND TWO: Circling to start, bit of a high kick from de Freitas. De Freitas lands a counter right. De Freitas gets a takedown, Gravely scrambles up and gets the back standing. Gravely is looking to hit a mat return but can’t get the lankier man off the mat. They wind up chest to chest and then break as Gravely misses a left. Calf kick from de Freitas, he tries a takedown but Gravely reverses and lands on top in side control. De Freitas tries to regain his feet, Gravely pushes him over but gets caught in half guard. Full guard now for de Freitas. Bit of an elbow from Gravely. More ground and pound from Gravely, de Freitas isn’t having as much success with his guard this round. They fight up to the feet, de Freitas lands an elbow as Gravely pushes him into the fence. They break and trade some punches in close, Gravely hits a single leg but de Freitas is back up and free almost immediately. Another clinch, they fight for the takedown and after a bit Gravely finally gets it into full guard. Bit of an elbow from Gravely as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gravely, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men miss some kicks as the round starts. De Freitas lands a couple of combinations. Gravely hits a takedown into half guard. Some lefts from Gravely, de Freitas is a bit more stuck here now than he has been in previous rounds. De Freitas gets full guard, tries to get his guard working but Gravely is defending and landing blows. Some punches from Gravely and he passes to half guard. De Freitas back up and separates. Body kick and left hook from de Freitas. Gravely lands a body kick, de Freitas lands a flush right hand and Gravely goes for a takedown after that. They hit the fence on that attempt, Gravely still wrestling as he moves around tot he back. De Freitas gets chest to chest and lands an elbow before they break. Body shot from de Freitas, then another one two and this time he avoids the takedown. De Freitas with a combination, he blocks some takedown attempts and resumes landing punches. Left hook from de Freitas, he’s going for the finish. Gravely eats another one two, gets a takedown though. De Freitas back up quickly, they trade rights. Both men land rights and we get some brawling for the last couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 de Freitas but probably went to Gravely, 29-28 de Freitas overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tony Gravely via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Fun scrap there, the 30-27 seems off especially in the first when Gravely didn’t do much from top position but no issues with Gravely taking it. Mic time for Gravely, he puts over his team and feels he out worked de Freitas. That was a quick interview.

Randa Markos has gone just 1-3 in her last four fights and is on a two fight losing streak, if she wants to salvage her UFC career she needs a win here badly. Kanako Murata is on a seven fight winning streak through the ranks of Rizin and Invicta, now she’s trying to make a good first impression on the audience for her UFC debut. Kanako is the favorite at -195 to a +165 payout on Markos.

Strawweight Bout: Randa Markos (10-9-1, 116 lbs.) vs. Kanako Murata (11-1, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Markos is three inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach of Murata. Southpaw for Murata, Markos in her typically low stance. Markos is circling, Murata lands a right hook then a left hand. Murata gets a clinch, and a trip takedown into full guard. Body shots from Murata as she’s trying to pass. All the way to side control for Murata. Markos is trying to build up, she’s back to her feet but still clinched. Knees go back and forth then Murata tries an inside trip and is able to force Markos to the fence. Murata with a takedown, nearly into leg drag. Elbows from Murata as Markos gets half guard. Punches and elbows from Murata, there’s a barrage of blows now but Markos spins for a heel hook. There’s no knee line control from Markos, and the round ends with her holding the attempt.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Murata

ROUND TWO: Murata sliding forward, Markos trying to keep her at bay with long punches. High kick from Murata partially lands, Markos lands a left. Murata avoids a blitz attempt from Markos. Markos misses a spinning back fist. They clash and clinch, Markos keeps their hips apart and is able to separate quickly. Markos lands a right. Murata gets a takedown along the fence. Murata nearly gets to full mount. Markos is trying to wall walk but Murata is stripping the base. Markos fights back to her feet and they’re still clinched. The round ends in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Markos trying to keep distance again as she circles. Murata lands a couple of punches. Bit of a right hook from Murata. Double leg from Murata, it takes a second effort but she does get Markos down into full guard. Murata moves to half guard, she’s got a north-south choke as they scramble and is after it. Markos defending and Murata abandons that attempt. Hip escape from Markos and she’s got full guard back. Some body to head punches from Murata. Hard rights from Murata, Markos is trying to get her guard in play but that’s just not working right now. Murata passes to side control as Markos tries an armbar. There’s an illegal up kick from Markos, Murata moves to half guard. Markos tries a sweep but Murata’s base is too strong, she lands some elbows. Another armbar attempt form Markos, Murata punches her and moves to side control. That’s where the clock will run out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kanako Murata via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Murata’s wrestling is quite good. No time for an interview as we end the prelims.

Kay Hansen is on a three fight winning streak including her UFC debut earlier this year, she’s hoping to further establish herself as a rising prospect in the division with another win here. Cory McKenna brings a three fight winning streak into her UFC debut, now she’s trying to get her first UFC win. Hansen is the favorite at -220 to a +180 comeback for McKenna.

Strawweight Bout: Kay Hansen (7-3, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Cory McKenna (5-1, 116 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: McKenna is an inch taller while Hansen has five and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Jabs from Hansen early, she’s trying to back McKenna up. Hansen lands a leg kick. Right from McKenna. Both women land punches in close, neither woman is much for head movement. McKenna lands a one two. Hansen lands a right. Bit of a leg kick from Hansen. They punch into a clinch. Whizzer kick from Hansen, McKenna stays upright but gets on the fence off of that. They trade punches as they break. Stiff left from Hansen. Right from McKenna and a left hook behind it. Hansen lands a front kick to the body, then a left behind it. Another clinch and Hansen gets McKenna to the fence. McKenna gets her on the fence and looks for a single leg, Hansen defends. Elbows from Hansen, she’s fishing for a guillotine and uses that to land elbows and move McKenna to the fence. Another knee from Hansen, she scrambles to the back of McKenna and gets both hooks in. Hansen is after the choke but McKenna defends as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hansen

ROUND TWO: Body kick from Hansen to get things going. McKenna lands a left hook. Another body kick from Hansen, then they trade rights. Stiff jab from Hansen, then she gets a clinch and pushes McKenna to the fence. They break as McKenna misses an elbow. Hansen buries another left body kick. Another clinch, more knees from Hansen to the body and head as they break. McKenna lands some body shots in close. Hansen with another body kick, then a knee in close. McKenna lands a right to counter a jab. Double leg from Hansen, she winds up on the back standing and hits a mat return. Hansen jumps on the back with both hooks in, she’s after the choke but can’t connect her hands. Now Hansen tries for an armbar but McKenna gets her arm free and winds up on top in full guard. Some body shots from McKenna as Hansen tries to work her guard. The round will end in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Both women jabbing as they start the last round. Hansen lands another front kick to the body and they trade punches. Both women land jabs, Hansen lands a right. One two from Hansen, McKenna lands a right. Another right from Hansen lands. Hansen hits a double leg into half guard. Shots to the body and head from Hansen, Hansen is bleeding from somewhere but I can’t see where it’s coming from. Looks like either the forehead or nose, nothing serious. Body shots from Hansen, she’s trying to set up some kind of front headlock sequence. Elbows from Hansen, but McKenna gets her full guard back. Both women swing on the mat, Hansen moves to half guard again. McKenna still throwing elbows, she’s after a kimura now as well but can’t get any motion through the arm. Hansen is after an arm triangle, she moves to side control with it locked but McKenna defends and Hansen moves to full mount. Another arm triangle attempt from Hansen but McKenna scrambles to top position. Half guard for Hansen. McKenna lands to the body with punches. Hansen gets full guard and tries a sweep as the round ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cory McKenna via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I’m gonna disagree with that one, Hansen had a lot of genuinely dominant positions in the third while McKenna had a ten second flurry at the end. Not that McKenna didn’t fight well, she did, just disagree with the scoring. Mic time for McKenna, she hopes she impressed and wants a post fight bonus. She mentions tweaking her left ankle, but doesn’t expect it to be a big deal. Asked when she’d like to fight next she wants to be back soon.

Brendan Allen has gone 3-0 in the UFC and is on an overall seven fight winning streak, if he can extend that streak here he could be staring down some ranked opposition next. Sean Strickland ended a two year layoff just a couple of weeks ago when he moved up to middleweight and beat Jack Marshman, now he’s trying to extend his winning streak and prove he’s ready to take the next step up in competition. The odds are close but like Allen at -120 to an even +100 for Strickland.

Catchweight Bout: Brendan Allen (15-3, 193.5 lbs.) vs. Sean Strickland (21-3, 194.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Allen is an inch taller while Strickland has an inch of reach advantage. Both men come out jabbing, Allen lands a calf kick. Right from Strickland, Allen lands a left to the body. Allen lands another calf kick, then a body kick. Strickland working his jab. Strickland catches a kick and gets a takedown, into the guard of Allen. Allen trying to attack an arm, Strickland stays with him though. Right from Strickland as Allen regains his feet on the fence. Strickland on the back, landing some short punches while Allen tries to get chest to chest. They break and there’s a bit of a right from Strickland. Allen lands another leg kick. One two from Strickland. They trade some jabs. Right from Allen as they clinch up, but Strickland spins free and lands a left. Another leg kick from Allen. Allen lands a left to the body then a left hook to the head. Strickland lands a one two. Right from Strickland, Allen lands a body shot. They clinch again and hit the fence. Knee from Allen as they break. Strickland lands a front kick to the face, they trade punches after that. They stare away the last seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Strickland

ROUND TWO: Allen comes out lunging forward, he lands a left hook. Strickland lands a one two that off balances Allen. Allen lands a calf kick but he’s eating a lot of punches at the end of Strickland’s reach. Allen lands a right. Strickland with a hard right, but those calf kicks from Allen are adding up. One two from Strickland, he’s landing almost at will. A right from Strickland drops Allen, and he pounds him out against the fence.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean Strickland via TKO, punches, at 1:32 of Round 2

That’s our first finish of the evening, only took until the sixth fight.

Strickland is firing well at the end of his range, he rocks Allen with a right as Allen tried to close distance and then flurried hard to force the stoppage. Mic time for Strickland, he says he really wanted the finish here as Allen hadn’t really been dropped or finished at the top level. He feels there’s always room for improvement but is glad he won, then he talks us through the finish. He puts over Allen again, then says he’d like to get a full camp for his next fight (he took this on two weeks notice) and hopefully move towards the rankings.

Ashley Yoder has gone 2-5 in the UFC, she’s currently on a two fight losing streak and desperately needs a win as a second three fight losing streak could spell the end of her UFC career. Miranda Granger has gone 1-1 in the UFC, but she’s coming off of a loss and is looking to rebound with a win here. Granger is the -160 favorite to +135 on Yoder.

Strawweight Bout: Miranda Granger (7-1, 115.5 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (7-6, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Yoder has an inch and a half of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Yoder fighting southpaw. Left from Yoder and she forces a clinch. Granger gets Yoder on the fence, lands a knee to the body. Elbow from Granger. Yoder tries a whizzer kick but can’t finish it and they break. Inside leg kicks from Granger, she lands a right as well. Granger lands a right, Yoder gets a headlock takeover but is nearly giving up her back. Granger slips around and hits a sweep but Yoder is possibly after a calf slicer. Yoder switches towards a kneebar, Granger defending and trying to smother her. They trade some punches. Body shots from Granger, Yoder gets full guard and closes it. Hammer fists from Granger. Yoder tries a triangle choke, switches towards an armbar but she loses the grip and Granger is able to extend things and remove a lot of the compression. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Granger

ROUND TWO: Yoder plodding forward, she looks a little tired. Granger punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. Knee and elbows from Granger. Constant if somewhat small offense from Granger, and she gets a takedown nearly getting the back. Yoder is trying to spin to top position, Granger still focused on getting the back. Yoder does come out on top, in the half guard of Granger. Granger is fishing for a kimura sweep, or something approximating that. The double wrist lock is complete for Granger, Yoder defends but can’t get her arm fully free. Some body shots from Yoder. The round will end in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Granger coming forward, lands an inside leg kick. Right from Granger. One two from Granger. Yoder forces a clinch, and gets a takedown into side control. Knees to the body from Yoder. Things are stalling out here, while I’m loathe to condone a stand up from side control it might be warranted. Yoder moves towards full mount, she’s attacking an armbar now. Yoder bails on that and lands elbows from full mount. Choke attempt from Yoder as she moves to the back. Granger hand fighting, but Yoder back to mount and looks to unload. Yoder goes to a body triangle, she’s after the choke but can’t seem to find it. More blows from Yoder, she’s trying to set up the choke. One more choke attempt from Yoder but Granger holds on as the choke is locked to see the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Yoder, 28-28 DRAW overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27 x2)

Mic time for Yoder, she expresses her love of jiu-jitsu and feels she’s got a lot of work to do on her game going forward. She’s swearing a lot so her feed is getting cut a fair bit. She thinks Granger got saved by the bell at the end of the third, but puts over Granger’s toughness.

Abdul Razak Alhassan just had a three fight winning streak snapped by Mounir Lazzez, more troubling is that he missed weight for that fight as well as this one. Alhassan needs a win here to try and smooth over consecutive weight gaffs. Khaos Williams is on a seven fight winning streak including a sub thirty second shelling of Alex Morono back in February, he’s looking to prove that wasn’t a fluke and further establish himself as a prospect in the division. Alhassan is the favorite at -220 to a +180 comeback on Williams.

Welterweight Bout: Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-2, 172.5 lbs.) vs. Khaos Williams (10-1, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Williams is two inches taller and has four inches of reach advantage, plus of course Alhassan missed weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Some leg kicks early from Williams, Alhassan lands one of his own. A straight right from Williams to counter a leg kick SLEEPS Alhassan.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khaos Williams via KO, punch, at :30 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Williams for his work this evening. Mic time for Williams, he gives glory to God and puts over his team for their work. He’s been a diamond in the rough for a while and he’s happy to be here now, then thanks a lot of people and is glad his opponent is alright. He warns the people that keep sleeping on him that the doctor is going to have to wake them up. As he talks us through the finish he mentions all the hard work he’s put in. Another round of giving glory to God, then he hopes he’ll get in the UFC video game in about a year or so.

This is why you don’t throw naked leg kicks, Alhassan even keeps his guard up but there’s no deception and Williams gives him a quick tour of the afterlife with this punch.

Paul Felder took this fight on about five days notice and was originally supposed to be part of the broadcast team for this event. Felder dropped his last fight when he battle Dan Hooker, he’s trying to bounce back with what would arguably be the biggest win of his career. Rafael dos Anjos is a former lightweight champion, he’s coming back to the division after a stint at welterweight dating to 2017, he’s hoping to make one more run at the title he used to hold and needs a win here to get that goal up and running. Dos Anjos is the favorite at -200 to a +170 comeback on Felder.

Lightweight Bout: Rafael dos Anjos (29-13, 156 lbs.) vs. #7 Paul Felder (17-5, 155.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Felder is three inches taller but only has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for dos Anjos. Felder trying to feint his way forward. Dos Anjos going forward now, both men feinting early. Bit of a left from dos Anjos then a body kick. Another left from dos Anjos. Felder with a knee to the body and they trade power hand punches. Dos Anjos kicks the body again. Felder blocks a high kick and eats a straight left. Dos Anjos lands another straight left. Double leg attack from dos Anjos hits the fence, he gets Felder down along the fence. Dos Anjos is cut around the right eyebrow, doesn’t look bad and I’m not sure what caused it. Half guard now for dos Anjos, Felder is trying to wall walk. Felder back up, dos Anjos with a standing arm triangle threat. Dos Anjos with knees, Felder returns them and lands an elbow as they break. Right from Felder, dos Anjos with a left body kick and a straight left. Another body shot from dos Anjos. Felder lands a right. Another straight left from dos Anjos then a left to the body. Both men slip some punches. They clash heads as both men think about takedowns at the same time, they wind up clinched again on the fence. Dos Anjos snaps Felder down with a front headlock, lands some punches as Felder wall walks. Elbow from dos Anjos and a knee to the body. Flurry from dos Anjos, he might have wobbled Felder there just a bit at the bell.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos

ROUND TWO: Both men working kicks again. Dos Anjos is backing Felder up, lands a left to the body then a body kick. They punch into the clinch and dos Anjos drives Felder to the cage. Elbow from dos Anjos as they break. Felder lands an elbow then an inside leg kick. They trade lefts a few times. Right from Felder, dos Anjos shoots a double leg into the fence. Felder defends and they clinch. Knees from dos Anjos, Felder lands one as well. They trade elbows and separate. Left from dos Anjos, Felder lands a right. Dos Anjos lands a body kick. Another left from dos Anjos lands. Both men look very sharp. Felder lands a right. Head kick from dos Anjos, and he follows up with punches to the body and head. Felder lands a knee to the body, dos Anjos lands a counter left. Dos Anjos tries a double leg, they hit the fence and wind up clinched. Trip from dos Anjos and he’s got Felder down on the cage. Felder is trying to wall walk, dos Anjos gets the back standing. Knees from dos Anjos while he’s got a rear waist lock. Felder is avoid trips and mat returns so far, he’s fishing for a double wrist lock to break the grip of dos Anjos. They break and Felder lands a front kick to the body. Dos Anjos lands a straight left to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 20-18 dos Anjos overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Dos Anjos blocks a high kick. Dos Anjos still coming forward, Felder lands a leg kick. Bit of a body kick from dos Anjos and they clinch. They hit the fence, dos Anjos is after another takedown but Felder is defending. Felder lands an elbow as they break. Both men land front kicks to the body. Felder avoids a hook and they clinch again. Dos Anjos working knees to the body while Felder has him on the fence. They break as Felder misses an elbow, dos Anjos dives for a double leg and gets it. Felder immediately looking to wall walk but dos Anjos is keeping him on a hip. Dos Anjos puts himself in half guard and is able to kind of flatten Felder out. Felder to his knees, back up and still clinched. Some knees go back and forth. Both men working short clinch blows, dos Anjos with an elbow as they break. Both men land power hand punches. Dos Anjos lands a left. Felder defending another takedown against the fence, dos Anjos is after a single leg. Big slam from dos Anjos into half guard. Dos Anjos is looking to pass, decides against it to get a cradle position. A kimura attempt from dos Anjos, not much doing and he lands some punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 30-27 dos Anjos overall

ROUND FOUR: Felder lands a right to counter a body kick. Dos Anjos trying to pressure forward but Felder is throwing more combinations this round. Felder avoids a takedown attempt. Dos Anjos avoids some punches. Body kick from dos Anjos lands. Another body kick from dos Anjos. Felder lands a left to counter a body shot. Dos Anjos tries to force a clinch but Felder separates. Jab from dos Anjos then a double leg that hits the fence. Felder defends but he’s stuck on the fence. Both men land knees to the body. Knees and elbows from dos Anjos. Felder spins dos Anjos into the fence. Dos Anjos spins him back and they resume landing knees to the body. Elbows go back and forth now. Felder tries to spin free but can’t, and they resume abusing each other to the body. They break and dos Anjos lands a jab. Left from dos Anjos. Felder tries a combination but he can’t find the target reliably. They trade in close, these two are putting on a heck of a fight. Felder ducks under a left and hits a double leg, dos Anjos instantly scoots to the fence and wall walks. Dos Anjos spins to the ride position and lands blows while Felder wall walks and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 40-36 dos Anjos overall

ROUND FIVE: Felder got cut around the inside of his right eyebrow, that’s a pretty bad cut but the doctor isn’t stopping things yet. Felder lands a right. Dos Anjos with a body kick. Left from dos Anjos. Dos Anjos blocks a head kick, tries a takedown and Felder avoids it. More forward pressure from dos Anjos, he tries another takedown that winds up clinched on the fence. Felder is bleeding a fair bit from that cut. They trade knees to the body, dos Anjos lands an elbow as they break then gets back into the clinch. Single leg from dos Anjos is successful and he passes to half guard away from the fence. Felder keeps trying to shrimp, dos Anjos keeping him on the mat. Dos Anjos is after an arm triangle, Felder is able to defend. Some punches land for dos Anjos. They scramble a bit, dos Anjos winds up on top in north-south. Felder to his knees, looking to wall walk but dos Anjos is leaning on his upper body. Some knees to the body from dos Anjos, but Felder is back up on the cage. Dos Anjos is on the back, looks for another takedown but can’t finish it. Felder gets chest to chest and lands a knee to the body. Both men with knees to the body. Dos Anjos drops for another double leg, he gets Felder down and moves to the ride position. Leg drag for dos Anjos and he tries to unload as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 50-45 dos Anjos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Rafael dos Anjos via split decision (47-48, 50-45 x2)

OK, WTF was that judge smoking to give Felder 3 rounds? Even commentary buries that score card. Bad scorecard aside, that was a really good fight. Mic time for dos Anjos after the win, he says it’s been a crazy road to get to this fight and details some of the challenges including his positive COVID test a while back. He notes the difference between his original opponent Islam Makhachev and Felder, he’s not to happy with his performance and notes he has adjustments to make. He puts over Felder and hopes the fans enjoyed the fight. Bisping asks who he’d like next, he wants whoever will get him to the title as even at 36 he still has a lot left and notes how open things are if Khabib is really retired. He mentions only he and Conor are genuine former champions right now, everyone else was interim, and he wants that belt back.

Felder gets some mic time as well, he felt like he got tired late and felt he was in good striking shape but not grappling. He says he hasn’t been in an MMA gym in four months and he had to cut around 20 pounds in the five days, but he did it and brought hell to dos Anjos and says he isn’t going anywhere. He has no regrets about taking the fight, puts over dos Anjos and hopes he got fight of the night (I think they did) and dedicates the fight to his family and friends. Next he mentions he lost his passion for the sport pretty hard, but he found it again now and calls out everyone who missed weight seeing as he just made weight and fought 25 minutes on five days notice and without even MMA training for months.

That wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 41. Thanks to everyone for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack all of the action from this card plus look ahead to next weeks double title fight PPV on tomorrows 411 Ground and Pound podcast. I’ll be back next week for that event, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 41, Robert Winfree