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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Volkov Wins

February 6, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 42

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
#5 Alistair Overeem (255.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Alexander Volkov (264 lbs.)
#4 Frankie Edgar (135.5 lbs.) vs. #2 Cory Sandhagen (135.5 lbs.)
Clay Guida (155 lbs.) vs. Michael Johnson (154.5 lbs.)
Manel Kape (125.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Alexandre Pantoja (125.5 lbs.)
#13 Beneil Dariush (156 lbs.) vs. #10 Diego Ferreira (155 lbs.)
Danilo Marques (205 lbs.) vs. Mike Rodriguez (205 lbs.)

Justin Jaynes (159 lbs.) vs. Devonte Smith (159.5 lbs.)
Joselyne Edwards (135 lbs.) vs. Karol Rosa (135 lbs.)
Molly McCann (126 lbs.) vs. Lara Procopio (125.5 lbs.)
Seungwoo Choi (145.5 lbs.) vs. Youssef Zalal (146 lbs.)
Martin Day (146 lbs.) vs. Timur Valiev (145.5 lbs.)
Ode Osbourne (143.5 lbs.) vs. Jerome Rivera (145 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 42/UFC Vegas 18. I’m Robert Winfree and I’m your stenographer of violence for the evening. Tonight kicks off eight consecutive weeks of UFC action and they’ve brought a surprisingly stacked card. The main event is a very relevant heavyweight clash as Alistair Overeem looks to continue his last run towards the top against surging contender Alexander Volkov. Both men are strikers by trade but are extremely competent everywhere and are looking to position themselves in the title picture. The co-main could easily headline a Fight Night by itself, but number 2 contender Cory Sandhagen squares off with the legend Frankie Edgar. Bantamweight’s title picture is a little cloudier with TJ Dillashaw’s suspension ending not too long ago, but either Sandhagen or Edgar could make a darn good case for being the next in line with a definitive win tonight. Further down the card we’ve got a cracker lightweight fight between Beneil Dariush and Diego Ferreira, both men are on significant winning streaks and looking to get a shot higher up the crowded lightweight ranks.

UFC on ESPN+ 42 comes to the world from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We’ve got Brendan Fitzgerald, Dominick Cruz and Daniel Cormier on commentary. As for the rules we’re mostly under the new set except for the downed fighter rule, you still just need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. The replay official is a thing as well, so either the replay ref or in cage ref can ask for instant replay to be used and the fight can be restarted after replay if that’s applicable to the situation. Also of note we’re in the smaller 25 foot diameter Octagon here instead of the 30 footer.

A couple of hours before fight time we lost a main card fight between Cody Stamann and Askar Askar due to some medical issue with Askar. On the plus side again, this is a strong card.

Ode Osbourne had a four fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut when he was submitted by Brian Kelleher, now he’s trying to rebound and get that first UFC win. Both men normally fight lighter than this but as has become usual this fight came together rather last minute so they’re up at 145. Jerome Rivera has gone 0-2 in the UFC and is likely fighting for his job here. Osbourne closed as the favorite at -210 to +180 on Rivera.

Featherweight Bout: Ode Osbourne (8-3, 143.5 lbs.) vs. Jerome Rivera (10-4, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rivera is two and a half inches taller while Osbourne has an inch of reach advantage. Both men fighting southpaw. Some feinting early, Rivera showing the occasional stance switch. Osbourne floors Rivera with a left to counter a head kick, and then pounds him out on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ode Osbourne via KO, punches, at :26 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Osbourne for his work this evening. We’re back to remote interviews, but Osbourne definitely gets one after that. He says he’s been dreaming about this for a year and has been working for it. He talks us through the finish, noting he catches a lot of kicks and is pretty good at countering off of them. To close he says he’d like to head down to flyweight next and I think mentions the younger Figueiredo, and says he’s here to be a champion so he’s going after the belt quickly.

You can see Osbourne kind of shoulder roll as the high kick comes in to negate the impact, then he almost keeps it elevated with his right elbow so Rivera is stuck on one leg and very vulnerable to the follow up straight left.

Timur Valiev had a six fight winning streak set back in his UFC debut when he suffered a loss that was later turned into a No Contest. Valiev is hoping his second fight goes more according to plan and he can get that first UFC win. Martin Day has gone 0-3 in the UFC and has been finished in those last two losses, his back is very much against the metaphorical wall in this one. Valiev is a nearly prohibitive favorite at -430 to a +350 comeback on Day.

Featherweight Bout: Martin Day (8-5, 146 lbs.) vs. Timur Valiev (16-2 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Day is four inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach over Valiev. They touch gloves to get us going. Valiev moving around early, both men just gauging each other. Leg kick from Valiev. Day showing some stance switches, Valiev still working the legs. Some more leg kicks from Valiev, mostly range finding and setting things up. Body kick from Valiev then a leg kick and Day fires a counter punch. Day tries to defend a single leg, they wind up on the fence and Valiev has the back with one hook in standing. Mat return from Valiev, Day wall walks quickly but is still clinched. Valiev swings some lefts to the body and head, he’s still technically on the back. Another mat return but Day bounces up before Valiev could get hooks in. Day tries to spin out, but Valiev winds up on top in half guard. Day is able to get guard, but Valiev is beating him up to the body and looking to pass again. A few short elbows from Valiev and he moves to half guard. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Valiev

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Leg kick from Valiev. Valiev lands a spinning back kick to the body. Body kicks from Valiev then a bit of an overhand right and a leg kick to close the combination. Valiev grabs a single leg and spins Day down in the middle of the cage and lands in half guard. A few elbows from Valiev then body shots as he tries to pass. Day tries to get his guard but Valiev passes to side control. Day gets half guard back but Valiev lands more elbows. Finally full guard for Day, some nice hips from Day there, but he’s taking a fair amount of damage along the way. Elbow from Valiev, and body shots as well. Valiev with more elbows and body shots, he’s keeping a nice pace with his offense. Half guard now from Valiev and more blows. Pass to full mount, Day scrambles but Valiev is after a triangle choke as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Valiev back to leg kicks. Bit of a head kick from Valiev, then a combination. Knee tap from Valiev and he’s got Day down again. Valiev is in half guard but Day is fighting for his guard. Day does get full guard, but Valiev is back to elbowing him in the head. More elbows from Valiev as he’s moved to half guard. Day is able to get to his knees and Valiev moves into the ride position and punches him as they move to the fence. Day is up on his feet against the fence, trying to hit a switch but Valiev rides him down. Back up, and Valiev keeps breaking him down forward and stalling his motion out. Valiev with knees, then gets a double leg against the fence. Day is looking to wall walk again, but Valiev is on his back again dragging him around. One hook for Valiev, Day spins into him and Valiev is on top in half guard. Rights from Valiev and he moves to side control. Day is able to shrimp towards half guard but Valiev passes back almost immediately. Day eats blows from his knees, and the round ends against the fence in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Valiev but there’s another 10-8 argument in there, 30-26 Valiev overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Timur Valiev via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)

Total wipeout from Valiev, Day was never really in this fight. Valiev on the mic now, he says he got too emotional in his debut fight but focused on his skills for this one then mentions he’d like to fight at his normal bantamweight next and would like the UFC to make him against Julio Arce again. He says half guard was safe for him as he could control Day there and work him over.

Seung Woo Choi just got his first UFC win in his last fight, but that was over a year ago and he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak up and running here. Youssef Zalal was on track for a great 2020 before running into Ilia Topuria in his last fight of the year and losing, but he still had a 3-1 year in the UFC. Zalal is trying to get back on track here and avoid his first UFC losing streak. Unsurprisingly Zalal is the favorite at -240 while Choi’s comeback sits at +200.

Featherweight Bout: Seungwoo Choi (8-3, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Youssef Zalal (10-3, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Choi is two inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things started. Both men circling and probing with kicks early. Zalal avoids a few punches. Bit of a right from Choi. Choi misses a high kick. Zalal jabs the body. Bit of a left hook from Zalal and he avoids the counter right. Stiff jab from Zalal. Glancing right from Choi then a leg kick. Another leg kick from Choi lands. Zalal with more lead hand work, both men doing well so far. Choi with a bit of a left but can’t follow up. Zalal lands a jab. Zalal tries a double leg, Choi defends until they hit the fence. They wind up clinched on the fence, Zalal with some hammer fists to the body. Choi defending still as Zalal tries to drop levels for a double leg. Some shoulder strikes from Choi and the ref decides to break them up. Choi firing kicks again, he lands a bit of a left hand. Zalal jabs the body again. Both men land body kicks, Choi with a front kick to the body and he gets a takedown from the clinch and will end the round on top in half guard.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Choi but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Choi coming forward again, he lands a couple of punches then a leg kick. Zalal lands a left but is pressed into the fence and we’re clinched again. They jockey for position, Choi sneaks in a few elbows while Zalal gets him onto the fence. Zalal tries for a single leg but he’s struggling to finish it. Choi defends, Zalal tries to switch to a double leg but Choi resumes defending and landing elbows. Things stall out and the ref breaks them up. Choi resumes his forward pressure, lands a body kick and a couple of punches. More punches from Choi, he’s finding the target more often now. Choi punches into another clinch and has Zalal on the fence. Elbow from Choi. Choi gets a body lock takedown along the fence but stands over Zalal and kind of lets him up. Leg kick from Choi. Glancing right from Choi, Zalal with a bit of a knee to the body. Front kick from Zalal but Choi off balances him, and drives him into the fence as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Choi resumes his activity level, he’s throwing a lot of kicks. Leg kick from Choi, they clinch and Zalal tries a whizzer kick but Choi avoids it and punches him. Bit of a right from Choi. Another punch from Choi and he drives Zalal into the fence. Zalal is able to spin Choi into the fence. Zalal gets a takedown, he locks up a guillotine and rolls towards mount but Choi gets his head free and winds up on top. Now a triangle attempt from Zalal but Choi is able to avoid that one fairly easily and he settles into the guard of Zalal. Choi lands a short elbow. Choi gets free and lands a leg kick as Zalal gets up. Zalal circling again, if nothing else he’s been mobile all night when they haven’t been clinched. Zalal tries a single leg, they wind up on the fence with both men holding single legs on their knees. Choi back to his feet and spreads his base. Zalal gets the double leg, Choi bounces up and Zalal gets his back with a rear waist lock. Choi spins into Zalal, then puts Zalal on the cage. They’ll run out the clock fence wrestling like that.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Zalal but there’s a Choi argument in there, 29-28 Choi overall

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

Solid outing from Choi, he’s clearly a striker first and foremost but he’s clearly been working on his grappling game. Choi and a translator get an interview, he says getting back into the cage after the layoff was great as was competing in the United States. He notes he was the underdog and worked hard to round out his skills and believed in that work.

Molly McCann has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid her first ever losing streak. Lara Procopio suffered her first professional loss in her UFC debut back in 2019, she’s coming back from that layoff here and looking for her first UFC win. The odds slightly favor McCann at -130 to +110 for Procopio.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Molly McCann (10-3, 126 lbs.) vs. Lara Procopio (6-1, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Procopio has a whopping five and a half inches of reach advantage. McCann comes out early, eats a leg kick but she’s trying to force the action. Procopio lands another leg kick. Both women land lefts in close then Procopio lands a body kick. They clinch up and hit the fence. McCann lands a knee to the body as they jockey for position. McCann pulls free and lands a left. Procopio eats a knee but gets a clinch and is after a single leg. McCann is able to defend and land some punches. McCann gets Procopio on the fence and they resume landing knees and foot stomps. Whizzer kick from Procopio and she lands in half guard. Procopio moves to side control and lands some short elbows. McCann spins to her knees but Procopio drives her back down with a front headlock. Procopio is still working that front headlock sequence as McCann gets half guard. Punches now from Procopio as she’s bailed on the head. McCann gets full guard now, Procopio stands over he and lands a right as she passes to half guard again. Full mount now for Procopio, McCann gets quarter guard. McCann is on her hip, Procopio tries to attack the arm but can’t get one of her legs in play. Full back mount for Procopio, she’s after the choke but the round ends before McCann has to tap.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Procopio, might be 10-8 if you think that choke was tight

ROUND TWO: McCann coming forward again, both women land lefts then trade leg kicks. Rights are traded in close. Procopio lands a right. They trade again and clinch up, Procopio drives McCann into the cage. Procopio gets a takedown into side control and resumes working from there. McCann gets her guard as Procopio tried to mount. McCann tries for an armbar, they sink to the mat and Procopio winds up stacking McCann on her shoulders to prevent her extending the arm. Procopio is trying to get free and finally yanks her arm out and gets into half guard. Some body shots from Procopio. McCann is trying to wall walk, she gets to her knees and her feet but Procopio is on her back now. Knees from Procopio to the head and body. Trip takedown from Procopio and she’s looking to pass. McCann lands some elbows, Procopio lands a right and moves to half guard. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McCann given how close that armbar was, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: McCann coming forward again. Some leg kicks from Procopio. They clinch up, trade some elbows and knees as they hit the fence. Procopio gets McCann on the fence and is after a takedown from the body lock position. McCann mostly pulls guard as they’re going down so she doesn’t lose position too badly. Procopio falls back for a heel hook, they start rolling and McCann is able to get her knee line to safety but Procopio comes out on top. McCann fights up to her feet but is still clinched. Another takedown from Procopio, she’s on the back now as they get back up. Procopio pulls McCann backwards to the mat and gets on top with one hook in on the back. McCann moves to her back and Procopio is on top in half guard. Procopio gets her leg free and is over McCann as McCann is on her knees again. McCann can’t get free and Procopio is mat returning her over and over while sneaking in offense here and there. Procopio gets one hook in, lands some punches and gets the full back mount. That’s where the clock will run out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Procopio though there might be a 10-8 argument, 29-28 Procopio overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lara Procopio via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 29-28)

McCann left her gloves in the center of the cage, so we’ll keep an eye on her possible retirement. Mic time for Procopio, she’s happy about the win but knows she has a lot to continue working on technically. She says grappling was definitely part of her game plan and she felt she wasted a lot of time in her prior fights striking when she had the advantage in the grappling.

Karol Rosa has a four fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC, she’s hoping to get to three here and take a shot higher up in the rankings. Joselyne Edwards has a two fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut, she’s trying to continue that momentum and start moving up through the UFC ranks. Rosa is your favorite at -220 while an Edwards win would payout at +190.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Joselyne Edwards (10-2, 135 lbs.) vs. Karol Rosa (13-3, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Edwards is three inches taller and has two and a half inches of reach over Rosa. Edwards comes out working leg kicks to get a feel for distance. Rosa tries a double leg quickly and gets it along the fence into half guard. Rosa spins Edwards parallel to the fence to try and limit her wall walking options. Some body shots from Rosa. Edwards seems to be kind of stuck here while Rosa has a lockdown on the guard leg. Body to head punches from Rosa. Elbow from Rosa. Rosa isn’t really setting up passes, but her control is impressive. Rosa postures up, lands some blows and moves to full mount. Punches and short elbows from Rosa. Edwards gets her legs in play and slips out the back then lands a couple of punches on the feet. A left hook from Rosa stuns Edwards. Edwards is mad now and coming forward, she lands a couple of punches. Leg kick from Edwards. They trade leg kicks then swing in close. Rosa grabs a kick and pushes Edwards into the fence. Edwards with a bit of a trip, but Rosa is after an armbar as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rosa

ROUND TWO: Rosa lands a leg kick and they then trade punches. Hard leg kick from Rosa buckles Edwards for a moment. Another leg kick then a left hook. They clinch up and Rosa starts working knees from a Thai clinch. A couple of punches from Rosa land as they break. Edwards is backing up and circling, Rosa lands another leg kick. Combination from Edwards is partially successful but Rosa is able to circle away. Body kick from Rosa and they trade punches again. Another leg kick from Rosa, Edwards charges forward with punches that mostly land but Rosa clinches up. Body lock takedown from Rosa into half guard. Rosa is bleeding from the nose after that last combination. A few punches land for Rosa. Rosa going body to head with punches. Elbows now from Rosa, again body and head. Rosa moves towards side control but she kind of likes keeping that leg of Edwards pinned to the mat. Americana attempt from Rosa but there’s not much there. Rosa with some punches to the head and body. Edwards is able to get full guard. Rosa with some more body to head punches as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Update, that blood from Rosa is coming from a cut either on the corner of her mouth or just inside her lips rather than the nose. She’s already leaking again as the round starts. Leg kick from Rosa. They trade then Rosa gets a double leg into full guard. Edwards goes to rubber guard to try and stall out the offense from Rosa. Edwards now with elbows from her back. Rosa stands free and we’re on the feet again. Leg kick from Rosa. They trade leg kicks then clinch again. Knees from Rosa as she’s trying to set up another takedown. Rosa keeps a body lock while trying to get a trip. Edwards tries another whizzer trip but winds up on bottom in half guard. Rosa lands some body shots, she’s technically in leg drag position. Now they settle into half guard. Rosa is trying to pass into full mount, she lands some short punches and gets there. Rosa unloads from full mount but there’s not enough time to force the finish.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Karol Rosa via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Rosa’s mouth is still leaking blood from the corner of her mouth, but turned in a solid performance. No interview for Rosa.

Devonte Smith has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is coming off of that loss and looking to avoid his first ever losing streak with a win here. Justin Jaynes has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he’s been finished in both of those fights and now needs a win rather badly to salvage his time in the UFC. Smith is the -360 favorite to +300 for Jaynes.

Catchweight Bout: Justin Jaynes (16-6, 159 lbs.) vs. Devonte Smith (10-2, 159.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smith is two inches taller but has a whopping eight inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. Smith coming forward early. Jaynes circling, and looking to counter blitz. Leg kick from Jaynes. Smith is trying to get his jab working. Jaynes lands a calf kick. Stiff jab from Smith. Jaynes blocks a high kick but he’s starting to get sniped at more and more. Smith lands a body kick. Jabs from Smith. Jaynes misses badly on a right hand. Smith lands a leg kick. Jaynes lands a right to counter a body jab and he stunned Smith with that one but doesn’t follow up. Smith lands a calf kick. One two from Smith, there’s either blood or dark discoloration around the inside of the right eye of Jaynes. Smith with punches while Jaynes tried to take him down and Jaynes is the one a little wobbled now. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Smith

ROUND TWO: Smith showing the jab again, Jaynes bulls forward into the clinch and starts looking for a takedown. Smith with a really sweet reversal to hit the takedown into side control. Some short blows from Smith. Smith is keeping tight pressure on Jaynes and keeping him flat. Knee on belly, then full mount for Smith. Punches from Smith, Jaynes is trying to move and gives up his back. Smith has both hooks in and uses blows to open a choke attempt. The choke is pretty close but Jaynes hand fights and gets free then they separate and Smith makes Jaynes get up. There’s some bad swelling on the left eye of Jaynes, we get time and the doctor is coming in as that thing looks swollen shut. Looked like one of the palm strikes from the back. Yeah, the doctor and ref wave this off, Jaynes is upset but that eye is shut.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Devonte Smith via TKO, doctor stoppage, at 3:38 of Round 2

Mic time for Smith, he says he likes winning and jokes about losing a lot in UFC 4 during the week and worrying about his fight. He says he got to show his ground game a bit finally and is glad to have showed off that he can do everything. Asked what he’d like next he wants to spend a month healing with his family and leaves the match making to his coaches.

In case there’s any question about the decision to call off that fight, here’s a picture. I’m totally OK with the stoppage.

With that late fight loss this will be the end of the prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Mike Rodriguez has had a very up and down time in the UFC thus far, he’s coming off of a loss to Ed Herman last year and needs a win if he wants to actually get some traction in the shallow light heavyweight division. Danilo Marques won his UFC debut last year and is hoping to extend his overall winning streak to four here and prove himself a prospect worth paying attention to in a division that could always use them. The odds are with Rodriguez at -240 to +200 on Marques.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Danilo Marques (10-2, 205 lbs.) vs. Mike Rodriguez (11-5 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marques is two inches taller but Rodriguez has five and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rodriguez. Marques tries a single leg almost immediately, they hit the fence and start working but Marques does eventually get Rodriguez down into butterfly guard. Rodriguez scoots to the fence and starts looking to wall walk. Marques lands a right as they stand and retains the clinch. Rodriguez is staying upright so far, Marques can’t find a trip but is keeping Rodriguez on the fence. Marques finally gets a takedown, Rodriguez scoots to the fence again and starts looking to wall walk but Marques has mounted the legs. Marques steps around to side control. Some elbows from Marques and he’s trying to move into full mount. Rodriguez gets butterfly guard again and tries to set up a wall walk. Marques scoops the legs with his and flattens Rodriguez out again then lands a right. Rodriguez finally wall walks back up but he’s still not free. Marques trips him back down and mounts the legs. Some punches from Marques, Rodriguez is back up and spins free then lands a knee. Bit of a left to the body from Rodriguez, that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Marques

ROUND TWO: Rodriguez is coming forward, probing with low kicks. A few jabs from Rodriguez, then Marques lands a body kick. Low kicks from Rodriguez, he avoids a takedown attempt and lands an uppercut. Bit of a right from Marques. Single leg from Marques, and he’s got Rodriguez down into side control. Marques moved into leg drag position and lands some rights. Side control again for Marques, then into full mount along the fence. Rights from Marques, Rodriguez is trying to set up a wall walk but he’s eating punches. Short elbows from Marques. Lefts from Marques but Rodriguez is able to get to a knee and start wall walking. More lefts from Marques and he slips to the back then gets one hook in while Rodriguez is on his knees. Marques gets a body triangle and starts looking for the choke. Rodriguez tries to hand fight, but the arm is under the chin and he puts Rodriguez to sleep with short time left in the round.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Danilo Marques via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:52 of Round 2

Nice display of grappling from Marques, and his cardio seemed to hold up better this time around. Marques gets an interview after that one, he starts by saying he’s a fan of Cormier but hoped for a first round finish but is just getting better. He mentions he’s trained a lot with Demian Maia and this is part of what they worked on and walks us through the finish. To close he wants a week off because of his sons birthday but after that he’ll be ready for anyone.

Look at how quickly Marques moves from one choking arm to the other. Then the hand fighting, Rodriguez is trying hard to control one of the arms as it’s very difficult to pull off a one armed rear naked choke. But Marques is studious about keeping tension the whole time through the hand fight, and you can see him pulling his left shoulder back which is the real killer here and he puts Rodriguez to sleep.

Carlos Diego Ferreira is on a long six fight winning streak dating back to 2016, he basically ran over Anthony Pettis in his last fight and is hoping another win here will finally get him a shot at the top of the division. Beneil Dariush is in a similar position with a five fight winning streak the last four of those being finishes, he’s likewise hoping an impressive win will get him a shot at the top of the division. These two previously fought in 2014 with Dariush coming out the victor. The odds are close but favor Dariush at -120 to +100 for Ferreira.

Lightweight Bout: #13 Beneil Dariush (19-4-1, 156 lbs.) vs. #10 Diego Ferreira (17-2, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dariush is an inch taller while Ferreira has two inches of reach advantage. Dariush fighting southpaw and lands a bit of a left. Leg kick from Dariush after he avoided a right. Ferreira switching his stance a bit. Another leg kick from Dariush, then he tries a takedown and they hit the fence. Dariush is able to dump Ferreira, Ferreira tries an armbar in transition but can’t get it and uses that motion to scramble back up. They’re still clinched, Dariush gets a takedown but Ferreira fights up and they trade punches wildly against the fence. Body kick from Dariush. This has been awesome so far. Lefts from Dariush, Ferreira cracks him with a right. Knee from Dariush to the body, that hurt Ferreira badly and he winds up pulling a half guard position. Ferreira gets full guard, Dariush lands an elbow. Dariush pulls out of triangle attempt, lands a few punches and Ferreira ties him up in 50-50 guard. Ferreira is after the right leg of Dariush but Dariush is able to spin free and get back into the full guard. Solid punches and elbows from Dariush. Ferreira to his knees, he’s looking to wall walk and does get up but is still clinched. Ferreira avoids a knee as they separate. Dariush lands a right, but Ferreira lands a hard counter right. Dariush with a left and a right hook of his own. Ferreira with a front kick to the face and they trade in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dariush

ROUND TWO: We get back to swinging almost immediately. Head kicks are traded, good grief this fight. Dariush lands a leg kick, but Ferreira lands a couple of punches. Ferreira sprawls away from a double leg but they hit the fence and Dariush hits a trip into full guard. Dariush looking to pass immediately, he gets to half guard but Ferreira gets his guard back. Ferreira tries to kick free but Dariush fights back into the guard. Dariush looking to pass again, Ferreira back up on the fence but Dariush is still on him in the clinch. Ferreira tries a modified granby roll, Dariush smothers it and jumps to the back on the feet, he gets one hook in. Ferreira gets free finally and separates. Dariush with a double leg and he’s got Ferreira down again. Ferreira wall walks and they resume fighting in the clinch. They break without incident this time. Lefts are traded in close, then Dariush hits another double leg. Ferreira has full guard. Ground and pound from Dariush, the man just doesn’t stop trying to fight. Dariush is able to pass to half guard but Ferreira keeps using a knee shield to retain full guard. Punches from Dariush from the guard, Ferreira is trying to scoot to the fence or hit a technical get up. The round will end in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Body kick from Dariush, Ferreira with a couple of rights. A couple of lefts from Dariush now. Dariush lands a left. I’m surprised Dariush hasn’t gone back to the body after that knee in the first. Dariush is backing up Ferreira now, but Ferreira avoids a few takedown attempts and circles off of the fence. Both men land power hand punches. Body kick from Dariush goes low and we’ve got a time out. Ferreira takes about 40 seconds and we’re back to it. Some long range kicks from both men, then both men land body kicks. Hard left from Dariush, Ferreira has a chin on him. Ferreira avoids a takedown attempt but eats a left on the re-engage. Both men land punches again. Another left from Dariush lands flush. Ferreira avoids a takedown, and actually runs into the ref for a moment trying to get away from Dariush. Ferreira lands a one two, and eats a counter left. Pity this isn’t 5 rounds. Dariush lands another left. Ferreira catches a kick and off balances Dariush, then gets on top but Dariush uses a leg entanglement to scramble back up. Both men swing but don’t quite land. Dariush with a couple of body kicks. Ferreira trying to move, Dariush gets a body lock takedown and starts looking for the back. Ferreira rolls but Dariush gets the back with one hook in. Both hooks in for Dariush as Ferreira turtles, but Ferreira slips him off and gets on top. A leg lock attempt from Dariush forces Ferreira to move, Ferreira grabs a front headlock as the clock runs out.

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

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

Not sure which round Ferreira got outside of maybe the 3rd? Odd scoring aside, great fight. Mic time for Dariush after the win, he says Ferreira and he should both have been fighting top five guys but instead they’re fighting each other. He feels a little disrespected and thinks Ferreira was disrespected as well, hard to disagree with him given their win streaks coming into this fight. He says he felt good in the fight, and was surprised at the split but puts over Ferreira as maybe the toughest guy he’s ever fought. Asked who he’d like next he gives glory to God, he wont give glory to any of the guys in the division but he does request a UFC spot for a guy in his camp who he feels deserves it.

Alexandre Pantoja has been a top flyweight for many years, but he’s struggled to get over the hump at the very top of the division. Pantoja is coming off of a loss to Askar Askarov and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak with a win here. Manel Kape might be the first Portuguese fighter in the UFC, but he brings a three fight winning streak into his UFC debut all of them finishes and would have a career defining win on his hands if he bests Pantoja tonight. The odds closed at a -110 pick ’em for this fight.

Flyweight Bout: Manel Kape (15-4, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Alexandre Pantoja (22-5, 125.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Kape has half an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Kape. Pantoja is coming forward a lot early but hasn’t found the target yet. Some punches from Pantoja, he’s trying to clinch up but Kape disengages. Calf kick from Pantoja. Kape lands a bit of a jab. Body kick from Pantoja. Straight left from Kape lands. A right from Kape and then he avoids a takedown attempt. Kape lands a jab, Pantoja replies with a calf kick. Hard calf kicks are traded. Kape is switching his stance up now. Both men land leg kicks. A couple of rights land for Pantoja. Kape lands a left hook. Bit of a right from Kape, then another. Pantoja lands a bit of a flurry. Body kick from Pantoja. Kape tries a cartwheel kick but slips after it’s blocked and Pantoja gets on top in the guard. A few punches from Pantoja, he stands over Kape and nearly lands an illegal knee then they end the round with Kape trying to sweep him down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pantoja

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Both men back to kicking, but the activity rate of Pantoja is helping him pull away. Kape lands a right and they trade calf kicks. Pantoja lands a leg kick. Kape really needs to get things in gear, he’s getting out worked. Pantoja working body kicks now. Kape lands a left but he’s still taking body kicks. Combination from Kape mostly lands. Calf kick from Kape, then a jab to the body but Pantoja lands a right. Right from Pantoja, Kape fires back with a combination. Kape has been picking up the pace a bit more as the round goes on. Bit of a left from Kape and he avoids the counter. Pantoja lands a body kick. Pantoja lands a right to counter a head kick, Kape fires back and gets a clinch then slips to the back. Kape can’t keep the position and they’re back up. Kape catches a kick and gets another takedown as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Pantoja but a closer round, 20-18 Pantoja overall

ROUND THREE: Kape lands a straight left as Pantoja is coming in. Another left from Kape lands flush. Kape avoids a takedown attempt. Left uppercut from Kape lands. Another left from Kape lands, Pantoja fires back this time. They trade rights, Kape is finding his counters more at this point. Bit of a high kick from Pantoja, Kape plays around after that one. A lot of forward pressure from Kape this round. Kape lands a straight left. Quick combination from Kape, then a straight left. Right from Kape, Pantoja is backing up. Pantoja with a body kick. Kape misses a head kick, hits a double leg then gets the back and hits a mat return. Pantoja scrambles up and we get some trading then another double leg from Kape to ice the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kape and this thing hinges on the second, 29-28 Pantoja overall

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

Not sure about that third going to Pantoja at all, but no issues at all with him getting the nod overall. Mic time for Pantoja, he puts over Kape as a good guy and tough opponent and thinks fighting the best is a good thing. He mentions being from a small city full of people who’ve supported him to this level. He talks us through some highlights, noting he wanted to show off his striking acumen and to prove that he’s a full mixed martial artist then says he took this fight and fought in a way to try and get a rematch with Deiveson Figueiredo. He’ll be willing and able to fill in for Figueiredo’s next opponent if something happens to Brandon Moreno. To close he speaks Portuguese to his people in Brazil.

Michael Johnson is just 3-8 in his last eleven fights and he’s currently on his second three fight losing streak during that stretch, Johnson could very well be fighting for his job at this point. Clay Guida has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights, he’s also been with the UFC since 2006 and as his time at the elite level starts winding down he’s hoping for some more wins to tack onto his record on the way out. Johnson is the -210 favorite to +180 for Guida.

Lightweight Bout: Clay Guida (35-20, 155 lbs.) vs. Michael Johnson (19-16, 154.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson is three inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach over Guida. Southpaw for Johnson. Both men showing the lead hand early. Neither man landing much, then Johnson lands a left. Bit of a right from Guida. Both men land power hand punches. Guida lands a right, Johnson responds with a left. Another right from Guida lands. Guida tries a single leg, Johnson defends against the fence. Guida finally yanks Johnson up and down, Johnson looking to wall walk. Johnson is up in the clinch and they trade some knees. Knee from Johnson as he escapes the clinch. Johnson lands a knee to the chin of Guida. Body kick from Johnson, Guida forces a clinch but winds up on the fence. A few knees are traded and they break. Quick combination from Johnson lands. Left hook from Johnson in close lands hard, Guida replies with a left of his own. The hand speed difference is obvious at this point. Both men land rights. A final right from Guida closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Guida but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Both men back to showing punches and moving. Guida eats punches but gets a double leg along the fence. Johnson is looking to wall walk again, he’s up but still clinched. Bit of a knee from Johnson. Guida is trying to switch to a single leg or a high crotch but Johnson is still defending. Some hammer fists from Johnson as he defends then gets free. Johnson lands a knee to the face but Guida is still coming forward. More punches from Johnson, Guida shoots a double leg but that stalls out on the fence. They wind up clinched, Johnson lands a knee to the body and they break. Another shot from Guida, Johnson defends and gets Guida on the cage. A few knees from Guida and they break. Both men miss right hooks. A couple of lefts land for Johnson and Guida forces another clinch. Things will stall out there until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Guida comes out hard again and we get more punches being traded. A few hooks miss from both men. Johnson lands a left. A couple of punches from Johnson land. Guida walks into a jab and is wobbled, but shoots a single leg and they wind up on their knees on the fence. Johnson back up to his feet, Guida trying to get another single leg but Johnson is defending so far. Some elbows from Johnson while defending. Johnson looks to wall walk again, Guida jumps on his back and gets both hooks in. Guida after the choke, he’s under the chin but Johnson is hand fighting well so far. Johnson gets his head free but is still stuck via the body lock of Guida. The round will end in this spot.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Clay Guida via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

I’ll stand by Johnson getting the second, but no issues with Guida winning overall. We get a Guida interview, he notes he hasn’t won a fight since 2019 when he beat BJ Penn then puts over Johnson as a game opponent who hits hard. He puts over Johnson again and notes the takedowns were hard to get, but he won the fight on the fence and on the mat. Asked when he wants to be back he’d like three fights in 2021, and hopefully someone who isn’t a UFC veteran as he’d like an up and comer rather than a guy with double digit UFC appearances.

Cory Sandhagen has had a stellar run through the UFC thus far at 6-1 only falling to top contender Aljamain Sterling. Sandhagen last ran over Marlon Moraes in the second round in October, he’s hoping to take out a genuine legend of the sport and make a case for himself as the next title challenger. Frankie Edgar is a legend of the sport, a former lightweight champion and two time featherweight title challenger. Edgar scored a win in his bantamweight debut in August in a highly competitive fight, he’s hoping to become the first man in UFC history to fight for the title in three different weight classes as a win over Sandhagen combined with his name recognition could put him into that position. Sandhagen is a surprisingly heavy favorite at -360 to a +300 comeback on Edgar.

Bantamweight Bout: #4 Frankie Edgar (24-8-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #2 Cory Sandhagen (13-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sandhagen is five inches taller and has two inches of reach advantage, though that’s probably longer in the reach as for some reason Edgar’s is listed at 68 inches and I call BS on that. A lot of stance switching from Sandhagen. Sandhagen circling early, he lands a jab. Calf kick from Sandhagen and he blocks some punches. Jumping knee from Sandhagen and Edgar is OUT COLD! Holy smokes!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cory Sandhagen via KO, flying knee, at :28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Sandhagen for his work this evening. That’s the current leader for Knockout of the Year. No doubt now, give that man the winner of Yan and Sterling for the belt. Mic time for Sterling after that highlight reel KO, he jokes that he didn’t need his wrestling skills but he was excited to show them off. He talks us through the finish, and says he doesn’t want to see that happen to Frankie Edgar but “better him than me”. When talk of the title comes up he feels he’s a different monster since the Sterling loss, he thinks he’s the toughest guy after Sterling so Yan should be focusing on him. And if Sterling wins he owes Sterling a nap, he feels he’ll knockout either of them in the summer.

I mean just look at this. Sandhagen baits Edgar in, knows Edgar will dip his head for either a level change or the right hand. The reality is it doesn’t matter which technique Edgar is setting up, because the switch flying knee catches him in motion and puts Edgar to sleep.

Alistair Overeem is one of the premier heavyweights of his era, and probably the last one to be honest. Overeem is getting up there in terms of age and miles though and wants to make one more run at the UFC heavyweight title, he’s 4-1 in his last five fights and could place himself into the title picture with a win here. Alexander Volkov has gone 3-2 in his last five fights but he stopped Walt Harris in his last fight, and if he can likewise get by Overeem he would be a player in the title orbit. The younger Volkov is favored here at -190 to +170 for Overeem.

Heavyweight Bout: #5 Alistair Overeem (47-18 1 NC, 255.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Alexander Volkov (32-8, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Volkov is three inches taller, the reach is identical and Volkov is eight years younger. They touch gloves. Overeem goes southpaw immediately. Volkov lands a hard inside leg kick, looks to follow up but thinks better of it. Both men landing inside leg kicks. Front kick to the body from Volkov. Both men feinting, they’re very aware of the dire consequences the other poses. Left from Overeem lands. Another left from Overeem lands. Volkov is back to stalking forward, he avoids a clinch attempt. Jab from Volkov, Overeem lands a side kick to the knee then a left hand. Both men doing some stance switching now, Overeem seems to want to be opposite from Volkov no matter the stance. Lead hand uppercut from Overeem then a body kick. Left from Volkov off balances Overeem, he looks to unload on the ground but Overeem fights up and separates. Volkov lands a jab. Overeem blocks a knee to the head but Volkov is starting to really have a feel for the fight. Another jab from Volkov lands. Volkov avoids a left. Straight right from Volkov, he looks to unload along the fence but Overeem covers up and slips away. Volkov should invest in the body. Overeem lands a left to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov

ROUND TWO: Volkov jabbing again, he’s got Overeem bleeding from the nose. Straight right then a left from Volkov. Overeem needs to change things up and quickly. Overeem forces a clinch on the fence but can’t keep it and Volkov lands a right. Looping right from Overeem is mostly blocked. One two from Volkov wobbles Overeem. Another combination from Volkov, Overeem is covering up on the fence but he’s fighting back still and Volkov backs off. Overeem after a single leg, can’t get it and Volkov separates. Left hook from Volkov, Overeem crumples to his knees and the ref waves this one off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexander Volkov via TKO, punches, at 2:06 of Round 2

Easily one of Volkov’s most impressive performances, along with his win over Werdum. I know heavyweight is crowded at the top with Jones coming up and Curtis Blaydes hanging around, but Volkov is definitely a player in the title picture. Mic time for Volkov, he says he’s feeling great and is coming for the belt. He talks about working his jab and his wrestling, but thought he could finish Overeem in the second or third. He talks about how much he’s working on improving, hopes to be even better next time. Asked who he’d like to see next he wants to fight for the belt, but there’s a lot of good heavyweight fights coming up so he’ll have to wait and see where he settles.

Alright everyone, that wraps up UFC on ESPN+ 42. It was a pretty strong card on paper, and the fights you expected to be good were so I’m not going to complain too much. Next week the UFC will be back on PPV for UFC 258 when welterweight champion Kamaru Usman battles surging contender Gilbert Burns. That’s a heck of a fight. We’ll unpack all the results from this card and preview that one on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, which I hope you’re listening to. I’ll be back next week for UFC 258 so until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

Alexander Volkov, Robert Winfree