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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 5 report: Masvidal Wins

March 16, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Jorge Masvidal

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Main Card (ESPN+ at 4 PM ET)
#3 Darren Till (171 lbs.) vs. #11 Jorge Masvidal (171 lbs.)
#10 Leon Edwards (170 lbs.) vs. #13 Gunnar Nelson (170.5 lbs.)
#6 Volkan Oezdemir (205 lbs.) vs. #8 Dominick Reyes (206 lbs.)
Nathaniel Wood (135.5 lbs.) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (135.5 lbs.)
Danny Roberts (170 lbs.) vs. Claudio Silva (170 lbs.)
Jack Marshman (188 lbs.)* vs. John Phillips (185 lbs.) – Marshman fined 20% of his purse

Preliminary Card (ESPN+ at 1 PM ET)
Arnold Allen (145 lbs.) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (145 lbs.)
Marc Diakiese (155 lbs.) vs. Joseph Duffy (155 lbs.)
Nicolae Negumereanu (204 lbs.) vs. Saparbek Safarov (205 lbs.)
Tom Breese (186) vs. Ian Heinisch (186 lbs.)
Danny Henry (146 lbs.) vs. Dan Ige (146 lbs.)
Molly McCann (126 lbs.) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (125 lbs.)
Mike Grundy (145 lbs.) vs. Nad Narimani (145.5 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 5. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for this event, relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. This morning the UFC is back in England and has brought a surprisingly solid card. In the main event former title challenger Darren Till tries to get back on track after his failed bid for the welterweight championship against battle tested Jorge Masvidal. We’re sticking with the welterweights in the co-main event as surging contender Leon Edwards meets dangerous grappler Gunnar Nelson, and then one of the last prospects at light heavyweight Dominick Reyes battles former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. On the rest of the card are a few interesting bouts, the Arnold Allen vs. Jordan Rinaldi encounter sticks out immediately to me as well as bantamweight prospects Nathaniel Wood and Jose Alberto Quinonez.

Word came down a couple of hours before the event was to start that Ian Heinisch vs. Tom Breese was called off due to health concerns around Breese. This isn’t the first time something like this happened to Breese, we here at 411 hope he recovers quickly. This kind of sucks as that fight was on the low key side but definitely had some potential. Because of that the event start time will be pushed back about fifteen minutes.

UFC on ESPN+ 5 comes to the world from the O2 Arena in London, England. On commentary we have the solid trio of John Gooden, Dan Hardy, and Paul Felder. As for the rules we’re under the new rules including instant replay for a fight ending sequence but the fight cannot be restarted once replay is used. The biggest changes under the new rules are that you need both palms or fists flat on the mat (or a knee of course) to be considered downed, and the scoring language is clearer and more encouraging of 10-8 scores.

Mike Grundy is making his UFC debut here, he brings an eight fight winning streak into it and is looking to make a good first impression. Nad Narimani has a five fight winning streak going that includes being 2-0 in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that streak here and start moving up the ranks of the division. Narimani is your -130 favorite against +110 for Grundy.

Featherweight Bout: Mike Grundy (11-1, 145 lbs.) vs. Nad Narimani (12-2, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Narimani is an inch taller while Grundy has two inches of reach advantage. There are “woo’s” to start the first fight, God help us all. Both men swing a few times but they’re still range finding more than anything. Grundy lands a left to counter a looping hook. Narimani keeps showing a lead hand uppercut to start his combinations and Grundy might have a read on that for his counter left hook. Grundy lands a right and Narimani is backing up. Straight right from Grundy stuns Narimani. Bit of a left hook from Narimani. Narimani lands a left uppercut. Grundy ducks under a punch and gets a double leg into side control against the fence. Narimani is trying to wall walk, Grundy punches him a few times in the face as he does so then gets a rear waist lock. Single leg now from Grundy but he bails on that and lands a couple of body shots on the break. Narimani tries a double leg, Grundy defends rather easily then lands a right. Pull back counter right from Grundy will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Grundy

ROUND TWO: Narimani comes out swinging a few hooks that fall short. Straight right from Grundy lands and Narimani is bleeding under the left eye though that could be on the cheek bone. Another right from Grundy but he gets off balanced from a counter left by Narimani. Bit of a right from Grundy but Narimani lands a solid counter right. Grundy ducks in on the legs and forces a clinch against the fence. They break without incident. Narimani blocks a double leg attempt, that attempt wasn’t set up at all for Grundy. It feels like Narimani has a better feel for the distance this round, and he lands a hard right that has Grundy backing up and a little wobbled. They trade left hooks and it’s Narimani that gets dropped, he’s back up but Grundy cracks him with a right and is looking to finish him as Narimani backs up along the fence. Grundy lands another couple of blows as Narimani is against the fence and Narimani locks up enough to get the ref to stop it while they’re standing.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mike Grundy via TKO, punches, at 4:42 of Round 2

Fun little scrap between those two. Grundy gets an interview, he notes this was his first TKO win and feels pretty good about doing that in his UFC debut. Hardy asks him about the punch that wobbled him, he down plays it then talks about being excited for his UFC debut and mentions he plans to stay here for a long time.

Here’s the finish. The left that starts things off lands on the temple of Narimani and just robs him of his balance, then pay attention to the shot selection of Grundy as he looks for the finish. He never gets too wild, never lets Narimani have a shot at really catching him in the exchanges, and finds the finish because of it.

Priscila Cachoeira made a bit of an impression in her UFC debut when she was basically a training dummy for Valentina Shevchenko, now she’s trying to avoid her first losing streak and prove she’s worth keeping around. Molly McCann also lost her UFC debut, she’s looking for the all important first UFC win. The odds are with McCann at -190 against a +160 comeback on Cachoeira.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Molly McCann (7-2, 126 lbs.) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (8-1, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cachoeira has three inches of height and reach on McCann. They touch gloves to get us going. Both women swinging but missing so far. McCann misses an elbow in close then lands a front kick to the body. Left hook from McCann lands. Bit of a right from McCann. Spinning back kick from McCann then a left and we get some pocket brawling. Cachoeira is standing straight up with her chin in the air during these exchanges where McCann is bobbing and weaving in close. Cachoeira lands a right. Both women miss punches. McCann lands a bit of a right then an elbow in close. Single leg from McCann, she gets an arm triangle from the bottom in the scramble and is selling out for that. McCann bails on that to go for an armbar, she gets perpendicular and rolls Cachoeira over into spider web control but she can’t break the defensive grip. McCann extends the arm but Cachoeira rolls her elbow out of danger, McCann keeps with the attempt but she’s not got the elbow bent at all and has to scramble for a front headlock. That should have been it on that armbar but the lack of wrist grip cost McCann. McCann moves to side control then full mount and lands elbows for the final ten seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 McCann

ROUND TWO: McCann opens up with a one two that wobbles Cachoeira. Another right from McCann, the lack of head movement and proper hand position is leaving Cachoeira wide open for these punches. Spinning back fist from McCann, Cachoeira is bleeding from the nose. Another right from McCann, Cachoeira is in zombie mode just walking forward. Cachoeira tries to fire back but McCann blocks them then lands a left hook. McCann lands a leg kick. Bit of a left hook from McCann. Hard right from McCann in close, Cachoeira is firing back but she’s missing almost everything. They get close and McCann lands some lefts. Leg kick from McCann then a right but Cachoeira lands a knee to the body. McCann lands a right and avoids the counters. Cachoeira avoids a takedown but eats a couple of punches. Cachoeira lands a left but eats a hard counter blow. They get close and swing a few blows, Cachoeira lands a hopping knee to the chest as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 McCann, nearly another 10-8 numerically, 20-17 McCann overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. McCann catches a leg kick and trips Cachoeira down then jumps for a guillotine, Cachoeira back up and they break without issue. Cachoeira lands a right, McCann gets a clinch and lands a left as they separate. Left hook from McCann lands. That right from Cachoeira has caused swelling around the left eye of McCann and that’s some bad swelling. McCann lands a left hook. Another left hook from McCann then a left elbow. McCann is landing that left hook most of the time but Cachoeira is walking through it. Cachoeira’s lack of foot work is catching up to her here, she can’t catch up to McCann even though McCann is basically blind in one eye with that swelling. McCann lands another left that staggers Cachoeira but she stays upright. Knee from Cachoeira from a brief clinch lands. The ref calls time for the doctor to check McCann’s eye, that swelling is gnarly and this is likely over. The doctor is in to check, he says she can continue. Apparently she can still see a bit and we’re still fighting. There’s a foul from Cachoeira on the restart, McCann is still good to continue and we’re swinging again. McCann is moving around the cage well, lands a left hook and is making Cachoeira miss as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cachoeira, 29-27 McCann overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Molly McCann via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Mic time for McCann, that eye is still swelling, and McCann is the first English female fighter to win in the UFC. She plays with the crowd, there are some audio issues and I’m missing a few bits here and there in what she’s saying. She says she’s been through hell and back, puts over her coaches and expresses gratitude at winning. I’m not sure how much of that cutting out was just issues or now much was the broadcast getting cut to avoid her profanity.

That is some gnarly swelling, credit to the doctor for letting her continue if she could still see through it.

Danny Henry is on a five fight winning streak including his first two UFC fights, he’s looking to extend that record here and move up in the opinion of the matchmakers. Dan Ige is 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s trying to get to three in a row and earn a bigger opportunity for his next fight. The odds are with Ige at -130 against +110 for Henry.

Featherweight Bout: Danny Henry (12-2, 146 lbs.) vs. Dan Ige (10-2, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Henry is five inches taller and has two inches of reach on Ige. They touch gloves to get us going. Ige lands a few body shots, Henry lands a right. Ige swarms forward and drops Henry with a right then swarms him along the fence but Henry survives and Ige moves to the back with one hook in and looks for the choke. Henry tries to hand fight but he’s still a little too wobbled to really do it properly and Ige locks up the choke and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dan Ige via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:17 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ige for his work this morning. Mic time for Ige, he says the fight went according to plan and puts over Henry. He talks us through the finish, then says that instead of asking for a bonus he sends thoughts and prayers to New Zealand, says we all bleed the same regardless of race, religion, or skin color and mentions that he loves them.

Here’s the flurry from Ige, he misses the first right but lands the left hook and then never lets Henry recover.

And here’s the finish. Mostly a textbook rear naked choke.

Nick Negumereanu is making his UFC debut on somewhat short notice here replacing an injured Gohkan Saki, he’s looking to make the most of the opportunity in front of him. Saparbek Safarov is 0-2 in the UFC with losses to Gian Villante and Tyson Pedro, he’s very likely fighting for his spot on the roster at this point. The odds are with the debuting Negumereanu at -155 against +135 for Safarov.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Nicolae Negumereanu (9-0, 204 lbs.) vs. Saparbek Safarov (8-2, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Safarov is an inch taller but they have identical reaches. They touch gloves to get us going. Safarov moving forward, lands a leg kick. Both men land rights in close and Safarov pushes into a clinch. Negumereanu has his back on the fence and they’re jockeying for position. Just some short knees from both men, Safarov keeps grabbing the fence to keep the position. Negumereanu gets a kimura roll but winds up on bottom and has to shrimp to full guard. A few body shots from Safarov land. Elbow from Safarov. Negumereanu doesn’t seem to have anything from the bottom, he’s not looking to wall walk. Negumereanu goes inverted for a leg lock and Safarov keeps grabbing the fence. The ref calls for a break, Safarov lands at least one punch when the ref calls for that. The ref takes a point from Safarov for grabbing the cage, frankly a DQ for that punch wouldn’t be uncalled for. They restart on the feet, Safarov lands a bit of a left hook. A few more hooks land for Safarov then a leg kick. Double leg from Safarov hits the fence and they clinch up again, this time they break quickly without incident. They stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW with the point deduction

ROUND TWO: Safarov coming forward again, he lands a leg kick. Negumereanu really needs to get going, he’s not really done much all fight so far. Jab from Safarov lands. Left from Safarov wobbles Negumereanu badly. Negumereanu lands a right, he’s charging after Safarov and runs into a left hook. Double leg from Safarov, Negumereanu tries to kick him off but can’t get up and Safarov gets half guard. Elbows from Safarov, Negumereanu goes inverted for a heel hook again but he’s got no control over the knee line and Safarov hammer fists him until he loses the grip and Safarov is on top in full guard. A few more punches land for Safarov. Both men have been grabbing the fence this round, not sure if another point deduction is incoming. Safarov lands a few punches and moves to half guard. Negumereanu has some swelling around the right eye from all the blows he’s taken. Safarov moves to half guard on the other side and lands more elbows and hammer fists. Full mount for Safarov and he looks to swarm with elbows but Negumereanu is bucking and might survive the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Safarov, 19-17 Safarov overall

ROUND THREE: I wouldn’t have been shocked if Negumereanu couldn’t make the third, but he did despite his fave being a mess. Safarov walks him back into the fence and lands a left hook. Right from Safarov then he looks for a double leg along the fence and gets Negumereanu down into half guard. Negumereanu gets full guard but he’s still not doing much that isn’t gimmicky from guard. Safarov lands a few punches and looks to pass to half guard, and there he goes into half guard. Body shots from Safarov and he’s after a kimura but can’t get the double wrist lock position. A few punches from Safarov land as Negumereanu gets full guard. They’re kind of just hanging out, Safarov working some arm punches then moves to half guard. Safarov lands a knee to the body then a left hook. Negumereanu gets full guard back but he’s still getting mauled. Elbow from Safarov but he’s not really looking for the finish at this point because if he wanted it he could probably force the issue. Negumereanu fishes for a kimura grip as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Safarov, 29-25 Safarov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Saparbek Safarov via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-26 x2)

Negumereanu shouldn’t be in the UFC, and some judge not giving Safarov a 10-8 second round is just asinine. No interview for Safarov, and let’s all just try to forget that thing happened.

Marc Diakiese has gone 3-3 in the UFC but he’s currently on a three fight losing streak and needs to reverse that trend here or likely be cut from the UFC as just another explosive striker who couldn’t cut it at the UFC level. Joseph Duffy has gone 4-2 in the UFC but hasn’t been in action since November of 2017 when he was stopped by James Vick, now he’s looking to rebound from that loss and start moving back up the ranks of the lightweight division. Duffy is your -190 favorite against +160 for Diakiese.

Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (12-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Joseph Duffy (16-3, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two have identical heights and reaches. Some feinting from both men to start. Duffy lands a couple of inside leg kicks then checks a leg kick. Hard leg kick from Diakiese. Double leg from Duffy and he’s got Diakiese down against the fence, Diakiese wall walks but is still stuck in the clinch. They break without issue. Leg kick from Duffy. They both land rights in close, Duffy then lands a bit of an outside crescent kick. Spinning back kick to the body from Diakiese. Duffy lands a jab after checking a leg kick. Calf kick from Diakiese takes the legs from under Duffy for a second. Leg kick from Duffy. Diakiese misses a wheel kick. Left to the body from Duffy and Diakiese lands another calf kick. Diakiese sprawls away from a takedown attempt. Duffy lands a bit of a right on the reset. Both men land body shots in close, Diakiese lands a stepping elbow that drops Duffy for a second. Diakiese lands another leg kick, Duffy is switching his stance to protect his leg. Duffy misses a spinning elbow then eats a body kick. Both men land punches in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Diakiese

ROUND TWO: The left calf of Duffy is swelling and discolored as the round starts. Duffy comes out southpaw this time and lands a bit of a one two. Diakiese lands a body kick. Another body kick form Diakiese and they clinch up, Duffy winds up on bottom in full guard but he’s got control over the posture of Diakiese. The ref stands them up, in fairness neither man had done much of anything there. Diakiese lands a calf kick. Duffy is trying to come forward, Diakiese lands to the body. Bit of a left from Duffy and they clinch up on the fence. Elbow from Duffy in close as he’s got Diakiese on the fence. There’s some blood around the left eyebrow of Duffy. They break without incident and Duffy lands a couple of body shots. Diakiese might be fading at this point. Diakiese gets a go behind into a clinch and gets Duffy down, he’s got a waist lock as Duffy wall walks. They wind up chest to chest. The round will close out in that spot.

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

ROUND THREE: Diakiese tries a few jumping kicks that miss. Duffy lands a body kick then Diakiese lands a calf kick. Body shot from Diakiese lands in close then he lands another calf kick. Duffy is pressing forward now, he’s got Diakiese along the fence and is looking to land on him. Another clinch, Diakiese gets Duffy down and has a rear waist lock as they stand. Bit of an elbow from Duffy as they wind up chest to chest again. Duffy tries a judo throw, but Diakiese smothers that and winds up on top in half guard. Diakiese works some lefts as he looks to get the back when Duffy posts to wall walk. One hook in for Diakiese, Duffy tries to roll through but there’s no real motion to it and Diakiese is still on top landing some offense. Diakiese kicks the legs out from Duffy as he stands then moves to mount as time runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marc Diakiese via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Probably the most complete performance of Diakiese’s career as he breaks down after breaking his three fight losing streak. In tears he says this win means everything, he can barely talk as the emotion gets the better of him.

Arnold Allen has gone 4-0 in the UFC and has a couple of performance of the night bonuses in that stretch, he’s looking to get to five in a row here and continue moving up in competition. Jordan Rinaldi has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win when he returned to featherweight and is looking to build on that success and take out a recognized prospect in the form of Allen. The odds are with Allen at -140 against a +120 comeback on Rinaldi.

Featherweight Bout: Arnold Allen (13-1, 145 lbs.) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (14-6, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rinaldi has two inches of height and reach on Allen. They touch gloves to get us going, Allen fighting southpaw. Bit of a leg kick from Rinaldi as they circle around each other. Both men looking to get a read on each other, lots of feinting and range finding techniques. Body kick from Rinaldi but he slips and winds up on his back with Allen standing over him landing a few leg kicks. Things are stalling out and the ref makes them restart on the feet. Leg kick from Rinaldi. Neither man has had a lot of success thus far. Leg kick from Rinaldi. Allen misses a couple of head kick. Rinaldi lands a straight right. Allen misses a jumping kick, they get close and both men miss hooks as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rinaldi but probably went to Allen

ROUND TWO: Allen circling again to start this round. Both men missing some punches, still trying to get a read on each other. Rinaldi missing some punches, Allen lands a counter left. Allen is doing a great job of slipping the offense of Rinaldi but his counters aren’t coming yet. They trade rights, Allen lands a left to the body. Rinaldi lands a one two. Allen avoids a takedown attempt. Leg kick from Rinaldi but his offense has largely been ineffective. Allen lands a left. Body shot from Allen, he’s getting to Rinaldi with those body shots. The counters from Allen are starting to come through when he avoids the offense of Rinaldi now. Allen lands a series of lefts, he knocks Rinaldi down just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Allen, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Allen avoids some kicks to start this round, then lands a counter left. Left to the body from Allen then a counter one two. Allen digs the body again, Rinaldi lands a body kick. Allen slips a right and lands a hard left to the body that locks up Rinaldi for a second and Allen tries to flurry but Rinaldi picks an ankle to stem the offense but can’t get the takedown. Rinaldi lands a straight right. Allen avoids a takedown attempt, his defense has been on point. Left to the body from Allen then a bit of a high kick that’s blocked. Allen comes forward, lands a left to the body and head then flurries along the fence as time runs down.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Arnold Allen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)

Not sure which round could be 10-8 even under the new rules. Mic time for Allen, he apologizes for the fight being boring then pimps an upcoming fight that his father is going to be involved in. He says he wanted to prove he could be a patient fighter who could shut down his opponent and promises more to come. He talks a bit about the closing flurries being part of his game plan to close out his interview.

That will close out the prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ as we head to the main card.

Jack Marshman has gone 2-3 in the UFC but is on a two fight losing streak right now and needs a win rather badly, especially since he missed weight for this bout. John Phillips has gone 0-2 in the UFC and is in pretty dire straits here as going 0-3 in your first three bouts usually results in a pink slip from the UFC.

Middleweight Bout: Jack Marshman (22-8, 188 lbs.) vs. John Phillips (21-8, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Marshman is an inch taller while Phillips has two inches of reach on him. They touch gloves, Phillips fighting southpaw. Phillips coming forward early, Marshman circling and they’re both probing with jabs. Phillips lands a left and they clinch up on the fence. Marshman has his back on the fence and Phillips lands a few body shots. They break without incident. Phillips lands a bit of a leg kick then they trade punches in close. Marshamn tries a takedown, there’s nothing doing and Phillips lands a right on the break. Another right from Phillips along the fence drops Marshman and he then makes Marshman stand back up. Marshman lands a couple of rights. Phillips is still coming forward but he’s struggling with the distance at the moment. Bit of a counter left from Phillips, Marshman fires back to the body. Marshman lands a body kick. Phillips lands a lunging right hook then a left just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Phillips

ROUND TWO: Phillips is back to pressing forward, Marshman circling. Bit of a left from Phillips to counter a body kick. Another body kick from Marshman. More body kicks from Marshman, that’s been the only real offense of the round. Glancing left from Phillips but his output is low at the moment. Another body kick from Marshman off balances Phillips but Marshman misses a few more punches. Phillips lands a left to the body but eats a counter right. Marshman lands a body kick. Left to the body from Marshman. Phillips lands a left then a right to the body. Marshman lands a straight right. A couple of hooks from Marshman land, Phillips tries to goad him into a brawl but he’s not biting as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Marshman, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug briefly to start the last round. Phillips lands a straight left. Marshman lands a solid body kick. Phillips is perpetually just a little short with his punches, he’s planting his feet too early to try and get power and as a result he’s falling short. Left to the body from Phillips. Glancing left from Phillips. Another left to the body from Phillips that he follows up with a left hook to the head. Marshman lands a jab. Phillips has been consistently pushing forward and getting Marshman to the fence. Left then a body kick from Phillips. Straight left from Phillips lands after he slipped a few punches from Marshman. Phillips lands a left, tries to get a brawl but they both just stare and feint rather than throw as time runs down.

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

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

I disagree with that, Marshman didn’t really do much countering in the third round. Marshman on the mic, says he wasn’t going to just stand and brawl with Phillips as he’d get his head knocked off. He maintains that he won the second and third rounds.

Danny Roberts has gone 5-2 in the UFC and is on his second two fight winning streak during that time, he’s trying to get to three in a row and possibly take a step up in competition for his next bout. Claudio Silva has won twelve fights in a row including three UFC bouts, he’s likewise looking to get a win and separate himself from the pack at welterweight. Silva is your -145 favorite while a Roberts win would pay out at +125.

Welterweight Bout: Danny Roberts (16-3, 170 lbs.) vs. Claudio Silva (12-1, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Roberts is two inches taller and has three inches of reach on Silva. Both men fighting southpaw, Silva lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Silva then a jab. Roberts avoids a reaching takedown attempt. Another leg kick from Silva lands. Jab from Silva then an overhand left. Another leg kick from Silva, Roberts is circling and keeping distance but he’s struggling with his offense. Silva punches into a clinch and gets a takedown into the guard of Roberts. Roberts is locked around the body of Silva looking to control posture but Silva passes to half guard easily. Silva is after another pass, Roberts is defending so far but he can’t keep it up and Silva gets to side control. Short elbows and a knee to the body from Silva. Silva looking for north-south, just moves to the other side for side control to find a better angle to attack from. Silva puts himself into half guard to try and move into mount from that spot. Yep, there he goes into full mount and lands punches then looks for an arm triangle. He’s got the position locked up but he’s still in mount and he needs to adjust if he wants to finish, Roberts rides through his attempt to finish and gets on top for the final few seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Silva

ROUND TWO: Silva opens with a leg kick. Roberts lands a left that wobbles Silva but Silva gets a takedown off of it and is on top in half guard again. Roberts is by the fence this time and might look to wall walk. Silva is looking for that knee smash into full mount again, he winds up on top in full mount again after threatening an armbar. Another arm triangle position but the fence is blocking that. Roberts bridges off of the fence, the ref pauses them and resets them after seeing that Roberts used the fence to do so by gripping with his toes. Pity for Silva, he had an armbar attempt off of that motion. Silva is riding Roberts now, gets the back and tries another arm triangle as Roberts moves to his back again, Roberts hits the same escape as the first round though and is on top. Elbow from Roberts, Silva looking for a knee bar, he can’t get it but the motion starts a scramble and they wind up at distance on the feet. Roberts lands a one two and they clinch up. They trade knees then Roberts lands a left and Silva gets him down on a takedown though. Silva has the back sitting on the fence and gets both hooks in. Silva after the rear naked choke, Roberts is defending that and Silva postures up to land punches from the back. Another choke attempt, he’s using Roberts’ defense to attack him and rolls into a triangle choke but loses the grip with his legs. They’re back up in the clinch as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Silva, 20-17 Silva overall

ROUND THREE: Silva looks pretty gassed at this point. Roberts is bouncing around, lands a straight left and Silva is down but he locks up half guard. Roberts with some elbows and punches on the ground, Silva is looking for a sweep or an inversion but he’s very sluggish now. Short elbows from Roberts and Silva is bleeding but he’s trying for another inversion for the leg and gets it. Knee bar into a heel hook attempt from Silva, that’s pretty close but Roberts straightens his leg out and Silva is transitioning with Roberts. Roberts gets free and Silva has full guard. Armbar from Silva, that was really quick and Roberts is fighting to keep his arm bent. Roberts tries to slam free, Silva keeps the arm and Roberts exclaims in pain and that will count as a submission.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Claudio Silva via Verbal Submission, armbar, at 3:37 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his work this afternoon. I’m not sure about the call there from the ref but we can’t get a decent replay of the audio to confirm or deny. Mic time for Silva, he puts over Roberts as a tough opponent and wants the two of them to win Fight of the Night. Asked about the finish he says he heard Roberts cry of pain and puts over his submission defense, then talks a bit about his history and how long he’s been fighting as well as his childhood. He puts over some of his coaches, then talks about how long he’s lived in London and that it’s the place where all the best things in his life have happened to him. To close he speaks some Portuguese for the Brazilians watching that goes untranslated and expresses condolences for the religious violence and tells everyone that we’re all the same and that there’s no difference between races.

Roberts gets a quick interview, he says the armbar was tight and apologizes because he wanted to keep fighting then promises to be back better and stronger. He mentions that when the ref stopped it he was out of the armbar but he might have made a noise when it was tight.

Here’s the finish, I’ll let you decide for yourselves if you can make out the verbal submission. And a minor note, any exclamation of pain constitutes a verbal submission not just saying “tap”.

Nathaniel Wood has emerged as an interesting prospect at bantamweight, he’s won seven fights in a row and has gone 2-0 in the UFC. Wood is trying to showcase improvement and start the transition from prospect towards contender status. Jose Alberto Quinonez is on a four fight winning streak and has gone 4-1 in the UFC overall, he’s also looking to move from prospect towards contender status at the expense of a recognized prospect. Wood is a solid -300 favorite against +240 for Quinonez.

Bantamweight Bout: Nathaniel Wood (15-3, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (7-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Quinonez is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Southpaw for Quinonez. Wood lands a right to counter a leg kick. Another straight fight from Wood off balances Quinonez for a second. Wood ducks under a kick and they clinch up on the fence. Quinonez is after a single leg, Wood defending but Quinonez finally gets a body lock takedown into side control. Wood hits a sweep into top position, Quinonez back up and they separate. Leg kick from Quinonez. Wood still pressing forward, looking to land counter punches. Quinonez is still landing leg kicks while looking to circle. Wood lands a left hook. Another left from Wood drops Quinonez and he’s after a d’arce choke from a front head lock position. Wood adjusts for the choke, Quinonez defending so far and Wood has to abandon the choke as Quinonez gets to his feet. Right from Wood sneaks through the guard of Quinonez then lands a leg kick. Quinonez lands a body kick. Wood lands a straight right but he’s still trying to get a feel for the punches as he’s just a little short. They clinch up and Wood gets a takedown as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Wood

ROUND TWO: Wood lands a leg kick to get the round going. Quinonez lands a leg kick and eats a bit of a counter left hook. Wood lands a counter straight right to a leg kick. Quinonez is throwing naked leg kicks rather than setting them up. They clinch up and hit the fence. Quinonez is after a takedown but Wood is defending so far. They both land short blows then break apart. The forward pressure from Wood is getting to Quinonez a bit, he lands another counter right. Another clinch and they hit the fence. Wood is still defending well then trips Quinonez down and lands in half guard. Quinonez to his knees but gives up his back and Wood snatches the choke incredibly quickly and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Nathaniel Wood via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:46 of Round 2

Solid performance from Wood, who continues to be one of the more interesting up and comers in the division. Mic time for Wood, he says this is a dream come true for him as he’s a native Londoner. He says the game plan is just to work his game and make his opponent adjust, then puts over Quinonez and says he couldn’t find his left hook. Asked what’s next he says improvement and eventually the top ten. He says he plans to take a brief holiday, get fat, then come back and get back to work.

Here’s the finish, Wood grabs submissions incredibly quickly with even small openings.

We get our first announcement for this years Hall of Fame, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. No issues with that, and they put together a pretty good video for him as well. He’ll be going into the modern wing. Bisping is cage side for this event and is visibly moved by that, they also play his traditional walkout song for a few moments.

Volkan Oezdemir has had a really odd career lately, he burst onto the UFC scene with three wins en route to a title shot but then was man handled by Daniel Cormier and is currently coming off of a loss to Anthony Smith. Oezdemir is trying to salvage his UFC run at this point as dropping three fights in a row is never a good thing, even in a division as damaged as light heavyweight. Dominick Reyes is undefeated and one of the few remaining contenders the division has at the moment, he’s gone 4-0 in the UFC against a steadily escalating level of opposition and now sets his sights on his second former title challenger. If Reyes can get another win here it will be hard to keep him out of the title discussion. Reyes is your -240 favorite while Oezdemir is a +190 underdog.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #6 Volkan Oezdemir (15-3, 205 lbs.) vs. #8 Dominick Reyes (10-0, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Reyes has two inches of height and reach on Oezdemir. Reyes fighting southpaw, and circling to start. Inside leg kick from Reyes then a bit of a high kick. Body kick from Reyes then a hard leg kick that takes the legs out from under Oezdemir. Oezdemir pushes forward and lands a bit of a left hook but he’s struggling at range. Reyes avoids a low kick then tries a leg kick but that one hit the cup of Oezdemir so we’ve got time out. Oezdemir is good to continue and Reyes opens up with an inside leg kick. Clubbing right from Oezdemir lands but Reyes avoids the follow ups. Oezdemir lands a hard leg kick that drops Reyes to the mat, he’s down with him and Reyes wall walks very quickly but they’re still in the clinch. Reyes lands a bit of an elbow as he spins free and separates. Another inside leg kick from Reyes then straight left but Oezdemir gets the clinch off of that and has Reyes down. Reyes is looking to wall walk, Oezdemir lands a right as he gets up but keeps the clinch. They break without incident. Reyes lands a body kick. Reyes ducks under a left hook and lands a left to the body. Another body kick from Reyes, Oezdemir tries to flurry along the fence but the vast majority of that is blocked. Oezdemir has a head kick blocked, that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Reyes

ROUND TWO: Reyes back to circling, lands an inside leg kick and blocks the counters. Oezdemir lands a couple of inside leg kicks then Reyes lands a left. Front kick to the body from Reyes. Hard inside leg kick from Reyes. Bit of a left from Reyes while circling along the fence. Reyes goes for a single leg but can’t finish it. Oezdemir tries a takedown but this one is easily defended. Body kick from Reyes lands. They both land rights, Reyes lands a straight left. Bit of a right from Oezdemir but Reyes is moving his head and avoiding most of the impact. Reyes lands a knee to the body but eats a bit of a right. Inside leg kick from Reyes. They clinch, Oezdemir defends a takedown and lands a few punches on the break. Reyes lands a body kick then a straight left. Inside leg kick from Reyes. There’s some damage on the nose of Reyes, it’s having an impact on his breathing. Oezdemir tries another takedown but can’t finish it before the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Another inside leg kick from Reyes but Oezdemir gets a takedown, Reyes back up along the fence and breaks safely. A couple of inside leg kicks from Oezdemir, Reyes lands a couple of punches and has a high kick blocked. Left to the body from Reyes. Reyes lands a hard left to the chin. Another straight left from Reyes but he doesn’t have the same pop on his blows at this point. Takedown attempt from Oezdemir, they wind up hitting the fence in the clinch. They break without incident. Knee to the body from Reyes and Oezdemir is backing up, he might be hurt to the body. Body kick from Oezdemir then a left to the body. More body work from Reyes, Oezdemir is coasting a bit at this point. Bit of a right from Oezdemir as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Reyes, 30-27 Reyes overall but this has split decision written all over it

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

Not the best showing from either man. Mic time for Reyes, he says the fight was tough and puts over Oezdemir and feels he deserved the win. Asked who he’d like next he says no one in particular but he’s coming for Jon Jones eventually. He says he’s got to keep evolving and thanks the crowd for coming out.

I’ve got to point this out, and apologize for potentially editorializing too much. This card has felt poorly paced, maybe it’s just me but man this has felt like an FS1 card in terms of pacing and that’s a crying shame considering how much quicker the previous ESPN+ cards have felt. I’m curious as to if any of you agree or disagree.

Leon Edwards is on an impressive six fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since he ran into current champion Kamaru Usman back in 2015, he’s looking to move up in the rankings with a seventh consecutive win and earn a shot at the very top of the division. Gunnar Nelson is coming off of a win over Alex Oliveira and is trying for his first winning streak since early 2017, but a win over a streaking contender like Edwards would vault Nelson towards the top of the division. The odds are with Edwards at -150 while Nelson is a slight +130 underdog.

Welterweight Bout: #10 Leon Edwards (16-3, 170 lbs.) vs. #13 Gunnar Nelson (17-3-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Edwards is three inches taller and has two inches of reach on Nelson. They touch gloves, Edwards fighting southpaw. Both men feinting at distance. Body kick from Nelson. They clinch up and Nelson pushes Edwards into the fence. Nelson tries a double leg, switches to a body lock and gets Edwards down. Edwards back up, Nelson takes him back down against the fence. Edwards is back up again and still in the clinch. Nelson is keeping Edwards on the fence, Edwards pummels and elevates then slams Nelson. Edwards moves to the ride position and lands a few lefts while Nelson is kneeling along the fence. Edwards is looking to slide all the way to the back but Nelson is blocking that. Nelson is up along the fence, Edwards lands a few knees to the thigh then takes Nelson down again. Nelson pops back up this time and they’re separated. Edwards lands a front kick to the body, then a roundhouse to the body as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Edwards

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Bit of a head kick from Nelson, Edwards returns it. Edwards slips away from a lunging right. Bit of a body kick from Edwards. They clinch up in open space, Edwards lands a few knees to the body. Elbow from Edwards on the break from that clinch. Nelson pushes into a clinch and they hit the fence. Some positional jockeying, Edwards digs to the body a few times then lands an elbow as they break. Bit of a right from Nelson as he jumps into a clinch and gets Edwards to the fence. Knees from Edwards, and he slips free. Nelson lands a looping right. Another clinch, Edwards with knees and elbows then a left punch as they break. Edwards slips a right and lands a left elbow that floors Nelson. Edwards on top landing punches and elbows, Nelson manages to hang on until the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Nelson has some hard swelling under his right eye from that elbow on the feet in the second. They touch gloves for the last round. Edwards is still working on the outside, he’s trying to bait Nelson into over committing. Nelson shoots a double leg, they hit the fence but Edwards defends. Second effort from Nelson on a single leg but Edwards still defends then spins free. Another punch into a clinch from Nelson as they hit the fence. Edwards is defending well and they trade knees then break apart. Nelson lands a jab and gets another clinch but again can’t finish the takedown. Edwards gets double under hooks and spins Nelson into the fence. Edwards gets a takedown and has a ride position as Nelson is along the fence. Nelson is up and gets chest to chest, Edwards lands an elbow and some body shots on the break. Edwards eats a right as Nelson goes for a double leg, he really has to work for it but Nelson does get the takedown into half guard then moves to full mount. That pass from Nelson was slick. Edwards is holding his posture trying to control Nelson. Nelson is trying to get a few blows off but Edwards is avoiding them and the clock will run down on Nelson.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nelson, 29-28 Edwards overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Leon Edwards via split decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)

There’s no excuse for giving Nelson two rounds of that fight, absolutely none. Mic time for Edwards, he says he thought he won both of the first two rounds and most of the third. He says he should have respect, he wants the winner of the main event as he’s on a seven fight winning streak and feels he deserves it. He mentions finding the opening to strike on the clinch break as Nelson kept dropping his hands there, then says he can fight anywhere. He mentions specifically wanting a rematch with Usman at some point.

Darren Till is coming off of his first professional loss when he was shut down and finished by then champion Tyron Woodley in a failed bid to claim the title. Till is trying to rebound from that setback and prove he’s still a relevant player in the division. Jorge Masvidal is on a two fight losing streak and while his loss to Demian Maia could easily have gone his way, he looked a little flustered when he lost against Stephen Thompson in November of 2017. Masvidal could claim one of the bigger wins of his career here and immediately reassert himself in the division. The odds are with Till at -220 while Masvidal’s comeback sits at +180.

Welterweight Bout: #3 Darren Till (17-1-1, 171 lbs.) vs. #11 Jorge Masvidal (32-13, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Till is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach on Masvidal. Southpaw for Till, Masvidal comes out and fires a kick that hits the groin of Till so we’ve got a pause about a second into the fight. Till is good to continue and we get an apology for Masvidal. Till lands a straight left and Masvidal is down. Top position for Till along the fence, Masvidal scrambling and he’s back up. They trade body kicks then Masvidal lands a right. Inside leg kick from Masvidal then a body kick but Till catches that one and gets on top. Full guard for Masvidal, Till decides he doesn’t like the spot and forces the restart. A couple of inside leg kicks from Masvidal land. Jab from Masvidal lands. Till avoids a couple of rights, then Masvidal lands a body kick. Single leg from Masvidal is blocked but he lands some punches while Till gets his leg back. Straight left lands for Till then a body shot. They trade power hand punches. Masvidal avoids a couple of lefts but Till gets a clinch, Masvidal lands an elbow as they break. Body kick from Till and Masvidal lands a leg kick. Masvidal lands a left hook then a body kick. Counter right hook then a left from Masvidal both land. Till lands a jab. They clinch up and Till has Masvidal on the fence again. A few knees from Masvidal then they break and Till lands a couple of lefts. Till avoids some punches, eats a body kick, and that brings the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Till

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. A couple of jabs from Till, Masvidal lands an inside leg kick. Body kick from Masvidal lands then a counter left. Masvidal takes an eye poke and we’ve got time again. The doctor is in to double check the eye, while the replay confirms the poke. Masvidal is good to continue and we’re back to fighting. Knee tap from Masvidal and he’s got Tills back in the ride position but Till wall walks quickly and is stuck in the clinch. Masvidal is looking for trips but can’t get one before Till pulls free. Left from Masvidal lands. They trade lefts then Masvidal lands a hard body kick. That body kick has been money for Masvidal so far. Masvidal slips a left then lands three punches and a body kick. The defense for Masvidal is working well, he’s got a read on that left from Till and is slipping it. Left from Masvidal and a right knocks Till out COLD! Damn that was a punch.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jorge Masvidal via KO, punches, at 3:05 of Round 2

Till is down and out for along time. That lunging left hook from Masvidal ended Till and he hit him at least twice before he hit the mat. Till was barely getting to his stool as the decision was announced. Mic time for Masvidal, he expresses love for his wife and children as well as the rest of his family then thanks God for his journey and calls this experience amazing and puts over the crowd. He puts over Till as a young guy who’s going to be a tiger some day. He calls for a title shot, he says that he might not have a country behind him but he’s got the world on his back. He talks us through the finish, mentions he was throwing something he hasn’t really shown in fighting yet, then mentions that left from Till hurt him and he wanted to kill him for dropping him. He loves the sport and wants to fight for the belt this year, and says he doesn’t want someone petty, he wants to fight the best in the world and wants the belt. To close he petitions for Fight of the Night, and says that’s definitely KO of the night and wants the full 100k because his kids have to go to college. Great promo from Masvidal.

Here’s a quick look at the finish, I’ll look for a better one. Masvidal shuffle steps into southpaw, the motion baits Till into extending his hands and leaning back that leaves a wide open lane for the left hook that Masvidal blasts across his jaw.

Here’s another look at it. Really slick stuff from Masvidal that masquerades as wildness, he’s been seriously under appreciated during his career.

Well on that rather emphatic note, UFC on ESPN+ 5 comes to a close. Seriously I think that finish from Masvidal is KO of the year so far, we’ll just have to see if it holds up. Thank you all for being here and following along, not the best card but the finish in the main event saved a lot of it. Mostly it was a pacing issue, this one felt like an FS1 card not an ESPN card, hopefully they fix it for the next event. Speaking of the next event, next Saturday the UFC is in Tennessee and brings Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis as the main event. Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show we’ll be reviewing all the action from this event and looking ahead to that card, if you’ve got a question or comment you’d like addressed on air feel free to leave it below or tweet me @WinfreeMMA and I’ll do my best to get it on the air. I’ll be back next week, I hope you’ll join me but until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 5, Robert Winfree