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411’s UFC Fight Night Report: Vettori Wins

December 6, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN 19

MAIN CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
#4 Jack Hermansson (185.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Marvin Vettori (186 lbs.)
Jamahal Hill (205.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Ovince Saint Preux (207.5 lbs.)*
Gabriel Benitez (155.5 lbs.) vs. Justin Jaynes (156 lbs.)
#15 Montana De La Rosa (125.75 lbs.) vs. Taila Santos (125.5 lbs.)
John Allan (205 lbs.) vs. Roman Dolidze (205 lbs.)
Jordan Leavitt (155.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Wiman (155.5 lbs.)
Movsar Evloev (145.5 lbs.) vs. Nate Landwehr (145.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
Jose Quinonez (135 lbs.) vs. Louis Smolka (134.5 lbs.)
Cody Durden (125.5 lbs.) vs. Jimmy Flick (125.5 lbs.)
Damon Jackson (145 lbs.) vs. Ilia Topuria (145 lbs.)
Jake Collier (264.5 lbs.) vs. Gian Villante (243 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN 19, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host. Boy the UFC sure is limping across the 2020 finish line, aren’t they? All of the final 6 UFC main events have been changed due to injury or Covid at this point. Tonight is just the most prescient example, as our main event is on it’s third iteration. Jack Hermansson was supposed to fight Darren Till, but on November 6th Till pulled out with an injury, Kevin Holland stepped up but failed a Covid test on the 28th. On the plus side there was a fairly easy switch, Holland got bumped to next weeks PPV to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza while Souza’s original opponent Marvin Vettori swapped in here to battle Hermansson. That said the main event is at least relevant, which is more than can be said for most of the rest of the card. Ovince Saint Preux missed weight for his light heavyweight fight against someone making just their second UFC appearance, Movsar Evloev vs. Nate Landwehr might be fun, and Louis Smolka vs. Jose Quinonez could be good scramble fest. On the down side Gian Villante is fighting, and there’s a second light heavyweight fight on the main card that all we can do is hope ends quickly. Mostly we’re in hope the card is better in practice than paper mode again.

UFC on ESPN 19 comes to the world from UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Paul Felder, and Dominick Cruz. Trevor Wittman will also be on hand, which is always nice to hear. As for the rules, Nevada uses most of the new rules except for the downed fighter one so you still only need one hand on the mat to be down. We also have the use of instant replay whenever the referee or the cage side review official want to use it and the fight can be restarted if that’s an applicable consideration. Don’t forget we’re in the smaller 25 foot diameter octagon as well, instead of the usual 30 footer.

Oh boy, just 80 minutes before the event was to start word came down that one of Montana De La Rosa’s cornermen and Movsar Evloev both had positive Covid tests come down so those fights are off. Remember what I said up there about limping over the finish line? Depending on how the next couple of events go crawling might be a more accurate description. Wait, the Jimmy Flick fight is off too? Covid outbreak in the APEX, time to panic.

(For legal purposes, I have no knowledge of an outbreak or the qualifications to call for a general panic)

More seriously, the Flick and Durden fight was not a covid or weight cut related issue, they’re trying to rebook that fight for the 19th.

We actually open the broadcast with 30 minutes until the first fight, so, yeah that’s a thing.

Gian Villante is just 1-3 in his last four fights and is currently on a two fight losing streak that has seen him finished twice. Many of us have been questioning Villante’s place on the roster and if he drops three in a row here he might finally get the ax. Jake Collier ended a near three year layoff earlier this year, and had gained a tremendous amount of weight contributing to a 45 second loss. Collier could likewise be fighting for his spot on the roster in this bout. The odds are with Villante at -190 to a +160 comeback on Collier.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jake Collier (11-5, 264.5 lbs.) vs. Gian Villante (17-12, 243 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height, Collier has two and a half inches of reach in addition to being 20 pounds heavier. They touch gloves to get us going. Collier starts out jabbing, and lands a leg kick. A few punches are traded. Leg kick from Collier, he’s landed a few of those. Calf kick then a stiff jab from Collier. Bit of a right from Villante, then they split jabs. Some more jabs, Collier is bleeding from the nose I think. Collier lands a couple of jabs, and they both miss labored rights. Bit of a knee from Collier. Jab from Collier stumbles Villante for a second. Collier lands a left to the body. Left hook from Collier, Villante’s total lack of head movement is biting him. Collier lands a left hook that staggers Villante, but he can’t really follow up before Villante is able to recover. Calf kick from Collier, Villante blocks some punches. Villante lands a jab. Collier lands another leg kick. Bit of a right from Collier. Some jabs are traded, then Collier lands a couple of power punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Collier

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Villante lands a right. Collier with some lefts, then a right of his own. Right from Collier, he’s coming forward and Villante isn’t having much success on the back foot. Collier lands a right, and they trade more jabs. If either of these guys would move their head while throwing they’d be clowning the other. Front kick to the body from Collier, then a left body kick. Collier lands an uppercut. Villante lands an uppercut and a left hook, but eats a calf kick. Collier with a few jabs. More leg kicks, inside and out from Collier. Jab from Collier, then another but Villante lands a right. Both men land rights. Some lefts from Collier, he might have hurt his right hand. Villante lands an inside leg kick, then eats a right. Collier lands a right. Right from Collier, Villante lands a body shot and they clinch. Knee to the body from Collier as they break, then a spinning back kick to the body closes the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Collier coming forward again, and lands a body kick. Apparently that strayed low so we’ve got time out. Both men could use the further breather. Replay on the blow is a little unclear, looks kind of clean, but Villante is good to continue. No clock on the time out this time, I’m sad. Collier lands a right, then they trade lefts. Bit of an uppercut from Villante, and Collier back to kicking the legs. Front kick to the body from Collier. Left from Collier. Villante blocks a spinning back fist. Collier lands a left hook. Bit of an elbow from Collier, then another one. Collier takes a low blow this time, this one more obviously a shot to the groin. Oh, there’s our time clock. Collier is good to continue after about 50 seconds. They trade punches again, then Collier lands a couple of rights and a left hook. Collier lands a right. Stabbing left front kick to the body from Collier, those are good but he’s waited too long to get them going. Collier lands a right, that seems to have staggered Villante. More pressure from Collier, and a knee to the body. Spinning back kick to the body from Collier then a straight right. Collier lands a few more jabs. A brief clinch, and a knee to the body from Collier. Another bit of flurry closes the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jake Collier via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

I’d make a walrus joke, but I don’t want to insult walruses. Walrusi? Pretty sure it’s walruses. No interview for Collier.

Ilia Topuria is undefeated including a successful UFC debut a couple of months ago when he halted the momentum of Youssef Zalal, now he’s trying to maintain that with his second UFC win. Damon Jackson secured his first UFC win when he returned to the promotion in September, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak here at the expense of a rising prospect. The undefeated Topuria is the -260 favorite to a tempting +210 value bet on Jackson.

Featherweight Bout: Damon Jackson (18-3-1 1 NC, 145 lbs.) vs. Ilia Topuria (9-0, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jackson is four inches taller but has just two inches of reach advantage while Topuria is nine years younger. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men circling, and probing. Body kick from Jackson, but he eats a right on the counter. Topuria lands a couple of hard body shots, Jackson didn’t like that. More body shots from Topuria, and jabs up top. Jackson lands a straight right. Left from Topuria, right from Jackson. Jackson lands a right, and bulls forward into a left uppercut but he does get the clinch. Knee from Jackson as they break. Topuria with another hard left to the body. Left hook from Topuria, then they trade leg kicks. Topuria digs to the body in close and avoids a clinch. Those lefts to the body from Topuria are nasty, he’s breaking Jackson down. A left to the body from Topuria draws the hands down, then a hard right to the head floors Jackson and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ilia Topuria via KO, punches, at 2:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Topuria for his work this evening. Mic time for Topuria, he opens with English but notes his English isn’t great and hopes his translator shows up. He does well with English, joking about his manager giving him grief for the lack of finish in his debut. He mentions missing his sons first birthday either in training or to be here for the fight event. Talking us through the finish he mentions working at the body Canelo style, there’s not enough body work in MMA so I’m all for it. He jokes that after this he could fight next week, and gives grief about the lack of translator because he’s got something he wants to say but doesn’t feel his grasp of English is where it needs to be. Could have fooled me, he speaks the language pretty well. That exchange will close the interview time though.

The angle here isn’t the best, but man make sure your sound is on. Topuria has been killing the body all fight, and as Jackson’s hands start dipping the right comes over the shoulder to close the show.

Louis Smolka has gone 2-2 since coming back to the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to avoid another UFC losing streak. Jose Alberto Quinonez has gone 1-2 in his last three fights, he’s coming off of a loss to Sean O’Malley and is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak. Smolka is a very slight -125 favorite to the +105 on Quinonez.

Bantamweight Bout: Jose Quinonez (8-4, 135 lbs.) vs. Louis Smolka (16-7, 134.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Smolka is an inch taller while Quinonez has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Calf kick from Quinonez. Smolka with a leg kick of his own. They clinch up, Quinonez gets a takedown into side control. Smolka scrambles free immediately and we’re on the feet again. Some body kicks from Smolka, Quinonez lands a calf kick. Quinonez catches a kick and lands a right. Right from Quinonez. More calf kicks from Quinonez, he’s messing up that lead calf of Smolka. Left hook from Quinonez then a calf kick, he’s flowing all over Smolka right now on the feet. Bit of a right from Smolka. Jab from Smolka but he’s struggling a bit with the pace of Quinonez. Quinonez lands a calf kick. Quinonez avoids a punch, lands a knee to the body. Smolka barely misses a couple of rights. They get close and trade wildly in the pocket. Quinonez lands a calf kick. Smolka lands a leg kick. Body shot from Smolka, Quinonez returns it. Right from Quinonez then a calf kick. Smolka forces a clinch, gets a takedown into side control. Quinonez looks for an escape, he’s up and they break. Both men land punches as the round ends. Wild first round.

SCORCARD: 10-9 Quinonez

ROUND TWO: Quinonez lands a left hook, they’re picking up right where they left off. Calf kick and a right from Quinonez, Smolka lands a right. Quinonez lands a couple of left body kicks. They clinch up and hit the fence, Smolka stays upright but can’t stop the second effort. Smolka uses a front headlock to get up, they swing in the clinch before they break. Both men land rights in close. Smolka with some body shots in close, Quinonez lands a knee to the head. Quinonez lands a calf kick. They clinch up again, Smolka hits a judo throw and moves to full mount. Quinonez gets a hip escape to half guard, Smolka moves again to mount and unloads. Smolka to the back, he keeps unloading until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Louis Smolka via TKO, punches, at 2:15 of Round 2

Crazy fight for as long as it lasted, really fun. Mic time for Smolka, he’s happy to have won and notes this is his 15th UFC fight and calls himself the least consistent guy he knows but he always looks for the finish and the action. He talks us through some of the finish, then breaks down some of the strategy in the fight. He says he’d like another fight soon, the cut over his right eye disagrees, but he’s hopeful for January or February.

We only see the very end here, Smolka hit a nice judo style hip toss and mounted right away. From there he unloads and rides Quinonez until the ref stops things.

That ends the prelims, though we’re still simulcast on ESPN+ for the main card.

Matt Wiman has won a fight since 2014, he’s 0-2 since ending his self imposed hiatus and likely needs a win here to justify his spot on the roster. Jordan Leavitt is undefeated including a win on the Contender Series that got him into the UFC, now he’s trying to take out a veteran and announce himself to those watching. Leavitt is a heavy favorite at -420 to Wiman’s +330.

Lightweight Bout: Jordan Leavitt (7-0, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Matt Wiman (16-9, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wiman is an inch taller while Leavitt has three inches of reach advantage, and Leavitt is 12 years younger. Southpaw for Leavitt, he backs Wiman up right away. Leavitt ducks under a punch and gets a slam takedown, the slam KO’s Wiman and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jordan Leavitt via KO, slam, at :22 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Leavitt for his work this evening. Mic time for Leavitt, he works on the slam a lot and finally sees a replay and reacts to it, hoping that will get him a post fight bonus. He says this is the fight game and he’s happy he won, just hopes he didn’t hurt Wiman too badly. He says there’s nothing to fear in the cage as long as you do the work day in and day out, and thanks his coaches for all of their work. Asked when he’d like to be back he’s hoping to spend the last trimester of his wife’s pregnancy with her and then get back into the cage after his daughter is born.

Similar to Gerald Harris knocking Dave Branch out, watch the left arm of Leavitt as he frames on the jaw of Wiman to reduce the recoil Wiman’s neck can absorb and then slams him down.

Roman Dolidze is undefeated including a successful UFC debut back in July, he’s hoping to get one more win and head into the new year with some momentum in his corner. John Allan wound up with a No Contest in his UFC debut last year, he’s hoping for a more definitive outcome here as well as his first UFC win. Dolidze is the favorite at -210 to a +175 comeback on Allan.

Light Heavyweight Bout: John Allan (13-5, 205 lbs.) vs. Roman Dolidze (7-0, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dolidze has an inch of height and reach over Allan. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men show some stance switches, then Dolidze lands a left body kick. Some rights from Dolidze in close, then he gets a takedown into half guard. Allan looking for a kimura, tries to switch to an armbar but Dolidze gets free and stands over him. Dolidze misses a right, he still wont go into the guard yet. Dolidze grabs for a leg lock, he’s after a heel hook. That’s getting tight, he adjusts but loses the grip and Allan gets free and stands up. Leg kick from Allan. Inside leg kick from Dolidze, Allan counters with a right. Dolidze lands to the body, Allan lands a left. Jab from Allan, then a calf kick. Allan blocks a high kick, then lands a body kick. Dolidze lands a left in close, then avoids the counters. Inside leg kick from Dolidze. They clash, Allan drops and Dolidze tries for a heel hook but Allan escapes and threatens with a guillotine but Dolidze gets free and is standing over Allan again. They’ll end the round in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dolidze but a competitive one

ROUND TWO: Body kick from Dolidze to start. Another left kick from Dolidze, Allan counters with a right. An exchange of rights, Allan looked to have landed better. Allan blocks a high kick. Double leg from Dolidze, he moves to side control very quickly. Allan hip escapes to half guard. Some punches and elbows from Dolidze. Dolidze lands body shots as Allan tries to wrap the head. Allan gets to half guard again. Both men land some elbows now, but Dolidze is keeping a better pace of ground and pound. Allan keeps fishing for a guillotine to try and get some things going. Dolidze passes to side control again, Allan kicks him back enough to get half guard again. Allan is kind of stuck at the moment, and Dolidze is landing offense. Dolidze drops for a leg lock, Allan gets free and they stand with 10 seconds left. A couple of punches land for both men as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Body kick from Dolidze. Inside leg kick from Dolidze. Allan is struggling to be the one dictating distance. Bit of a right from Allan. Jabs from Dolidze, there’s a leg kick from Allan. Dolidze lands another body kick. Some rights from both stances from Dolidze. Allan lands a jab. Dolidze kicks the body again, and a bit of a superman punch. Single leg from Dolidze, winds up just with a clinch then they break and Allan lands a right. Allan is pressing things now, he gets a clinch then a trip into half guard. Dolidze tries to invert for a leg lock, uses that to come up and he’s after a takedown on the fence. Allan grabs at a guillotine as he’s taken down but can’t keep the grip. Half guard for Dolidze, he lands an elbow. Some body shots from Dolidze. They’ll just fight it out on the mat as the clock winds down.

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

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

WTF was that judge smoking to give Allan two rounds? Even Felder buries that, likening it to the judge who gave him the fight against Rafael dos Anjos and Anik informs everyone it is in fact the same judge. Seriously, fire that guy. Mic time for Dolidze, he says going the full distance was important as he hadn’t done it before. He doesn’t bury the judge, pragmatic decisions, then mentions he thought the leg lock in the first would end it but he fought through it and puts over Allan. Asked about the future he’s hoping to fight again soon and mentions possibly making a move down to middleweight at some point.

Gabriel Benitez has lost his last two fights and is trying to halt that skid and close out his 2020 with a win. Justin Jaynes has gone 1-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Benitez is the favorite at -220 to a +180 payout for Jaynes.

Lightweight Bout: Gabriel Benitez (21-8, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Justin Jaynes (16-5, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Benitez is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Benitez, and they touch gloves. Benitez lands a body kick, then an inside leg kick. They trade power hand punches. Benitez with a combination of kicks and punches, he looks sharp thus far. Jaynes lands a couple of rights. Benitez lands a body kick. Another leg kick from Benitez. Jaynes is trying to pressure but he’s struggling a bit to maintain pressure. Some body shots from Jaynes, then Benitez lands a leg kick. The left eye of Benitez is discolored and swelling, he lands another leg kick. Jaynes lands another right. Short uppercut from Benitez in close, Jaynes responds with a long combination. We get time as Benitez took a poke to the eye, but he’s good to continue and we’re back to action. Benitez lands a left uppercut. Glancing left from Jaynes. Benitez with another leg kick, he’s landing these to the back leg which is a difficult technique to pull off but valuable if you can. Knee to the body from Benitez cripples Jaynes, he’s down and Benitez follows up to force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gabriel Benitez via TKO, knee to the body, at 4:06 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Benitez for his work this evening. Mic time for Benitez, he’s emotional as this is his first fight since his boxing coach passed away and thinks maybe if he still had his coach he could have avoided the punches from Jaynes. He then puts over his new striking coach and everyone who works with him then says he’s ready for the next fight. Asked specifically about what’s next he just wants to fight soon.

Check the timing on this, Jaynes is leaning into the knee when it lands and Jaynes drops like he’s been stabbed. Similar to Francisco Trinaldo vs. Evan Dunham from a few years ago.

Ovince Saint Preux scored a win in his last fight, but he missed weight for this fight and needs a win to try and smooth that over. Saint Preux has been in the UFC since 2013 and he’s in danger of getting the ax with a loss. Jamahal Hill is undefeated including two UFC appearances though the most recent one was a No Contest, he’s trying for his biggest win to date over a former title challenger. Hill is the favorite at -190 while Saint Preux’s comeback sits at +160.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jamahal Hill (7-0 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Ovince Saint Preux (25-14, 207.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hill is half an inch taller, Saint Preux has an inch of reach advantage and of course missed weight as well. Saint Preux is also eight years older. Southpaw for both men. Some lackadaisical circling, Saint Preux tries some low kicks. Saint Preux goes orthodox now. Both men fall short with punches, still trying to get a feel for the distance. Hill lands a front kick to the body. Bit of a left from Hill. Glancing left from Hill, then a right hook follow up lands flush. More lefts to the body from Hill, he’s figuring things out while Saint Preux is just kind of hanging out. A couple of body shots from Hill as Saint Preux goes southpaw again. Hill lands a leg kick. Saint Preux lands a body kick, Hill counters with a left to the body. More lefts to the body from Hill, he’s finding that punch a lot thus far. Saint Preux switching his stance back and forth. Leg kick from Saint Preux, and another one. Hill lands a leg kick. Another left to the body from Hill. Saint Preux still showing the leg kick. Bit of a right from Hill, and they clinch up then hit the fence. Saint Preux looks for a front headlock, Hill breaks free and they separate again. Hill with a front kick to the body, Saint Preux returns it. Bit of a right from Hill. Both men land in close as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Saint Preux lands a leg kick and avoids the counter punches. They clash on a few kicks. Saint Preux lands a one two. They trade some body work, Hill is backing Saint Preux up and lands a cross then a lead hook. Leg kick from Saint Preux. Hill lands a left to the body. Saint Preux blocks a high kick then lands another leg kick. Those leg kicks are adding up. Both men miss punches, Saint Preux slips but he’s back up right away. Glancing right from Hill, then another one. Body shots from Hill, he’s got Saint Preux on the fence and they trade punches before Saint Preux gets a clinch to save himself. Hill gets free and starts coming forward again. Both men miss rights. More body shots from Hill, then uppercuts and punches against the fence. Knees to the body and head from Hill, he’s going off and Saint Preux is just standing and taking a beating as the ref stops things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jamahal Hill via TKO, punches, at 3:37 of Round 2

Once Hill went orthodox and marched Saint Preux into the fence he could unload while Saint Preux struggled to defend and get distance. Hill gets an interview, he puts over Saint Preux as a tough test who pushed him hard but he kept getting better and invites the people to keep watching him going forward. He says the fight went about as expected, he wanted to stay disciplined and technical to control things. When talking us through the sequence he notes his style is based on touching you because even his touches hurt. To close he says he’s chasing greats and plans on being ready when he gets into the cage with them. Lastly he puts over his team, and mentions a close friend who died after drinking and driving, he encourages everyone to step in and stop that if you see it before dedicating the win to several people he’s lost.

Lovely finishing instincts here from Hill, he knows Saint Preux is hurt and fights intelligently but relentlessly to finish things.

Jack Hermansson was on the verge of a title shot not too long ago, but ran into the surging Jared Cannonier. He rebounded nicely though when he submitted Kelvin Gastelum in July, and could find himself back in the title orbit with a win here despite being on his third different opponent. Marvin Vettori was supposed to fight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza next wee, but got moved to the main event here after Kevin Holland, who was replacing Darren Till, fell out of the fight. Vettori would be scoring one of the better wins of his career if he bests Hermansson and will have taken an important step towards the title picture. Vettori is the surprising favorite at -135 to +115 for Hermansson.

Middleweight Bout: #4 Jack Hermansson (21-5, 185.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Marvin Vettori (15-4-1, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hermansson is an inch taller but has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Vettori fighting southpaw. Hermansson lands a calf kick. Bit of a left from Vettori, Hermansson responds with a kick. Vettori lands a couple of lefts, he’s able to close distance when he wants to. Uppercut from Vettori. Hermansson lands a body kick then an inside leg kick. They trade power hand punches. Vettori lands a left in close, he’s getting Hermansson to the fence with surprising regularity. Hermansson lands a right. Vettori lands a left. Hermansson lands a right uppercut in close, Vettori responds with a combination. A left from Vettori drops Hermansson against the fence. Vettori on top landing blows, he thinks about a guillotine but uses that to try and control Hermansson. Hermansson is up on his hip with an underhook, things are stalling out a bit. Hermansson gets full guard and Vettori pushes him to the fence. Vettori stands up and lands punches, hammer fists as well. Hermansson is trying to wall walk, Vettori grabs a guillotine threat to keep him on the mat. Half guard now for Hermansson as they rotate away from the fence. Vettori tries to pass, can’t complete it. Hermansson back up, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori, might be a 10-8 argument in there with the knockdown

ROUND TWO: Hermansson lands a right to start the round, then an inside leg kick. Vettori blocks a high kick. Bit of a left from Vettori, he avoids a right as well. Hermansson tries a single leg, Vettori defends so far. Hermansson keeps getting Vettori to his seat but has no control so Vettori hits a switch and winds up on top in full guard. Vettori working some short elbows. Hermansson attempts an omoplata, Vettori spins around and moves to half guard. Full guard again for Hermansson, he’s grip fighting well from his back. Vettory passes to half guard, he stands free and lands leg kicks while Hermansson hangs out on his back. Hermansson back to his feet, and eats a jab then a body shot. Both men miss power hand punches. Hermansson tries another single leg, switches to land a knee to the body and settle into the clinch. Vettori avoids a spinning elbow and gets free. Left from Vettori, then another. Body kick from Hermansson, Vettori with another straight left to close the round.

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

ROUND THREE: Vettori lands a left to start this round. Vettori checks a leg kick, then lands a straight left. Another left from Vettori lands. Bit of a right from Hermansson. Hermansson ducks under a left, tries a single leg but Vettori is defending again. Vettori gets free and resets at distance. Hermansson lands a body kick. Some jabs from Vettori, Hermansson tries another single leg but can’t finish it. Bit of a left from Vettori, Hermansson with a right. Vettori seems to be fading a bit. Hermansson misses some rights, Vettori lands a left. Counter left from Vettori lands. Vettori lands a left uppercut. They clinch up, Hermansson lands a right as they break. Some lefts to the body from Vettori, Hermansson lands a right hook. Vettori lands a body kick, Hermansson counters with a one two. Hermansson lands a jab. Hermansson blocks a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hermansson but could go either way, 29-28 Vettori overall

ROUND FOUR: Vettori with a left, he’s starting to come forward again. Some body work from Vettori, then a one two and Hermansson lands a counter right. Vettori avoids a right, lands a left of his own. A couple of long range punches from Vettori land. Bit of a right from Hermansson. both men slip punches but can’t quite find counters. Vettori lands a couple of lefts, I’m surprised he hasn’t tried a left head kick as Hermansson is dipping that direction consistently. Body kick from Vettori, Hermansson counters with a left hook. Another left from Vettori lands. Vettori is slipping and countering more this round, Hermansson is missing more and more. Hermansson blocks a left but he’s missing his counters. Vettori lands a couple more lefts while circling. Hermansson lands a leg kick. Hermansson lands an uppercut and a right in close. Vettori with another left, he just needs a follow up to that punch because he’s finding it a fair bit. A couple more punches land for Vettori then a body kick. Combination from Vettori and he avoids the counters. Vettori slips a right and lands a left. They trade leg kicks, and a left from Vettori closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori, 39-37 Vettori overall

ROUND FIVE: Hermansson comes out and lands a leg kick. Jabs and a left from Vettori, these two are still getting after it. More lefts from Vettori. Hermansson is pressing things but he’s eating punches. Vettori avoids a series of punches and lands a left. Hard left from Vettori. Hermansson with uppercuts in close, he’s trying to grit through the adversity. Vettori lands another left. Vettori slips a right and lands a left, at the end of punching range Vettori is better but Hermansson is trying to get into the pocket and get dirty with it. A hard left from Vettori lands and they clinch up. They break without an issue. Hermansson lands a right ot the body. Some right hooks from Vettori, he wobbles Hermansson with one of them. Hermansson can’t find the target reliably anymore and that’s biting him when he misses. Right hook then a straight left from Vettori. Vettori with a couple of straight lefts. Hermansson lands a right, he wants a brawl. Both men with power hand punches, but Vettori is finding the target. Hermansson is pressing forward, Vettori lands a left. Vettori gets a clinch and pushes Hermansson into the fence. Vettori slips around to the back, he wants a mat return, Hermansson rolls for the legs but Vettori comes out on top and lands a short left as the round closes.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vettori, 49-46 Vettori overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46 x2)

A little repetitive in terms of action, but an all action fight from star to finish, definitely catch this one. No issues with that 10-8 in the first, he dropped Hermansson hard and then controlled the majority of the round. Heck of a performance from Vettori on very short notice. Vettori gets an interview on the back of that, the biggest win of his career. He says he doesn’t feel great, and thinks he can do better but puts over Hermansson as tough. There’s some profanity cut out so I apologize for what I missed, he says he got much stronger based on this experience and knows he can dig deep in the fourth and fifth rounds. He notes wanting to fight at boxing range, then expresses his displeasure at not being in the UFC video game. He reiterates being happy with the win, dedicates the win to all the Italians struggling, then thanks his coaches and training partners before calling this just the beginning. To close Anik asks him what he’d like next, he swears so it’s censored but Anik repeats his answer of calling out Paulo Costa. I’m down for that fight.

On that note, UFC on ESPN 19 comes to a close. Thanks for reading, be that live or after the fact. We’ll unpack the action from this card on the 411 Ground and Pound Podcast tomorrow, plus look ahead to next weeks UFC 256 when Deiveson Figueiredo turns in the shortest turnaround for a UFC champion ever and tries to get a second title defense against number one contender Brandon Moreno. I’ll be back here for that card next week, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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Robert Winfree