UFC Fight Night 194 ‘Dern vs. Rodriguez’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Oct 9, 2021


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Steve Garcia (155) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (155.5)

Round 1

This afternoon card all on ESPN+ is a shorter one, with just nine fights remaining on the billing. Short fight nights call for short introductions, and the show begins with a tilt between lightweights in Garcia (11-4, 0-1 UFC) and Ontiveros (11-7, 0-1 UFC) that are both looking for their first win in a new division. While Garcia is moving up from featherweight, Ontiveros is shifting down from middleweight to 155 pounds, and they meet literally and figuratively in the middle but do not touch gloves in front of referee Chris Tognoni. Ontiveros starts off with a solid right hand, and he tags Garcia with a few punches. Garcia falls to his back as he gets wobbled with shots, but Ontiveros lets him back up. Garcia charges like a bull, still a little stiff on his feet, and he walks into an axe kick. Garcia falls forward when getting drilled with a quick right hand, his second knockdown in rapid succession. As Ontiveros tries to finish the job, “Mean Machine” takes the wind out of his sails with a desperation takedown. Ontiveros looks irritated with himself for allowing himself to hit the canvas, and he pushes off the wall and tries to set up an armbar to no avail. Ontiveros closes his guard, and Garcia sits up and smacks him with a few punches to disrupt Ontiveros getting to his feet. “The American Bad Boy” ignores them as he powers back up, only to succumb to a mat return shortly thereafter. Ontiveros slashes out with an elbow, and Garcia ducks his head down to start suffocating his Texas-based opponent with top control. Garcia holds on, laying on Ontiveros’ chest in a tender position, until he postures up to get off a little ground-and-pound. “Mean Machine” uses his placement to jam Ontiveros’ neck against the wall so that he is trapped down, and he works Ontiveros over with elbows and punches until Ontiveros kicks him off. Garcia lowers himself back down, and as he does, Ontiveros spins with his legs off the cage to result in a north-south position. Garcia isolates an arm so that he can blast Ontiveros with an elbow, and the single elbow opens up a huge cut on the blonde-haired Ontiveros’ eye. Ontiveros rolls through and gets nailed with a left hand from above, and Garcia finishes off the round with strikes until the horn sounds. Ontiveros appears a bit worse for wear when he stands back up, but he does make it back to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Garcia
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-10
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Garcia

Round 2

Garcia comes out a man possessed out of his corner, winging a huge right hand that stings his opponent. As a wild flurry ensues, Ontiveros is the one who sticks him with strikes and puts Garcia on his knees early. “Mean Machine” realizes that fighting on the feet may not be his best strategy, so he ducks down into a double leg takedown. Ontiveros aims to defend with a guillotine choke, but Garcia pushes through it and climbs on top. Garcia advances smoothly to side control, before claiming full mount as he hammers Ontiveros with elbows. From above, Garcia thumps his shoulder down on the damaged eye, shaking Ontiveros up with them. Knowing that “The American Bad Boy” is firmly entrenched in the danger zone, Garcia postures up and slams his fists into Ontiveros face again and again. The strikes are unanswered and largely undefended, as Garcia batters Ontiveros with punches like Lou did to Tyler Durden in “Fight Club.” Tognoni does not know where he’s been, until he snaps to action and intervenes as blood sprays the canvas and transforms Ontiveros’ mane into a brilliant shade of crimson. In his post-fight interview, Garcia thanks UFC head Dana White for "believing in freedom." What a violent way to start the day!

The Official Result

Steve Garcia def. Charlie Ontiveros R2 1:51 via TKO (Punches)

Lupita Godinez (115.5) vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez (114)

Round 1

This strawweight matchup the victim of a recent short-notice replacement, either Mexico’s Godinez (5-1, 0-1 UFC) or late callup Juarez (10-2, 0-0 UFC) out of Argentina will win for the first time in the Octagon tonight. The gloves are touched, and referee Herb Dean is ready for action. Both women claim the center of the cage, sticking out range-finding jabs but not committing to them. Godinez suddenly scores a solid right hand, and she clips her foe with a few follow-up punches. Exploding into the attack after seeing she stung Juarez, she lifts Juarez in the air and slams her down to the mat. Unable to keep her there, Godinez decides to instead pursue an emphatic mat return and keep Juarez pinned to the wall before dragging her down a third time. Juarez can do little but get to her knees and stand up every so often, but Godinez is on her like a cheap suit as she gets a hook in and slugs Juarez on the side of the head. The newcomer keeps herself pressed to the wall so that Godinez cannot get another hook in, and she wall-walks back up. Godinez picks her opponent up and twirls her around, before setting her down on the ground once more. Godinez hooks her foe’s right arm beneath her legs, and she aims for ground-and-pound before climbing aboard the back for a choke try. When it is not in, Godinez bails it, backs off, and lands a push kick to the chest that would make King Leonidas proud. The kick knocks Juarez back, allowing Godinez to pressure forward and hit yet another takedown with relative ease. Juarez turns forward to climb back up from her knees, and Godinez takes her back and starts fishing for chokes. Juarez rolls to the ground, giving up her back, and she defends against choke attempts with two-on-one wrist control. Juarez turns to her stomach to try to free herself from one of the hooks, and Godinez immediately snags an armbar and goes belly down. Mere seconds elapse before Juarez shouts out for a verbal submission, as there is no way out and she does not want her promotional debut to come with a nasty elbow injury as well. This was one-way traffic for Godinez, who earns her first submission win as a result.

The Official Result

Lupita Godinez def. Silvana Gomez Juarez R1 4:14 via Submission (Armbar)

Damon Jackson (145.5) vs. Charles Rosa (145.5)

Round 1

Fans may be treated next to an entertaining grappling battle when Jackson (18-4-1, 1 NC; 1-2-1, 1 NC UFC) and his 78% submission rate tangles with “Boston Strong” Rosa (14-5, 5-5 UFC), who too has earned most of his victories by tapout. Keeping a close eye on the featherweight situation as it evolves is referee Chris Tognoni, and the former teammates do not touch gloves. Jackson punches his way into a clinch attempt for a takedown, and Rosa tries to time a right hand on the way in but gets grabbed by “The Leech.” Jackson crushes his opponent into the wire, and Rosa stops him from getting any takedown by fighting the hands. Rosa lifts his knee up, and it loudly pounds into the cup as Jackson protests that there was no stoppage. Rosa shouts that it was not a foul, but it was a groin strike. Jackson takes a few seconds to recover when Tognoni steps in, and he comes back out with a few swiping left hands. Rosa chains together a combination, only to get kicked in the head for his effort. Rosa shrugs and throws a heavy leg kick. Jackson catches a leg kick by timing an overhand right, but Rosa strings together several more to the calf. As Jackson fakes an ankle pick, he goes over the top and gets smacked with a right hand. Jackson just misses a head kick, and he backs off to get his lead leg slapped. “The Leech” changes stances, changes levels, and goes after a single. The Boston native defends it well to remain upright, and Jackson decides instead to get off a high knee. When Rosa returns fire with knees, Jackson breaks to back off. Jackson’s head kick grazes the side of the head, and “Boston Strong” scores a few strong punches and a leg kick. Jackson sticks out a jab, and the leg kick surprises Rosa. Out of nowhere, Jackson explodes into a takedown, and he plants Rosa on his back. Rosa defends with a leglock, locking the heel up to pursue the submission, but Jackson pounds on him to break that up and cause some instant swelling. Jackson holds on with a can opener to force Rosa to abandon his leg-based submission, and he ends the round with ground-and-pound.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jackson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Jackson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Jackson

Round 2

Jackson begins the round with a head kick, which connects to a degree. Jackson doubles up on that kick, landing flush as Rosa looks flustered. Both men trade jabs, and Rosa breaks up a combination with a calf kick. Jackson sticks the ball of his foot to his foe’s chest, and Rosa somersaults away after getting tagged with a few punches. As Rosa stands back up, Jackson boots him in the head and puts together a punch combination that knocks Rosa into the fencing. Rosa trips Jackson to the ground, but Jackson defends with a leglock to force Rosa to drop down to the mat as well to defend it. This allows Jackson to stand back up, where he quickly pursues his own takedown and sweeps Rosa’s leg out to drop the Bostonian on his face. Rosa scrambles to a knee, and Jackson is tightly wrapped around his waist as he rips the legs back down to put Rosa on his side. “Boston Strong” remains strong enough to power back to his feet, but he cannot break the grip of his opponent. Instead, “The Leech” drains on Rosa’s energy reserves by tripping him back out and down to the ground. Rosa once more works his way back up, and several no-look elbows from Rosa clank into Jackson’s face. Jackson does not like this, and he elevates Rosa and slams him down to the ground in an exclamation point. Jackson quickly secures a body triangle, and he starts hunting for the neck as he aims to become the first man to submit Rosa. The arm is around the chin, but Jackson decides instead to claim full mount with an arm-triangle position. Jackson sits up and starts smashing Rosa with punches, and Rosa turns over and resists getting flattened out. Jackson slashes with a barrage of elbows to try to get a finish, and Rosa flips to his back. Jackson returns back to half guard, where he holds on to shoulder pressure on the throat until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jackson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Jackson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Jackson

Round 3

Rosa is amped up to start the third round, starting in the center of the cage instead of going from his corner. When Jackson fires off a strike, Rosa lashes out with a spinning back elbow to channel his inner Yair Rodriguez, and he tears the skin open of his opponent above the right eyebrow. Blood splatters the mat in anticipation of Halloween in a few weeks, and it is quickly transforming into a horror movie for both men. Despite the bad cut, Jackson circles around to drag Rosa down by his neck. Rosa fights off a choke attempt, squirrels back to his feet thanks in part to the slippery blood. When they stand up as Jackson is holding him from behind, Tognoni calls in the doctor to check the cut. The cut is nasty but on the side of the eyebrow and therefore not in fight-stopping range, so he resumes them in the same position they left off. Bloody scrambles ensue as they begin to fight again, as Rosa takes a decent posture and Jackson reverses him. They continue to spin around, and Rosa turns around and hooks in a brabo choke with Jackson on his knees. When the choke is not tight, Rosa holds on from above as Jackson aims for a single to get to a better spot. Rosa keeps the wall behind him as his ally, keeping him pressing Jackson down to his knees. “The Leech” saps Rosa’s will as he reverses Rosa and puts him on his back. The Boston native throws his legs up for a triangle choke, and Jackson hurls the legs aside so that he can pass to side control. Rosa times this guard pass by turning over, and he stands back up again until Jackson rips his legs out beneath him. Jackson ends the bloody, grueling battle with a few strikes, and he shouts at Rosa when the bell sounds as he claims Rosa is holding on to a submission or otherwise not letting go. Tognoni is quick to break this up, and they are brought back to their respective corners before the decision is read.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (29-28 Jackson)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (29-28 Jackson)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (29-28 Jackson)

The Official Result

Damon Jackson def. Charles Rosa via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)

Alexander Romanov (260) vs. Jared Vanderaa (265.5)

Round 1

A full 525.5 pounds will be testing the Octagon next – not counting referee Mark Smith – with the lone heavyweight contest of the day. “King Kong” Romanov (14-0, 3-0 UFC) will be putting his unbeaten streak on the line against the heavy-handed American Vanderaa (12-5, 1-1 UFC), and after they touch gloves, it’s anyone’s guess what happens next. Vanderaa keeps his left arm outstretched to keep the Moldovan away, and he is warned for fingers pointed outward. Romanov rips a kick to the body, and Vanderaa responds with one to his calf. The Moldovan fires off low kicks and high kicks, and Vanderaa largely defends himself from the strikes but a few get in on him. Meanwhile, Vanderaa is left guessing, getting off a few leg kicks but largely staring his opponent down. They clash together like walruses, and Romanov pushes forward to consider a takedown but gets warned and admonished for grabbing the fence as Vanderaa fishes for a guillotine choke. Romanov lets him back up so that he can slam Vanderaa back down twice, but Vanderaa gets up swiftly each time. Vanderaa starts punching the clasped hands of his opponent to break the grip, and he gets tossed back down to the ground. As the Moldovan puts his full weight on his foe, he keeps Vanderaa down to a knee before lifting him in the air and slamming him on his face. From there, Romanov pursues back control and a choke attempt, but he abandons it when Vanderaa squirms to get to a knee. Vanderaa fights his way back to his feet and knees “King Kong” in the side before they break apart. Romanov lets loose a head kick that pounds into Vanderaa’s guard, and Vanderaa plods forward as Romanov chips at him with kicks. Vanderaa winds up with a leg kick, and Romanov takes it as they stay in safe kickboxing distance. When the 10-second clapper sounds, Vanderaa tags Romanov with an uppercut, and Romanov starts brawling. A furious exchange ends the round, as both lay into each other with heavy blows, until the horn breaks them apart.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Romanov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Romanov
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Romanov

Round 2

Vanderaa starts the round advancing with jabs, and Romanov charges towards him within 15 seconds to grab hold of him. Instead of pursuing a high-amplitude takedown, Romanov wiggles his foot between his opponent’s legs and hits a trip to plop Vanderaa on his back right at the spot where Jackson bleed in the previous round. Vanderaa tries to buck his big man off of him, but Romanov climbs from half guard to full mount, and he starts slugging away from above. The strikes have opened a cut on the nose of Vanderaa, and Romanov notices this and hacks at the same target with several thudding elbows. “King Kong” postures up to blast Vanderaa with elbows and Donkey Kong-style hammerfists, and Smith tells Vanderaa to defend himself. Vanderaa kicks and bucks to make Romanov reassess his position, but Romanov follows him over and resumes top control as he hammers Vanderaa with elbows. The Moldovan practically ignores a two-on-one wrist lock so that he can keep clobbering an increasingly bloodied Vanderaa. When Vanderaa looks to slide out, Romanov puts a knee on his opponent’s chest and beats on him like a rented mule. The American, knowing Smith is close to stopping the fight, bursts back to a knee. Romanov uses his full body weight to push Vanderaa back down to the mat, and his left hand busts open Vanderaa’s face. The unanswered left hands while Romanov is in full mount lead to a final salvo of punishing punishes, and Vanderaa’s defense is weaker and weaker until Smith calls a stop to the fight. “King Kong” is now a perfect 15-0 as a pro, with 14 finishes to his credit, and ranked heavyweights may need to start paying attention to this rising 30-year-old from Moldova.

The Official Result

Alexander Romanov def. Jared Vanderaa R2 4:43 via TKO (Punches)

Felipe Dias Colares (136) vs. Chris Gutierrez (135)

Round 1

Both Colares (10-2, 2-2 UFC) and Gutierrez (16-4-2, 4-1-1 UFC) will be dropping back down after excursions at 145 pounds in this bantamweight affair to start off the main card. This fun stylistic clash also comes with a solid camp vs. camp dynamic, when a Team Nogueira pupil squares off against a Factory X representative, and referee Jason Herzog notices this by observing who is in the corners of both men. The gloves are touched, and Colares is the one to start off with kicks. He slings a few high kicks, and Gutierrez responds with his vaunted leg kicks. The low kicks quickly do enough damage so that Colares preemptively guards himself against these kicks by lifting his leg up ahead of time. When not hopping on that foot, he walks forward tossing up a few high kicks. The Brazilian swings and misses with a punch, and Gutierrez spins through with a kick to the body. Colares responds to with strike to the body, and they are standing in front of each other landing punches and kicks at volume. Colares stings Gutierrez on the way in to a takedown attempt with a left hand, and he circles around to take Gutierrez’ back. Gutierrez stays upright thanks to the fence, who gets away with a few fence grabs for good measure. “El Guapo” lifts and spins Colares up in the air to push him against the wire, and the two bantamweights pummel against the fence until Gutierrez lets go and slings a pair of punches. Colares responds with a foot to the face, but Gutierrez eats it without concern. Colares continues to spam kicks with both legs, and Gutierrez stands composed and drills Colares on the chin with an uppercut. When Colares leans forward after the blow, Gutierrez clinches up with him and squeezes him against the fence to treat it like a cheese grater. Colares reverses him, and Gutierrez grins when he stuffs a takedown try. They continue to jockey for position and once more Gutierrez grabs the cage, but Herzog notices this. Colares tries to roll through to get Gutierrez down, but he falls on his backside and nearly gives up his back. He pops back up, and they get their kicking game back going again. When Gutierrez gets off a stern leg kick, Colares shakes his head and promptly changes stances. Gutierrez bullrushes his foe with a swarm of punches, and he gets off a spinning back fist right before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Colares
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Colares
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Colares

Round 2

The bantamweights start off the second round with a glove touch, and Colares immediately resumes his kicking strategy up high. Gutierrez goes low with his own kicks, and Colares walks through it and tries to throw bombs. Gutierrez stays on his bike, circling on the outside away from the blitz of punches that come at him. Colares walks through a push kick to the knee so that he can score a left hand, and they furiously trade with one another. Gutierrez snaps Colares’ head back with a jab, and he dings him up with several more as Colares recklessly attacks. A high check defends Gutierrez from a body kick, and he grabs hold of his opponent but cannot move him so he lets go before absorbing any strikes. Loose on his feet, Gutierrez tattoos his foe’s face with his jab, and Colares resorts to several more kicks to the body and head that are all blocked. Gutierrez checks another high kick with his knee, and he dances away from oncoming attack as he jabs Colares up. “El Guapo” times the head kicks with leg kick counters, and he chains a head kick into one that makes Colares shake his head. The legs are swinging up high for Colares, but the strikes are inaccurate as Gutierrez sticks him and moves. Colares kicks his way in with single blows, most of which are defended, until he crashes the pocket to tie Gutierrez up against the wall. Using his knees to defend himself, Gutierrez hops in the air to stop a takedown try. This works for him, as he is able to back away and pepper Colares with jabs. One such jab gets followed by a two, and Colares fires back to some success. Colares begins winging hooks, and Gutierrez notices them and cracks him with a shovel uppercut as he stays light on his feet on the outside. Gutierrez jumps in the air to check a kick, and he falls to his back. Before Colares can do anything with this situation, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez

Round 3

The gloves are touched to begin the final frame, and Gutierrez sits down on a few leg kicks. When he goes low, Colares goes up high and slaps him in the face with his toes. Gutierrez backs off as Colares walks him down, with the Brazilian throwing hands before crashing forward for a takedown entry. Gutierrez keeps himself on his feet before turning Colares around into the wall. Gutierrez promptly breaks free, and he ducks back as Colares throw heavy but inaccurate leather at him. Gutierrez digs a punch to the body, and Colares catches him with a kick where the sheer impact knocks him back into the chain-link fence. Gutierrez hops back, and instantly following his corner’s advice, starts to get the jab going. Colares meanders forward as he throws kicks, and one body kick that gets blocked makes him fall over. Gutierrez allows him to stand so that he can chop down the Brazilian’s lead leg. Gutierrez pops Colares over and over with the jab until Colares dives forward for a takedown try. When he does not get it, he uses all of his remaining energy reserves to simply pick Gutierrez up in the air and slam him down to the mat. Gutierrez keeps his foe in full guard, but Colares starts opening up with punches and elbows from on top. Gutierrez tries to scoot himself to the wall, and he pulls on the fence to turn himself around to earn yet another warning for grabbing the fence. Gutierrez kicks off the wire so that he can set up an armbar, but there is nothing doing from it. Knowing he does not want to give the round and possibly the fight away, Gutierrez explodes back up to his feet and wings a spinning back elbow that rings Colares’ bell. Gutierrez begins to swing for the bleachers, throwing everything he has into bombs that are landing flush on Colares. Gutierrez busts Colares open with his barrage, and Colares is wobbled but still in the fight as he fires right back. When he gets tagged, Gutierrez secures a solid double-leg takedown, but Colares reverses him to put him on his back. “El Guapo” kicks with all his might, and he stands back up so that he can once more spin with a back elbow that collides with the guard. They give it all they have left with one final, furious exchange, and this close battle comes to an end. In his victorious and emotional post-fight interview, Gutierrez brings his coach Marc Montoya over and thanks him for saving his life, and dedicates his performance and win to his coach and family.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez (29-28 Gutierrez)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez (29-28 Gutierrez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gutierrez (29-28 Gutierrez)

The Official Result

Chris Gutierrez def. Felipe Dias Colares via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)

Mariya Agapova (125) vs. Sabina Mazo (125)

Round 1

Hold on tight, because something wild could happen this flyweight battle between Agapova (9-2, 1-1 UFC) and Mazo (9-2, 3-2 UFC), with both trying to get back in the win column after humbling defeats. This classic battle of Kazakhstan vs. Colombia draws a referee assignment from Chris Tognoni, and the ladies have an intense staredown and do not touch ‘em up before throwing down. Mazo walks forward with a low kick, and she throws another as Agapova stays on the outside with chopping kicks as a response. Agapova appears composed as the two continue to trade kicks, landing a short combination and backing off. Mazo pressures her, walking her down and landing right back. Agapova gets off to the body when she backs away, and she sits down on a left hand that cracks into the Colombian’s chin. She scores a kick to the body as she backs off, and Mazo chases after her and eats a left hand on the way in. Mazo stings Agapova with a right hand as she advances, but she takes a right to the body and left to the nose that is reddening fast. “Colombian Queen” appears unconcerned as she takes damage from the strikes of her opponent on the way in, and she clinches up but cannot make anything come from it. Mazo walks through the fire so that she can sling heavy leather, and she catches Agapova on the chin with a right. Agapova swings wildly and gets kicked to the body after missing, but the Kazakh fighter is continually active and she rocks Mazo with a right hand. A huge left hand from Agapova digs to the liver, and Mazo’s right elbow instantly drops to defend further strikes. Agapova sticks and moves, getting off a head kick in close range after tagging Mazo with a left hand. A one-two from Agapova splits the guard, and Mazo absorbs another combination of the same type as she continues to eat blows. Agapova cracks the liver with another kick, and Mazo keeps a good poker face but is getting outlanded by a wide clip. Mazo still advances, and she walks through a spinning back fist as Agapova is the one off-balance after throwing it. Mazo paws out a left hand as Agapova lands a trio of punches and a kick, but she does kick Agapova in the head. Agapova pays her back with a few punches, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Agapova
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Agapova
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Agapova

Round 2

Both flyweights are amped up to begin again, and are ushered back behind the black line before getting right back down to business. Mazo advances, and Agapova lands strikes before Mazo reaches her. They trade leg kicks one after the other, and Agapova fakes with a takedown but cannot land the left hand over the top. Three heavy punches knock Mazo’s head around, but “Colombian Queen” does not stop advancing despite taking damage. Agapova lands to the body and stretches out with several punches as Mazo tries to time her. Mazo feints and fakes her way forward, only to walk into a punch. Mazo scores a quick left hand as Agapova fires at her, and she does this a second time to give Agapova pause for a moment. Mazo tries to follow this with a high kick, but it gets blocked in time. Mazo stalks Agapova down and reaches out with long left hands, while Agapova goes to the body a few times. Mazo sits down on a right hand, and Paul Felder drops a fantastic reference in the commentary booth by discussing a line from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.” While Felder takes a victory lap for his line, Mazo continues to give chase towards her opponent, landing at a higher pace than the previous round as Agapova appears to be throwing less often. Both women are marked up on face, and Mazo’s nose has started to trickle with a crimson stream. Mazo barely notices this as she starts loading up to the body, and she checks a leg kick and blocks a high kick. Mazo punches her way into a clinch, and the Kazakh fighter quickly cinches up a standing guillotine choke with her back on the wall. Agapova torques on it but the angle is not there, as Mazo slides her head out and barely blocks a high kick in time. A superman punch from Agapova is a foot off the mark, and Mazo’s head kick responses are both inaccurate. The round ends as Agapova sticks her with a left hand and backs off, but Mazo follows her and they swing it out in the last seconds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Agapova
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Agapova
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Agapova

Round 3

Mazo’s first strike of the round is a leg kick, and she follows it with two more kicks high and low. She goes after Agapova and lands a few more kicks while Agapova responds with punches to the body. Once more, Felder is spreading the gospel of the Ninja Turtles in the commentary booth, and while he does this, Mazo punches her way into a brief clinch. Agapova winds up with a quartet of punches, and follows it by smashing Mazo on the jaw with a blistering right hand. As soon as Mazo falls to her knees, Agapova leaps directly on to Mazo’s back and snags a rear-naked choke like a ninja. Less than three seconds are all she needs to elicit the tap, putting a great deal of distance between her deflating loss to Shana Dobson in 2020 by putting a stamp on that performance. She is now the first woman to stop Mazo as a professional.

The Official Result

Mariya Agapova def. Sabina Mazo R3 0:53 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Tim Elliott (125.5) vs. Matheus Nicolau (125.5)

Round 1

Flyweights with energy for days come up in what the UFC calls the “featured fight of the night,” as former title challenger Elliott (17-11-1, 6-9 UFC) tries to make it three in a row against Brazil’s Nicolau (16-2-1, 4-1 UFC). Referee Jason Herzog has his work cut out for him in what should be a speedy one from start to finish, and the gloves are touched before they are traded furiously. Nicolau is the first to engage with a heavy leg kick, and Elliott runs after him while lifting his leg in the air to avoid another such kick. He sprints forward, throws a right hand, and backs off to start up his herky-jerky style. Elliott points at his opponent, shouts, and then pump-fakes before landing a left hand. He follows Nicolau around the cage, and they clash heads. Elliott swarm him with a few punches, and when Nicolau falls down to the ground, Elliott fires off a soccer kick that just misses being illegal, and instead connects to the body. Elliott allows his man to stand, and points at him again for landing a successful strike. Nicolau sticks Elliott with a punch and moves away when Elliott comes at him with a standing back fist and a few more unorthodox strikes. Nicolau just comes up short with a spinning kick, and he gets kicked with a push kick to the knee. Elliott hops at him with one leg air in the air, and Nicolau appears a little confused by the antics of his opponent. Elliott, hands down, throws up a head kick and avoids the counter. Elliott charges ahead with a right hand and a diving takedown, and when he in unsuccessful in his first attempt, he manages to ground Nicolau on his second try. The Brazilian pops back up and takes several knees to the gluteus maximus, until Elliott spins around and pursues a takedown. The fighter that some call “Awkward” presses Nicolau into the wire when he cannot trip him down, and the pace slows down significantly as they jockey for position. Nicolau pushes off to break free, and Elliott stands in front of him with his hands at his waist and chin left out in the open. Nicolau pops him with a strike, and he glances with a left hand. The distance is too great for Nicolau to close in on him, but he does score a pair of hooks before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Elliott
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Elliott
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Elliott

Round 2

The flyweights are ready to scrap to start off the second round, and Elliott ducks a few looping punches so that he can go after a takedown. He does not ground Nicolau, but he takes his back and pushes him against the wall. Elliott gets blasted with a right hand, and it shakes him up as he falls towards the cage. His antics and lack of defense could be an extreme liability should Nicolau continue to find his chin, and Nicolau is starting to pick up on his oddball movements. Nicolau marks Elliott up with punches, and he shucks Elliott off of him when the American tries to engage. They clash heads, but no serious damage comes from it. Elliott swings heavily for punches, and he points around to various places on the floor as Nicolau ignores it. The Brazilian tags Elliott with a few punches, and he decides to aim to the body when Elliott moves his head out of the way. Elliott rushes in for a takedown try, clinching Nicolau up and pushing him into the fence. Like earlier in the round, Nicolau stops it and pushes off, where he can work the body again. Elliott’s midsection has turned into a heavy bag as his defense is firmly out the window, as Nicolau tees off on him without taking anything else coming back at him. The takedown entries are unsuccessful as Nicolau ducks out of the way and showboats a little in response. Elliott grins at him, gets punched in the face, and continues to wobble and hop around strangely. When Nicolau drills Elliott in the chin with a right hand, Elliott smiles and nods, but his subsequent takedown try comes up short. Elliott takes a few more body shots, and his elbow drops to defend these strikes. The American marches forward relentlessly, only to take punches and a head kick. When Elliott lands one, Nicolau strings three together and stuffs a takedown attempt as they drop to their knees. Nicolau stays away until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau

Round 3

They clap hands to start off the last round, and Nicolau comes out firing with a blitzing combination. Nicolau blocks a high kick and watches as Elliott awkwardly hops towards him with his leg in the air. Elliott stings his opponent with a left hand, and Nicolau gives him one back and then another for good measure. Elliott crowds Nicolau and cracks him with a left hand, and he backs off just in time to avoid a home run punch. An effective front kick touches the chin of Nicolau, who avoids three more that come at him one after the other. Elliott punches his way towards a takedown of some sort, and Nicolau works the body only to get pressed into the wire. Elliott begins to knee the thigh while Nicolau is intent on breaking apart, and after a few right hands. The hopping around of Elliott leads to his liver getting pounded by the Brazilian, and when his leg is in the air, Nicolau blasts through to hit a double leg takedown of his own. Elliott closes with a high guard, and Nicolau lifts him up and slams him down to break the grip. A few punches from Nicolau land behind the head, and he adjusts his angle as Elliott turns his head. Nicolau continues to lift Elliott up and slam him on the mat again and again until the tight grip that the American holds is released. Nicolau lands some ground-and-pound until Elliott closes his guard again, and Herzog asks them to keep working. Elliott holds on for dear life, until he doesn’t, and Nicolau lands some shots. The Brazilian punches his way out, but Elliott kicks off and gets back to his feet. Elliott tries to get his foe to throw down with seconds to go before the final bell, but Nicolau largely defends himself and backs away to cruise to what he thinks is a decision win.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau (29-28 Nicolau)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau (29-28 Nicolau)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Nicolau (29-28 Nicolau)

The Official Result

Matheus Nicolau def. Tim Elliott via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Randy Brown (170.5) vs. Jared Gooden (174: Missed Weight)

Round 1

The co-main event is already upon us, which is officially a 174-pound catchweight contest as “Rude Boy” Brown (13-4, 7-4 UFC) looks to make Gooden (18-6, 1-2 UFC) pay for missing weight with more than his fight purse. Brown is still steamed, and referee Herb Dean will do his best to keep a lid on this fight after they do not touch gloves. They instead come out firing, with Brown aiming high kicks as Gooden loads up with heavy fists. One such exchange forces Brown to stumble, and Gooden leaps on his back but cannot keep it or even hold Brown for long before Brown powers to his feet. Gooden remarkably takes a flush kick on the chin, and he wobbles but does not go down. Brown celebrates what he thinks is a knockout blow, but when the fight continues and Gooden comes at him with fast hands, Brown slows down and measures himself. Gooden goes low with kicks to chip at the longer legs of his foe, and he swings a right hand that misses by inches. Two jabs and a right hand from Brown crash into the chin, and Gooden takes them all and an uppercut for good measure. Brown shrugs at him, and starts showboating by holding one hand high in the air. Gooden catches him with a punch, and then kicks the leg a few times to make Brown hobble around. One kick from Gooden makes Brown point at him to signal that it was an effective blow, and “Rude Boy” gives him one back with a stomping kick to the knee. Brown starts jawing at his foe and reaching out with long punches and a body kick, while Gooden is committed to the leg kicks. Another high kick pounds into Gooden’s jaw, but he does not even register as Brown lifts his hands in the air to signal what is going on. Gooden instead gives chase as Brown backs up, absorbing leg kicks that are hurting him. Brown begins to start cursing at his opponent, and he spins with a back fist while the ESPN censors have to work overtime. “Rude Boy” intercepts his foe with a kick to the knee, and does this again, but Gooden continues to march forward to kick at his opponent’s leg until the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brown

Round 2

Between rounds, Brown needs his toes to get ice, as they have taken some damage from kicking Gooden in the face. He is able to continue, but Gooden quickly is there to kick at his damaged legs. When Brown falls over from a kick, he blasts back to his feet and leaps in the air with a flying kick. The punches that follow make Gooden have to run away, but when he resets, he gets back to decimating Brown’s long legs. Brown reacts every time he absorbs one, and he winds up with uppercuts and wide punches. Gooden blocks a high kick and digs a kick to the outside of Brown’s leg, and Brown thanks him for this by connecting with a clean uppercut. As Brown kicks the body, a punch knocks him off his feet. “Rude Boy” climbs back up and starts to string together several effective one-twos that knock Gooden back. Gooden lands a single kick but ducks away as Brown is on him. A brief eye poke stoppage – one that Brown claims was from a knuckle – leads to a very brief stoppage. Brown continues to throw kicks while his foot is compromised, and his leg is as well as it has swelled up significantly. As “Nite Train” sits down on one big kick to the leg, Brown hobbles back and changes stances. As soon as he presents his lead leg again, Gooden slams his shin into it again. Brown can barely stand, but he still manages to throw a right hand and several jabs. “Rude Boy” runs after Gooden, kicks him in the head and blitzing him with punches, but Gooden takes the strikes and continues right on rolling. Gooden kicks the other leg when it is ready to be kicked, and as soon as Brown switches stances back to orthodox, Gooden is there to kick it. Brown’s mobility is struggling as he has to fight in southpaw to not take the damaging blows, and his punches do not appear to have the same pop on them as Gooden ignores them. Gooden pummels the leg with his kick, and he catches an oncoming kick. Brown loads up on a right hand, and he hurts Gooden with 10 seconds left on the ground. Gooden backs off and moves his head enough to avoid most of the damage, but he is hurting right before the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brown

Round 3

Once more between rounds, the audience is treated to what could have contributed to foot injury for Brown, as his toe gets caught in the cage after a kick on the replay. This does not appear to be affecting him as he is willing to throw kicks right when the third round begins, as he kicks at the leg with a stomping strike. Brown rocks his foe with a right hand, and he follows up with a few punches until Gooden boots him in the body and may have hurt his own foot when he lands. “Rude Boy” doubles and triples up on the jab as Gooden swings for the fences, with Brown’s head movement keeping him safe as he chains together a solid combination of his own. A punch and a kick knock Gooden back, but he regains his composure and marches forward to target the body. Brown reaches out with jabs as Gooden charges him like a bull, and he tries to time a jump knee that just misses the chin as Brown walks away thinking the fight may be over. When Gooden comes at him, Brown tries to step on his own toes to fix his foot, and when he does this, Gooden tags him with a right hand. Brown escapes further damaging by backing off when Gooden wings punches at him, and he keeps range with his jab. Gooden looks to set up another leg kick, and Brown answers this by landing several jabs. A leaping knee from Brown hurts Gooden, and “Rude Boy” finishes the combination with a head kick and several punches that bounce Gooden off the cage wall. Gooden grabs hold of his foe to get his wits about him, and Brown shoves him away and pops him with jabs from afar. Gooden walks him down with a huge right hand cocked back, while Brown puts three, four, five punches together while Gooden reels. Brown goes after a spinning kick to the head when Gooden charges at him, and Brown falls over but Gooden does not give chase. Instead, Gooden lets Brown up so that he can push him into the wall, where he knees him and lands a few punches. Gooden tosses Brown down to the mat, and a wild scramble ensues while they try to land strikes on each other from odd angles. When the torrid battle concludes, the two gladiators settle their differences and offer respect to one another after a hard-fought contest. What a fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown (30-27 Brown)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brown (30-27 Brown)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brown (30-27 Brown)

The Official Result

Randy Brown def. Jared Gooden via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Mackenzie Dern (114.6) vs. Marina Rodriguez (115)

Round 1

When the dust settles, a strawweight title contender could emerge between grappling wizard Dern (11-1, 6-1 UFC) and muay Thai specialist Rodriguez (14-1-2, 4-1-2 UFC) in the classic style vs. style encounter. Neither woman has ever been finished, and they will look to keep it that way as they have five rounds to settle their business. Referee Mark Smith watches on for the final fight of the day, and there is no touch of gloves to begin. From a distance, Rodriguez sweeps out with a kick, and she ducks back when Dern throws a strike at her. Rodriguez lands a range-finding kick to the body, and she again is out of the way when Dern tries to give it back to her. Rodriguez comes forward with a one-two that falls short, and she chases Dern around the cage with a front kick to the midsection. The feints are drawing reactions out of Dern, who stumbles back when Rodriguez throws at her. Dern springs up, and she rushes forward but Rodriguez is well out of the way and avoids a kick. Rodriguez gets off a right hand, and fingers may have grazed Dern’s eye as well, but there is no stoppage. The Brazilian lands to the leg of Dern, and Dern charges in with a right hand before clinching up with her opponent. Rodriguez pushes off the fence and uses the momentum to knee Dern in the body, and she fights with an unusual elbow grab to twist Dern and disallow her from completing a single leg takedown. Rodriguez lands an elbow that is not quite 12-6, and not quite to the spine, and she checks with Smith to make sure it was legitimate. Dern stands back up and tries to push Rodriguez against the wall, pummeling and getting kneed in the body. Rodriguez spins her out and frees herself, where she stands in front of Dern and kicks her in the chest. Four punches and a low kick come from the Brazilian, who does not see any response from Dern. Rodriguez scores a few jabs as backs Dern away, and she counters a Dern jab with a solid overhand right. Rodriguez tags Dern again with a right, and she knees Dern in the chest before the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 2

Rodriguez is the first to engage to start the second round, with a front kick and one to the legs. This causes Dern to shoot in on her, but she gets stood up and punched in the face when Rodriguez breaks with her. In the clinch exchange, Smith warns Dern for grabbing the fence. Dern again presses the action to put Rodriguez against the wall, and she fails for a throw to land on her back. Rodriguez suffers a massive lapse in fight IQ as she climbs into her opponent’s guard. It does not take more than a few seconds for Dern to attack a leglock, sweep Rodriguez and put her on her back. Rodriguez defends from any submission danger and kicks off the fence, where Dern is happy to take north-south control before taking the side. Rodriguez snatches up with a brabo choke from her back, and Dern scrambles but she is surprisingly trapped. Dern breaks the grip, and Rodriguez rolls to her knees to try to get up. Dern follows her and tries to set up a crucifix, with a straight armlock solely with her legs. Rodriguez stays patient and rolls to the side, where she still has her arm stuck between the legs but it not nearly as dangerous as before. Dern partially takes Rodriguez’ back, and she slides over to back control to get her hooks in. Rodriguez looks to sit up, and Dern allows her to do this so she can claim full mount. Dern sits up in this mount so she can not aim for a submission but land ground-and-pound, and she has Rodriguez in all sorts of danger as he takes damages. Rodriguez kicks off the wall, and Dern holds on tight and rolls her back over in to the high mount. Dern steps over to a shoulder, and before she can hook up a straight armbar from above, the dominant round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Dern
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Dern
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Dern

Round 3

The strawweights meet in the center of the cage, and Rodriguez leads the dance and tries to get off a right hand over the top. Rodriguez has her toes glance off the body, and she uses her other leg to kick Dern’s lead leg. Rodriguez pressures Dern back and lands a right hand, where she successfully evades a counter punch. Rodriguez loads up on a big right hand, and Dern ducks it easily. A quick head kick drills Dern in the face, and punches that follow mark her up a bit. Rodriguez has a one-two land on the end of her punches, and she does not advance too far so that Dern can grab hold of her. The Brazilian pulls back before closing in, and Dern flails wildly with a spinning back fist that makes her fall into the fence. Rodriguez stays light on her feet, getting off a superman punch and a popping body kick. Rodriguez gets off a leg kick and sees the looping punches from Dern whiz past her, which come much slower as Dern may be fatiguing. Rodriguez keeps her backpedaling with punches, and a body kick slams into the midsection as well. Dern has yet to land a single blow in the round, while Rodriguez kicks her legs and body indiscriminately. Rodriguez dodges and counters when Dern ambles towards her, and she circles away instead of walking straight back so that Dern can grab her. Rodriguez continues to attack the body with punches and kicks, and she strings together three punches that land flush. Dern swings recklessly while Rodriguez is composed and landing cleanly, light on her feet and dancing out of the way while working the body. Dern crashes forward with 30 seconds to go for a takedown try, and Rodriguez stops it without concern before framing off to knee Dern in the face. Dern tries to grab the knee on the way down, allowing Rodriguez to elbow her and punch her in the face. One last knee from Rodriguez ends the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Rodriguez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 4

Rodriguez begins the round in style with a sharp one-two, and Dern swings for the fences and misses. Rodriguez lands cleanly with leg kicks and punches, and they kick at the same time. The foot of Rodriguez slams into Dern’s groin, and Smith smartly pauses the action as a groin shot is a groin shot. After 30 seconds or so to recover, Dern is good to go and takes the center of the cage. Rodriguez tags Dern with a few punches, and Dern sprints forward and kicks the body in an attempt to take the fight down. Rodriguez frames her off and goes for a Thai clinch to knee her in the face, and she breaks after a single one. Dern comes in swinging, landing a few times while Rodriguez aims counters at her. Several chopping kicks to the leg for Rodriguez are followed by a crisp knee to the liver, and Dern reels and then takes a spinning back kick to the same spot. Dern tries to duck a punch and shoot in, but Rodriguez sees it coming across the cage and stops her in the tracks with a right hand. Dern walks forward continually, but Rodriguez is there to land with impunity. Dern gets cracked and limply sticks out a jab, but this allows Rodriguez to work her way around it and smack Dern in the face again. Dern starts to retreat when the leg kicks continue to mount, and Rodriguez takes this as an opportunity to work the body. Rodriguez is light on her feet as she knees Dern in the face, and she steps through to knee Dern again right on the nose. Rodriguez has marked it up as she tags it again and again, and a front kick splits the guard. As Dern desperately tries to pursue a position, Rodriguez throws her to the ground but gets tangled up in the process and falls to her back. Dern claims mount, while Rodriguez holds on for dear life. Dern scores a few punches from above, and she isolates an arm and tries to secure an omoplata, but time expires before she can get it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 5

Between rounds, Dern’s coach Jason Parillo tells Dern to take Rodriguez down at all costs, admitting that she is getting hit anyway so that she should sell out for it. Smith cuts a piece of tape off Rodriguez’ glove before the round begins, and Rodriguez lands on the feet while Dern charges recklessly. Dern runs forward like Ronda Rousey against Holly Holm, while Rodriguez plays the matador and keeps herself from hitting the mat. A few leg kicks lead to a swarming combination of punches from Rodriguez, and Dern resets and again runs forward in a straight line. Rodriguez sticks out a few jabs and a leg kick, and Dern reacts to one kick by recoiling her leg and looking down at it briefly. Rodriguez circles on the outside and darts in and out to land single strikes, all while avoiding much of Dern’s strikes. Rodriguez staggers Dern with a right hand, and when Dern gathers her thoughts, her knee gets stomped. Rodriguez lands to the body, and Dern catches the kick and tries to toss her over. Although Rodriguez loses her balance and falls over, she gets back up before Dern can reach her. Dern lands with a big right hand and a leg kick, but Rodriguez fires back with two jabs and an overhand right. They both swing and miss with winging strikes, and reset right in the center of the cage. Rodriguez just comes up shy with a looping right hand, but a subsequent combination knocks Dern back. Rodriguez lands with short combos, hurting Dern, but she does not close in to try to get a finish out of concern that Dern will snag her and wrench her down to the mat. Rodriguez watches punches fly by her, and she prepares herself for a Dern takedown but gets shoved into the wall. Dern tries to trip her down, but Rodriguez is able to stay on her feet and even knee Dern in the side. The grappling whiz tries to throw Rodriguez down, but the Brazilian stays upright. Rodriguez puts a ribbon on a mostly stellar performance by smashing Dern in the face with a vicious knee, and Dern reacts with a body kick and spins around with a half-hearted spinning back fist to end the fight. Other than the bits of extreme danger Rodriguez encountered any time she hit the mat, this was a statement performance for her. Next week, another fight card in the UFC Apex comes for the fans, but it does not start as early as this one. We will be there for it, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (48-45 Rodriguez)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (48-46 Rodriguez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (48-46 Rodriguez)

The Official Result

Marina Rodriguez def. Mackenzie Dern via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
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