UFC on ABC 2 ‘Vettori vs. Holland’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Apr 10, 2021
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Impa Kasanganay (170.5) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (170.5)

Round 1

After a relaxing week off from the UFC, the promotion is back in business for the start of a seven-week journey that includes two events in the U.S. outside of the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. We kick this early 13-fight card off in the welterweight division, between two men who could not have had more diametrically opposed last outings. In a new weight class, Kasanganay (8-1, 1-1 UFC) will try to bounce back from the first loss of his career as the recipient of the “Knockout of the Year” courtesy of Joaquin Buckley, and he will face the upset-minded Palatnikov (6-2, 1-0 UFC). Drawing the first assignment of the day is referee Chris Tognoni, and with a touch of gloves, it’s on with the show! Kasanganay opens up with a swinging leg kick, and he darts forward to throw punches but Palatnikov is ready to counter him with a few shots. He lands a couple more, only to receive retaliatory punches from Kasanganay. Palatnikov scores a leg kick, and when he aims another, Kasanganay drills him with an overhand right and grabs the leg. “Tshilobo” bullies his way into a takedown attempt, where he puts the Hong Kong native on his back in a comfortable yet heavy half guard. Palatnikov is unable to free himself with a fence grab, and Kasanganay is aiming his shoulder pressure for a potential arm-triangle choke while on top. Palatnikov recovers to full guard as Kasanganay looks to advance, but the former has his neck pressed up against the corner of the cage and the floor, trying to walk his way up. Palatnikov gets away with another fence grab – he is warned by Tognoni but still does it – and stands back up. Kasanganay wings right hooks on his way towards his opponent, where he changes levels into a double. Once more, Palatnikov hooks his fingers on the fence and twists his foe around, and is admonished again but gains position because of it. The two jockey for position until Kasanganay drops for a single, and Palatnikov punishes him with a few thudding punches to the side of the head. Kasanganay fires off a leg kick and chains it into a takedown attempt, but Hong Kong’s Palatnikov is able to rebuff him and press him into the cage. Kasanganay continues to press the takedown, but he is stopped time and time again but is the one pressuring. Palatnikov is able to gain separation thanks to a solid knee to the chest, and the two trade strikes right up to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kasanganay
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kasanganay
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Kasanganay

Round 2

Although Palatnikov offers a glove touch, Kasanganay is not interested and instead comes out firing. “Tshilobo” lands a heavy right hand, and he clips Palatnikov and hurts him with a right hand. As Palatnikov falls forward into a potential desperation takedown, Kasanganay circles around to attack and try to finish the job. The new Sanford MMA recruit hops on to the back in a wild scramble, and without even getting any hooks in, he snatches up a rear-naked choke. The grip is shockingly tight despite not having his hooks to bolster the pressure, and Palatnikov does not know exactly what to do as he fights to break the grip. A few seconds later, Palatnikov surrenders, tapping out for the first time in his career. This is a huge win for Kasanganay, who shows his first loss was not indicative of what he can put on display.

The Official Result

Impa Kasanganay def. Sasha Palatnikov R2 0:26 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Da Un Jung (205.5) vs. William Knight (205.5)

Round 1

We traipse off of the early preliminary portion of the card to the ESPN prelims, where we begin with what has all the makings of a wild battle when Jung (13-2-1, 2-0-1 UFC) tries to tame “Knightmare” Knight (9-1, 1-0 UFC). Eighteen knockouts combine for the two 205ers’ 22 career wins, and referee Mark Smith has his hands full early in the day with this contest. There is a respectful touch of gloves before the two try to knock the other’s head off, and the fight is on. Knight begins with a series of leg kicks, chopping Jung down with kicks that have already produced a bruise or welt on the inside of Jung’s thigh. “Sseda” responds with his own kicks to the same target, prompting a takedown attempt from Knight. The South Korean is able to defend the attempt, nearly reverse the position, and get pushed off thanks to the mighty strength of Knight. The explosive defense of Knight cannot keep Jung off him for long, as Jung uses a body lock to plant Knight flat on his back. Jung delivers sporadic ground punches while on top, but is more content to squeeze down heavily to wear out the powerful Knight. “Knightmare” starts to slug it out with his opponent as he closes his guard, but Jung’s few elbows are much more emphatic as he keeps embracing the grind. Smith asks the two to start working as it has become a stalemate, so Jung steps over into half guard and fights off a sweep from Knight. The American looks to roll through the position, and after a second try, he muscles his way back to his feet. Jung ducks a spinning back fist and hits a trip takedown to put Knight back down hard again, just like before. In half guard, Jung works with short, grinding elbows from above until Knight turns to his side to attempt to escape again. “Sseda” is unable to keep Knight down for long, as Knight climbs to his knees and then feet. Knight shows some damage on his face from the strikes of Jung, and escapes the follow-up shots to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jung
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Jung
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Jung

Round 2

There is a failed glove touch to begin the second round, and when Knight opens up with a leg kick, Jung counters with an overhand right that makes “Knightmare” take a funny step back. Knight regathers himself and scores a few more leg kicks, allowing Jung to respond in kind. Knight sits down on an overhand right when Jung looses a leg kick at him, and the South Korean wears it well and absorbs a body kick that follows. Jung sticks out a few jabs and annoys Knight with leg kicks, but this is all a ruse as he closes the distance to grab hold of Knight and easily throw him down to the canvas. Jung lands in side control, and Knight scrambles to protect himself but surrenders his back in the process. Jung gets a hook in as Knight returns to his knees, and he keeps “Knightmare” from wall-walking to get back up. Jung acts as a South Korean backpack, but Knight is so strong that he simply stands back up for a moment. “Sseda” trips him back down, and as Knight once more powers back up, Jung gets a mat return. Knight gives up his back as he tries to blast off, and Jung flattens him out and starts pummeling Knight on the side of the head. Jung threatens with a rear-naked choke when he is not pounding on Knight, and blood has begun to pool below Knight’s face. Jung’s slow but effective punches continue to land, even while Knight signals to Smith that he is still good. With both his hooks in on the back, Jung has Knight firmly in the danger zone, slamming his fists into Knight’s face. The American manages a moral victory by getting to his knees and surviving to the final round, but he is battered and bloodied.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Jung
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Jung
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Jung

Round 3

Knight is able to continue to the third round, but the energy levels are stark as Knight plods out of his corner while Jung is ready to sprint at him. “Knightmare” loads up on a string of powerful overhand rights, and he gets Jung’s attention with a few of them even when they are blocked. Jung decides to take the fight to where he has the advantage, hitting a takedown and putting Knight on his back. The desperate Knight scrambles wildly to get back up, only to get wrenched right back down by the might of the South Korean. Jung sits comfortable in side control as he keeps Knight flat, before stepping to north-south position as he elbows the body repeatedly. Knight clings on tight until Jung wanders over to side control on the other side, where he delivers knees to the torso while Knight is trapped. Smith occasionally asks Jung to keep working, and Jung answers him every time by landing a few shots. The control time is racking up as Knight tries to get to his side, and “Sseda” lands a strike to the back of the head to elicit a warning from Smith. The explosive escapes from Knight are not nearly as effective as they were in the opening round, and Jung maintains heavy top pressure without much worry about being swept. Jung advances to lock up a crucifix position, as Jung traps Knight’s left arm between his legs, and when Knight aims to burst free, Jung moves to north-south position again. Jung thumps up the body with punches and elbows, and Knight appears to be out of options as he cannot kick off the fence. Knight protects his face by angling for a half-hearted guillotine choke with no leverage at all, but Jung does not see the opening for a Von Preux choke and just rides out the final round on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jung (30-26 Jung)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Jung (30-26 Jung)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Jung (30-26 Jung)

The Official Result

Da Un Jung def. William Knight via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Luis Saldana (145.5) vs. Jordan Griffin (145.5)

Round 1

It’s all action up next in the featherweight division, when Saldana (14-6, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut and tries to keep his 100 percent finish rate intact against “The Native Psycho” Griffin (18-8, 1-3 UFC). The third man inside the Octagon is referee Jason Herzog, and the glove touch precedes what should be a fun battle. Saldana slaps out with a quick leg kick, and he swats at an advancing Griffin with a right hand. Saldana puts a few punches together that make Griffin bounce off the fence, but Griffin responds in kind with a combination. As Griffin comes at him, Saldana counters with a few punches. “The Native Psycho” charges forward out of nowhere to pull off a takedown, but the newcomer is able to quickly return to his feet and chop out with a few leg kicks. Griffin advances, but he gets clipped with a few punches on the way forward. Griffin rushes in with his own salvo of punches, and Saldana is able to scamper out of the way and keep working the leg kick. Saldana keeps his hands low, and he fires off a head kick that barely is avoided. Griffin wades forward with a few punches, and he walks right into a spinning back fist. Saldana batters the lead leg repeatedly, but Griffin walks through it to drill Saldana with a pair of crisp punches. “The Native Psycho” uses his forward momentum to pursue a double leg takedown, and Saldana defends it against the fence by turning about and threatening with a high guillotine choke. Griffin protects his neck and redoubles his takedown effort, but cannot land it. When he lets go, Griffin fires a few punches and a high kick, and Saldana is ready to respond. Griffin chases after him wildly with a heavy barrage of strikes, and as Saldana is surprised, Griffin grabs him and drags him to the ground. Saldana does not take much damage on his back, and he kicks off but cannot stand up before Griffin is on him. As Saldana stands up, Griffin latches on to an unusual bulldog choke from the side, but Saldana does not appear to be in much danger from the submission. Griffin maintains heavy pressure until Saldana is able to escape, but Griffin runs after him and wings a high kick. Griffin ducks a punch to land a right hand, and he nearly walks face-first into a flying knee. Right before the bell, Griffin hits a takedown, but he cannot capitalize on it before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Griffin

Round 2

The featherweights touch gloves to open up the second frame, and Griffin is right back to his reckless aggression as he plots forward. Saldana tries to keep him at bay with a front kick, but Griffin completely ignores it and charges forward with a pair of looping hooks. As Saldana circles away, Griffin once more chases after him. Saldana lands a few effective strikes, and when he goes for a head kick, he slips and falls to his back. “The Native Psycho” takes advantage of this misstep and leaps on top. Saldana throws his legs up for a triangle choke to threaten off his back, and when he cannot lock it up, he transitions into an armbar that is similarly unsuccessful. Griffin pushes his man over, but Saldana sits on his side to try to escape. Saldana rolls through for a leglock, and he gets up and grabs hold of Griffin’s neck with a high guillotine choke. Griffin is in a bad way as the choke is tight, but when he stands up, the pressure lessens to a degree. Griffin toughs it out, and he pulls his neck free and pushes off. “The Native Psycho” gathers his thoughts for a moment, and he aggressively pursues his foe with a few winging shots. The strikes are not the most important thing for him, as he instead uses them to close the distance and hit a takedown while Saldana reacts. Saldana rolls to his knees, and he once more finds himself in a bulldog choke head lock. The newcomer breaks free of the grip and stands up, but it does not last long before Griffin yanks him back down and takes his back. Saldana stands up and keeps Griffin riding him like a backpack before dropping back down to the ground. Griffin maintains his smothering pressure as Saldana sits back down, and he is one step ahead of Saldana’s scrambles. Griffin sinks in a lightning-quick rear-naked choke, and Saldana looks like he is about to go out but instead signals a thumbs-up to let everyone know he is not out. Saldana survives the round, but a few more seconds may have seen a different result.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Griffin

Round 3

The glove touch comes first for the opening of this last round, and Saldana begins by pushing the pace instead of Griffin. Saldana cracks his opponent with a right hand, and when Griffin tries to walk through it, Saldana tattoos him with a few more. Griffin takes a quick count of his teeth and attacks with a high kick and a takedown attempt. The UFC debutant does not seem flustered, and bounces back up without much effort. Saldana absorbs a front kick to the body, and he sticks out his jab a few times. Saldana has a head kick blocked, and he comes up short with a standing back fist as Griffin stares at him. The pace has waned significantly in this last round, and the two largely throw single power strikes instead of crisp combinations. Griffin is just out of range of a superman punch off the cage and a flying knee, and he takes a punch on the chin to shoot in for a double. Saldana considers a choke attempt to stop it, but he instead elects to turn Griffin around into the fence and go after his own takedown attempt. Inexplicably, when Saldana is reaching for a leg, Griffin grabs hold of a choke attempt that looks like an extremely unorthodox rear-naked choke, and Saldana is suddenly in grave danger. After realizing the threat, Saldana squirms and shakes his neck free, where he completes his takedown attempt. The newcomer grinds Griffin into the fence as he tries to keep “The Native Psycho” grounded, and when Griffin scrambles, he falls to his back. Saldana aims a couple of upkicks, but Griffin wades into the guard and follows Saldana through his transition. Griffin takes Saldana’s back, and there is no time for a submission before the final seconds expire.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Saldana (29-28 Griffin)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Saldana (29-28 Griffin)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Saldana (29-28 Griffin)

The Official Result

Luis Saldana def. Jordan Griffin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jack Shore (136) vs. Hunter Azure (135.5)

Round 1

At bantamweight, proud Welshman Shore (13-0, 2-0 UFC) looks to keep his unbeaten record intact against Azure (9-1, 2-1 UFC). Referee Herb Dean takes charge of the cage, witnesses a glove touch and it’s fight time. Both men come out amped up, and Shore is the first to fire a strike in the form of a leg kick. Shore aims another and it gets caught, but Azure cannot make him pay for it. The Welshman scores a one-two, and he scrambles out of the way when Azure bears down on him. “Tank” delivers another leg kick, and he eats a body shot and a much heavier leg kick in response. Azure lands a few punches as Shore crashes the pocket, and he knees Azure in the face and nearly trips the leg out but cannot get the American down. Azure turns him around and knees the thigh repeatedly, working the body until Shore twists him back. Shore takes Azure’s back and aims to trip Azure’s leg out beneath him, and when it does not succeed, Shore simply lifts him up and slams him down. Azure springs back up, and Shore almost does this again. Azure keeps his balance as he hops across the cage, but once they hit the fence, the Welshman is able to drag him down to a knee. Azure twists to take top position when Shore is about to take his back, and Shore defends with a triangle choke but the American pushes the legs away to get into guard. Shore does not let himself be down for long, exploding out of the position and springing back to his feet. When back upright, Shore starts up again with chipping leg kicks, and he ducks a huge overhand right to pop Azure with a quick right hook. Both men clack legs at the same time, and they recoil them in surprise. Shore does not appear to have much damage on his leg, as he goes shin-to-chin with a high kick that Azure eats like a sandwich. Azure presses forward to clinch up his opponent, seemingly unconcerned about the damage of the strike, and they separate right before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Shore
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Shore
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Shore

Round 2

The bantamweights touch ‘em up in the beginning of the second round, and they back off to find their range. Azure scores a single leg kick, and he gets off a body kick that gets caught. Leg in the air, Shore pushes Azure into the fence to attempt a takedown, but Azure turns him around and gets his leg back down. Neither can do anything in the clinch, so they break apart and jab one another. Azure slips after Shore lands a leg kick, and Shore crashes forward to bully his man into the wire. Shore scoops Azure up and puts him on his back, but he leaves his neck exposed to allow Azure to latch on with a guillotine choke. The American stands up with the choke and Shore is practically lifted in the air with his neck like Scott Jorgensen against Chad George. Shore falls to his back and frees his neck, and Azure starts raining down punches. Shore is able to avoid the brunt of the damage, turn to his knees and pop back up. Shore takes a shot to the cup when the two are clinched up against the fence, and Dean allows Shore to recover for as long as he needs. The Welshman takes just 30 seconds to recover, and Dean resets them in the same clinch position to start back up. Shore cannot get the leverage to ground Azure, and instead has his back pressed into the cage. Azure drops down for a single leg takedown, and Shore rebuffs him and separates. Azure jabs at the body and comes up short on a right hand, allowing Shore’s one-two retaliatory strikes to do some damage. Shore lands a head kick, and Azure returns fire with a pair of stern punches that give Shore pause. The two are trading now, and Shore again kicks Azure in the head. Azure does not even register that he has been kicked a few times cleanly, and rushes in to land a left hand that snaps Shore’s head back. The two continue to trade right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Azure

Round 3

A glove touch leads to a takedown attempt for Azure, and Shore sees it coming and stops it. Azure aims a one-two to the chest, and Shore backs out of the way and flicks out his jab. “Tank” blocks a few punches and eats a leg kick, whiffing an uppercut as Azure shoots in on him. Azure aims a trip while attempting to drag the fight down, and when he cannot get it, he stings Shore with a right hand. Shore backs off and works the leg kick and a stiff left hook, and Azure ignores it and shoots in for a takedown. Shore sees it coming and sprawls in the center of the cage, and this exact same exchange happens once more as Azure fails to take the fight down. On the second try, Shore reverses him and hits an opposing takedown. The American springs back up and gets kneed in the face along the fence, but Shore redoubles his effort and elevates Azure to put him down hard. Shore climbs into back control, and Azure protects his neck until Shore turns around to capture full mount. Azure is not content to stay grounded, so he escapes by walking up the fencing. Shore doggedly pursues a single leg, and he hits it again briefly. Azure keeps escaping and scrambling enough to not stay down for long, and as Shore tries to roll through to take his back, the American winds up on top. Azure starts dropping down punches as Shore utilizes butterfly hooks to nearly land a sweep. The two continue rolling until Shore takes the top position, and the horn blares to conclude this close fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Shore (29-28 Shore)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Shore (29-28 Shore)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Shore (29-28 Shore)

The Official Result

Jack Shore def. Hunter Azure via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Yorgan De Castro (261.5) vs. Jarjis Danho (255.5)

Round 1

The lone heavyweight contest of the day comes between two sluggers looking to get back in the win column for the first time in a while. While De Castro (6-2, 1-2 UFC) has not gotten his hand raised since 2019, Danho (5-1-1, 1 NC; 0-1-1 UFC) has to go all the way back to 2015 to remember what winning inside the cage feels like. Referee Mike Beltran is strapped in for this contest between two big men that prefer the knockout, and the gladiators touch ‘em up before scrapping. Danho greets his foe with a calf kick, and another louder one follows. De Castro aims a counter right hand that is well short of the mark, and Danho returns to chopping down the lead leg. “Man Mountain” delivers kick on the inside and outside of the lead leg, and De Castro once more comes up short with booming power punches. A cup kick for Danho is ignored, and he chips away at the leg while De Castro is corking back a right hand. Danho’s leg kicks are forcing De Castro to react, and De Castro charges in with a big overhand right that Danho ducks. Danho grabs De Castro and presses him into the cage, and De Castro breaks free with a quick left hand. De Castro comes out firing with a pair of hooks, and Danho defends himself and lands a trip takedown but cannot keep De Castro down for more than a second. Danho blocks a punch, has a right hand split the guard, and winds up with his own lethal right hand. The monster hook clatters off De Castro’s temple, sending the Cape Verde native crashing lifelessly to the ground. De Castro is out cold before he hits the canvas, and Danho bestows one final nail-in-the-coffin shot to seal the deal as the magnificently mustached Beltran dives in to stop the fight. What a way to let the UFC know that he is back, getting his first victory in years by laying waste to the tough De Castro. In the process, “Man Mountain” becomes the first man to finish “The Mad Titan.”

The Official Result

Jarjis Danho def. Yorgan De Castro R1 3:02 via KO (Punch)

John Makdessi (153.5) vs. Ignacio Bahamondes (156.75: Missed Weight)

Round 1

Up next, we see a classic battle between Canada and Chile as longtime vet Makdessi (17-7, 10-7 UFC) squares off with newcomer and recent Dana White’s Contender Series signee Bahamondes (11-3, 0-0 UFC). Although each man both post finish rates above 50 percent, neither has ever won by submission. This striking-friendly matchup draws oversight from referee Chris Tognoni, and the 156.75-pound catchweight affair – Bahamondes missed weight – begins with a glove touch. Bahamondes does what most other fighters have today so far, by starting with a leg kick. Makdessi tries to reply in kind, but Bahamondes is able to quickly counter him with a right hand. Bahamondes gets off a few more low kicks and dodge the ones that come his way. Makdessi flips up a high kick that slaps off the guard, and Bahamondes steps forward with a left hand and a right hook. Bahamondes paws out with a few jabs and chopping kicks, utilizing his extreme range to his advantage. Makdessi can do little but stand in front of him and try to reach him, and the Canadian is able to get off at the end of kicks but Bahamondes is doubling or tripling him up with strikes early in the fight. Bahamondes sticks him with a few jabs, and his calf kicks are drawing reactions from “The Bull.” Long punches to the head and body score repeatedly for Bahamondes, who is constantly busy. Makdessi sits down on a right hand and hurts Bahamondes, and the newcomer does not show a poker face and stumbles back into the cage. Makdessi tries to finish the job, and allows Bahamondes to clinch up with him until he can find his opening. Makdessi smashes him in the face with another right hand, and he stuffs a takedown to get into a wild clinch battle. The two trade furiously, and Makdessi snaps Bahamondes’ head back with al eft hand as Bahamondes is stuck against the cage and bloodied. Makdessi’s power is all the difference at this point, as Bahamondes’ aggression and volume have almost completely diminished while Makdessi is battering him with clinch strikes. Bahamondes keeps him at the end of a few punches, but Makdessi’s pace is starting to make Bahamondes take deep breaths already. “La Jaula” shoots in for a desperation takedown, and Makdessi defends it with a leg in the air and starts clocking his foe with short strikes. Bahamondes replies with elbow strikes, and he separates to get off a few jabs and body kicks. “The Bull” charges with a right hand and Bahamondes is wearing it, and one final side kick from the Canadian punctuates the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi

Round 2

The lightweights consider touching gloves, but Makdessi wants to pick up where he left off and lands a few left hands to get Bahamondes’ attention. The newcomer flicks up a head kick that is blocked, and Makdessi walks through a few punches to land huge shots. Bahamondes sits down on a leg kick, and he narrowly avoids the counter as he circles on the outside. Makdessi and he trade single punches one after the other, and the leg kicks follow shortly after. Makdessi catches Bahamondes coming in with a left hook, and Bahamondes gathers himself and slaps a leg kick home. Both jab one another at the same time multiple times, and they are trading one after the other with little concern for defense. Three punches come from Makdessi, and a combination from Bahamondes rocks the Canadian. Makdessi is now busted up too, and the two headhunt and land furious punches in volume. Bahamondes whiffs with a high kick and bails on a spinning kick to shoot in for a takedown, but he cannot land it. The newcomer is able to press Makdessi into the cage in the process, and he thwarts a toss from Makdessi before Makdessi escapes. Bahamondes splits the guard with a left hand, and he has a high kick bounce off Makdessi’s guard. The two trade heavy punches and hurt one another, but neither show it and continue to bust each other’s face up with constant strikes. Bahamondes tries to stay at the end of his reach, and uses a leg kick or two to keep Makdessi at bay, but Makdessi has found the range and can close in to land shots. Bahamondes and Makdessi trade jabs, and Makdessi chains a few body shots into an overhand right. Bahamondes shakes it off and kicks Makdessi in the chest, but allows Makdessi to return fire with a fierce one-two. Makdessi lets loose a side kick to the body, and he stings Bahamondes with a few punches. Bahamondes misses on a head kick to spinning kick, and the intense round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi

Round 3

There is no glove touch in the final frame, as Makdessi is ready to brawl and Bahamondes is happy to oblige. Makdessi flirts with a few side kicks and a left hand that skims his foe’s face, keeping Bahamondes backed up and circling around the cage. Bahamondes reaches out with a few jabs, and Makdessi bears down on him with a few punches and lets go with a spinning kick at close range. Makdessi ducks it and continues his aggression, chasing Bahamondes around the cage while spamming kicks high and low. The Canadian is able to avoid a big left hand, and he blocks a punch to get off a stiff counter. Bahamondes slips a punch to score a right, and he ducks down to surprise Makdessi with a takedown attempt. Makdessi stuffs it and takes a knee to the chest, and Bahamondes is on his bike and lands a few shots. When they close the distance, Bahamondes scores a trio of uppercuts in the clinch, before Makdessi breaks away to try to load up on shots. “The Bull” lands a right to the body and a left to the head, and they chain long strings of combinations on one another. They clinch up to throw some heavy shots, and break away to also throw heavy shots. These strikers are going at it, and both are landing at a furious yet accurate clip. Bahamondes stings Makdessi with a right hand, and he is sitting down on his shots as Makdessi is forced to retreat. Bahamondes chases after him with a left hand and a head kick, and Makdessi wears it well. Makdessi’s straight shots are getting in while Bahamondes is winging hooks, and he is able to disrupt the ferocious offense of the Chilean. Three punches land for Bahamondes, and Makdessi gives him a few right back. The final moments of the fight see both man land flush with a wild barrage of strikes, and it is unfortunate that Bahamondes missed weight because he cannot earn a “Fight of the Night” bonus for this thrilling affair.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Bahamondes (29-28 Makdessi)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Bahamondes (29-28 Makdessi)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Makdessi (30-27 Makdessi)

The Official Result

John Makdessi def. Ignacio Bahamondes via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Scott Holtzman (155.5) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (156)

Round 1

Two lightweights with something to prove come to blows next, when Holtzman (14-4, 7-4 UFC) USA aims to hand Gamrot (17-1, 1 NC; 0-1 UFC) his second consecutive defeat. The official inside the cage is referee Jason Herzog, and the 155-pounders looking to make a name for themselves do not touch gloves to seal the Octagon. Holtzman throws the first strike, and the body kick soars short of the target. Gamrot reaches with a right hand and a body kick of his own, and he puts a one-two on his opponent. When Gamrot ducks down for a leg, Holtzman is ready for him with a fast right hand. “Hot Sauce” spices things up with a few punches, and he dances out of the way from another potential takedown attempt. Holtzman reaches out with a right hand only to get kicked in the chest, and Gamrot has had enough of the standup and aims for a low takedown. Although the Polish fighter pulls the leg out to get Holtzman on his back, Holtzman springs right back up quickly. Holtzman times uppercut counters when Gamrot is considering changing levels, and he lands a few punches as Gamrot advances towards him. The American slips a few times on the floor, and he whiffs with a huge right hand. Both men trade huge shots, and Gamrot tags Holtzman with a right hand but backs off when Holtzman tries to make him pay for it. Gamrot aims for a low ankle pick and bails on it to land a right hand, which surprises Holtzman. Gamrot tries to follow up the strike with another, but Holtzman greets him with an uppercut. A single body shot from Gamrot does not get Holtzman’s attention, nor does a head kick shortly after. Gamrot changes levels for a single leg takedown, and his second effort in the form of a double gets Holtzman down in a hurry. The American springs back up, and when he stands, he gives up his back. Gamrot cannot take advantage of it, and instead there is a bit of confusion as Gamrot appears to land a strike to the back of the head or ear. Herzog does not state that the strike is illegal, and we carry on with Holtzman pushing the pace. Holtzman tries to catch a kick to aim for a takedown, but Gamrot retracts it and lands another to the body. One final leg kick from “Gamer” concludes the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gamrot
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gamrot
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gamrot

Round 2

The second round begins as Gamrot kicks the leg of an advancing Holtzman, and Holtzman bears down on him with a right hand but falls victim to a low takedown attempt. The American is able to stay upright, but he backs off and takes a kick to the chest. Gamrot aims his extremely low ankle-high takedown attempt and sits Holtzman on his backside, but once more, there is very little control time when “Hot Sauce” gets up and peppers Gamrot with an uppercut. The two trade jabs briefly, and Gamrot cracks Holtzman with a blistering one-two. The American falls to a knee, and Gamrot bowls him over and starts punishing him with right hands on the ground. “Gamer” only needs a few before Herzog realizes that Holtzman is out, and he halts the fight. This is just what the former KSW champ needed to let the UFC brass know that he is a real threat in the division, stopping a durable opponent that had only been finished once before in the past.

The Official Result

Mateusz Gamrot def. Scott Holtzman R2 1:22 via KO (Punches)

Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Joe Solecki (155.5)

Round 1

A chasm of experience separates these lightweights tapped to headline the prelims, as fan-favorite Miller (32-15, 1 NC; 21-14, 1 NC UFC) sets the all-time UFC appearance record at 37 by simply stepping in the cage against fellow grappler Solecki (10-2, 2-0 UFC). The Octagon ranger for this key preliminary matchup is referee Herb Dean, and we see a respectful touch of gloves to lead things off. Miller comes out first with a reaching right hand, but it is Solecki that lands first with a quick combination and a slapping leg kick. The two engage in a brief brawl in the center of the cage, and Solecki gets off another kick. Once more there is a clinch battle with a flurry of fists and feet, and Miller takes one on the chin and gets pushed into the fence. Solecki comes up short with an overhand right, but the leg kick scores again. Miller swings wildly with a pair of hooks, and Solecki steps back and takes a sweeping leg kick. Solecki gets off a one-two, and he fires a body kick as he avoids an overhand right counter. Miller comes in with a shovel uppercut, and that and a head kick get blocked. Solecki nails Miller with a right hand, and the longtime vet eats it like a grinder. Solecki again plants his foot on Miller’s torso, and Miller’s reply hits nothing but air. Miller steps in with a leg kick, and a pair of big punches miss the mark as Solecki circles out of danger. Miller wades forward to sneak in a right hand, and when Solecki aims for a takedown, Miller pushes him over and climbs into the full guard. Solecki scoots his way to the fence while Miller is trying to find some offense from on top, and Miller instead uses this angle between the floor and the fence to keep Solecki trapped. Solecki blocks strikes and cannot kick off, as Miller begins to drop down a few punches. Miller continues to grind out his foe in this position, and he lands a few body shots while Solecki holds on tight with all his might. The round ends with Miller on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miller
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Miller
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Miller

Round 2

The New Jersey natives touch hands to clock in the second frame, and Miller rushes forward to throw hands. Miller catches Solecki with a left hand as he closes the distance, and Solecki drops down for a single leg as Miller defends it against the fence. As Solecki changes levels to take the fight all the way down, Miller cracks him with a knee but still falls to his back. Miller employs a rubber guard immediately, using his left leg to hook the shoulder for a brief spell. Solecki looks to pass guard but Miller does not allow him to do so, instead dragging his man back as Miller clings on tight. Solecki is unable to mount any offense from above, but Miller appears complacent on his back as he repositions his legs in his guard to open and close it searching for options. Solecki drops down a quartet of punches to the body, and Miller does not want to be flat on his back so he turns to his side. Miller hacks at his man with an elbow, but he is largely nullified by the younger man with top pressure. Miller gets off another elbow and is punched in the face for his effort, as Solecki tries to get off ground-and-pound but is mostly able to strike the side. Dean calls for Solecki to work after several minutes of stalemate, and the round ends in this position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Solecki
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Solecki
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Solecki

Round 3

The last round opens with a Miller leg kick, and Solecki closes the distance to aim for a takedown and get back to the position where he rode out the previous frame. Miller frantically scrambles, and even rolls when Solecki trips his leg out, but he surrenders his back in the process. Miller somersaults to pursue a leglock, and Solecki easily spins around and winds up on top in a better position than the previous frame. Solecki sits in half guard while Miller is stuck on his side, and he holds his shoulder for a potential arm-triangle choke until bailing on it to posture up. Miller once more finds himself stuck without any ability to get up, and Solecki has firmly embraced the grind as precious seconds tick off the clock. Solecki gets warned for inactivity by Dean, and he lands a few punches to the side while Miller once more twists and turns to try to free himself. Solecki pops him with a few left hands, and he drops down a couple elbows as well to stay busy. The half guard position is a successful one for Solecki, delivering sporadic ground-and-pound and trapping Miller completely. This suffocating style is taking the fight out of the veteran, who looks frustrated as he gets punched in the face every so often. Dean once more calls for Solecki to work, and Solecki tries to mount his foe but cannot get his leg free. The younger fighter keeps working with left hands to the side of Miller’s body and face, and this dreadful fight mercifully comes to a close.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Solecki (29-28 Solecki)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Solecki (29-28 Solecki)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Solecki (29-28 Solecki)

The Official Result

Joe Solecki def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Mike Perry (170) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (170.5)

Round 1

The main card begins with what should be a violent encounter at welterweight, when Perry (14-7, 7-7 UFC) tries to get back in the win column against “D-Rod” Rodriguez (13-2, 3-1 UFC). The latter walked out to DMX’s “What’s My Name” but the organization did not have the good sense to televise the only walkout tonight with a DMX track, moments after posting a memorial image for the recently passed rap icon. Both men sport exactly 11 finishes in their respective careers, and referee Mike Beltran will need to keep his head on a swivel for this potential banger. There is a glove touch before these two handle their business. Rodriguez scores a few leg kicks from the outside while Perry closes the distance, and “D-Rod” slings a head kick up quick. Perry eats it and responds with one to the body, before winging a right hand that catches Rodriguez on the brow. “Platinum” walks forward into a few punches, and he is not rattled when he throws a leg kick back. Rodriguez surprises Perry with a one-two, and there is already damage to Perry’s nose. Rodriguez gets off a leg kick, and Perry replies in kind. Perry eats a body kick and charges in to attack, landing a right hand as Rodriguez tries to roll with it. A huge leg kick is followed by a nasty one-two that rocks Perry, and Rodriguez does not go wild searching for a finish and keeps doing damage. Rodriguez sticks out several jabs and leg kicks, and a right hand sends Perry off-balance. Perry wings a right hand but comes up shy of the mark, as Rodriguez chips away at his lead leg. “Platinum” has a head kick blocked, and he backs off when Rodriguez chases after him with a pair of punches. Rodriguez stings him with another one-two and a huge inside leg kick, and Perry is flustered as he keeps taking shots. Rodriguez dings him with another one-two, and the leg kick has Perry take a funny step back. Perry throws a huge right hand that is well off the mark, and he shoots in for a takedown to lift Rodriguez in the air. Rodriguez defends with a guillotine choke off his back, and Perry is suddenly in trouble and scrambling wildly. Perry puts down heavy shoulder pressure to possibly set up a Von Preux choke as Rodriguez has not let go of his guillotine of his back. As Perry aims to pass guard, Rodriguez bails on the choke and gets him back to full guard. Perry advances to half guard as he lays on his opponent, and he frees a hand to try to drop down shots. The round ends before Perry can land anything of note.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 2

Rodriguez comes out confidently from his corner, and he walks into a leg kick as he lines up a punch. Rodriguez paws out a jab, and he ducks out of the way when Perry jumps at him with a superman punch. Rodriguez keeps jabbing, and he clacks Perry in the body with a kick. Perry throws back the same kick, so Rodriguez eats it and kicks the lead leg. Rodriguez puts a one-two on Perry’s jaw, and he snaps the head back with a few jabs. The two welterweights go kick for kick, as Rodriguez lands one and Perry try to pay him back. Rodriguez reaches out with a few more jabs and leg kicks, but steps in with a power punch that nearly allows him to get countered. Perry walks through the danger to grab hold of “D-Rod,” and he lands a body lock takedown to put the California native on his back. Rodriguez scoots to the fence and climbs back up without staying down for long, and he walks directly into a big right hand. Rodriguez takes it on the chin and keeps Perry at bay with a quick uppercut. Perry begins to throw wide, telegraphed strikes while Rodriguez is largely keeping them straighter, and his quicker strikes disrupt an advancing Perry. Rodriguez snaps out his jab and body kick as Perry has no answer, with the polarizing Floridian taking a one-two flush on the way out. Both men land clean left hands at the same time, and Perry is busted up on the side of his eyebrows as they trade bombs. Rodriguez has opened up a welt on the side of Perry’s head that is swelling quickly, and he targets the same spot with a barrage of punches. Perry throws single strikes back, but Rodriguez is able to answer with punches in bunches. Perry, who strides through the fire to get there, presses into the clinch to attempt a takedown. This time, Rodriguez rebuffs him and keeps his balance to the bell. When they separate, Perry’s nose appears two shades of Andrei Arlovski or Olaf Alfonso.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 3

Perry shows some major damage coming out of his corner, but he is ready to continue fighting without issue. He pushes the pace in the early going, throwing looping shots that Rodriguez is easily able to avoid. Rodriguez chops his lead leg down with a few kicks, and Perry resorts to single punches to the body and head to try to keep his distance. “Platinum” rushes out with a superman punch and a head kick, and neither connect squarely as Rodriguez is on him with a body kick and a left hand. Perry throws a right hand into a takedown attempt, and Rodriguez is able to bully him over and put Perry on his hindquarters for a moment. Perry powers back up, and he eats a right hand for his effort. “D-Rod” scores a crisp one-two and a low kick to punctuate the combination, and he gets off several big shots that Perry absorbs without issue. Perry tries to respond with a few leg kicks, and a big hook is way off the mark. Rodriguez clocks Perry with a left hand, and Perry’s chin holds up as he takes a one-two and another. Both land shots at the same time, and Rodriguez follows it with a left hook. Perry loads up on a few right hands that get Rodriguez’ attention, but Rodriguez is unconcerned as he lands a right over the top. When Perry aims a leg kick, Rodriguez cracks him with a trio of punches. Perry’s head is ripe for the taking, as Rodriguez tees off on him at close range. Rodriguez reaches in with long, straight punches that snap Perry’s head back repeatedly, and he breaks up his salvos with kicks low and high. Two big punches and a body kick come from Rodriguez, and Perry’s durability is about all that remains on display. Rodriguez smashes him in the face with a brutal one-two, and Perry’s face is a bloody mess as he cannot seem to make him pay. Rodriguez suddenly changes levels for a takedown attempt to keep Perry guessing, but the Floridian turns him around and presses him into the wire. After a brief clinch, Rodriguez drills Perry with a long chain of punches until the final bell. This was largely one-way traffic for the man known as “D-Rod,” who put on a show on the first fight of the ABC portion of the event.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (30-27 Rodriguez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (30-27 Rodriguez)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (30-27 Rodriguez)

The Official Result

Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Nina Nunes (116) vs. Mackenzie Dern (115)

Round 1

The next bout comes at strawweight, with a classic striker vs. grappler matchup when Nunes (10-6, 4-3 UFC) steps in the cage with a new name (née Ansaroff) for the first time since 2019 against Dern (10-1, 5-1 UFC). Neither woman was a mother when they made their UFC debuts, but they both are now. The Octagon official is referee Chris Tognoni, who observes a sporting glove touch before the fun begins. Dern blitzes forward with punches, and surprises Nunes with her punches. When Nunes gathers herself and circles away from the fence, Dern charges forward to pursue a takedown against the cage. Nunes frees herself and the two trade power punches, with each landing successfully. Dern kicks the leg and cracks Nunes with an overhand right before dropping down for a takedown again. Dern snatches a single, and she runs the pipe and steps forward to trip Nunes to the canvas. Nunes closes her guard as Dern is comfortably on top, and she flirts with a high guard as Dern is surprisingly stuck. Dern breaks the posture to grab hold of a leg to set up a leglock, and she still maintains top position with her right arm under the crook of Nunes’ leg. Dern passes to half guard as she stays heavy, and she softens “The Strina” up with punches to the body while Nunes looks irritated. Dern passes to side control and easily slices over to mount, where she hacks at Nunes with elbows to distract her. Dern keeps punching as she shifts her weight for a possible armbar setup, and she elects instead to pound on Nunes to make the grounded fighter surrender her back. Instead, Dern moves to the side to set up an armbar, and she locks her grip to break the hands of Nunes. Dern slides to her back to secure the armbar, and Nunes holds tight as Dern wrenches on the submission. Dern pushes on the body to land the maneuver, and she manages to isolate the arm and yank it down. The leverage is there and the submission is tight as can be with seconds to spare, and Nunes taps out instantly lest her elbow get shattered to pieces. This is a statement performance for the grappling wizard, who submits a former top-five foe with relative ease.

The Official Result

Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes R1 4:48 via Submission (Armbar)

Sam Alvey (186) vs. Julian Marquez (186)

Round 1

It’s striker vs. striker in this middleweight tilt, as Alvey (33-14-1, 1 NC; 10-9-1 UFC) returns to his old weight class to right the ship against the impressively nicknamed “The Cuban Missile Crisis” Marquez (8-2, 2-1 UFC). In walkouts that might not be believed unless they were heard, Marquez walked out “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus while Alvey countered with “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift – likely a first among all male UFC fighters. Chins may be tested before it’s all over, and referee Mark Smith is on top of the action. The two sluggers do not touch gloves as they would prefer to come out fighting, with Marquez charging out to attack. Both men are hesitant when they stand before one another, and Alvey slaps out a low kick first. Marquez aims a single strike to the body, and he is pawing out left hands to try to find his range as Alvey kicks his leg once more. Alvey blocks a punch and is ready to counter, but “The Cuban Missile Crisis” dodges and weaves the strikes. Marquez aims at the midsection again, and Alvey comes up short on a left hand counter. Alvey sits down on a few hooks, and Marquez beats him to the punch with shorter, straighter shots. Marquez continues his assault on Alvey’s body with single powerful punches, and Alvey is forced to circle out and reset. Marquez cracks Alvey with a solid right hand, and Alvey shakes it off like his walkout song and gives Marquez one back in the form of a straight left. Marquez’ power punches are getting Alvey’s attention, and a left hand hurts Alvey badly. “Smile’n Sam” trips as he is stung from these strikes, and a subsequent shot from Marquez seems to bring Alvey back online again. Alvey retreats and gets out of harm’s way, but Marquez rings his bell again with a looping right hand. Alvey’s chin is being tested and it is on full display, so he tries to back off Marquez with a head kick and a left hook. The two engage in a furious brawl with vicious punches back and forth, and Alvey is able to land well enough to get Marquez to back off for a moment. “The Cuban Missile Crisis” tags Alvey, and Alvey pays him back with a big right hook. Alvey clips Marquez with three punches, and Marquez has to reevaluate his approach as he gets tagged again. Marquez is rocked now, and he stumbles back as Alvey tries to work him over. Alvey lands a leg kick and a few more punches, and the two trade big shots right before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Marquez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Marquez
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Marquez

Round 2

Marquez again pushes the pace right when the round begins, reaching out his left hand repeatedly while Alvey lazily looses a few kicks. Alvey swings and misses with a booming left hand, and he cracks Marquez with a right that follows. Alvey chases him down and marks up Marquez with another right hook, and Marquez takes it flush and drills Alvey back with his own. Both men are biting down on their gumshields and trading power strikes one after the other, with neither backing down or coming up too worse for wear. Alvey swings and misses with three punches, and gets stung with a couple punches from Marquez that wobble his legs. Marquez lets him have it with a blitz of punches, and Alvey shoots in low for a desperation takedown. Alvey falls to his knees as Marquez blasts him with hammerfists, and Smith shouts for Alvey to defend himself. Instead of pounding him out, when Alvey sits up barely conscious, Marquez swirls around and latches on to an unusual choke that is a cross between a bulldog choke and a rear-naked choke. Marquez is still standing as Alvey is seated, and he crushes the neck with all of his might to try to tap Alvey out. “Smile’n Sam” is no longer smiling, as he loses consciousness before surrendering. That’s another no-hook rear-naked choke tonight, as Smith recognizes that Alvey is out and pulls Marquez off of the unconscious fighter. Marquez is now firmly on the rise, and it’s anyone’s guess which pop star or celebrity he will call out on his victorious post-fight interview.

The Official Result

Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey R2 2:07 via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Sodiq Yusuff (146) vs. Arnold Allen (145.5)

Round 1

In what many deemed the likely “Fight of the Night” candidate, the co-main event pits surging featherweights Yusuff (11-1, 4-0 UFC) and Allen (16-1, 7-0 UFC) against one another. Lengthy win streaks for both men are at stake, and even referee Jason Herzog realizes what may be at stake here. There is no touch of gloves, as both throw long strikes at one another instead. Yusuff steps in with a jab, and Allen circles around the outside to take a slapping leg kick. Allen is on his bike early, as Yusuff chases after him and scores a big right hand. When Yusuff aims a body kick, “Almighty” scoops him up and puts him down on his back. Yusuff scoots to the fence to walk up, but Allen keeps his leg trapped to ground the American. Yusuff keeps a guillotine grip tight to defend the position, and the choke is tight as he uses it to sweep Allen and put the Brit on his back. Allen escapes from the position and scampers back to his feet, and Yusuff follows him. The American puts on the pace by landing heavy shots, but Allen fires back with a few heavy punches. When Allen reaches out with a jab, Yusuff blasts him in the lead leg. Both featherweights trade front kicks, and Yusuff comes at him ready to take Allen’s head off. Allen counters with a left hand, and Yusuff bears down on him throwing heavy shots. Allen nails Yusuff with a laser-like left hand and send the American tumbling to the canvas, but Yusuff is able to gather himself and get back up as Allen kicks so hard he falls over. As Yusuff retreat to the cage instead of pursuing his opponent, Allen is able to get back up and rush forward to land a takedown. Yusuff wall-walks to his feet, and Allen grinds him against the fencing. Allen keeps heavy pressure and controls Yusuff against the wire, until Yusuff gains separation and backs off. Allen lands to the body and head, and the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Allen

Round 2

Allen leads the dance in the early going until Yusuff turns up the pace and charges forward with punches and kicks. Allen goes back to his circling around the outside as Yusuff marches him down to throw big shots. Allen is able to escape any meaningful strikes, and he blocks a thudding left hand but eats a right on the chin. Allen absorbs a jab and scores an uppercut, and Yusuff is back to stalking him down. The Brit just comes up short with a left hand, and Yusuff takes some power off his shots so that he can land more effectively. Both men connect with shots, and Allen starts to swing wildly and whiff repeatedly. Allen digs a left hand to the body, and Yusuff pays it no mind as he pops Allen with a leg kick. Allen tries to catch it, but he sets it down when Yusuff loops a right hand at him. Allen blasts Yusuff with a clean head kick, and Yusuff takes a moment before reacting, as he wobbles back on baby deer legs. “Almighty” tries to impose his might, but he cannot get the finish as Yusuff regains his bearings and fights off a potential takedown attempt. The pace wanes as Yusuff kicks Allen in the chest, and Allen retreats on the outskirts of the cage as Yusuff kicks him in the ear leg. Allen comes up short with a counter, and he ties up Yusuff to bully him into the chain links. Yusuff kicks off the cage but cannot break this grip or get any distance, and Allen grinds him for the good part of a minute until Yusuff finally gets free. Allen has a head kick blocked, and Yusuff races forward for a final barrage but does not throw anything before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Allen

Round 3

Yusuff starts the round aggressively, only for Allen to turn him around and pursue a single leg takedown almost immediately. The American stuffs it and is pinned against the fence, with Allen trying to lift up his opponent’s leg. When Yusuff pushes off, he just misses with a head kick. Yusuff stuffs a takedown attempt in the center of the cage, and he circles around to lock on with a guillotine choke. Allen frees his neck and spins him around to attack a double, and Yusuff sprawls against the fence before turning around. Yusuff looks to knee his man in the head, but Allen keeps his hands on the canvas to make him a downed fighter. Yusuff does not make the mistake many have been making lately, and instead pulls Allen’s hands off the mat to knee him a few times. The two rising featherweights jockey for position until they break, and they come out swinging. Yusuff starts loading up on shots, and Allen is able to sneak in an uppercut but gets cracked. Yusuff bites down on his mouthpiece and throws heavy shots until Allen ties him up, and the time just ticks by in this position. Yusuff occasionally brings up knees to the thigh to little effect, and Allen smartly keeps hold of underhooks to trap Yusuff in this placement. The clinch walks into the center of the cage, and Yusuff gets of a few solid knees to the body until Allen turns the tables and pushes the American back into the fencing. A single leg takedown attempt allows Allen to stall out much of the rest of the round, with Yusuff elbowing him in the side of the head until Allen abandons it. With a second or two to spare, Allen separates to wing a spinning back elbow, and the fight ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yusuff (29-28 Allen)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yusuff (29-28 Allen)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Yusuff (29-28 Allen)

The Official Result

Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Marvin Vettori (186) vs. Kevin Holland (183.5)

Round 1

We have reached the main event, which brought a change of opponent that was no less intriguing. At middleweight, the rising Italian star Vettori (16-4-1, 6-2-1 UFC) will try to close the mouth of the garrulous “Trailblazer” Holland (21-6, 8-3 UFC) with his fists. A possible place in the top five of the division is up for grabs in this five-round affair, and there is nothing but intensity between the two before referee Herb Dean. Unsurprisingly, there is no glove touch, and the main event is underway. Holland quickly lands a pair of leg kicks, and he pulls back when aiming a third. Vettori sits down on a left hand, but Holland jumps out of the way and scores several more leg kicks and front kicks. One such kick catches Vettori square in the cup, and Vettori starts shouting and is compromised. Dean pauses the action for a minute, and he gives Holland a hard warning for the strike. Holland nods, apologizes, and gets right back to kicking Vettori all over. The two enter into punching range and both land on the other, and Vettori gets clipped with a right hand. Holland enters the clinch and gets off a few knees, but the strength of Vettori allows him to press the rangy kickboxer into the wall. Holland boxes his ear and lands a few shots on the inside to stop a potential takedown from materializing. When at range, Holland continues to pepper the lead leg with kicks, and a frustrated Vettori closes the distance again to stop these kicks from coming. Vettori goes for a trip, but Holland’s takedown defense is intact as he stays upright. The Italian transitions into a double leg takedown, and Holland once more defends it and starts mouthing off to Vettori. They separate, and Holland lands a bevy of kicks to the leg and head until Vettori again charges forward with a swath of punches until he lands in the clinch. Holland backs away and turns to break free, but Vettori muscles him down to the ground. Holland lands a few upkicks before Vettori jumps into his guard, but the Italian ignores them and starts to deliver ground-and-pound while Holland is flat on his back. Holland closes his guard, and he stops Vettori from advancing by kicking off the fence and reversing the position. Vettori bails on another attempt to back off, and he walks forward instead to wing looping shots that Holland takes flush. Holland fires back with kicks and huge punches, and Vettori ignores them and bears down on him to tie him up to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Holland

Round 2

Vettori starts off the round with a big left hand, backing Holland up immediately. Holland gives it to him right back with a trio of punches, and Vettori is not concerned as the two start trading. Holland clips his opponent with punches and then sneaks up a hook kick, forcing Vettori to charge in and pursue a takedown. This time, the attempt is much easier, as he puts Holland down and falls neck-first into a potential guillotine choke. Holland abandons it when he finds that he cannot secure it, and Vettori postures up in the guard to land some strikes. The American turns to the fence and tries to walk up the wire, but Vettori keeps him grounded and lands some strikes from above. “The Italian Dream” stacks Holland up in an unusual position and drills him in the face with multiple right hands, and Holland is stuck. Holland starts throwing punches and even aims an upkick when Vettori stands up, but the Italian lowers himself right back down into the guard to continue his bombardment of short but effective strikes. Holland absorbs a plethora of punches while his scrambles fail, and as soon as he somehow manages to get back to his feet, Vettori drags him back down immediately. Vettori starts to punish Holland with more powerful shots, but most clatter off the guard. Holland climbs back up to his feet, and Vettori may have landed an elbow to the back of the head right before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vettori

Round 3

Before the round begins, the doctor comes in to check the swelling on Holland’s eye. It is blowing up quickly, but he informs Dean that he can still see him so the fight goes on. Holland takes a few punches on that damaged eye, and he lands one or two strikes but Vettori is more intent on spamming takedowns. The Italian takes the fight down successfully, albeit briefly, and he lands a mat return when Holland pops back up. Vettori does not sit in Holland’s guard in this attempt, and instead steps over to side control and mount. When he takes this position, Vettori latches on to an arm-triangle choke while he holds full mount. “The Italian Dream” hops over to side control, and he presses with all his might but cannot quite elicit the tap. Holland puts both of his feet on the fence and rolls through to his knees and back up, and Holland defends with a kimura grip while standing. Vettori backs off and lands a few big punches, and Holland retreats and scores a leg kick. Vettori shoots in low and scores a takedown, but “Trailblazer” climbs back up. Holland pops the ears and lands a few short elbows on the inside while Vettori grinds on him against the fence. Holland breaks free and shakes his head, with his left eye a small balloon. Vettori lands a kick to the body, and Holland gives him one back. Vettori knocks Holland’s head back with a left hand, and he closes the distance to clinch up again. Holland defends a potential attempt as Vettori aims for his leg, and he stings Vettori on the way out with a steady diet of quick but solid punches that knock Vettori’s mouthpiece out. Holland laughs as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vettori

Round 4

Holland is fired up going into the fourth frame, but it is Vettori that comes out swinging with a right hand that surprises Holland. Holland replies with a head kick and a left hand, and Vettori backs off and gets tagged with a few more shots. A front kick to the body and a few punches from Holland do a little damage on Vettori, who changes his mind on the standup and crashes in for a body lock takedown. The Italian lands it, and he calmly sits on top as he occasionally lands a punch or two. Holland bucks and flails, even forcing Vettori to stand up as he rolls through but cannot quite escape. Instead, Vettori drags him back down and tries to advance his position. “Trailblazer” rolls to his knees to stand up, and he succeeds while not allowing Vettori to capture his back. Vettori immediately pursues a double leg takedown, and he hits it while landing in full mount as soon as the fight hits the ground. Vettori postures up to land a strike, but clamps down with an arm-triangle choke to finish the fight this way instead. Holland defends it and returns Vettori to half guard, but he is eating shots. Holland retrieves guard, and he turns to his side to escape only to have “The Italian Dream” glom on to him and continue to work. Holland kicks off and even lands an upkick, but Vettori shrugs it off and climbs back into Holland’s guard. The fourth frame concludes as both men land effective strikes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vettori
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vettori

Round 5

The tentative final stanza begins as both men try to find their range. Holland lands a few punches, and a one-two hurts Vettori badly. The Italian smartly changes levels and grabs his man, where he bullies the kickboxer down to the ground one more time. A visibly frustrated Holland is stuck on his back, and he eventually pushes his feet off the cage and upkicks Vettori a couple times. Holland uses the opportunity to return to his feet, only for Vettori to double leg him back down in the center of the cage. Vettori passes to half guard, and Dean tells Vettori to start working as the action stalls out. The Italian advances to mount, and he pursues an arm-triangle choke but there is nothing to be had. Holland rolls and powers back up, and Vettori’s double leg takedown attempt comes in an instant to plant Holland right back down. Vettori in half guard rests on top, and time is peeling off the clock while Holland frantically tries to get up. Holland does get back up and plants a flying knee on Vettori’s chest, and the Italian embraces the grind for the remainder of the lackluster match. If there is any consolation, it is that this fight is now over. We will be back on ESPN next week with another middleweight headliner, and we hope you join us too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vettori (49-46 Vettori)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vettori (49-46 Vettori)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vettori (49-46 Vettori)

The Official Result

Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)
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