UFC on ESPN 27 ‘Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Jul 24, 2021
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Diana Belbita (114.5) vs. Hannah Goldy (115.5)

Round 1

The UFC circles back to the ESPN network for another fight night card this Saturday evening, with 11 fights working our way up towards a potential title eliminator in the main event. We start things off in the lightest division of the UFC, with a 115-pound tilt between two women looking to earn their first UFC win in Belbita (13-6, 0-2 UFC) and Goldy (5-1, 0-1 UFC). The referee taking charge in this first fight of the night is Keith Peterson, who rapidly ejects all of the nonsense from the building before the two touch gloves to clock in tonight’s action. The first strike comes from Goldy, who gets off a quick head kick that is barely blocked. Belbita walks through it to throw a few punches, and is forced to deal with another head kick zooming at her. Goldy recognizes the success of this strike, and she triples up on it. Goldy is forced to back off when her leg gets chopped down, as the Romanian is targeting the lead leg with impunity. Goldy continues to pepper Belbita with a lightning-quick head kick, and she has marked her opponent’s face up with the blows. The American crashes the pocket and takes a right hand on the chin to clinch up, and the two women flail with big punches to break free. A low kick is followed by a head kick from “Queen of Sparta,” who is connecting practically at will with her legs. Belbita winds up on an overhand right, and she opens up a cut on Goldy’s left eye. Seeing that it worked, she slings another and cracks Goldy square on the jaw with a right hand that lifts Goldy off her feet and on to the canvas. A shocked Goldy fights her way back to her feet, and Belbita chases her down to try to finish the job with a barrage of punches and kicks. In the ensuing salvo of strikes, Goldy grabs her foe’s leg and elevates Belbita to throw her on the ground. Goldy climbs on top, sitting in half guard to recover her senses. The Romanian shoves her opponent off and powers her way back to her feet, where she picks up where she left off with a crisp right hand. Shaken up again, Goldy presses forward to tie her opponent up, and the cut on Goldy’s eye has started to grow and leak crimson fluid. Both strawweights, while jockeying for position, deliver knees to the other’s midsection to stay busy. Goldy uses her powerful frame to keep “The Warrior Princess” pinned to the wire, kneeing her in the midsection until Belbita has had enough and pushes away. When she gains some space, she plants a firm one-two on the chin, forcing Goldy to tie her up until the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Belbita
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-8 Belbita
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Belbita

Round 2

There is no glove touch to start off the second frame, as Goldy lets loose with a fast head kick when Belbita tries to close in on her. Belbita strides forward only to get kicked in the head again, and she walks through it to dig her shin into Goldy’s calf. Belbita follows her down to kick her in the same spot again, forcing Goldy to have a hitch in her step for a moment as Belbita kicks her again. Goldy strings a few punches together to get Belbita to back off, ending at the end of a right hand to gain some respect. Belbita sticks out a series of long left jabs, and she clips Goldy with a straight right hand to make Goldy react suddenly with a clinch attempt. Goldy pushes her opponent into the cage wall, and just barely misses on an elbow over the top as they separate. The right hand cannot miss for Belbita, who stings Goldy again with an overhand right. Goldy walks into an elbow as she tries to clinch, with Belbita firing off a quick knee to break it up. Goldy remains strong, holding on tight and embracing the grind. The Romanian knees her foe in the chest several times, and Goldy decides she does not like those strikes so she gives a few back harder. Belbita pushes her away, and she chops down Goldy’s lead leg with a calf kick. Goldy tries to land a combination, but Belbita dodges and weaves before landing a few strikes of her own that bloody the nose of her adversary. Goldy backs off, only to get kicked and clubbed with a right hand over the top. Belbita has no fear of advancing, as Goldy is forced to retreat when she gets struck to the head and body. The American catches Belbita square on the chin with a head kick, and “The Warrior Princess” shrugs it off. Both women throw hands until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Belbita
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Belbita
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Belbita

Round 3

The round begins with dueling body kicks for the two fighters, who land kicks at a distance until Goldy tries to go up high with a right hand. Belbita evades the strike and hacks at Goldy’s lead calf a few times, but the American is empowered and storms through to chain punches together. Goldy surprises Belbita with a right hand at the end of a chain of punches, but Belbita steels herself and fires right back with a longer string of strikes ending with a leg kick. Belbita sneaks up a head kick that Goldy does not see coming, with the foot slapping off of her face, and Belbita is not done kicking her. She marks up Goldy’s lead leg with a few more kicks, and Goldy returns fire with a few body shots. Belbita tags Goldy with a stern right hand, sending the American back on her heels, and allowing Belbita to light her up with several heavy punches. Goldy survives thanks to a clinch initiation, where she clings to the Romanian like Saran wrap as she gets her wits about her again. Goldy holds tight and gets a few knees off every so often, and “The Warrior Princess” looks to her corner for tips on how to break the grasp and get off the cage. Goldy presses her full body weight on her opponent, and she fires off a left hand right as Belbita looks to break free. Belbita works the American with an overhand right, forcing blood to flow from the nose even more. The punch turns into several, and she throws recklessly in an effort to possibly snag a late finish. Goldy uses Belbita’s momentum against her, pushing forward and slamming the Romanian on to her back. “Queen of Sparta” claims full mount in an instant, and she starts rampaging with ground-and-pound to stage a massive comeback. Peterson takes a close look at fight as Goldy is laying into Belbita, but time expires before Goldy can pull off a miracle.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Belbita (30-27 Belbita)
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Belbita (30-26 Belbita)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Goldy (29-28 Belbita)

The Official Result

Diana Belbita def. Hannah Goldy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sijara Eubanks (125) vs. Elise Reed (125)

Round 1

It’s all New Jersey in this next fight on the card, when flyweight-turned-bantamweight-turned-flyweight-again Eubanks (6-6, 4-4 UFC) welcomes Reed (4-0, 0-0 UFC) to the organization. Eubanks will be aiming to lift her career and UFC records above .500, while Reed jumps up a weight class for this opportunity. The two women touch gloves in front of referee Mark Smith, and away we go! Reed knows Eubanks is coming at her, so she prepares a side kick right to the face. Eubanks ducks it, presses forward into the clinch, gets off a solid right hand, and drops down for a double. The relative UFC vet hits the takedown, elevating the newcomer and slamming her down into half guard. With little effort, “SarJ” slices over to side control, and she spins through to the other side, only to get pulled back to half guard. Eubanks grinds her elbow on her opponent’s jaw, and postures up to smack Reed in the face with a big punch from on high. Reed tries to keep butterfly hooks to kick Eubanks off, but Eubanks sees it coming and advances to three-quarter mount and mount in rapid succession. Eubanks sits up and isolates an arm to consider an armbar, but bails on it to sit up and blast Reed in the face with heavy punches. Eubanks sets up an armbar again, and as soon as she looks to turn to the side and attack the sub, Reed scrambles well enough to thwart it. “SarJ” smashes Reed with several punches and elbows, and Smith is paying close attention as they continue to land. Eubanks gets a little too reckless with her ground-and-pound, allowing Reed to get position back for a moment before the latter surrenders side control again. Reed kicks and moves, but Eubanks is having her way with Reed on the ground. Eubanks hops back into mount, and she unloads furious punches that demolish Reed’s eye and immediately draw Smith’s attention. A few more ferocious strikes land, and Smith has seen enough, as Reed is not intelligently defending herself and just taking nasty damage. This was one-way traffic for “SarJ,” who earns her first finish since 2016 while ejecting the swollen and battered Reed from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The Official Result

Sijara Eubanks def. Elise Reed R1 3:49 via TKO (Punches)

Julio Arce (135.5) vs. Andre Ewell (135)

Round 1

Moving right along to the bantamweight division, Arce (16-4, 3-2 UFC) makes his return to 135 pounds after nine bouts at featherweight against the far more active Ewell (17-7, 4-3 UFC). Keeping tabs on what should be a fast-paced fight is referee Chris Tognoni, and there is a sign of respect as the two touch gloves. Ewell presses forward with a long jab, using his reach advantage to make Ewell back off early on. Ewell snaps out his jab, walking into a leg kick as he tries to counter it with a left hand over the top. “Mr. Highlight” eats another leg kick before throwing one back at his opponent, and the two trade jabs at one another. A naked front kick from Ewell gets caught, and Arce is ready to lance a left hand that stings Ewell. Arce preemptively counters Ewell when Ewell sets his leg down, stunning Ewell for a moment. The two trade heavy punches one after the other, and Arce ducks down to fire off an uppercut. Ewell jabs the body and gets kicked up high, and it is Arce who is pushing the pace and walks into a leg kick. Arce marches his opponent down to get off a few punches, and a one-two scores as Ewell tries to give him the same combination right back. Arce quickly blocks a head kick in time, and circles around to smash Ewell on the chin with a left hand. Ewell rolls through it and fires back with bad intentions, but Arce is quicker and scores harder to make Ewell grimace and roll his eyes. Both men get off leg kicks, and Ewell is quicker on the draw and interrupts an advancing Arce with a straight right hand. Ewell gets clipped on the way in, and Arce chases him down and stings him again with a combination. Ewell takes a hard look at the clock as the two clinch up, and they stay in this position until the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Arce
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Arce
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Arce

Round 2

The two men touch gloves before getting back to it, and Ewell reaches out with a right hand and has his lead leg kicked. “Mr. Highlight” decides to give a few back down low, but Arce grits his teeth and slings heavy leather at Ewell. A big right hand shakes Ewell up, and he chases Ewell down to try to hurt him with more strikes, but Ewell is evasive to not eat more punches. A swiping left hand from Ewell opens a cut on the corner of Arce’s right eye, and Arce pays it no mind as he plants his foot square on Ewell’s chest. Seeing it landed flush, he fires off that same kick to the exact same spot again. Arce walks Ewell down, punching and kicking low to mix things up and keep Ewell guessing. Ewell lands to the body, and tries to push Arce away with a front kick and a leaping left hand, but Arce parries them and marches his foe down. Arce rips the body with a left hand, and Ewell keeps a solid poker face but it stung. Arce recognizes his success with the blow, and aims another left hand right to the liver until Ewell dances out of the way. Ewell bites down on his gumshield and slings bombs, getting off with a left hand and aiming a right to the body. Arce continues to target the midsection with punches, and he is consistently attacking different areas high, to the body and to the legs. Ewell gets off a one-two, and Arce ignores it and rocks Ewell badly with a right hand. “Mr. Highlight” is wobbled and stunned but grinning, retreating on baby deer legs. Smelling blood, Arce attacks, throwing everything he has into several looping but accurate shots that connect one after the other. Ewell is hurt badly, and he leans into the cage to try to keep his balance, but Tognoni unexpectedly intervenes while Ewell was still defending himself. Ewell was in trouble, but not out of the fight, and this stoppage may be considered premature. The result is still the result, and Arce has successfully notched his first win in over two years.

The Official Result

Julio Arce def. Andre Ewell R2 3:45 via TKO (Punches)

Mickey Gall (169.5) vs. Jordan Williams (170.5)

Round 1

It’s striker versus grappler for this welterweight contest between the submission-minded Gall (6-3, 5-3 UFC) and the power-punching Williams (9-4, 1 NC; 0-1 UFC). A finish could materialize at any time, so referee Herb Dean will need to be on the ball. The two men do touch gloves before coming out swinging, and Williams lands first with an inside calf kick. Williams targets the same spot before landing with a short combination of punches, backing Gall into the fence. Gall suddenly lifts Williams off the ground with a nasty short right hand, and he pushes Williams to the canvas to work his grappling. When Williams sits up, Gall snatches up a guillotine choke, but “Bomaye” snags his neck free and stands up. Williams gathers his thoughts and both men kick at the same time to give them a funny hop. Williams crashes the pocket to score a left hand, and another as Gall turtles up and tries to counter. Gall scores a leg kick, and Williams reaches his hand out and his fingers may have scraped Gall’s eye to force a 15-second pause. Dean admonishes both men for leading with their head and/or hands, and Williams walks Gall down with several leg kicks. Williams eats a stern right hand in close range, and he gets knocked off-balance and shoots in for a low takedown. Gall snags hold of another guillotine choke to defend it, but this too comes up short. Williams tries to scramble, and Gall slides around to take his back. The hooks get set in a flash, and Gall snares his opponent with a rear-naked choke. Williams grimaces and falls to his back with Gall’s grip vice-tight, and right before he passes out, he surrenders. With his speedy victory, Gall becomes the first man to submit Williams, and all of Gall’s finishes have still come by rear-naked choke.

The Official Result

Mickey Gall def. Jordan Williams R1 2:57 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Ian Heinisch (185.5) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (185.5)

Round 1

Someone will have their record jump above .500 in this middleweight matchup between France’s Imavov (9-3, 1-1 UFC) and “The Hurricane” Heinisch (14-4, 3-3 UFC), as both men are coming off of decision losses. The referee will be Mark Smith, who observes no touch of gloves as the 185ers would rather get straight to business. Heinisch sprints forward, just misses a knee, and ties the Frenchman up against the wire. Imavov tries to push him away, but the American is content to grind. Imavov does gain separation, and he fires off a front kick that draws a grin out of Heinisch. “The Hurricane” sneaks up a head kick, and he catches a front kick that comes back him but cannot take advantage of the position. Heinisch digs a heavy kick to the lead leg, and when Imavov spins around and plants his leg again, he attacks the same spot again. Imavov suddenly leaps ahead with a flying knee, and the knee is a whisker away from landing flush. Heinisch defends himself but gets pinned to the cage wall, and he eats a short elbow that slashes his eyebrow open before the man born in Dagestan attempts to wrestle. Heinisch turns him around and nearly hits an outside trip, but Imavov backs off and counters. Heinisch crashes forward with looping punches, and Imavov snaps out several jabs to further spread the cut. Heinisch blasts the lead leg with a few more kicks, and a blast-double follows but cannot succeed when Imavov somersaults away. Both men back to their feet, Imavov’s jab marks Heinisch’s eye up even more, but he gets clipped with a right hand as he measures his distance. Heinisch rolls with a head kick as blood begins to flow into his right eye, and he continues to batter the Frenchman’s lead legs as Imavov switches stances. Heinisch walks forward with a punch, but the kick that follows is much more impactful. Both men throw haymakers, and the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Imavov
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Imavov
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Imavov

Round 2

The middleweights do touch gloves to check in the second stanza, with both gaining respect from the other after throwing hard in the first round. Heinisch is right there to sling bombs early on, and Imavov’s straight jabs get the American to react. Imavov scores a right hand, and Heinisch shakes his head as he ricochets off the cage wall, but he bounces back to clobber Imavov’s leg with kicks. Imavov reacts violently every time, allowing Heinisch to open up with big hooks. Imavov comes up short with a front kick, and Heinisch is ready to catch him with a leg kick as soon as he sets it down. “The Hurricane” takes a few punches and dives low for a takedown, but Imavov fights off the initial attempt and tries one of his own to ground Heinisch. After a few seconds, Heinisch wall-walks back to his feet, and he throws a wide, looping punch that Imavov sees coming. Heinisch hears his corner recommending the leg kicks and obliges them by smashing his chin into Imavov’s calf, and Imavov is loose and walks forward with a one-two. Heinisch stutter-steps his way in with a leg kick and a straight right hand, and Imavov nods at him at the successful blow. Both men clash together and swing wildly, and a left hand clocks Heinisch on the way in and sends the American stumbling back to the cage wall. Imavov marches forward with a few punches, and a crisp knee makes Heinisch’s legs buckle beneath him. The French fighter climbs on to the side, slugging Heinisch with a rapid barrage of powerful left hands. Imavov looks to Smith a few times to elicit referee intervention, but the blows are largely bouncing off Heinisch’s gloves and shoulder. Imavov keeps assaulting his downed foe, as Heinisch is stuck down on one knee while Imavov pounds on him, until Smith calls a stop to the fight. The stoppage may not have been as egregious as others earlier in the card, but it would not have been out of bounds to let the fight continue on a bit longer. Imavov is now the first man to ever stop the durable Heinisch with strikes, and he looks towards a future top-10 matchup with his impressive victory.

The Official Result

Nassourdine Imavov def. Ian Heinisch R2 3:09 via TKO (Punches)

Brendan Allen (185.5) vs. Punahele Soriano (185.5)

Round 1

Between these two fringe middleweight contenders of Soriano (8-0, 2-0 UFC) and Allen (16-4, 4-1 UFC), they combine for 21 finishes in their 24 career victories. The lines are close between the two, but Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision is a promising -295, so a stoppage is expected. Stripping away all the nonsense will be referee Keith Peterson, and these two 185-pound action fighters are about to let loose. The touch of gloves a ceremonial gesture to seal the cage, and the anticipated violence is practically simmering inside the cage. Soriano takes the center of the cage, and he gets off a head kick and another follows suit quickly. Both are blocked, but the sheer impact knocks Allen back. Allen avoids a left hand, but Soriano comes forward to tie him up. Soriano’s hands do some damage as Allen bounces off the cage wall, and when they separate, the Hawaiian clubs his man with a left hook. Allen shakes it off and swats away a front kick, and Soriano ducks down to loop a left hand at him. A kick from Allen lands with an audible thud, and Allen lets his hands go and dodges the counters. Soriano sits down on two big punches, and Allen eats them both like sandwiches. Soriano reaches out with a left hand, and Allen’s hair shakes as he absorbs the blow. Allen gathers himself and splits the guard with a right hand, but Soriano fires back with one much heavier. Allen paws with punches and a body kick, and he does not get away in time to avoid the booming punches that pop him in the chops. “All In” goes all-in with a clinch in the center of the cage, getting off a few knees before Soriano loads up on bombs to make him pay. Soriano scores a body kick, and Allen stares him down and kicks his leg. Allen eats a right hand and shakes his head, but Soriano advances and gets clipped with a right hand and a head kick. The Hawaiian smiles, marches forward and loops with a left hand. Allen takes a body kick and gives his foe one right back, and they trade single blows one after the other. Soriano punches his way into a possible clinch, and Allen greets him with a knee up the middle. Soriano backs off and rushes back in with two crisp punches to the body, and Allen grabs his neck to defend himself. “Story Time” backs away to energize himself, and he fires off a pair of punches and grunts as he throws them. Allen sneaks up a head kick, and he chains together two punches into a knee that lands right after the bell sounds. Soriano shrugs, and the two go back to their corners.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Soriano
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Soriano

Round 2

The gloves are touched to clock in the second round, and Allen steps in with a pounding body kick. Soriano winds up on a right hand counter and knocks Allen back, but Allen ignores it and reaches out a front kick. Soriano replies with a body kick, and Allen catches it. In an unexpected move, Soriano spins through and fires off an unorthodox high kick that draws cheers from the crowd. Allen turns a corner and starts to land several strikes to the body, and Soriano’s blows are beginning to slow. The two engage in a violent exchange, and Allen drops down for a takedown but gets stuffed. Soriano eats a few more strikes to the body, and he gives one back right down the middle. Allen continues to target the body with stern kicks, and a few left hands have made Soriano blink it out. Allen lands a few punches and steps in with a knee, and Soriano throws so hard back at him with telegraphed strikes that he nearly falls over. The left hands from Allen have bloodied the nose of the Hawaiian, and the body kicks draw gasping reactions out of his opponent. Soriano is sucking wind as Allen continues to work the body, and his strikes are more labored and less frequent. Allen is able to stay at a safe distance, chaining punches together into kicks. One such body kick makes Soriano contort in pain, and although he grabs the kick, Allen rolls away and gets back up in time. Soriano leaps in with a right hand, but it is wild and wide. When they kick at the same time, Allen’s leg connects with the cup, but Soriano tells Peterson he does not want to take a breather. Allen thanks him for this by booting him in the midsection, and Soriano has no answer for these body blows as they continue to mount. Soriano lowers his elbow to defend them, but Allen sneaks one more in before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Allen

Round 3

The middleweights think to embrace to start off the round, but would rather celebrate their fun battle by hitting each other in the face and body. Soriano blocks a high kick and counters with a left hand that makes Allen bounce off the wall. “All In” sticks him with a jab and pushes out a front kick, and his strikes continue to mount to the head and body. As Allen tees off on him, Soriano throws with all of his might into a left hand that knocks Allen’s head back like a Pez dispenser. Allen survives the devastating blow without so much as a funny step, and he continues to stick his hands in Soriano’s face. Allen lands a thumping kick to the body, and he follows it quickly with a leg kick. Soriano steps in with a left hand, and Allen takes it on the chin without noticing. A possible eye poke is ignored, and the two exchange pleasantries as they slug each other in the face. Allen reaches out with a few left hands, and Soriano loads up on a power punch that Allen takes flush. Allen rips the body a few more times with kicks, and he ducks a missile of a left hand that soars past his face. Soriano tries to come up high with a kick, and Allen sees it coming but gets bullied into the fence. This allows the Hawaiian to put several punches together, but Allen retreats without taking many of them cleanly. Allen keeps his distance, and he is more content to touch Soriano as Soriano loads up again and again. The last seconds allow for a furious brawl, and both nail each other but neither go down. What a fun brawl that turned into, one that made it to the scorecards.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Allen (29-28 Allen)
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Allen (30-27 Allen)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Allen (29-28 Allen)

The Official Result

Brendan Allen def. Punahele Soriano via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Randy Costa (135) vs. Adrian Yanez (135.5)

Round 1

The main card begins with a bantamweight matchup many were calling to slide into the co-main event slot with the loss of Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson, but instead Yanez (13-3, 2-0 UFC) and Costa (6-1, 2-1 UFC) will whet the appetites of those tuning into this five-fight ESPN showcase. While Yanez is riding a three-fight knockout streak, Costa has never competed beyond 6:12 as a pro, so referee Chris Tognoni has his game face on for as long as it lasts. The gloves are touched, and they are locked and loaded to come at their foes much faster next time. Yanez is first to strike, with a front kick up the middle, and Costa is there with a pair of speedy head kicks. Yanez sticks his hands in his foe’s face, and Costa brushes his own hair back and spins with a wheel kick. Costa’s head kick is his main weapon, and Yanez blocks them in time until he changes it up to throw low. High kicks from both legs soar at Yanez, who is forced to stay defensive as Costa is bearing down on him with kicks. The Houstonian rolls through a head kick and checks a calf kick shortly thereafter, and he remains composed to chop at Costa’s calf. Costa loops a right hand over the top, and Yanez is eating blows but trying to reply with left hands. Costa sets up a head kick with punches, and Yanez eats several punches on the nose that bloody him up. Costa intermittently spams jabs that split the guard, and he ducks and dodges when Yanez looks to counter. A kick to the body from Costa draws a visible reaction out of Yanez, and “The Zohan” is out of the way when Yanez is reach to fire back at him. Costa stings Yanez with a right hand, doubles up his jab and fires off another looping right hand. Yanez’ nose is a bloody mess as he takes punch after punch cleanly, and Costa is sharp and accurate as he tattoos Yanez’ face with these strikes. A fierce one-two snaps the head back of Yanez, and Yanez looks to jab and put a few punches together and gain some respect from Costa. He gets Costa’s attention with a right hand, and he begins to turn the tide as he starts walking Costa down to land accurately. Costa slings heavy leather, and Yanez starts to piece him up with jabs. Costa’s pace has waned significantly as Yanez is continually pressing the pace on him, and just as Yanez looks to gain the upper hand, Costa kicks him in the face. Yanez stretches his jaw out and walks forward like a Texas Terminator, ignoring kicks from “The Zohan” and busting Costa’s nose up. The round ends with a tense exchange.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Costa
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Costa
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Costa

Round 2

Tognoni wipes a bloodied Yanez down right before the round begins, and the bantamweight bangers touch hands to start it off. Yanez gets right back to his jab, and he chips at the Boston native with low kicks. Costa mixes up his own jab string with a high kick, and he tags Yanez with a right hand and just misses with a follow-up shot. Yanez gets Costa’s attention with a left hook, and the accuracy and damage is high while defense is not nearly as important. Costa fakes high with a kick and digs his shin in the liver, and Yanez does not even register the blow and pressures Costa with a long series of punches. Yanez starts to get in his groove, pressuring Costa and landing with several punches until Costa shoots for a possible takedown. Yanez is easily out of the way, and Yanez’ jabs have bloodied Costa’s nose up badly. Yanez rips the body with a few punches, and an uppercut up the middle drops Costa to his knees. Costa looks pained and in trouble, but he sways back and forth to avoid strikes that come. Yanez pours it on with standing punches while Costa is kneeled down, teeing off on a spent Costa with a vicious barrage of punches until Tognoni is forced to step in and rescue Costa. That’s three UFC knockouts in a row for Yanez, who collects his most impressive scalp by outlasting a storm and beating “The Zohan” at his own game.

The Official Result

Adrian Yanez def. Randy Costa R2 2:11 via TKO (Punches)

Maycee Barber (125.5) vs. Miranda Maverick (125.5)

Round 1

The future is up next at flyweight, as the surging Maverick (9-2, 2-0 UFC) tries to shut down “The Future” Barber (8-2, 3-2 UFC) in an interesting stylistic but oddly matched tilt. Referee Herb Dean takes charge of the cage, and the young 125-pound women touch gloves as there is no bad blood between them. The two find their range as Maverick is in the center of the cage, slowly working his way in and shadowboxing as her punches are several feet away from her target. Both women reach at one another from afar in the first minute, with neither landing anything of merit. Maverick throws out a low kick and a high kick, and Barber takes the first and blocks the second. The two swing and miss with looping punches, and they have not quite found their way in yet. When Maverick finds an angle, Barber circles out of the way. When Barber advances, Maverick is on her heels. Maverick walks through a body kick, throws a right hand and follows it with a body kick. Barber’s corner, the legendary Urijah Faber, implores Barber to hit her opponent. Both throw kicks at the same time, and Maverick follows it up with a low kick. Maverick scores a body kick and goes over the top, and Barber backs off so far that she nearly stumbles. Maverick closes in on her but only comes in range to slap a single leg kick home, and Barber backs away around the fence. Maverick walks face-first into a right hand, and when Barber lands a few more, Maverick comes back at her with a head kick that bounces off the shoulder. Barber gets off a right hand, and when she takes a step back, Maverick follows her with a kick to the side. “Fear The Maverick” lands a solid one-two and a high body kick, and Barber bounces out of the way without replying. Barber just comes up short with a right hand, allowing Maverick to kick her in the body and chase after her until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Maverick

Round 2

Maverick starts the round swatting at Barber, with overhand punches and high kicks that make Barber retreat rapidly. Barber comes back at her and hits nothing but air, allowing Maverick to slap her in the face with her instep. Maverick blocks a one-two and kicks Barber’s calf on the way back, and she avoids when Barber charges. Maverick pops her with three punches and a leg kick as Barber backs off, and Maverick does not let her off the hook as she lands a few more punches and ties her up. Maverick pursues a body lock takedown, and she pushes “The Future” into the chain-link fence to knee her a few times. Barber tries to frame off and threaten with an outside trip, but when this does not happen, she explodes and tries to land a few big shots. Barber dings Maverick with a right hand and she attacks a takedown, and Maverick defends herself with an overhook to thwart the ground attempt to drop them both to their knees. They rise at the same time, and Barber does not let her off the hook and tries to tie her opponent up and throw her down. Barber has a throw stuffed, and she wings a left hand when they gain a modicum of space. The strength of Maverick keeps her on her feet, and she pushes away to separate. Three punches from Maverick come up short, and she catches Barber on the way in with a body kick when Barber rushes at her. Maverick ducks an overhand left to hit a takedown, and she puts Barber on her back. Barber scrambles, and in the process, she gives up her back. Maverick hooks up the body triangle, and Barber tries to simultaneously break the grip, shake Maverick off and defend from a possible choke. Maverick sits up and slugs Barber in the face a few times until the horn stops the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Maverick

Round 3

The last round begins with Maverick smacking Barber in the face with a left hand, and she backs off when a counter comes her way. Maverick trips Barber up with a low leg kick, and her foe whiffs when firing back. Barber lands a single leg kick, and the two come together in close proximity to slug it out. Barber tries to trip Maverick down, but Maverick staves it off and ignores a few strikes to break free. Barber rushes forward with a string of punches, and Maverick shrugs them off as she blocks the majority of them to land a stern right hand up the middle. Barber lands a few punches, and when Barber gets too close, Maverick practically lifts her off the ground with a crisp uppercut. Barber dodges a looping haymaker from Maverick, and she hops around to the side and hits a takedown to put Maverick down to the ground. Maverick muscles her way to her feet, and Barber pursues a body lock mat return and pulls Maverick back down. Maverick again powers her way up, and she takes a left hand on the chin but gets out of the way from any subsequent attack. Maverick leaps forward with a pair of punches, and Barber sees it coming and is well out of harm’s way. Barber ducks straight into a punch, and the two women start brawling for a moment until Barber swings an elbow and makes Maverick think twice about this risky exchange. Barber pressures her foe into the fence, where she looks to hit a trip or a throw, but Maverick keeps her balance up against the wall. Barber tries to bully Maverick to the ground, and she lands a single punch in this stance, but time may not be on her side here. Barber breaks free with a clean spinning back elbow, and Maverick takes it on the chin and starts to take it to Barber. Maverick throws up a high kick as Barber backs away, and Barber gathers herself and dives ahead to take the fight down. Maverick does not budge, and the fight ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Barber (29-28 Maverick)
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Barber (29-28 Maverick)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Barber (29-28 Maverick)

The Official Result

Maycee Barber def. Miranda Maverick via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Darren Elkins (146) vs. Darrick Minner (145.5)

Round 1

Two featherweights with a wealth of combat experience are set to lock horns next, with “The Damage” Elkins (25-9, 15-8 UFC) proudly sporting his nickname on his chest against the all-offense grappler Minner (26-11, 2-1 UFC). This could be a wild one, and referee Mark Smith is keenly aware of it as he has his running shoes on. The men with 71 combined pro MMA bouts in experience touch gloves, as this is simply business. Minner kicks from behind his other leg, and he swings wildly with a few punches until Elkins grabs hold of him to slow him down for a moment. Minner and his mullet break free, and he kicks the lead leg and gets cracked with a left hand. Minner swings with a huge right hand, and another rocks “The Damage.” Elkins pushes forward to possibly take the fight down, and Minner hunts for a defensive guillotine choke. Elkins redoubles his effort, and he falls neck-first into a front choke. Minner loses the grip, but he sweeps Minner over and the two engage in a wild series of scrambles. Minner climbs into mount, and he sets up a mounted triangle with an armbar. Elkins rolls through, calm like a bomb, and he falls straight into an armbar. Elkins does not appear remotely concerned, even after a few punches have bloodied him up already, and he pulls his arm free and stands up to halt the armbar. Elkins takes top position, but Minner comes over the top to gain an advantageous spot. Neither can land much offense on the other, and Elkins stands up thanks to the fence. Minner latches on to a standing guillotine choke that he might use to pay guard, and he pushes his full body weight into the choke but cannot get it. He bowls his opponent over, as Elkins easily breaks up every submission attempt but is getting controlled. Elkins rolls through to attack a leglock suddenly, and Minner shrugs it off to nail Elkins with heavy elbows and punches from on top. Minner sits up and works Elkins over again with powerful strikes, and Elkins closes up his guard to keep Minner trapped. Minner peels his neck out from the lockdown defense and is looking more to catch his breath after a torrid flurry of submission activity than do any damage. Minner holds on and drops down a short elbow or two from above, and Elkins hangs on until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Minner
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Minner
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Minner

Round 2

Both featherweights wade towards one another to begin the round, with Minner landing an uppercut and shooting down low for a double leg takedown. Minner hits it, and Elkins protects himself with a possible guillotine choke setup of his own, and he uses it to reverse Minner momentarily but lets go when Minner spins around through. Minner takes Elkins’ back as the two exchange in exciting fashion, with the slick grappling a constant chain of traps, setups, sweeps and reversals. Minner drops down for a guillotine choke when Elkins climbs on top, and Elkins ignores it to stand up and threaten with his own front choke. Elkins uses his full body weight to tire Minner out, and he climbs into half guard and tightens his arm around Minner’s neck. Elkins traps Minner’s arms beneath his leg and arm, and he secures a crucifix position and begins to smash Minner with punches. Smith watches on as Elkins batters a spent Minner with punches and elbows, bloodying Minner up and landing without fear of reprisal. Elkins continues to pound on Minner with strikes until he presses down to tie him up with an arm-triangle setup. Elkins once more hooks up the crucifix, and he nails Minner with blow after unanswered blow as the blood pours from Minner’s face. Minner rolls to his stomach, and Elkins sits up with a body triangle locked up and blasts Minner with punches. The strikes are far from light, as they are doing serious damage and wrecking Minner. Eventually, Smith realizes that Minner is defeated, and he stops the fight to award the comeback win to the de facto comeback king Elkins. “The Damage” did it again, surviving an onslaught and several horrible situations to finish a fatigued opponent by using his own cardio as a weapon.

The Official Result

Darren Elkins def. Darrick Minner R2 3:48 via TKO (Punches)

Raulian Paiva (135.5) vs. Kyler Phillips (135.5)

Round 1

Two top-flight teams will wage a proxy battle as the MMA Lab’s Phillips (9-1, 3-0 UFC) faces ex-flyweight and Team Alpha Male rep Paiva (20-3, 2-2 UFC) at bantamweight. The co-main event will tolerate zero nonsense as it draws oversight from referee Keith Peterson, and the gloves are touched to clock in this fight. Paiva is quick on the draw, with a few crisp punches when Phillips tries to close the distance. Phillips opens up with kicks, and he cracks the Brazilian with a right hand. Phillips opens up with a flying knee, and when he lands, he spins with a back fist that glances off the target. Paiva appears to have recovered from the big blow and partial knockdown to throw at Phillips, but “The Matrix” enters the matrix as he dodges several strikes and ducks down to clash heads with his advancing opponent. Phillips kicks the body, and his leg is caught and he takes two right hands and succumbs to a takedown from the position. When Phillips walks up the fence, he is able to spin around and spin Paiva around with a kimura. Phillips lifts his foe up in the air and slams him down like he was carrying groceries, and he lets Paiva up so that he can land a flashy kick to the body. Paiva appears unflustered and he walks Phillips down, but he eats a fierce right hand that hurts him. Another wobbles Paiva, who shoots in for a single and is stuffed. Phillips makes him pay with several punches, until the Brazilian bails on it and stands up. Phillips kicks him in the head, and spins around with a heel kick that clacks on the side of Paiva’s head. Paiva allows him to land the strike so that Phillips falls to the ground without any balance, and he climbs into Phillips’ guard to slow things down. Paiva postures up and lands a few long punches, but Phillips is quick to reverse him and put Paiva on his back. Phillips takes side control, and slices over to mount but is pulled back to half guard in an exchange. Paiva eats an elbow, scrambles back to his knees, takes another elbow, and stands back up. When Paiva stands back up, Phillips rocks him with another brutal right hand, and the Brazilian pushes for a desperation takedown. Paiva can barely stand, and Phillips cracks him with another right hand. A nasty elbow cracks the Brazilian on the jaw, and he collapses in a heap. The fight not quite over, Phillips dives in to finish the job. He continues to club Paiva with everything he has, and Paiva miraculously survives to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Phillips
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-8 Phillips
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Phillips

Round 2

The gloves are touched to begin the round, and Paiva comes out of his corner swinging for the bleachers. Phillips spins with a wheel kick to try to throw things off, and Paiva drops down to pursue a takedown. As soon as Phillips drops to a knee, he rolls for a leglock, and Paiva abandons the position before anything gets set up. Both men get back to their feet, and Phillips is ready with pep in his step and a blistering elbow square on the chin. Paiva takes it flush and fires back with a straight right hand, knocking Phillips off of his feet. Paiva sees that Phillips may be hurt and a little gassed, and he chases Phillips around the cage and unloads a fury at him. Paiva scores a clean uppercut that stings Phillips badly, and even though he may be bloodied and has taken some damage, he appears the fresher man and ignores a flying knee when Phillips tries to recover. Paiva pursues a takedown, and when Phillips fights it off, the latter takes a very deep breath before the midpoint of the round. Phillips dives forward for a tackle takedown, landing it and putting the Brazilian on his back. Paiva scoots his way to the fence, and he calmly stands back up while Phillips tries to keep him down. Paiva is able to break free, and he lands a one-two as Phillips is tiring fast. Paiva ducks a punch and grabs a body lock to try to plant “The Matrix” on the ground, but Phillips stops it and lands a spinning back elbow. When Paiva looks to do some damage with a right hand, Phillips evades it, grabs the back and drags Paiva down to the ground. Phillips takes back control and fishes for a choke, but Paiva rolls through to his knees. Phillips flattens Paiva out to set up a choke, and Paiva turns and nearly gives up mount. Phillips turns to try to get a better position, and he is forced to stand up. Phillips smashes Paiva in the face with a huge right hand, and Paiva eats it like an acai bowl and blasts Phillips back with one of his own. The spent fighters end the round pressed against the wall.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Paiva
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Paiva
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Paiva

Round 3

The bantamweight battle well worth the price of admission, both men touch gloves to begin the last round. Whose cardio is better is anyone’s guess. Paiva starts the dance with a few jabs, and Phillips comes back at him with a long right hand and a possible takedown entry. Paiva stuffs it without much effort and connects with a right hand that wobbles Phillips. Paiva opens up with a right and a left as Phillips bears down on him to take him down, stopping the attempt before it gets too far. Phillips shrugs off a right hand on the jaw to duck down low for a single, and both men fall to the ground with neither in an advantageous position. Phillips ducks face-first into an uppercut, and Paiva lays into him with a few punches but cannot hurt him. Phillips sells out with a huge right hand, and the two fighters are so wiped out, they are slipping all over the cage and wobbling after every punch. Phillips escapes a few strikes but takes some more when Paiva gives chase, and Phillips attacks with a spinning kick that is well short of the mark. Phillips goes all-in for a double leg takedown, scooping the Brazilian’s legs out beneath him bot not able to ground him for long. Paiva scores a right hand only to get pursued with another takedown, and Paiva grits it out and turns him around to take him down. Phillips defends with his legs to set up a reversal, but he does not have the energy to land it and instead is stuck on his back while Paiva is on top of him. The Brazilian holds on tight, not wanting “The Matrix” to get off any more wild strikes on his feet, and he gets off some ground-and-pound to stay busy. Paiva in half guard continues to control his opponent and land effective if not damaging punches. At the 10-second clapper, Phillips explodes to his feet and is ready to brawl. Phillips smashes his fist into the granite chin of Paiva, and Paiva throws everything he has back at his foe. One final flurry ends the fight, and this one could be close – close enough to be dead even, depending on how the judges see the rounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Paiva (28-28)
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Paiva (28-28)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Paiva (28-28)

The Official Result

Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips via Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Cory Sandhagen (136) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (136)

Round 1

For both men in this bantamweight headliner, a title shot may be hanging in the balance. For Sandhagen (14-2, 7-1 UFC), he stares at a possible rematch against current champ Aljamain Sterling and a path to greatness. A far different story looms for Dillashaw (16-4, 12-4 UFC), who will be appearing for the first time since an ill-fated trip to flyweight, where he came up short at becoming a two-division champ. Since January 2019, Dillashaw has been on the shelf after testing positive for EPO, while Sandhagen has roared out of the gate with four wins surrounding a single loss. To the victor belong the spoils; the contender and the ex-champ touch gloves in front of customary headlining ref Herb Dean, and it’s fight time. Dillashaw rushes forward, straight into a leg kick that comes at him for the first strike of the fight. Dillashaw sprints forward and throws a right hand, and a head kick gets caught. He connects with a right hand, and Sandhagen fires right back at him with a head kick and a leg kick. Sandhagen hurts Dillashaw with a punch, and he leaps forward with a flying knee. Dillashaw knows it is coming, and he lifts Sandhagen in the air and puts him down. Sandhagen snatches up an inverted triangle choke, and Dillashaw gets away with a shorts grab to find himself some space and get his neck free. He sits up to land a few punches, fights off a leglock attempt, and sees Sandhagen explode back to his feet. The former champ is tight on his opponent, pressing Sandhagen into the cage and landing a few hard knees to the thigh. Sandhagen turns him about and frees himself, where he smacks Dillashaw with a right hand. Dillashaw charges in for a takedown, and both fall to the ground in an odd position until they stand back up. Dillashaw leaps forward with a left hand that snaps the head back, and Sandhagen comes back at him with a body shot and a left over the top. Dillashaw kicks his leg out from beneath his foe quickly, and Sandhagen makes Dillashaw flinch with a pump-fake. Dillashaw kicks at his foe, and Sandhagen is ready with a left hand counter. Dillashaw pressures his foe into the fence, with a takedown attempt before Sandhagen can kick him. Dillashaw tosses Sandhagen to the ground, and Sandhagen rolls through and gets off a few hammerfists from below. Dillashaw slams a single elbow home, and Sandhagen threatens with a leg lock low on the ankle more for position than submission. Dillashaw jumps back down, and he is holding on to the fence to get leverage and land strikes. Dillashaw keeps grabbing the fence to maintain this top position, and he sits up and drills Sandhagen with a few punches before Sandhagen scrambles. “Sandman” gets back to his feet, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw

Round 2

Between rounds, the replays show that Dillashaw torqued his left knee when Sandhagen had a leglock, and he complains to his corner that he believes something popped. He still can continue, and he rushes out to begin the round by pursuing a takedown against the fence. Sandhagen breaks free, catches a kick and throws his man down. Dillashaw may be compromised on his rear leg, and he takes a few stiff punches across the bow while trying to put weight on it. Dillashaw comes in to attack, and Sandhagen is able to smoothly dodge the punches but he takes a leg kick on the way out. Sandhagen paws out several punches, and the two trade heavy, loud leg kicks. Sandhagen just grazes the chin with an uppercut, and he slips out of the way when Dillashaw aims a big right hand at him. Sandhagen sits down on a left hand, lifting Dillashaw off the ground and hurting him badly. Dillashaw shoots for a desperation takedown, but Sandhagen defends it and smashes his nose with a left hand. The nose of the former champ is bloodied and busted, and Sandhagen cracks him with a right hand to slash open a cut on Dillashaw’s right eyebrow close to the bridge of his nose. The placement of the cut is bad, but the doctor clears him to continue. Sandhagen picks away at him from range, until he leaps forward with a knee and follows it with several punches and an elbow. Dillashaw tries to fire back at him but he hits air, allowing Sandhagen to nail him with a spinning elbow. Dillashaw closes the distance, but Sandhagen tags the cut with a few punches before going up high with a kick. Dillashaw looks to explode with a punch and a takedown attempt, and he circles around to hold on to Sandhagen from behind. He wrenches Sandhagen down to the ground, but he cannot keep him there for long. Dillashaw doggedly pursues the takedown, but all he can muster is a few knees to the thigh right before the break. Sandhagen sneaks in one last elbow right at the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen

Round 3

The bantamweights touch gloves to begin the round, and Dillashaw’s cut is cleared and closed up for now. Sandhagen plays possum as he moves away from a few punches, and he times a back elbow that clips Dillashaw on the chin. A few long left hands from Sandhagen open the cut back up again, and Dillashaw quickly wipes at it. Sandhagen plants the fall of his foot on Dillashaw’s chest, and he lands a punch and a spinning back elbow in rapid succession. Dillashaw’s chin stays together, and he crashes in to attack a double leg takedown. Sandhagen turns to defend, and he takes a few short knees to the thigh but gets Dillashaw’s attention with an elbow. Dillashaw has to back off as the blood continues to flow in his eye, and Sandhagen targets the blind spot with several more punches. Dillashaw charges like a bull, and the matador of Sandhagen dances out of harm’s way and stings Dillashaw a few times with accurate strikes. Dillashaw goes low with several kicks, and his foe slips a punch and scores a solid right hand. Sandhagen spins with a punch into a hook kick, and Dillashaw catches him in the air and plants him down on the canvas. Sandhagen rolls through without taking damage to stand back up, and he breaks free and stands before his opponent with his hands down. Sandhagen walks forward, unconcerned with the power, and he reaches Dillashaw with several punches while evading the responses. Dillashaw sits down on leg kicks, and Sandhagen pulls his leg back and finally gives him one back. Sandhagen splits the guard with a right hand, and Dillashaw comes out firing with two punches before pursuing a takedown. Sandhagen steps in with a knee when he breaks off, and shoots in for a takedown of his own but is easily stuffed. Dillashaw spins around to take his back, and the two walk to the fence in the familiar position of Dillashaw holding him from behind. Sandhagen pops Dillashaw with a no-look elbow, and the two land heavy blows right before the bell. When the horn sounds, Sandhagen scores a big right hand. Dillashaw protests, but the fight goes on to the championship rounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw

Round 4

The round begins with several leg kicks from the former champ, who is fired up and ready to throw caution to the wind. He gets Sandhagen’s respect as he lands a few punches, and the two clash heads when closing in. There is no major damage from it, so Dillashaw ducks down to take the fight down but is comfortable holding on to a body lock from behind. Dillashaw holds on with several knees to the thigh as he tries to wrestle Sandhagen down, and he swings a big right hand when they break apart. Sandhagen ducks and counters, pawing out a trio of punches that bloody the eyebrow up again. Sandhagen stings Dillashaw with a left and then a right, and he evades the counterpunches that loop past his head. Dillashaw scores a leg kick and whiffs on a jumping overhand right, and Sandhagen peppers him with long, reaching punches. Sandhagen rips the body with a left hand, and he uppercuts Dillashaw in the body as Dillashaw closes in. The ex-champ grabs hold of him and wrestles him to the mat, but Sandhagen springs back up with Dillashaw holding his back. Sandhagen breaks the grip and lands a right hand, and he uses head movement and footwork to get away from the wild strikes from the bloodied Dillashaw. Dillashaw shoots for a takedown from afar, and Sandhagen stays upright but is getting pressed into the wire. Dillashaw redoubles his effort to get him down, but Sandhagen gets free and fights off the hand as Dillashaw is grabbing his glove. Sandhagen tattoos his fist on Dillashaw’s face, marking him up with jabs and snappy punches. Dillashaw fires back with a combination, and the only strike that lands is a thudding leg kick. Sandhagen spins and blasts Dillashaw in the face with an elbow, and Dillashaw shouts as he absorbs the blow. The round ends with Dillashaw giving chase.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dillashaw

Round 5

The final round begins, and Dillashaw pushes the pace with several leg kicks. Dillashaw chases him down but gets shoved away when he tries to get a grip on his foe, and the two trade long punches. Dillashaw whiffs on a few punches and lands a body kick, and Sandhagen stands before his man with his hands down. Dillashaw jumps forward with punch salvos, and Sandhagen touches Dillashaw on the way in and breaks up the combination. Dillashaw closes in, circles around and wrenches Sandhagen down to a knee. Sandhagen powers back up and breaks the grip to free himself, but not for long, as Dillashaw is ready to embrace the grind on him. Sandhagen works the body and pushes his adversary off of him, and he continues his assault on Dillashaw’s liver with left hands. Sandhagen scores a left hand, and as Dillashaw advances, he plants his knee on Dillashaw’s chest. Dillashaw is unconcerned and pushing the pace, charging after Sandhagen and landing a solid right hand on the way in. Sandhagen clips him with a right hand, but the former champ wears it well and gets countered on the way in. When Dillashaw reaches, Sandhagen is there to tag him with a longer, rangier punch. Dillashaw takes the distance away by clinching up, and he pursues a body lock takedown while gripping the fence. When Sandhagen gets free, he lands a heavy right hand, and Dillashaw is ready to brawl. The two are throwing single strikes one after the other like a pair of “rock-em sock-em robots,” until Dillashaw closes in to take the fight down. Dillashaw eats a right hand and gets uppercutted on the way, and the two trade blows. A left hand from Sandhagen digs to the body, and the two are throwing everything they have left in their punches. Sandhagen darts away when Dillashaw tries to charge him, and the both men land ferocious punches. Sandhagen lands effectively as he dodges the swarming former champion, and the fight ends in the hands of the judges. What a wild battle, and one that will see both men’s stock rise from it. Next week, we will once more be treated to an ESPN card, with one currently stuffed with 15 fights. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen (48-47 Sandhagen)
Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen (48-47 Sandhagen)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Sandhagen (48-47 Dillashaw)

The Official Result

T.J. Dillashaw def. Cory Sandhagen via Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
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