UFC on ESPN 29 ‘Cannonier vs. Gastelum’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Aug 21, 2021
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Ramiz Brahimaj (171) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (170)

Round 1

After a week off for the UFC, the promotion is back with a Las Vegas Fight Night offering that brings a main event with two men coming off of a loss. The momentum of this card is not particularly huge, but no fight tonight sees a betting favorite even as high as -200 so we could be treated to some close scraps. We kick things off in the welterweight division with the ever-present classic stylistic matchup of grappler vs. striker as submission savvy Brahimaj (8-3, 0-1 UFC) looks for his first UFC win against the hard-hitting Palatnikov (6-3, 1-1 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni will be in charge of the first fight of the night, and with a touch of gloves, it’s on with the show! Palatnikov appears the much larger fighter, and he hops around and gets jabbed by his opponent in the early going. Brahimaj shoots in from a distance into a takedown attempt, and he hits it in a hurry. Although the fighter out of Hong Kong springs back to his feet, Brahimaj is quick to pursue him and secure an emphatic mat return and block a potential armbar setup. Like a snake, Brahimaj slowly works his way to advance position until striking, and he snaps up a position change to take full mount. It only takes a few seconds for Palatnikov to turn around and give up his back to try to stand back up or otherwise get out of mount, but this is not to be as Brahimaj happily takes his back. Brahimaj instinctively snags a rear-naked choke when he notices the opportunity, and it is dangerously tight. Palatnikov grits it out and partly breaks the grip on the choke, but Brahimaj does not let his man off the hook. The arm slides from the chin under the neck, and Palatnikov does not know quite what to do anymore. The vice-like grip crushes as Palatnikov’s face changes color, and he goes out cold. Brahimaj shouts to Tognoni that his foe is out, and Tognoni recognizes it and intervenes to rescue the snoozing fighter. That is now nine submissions in nine victories for Brahimaj, who secures his first Octagon victory in impressive fashion by starting the night off with a nap.

The Official Result

Ramiz Brahimaj def. Sasha Palatnikov R1 2:33 via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Ignacio Bahamondes (154) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (154.5)

Round 1

Moving right along to the lightweight division, relative Octagon vet Roberts (10-2, 1 NC; 4-2, 1 NC UFC) will try to hand Bahamondes (11-4, 0-1 UFC) his second loss in as many UFC appearances. Drawing the assignment for this second fight of the night is referee Mark Smith, and the glove touch seals the cage around them. Both men stick out jabs, and Roberts chops down with a leg kick. Bahamondes pushes out another jab, and Roberts is on him with a thudding leg kick. Bahamondes swings wildly with a pair of punches, and Roberts is more composed with a few sharp jabs before pressing forward to clinch up and pursue a body lock takedown. Bahamondes keeps his balance as he leans against the fence, and he pushes away to gain separation. Although Bahamondes scores a solid right hand, Roberts is quickly marking his opponent up with crisp jabs and follow-up right hands. When Roberts reaches out with a left hand, Bahamondes pounds his leg with a kick and makes Roberts stumble over. Roberts fires back with a kick, and Bahamondes lands one with an audible thump and not a slap. Bahamondes is in his foe’s face with punches, but Roberts ducks and moves to get his jab going again. As soon as Roberts resets, Bahamondes kicks at his leg and swipes with a pair of punches. Bahamondes charges in like a bull, and he scores a solid flurry of punches but Smith calls an eye poke stoppage. Upon replay, there was no finger outstretched, giving Roberts some unearned recovery time, but the fight resumes after a few seconds. Bahamondes leads the dance when the action resumes, swarming “The Predator” with several reaching punches until Roberts ducks and pursues a single. Bahamondes defends himself against it but gets pushed into the wall, and he manages to yank his leg free and spin around with a back fist that collides with Roberts’ gloves. The two tall, lanky lightweights exchange leg kicks as Bahamondes walks his man down, and Roberts is forced to try to jab as he ricochets off the fence with Bahamondes scores a pair of heavy punches. Roberts eats a few to land jabs, but Bahamondes is biting down on his mouthpiece to land these shots at this point. Roberts scores a single uppercut before pressing forward for a double, and when that is stopped, Roberts goes after a body lock. Bahamondes manages to keep his balance and stands tall, kneeing Roberts in the face with a solid shot that shakes him up. Roberts eats a few more punches, and Bahamondes gives chase and lands one after the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The lightweights come out to trade in the second round, and Roberts lands the cleaner strike to make Bahamondes back away. The Chilean meets him with a few shots, chaining short combinations to knock Roberts back. Bahamondes scores with punches to the head and body, leading Roberts to try to pursue a takedown from afar. Bahamondes sees it coming a mile away and staves it off with ease, before getting back at him with his hands. Bahamondes lands a pair of solid inside leg kicks, and he walks through a jab to connect with a three-punch salvo. Roberts finds himself back to the fence again as Bahamondes tries to tee off on him, and Roberts keeps himself safe from the worst blows thanks to his head movement. Roberts bloodies up Bahamondes’ face with jab after jab, but Bahamondes ignores it and keeps his pressure with short strings of punches. Roberts manages to keep his range for a time with jabs, but Bahamondes shrugs them off and drills his foe with a spinning back kick to the body. Bahamondes appears comfortable in the cage as he can land practically at will without taking anything severely damaging, allowing him to land punches in bunches. Roberts throws back and takes a long right hand, a leg kick, or a varying barrage of blows. Roberts sneaks up an uppercut, and he goes back to jabbing, but Bahamondes does not respect the power as he walks through everything. “La Jaula” leaps forward with a knee to the chest, and Roberts absorbs it flush and catches the leg to pursue a takedown. Bahamondes lowers his leg and finds himself defending a single leg takedown attempt as his back is against the fence. Bahamondes breaks away with an elbow, and his face has transformed into a crimson mask as he wipes blood away from his eyes. Bahamondes is not too concerned as his face shows serious damage, pouring it on with punches into kicks or kicks into punches. A left hand and a knee knock Roberts into the fence, and he tries to follow Roberts down but gets punched right before the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The tall lightweights clap hands to open up the final round, and they begin to start trading. Bahamondes lands, Roberts responds, and Bahamondes steps back to blast a kick to the body. Both men trade until Roberts shoots in for a double, and Bahamondes easily sees it coming and stops it in its tracks. Bahamondes considers a guillotine choke, but abandons it to let Roberts get up. As Roberts stands, Bahamondes works the body repeatedly and may have Roberts hurt. He targets it again, and Roberts ducks into an easily telegraphed takedown. When Roberts rolls to his back, Bahamondes successfully lands an axe kick to the midsection. Smith asks Bahamondes if he wants Roberts to stand up, and he lets him up and boots him in the gut with a spinning back kick. Roberts takes a few punches and gets shoved over again, where this same exchange including an axe kick that comes close to being an illegal strike lands. Once more, Roberts is allowed to stand, and Bahamondes pours it on with body shots en masse. He chains together punches and kicks to the body as Roberts shows a stiff upper lip, with “The Predator” firmly becoming his opponent’s prey. Bahamondes rips the body and legs as Roberts shells up and doubles over before shooting in. Bahamondes stops it and lets Roberts fall to his backside, where he can kick Roberts in the calves a few times. Bahamondes decides to enter the guard for a second, slamming a few hammerfists down until he backs off to find a new angle. Roberts lays on his back with his hands behind his head as Bahamondes kicks his legs, until Bahamondes lets him stand. As soon as Roberts has his feet about him, Bahamondes chops down his leg several times. Roberts looks to land a jab or two, but it is all Bahamondes as Roberts turns his back to evade strikes. Bahamondes dings him with a clean left hand, and Roberts sits down on a right hand counter to catch Bahamondes. Roberts swings wildly and lands a few, but a takedown is what he goes after instead of more power punches. Bahamondes stops it with a guillotine choke, and it is fairly tight as he presses Roberts against the fence. Instead of going after the submission with seconds to go, Bahamondes breaks with a huge right elbow that shakes Roberts up. “La Jaula” backs off and looks to spin with a kick. Instead of going to the body like so many times earlier in the fight, Bahamondes lets fly a picturesque spinning wheel kick that blasts Roberts in the face and shuts his lights completely out. Roberts falls lifelessly to the ground, and Bahamondes knows his work here is done. With mere seconds to spare, Bahamondes scored a knockout that is easily finds its place among the “Knockout of the Year” contenders, all while becoming the first man to knock Roberts out.

The Official Result

Ignacio Bahamondes def. Roosevelt Roberts R3 4:55 via KO (Spinning Wheel Kick)

Fabio Cherant (205) vs. William Knight (206)

Round 1

Something wild is bound to happen in this all-New England clash of light heavyweights as burly bomber Knight (9-2, 1-1 UFC) takes on strong grappler Cherant (7-2, 0-1 UFC). Something’s gotta give in this glaring style matchup, and referee Chris Tognoni will be on top of the action to make sure nothing goes awry. The large 205ers touch gloves and come out swinging. Knight starts off with a sweeping leg kick, and Cherant backs away but takes a solid right hand across the bow. Knight goes up high with a kick that gets blocked in time, and the two paw out opposing hands towards one another. Cherant comes up short with a front kick to the body, and he follows it with a punch to the body but has his lead leg kicked hard. Knight hammers that same spot again, and Cherant takes a moment to gather his thoughts. Knight suddenly swings a high kick at him, and Cherant shakes his head as he blocks it. Cherant fires off a front kick that clacks off the cup, and Knight waves it off and ignores a punch to his body. “The Water Buffalo” charges ahead with a few big punches, and Knight backs off just in time. Cherant targets the body again, and Knight does not even register as he swings a looping right hand and kicks Cherant in the lead leg. Cherant lands a right to the body and a left to the head, and Knight reacts poorly as he stands there to calculate the damage he absorbed. Knight goes back to advancing, and he marches ahead to sling a low leg kick. Cherant’s body work is consistent, and he just misses with a right hand over the top. Knight nails him with a kick to the body, and Cherant shakes his head but the strike was clear. Cherant puts his foot on the gas and sprints ahead to attack, landing a few shots to shake Knight up and back him off. Out of nowhere, a thunderous hammer in the form of a short left hook from Knight separates Cherant from his senses, and Cherant practically faceplants on the way down. Knight runs over to finish the job as Cherant is facedown, getting off a trio of brutal right hands as Tognoni races to them to stop the fight. What a knockout for "Knightmare," who celebrates with an impressive backflip where he sticks the landing.

The Official Result

William Knight def. Fabio Cherant R1 3:58 via KO (Punches)

Bea Malecki (135) vs. Josiane Nunes (136)

Round 1

It’s striker versus striker in the lone women’s match of the night, as Malecki (4-0, 2-0 UFC) returns from a lengthy layoff to take on the much shorter newcomer Nunes (7-1, 0-0 UFC). The women appear a weight class apart from one another, and the Swede will maintain a seven-inch reach advantage as she towers over her debuting opponent. There is nothing but respect between these two bantamweights, who do not touch gloves before the no-nonsense referee Keith Peterson. Malecki stays back with a leg kick, and Nunes comes back with one of her own. Malecki keeps her distance with front kicks as Nunes looks to close the distance, but she is forced to swipe at her foe with long, inaccurate strikes. Nunes keeps her guard tight as she rushes ahead, landing heavily on Malecki. The Swede starts to turtle up and defends herself with a knee up the middle to back Nunes off. Nunes takes a breather as Malecki is there to knee her again, and she avoids a head kick that zooms her way. Nunes chases “Bad News Barbie” down with another kick. Malecki stings Nunes with a head kick, and Nunes bits down on her gumshield and starts throwing wildly. Malecki’s face gets marked up with huge left hands, but she rolls with them and stays in the fight with kicks as she gains some space. Nunes crowds her with a few punches, and Malecki is trying to keep her at bay with front kicks. Nunes ignores them to close the distance, and again she swarms Malecki with a leaping punch and a chain of strikes. Nunes walks face-first into a spinning back elbow as she advances, and it shakes her up long enough to slow her down for a moment. Malecki gets stung with a barrage of punches as she doubles over against the fence, but she survives as Nunes backs off to take a breath. Both women appear visibly fatigued after about four minutes of fury, but Nunes is pressing the action with body shots and punches to the head. Nunes’ punches get Malecki to bend over as she works the body, and the Swede bounces off the fence and leaves her chin exposed as she reaches out with a half-hearted right hand. Nunes puts everything she has into a murderous overhand left, smashing square into Malecki’s chin and putting her down in a crumpled heap. Peterson leaps in to halt the contest as Malecki is flirting with the edge of consciousness, and Nunes has successfully introduced herself to the promotion and the bantamweight division with a bang.

The Official Result

Josiane Nunes def. Bea Malecki R1 4:54 via KO (Punch)

Brian Kelleher (136) vs. Domingo Pilarte (136)

Round 1

Keeping things moving, we drift to the men’s bantamweight division as all-action finisher Kelleher (22-12, 6-5 UFC) faces off against a Texan in Pilarte (8-2, 1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC UFC) that has never been stopped in his pro career. Given the action so far tonight, will this be the first, or can Pilarte spring the upset and pull off a win? Just like referee Chris Tognoni, we will find out over the next several minutes. The two with a fairly significant height and reach difference show a sign of respect by touching gloves before throwing caution to the wind. Kelleher marches forward and blocks a quick head kick, before rushing ahead to rip the body with punches. “Boom” lifts Pilarte in the air and slams him down to the ground with an elevated double leg takedown. Pilarte looks surprised for a moment, but he recovers his guard and starts slapping Kelleher in the ears. Kelleher maintains heavy top pressure and nails Pilarte with some ground-and-pound, and the Texan defends with a few elbows off his back. “Son of Fire” throws his legs up to set up a triangle choke or an armbar, but the longtime vet sees it coming and breaks it up before landing punches from above. Kelleher postures up and slams Pilarte in the face with an elbow, and the strikes have busted Pilarte’s nose up. Kelleher sits up to avoid an armbar attempt before leaping back down to drill Pilarte with heavy punches. Kelleher looks to pass guard and stands up for a moment, but he jumps back down into the guard so that he can maintain this top position. Kelleher methodically works the body and head with blows, and Pilarte can do little besides occasionally rejigger his legs for a failed submission setup. Kelleher sees an attempt coming and sits up to blast Pilarte with some punches, and he stands up and kicks Pilarte in the legs. Kelleher hammers Pilarte in the body with an axe kick, and he leaps back down to do some damage with his punches. The elbows from “Boom” make cracking sounds as he delivers them time and time again to the face of his bloodied opponent, and he keeps striking right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Kelleher
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kelleher
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Kelleher

Round 2

The round begins with Pilarte keeping a healthy distance from his opponent, letting go with a leg kick and a head kick as Kelleher walks him down. “Boom” goes right into a takedown attempt, and he slams Pilarte back down to pick up where he left off from the last round. Pilarte gets away with an illegal upkick as Kelleher is grounded, and Kelleher shakes it off to start up with more ground-and-pound. Kelleher maintains heavy top pressure as he drops hammerfists on the nose, and the strikes are more irritating than damaging but they keep landing. Pilarte opens and closes his guard as he looks to the camera, distressed, all while Kelleher calmly pounds on him. As he continues to strike, he passes guard and hops over to side control. Pilarte scoots his way out and gets to a knee, only for him to fall into instant guillotine choke danger. Kelleher sees it and snags it, but the blood and sweat from Pilarte allows him to squeeze his head out as he bounces his neck free. Kelleher, on his back, tries for another guillotine, and like before, “Son of Fire” burns his way out. Pilarte uses the opportunity to pop Kelleher with a stiff elbow, and he pursues an arm-triangle choke as he sits in side control. Kelleher muscles out and turns his man over, where he ends the round beating on Pilarte.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The bantamweights embrace to start the final round, and Pilarte steps back to slings a head kick. Like the last two rounds, Kelleher immediately picks his opponent up in the air. Embodying his inner Matt Hughes, he carries Pilarte across the cage to his corner, and he tosses Pilarte down like a country breakfast on a table. Kelleher climbs into guard, and Pilarte scrambles to a knee only to give up his back partially. Kelleher seizes this, and when he gets a hook in, Pilarte elects to fall to his back instead and stay in the closed guard position where he has ridden out much of the bout. The control time for Kelleher continues to add up, as do the ground strike totals, as he slowly works Pilarte over with punches. Pilarte boxes the ears when opening and closing his guard to reset do not help him, and Kelleher keeps his foe squeezed up against the corner of the wall and the floor to trap him there. Kelleher listens to his corner’s advice to alternate with punches and elbows to the body and head, finding openings and slashing his Texan foe in the face. When Pilarte holds on to his opponent’s right hand, Kelleher decides to just land with his left repeatedly. Pilarte looks frustrated and tries to plead with Tognoni to stand them up, but Kelleher uses this moment to elbow Pilarte on the jaw. Kelleher sits up to land punches, and his strike landed total will be off the charts even if not a great deal are considered significant. Kelleher pins Pilarte down as he sits up, and he puts some power into his strikes as Pilarte grabs hold of him. Kelleher manages to land a few more before Pilarte scrambled at the last second to kick him off and conclude the bout. We have gone the distance for the first time of the night, but the victor should not be in question.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kelleher (30-26 Kelleher)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kelleher (30-27 Kelleher)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Kelleher (30-27 Kelleher)

The Official Result

Brian Kelleher def. Domingo Pilarte via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Austin Lingo (145.5) vs. Luis Saldana (146)

Round 1

Concluding the preliminary portion of the card is a featherweight scrap pitting Lingo (8-1, 1-1 UFC) against Saldana (15-6, 1-0 UFC), where the two combine for 19 finishes in their 23 victories. The glove touch precedes the action, and referee Herb Dean is ready for it. Both men trade solid punches, with Lingo landing a jab to knock Saldana back. Both men land clean leg kicks, and Saldana hurts him with a slapping body kick and a solid head kick. Lingo gathers himself but eats a few long punches on the way in, and he is busted up from the strikes with a cut on his right eye. Lingo steps in with a left hook that catches Saldana flush, but Saldana drops his hands and boots Lingo in the gut with a kick. Lingo’s poker face dissolves as he freezes up, but he carries on when Saldana does not push the issue. Saldana lands a few leg kicks, and one makes Lingo grimace. Lingo marches forward even though he is taking damage everywhere, and he gives chase when Saldana hops away from his leaping blows. Lingo jumps forward with a superman punch, but Saldana avoids it and counters him with a low kick. Saldana scores a spinning back kick to the body, and he follows it up with a liver kick that makes Lingo drop his hands down to his waist. Lingo steels himself and throws a few looping punches, and although one scores, the rest come up hitting nothing but air. Lingo bites down on his mouthpiece to throw bombs, and Saldana evades the brunt of the blows and rolls with them. Lingo wings a right hand only to get spinning kicked to the body. “Lights Out” does not slow down as he advances towards his opponent, blocking head kicks and pushing ahead to try to introduce his fists to Saldana’s face. Saldana greets him with a flying knee, but Lingo wears it well and sticks out a few jabs. Saldana kicks Lingo a few times in the leg to make Lingo turn around each time, and the Texan marches on like a Terminator until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The featherweights touch gloves before looking to do some damage, and Lingo comes out like a man on a mission as he presses forward with a flurry of punches. Saldana rolls through most of the punches, and his foot appears to have some major damage from the last round. Lingo lands a few leg kicks, and he checks one that comes at him as Saldana tries to slow him down. Saldana slips and rips Lingo with a punch, but Lingo bears down on him with a few reaching shots. Lingo is met with a knee to the body and a takedown attempt, and suddenly Saldana looks to change levels but is stood up. Lingo pushes him away, ignores a leg kick and walks forward to throw hammers. Saldana times a solid leg kick on the knee, and Lingo misses with his combination because of it. Saldana appears loose in the cage and has slowed to a noticeable degree, but Lingo is just as animated as ever as he targets a left to the body and a right to the head. The bloodied Lingo ducks a punch to throw an overhand right, and it just brushes off the target. Saldana spins and connects with a kick to the body, and when Lingo plants on his lead leg, Saldana comes back around to kick it. Lingo ducks down to land a few body shots, and he catches Saldana on the chin with a right hand over the top. Saldana gets off a body kick to keep Lingo away, but Lingo presses the pace with a few punches and a leg kick. Lingo eats a leg kick as he plods forward, and he punches his way into a clinch. Lingo knees him in the chest as he breaks of, and the two trade nasty leg kicks that make the other react. Lingo times a counter right hand that knocks Saldana back, and Lingo absorbs a clean elbow while throwing haymakers. Saldana rolls with the punches as he jabs at Lingo, and he jumps in the air and gets clocked with a huge right hand reminiscent of Fedor Emelianenko against Andrei Arlovski. Saldana amazingly stays on his feet, and he shakes it off and backs away as Lingo continues his pressure. Lingo lands a few right hands, loading up on them and making Saldana retreat. Saldana walks away a few seconds before the bell, and Lingo cannot capitalize on this.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Lingo begins the last round plowing ahead with pressure, throwing big punches and forcing Saldana to defend himself early. Saldana drops down for a single, and Lingo yanks his leg back, turns Saldana into the fence and lands a body shot. Saldana misses with a strike on the break, and Lingo charges ahead to throw punches. Saldana once more falls short with a single leg takedown, and Lingo keeps his balance before marching forward with punches. Saldana times a spinning back kick to the body, and Lingo takes it cleanly and keeps pressing the action. Lingo stops another takedown and pops his opponent with a left hand, and he is too close for Saldana to get off another spinning kick. Lingo stops headhunting momentarily to land strikes to the body, and Saldana looks for step-in elbows. Lingo lands big punches, and Saldana puts his hands on his hips and gets off a spinning back kick. Saldana appears visibly frustrated that his strikes are not doing the damage he expects, and Lingo fearlessly advances to throw big punches. An overhand right stings Saldana, and Saldana replies with a leg kick that makes Lingo turn about. Saldana spins with another kick to the chest, and the two men trade leather. Saldana’s hands are low while Lingo comes forward, and Lingo blasts him in the stomach with a straight right hand that crumples Saldana. The pained fighter falls to his back, and Lingo climbs on top and fights off a shoulder lock and a sweep attempt so he can get a better position. Saldana turns and gives up his back, and Lingo hops on but is too high, and nearly gets bucked off. Lingo gets his hooks in and maintains this position right to the final bell, landing left hands all the way to the end. This could be a close one.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Austin Lingo def. Luis Saldana via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 

Alexandre Pantoja (126) vs. Brandon Royval (125.5)

Round 1

The highest ranked fight on the card comes not in the main event, but in the main card opener, when third-ranked Pantoja (23-5, 7-3 UFC) meets the number six Royval (12-5, 2-1 UFC) in a possible flyweight title eliminator. Referee Mark Smith is holding on tight for the frenzy that is about to ensue, and the glove touch lights the fuse. Royval leaps forward with several jabs and a leg kick, and he plants his fist on Pantoja’s chin with a superman punch. Pantoja crashes forward and hits a sudden takedown, putting “Raw Dawg” on his back. Pantoja circles around to take his back as the two start scrambling, and Royval twists and turns and somersaults to try to get free. The Brazilian follows him along, and he gets elbowed in the face by a no-look elbow from Royval. Pantoja keeps locked on him with a body lock, even without hooks in, and he steps on top but falls suddenly into an ankle lock. Royval turns it into a heel hook, and then on a whim, right into a kneebar on the opposite leg. Pantoja looks to punch his way out, and Royval gives him a few elbows right back before torquing the leg. Royval keeps twisting the ankle as he puts it under his armpit, but the two scramble enough to not only get out of submission position but back on their feet. Pantoja clings to him like Saran wrap, and he manages to drag the American down to the ground from behind. Royval rolls through to stand up, and both flyweights stand back up. Royval lands a punch to the body before pursuing his own takedown, and he takes the back for a moment before Pantoja pops back up. Both men land heavy punches, and Royval plants a one-two on the chin. Pantoja returns fire with a two-punch combination that hurts Royval’s eye, and Royval clutches his eye in pain. He fights through the pain to spin with an elbow, and Pantoja loads up on a few right hands. Royval gives chase as he throws hands, and they both connect with punches before Pantoja drops to a knee. Nothing can come of it as both men energetically scramble and stand up, and the exchange punches right before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The two touch gloves as Royval is fired up, and he attacks but gets countered on the way in. Pantoja lands a body kick and reaches out with a left hand that pokes his opponent in the eye, and Royval protests but they fall on deaf ears. Pantoja comes forward to attack with a swarm of punches into a takedown attempt, and Royval stuffs it and bowls Pantoja over to land punches. “Raw Dawg” works the body with a kick, and the Brazilian works his way around to take Royval’s back and drag him to the canvas. Pantoja gets a hook in, and he turns it into a body triangle before searching for a rear-naked choke. Royval pushes off the cage with his feet but the choke is tight, and Royval looks panicked as he tries to keep scrambling but there is no more room to roam. Instead, as the arm slides beneath the neck and Pantoja stretches Royval out, Royval cannot break the grip and taps out. With the victory, Pantoja may have punched his ticket to a title shot, given that “The Cannibal” has history with the champ as he has met Brandon Moreno before, feasting on the current champ in a match on their TUF season and in the rematch at UFC Fight Night 129 in 2018.

The Official Result

Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval R2 1:46 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Austin Hubbard (156) vs. Vinc Pichel (155.5)

Round 1

Lightweights are on deck now, as “From Hell” Pichel (13-2, 6-2 UFC) looks to keep his momentum going against tough out Hubbard (13-5, 3-3 UFC). The referee assignment goes to Keith Peterson in this 155-pound tilt, and the nonsense level is practically in the negatives with him in charge. There is a sporting glove touch to check in their contest, and Hubbard begins with several reaching punches and a front kick. Pichel takes them on the chin and kicks Hubbard so hard in the leg that “Thud” hits the ground with a thud. Hubbard is able to get back to his feet without concern, and Pichel ties him up against the fence briefly before pushing off. Hubbard plants his foot on Pichel’s chest and paws with a right hand, and Pichel charges like a bull and gets shoved away with the kick. Pichel walks into a leg kick, and he returns fire with a heavier blow as Hubbard tries to push the pace on him. They ding each other with single strikes, and Hubbard catches Pichel with a front kick that knocks Pichel into the wire. Pichel mimics him with a front kick to the body, and Hubbard powers through it to snap Pichel’s head back with an overhand right. Pichel calmly tosses out several leg kicks, and the damage on the legs are mounting quickly on both fighters. Hubbard meets Pichel with a right hand, and the two both engage in a brief flurry punctuated with a head kick attempt from Pichel. “From Hell” throws an overhand right from hell, and the air blows Hubbard’s hair back. Pichel keeps working on Hubbard’s calf with kicks, working them on the inside and outside of Hubbard. Hubbard suddenly commits to a standing axe kick, and Pichel sees it coming and paws out with a left hand. Hubbard halts him with outstretched fingers, as one jabs into Pichel’s eye. Pichel complains to Peterson that there is grease in his eyeball, and he tries to wipe it out but has to call in a doctor to look at it. Pichel is able to clear his eye after nearly a minute break, and he picks up by chopping down Hubbard’s front leg. Hubbard returns fire with a front kick and a right hand, and Pichel is content to hack at the legs. Hubbard’s right hand finds its home repeatedly as he walks Pichel down, and Pichel is forced to pursue a takedown but is easily stuffed. Hubbard plants his shin on the body of his opponent, and they both clack right hands off one another’s chins. Pichel boots Hubbard in the leg, dropping Hubbard down to the ground again, and this time he follows him down to land some punches. Hubbard powers his way back up, and he preemptively raises his leg up as he comes towards his opponent. The horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The lightweights meet in the center of the cage to throw down and begin the round, and Pichel is not shy to pursue a leg kick to start off his attack. They both connect with heavy punches, and Pichel picks up the pace and connects with punches and kicks until Hubbard goes after a takedown. “From Hell” defends with a guillotine choke while leaning against the wire, and he drops down for a sudden single to make Hubbard back away. Hubbard sneaks in a right hand, but as soon as he retracts it, Pichel clubs his leg with another heavy kick. Pichel overcommits to a follow-up low kick to make him stumble, but nothing comes of it as he quickly targets another. Hubbard catches a front kick to turn it into a takedown, and he drags Pichel down to the ground. Pichel scrambles and bucks Hubbard off of him, and he makes Hubbard pay for this with a huge right hand that hurts Hubbard. Hubbard wobbles back and Pichel chases him down, but he cannot finish the job as Hubbard rebounds off the cage wall. Pichel stays measured and does not burn his gas tank looking for a stoppage, instead letting Hubbard get his bearings and trade back with him. A Pichel leg kick leads to him spinning with an Andy Hug-style spinning hook kick to the thigh, and Hubbard appears surprised that he let it land so cleanly. Hubbard gives him back a few hacking kicks, and Pichel is on his bike prepared for a counter. The counter comes when Hubbard ducks down in front of him, with “From Hell” unleashing a hellish knee up the middle that cracks into Hubbard’s chin. The Colorado native eats it like a Rocky Mountain oyster and hits a takedown, where he puts Pichel on his back. Pichel scrambles and twists to not absorb any punishment, and he successfully gets back to his feet without taking much damage. Both men trade low kicks and punches, and Hubbard goes after one last takedown before the bell breaks it up.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Hubbard comes out of his corner like a man possessed, chaining punches together to put Pichel on his heels early. The swatting punches force Pichel to protect himself and not start throwing his own offense, but that quickly gives way as Pichel lands a few calf kicks. Three punches connect on the chin of Hubbard, and the thudding shots shake Hubbard up but do not wobble his legs. Pichel uses the momentum to power his opponent into the fencing, and he drills Hubbard with an elbow over the top. When they break, Pichel looks for a flying elbow strike, and Hubbard sees it and is able to duck it and shoot in for a takedown. Hubbard successfully lands it, and Pichel rolls directly to his knees. In the ensuing scramble, Pichel is able to roll Hubbard to his back and take top position. Hubbard flails his legs and sits up, nearly walking his way up the cage wall, but Pichel drags one leg out and put Hubbard back down. Hubbard, taking flush elbows on the jaw, looks to set up an inverted triangle choke, but there is nothing to be found as Pichel turns. As Hubbard climbs his way up the chain-link fence and to his feet, Pichel gets off a clean knee on the chin. Hubbard lands a few punches, and one uppercut rocks Pichel. Pichel is able to kick Hubbard’s leg out from beneath him, and “Thud” turns the knockdown into a single leg takedown that he hits. Hubbard gloms on to his downed opponent, and Pichel splits his cheek open with an elbow from his back. When both lightweight explode back to their feet, the begin to throw caution to the wind and exchange. Hubbard lands a heavy knee and Pichel is nearly out on his feet, and possibly running on sheer instinct, he responds with a huge right hand that stings Hubbard. The two trade it out wildly right to the final bell, and they crumple to the ground after it sounds, exhausted after a hard-fought battle.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Trevin Jones (135) vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (138.5: Missed Weight)

Round 1

After a round robin of opponent changes recently, “5 Star” Jones (13-6, 1 NC; 1-0, 1 NC UFC) finds himself taking on a newcomer in Kakhramonov (8-2, 0-0 UFC) that took the bout on such short notice that he could not make the bantamweight limit. Therefore, this 138.5-pound unplanned catchweight affair – where Kakhramonov will surrender 20 percent of his purse to his opponent – carries on as it stands. Referee Herb Dean will serve as the third man inside the Octagon, and the two opt to touch gloves before getting down to business. Jones takes the center of the cage, and Kakhramonov circles around him but neither commit to a strike for the first 30 seconds. Kakhramonov swings a head kick that glances off the side of Jones’ head, and Jones grabs the kid and pursues a takedown. The Uzbekistan native scrambles wildly to take top position, and Jones jumps up to his feet. Kakhramonov jumps guard for a guillotine choke, and it is shockingly tight as Jones slowly lowers himself to the ground. “5 Star” slides his neck free, and he protects himself from a brabo choke attempt that follows so that he can work his way back to his feet. Jones is able to press his opponent into the fence and land short body shots. Jones considers changing levels to take him down, and Kakhramonov stops it while punching Jones in the thigh repeatedly. Jones knees his man in the chest, and the two jockey for position against the fencing. “5 Star” keeps a five-star position that traps Kakhramonov perfectly against the wire without any way to escape, so Kakhramonov starts kneeing Jones in the inside thigh a few times until Jones has to do something. The grueling clinch battle continues as Kakhramonov lands knees with his back against the wall, and Jones gives him a few back and stops a few trip attempts from succeeding. Jones keeps Kakhramonov against the cage wall until the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round begins with a few strikes at a distance, but Jones quickly closes in to get back in the clinch position where the two spent most of the last round. Jones lanes a knee to the sternum and he gets turned around, and the two separate with a few right hands from Kakhramonov. Jones shoots in for a single as the strikes might have rung his bell, and with a leg in the air, Kakhramonov works Jones with short right hands to the head and body. Kakhramonov gets his leg back to the ground and starts elbowing Jones in the side of the head, until Jones bails on a takedown try and decides to push his full weight on his opponent. Kakhramonov just misses with a head kick, and he swarms Jones with punches. Big punches hurt Jones badly, and he wobbles back into the fence, which might be keeping him on his feet. Jones backs away to gather his thoughts, and he whiffs on a wide left hand. Jones ducks face-first into a punch, but he ignores it to pursue a single. Kakhramonov elbows him over the top and stops the attempt, and he clubs Jones with a right hand. Kakhramonov wildly attacks with swarming punches, and he works Jones to the body after landing some head shots. Jones turns on the gas and starts firing back, ripping the body before going after a double. Jones hits the takedown and puts Kakhramonov flat on his back, and Kakhramonov looks upset for giving it up. Jones takes half guard, and he sits up to drop down a few right hands. Jones catches his breath before targeting the head and body with right hands, as precious seconds tick off the clock. The round could still be up for grabs, and Kakhramonov rolls to his knees and gives up his back. When Kakhramonov turns back over, Jones takes full mount and starts raining down punches. Jones slams his fists into Kakhramonov’s face until the horn blares, and Dean pulls him off.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The fighters meet in the center of the cage, and Kakhramonov puts his hands by his waist and taunts Jones. Kakhramonov pushes forward with punches, and his kicks to the body are the strikes the land as he attacks Jones. Jones absorbs another few body and leg kicks, and he reaches out with right hands to keep Kakhramonov away from him. Jones ducks a punch to pursue a takedown, and he hooks Kakhramonov’s legs but cannot trip him down. Jones tries one such toss, and he does not succeed but he manages to put Kakhramonov on the ground. “5 Star” goes after a double to keep Kakhramonov down, and Kakhramonov is able to work his way to his knees. Jones lands knees on the inside until Dean calls on the two men to work. Jones embraces the grind, holding tight with sporadic knees, and Kakhramonov is only able to punch his foe in the thigh. Jones drops down for a takedown try, and there is nothing there as he gets dragged back up, so he changes levels for a single. That too fails, and Dean implores them to work. Kakhramonov turns him around, and Jones checks Kakhramonov’s oil awkwardly. When they break apart, Kakhramonov swings for the fences. Jones dives down for a single, and he falls neck-first into a choke attempt. Kakhramonov snares a standing guillotine choke, and he crushes Jones into the fence with it. He wrenches with all his might until he is able to slide Jones down the cage wall. Jones’ arm falls to his side as his knees give out beneath him, and his light is switched off by the lethal choke that Kakhramonov set up. Realizing “5 Star” is in deep sleep, Dean jumps in to pull Kakhramonov off of him, and Jones’ body falls limp to the ground. Tonight has been quite a violent night.

The Official Result

Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones R3 4:39 via Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Parker Porter (262) vs. Chase Sherman (256)

Round 1

As is becoming customary, an unranked heavyweight slugfest is plopped down as the “featured fight of the night” higher on the main card than a possible title eliminator. In this big-man brawl, Porter (10-6, 1-1 UFC) and Sherman (15-7, 3-6 UFC) will throw down to determine who the best heavyweight is on this particular card. Referee Mark Smith cannot explain why this bout is featured so highly on the card other than for its violence potential, but the fighters pay the question no mind as they touch gloves before trying to take the other’s head off. Porter throws first with a high leg kick, and Sherman reaches out with a right hand and a leg kick in response. Sherman pops Porter coming in with a short right hand, and the two trade heavy shots. Porter thumps his own kick on Sherman’s leg, and Sherman has a calf kick checked. Both fighters do not appreciate the impact, and they throw hands at one another. Sherman looks to counter when Porter is throwing bombs, and Sherman catches him with a left hand to make Porter stagger back. Sherman goes back to a leg kick, and he watches Porter come at him and counters him while slipping out of the way. Sherman slips and moves to land several punches, and Porter crashes forward face-first absorbing the blows and relying on his chin. Sherman dodges and weaves as Porter lobs bombs, and he chips at Porter’s calf with another kick. One huge right hand from Porter connects flush, and Sherman has another leg kick checked to make him take a funny step. Sherman eats a right hand and gets a kick checked, and Sherman’s lead leg takes the brunt of the damage for his offense. Sherman’s kicks continually get checked, and the Connecticut resident pushes forward but eats a right hand like New England clam chowder. Porter uses his forward momentum to bowl Sherman over, and he puts Sherman on his back and jumps on top to half guard. Porter isolates Sherman’s left arm for a keylock, and he cannot muscle his way through to finish the sub. Instead, he is content to sit heavily in half guard pounding on “The Vanilla Gorilla.” Sherman tries to pull off the wall, but Porter is there pressing his forearm on Sherman’s chin and neck. Porter’s nose is busted up and he bleeds down on Sherman, but he is the one doing the damage from above as Sherman cannot get the 262-pound man off of him. Porter gets off a few more elbows until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Sherman’s corner spills liquid or water between rounds, forcing Smith to take a little extra time to clean the cage in a veteran move to get a little more time to recover. Sherman eats two punches immediately when the round begins, and his head movement is not nearly as helpful as Porter bears down on him this round. Porter wades forward with looping right hands, and Sherman greets him with counters but is not throwing as much as Porter. Porter clips Sherman with a right hand, walking through a leg kick, and Sherman’s steps get a little awkward as he tries to find his balance. Porter blasts his man with a right hand, and “The Vanilla Gorilla” takes it on the chin and shakes it off to counter with a left hand. Sherman goes to the body and ducks a huge right hand, and he hacks at Porter’s calf and is not checked this time. Instead, Porter looks to return the favor, and follow it with big windmilling punches. Sherman’s next leg kick goes get checked, although both legs are taking damage. Porter strides forward with punches that are losing some of their steam, but they are still connecting on the Mississippi native. Porter backs off to give Sherman a moment to recover, so Sherman thanks him with a punch barrage back at him. Porter lands, gets countered, and ducks down with a takedown try. Sherman stuffs this takedown, and he blasts Porter’s lead leg and nearly buckles it. Porter shoots in from afar for a single, and Sherman defends it but gets pushed against the fence. Sherman stops the other as Porter abandons it, and Porter elects to slug it out. Sherman takes everything on the chin and fires right back, kicking Porter in the chest. Porter has two punches connect cleanly, and Sherman darts out of the way. The two trade heavy leather, and Porter takes a huge left hand and stays on his feet. The two big men are throwing everything they have at one another, and Porter absorbs a leg kick that deadens his nerve for a moment. Porter taps at it again, and the two blast each other with ferocious shots. Sherman scores a calf kick and Porter grimaces, bites down on his gumshield and throws with bad intentions. The heavyweights swing for the fences until the bell breaks them up.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The gloves are touched to begin the final round, and some may be surprised this has gone 10 minutes so far given then ferocity and intensity of the battle thus far. Porter is the fresher man, landing punches in bunches as Sherman backs off and tries to sway and duck against the wall. Sherman gets away with a fence grab to break up a takedown, but Porter does not mind as he swings looping punches. Sherman lands a leg kick, walks away and takes several deep breaths. Porter touches him with punches, getting off strikes and moving out of the way as Sherman’s punches are practically coming at him in slow motion. Sherman takes several punches on the chin, and he kicks the body a few times, but Porter is right there to take it to him. When Sherman aims a calf kick, Porter closes the distance for a takedown, and there is nothing there. Sherman fades back with a right hand, and his underwater punches have practically no steam on them. Sherman lands a pair of punches that pick up speed a little, and Porter’s are far more effective and impactful. Sherman whiffs on a haymaker, and he gets stood up when throwing a front kick and getting countered over the top. A few more Sherman leg kicks interrupt barrages from Porter, who maintains a stiff upper lip while stringing punches together. Porter digs a left hand to the liver, and Sherman looks to the clock as that stung. Sherman backs away, and a front kick collides with his cup to give him a much-needed respite. “The Vanilla Gorilla” takes 80 seconds before being cleared to continue, and one minute remains for a final sprint of these two sluggers. Porter is the one throwing leg kicks to come out, and Sherman ducks a few punches to land short shorts in response. Sherman slips a punch to counter with a right hand, and Porter is flailing while Sherman’s leg kicks disrupt Porter. Porter fakes a shot before deciding to brawl, and there is an exhausted slugfest for the final seconds until the 15-minute mark elapses.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Clay Guida (155) vs. Mark O. Madsen (156)

Round 1

The year is 2021, and Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (36-20, 16-14 UFC) is serving in the co-main event of a UFC card and looking to put a win streak together. Against him will be unbeaten Danish Olympic silver medalist wrestler Madsen (10-0, 2-0 UFC), who will try to become one of a rare few to outwrestle the ebullient long-haired veteran. Referee Keith Peterson has tied his running shoes and is going to do his best to eliminate any nonsense from this lightweight battle, and there is no whiff of a glove touch to start off what could be a wild one. Guida kicks the calf several times on his way in, and Madsen is cautious to engage as Guida is all over the cage. Madsen stalks Guida down, trying to give chase, but Guida picks and pokes at him. Madsen jumps forward and gets a handful of Guida’s hair, but lets it go before anything happens. Madsen tries to latch on to Guida, and Guida lands punches, elbows and knees to break free. Madsen scores a few right hands on the inside, and a left hand finds the mark as well, but Guida is elusive and out of the way before they can lump up. Guida stings Madsen with a leg kick and a huge right hand, and suddenly the undefeated Olympian is on rubber legs. Madsen protects himself by clinching up, and he gathers himself well enough before letting go. Guida again rings his bell with a few punches, and this time Madsen wears them well and steps in with a knee up the middle. Madsen starts to load up on punches, and he bounces Guida’s head around, but Guida is not concerned and he fires right back. Guida hops out of the way from a big right hand, and Madsen bullies his way forward and the two may have clashed heads coming together. Madsen times another solid knee up the middle, and he scores a chopping leg kick on the knee. Guida wings a right hand from a distance, and the two back off to measure one another. Guida absorbs a leg kick and a front kick, while whiffing on an overhand right that is feet away from his intended target. Madsen comes towards him with looping right hands, and Guida ducks and moves and rolls with them to not take them flush. Guida chains leg kicks into a punch combination, and Madsen defends most of them and ties Guida up to knee him in the body. Guida scores a solid uppercut up the middle, and he bounds out of the way to find another angle. Guida attacks the lead leg, and he evades a leg kick before the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Guida throws hands to start off the second round, and Madsen stays composed and looks to counter the Wildman. Guida has his lead leg kicked hard, and he picks it up and stuffs a quick takedown. Guida lands several punches on the inside to make Madsen pay for the attempt, and Madsen starts to outstretch his jab. Guida kicks the leg a few times, and Madsen stumbles but gathers himself. Guida continues to target the same leg, and he winds up with a few punches that bounce off of Madsen’s head. Madsen flicks out a few jabs when Guida comes at him, and he tags Guida with a solid left hand. Guida chips away at the calf, and he rocks Madsen with an uppercut up the middle and a few follow-up punches. Both lightweights land low kicks, and Guida wings a looping punch and catches Madsen up close when Madsen closes in on him. Madsen clinches up and knees him a few times, but Guida is out of the way before long and ready to kick at the leg. Madsen switches stances after absorbing one such calf kick, and when he goes back to orthodox, Guida kicks the same spot and chains a few punches together. Madsen tries to give it back with a few punches, and Guida dances out of the way while feinting and faking. Madsen returns to his jab, and Guida comes over the top with a right hand. Guida lands two punches on the inside, and Madsen looks to stick and moves but walks into the punches. Guida slips as he evades a strike, and Madsen does not notice as he methodically works forward with a jab. Guida sits down on a right hand when Madsen goes for his own leg kick, and Madsen marches forward with jabs and long right hands. The Madsen jab has begun to mark Guida’s face up, with a trickle of blood coming out of the nose of “The Carpenter.” Guida digs deep with a leg kick, and he nails his opponent with a right hand. Guida stays elusive right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Guida comes out firing, sticking Madsen with punches and forcing Madsen to turn around. Guida continues to throw combinations, while Madsen is more interested in jabbing him. Guida’s movement is elusive and ever-active, and Madsen loads up on inaccurate strikes while Guida sways. Guida kicks at the leg and does not follow it up, seeing a counter is waiting for him. Both men trade single punches, and Guida keeps his pace of throwing three to Madsen’s one. Guida’s kick remains a tool as Madsen starts to find his range, with a few right hands connecting flush on the long-haired fighter. Guida catches him with an uppercut, marking Madsen’s nose up as well. Madsen sticks out a few jabs as Guida tries to advance, and Guida is there peppering him with leg kicks. Guida scores a right hand when Madsen bears down on him, and a few more leg kicks slam on the calf for good measure. Guida has a kick checked, and Madsen pushes him back with a front kick. Madsen jabs at him while his leg gets chopped down, and the work rate has slowed compared to the previous rounds. Madsen ignores leg kicks from Guida as “The Carpenter” hops to and fro, unable to cleanly land a big strike. Madsen just misses with a huge right hand, and Guida ducks it and fires right back, but that too is inaccurate. Madsen gets fired up at the 30-second mark, and he pushes Guida into the fence for a takedown try, but Guida blocks a knee and circles out. Madsen throws out several jabs until the round ends, and the scores could be all over the map here.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Mark O. Madsen def. Clay Guida via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Jared Cannonier (185) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (186)

Round 1

At long last, we have reached the main event, which comes in the form of a top-10 middleweight matchup pitting the destructive force of Cannonier (13-5, 6-5 UFC) against quick wrestle-boxer Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC; 11-7, 1 NC UFC). The lines have tightened in the days before the bout, although Cannonier still presents as a minor favorite. The final fight of the night will draw oversight from referee Herb Dean, and the respect is clear as the two 185ers touch gloves before going to battle. Gastelum rushes out to start off, and Cannonier is forced to get out of the way where he can angle a quick leg kick. Gastelum fires one back, and Cannonier is standing stall in front of him. Gastelum comes up short with a punch to the body, and a few punches and a body kick make Gastelum bounce off the cage wall. Cannonier connects with a heavy body kick, and Gastelum wants to pay him back any time a strike lands with punches. Cannonier catches Gastelum coming in with a short right hand, and Gastelum has to take a quick count of his teeth. Gastelum once more gets tagged on the way in, with Cannonier thrusting out quick, accurate punches that do some damage. Gastelum slings a solid leg kick that makes Cannonier pick his leg up for a moment, but he does not follow it up with anything. Both middleweights land with single strikes at the same time, and they repeat this. The leg kicks get traded, and Cannonier’s lands heavier as he chains it into a few punches. Cannonier sticks his man and moves out of the way of an oncoming counter, with “The Killa Gorilla” just avoiding a wide left hand. Cannonier connects with a thudding leg kick, and Gastelum puts one back on him and a few punches to boot. Cannonier cracks his foe with a left hand, and Gastelum seems surprised but is no worse for wear. Cannonier uses the shakeup to score a kick, and Gastelum’s leg is already marked up from the damaging strikes. The two come together in a clash, and Cannonier connects with a heavy right hand at the break. The leg kicks continue to mount for Cannonier, who uses solid footwork and head movement to avoid many of the counters. Cannonier has a front kick caught, and Gastelum looks to make him pay for it but he cannot land more than a right hand before Cannonier hops out of the way. Gastelum scores a snapping one-two, and a leg kick leads to a takedown attempt. Cannonier is able to stay on his feet right to the bell, and Gastelum drags one leg out after before Dean separates them.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The middleweights meet in the middle for Round 2, and Gastelum leads the dance with a few swarming punches that come up short. Cannonier has a one-two bounce off the guard, and he swipes with a right hand that collides with the side of Gastelum’s head. Gastelum rushes in with a takedown try, and Cannonier stuffs it and wings up with a right hand. Gastelum scampers out of the way without getting tagged, and he returns to the center of the cage to punch his foe in the body. Gastelum winds up on a leg kick, and Cannonier’s offense slows as he looks for a counter. Gastelum comes in and gets clipped with a left hand, triggering Gastelum to go on the attack as he pounds on the body of his adversary several times. Cannonier gets out of the way as Gastelum keeps swinging, and Gastelum chases him to the outer edge of the cage. The former TUF winner kicks the leg to great effect, leading to Cannonier winging a few power punches that do not find their home. Gastelum punches his way in to close range, and he nails Cannonier with a right hand and gets into close range. Another huge right hand from Gastelum rings Cannonier’s bell, and Cannonier smiles at him. Gastelum starts to feel himself, getting off a few heavy one-twos to make Cannonier’s expression change from a grin. Gastelum just barely dodges a high kick that was intended to separate his head from his shoulders, and he checks a leg kick that lands with a loud thump. Cannonier eats a body kick as tries to find his range again, and Gastelum is the one light on his feet bouncing around. Cannonier fires off a jumping switch kick that slaps Gastelum in the face, and Gastelum comes back at him with a right hand. Gastelum lands a couple more right hands as Cannonier’s movement and footwork is starting to slow. The round ends, and Cannonier sharply exhales.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Cannonier looks to calm himself between rounds, and when the third frame opens, Gastelum is ready to engage and put hands on him. The ex-TUF winner goes after him with a few punches, and Cannonier swats them away and fires back to land a few successful strikes. Cannonier goes up high with a kick, and it careens off the guard. Cannonier sits down on a huge right hand that sets Gastelum down, and Gastelum springs right back up to barely block a head kick. Gastelum is bouncing on his feet and does not appear to be rocked, and he charges straight into a takedown try. Cannonier hops his way to the fence, and he stays upright and knees Gastelum in the chest to get him off of him. Cannonier sticks out a heavy jab, and a left hand blows referee Dean’s hair back. Gastelum looks to implement his jab, reaching out with long right hands to stay away from Cannonier’s big power punches. Gastelum follows a jab with a right hand that hurts Cannonier, and Cannonier is able to gather his thoughts as he circles across the cage. A half-hearted spinning kick from Gastelum is met with a body kick from Cannonier, and Gastelum tries for a takedown but is shucked off with ease. The toes of Cannonier stab into Gastelum’s midsection, and Gastelum charges but gets clipped with a short right hand coming in. Gastelum tries to return fire, and he nearly falls off-balance throwing heavily. Both men land flush, and Cannonier gets the better of an exchange with a standing up-elbow that would make Tony Fryklund blush, but Gastelum eats it like a burrito. Gastelum in turn fakes for a takedown, but Cannonier practically ignores it as he sticks his left hand out to Gastelum’s disdain. Gastelum suddenly swings for the fences with huge haymakers, and Cannonier is able to get out of the way in time to throw a body kick. Gastelum nails Cannonier’s inside leg with a kick, and he lands a right hand shortly before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

Gastelum practically run out of his corner, and he high-fives his heavy-handed opponent. Cannonier responds with a body kick, and Gastelum does a pirouette when it lands to try to turn with it. Cannonier crowds him with several short punches as he runs in to attack, but Gastelum is able to absorb them all cleanly and turn his foe into the fencing. Cannonier tries to muscle his way out, and he manages to push Gastelum’s head down to get some space. Gastelum paws out with a left hand, and Cannonier is there to reintroduce himself with a heavy right hand. The chin of Gastelum cannot be questioned as he walks through everything Cannonier throws at him and hacks at his lead leg. Gastelum just misses with a left hand that would knock down a building, and Cannonier scoots out of the way before Gastelum can put any leg kicks on him. “The Killa Gorilla” nails Gastelum with a head kick, and even though it is partially blocked, it still pounds into the TUF winner’s head. Gastelum does not even budge, instead countering with a left hand and a kick to the inside of Cannonier’s knee. Cannonier takes a solid right hand and returns fire with one of his own, and the two are trading single strikes until Cannonier practically lifts Gastelum off the ground with an uppercut. Gastelum, tumbling to the ground, somehow pursues a leg for a possible takedown, only for Cannonier to toss him away. Gastelum starts to reach out with several right hands to the face and body, and Gastelum loops a winging left hand that Cannonier absorbs flush. Cannonier again connects with an uppercut, and a head kick gets blocked. One final strike in the form of a leg kick comes from Gastelum, and Cannonier takes it flush.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 5

The middleweights swat out a glove touch, but waste no time as they want to get after it. Cannonier times a counter uppercut when Gastelum targets the body, and Gastelum is still fresh and bouncing around as he pierces the body with punches. Cannonier lands a few light leg kicks, and the former title challenger turns up the gas and runs forward with a quartet of punches. Cannonier puts two punches together, and an elbow smashes straight into Gastelum’s head, but incredibly, Gastelum is completely fine as he nods in appreciation for the blow. Gastelum gathers his thoughts, scores a big left hand, and chains it into a takedown attempt. Lifting Cannonier in the air, Gastelum nearly gets his man down finally, but Cannonier is able to keep his balance. A subsequent attempt leads to a mat return, and Cannonier is able to walk his way back up the fence after a few seconds. When Cannonier tries to escape, Gastelum ducks under and around to take his back standing up. He cannot do anything with it, and Cannonier explodes with a right hand but simply provides some air cooling for the audience in the first row. Gastelum gets off a one-two that shakes up Cannonier, but Cannonier steels himself and punches his foe square on the nose. Gastelum throws inaccurate punches, and the leg kick that follows gets checked. Cannonier lets loose a right hand, and Gastelum barrels down on him with shots to the body and a right hand to the head. Cannonier backs off and falls straight into a takedown try, but Cannonier stops it and elbows Gastelum in the side of the head. As they scramble, a finger may have jabbed into Cannonier’s eye, and he protests but there is no stoppage. Cannonier holds his eye briefly, and Gastelum does not hunt him down during the moment of weakness. Gastelum slowly works his way forward, and he lands a few punches but gets countered with a knee up the middle right before the final bell. This middleweight battle turned out to be a fun battle, and much closer than some had prognosticated. Cannonier celebrates the hard-fought encounter, and appreciates Gastelum for taking everything he could dish out and making it a fun fight. Next week, once more the UFC will take to ESPN airwaves, and it will come with a pair of TUF finals. We will be there for it, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (48-47 Cannonier)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (48-47 Cannonier)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gastelum (48-47 Cannonier)

The Official Result

Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
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