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UFC on ESPN 42 ‘Thompson vs. Holland’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live UFC on ESPN 42 “Thompson vs. Holland” coverage will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

Yazmin Jauregui (115.5) vs. Istela Nunes (114.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Jauregui (-305), Nunes (+255)

Round 1

No longer tying a UFC record due to a weigh-in day fight scrap, the UFC jams a whopping 14 matches into a roughly six-hour offering on ESPN from start to finish. The pace is sure to be fast and furious, at least on the prelims, so it’s time to get things started. The lightest weight class in the promotion opens the fight card, where undefeated Jauregui (9-0, 1-0 UFC) takes on the struggling Nunes (6-3, 1 NC; 0-2 UFC). The cage doors close and referee Keith Peterson draws the charge for this nonsense-free strawweight affair, and with a touch of gloves from the ladies, it’s on with the show. Nunes immediately moves to the center of the cage, and gets pushed back with an overhand right that zips right at her mug. Nunes replies with a few jittery body kicks, but none find their target as Jauregui bullies her back with swatting right hands. Less than 40 seconds into the fight, the Florida crows had already unleashed the “woo birds,” and this spurs them into action. Nunes sits down on a right hand, and the undefeated Jauregui falls to the mat, her nose bloodied. She gets her wits about her and jumps back up, and she clinches up and pursues a takedown. Nunes shucks her off and backs off to get some distance, and a kick from her makes her topple to the ground. While Jauregui races at her, Nunes springs back up, and the two continue to engage in a fast-paced striking affair where they chase one another with reaching strikes. Jauregui catches her foe on the inside with a left hand to counter, and Nunes blinks it out and circles on the outside. Nunes gets in a knee while Jauregui bears down on her, and she clubs the Mexican fighter with a left hand on the break. Jauregui crashes the pocket to strike her way into a takedown, and a single-leg entry puts Nunes on her seat for a second. Nunes leaps back up and swings her left leg up, and it bops Jauregui upside the head. Jauregui shakes her head and backs away to take a moment to recover, and her approach changes significantly to darting single jabs. Nunes attempts to reply with a left hook over the top, but Jauregui skips forward and out of range before Nunes can reach her. The Brazilian sits down on a heavy leg kick that nearly buckles the knee, and she aims one on the inside of Jauregui’s lead leg when Jauregui resets with a kick. Jauregui runs forward to attack, throwing a line of punches, and Nunes slides out of the way and pops her in the chops with a left hand. Jauregui gets her foe’s attention with a short combination, and Nunes backs off and looks for a knee up the middle. Jauregui chases her around the cage with strikes until the horn sounds.

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Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The hands are clapped to begin, and Nunes steps back to swipe out with a left hand. Jauregui backs off and jumps in with a pair of punches, and she finishes the combination with a kick on the outside of her opponent’s knee. Nunes intercepts Jauregui with a right hand coming in, but Jauregui is not slowing down, as she blitzes with a long chain of punches that stagger Nunes. A quick right hand from Jauregui buckles Nunes’ knees, and Jauregui tries to hammer the nail while she has Nunes stunned. Nunes pushes off and stands up, looking to escape, but Jauregui is right there on her and ties her up. On the break, Jauregui connects with a knee and a few punches, and Nunes does not have her legs beneath her still. Jauregui surges ahead to clock Nunes with a clean right hand, and Nunes hits the ground once more. Jauregui begins to pound on her downed opponent, ripping into her face with elbows, and she is cognizant of a potential armbar setup from Nunes in defense. Jauregui postures up to hammer Nunes with long punches, and she stands up to pass the guard and steps to the side to slam down hammerfists. Jauregui continues battering the Brazilian with heavy punches, and Nunes searches for another armbar only to get it broken up by the hellacious pounding from the unbeaten Jauregui. Peterson takes a close look on the action, and the damage from Jauregui has busted up Nunes’ left eye. Jauregui stacks her doomed opponent up and rails down with straight punches, and Nunes is not blocking them and just taking them one after the other as her face swells up significantly. Seeing that Nunes is no longer intelligently defending herself, Peterson calls a halt to the fight, and Jauregui is now a perfect 10-0 as a professional. Nunes briefly signals to Peterson to protest the loss, and when she sits up, her eyebrows swell up like hairy balloons. Once Nunes gathers her thoughts and starts to feel the oncoming pain after the adrenaline subsides, she is no longer as upset about the stoppage. If this is a sign of what the rest of the card will be like, Orlando-based fans will have quite a treat tonight.

The Official Result

Yazmin Jauregui def. Istela Nunes R2 4:06 via TKO (Punches)

Francis Marshall (145) vs. Marcelo Rojo (145)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Marshall (-155), Rojo (+135)

Round 1

Wasting no time, the UFC is on with the next in the form of a featherweight pairing of Rojo (16-8, 0-2 UFC) vs. Marshall (6-0, 0-0 UFC), and one man will earn their first win inside the Octagon when the dust settles. Whether that is the recent Glory MMA trainee or “Fire” Marshall, referee Larry Folsom will be the first to know. The fighters bump fists, and Marshall sternly moves to the center of the cage and swats out with left hands. Marshall kicks low to trip up his opponent, and as he rushes forward to strike, Rojo replies with outstretched fingers pointing his direction. This draws a warning from Folsom, and Rojo does not close his fists until he belts Marshall upside the head with a right hand. Marshall does not flinch and paws out with a left hand, and as he does, Rojo responds with a heavy outside leg kick. Marshall reaches him with an overhand right, and he pierces out a few jabs. Marshall scores a few more punches, and swelling develops around the Argentinian’s left eye. Marshall runs forward to engage, and he gets caught with a clean elbow but returns fire with a couple heavy punches. “Fire” Marshall burns his opponent with a fiery right hand, and Rojo cools himself and climbs back up. Cold water is doused on the match as they clinch, and Rojo grabs the fence repeatedly to stop takedowns. Folsom slaps Rojo’s hand away, and Marshall manages to drag Rojo to the ground when Rojo finally releases the cage. Rojo uses a rubber guard to wrap his right leg around the back of his foe's neck, only to let it go when there is no omoplata shoulder lock to be found. Marshall exudes heavy shoulder pressure and considers a half-guard arm-triangle choke before slicing over to the side. Marshall stays tightly pressed and forces Rojo to stay on the mat while Rojo scrambles, but Rojo does manage to turn about to his knees. Rojo connects with a no-look elbow on the side of the head, and he cracks Marshall with several more emphatic short elbows until the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Gloves are touched, and Marshall once more is in the middle of the cage ready to engage. Marshall lets his hands go, and he catches Rojo a few times only to get drilled with a heavy looping counter. Marshall walks through them and starts to flash out a jab, and Rojo replies with an inside low kick that clatters off the cup. Folsom identifies it and calls a pause, and 30 seconds later, they are back to fighting. Marshall starts off the new exchange with a right hand, and Rojo responds with a side kick and a pair of punches that get Marshall’s attention. Marshall jabs his way in, following them with powerful blows, and Rojo is shocked but still alert enough to fire back. A short right hook from “Fire” Marshall knocks Rojo clean off his feet, and the back of the Argentinian’s head bounces off the mat as he is in a bad, bad way. Marshall pounces, knowing his first UFC win is right around the corner, and he smashes Rojo in the face with a few punches until Rojo is out and Folsom has seen more than enough. There are UFC debuts and UFC debuts, and this is the latter. The still-undefeated Marshall has just registered his first career knockout against a 24-fight veteran that had only once been stopped with strikes before, all in front of a packed house in Orlando.

The Official Result

Francis Marshall def. Marcelo Rojo R2 1:14 via KO (Punches)

Natan Levy (156) vs. Genaro Valdez (156)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Levy (-190), Valdez (+160)

Round 1

Lightweights take center stage, and for the third time in three fights, an Entram Gym representative competes. Valdez (10-1, 0-1 UFC) represents the popular team out of Tijuana, Mexico. He faces Levy (7-1, 1-1 UFC) in a classic Mexico vs. Israel matchup. The two once-beaten competitors toe the line with drastically different styles, and referee Andrew Glenn will be there no matter where the bout ends up. Gloves are touched, and they are tentative to engage early on. Levy suddenly explodes with a spinning wheel kick, and Valdez ducks out of the way in time. Valdez settles and lets go with a number of low kicks, and he sits down on a right hand that glances off the chin. The two fighters trade kicks one after the other, and they walk into punching range and swing for the fences. The haymakers miss from both fighters, and Valdez calms himself down and settles with a kick to the side. Levy responds in kind, and then chips away at the lead leg, while Valdez maintains a wide stance with his front leg forward. “Rayadito” surges into action with a few punches that snap the mohawked head back, but Levy steels himself and rolls with the remainder of the blows. Levy meet his man in the center of the cage to throw hands, and Valdez retreats and measures himself instead of falling into a brawl. They go tit-for-tat at range, and Levy stuns his man with a right hand over the top. Valdez gets back up, and he walks right into a spinning hook kick, and he is hurt and in the danger zone. Levy mixes things up with a spinning back kick to the body, and he boots the liver with a kick to force Valdez to bend over. Valdez is hurt and wearing it, with a mouse developing on the side of his right eye, but he is still in the fight. Levy fires off a body kick that strikes the top of the cup, and they pause for a few seconds before resuming. Levy kicks a little lazily, and Valdez swarms him with punches until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round begins as Valdez is battered and bruised already, with his calf chewed up, his body red and his face swelling, but he still starts off firing. Levy mixes things up to all targets, and Valdez breaks up a kicking salvo with a darting combination. Levy circles away and gets up a high kick, but Valdez completely ignores it so he can slug Levy in the chops with a right hand. Levy spins with a kick, and Valdez blocks it and sprints forward to drill Levy in the face with a right hand. Levy’s legs are slightly wobbled from the blow, and he retreats when Valdez gives chase. Levy cracks his man with a left hand, but this only angers “Rayadito,” who attacks with all his might in a lengthy combination that largely bounces off the guard. Levy gathers his thoughts and escapes, where he gets into kickboxing range and slides his shin off the top of Valdez’ head. Valdez somehow absorbs it and immediately has to fight off a takedown effort, and Levy takes his back standing and looks to drag Valdez down. Valdez is warned for grabbing the fence, and with what appears to be sheer muscle and a little skill from the trip, Levy sets him down. Valdez scrambles when put on his back, but Levy isolates his leg and looks to scoop his foe’s legs between his own. Valdez is warned for elbows to the spine while he defends himself leaned up against the fence, and he arcs one to the side of the head as Levy grinds him. The crowd showers the fighters with boos as 30 seconds remain in the match, and Levy does not hear them as he continues to stay heavily pressed on his opponent. Valdez springs to his feet right as the bell rings.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Between rounds, Glenn calls in the doctor to check on the busted foot of Valdez. He is in pain and cannot keep a poker face, but he is nonetheless cleared to compete. Valdez starts talking to Levy to fire him up for the final round, and he begins the round energetic and comes out swinging. Levy stays on his bike, scoring low kicks and staying light on his feet to not absorb a lunging counter that soars at him. Valdez gives chase, swinging his fists recklessly, and Levy hops away and kicks Valdez square in the groin. Valdez falls to the ground in pain, and Glenn recognizes this and pauses the action. After a minute off, Valdez says he is ready to go, and Glenn asks him if he is sure but starts them when confirmed. Levy apologizes with a bow, and when they resume, he scores a slapping body kick that does not touch the cup. Valdez has his foot on the gas, even as Levy kicks him in the face with the ball of his foot, and this pressure leads them into a clinch. Levy gets off a short combination and drops down for a single, and Valdez hops away and absorbs a body kick on the way out. Levy catches his man coming towards him, with Valdez walking straight at him throwing hands. Levy takes a deep breath and powers forward to pursue a double-leg takedown, which successfully dumps the Mexican fighter to the mat. As Glenn is about to separate them, Levy kicks the leg out and puts Valdez back down before Valdez can climb up. Valdez works his way to his knee, and Levy stomps on his busted foot once. Valdez hooks his fingers in the fence to stop a takedown, and when Glenn admonishes him about this, Levy secures the takedown. Valdez works his way to his feet, and he grabs the fence while Levy is cranking on him. As “Rayadito” releases his iron, illegal grip on the cage, Levy performs a suplex that would work against him had there been more time left on the clock, but it instead looks somewhat impressive where he ends the fight in style.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Natan Levy def. Genaro Valdez via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Darren Elkins (145) vs. Jonathan Pearce (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Pearce (-450), Elkins (+360)

Round 1

The clock is loudly ticking on the storied career of Elkins (27-10, 17-9 UFC), who faces a man many years his junior in Pearce (13-4, 4-1 UFC) at featherweight. Whether “The Damage” pulls off another upset, or “JSP” moves his win streak to five, the two have 15 minutes to do so under the auspices of referee Dan Miragliotta. There is ample respect as they touch ‘em up before handling their business, and “JSP” begins with a front kick that punts Elkins in the face. Elkins eats it like a sandwich and walks straight into a second one, and he quickly changes his expression and ducks down for a single-leg takedown. The veteran successfully puts his foe on the mat, and Pearce fights his way up and threatens with a standing guillotine choke. Elkins fights out of it and throws an uppercut, so Pearce backs off and plants another front kick on the already bloodied and damaged face of “The Damage.” Pearce continues to work the front kick to great effect, and he mixes up a head kick in hopes of wrapping it around the guard. Elkins swings back with his fists, but Pearce is out of the way in time. Pearce tees off on the longtime vet, and Elkins crashes forward and may have bumped the top of his head into Pearce’s chin as he comes in. Pearce snaps the head back with an uppercut and gets some space, and he returns to his safe front kick range. The strikes from Pearce all have an appreciable effect on Elkins, whose defense is sorely lacking, and he hurts “The Damage” with a right hand. Elkins recovers, backs off when a flying knee whizzes past him, and jumps at Pearce in hopes of taking him down. Pearce backs away and stuffs a subsequent takedown try so that he can crack Elkins in the face, and Elkins swings hard but is whiffing on most of his blows while his nose leaks crimson. Elkins lunges forward with an overhand right that slaps off the shoulder, and Pearce is far more accurate and snipes his foe again and again. Elkins’ toughness is fully on display just four minutes into the contest, and he gets shoved to the wall when winging his fists. Pearce turns the tables by stripping Elkins’ leg out with a single, and he puts the grinder on his back. “JSP” postures up to smash Elkins in the face with ground-and-pound, and Elkins throws his legs up for some possible submission catch. There is nothing to be had from Elkins’ legs, and Pearce continues to batter his man until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round begins with a front kick from “JSP,” who splits the guard but cannot quite escape before Elkins reaches him with an overhand right. Elkins pursues a takedown, and Pearce turns him around and knees him in the head, splitting open his forehead. Elkins wipes it away and takes a kick to the body, and he pushes out windmilling overhand rights that miss one after the other. Pearce is a little too far away from one front kick, but the second finds its home. Elkins clips Pearce with a right hand over the top, and a follow-up left blows up Pearce’s ear and makes the cauliflower slightly detach and start to bleed. The two trade leather, and Elkins wipes more blood out of his eye before stuffing a takedown effort. Elkins gets off a pair of punches, and Pearce sets down on a jab in response before charging for a takedown. When the takedown fails, Pearce ties him up and connects with a long stream of uppercuts. Pearce backs off and kicks low, and the calf kick draws a limp out of the hardy veteran. “JSP” kicks and falls over, and Elkins chases after him and takes him down. In an awkward scramble, Pearce drives down several elbows that look to be 12-6, and he hurts Elkins enough to turn around and sit in his guard to clobber Elkins with vicious ground-and-pound. Elkins bucks and kicks, and he stops the onslaught briefly when hooking his leg between Pearce’s. The younger fighter turns all the way through it and beats down on Elkins with his fists, following “The Damage” while Elkins rolls to try to escape. Elkins puts his legs up high for a potential triangle choke, but there is nothing to be had as Pearce slashes down with an elbow. Pearce steps around the guard and blasts Elkins in the face with a ruthless standing-to-ground punch, and he makes Elkins bleed more with a bombardment of unblocked fists. Elkins continues to move, even as he gets bludgeoned from his youthful foe, and he survives to the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

“The Damage” is damaged, but this is nothing new for him, and he is good to go and ready for the final round. Elkins presses forward, walking through a calf kick, and lumbering in to wing a right hand over the top. Pearce smacks him in the face with a front kick, and Elkins plods in to throw an overhand that thuds into Pearce’s dome. Pearce answers him back with a few punches, and he catches an aggressive Elkins with jabs and follow-up blows. “The Damage” clubs Pearce in the face, but Pearce does not flinch, and instead turns a takedown effort from Elkins into one for him. When they land, Pearce smashes him with an elbow that rips open a cut. Miragliotta calls in the doctor, and Elkins is pouring blood but still cleared to continue. The mouthpiece, however, is not replaced, and Elkins is ready to keep going with apparently no gumshield. Additionally, Miragliotta stands them up instead of restarting them on the ground, unintentionally giving Elkins an advantage. Elkins gets his mouthpiece back somehow, and they are swinging for the bleachers after the restart. Pearce keeps his front kick busy, and he leaps at his incredibly damaged opponent with a knee. Punches, knees, elbows and a steel chair from under the cage are not enough to put Elkins down, who marches forward throwing haymakers while Pearce is fresh and elusive. Elkins keeps right on chasing Pearce, who tags him and marks him up with no fear in the world. Elkins pushes ahead to strike, and he gets tossed to the mat with seconds to spare. Pearce jumps on down on top and lays one final beating on Elkins, who has more blood on his face than exposed skin. The horror movie that is this 15-minute affair comes to a merciful end, and vampires have already favorited this matchup on their UFC Fight Pass accounts to watch again soon. Elkins has survived to the end, but little else can be said about his performance, while Pearce appears to have graduated to the next level.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Jonathan Pearce def. Darren Elkins via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Marc Diakiese (155.5) vs. Michael Johnson (156)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Diakiese (-315), Johnson (+260)

Round 1

Johnson (20-18, 12-14 UFC) well and truly has his back against the wall in this lightweight affair, having lost five of his last six, and he meets striker-turned-wrestler Diakiese (16-5, 7-5 UFC) in hopes of turning things around slightly. This important crossroads fight between a longtime UFC vet – Johnson came in as the unsuccessful finalist of TUF Season 12 in 2010 – and another experienced but far younger fighter will be covered in the cage by referee Keith Peterson, who has to separate them and stop any nonsense before the fight. Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room. The UFC regulars with over 10 Octagon appearances apiece do not clap hands to get things started, and instead Diakiese attacks immediately with a flying kick. Johnson backs off and measures his man, and Diakiese shoots in for a takedown only to get sprawled by the TUF veteran. Johnson absorbs a knee and gets pushed away, and Diakiese leaps at him with a single punch before darting back. Diakiese fakes a level change and gets popped with a left hand, and Johnson strides forward and smacks him with another left over the top. Diakiese throws a body kick and just avoids a right hand that soars at his chin, and a head kick gets caught as he tumbles to the mat. Johnson lets him back up and throws a hammer, and Diakiese dodges and grins at him. Johnson keeps his foot on the gas, pressuring forward, and he absorbs a powerful front kick to the torso. Diakiese smiles and celebrates his work, and he kicks the calf on the slowly advancing Johnson. The American blocks a high kick and cannot evade a spinning kick that pushes him back on the upper pectoral, but they do not slow him for long from walking Diakiese down. Johnson checks a calf kick, and he surges forward with two punches that get Diakiese’s attention. The Brit backs away and prepares to initiate a brief brawl, and he starts to push the pace when he gets Johnson’s respect with an uppercut. Johnson comes out firing, and he misses by a matter of whiskers. Diakiese jumps at him with a front kick, and he shoots low for a double that is easily blocked. Johnson coils his left hand and absorbs a few jabs across the forward bow, but he does not throw it while Diakiese circles around. Diakiese fires off a calf kick and falls to his back on the check, and as soon as Johnson leaps on top, Diakiese throws his legs up for a triangle choke setup. Johnson breaks it off, Diakiese scrambles, and the lightweights get back to their feet. Diakiese gets off a front kick, the two clash chests together, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The fighters fire the crowd up to begin the round, and they come out to strike. Diakiese spins with a back kick that pounds into the liver, and Johnson bites down on his gumshield and slings several punches. Diakiese scoots away, and Johnson misses with a few blows, prompting Diakiese to say “nah” at him. Diakiese just misses with a flying knee, and Johnson stands right in front of him but is not committing to many strikes. The low output is working against Johnson, and when he throws, Diakiese discourages him by laughing at him. Outstretched fingers from the Brit jam into Johnson’s eye, and Diakiese cries foul that he did not do it, but this only makes Peterson yell at him to stop pointing out his fingers. Johnson rips the body with a left hand, and Diakiese strings together a few punches on the way out. Another body shot from “The Menace” gets off, and he hops away right when Diakiese spins at him with a wheel kick. A collision leads to a possible takedown attempt from both fighters, but neither man gets the advantage, so they let it go. Johnson walks Diakiese down, and he kicks the calf once and punches the body a few times. Diakiese fakes with a level change, and he hops away while Johnson bears down on him. A left hand from Johnson makes the grin from Diakiese disappear, and the Brit throws a kick and absorbs a right hand while looking for a counter. Johnson continues to work the body and calf, and Diakiese scoffs at him while he slips a strike. The punches to the body keep finding their mark for Johnson, and he aggressively pursues “The Bonecrusher” around the cage and snaps his head back with a right hand. Diakiese shakes his head as Johnson gives chase, and a four-punch combo from Johnson rocks Diakiese. They trade body strikes, and Diakiese kicks off the cage wall but misses with his punch. A takedown try from Diakiese falls short, and he settles for a few jabs and shells up as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The lightweights meet right in the center of the cage, and they pull back before throwing leather. Diakiese gets off a pair of push kicks to the sternum, and Johnson sits down on two punches when Diakiese ducks. Johnson looks to catch a body kick and throws a punch, and when Diakiese ties him up, Johnson spams body shots. They trade stern knees to the midsection before splitting, and they subsequently trade fists one after the other. Johnson scores a low kick and hops back, but Diakiese grabs hold of him and knees him in the upper chest. Johnson pushes off and whips a calf kick low, and Diakiese responds in kind. Johnson plants a right hand on the chin and misses with a left, and he strings a few punches together to keep Diakiese honest. Diakiese fires back, and he shakes his head as they continue connecting. Johnson alternates with body shots, and he slips back when Diakiese kicks the body. Johnson clips him with a right hand, and Diakiese nods at him and throws back with bad intentions. Johnson comes out swinging, stuffing a takedown and taking a jab on the chin, but he nonetheless marches forward. Johnson times a dipping Diakiese with a left hand, and Diakiese responds with jab after jab. While “The Menace” had issues with early output, Diakiese is the one waning in later rounds. Johnson gets off a right hand, absorbs a jump knee to the body and nails the Brit with a few punches that wobble him. Diakiese gets his bearings and stands upright, and he jabs and fakes for a level change that nearly forces Johnson to sprawl. Johnson fakes one as well, and he snaps out a jab that makes Diakiese blink it out several times. Diakiese kicks high, and to show off, jumps forward with a rolling thunder kick. Diakiese gets back up, and Johnson pushes through a cartwheel kick to grab hold of the Brit, lift him in the air and throw him down to the floor as time expires.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Michael Johnson def. Marc Diakiese via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Clay Guida (154.5) vs. Scott Holtzman (155.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Holtzman (-150), Guida (+130)

Round 1

Unlike the last two bouts, this old vet in Guida (37-22, 17-16 UFC) gets a foe that is of similar age. Rather than someone a decade younger or so, Guida, who turns 41 in a week, draws the 39-years-young Holtzman (14-5, 7-5 UFC) in what might be a must-win for both lightweights. Only one will prevail, barring something unusual, and referee Larry Folsom is here for it. All ready for action, the shockingly relatively short-haired Guida does not offer an outstretched glove as chants rain down calling his name, and they are amped up and intense. The first strike comes from “Hot Sauce,” who slams his shin into the lead calf of Guida. Holtzman throws a front kick, and Guida swipes at him with two punches in response. The crowd belts out “Let’s go, Guida,” to drown out most of the rest of the noise in the building, and he scores a few punches to redden the nose of Holtzman. “Hot Sauce” advances, pushing out kicks and mixing up his fists in odd combinations, and he scores a low kick. Guida returns fire immediately, and he punches and kicks his way in. A high kick from “The Carpenter” is slapped away, and Guida ducks down to loop a left hand that bounces off the chest. Guida slips and throws a calf kick, and he dips away from a left hand and gets backed away to a corner. Holtzman just whiffs on a huge right hand, and he steps in with a right hand and gets clipped with two lefts on the way out. Guida ducks a punch to change levels, and Holtzman sees it coming and stops it before it can develop. Guida turns his hips into a hard low kick, and he hops away when a head kick zooms at him. Holtzman doubles up on kicks that are blocked, and Guida resets and is chased back. Holtzman sits down on an uppercut and drills Guida with a head kick, and Guida shrugs his shoulders at him and laughs. Holtzman does not capitalize on the showmanship, instead waiting for Guida to raise his guard before launching a body kick. Guida strings a few punches together on the inside, gets popped with an overhand right, and chains a few more together wit ha low kick to punctuate. They throw hook at the same time, and Guida lands faster and pushes forward for a takedown. Holtzman zips a head kick that brushes past his foe, and he leaps forward with his hands down and into a Guida fist. Guida, backed up against the wall, cracks Holtzman with a left hand, and the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round commences with a head kick attempt from Holtzman, and Guida charges through it, scores a left hand and tackles Holtzman to the mat. Holtzman climbs to his feet with the wall at his back, and he ignores an elbow and pushes off to get a break. They start trading power shots, and defense is a low priority. Guida gets caught with a knee, scores a left hand while they wing punches, and he goes down low for a single. Holtzman defends with elbows to the side of the head, and Guida elects to scoop his man off the ground and slam him to the floor with a bang. Holtzman grunts when hitting his back, and Guida settles in the guard and starts to unload with short ground strikes. Holtzman turns to his side and powers his way to his feet, and Guida gives chase and ducks down for a low single. Holtzman hops away, getting in an elbow that cuts Guida on the top of the eye, and resets. Guida takes one on the chin and throws back with a flurry, and he concludes his combo with a low kick. A jumping knee that is unsuccessful from Holtzman prompts Guida into a takedown effort, and the sprawl from Holtzman is successful. “Hot Sauce” sneaks in several spicy jabs as Guida loads up on power punches, and a calf kick from Guida forces Holtzman to spin around. Holtzman connects with a heavy right hand, and Guida takes it flush and throws back with greater volume. A right from Holtzman leads to a takedown try from “The Carpenter,” and Holtzman grabs the fence and is slapped for it from Folsom. Guida changes the single to a body lock, and he ducks down to clasp his hands for a double while Holtzman continues to defend them. Holtzman gets his fingers in the cage again to stop the takedowns, and Guida lifts him up and drops Holtzman to his knees. The round ends, and Guida holds up two fingers.

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 loudly burps between rounds, and the commentary booth is largely disgusted by it. The final frame kicks off with a brawl, and both fighters score and take some punches as they battle it out. Holtzman closes in and ties him up, which allows Guida to knee him and push off. Guida swarms his retreating man, landing a punch and a knee up the middle while he gives chase. “Hot Sauce” puts three right hands on the chin, and Guida wobbles but throws back recklessly and tags his opponent. Holtzman scores, Guida replies, and the accuracy numbers might be quite high. Holtzman cracks Guida with a combination, and Guida shakes his head and throws a kick to the body. Holtzman surges forward, swinging for the fences, and Guida grabs him and looks for a double. A Holtzman fence grab allows him to remain upright, and Guida swirls around to take Holtzman from behind and try to kick his legs out. Holtzman complains of glove grabs, and Guida ducks down for a single as Holtzman latches on to a guillotine choke. Guida lifts his man clean off the ground to channel his inner Matt Hughes, and after a hearty Country Breakfast, Guida slams him down to make a statement. Guida lands and works his way quickly to side control, but Holtzman explodes to the side and works his way to his feet. They remain in the clinch, and Guida sells out for a low takedown and manages to scoop Holtzman’s ankles out on a second attempt. Guida pins Holtzman with his back to wall and seat on the floor, and Holtzman blatantly grabs the fence and is loudly warned for it but is not penalized. Guida still manages to drag Holtzman down, and Holtzman keeps his balance as Guida picks him up once more to slam him around. The horn sounds, and Guida raises his retiring opponent’s arm in the air after 15 minutes of combat. As soon as the decision is read, Holtzman removes his gloves and leaves them in the center of the cage to indeed call it a career.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Clay Guida def. Scott Holtzman via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Emily Ducote (115.5) vs. Angela Hill (115.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Ducote (-120), Hill (+100)

Round 1

In what has become a theme of sorts, a well-experienced competitor will once again take on someone far younger, far less-traveled, or both. This comes in the form of Hill (14-12, 9-12 UFC), who has faced a who’s who in the division, against Ducote (12-6, 1-0 UFC), who has found new life at 115 pounds. The strawweights meet in the middle without touching gloves while referee Andrew Glenn sits back, and Hill initiates the offense with several jabs that all miss the mark. Ducote reaches her with a single jab, and she scores a right hand over the top when Hill tries to score on her. Hill switches stances as the woo birds cry out in the cage when the strawweights are inactive. Ducote stays composed and lines up a few punches down the middle, intercepting Hill coming towards her. Hill whips a high kick up that glances off the shoulder guard, and she sneaks a right hand around the guard. Hill kicks low, and Ducote punches high. Hill manages to split the guard with a jab, and Ducote pays her back with a clean right hand. Ducote aims another right hand down the pipe, and Hill keeps busy with punches and low kicks. Hill marks up her foe’s nose with jabs, and she crowds “Gordinha” and tags her with a few short punches. Hill swings a right to the body, and a left to the head, and only the former lands. Hill connects with a solid combination to knock Ducote back, and her punches are finding their home while Ducote is struggling to reach the target. “Overkill” crowds her foe with a few sharp blows, and Ducote reels and backs off. The mixing of offense high and low keeps Ducote guessing and looking for options, and Ducote largely answers with single strikes. Hill darts forward with a jab, and a head kick that follows slaps into the guard. A quick superwoman punch from Hill gets through, and she gets off a jab and several chasing punches until the bell rings, and blood trickles down the mouth of Ducote.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The ladies engage to start off the second round, and Ducote trades punches instead of allowing Hill to tag her. Hill catches her with a left hand, but not before Ducote gets off a clean body shot. Hill steps forward, clinches up, knees the body, and splits before her foe can response. Hill walks through a right hand and scores few, and she goes low with a pair of calf kicks. Ducote sits down on three punches that whiz past the face of “Overkill,” who darts in and out to land flush. A left hand from Hill pounds into the cheek, and she ducks down for one to the body while Ducote thinks it is coming up high and keeps her guard up there. Hill kicks the body, punches the head, rips the body and kicks low in rapid succession. When they tie up again, Hill lays into her with several knees and an elbow, and Ducote can do little in response but push off. Hill jumps forward with a head kick, and Ducote gets her guard up in time but cannot block the subsequent punches aimed at her chin. Ducote connects with one right hand, and Hill pushes through it to get off four in response. This same situation happens again, so Hill answers with a standing tomahawk elbow. Ducote shoots for a takedown, and Hill stops this in her tracks and knees Ducote in the breadbasket several times before the separation. The two score left hooks at the same time, and they both exchange high kicks. Hill splits the guard with a one-two, and Ducote gets her respect for a moment with a right hand. As Ducote ties her up again, Hill replies with multiple knees up the middle. Hill strings together punches to the head and body, and Hill leaps forward to knee three times and slash an elbow up high. Hill slips a punch to land one, and she kicks the body twice before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

When they meet in the middle to open up the last round, Hill strikes first with kicks to all targets, calf, body and head. Ducote swipes back at her with a few punches, but Hill does not bat an eye and continues to come forward. Ducote breaks off from a quick clinch after taking a couple knees, and she swings wildly with a left hand. Hill strides forward with a left and a right, and Ducote stands firm and throws back at her. The ladies trade punches, and Hill leads the dance at practically every occasion both with aggression and sheer volume. Ducote aims strikes to the body in hopes of slowing down “Overkill,” and when she does, Hill pelts her with a pair of overhand rights. Hill fakes a level change and goes up high with a kick, and Ducote can barely block it in time. Hill is feeling herself as she presses the pace without worry of what comes back at her, and she works her way into a clinch to score knees and elbows. While Ducote replies with a few of her own, Hill doubles or triples up on her with these exchanges. Ducote sits down on a slapping calf kick, and she just misses with a haymaker of a right hand. Hill walks her down and grabs a Thai clinch, and she lays into Ducote with vicious knees that draw cheers when each one lands as if the crowd was watching a muay thai fight. Ducote tries to give her a few back, but Hill cannot be slowed and is not remotely fading. Hill jumps with a flying knee before grabbing another Thai clinch, and she again slams her knees into the body. Hill continues to beat Ducote around the Octagon like she caught her breaking into her apartment, and Ducote escapes on the outside while occasionally throwing back but is woefully outmatched. In the final seconds, Ducote decides to grab hold of Hill’s left leg to pursue a single, but there is nothing to it as the fight ends. This was one-way traffic for “Overkill,” who blunts the momentum of the formerly surging Ducote in a pillar-to-post performance.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Angela Hill def. Emily Ducote via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Niko Price (170) vs. Philip Rowe (173.5: Missed Weight)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Price (-140), Rowe (+120)

Round 1

Two welterweights that both train in Florida will battle it out for local bragging rights in front of local fans in the preliminary headliner, and they combine for 22 finishes across their 24 wins. Price (15-5, 2 NC; 7-5, 2 NC UFC) is the one who has needed the scorecards to prevail in the past, while all nine of Rowe’s (9-3, 2-1 UFC) victories have come within the 11-minute mark. Of note, Rowe did come in 2.5 pounds above the welterweight cap, and he has been fined 30% of his purse and cannot earn a post-fight bonus. Referee Marc Goddard will need to keep his head on a swivel for this all-action affair, although it is preceded by a quick touch of gloves. Leg kicks are traded immediately, and Price is the aggressor of the two. Rowe comes up short with a lunging right hand up high, and Price walks him down and swats at him with a hooking left hand. A stern, short right from Price is more effective at knocking Rowe back, but it is one-and-done. Rowe flashes out several jabs and kicks low, and Price just misses with a huge right hook. Rowe shrugs at him, and Price tries to reach him with another looping punch. “The Fresh Prince” keeps his range and backs off to score a thudding low kick, and Price counters him with a solid right hand. Rowe responds with a one-two down the middle, and He celebrates his work with two low kicks. Price continues to wade forward and swings punches, and Rowe backs up and bounces into the wall. Price swings and misses, and Rowe sticks and moves with his superior range. Rowe kicks high after throwing a one-two, and Price comes out swinging with several blows that get Rowe’s attention and respect. Rowe breaks away and powers out a one-two, and he backs away and slips. Price rushes after him, but Rowe is out of the way before anything worse can come from it. Rowe catches his man with a right hand, and Price stumbles down to a knee and gets back up to throw hard. Rowe blocks it and remains patient, allowing Price to whiff and snap out jabs and intercepting blows. Price tries again to get right hands, but their arc stops them from landing when Rowe leans back. Rowe steps in with a knee and sticks out a right hand, and Price bull-rushes him but little of impact comes from it. Rowe stuns his man with a left, staggers him with a right, and Price adjusts his mouthpiece and takes a quick count of his teeth. Before he can make Rowe pay, the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round opens up with traded blows from both fighters, as Price wings punches and Rowe largely kicks the calf. Rowe absorbs a kick to the knee, and a push kick from Price bounces off the cup. There is a very short break before resetting, and Price answers the call by surging ahead with punches and knees to the body when getting up close. Rowe does not brawl with him, instead lining up high knees to the face before framing off and pushing away. Price continues to push forward, and Rowe marks his cheek up with a straight right hand. Rowe cannot escape in time for Price to reach him with body shots, including one from a kick, and Rowe gathers his thought and pokes out a jab. When Price advances, Rowe changes levels to secure a double, and he plants “The Hybrid” on his back. As Rowe finds himself threatened in Price’s offensive guard, he backs off and lets Price stand. Price thanks him with a left hand to the liver, but he is answered by a powerful right hand from “The Fresh Prince.” The two fighters trade hands in the pocket, and Price shoots in for a single but is rebuffed. Rowe steps through a punch to get off a one-two right down Broadway, and Price’s chin is made of tougher stuff as he not only walks through but continues with constant offense. Price’s recklessness leads him to push forward enough to fall into a snappy front choke, and before Rowe can set it up, Price spins his way down to the floor. Rowe capitalizes on this by snatching up his back in an instant, and he gets the body triangle around the waist and begins to hunt for the rear-naked choke. Price fights off the grips, so Rowe decides to simply brute force a neck crank with his forearm crushing and twisting Price. Price explodes to turn around, and when Rowe stands back up, Price somersaults to get away. Rowe stands there, amused, and he allows Price to get back to a neutral position. Price then pushes ahead, swinging wildly and settling for a clinch as the bell rings.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Price is fired up in his corner, shouting things out, but they come together and hug it out to start off the last round. Price is energized, and a wild and crazy brawl ensues. Price is a little looser and misses the mark more often, while Rowe measures his strikes and is more content to touch than simply throw everything he has every time. The two clash shins with kicks at the same time, and Price continues to swing for the fences. Price clocks Rowe at the end of a right hand, and Rowe wobbles back and gets caught with a high knee on the way back. Price gives it everything he has, backing Rowe to the wall with clubbing strikes and forcing Rowe to the floor with his offense. Rowe falls to his back and grabs hold of Price, but Price’s strikes get through as he slams his fists into Rowe’s unguarded jaw. Goddard tells Rowe to fight back, and Rowe answers by clinging to him and recovering. Rowe slowly, methodically works his way up with the wall at his back, and Price is totally spent. Even exhausted, Price is still throwing with wobbling blows, and Rowe is not concerned now and occasionally connects with a quick but heavy shot. A right hand from Rowe hurts Price, and Price is in big trouble. “The Hybrid” drops down to adjust his knee sleeve, and he backs away as Rowe gives chase and pops him with another straight right hand. Rowe senses that Price’s goose might be cooked, and he lays into the fatigued Price with punches and drives a knee square into his face as Price falls to a knee but quickly gets back up. Price is barely on his feet and wiped out, and Rowe unloads his own gas tank with a swarm of punches that rock Price all around the cage wall but do not knock him down. As Rowe continues to mercilessly bludgeon a now defenseless Price, Goddard intervenes to stop the fight for a standing TKO, as Price was only taking damage at this point and had absolutely nothing left to offer. What a round, and what a comeback for Rowe. It is unfortunate for Rowe that he missed weight, as he very well may have otherwise picked up a bonus check for his effort.

The Official Result

Philip Rowe def. Niko Price R3 3:26 via TKO (Punches)

Eryk Anders (186) vs. Kyle Daukaus (184.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Daukaus (-215), Anders (+185)

Round 1

Middleweights open up the main card in a fight that will get one man back up to .500 inside the Octagon. Whether that is former light heavyweight Anders (14-7, 1 NC; 6-7, 1 NC UFC) or submission specialist Daukaus (11-3, 1 NC; 2-3, 1 NC UFC), that remains to be seen. They bump fists in front of referee Keith Peterson, who clocks them in right after ejecting nonsense from the Amway Center. Anders strikes first with a body kick, and Daukaus strides forward with two punches and two low kicks in response. Anders stutter-steps his way forward, and Daukaus intercepts him with a few punches and makes Anders turn around. As they trade leather, commentators Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier talk about popular television shows. Daukaus gets off a knee to the body, and he shoots in for a double but is stuffed by the brick wall former football player. Daukaus sticks out a jab, and when he kicks the body, Anders lifts him up and throws him to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Anders lords over his grounded opponent with several slapping low kicks, and Daukaus considers a leglock before Anders hops away. Daukaus allows his opponent to adjust his shorts, and they touch ‘em up before re-engaging. Daukaus feints and gets kicked, and he wings a left hand over the top that slams into the side of Anders’ head. Anders backs his man up and punches the body, prompting Daukaus to spring into action. The Philadelphia native leaps forward, and after landing a few, Anders clips him with a right hand and sends Daukaus tumbling to the mat. Anders considers kicking the legs a few times before letting Daukaus back up, and Daukaus takes a few deep breaths when coming back to his feet. Anders is swinging heavily, and Daukaus does not shy away from these exchanges as he similarly slugs back. Daukaus scores thudding hooks on the side of Anders’ head, but Anders is tough and throws back with a ferocious uppercut that snaps the head back. Anders reddens the nose with a one-two, and he continues to push the pace as he works the body and head. The fighters rush together, and the crown of Anders’ head slams square into Daukaus’ face and drops him to his knees. Peterson sees it and immediately calls it, and he informs the outside officials that it was an accidental clash of heads. Daukaus takes the time he needs and gets right back to it, but Anders is on him and belts him with a few punches with a left hand that send Daukaus straight back to the floor. As Daukaus attempts to scramble and look for some kind of late submission, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Anders senses that Daukaus may not be fully recovered, and he immediately pushes the pace to start Round 2 with a vengeance. A few heavy strikes prompt “The D’Arce Knight” to shoot for a takedown, and he chains singles into doubles as Anders gets away with a fence grab. Anders slugs Daukaus on the side of the head, and these punches may be hurting Daukaus, as he lets go and flops to his back. Anders kicks the legs a few times, and this time, he lowers himself to the ground to drop a few hammerfists. Anders lands several standing-to-ground punches in rapid succession, and Daukaus kicks him back. Peterson lets Daukaus stand back up, and Anders coils his fist and cracks Daukaus in the face with a brutal left hand. Daukaus awkwardly slumps to his knees and half-heartedly pursues a low single takedown, only to get shoved to his back, as Anders beats him down with right hand after merciless right hand. The hammerfists and punches continue to get through while Daukaus is shelled up, and Peterson has no choice but to call it on account of rain. The knockout victory for Anders is his first finish in almost three and a half years, while he also snaps a two-fight skid in the process.

The Official Result

Eryk Anders def. Kyle Daukaus R2 2:45 via TKO (Punches)

Roman Dolidze (185.5) vs. Jack Hermansson (186)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Hermansson (-190), Dolidze (+160)

Round 1

A 185-pound tussle with a little more stakes than the one that just finished takes the stage now. Hoping to break his seven-fight streak of alternating wins and losses with a victory here, Hermansson (23-7, 10-5 UFC) takes on gargantuanly framed late replacement Dolidze (11-1, 5-1 UFC). A place in the top 10 is definitely at risk or on the line for these two middleweights, who engage without a glove touch. Referee Marc Goddard has put on his figurative hard hat, and the fighters meet in the center briefly. Hermansson keeps light on his feet, hopping back and forth, and he darts in with a stomping side kick to the knee. Dolidze walks him down, and he spins around after absorbing a thudding calf kick. Hermansson kicks high and low, and Dolidze smiles at him right before a jumping front kick pushes off his muscular torso. Dolidze wraps a right hand around the guard, and Hermansson wears it well and continues his kick-heavy approach. Hermansson catches a charging Dolidze with an uppercut as he escapes out the side, and he jumps forward with a superman punch and connects with a powerful leg kick. Hermansson changes levels out of nowhere, securing a double and planting the Georgian flat on his back. Dolidze defends with a guillotine choke, and he releases it and bucks to the side with an armbar that allows him to magnificently sweep the Swede. Hermansson follows him every step of the way and pursues another takedown, which leads them into a clinch against the cage. Hermansson knees the chest, and they split up. Dolidze comes leaping forward with a right hand, and Hermansson is agile and elusive to not absorb the blow with any significance. Hermansson kicks high and low, keeping his distance and not allowing Dolidze to get up close and put his fists on him. Hermansson chips away at the calf, and he springs back when Dolidze comes forward and scores a left to the side. Hermansson lands part of a one-two, but his calf kick is much more effective as Dolidze does a partial turn when it slaps into him. Dolidze largely remains launching single strikes, and Hermansson catches him wading forward with two punches right at the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Dolidze comes out of his corner charging ahead, and Hermansson hops away and lands a few on the outside. When Dolidze attempts to snap into action again, Hermansson is out of the way and scores his own power punches. Dolidze barely flinches when “The Joker” lands on him, but Hermansson is well ahead in volume. Hermansson shoots for a naked double, and Dolidze stops it in its tracks but cannot stop the subsequent calf kick. Dolidze marches forward without a care in the world, and he lines up a left hand on the chin. The crowd begins to voice its restlessness as Hermansson picks away at the Georgian while Dolidze largely throws back with nothing or just one punch at a time. They clash together, and Dolidze catches him with a quick punch on the inside, as Hermansson slides back and whips a kick up high. Dolidze gets off a powerful left hand, but it is one-and-done while Hermansson deftly slides and scores, sniping and evading. Dolidze slowly turns with a back fist, and Hermansson shrugs it off and ducks down for a tackling double. “The Caucasian” attempts the armbar sweep once more, but this time, Hermansson is wise to it and defends well. Dolidze suddenly slaps his legs around the neck for an inverted triangle choke, and Hermansson is forced to play defense. When "The Joker" spins, the wild scramble from Dolidze allows him to wrap his legs around his opponent’s with a calf slicer, and he turns Hermansson over and flattens him out and starts wailing away on him. Goddard tells Hermansson to fight back, and Dolidze opts not to go after a rear-naked choke but rather bombards Hermansson with thunderous punches. The Georgian keeps Hermansson pinned to his stomach with no way out, while the calf slicer remains tight, and he pounds away with a long series of punches. As they continue to land with impunity, Goddard says enough is enough and concludes the match. What a comeback for Dolidze, who pulls off an incredible series of submission setups that lead to a stoppage from strikes.

The Official Result

Roman Dolidze def. Jack Hermansson R2 4:06 via TKO (Punches)

Sergei Pavlovich (255) vs. Tai Tuivasa (266)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Pavlovich (-210), Tuivasa (+180)

Round 1

Referee Dan Miragliotta will have his work cut out for him in this heavyweight collision, as Tuivasa (14-4, 8-4 UFC) and Pavlovich (16-1, 4-1 UFC) combine for 26 knockouts in their 30 wins, with no submissions to either’s credit. The triumphant big man here might be the closest of all the 30 competitors this evening to a title shot, and this potential brawl is preceded by a clap of hands and a hug. Pavlovich moves in to the center of the cage, pushing out jabs, and he lifts his leg to avoid a low kick. The Russian walks forward to throw hands, and he stings Tuivasa with a few punches, only for “Bam Bam” to swing right back and hurt Pavlovich. The power of Pavlovich cannot be denied, as he blasts Tuivasa with ferocious punches, tearing Tuivasa’s skin open with the impact of his fists. Tuivasa hit the ground, and springs back up while blood starts pouring out of the left side of his eye, and Pavlovich’s accurate and straight punches find the mark while Tuivasa swings wildly. Tuivasa wings a left hand, and Pavlovich tags his man twice and drills an uppercut that knocks the Aussie clear off his feet. When Tuivasa hits the mat on his face, Pavlovich drives home a few academic punches to make sure the job is done, and Tuivasa continues to leak crimson fluid all over the mat while Pavlovich beats on him. Miragliotta intervenes when it is clear that Tuivasa is done here and teetering on the edge of consciousness, and Pavlovich may have just earned the biggest win of his career and placed himself right in top contendership position. This performance unquestionably sends a message to the rest of the heavyweights that this brick-fisted Russian is a force to be reckoned with.

The Official Result

Sergei Pavlovich def. Tai Tuivasa R1 0:54 via KO (Punches)

Matheus Nicolau (126) vs. Matt Schnell (126)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Nicolau (-380), Schnell (+310)

Round 1

As the flyweight division keeps churning out rematch after rematch for Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, contenders has started to emerge and cement themselves in the division once that logjam finally ends. Both Nicolau (18-2-1, 6-1 UFC) and the cleanly shaven Schnell (16-6, 1 NC; 6-4, 1 NC UFC) aim to upset the apple cart and become the next possible challenger, and a place among the top five in the weight class might be for the taking here. The 125ers touch gloves while referee Keith Peterson laces his nonsenseless running shoes, and instead Schnell starts off the fight with instant aggression. Schnell throws a kick and spins around to reset when it misses, and Nicolau is relegated to outside movement. Schnell pushes in with a low kick, and Nicolau eventually responds with one as Schnell swipes at him with two punches. Schnell looks to get on the inside with short left hooks, and Nicolau retreats. The crowd has already grown restless less than two minutes in due to the lack of activity from either fighter. Nicolau kicks the body, and Schnell comes out swinging with four punches that mostly come up hitting air. The Brazilian gets off a single low kick, and the short punches that Schnell has landed have marked up the temple of his opponent. Nicolau darts for with a left hand, and Schnell takes it on the chin and continues to cut Nicolau off. Out of nowhere, Nicolau rushes in with a left hook that knocks Schnell over, and he leaps on top to try to finish the job with elbows, Schnell gathers his thoughts and explodes back to his feet, and Nicolau aims another left hand on the dome. The Brazilian kicks low while Schnell blinks it out, and he dings Schnell with two massive punches as Schnell bears down on him. Schnell gets off four punches after dodging a home-run left hook, and Nicolau spins with a back kick and turns around to kick the side. Nicolau slaps a single calf kick home, and he circles away until the bell sounds and the crowd hammers them with boos.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

They touch gloves to start off the round, and Schnell is a little more aggressive as he comes out faster towards his opponent. This requires Nicolau to move away quicker as well, and Schnell cannot quite pin him down. Nicolau steps in with a left hand like the last round, and this would have likely dropped Schnell again but for Nicolau’s simultaneous tackle to push Schnell to the canvas. Schnell closes his guard, with his wits about him again, and Nicolau lands a few shots before bailing on the position and standing up. Schnell advances, and once more he walks into a blistering left hand that dumps him to the ground. “The Danger” is in the danger zone, but he wills himself back into the fight and jumps back up once more. Schnell looks to get one back, and he wings a looping left hand. As he does, Nicolau beats him to the punch with an overhand right that clonks his foe on the side of his head and puts Schnell down, likely once and for all. Nicolau leaps down to pummel the grounded Schnell, with powerful and unrelenting punches to the side of the head until Schnell collapses to his stomach. This is the sign that Peterson needs to intervene, as Schnell is done and possibly out after a rough go of it tonight. The Brazilian flyweight contender has now won six in a row, including four straight inside the Octagon, and he is in prime position for a top fight in his division.

The Official Result

Matheus Nicolau def. Matt Schnell R2 1:44 via KO (Punches)

Bryan Barberena (170.5) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (170)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Dos Anjos (-540), Barberena (+420)

Round 1

For the second time tonight, an athlete known as “Bam Bam” enters the cage. The first was unsuccessful, while the second hopes to even the score for their nicknamesake. Barberena (18-8, 9-6 UFC), who is riding the longest win streak of his UFC tenure at three straight, meets ex-lightweight kingpin dos Anjos (31-14, 20-12 UFC) at 170 pounds. If the Brazilian wins, he will become one of just seven competitors to earn more than 20 wins in the Octagon, while Barberena hopes to have half that amount of 10 as he looks to spring the biggest upset of the night. Referee Marc Goddard is holding on tight, and the fighters tap hands before putting them on one another. Barberena tries to strike first in the form of a low kick, but his second attempt is the one that lands. Barberena slaps a few more low kicks, and dos Anjos skips away and just misses with a huge overhand right that zips past the mohawk. “Bam Bam” tries to get a brawl going, but dos Anjos is smart and does not bite on these exchanges with the seemingly larger man. Dos Anjos pushes forward for a possible takedown entry, and he settles for pushing his foe into the wall. Barberena uses shoulder strikes and short elbows to try to frame off, but dos Anjos will not be denied with his takedown. The Brazilian scoops Barberena’s legs out and plants him on the mat, and he moves to half guard and instantly sets up an arm-triangle choke. Dos Anjos looks to shift to the side to lock it down and complete it, but the cage wall is in his way, and he cannot find the leverage. “RDA” lets it go and remains in full mount while still keeping his left arm wrapped around the back of the neck. Dos Anjos softens his man up with punches to the ribs, marking the same spot repeatedly with surprisingly hard blows. Barberena answers the figurative telephone to prevent the submission from succeeding, and he drags “RDA” back to his half guard. Dos Anjos does not mind this position, as he can trap Barberena on his back and punch him. Short, feeble punches from Barberena smack dos Anjos on the side of the head, and one single blow from dos Anjos to answer is more significant than all of them put together. Barberena turns to his side in an effort to stand, and dos Anjos tries to keep him stuck down while hoping to ride him like a backpack. Dos Anjos maintains heavy shoulder pressure while simultaneously attacking the legs with his own, and he slugs Barberena in the face once more before the horn splits them up.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The welterweights touch ‘em up to start off the second frame, and Barberena is aggressive and looking for a brawl. Dos Anjos again does not bite on this, taking a few shots and slugging back until Barberena decides to change levels instead of the Brazilian. “RDA” turns him around and pursues a single, and he strips Barberena down to a knee and then leans him backwards to get him to the mat. “Bam Bam” works his way back up with the wall behind him, but dos Anjos doggedly keeps him fighting for position until finally wrenching Barberena away from the wall and putting him flat on his back. Dos Anjos, who gets half guard until Barberena scrambles to get him back to the guard, momentarily looks for a potential armlock, but there is nothing to any of them. Barberena pulls his toes off the fence as he is warned for this foul, and dos Anjos isolates an arm and looks for a possible kimura. Barberena scrambles and moves, but this allows the Brazilian to take his back. The former champion locks in a rear-naked choke, and he squeezes with all his might as there is no chain-link fence to disrupt his submission this time. The forearm is not entirely under the chin as he crushes down, and instead he cranks the neck to the side and puts his back into it. Barberena tries to tough it out, but the pain and vice grip on his jaw is too tough to bear, so he surrenders. The submission is the ex-champ’s first stoppage since May 2019, and the 38-year-old reintroduces himself to the welterweight division with a solid win over a tough guy. Using every second of his post-fight interview excellently, dos Anjos calls out a fight with Conor McGregor, as they were slated to fight in 2016 only for "RDA" to break his foot shortly before the match.

The Official Result

Rafael dos Anjos def. Bryan Barberena R2 3:20 via Submission (Neck Crank)

Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Kevin Holland (170.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Holland (-155), Thompson (+135)

Round 1

Less than two months removed from his UFC 279 co-headliner against Khamzat Chimaev, Holland (23-8, 1 NC; 10-5, 1 NC UFC) is back in action again, this time as the main attraction. Getting back to welterweight after that awkward 180-pound switcheroo, this will be fight number four this year for “Trailblazer” compared to the first in 2022 for Thompson (16-6-1, 11-6-1 UFC). One of these two will turn things around and return to the win column at night’s end, and it could be the recently aged 30-year-old Holland or soon-to-be 40 “Wonderboy.” Referee Dan Miragliotta is on the call for this striker’s delight, and the two men who enjoyed one another’s company greatly this week touch ‘em up to commence the final fight of the night. When Thompson kicks, Holland does too. Holland charges recklessly, forcing Thompson to retreat and attempt to counter. Holland’s forward blitz leads to a clinch, and he starts talking to his opponent to tell him to let him go. Thompson obliges and scores a low kick, and he counters Holland over the top with a right hand. Holland ends up closing in with a clinch when trying to surge forward, and Thompson pushes him away and nails Holland with a serious left hand. Holland shakes it off and reaches out with side kicks, and a blow from Holland has opened a cut on the corner of Thompson’s left eye. Holland comes out throwing caution to the wind and engaging wildly, and Thompson is there to brawl and catch him with quicker strikes. Holland gets blasted with another left hand and grins, and he leaps forward to attack. The lunging strikes from Holland open him up to counters, and Holland grins and runs forward to unleash a ferocious overhand right that rocks the karateka. Holland backs his man up to the wall and starts to do work on him, but Thompson pushes off and shakes out the cobwebs. As Holland re-engages, Thompson meets him with a left hand and a speedy head kick. Holland is thrilled by the exchanges, smiling and having a blast, and Thompson is enjoying himself as well. Holland runs forward with a back fist, and “Wonderboy” knocks him back wit ha left. As Thompson fires off a hook kick, Holland times a chopping kick to knock Thompson to the floor. The former title challenger lines up a left hand that rings Holland’s bell, but Holland no-sells the move and allows Thompson to chase him down. They mimic one another’s side stances, and Thompson is there to catch his advancing opponent. Holland fires off a pair of body kick after sprinting at his man, and Thompson responds in kind. Holland lands a few punches to the body, and the horn sounds. The two welterweights high five after an exciting and fun round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The fighters are ready and rearing to go to start off the second round, and they clap hands to initiate the proceedings. Thompson slaps a kick low, and Holland does the same. Thompson skips forward with a straight left hand, but Holland sees it coming and evades it. He does not, however, get out of the way from a high kick that slams him square in the face. Holland takes it on the jaw without budging, a kick that would fell lesser men, and stands firm until Thompson blitzes him. Holland escapes the worse of the damage and tries his own attack, and Thompson escapes in time. Leg kicks are traded fast and furiously, and Holland steps into strike and is countered on the way in. The alternating straight rushes lead to thrilling exchanges, and Thompson boots Holland in the face once more. Thompson pushes the pace and belts Holland with a long series of punches, and Holland fires back but gets rocked and bounces into the wall. Thompson lets him off the hook and does not blow his gas tank, and instead trades head kicks when Holland is ready to come back fighting. Holland counters a body kick with an overhand left, and Thompson checks a low kick. Thompson just misses with a hook kick, and Holland gives chase and walks into two straight punches. “Trailblazer” blazes forward and uses Thompson’s lunges to his advantage and tackles Thompson to the floor. Instead of playing on the ground, Holland stands back up, and invites Thompson to stand back up so they can keep throwing heavy leather. Thompson thanks him for this with a happy glove touch, and he spins with a wheel kick that just pushes past the hair. Thompson doles out a few more solid left hands and head kick, and Holland advances recklessly and puts his hands on his opponent as well. Holland knocks the karateka back and might have hurt him, but Thompson recovers and runs after Holland to lay into him as well. Thompson unleashes a spinning wheel kick that smashes into the head of his foe, and Holland wobbles back as Thompson gives him all he has. Holland tries to throw back with haymakers, and he does enough to make Thompson second-guess his approach. The terrific second frame comes to an end as Holland swings so hard, he falls over.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The welterweights are grinning from ear to ear, and they high five. Holland tells Thompson to slow down, and Thompson answers him with a high kick and whiffs with a hook kick. Holland jumps forward to break up the stance of his foe, and he settles for a body kick and one to the calf. Thompson whips a kick to the side, and he goes up top as Holland rolls with it and barely evades the worst of it. Thompson scores two solid left hands as Holland attempts to enter the pocket, and they trade kicks as well. Holland pushes forward to strike, and they fall over with another possible tackling takedown from “Trailblazer.” Thompson fights his way up, and they clap hands as they still do not want to take a breath and grapple. When they resume, Thompson lands a side kick and a second knocks Holland off his feet. Thompson lets him back up as well, and they high-five once more. Holland unleashes a low kick, and Thompson is sharper and more elusive as Holland’s hands go wide. Holland wings a head kick, and Thompson answers with a pair of punches and a spinning kick. A second spinning wheel kick misses the mark by a matter of inches, and Holland crashes forward and gets popped with a short left hook. Holland kicks low and swipes high, and Thompson blitzes him and scores a few times over the top. Holland charges, leading with elbows, and they wind up in a clinch that allows Thompson to knee his man in the side a few times. Thompson breaks free and fires off a few punches, and he reaches Holland at the end of a right hand that knocks the head back. Holland appears to be fading, and the punches from Thompson are doing more damage as he pours it on. Holland backs himself up to the wall, and he keeps a high guard up and takes several deep breaths. Holland comes out swinging, and Thompson meets him there and starts unloading on him. Holland takes everything on the chin, and he eats a spinning wheel kick and barely moves. Thompson keeps a bounce in his step, and he spins with another wheel kick. “Trailblazer” comes forward to strike, but he pulls back with his right hand. As the round ends, he walks away looking at the hand, which might be injured.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

The championship rounds have arrived, and Holland puts on a poker face and smiles to engage. Thompson starts off with a slapping calf kick, and he pushes off the side of his heel on the chest. When Holland advances, Thompson cracks him with a hook kick, and Holland wears it incredibly well and walks Thompson down to throw hands. A tiring Holland ties Thompson up, and Miragliotta does not need much time before splitting them. Miragliotta does acknowledge that they did clash heads when closing in, which opened up a cut on the bridge of the nose. Thompson splits up and kicks the body, and this liver shot forces an immediate takedown out of his opponent. Holland does not complete it, and Thompson stands back and belts him in the liver one more time. Holland reels and charges for a takedown, and Thompson stops it and stands him up to work on his midsection. Thompson throws a right hand on the beltline, and Holland leans over and Miragliotta waves the fight off. As Holland protests, Miragliotta un-calls the fight and claims it was an accidental groin strike. Holland recovers, whether it was a foul or not, and they resume the action unexpectedly. Thompson knows his man is on the ropes and he kicks the liver twice, and spins with a wheel kick with a heel that drills right into the temple. Holland is hurt but still surviving, throwing a few punches but largely getting wrecked. “Wonderboy” aims two head kicks that do serious damage, and Holland absorbs another spinning wheel kick as Thompson is styling on him. Holland motions for him to come close to him to strike, and Thompson obliges with several punches and a low kick. Thompson fires a side kick to the liver and one to the upper chest, and he is teeing off on the wounded Holland. Holland is little more than a heavy bag at this point, as Thompson takes one or two back for every dozen or so. Thompson swings a spinning wheel kick that nearly knocks “Trailblazer” off his feet, but Holland not only survives, he throws back with a vengeance. Thompson takes several on the jaw and backs off, and he measures his damaged adversary with long kicks and punches. Thompson lines up a left hand that drops Holland to a knee, and he moves into the top position and lands a few punches. Instead of trying to finish the job, Thompson stands up, lets Holland get up, and walks off. The round ends. Holland again walks back to his corner, battered and bruised, and he signals to his team that his right hand is in dire trouble. It does not take more than a few seconds for Holland’s corner to inform Miragliotta that their fighter is done, and they call off the fight. It might seem like an anticlimactic ending to a sensational and dramatic battle, but Holland’s team allows him to live to fight another day. This battle will definitely go down among the greatest fights of this year, with 20 minutes of bloody violence and terrific skill crackling with intensity on display. Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira might be challenged for the top spot after this titanic scrap.

In his post-fight interview, “Wonderboy” says he feels 25, and he is in it for the long haul. At 39 years young after a fight like that, Thompson proves he is still a factor in the welterweight division. It’s anyone’s guess what is next for the all-star karateka, as he showed he has plenty of life left in his veins. When he competes again, we will certainly be here for it. We hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Stephen Thompson def. Kevin Holland R4 5:00 via TKO (Corner Stoppage)
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