July 13, 2019
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
Live on ESPN+
Benito Lopez vs. Vince Morales (Bantamweight)
Round 1: Lopez is firing off some heavy kicks in the early moments of the round. Morales is working the jab, but he’s having a hard time maintaining balance with Lopez constantly in his face. Morales connects with a big left hand! Lopez is down! Morales takes top control, but Lopez manages to recover guard! Morales chooses to stand up and we’re back on the feet! (10-9 Morales) Lopez led most of the round but Morales stole the show with the left hand.
Round 2: Lopez starts things off with a front kick. He appears a bit more aware of the power possessed by Morales after that first round. Morales rushes in with a flurry, but Lopez evades and fires back with a spinning back kick to the midsection. Lopez scores with a kick to the midsection, but Morales returns a straight right hand. Morales backs Lopez against the fence, and scores with a right hand as his opponent attempts to create some space. (10-9 Morales) It’s a very close fight overall, and this round was just as close as the first, but Morales is just a bit more effective.
Round 3: Lopez is sticking with the game plan. Morales closes the distance and lands a few punches. Lopez refuses to abandon his kicks but Morales is starting to time some of them and he’s making him pay. Big right-hand lands for Morales! Lopez lands a low kick, as he has been doing all fight. Morales’ inability to stop these kicks will be interesting for the judges. Morales attacks the head and body with a barrage of punches! Lopez covers up and returns a low kick. He’s become fairly one dimensional at this point of the fight. (10-9 Lopez) (29-28 Morales) Very close round, in fact, I think it will be the hardest to score.
Result: Benito Lopez def. Vince Morales via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Analysis: Morales did some good work but he couldn’t stop the low kicks and I feel like that’s what ultimately cost him. Lopez didn’t look great but it was an effective game plan and he got the job done.
Livia Renata Souza vs. Brianna Van Buren (Strawweight)
Favorite: Souza -175
Round 1: Van Buren is looking for a takedown in the early moments of the fight. She landed a nice kick to the body and used that opportunity to close the distance and secure under hooks against the fence. She’s taken Souza down once or twice, but Souza keeps popping right back up. Van Buren lands another kick to the body and follows it up with a flurry of punches! (10-9 Van Buren)
Round 2: Van Buren opens up with a flurry! Souza is eating some big shots here! Van Buren is stalking with punches and high kicks! Van Buren can’t quite find the takedown in this round but she is outworking Souza on the feet. (10-9 Van Buren) Sorry for the light coverage of this round, I had to track down my computer charger.
Round 3: Souza scores with a takedown early in the round. Van Buren is looking for an omoplatta but Souza is aware of it. Van Buren scrambles to her feet and shoots for a double leg. Souza takes her neck, and Van Buren briefly lifts her up before placing her back on the mat. Van Buren is now working from top control, she is landing short punches from there and making it difficult for Souza to stand. Souza scrambles to her feet, and we are back in the center. Van Buren shoots for a single and takes Souza down in the final moments of the round. (10-9 Van Buren) (30-27 Van Buren)
Result: Brianna Van Buren def. Livia Renata Souza via Unanimous Decision
Jonathan Martinez def. Pingyuan Liu via KO (Knee) Round 3, 3:54 (Bantamweight)
Ryan Hall vs. Darren Elkins (Featherweight)
Round 1: Hall is circling early on, he drops for a heel but Elkins doesn’t bite. Hall is continuing to drop for a heel but Elkins isn’t having it. Very odd round, which I guess is to be expected with Ryan Hall. Elkins isn’t making much of an effort to do any damage. Hall lands a huge wheel kick and Elkins is down! Hall dives in for a guillotine and he’s got it! Elkins pops out if it but wow that was impressive! (10-9 Hall)
Round 2: This fight is so hard to cover… Hall moves in with a spinning head kick but ends up ducking for a takedown! Elkins attempts to evade the situation and nearly gives up his back. Hall stuns Elkins with a jab! Elkins is chasing Hall down but he just isn’t landing. Hall drops Elkins with a straight punch! They’re scrambling! Wow, great fight! (10-9 Hall)
Round 3: Hall is spinning for kicks to the body and head, Elkins is evading them, but he isn’t following up with anything. Hall connects with a kick to the midsection! Elkins throws a couple of punches, but Hall just drops to his back. (10-9 Elkins) (29-28 Hall)
Result: Ryan Hall def. Darren Elkins via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Analysis: I loved this fight! Hall slowed his pace in the third but it was still fun.
Nicco Montano vs. Juliana Pena (Bantamweight)
Round 1: Grappling heavy round for Montano, she scored with a takedown and top control throughout the round. (10-9 Montano)
Round 2: Montano is controlling the action against the fence in the early part of the round. Montano completes a takedown with just over three and a half minutes left in the round. Pena scrambles and takes top control with the aid of a guillotine attempt. She moves into side control, and she is hitting Montano with elbows from that position. Pena is looking for a guillotine but Montano is aware of it. (10-9 Pena)
Round 3: Pena is leading the dance early on, connecting with several well-placed jabs to break the ice. Pena scores with a takedown and she is now working from the top half. She has an overhook and she is looking to lock up a guillotine. Lots of top control here from Pena, and she is continuing to land elbows. (10-9 Pena) (29-28 Pena)
Result: Juliana Pena def. Nicco Montano via Unanimous Decision
Andre Fili vs. Sheymon Moraes (Featherweight)
Favorite: Fili -120
Round 1: We see a few exchanges to get things started. Fili scores with a kick to the body and then a shot to the head! Moraes is staying aggressive though as he continues moving forward. Fili scores with a high kick! Moraes is hurt! Fili drops him with a right hand! He follows it up with several shots on the ground and this fight is over!
Result: Andre Fili def. Sheymon Moraes via KO (Punches) Round 1, 3:07
Main Card (ESPN+)
Cezar Ferreira vs. Marvin Vettori (Middleweight)
Round 1: Vettori is the aggressor in the early going. He is charging forward with straight rights and jabs. Ferreira staggers Vettori a bit with a short jab. Ferreira is utilizing low kicks and Vettori doesn’t seem to have a defense for them. Vettori shoots and completes a takedown! He moves right into side control, and then into mount! He has thirty seconds left to make something happen. Ferreira recovers guard in the final seconds of the round. (10-9 Vettori)
Round 2: Vettori seems fresh early in round 2. He’s continuing to land straights and jabs; they’re starting to take a toll on the face of Cezar Mutante. Vettori closes the distance and forces the fight against the fence. Herb Dean isn’t giving them leeway though as he is warning them to work after just a few seconds. Very slow round but Ferreira looks like he’s taken a beating. (10-9 Vettori)
Round 3: It’s clear that Vettori has a gameplan here. He’s moving forward and landing. Ferreira seems a bit out of sorts here, he’s sort of just moving forward. He’s badly busted open. Ferreira connects with a nice shot but it’s not enough to deter Vettori. Not the most exciting fight but it was effective for Vettori. (10-9 Vettori) (30-27 Vettori)
Result: Marvin Vettori def. Cezar Ferreira via Unanimous Decision
Karl Roberson vs. Wellington Turman (Middleweight)
Round 1: Turman is looking for a takedown early on. He scores with a body lock trip and falls right into side control. Roberson is scrambling through and briefly manages to get to his feet, but Turman transitions to the back and drags him back down. Roberson scrambles again and takes top control, but Turman recovers guard. Turman throws up an armbar but Roberson pulls out and returns to top control. Turman lands an upkick and he searches for an armbar, but Roberson is defending well so far. Roberson moves to half guard with less than a minute left in the round. (10-9 Roberson)
Round 2: Turman scores with a takedown in the early part of the round, just as he did in round one. He moves right into the mount, but Roberson is moving around and Turman is moving with him. Turman takes the back, but Roberson spins and takes top control. Turman recovers guard, he’s favoring control over submission attempts here in round two. That could be a sign of fatigue. (10-9 Roberson)
Round 3: Turman takes Roberson down and moves right into the mount position. He’s had top control for most of the round now. Roberson explodes out of the position and into a scramble but Turman retains top control. Roberson rolls to his back but Turman rolls with him and locks in a body triangle. He’s looking for an RNC but Roberson rolls again and this time he takes top control. Roberson creates some space and smashes Turman in the face with several big shots! Turman is throwing kicks from his back as the round ends. (10-9 Turman) (29-28 Roberson)
Result: Karl Roberson def. Wellington Turman via Split Decision
Josh Emmett vs. Mirsad Bektic (Featherweight)
Round 1: They’re trading some big shots in the early going. Both guys are showing good defense so far, neither guy has landed anything notable. Emmett connects with a straight right hand and Bekitic is down! Emmett is landing shots from the top! Bektic turtles and Emmett are pouring on the shots! This fight is over!
Result: Josh Emmett def. Mirsad Bektic via TKO (Punches) Round 1, 4:25
Analysis: Emmett hits hard… Bektic was standing with him in a phone booth and that just isn’t a great idea. The replay shows that it was actually a jab that put Bektic down… incredible stuff there by Emmett.
Urijah Faber vs. Ricky Simon (Bantamweight)
Round 1: Simon scores early with a left hand. He’s keeping the pressure up early. Faber scores with a right hook and Simon is down! Faber swings for the finish but Simon flops to his back! Faber drops to side control and he opens up with a series of hammerfists! This fight is over! Wow!
Result: Urijah Faber def. Ricky Simon via TKO (Punches) Round 1, 0:46
Analysis: The stoppage was a little weird. Faber landed the big punch, Simon went down, and Faber turned it up with some hammerfists. Simon never went out, but he was only covering up. Either way, I can deal with it and it’s the best moment of the night so far.
Aspen Ladd vs. Germaine de Randamie (Bantamweight)
Round 1: They walk towards the center. GDR lands a straight right hand and Ladd is down! GDR lands a final shot on the ground but this fight is over! Wow! Bisping didn’t like the stoppage but it was what it was. Ladd was absolutely stunned and took a second to recover. Great win for GDR!
Result: Germaine de Randamie def. Aspen Ladd via TKO (punch) Round 1, 0:16
Analysis: Ladd said in her post-fight speech that she was fine but as I said earlier it just is what it is. She remains the best prospect in the division and honestly, this might be a good thing. She absolutely is not ready for Amanda Nunes.
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