August 17, 2019
Honda Center, Anaheim, California
UFC 241: Live Report
Sabino Mazo vs. Shana Dobson (Flyweight)
Pre-fight notes: Mazo is the youngest fighter on the card at just 22 years old.
Favorite: Mazo -125
Round 1: Mazo connects early with a low kick and then a kick to the body. Dobson appears to be hurt from the body kick. Mazo is charging forward, she forces her opponent against the fence and takes her down. This will allow Dobson to recover, but perhaps Mazo can do some work. Dobson nearly completed a sweep after a scramble, but Mazo recovers before completion. Mazo is landing punches to the body, and controlling from half guard. Dobson is back on her feet, but Mazo is continuing to land knees to the body. She takes Dobson down again, she has an arm trapped, and she’s landing punches from the top. Mazo moves into the mount, but the round will be ending in just a few seconds. (10-8 Mazo) Dobson did absolutely nothing…
I had to take a phone call during rounds two and three. My apologies for that.
Result: Sabino Mazo def. Shana Dobson via Unanimous Decision (30-24, 30-25 x2)
Brandon Davis vs. Kyung Ho Kang (Bantamweight)
Pre-fight Notes: Davis is 2-3 in his last 5, while Kang is 4-1
Favorite: Kang -125
Round 1: Kang lands a big jab early on. He drops Davis and attempts to take the back. Davis was leading in the early going, and landing low kicks until Kang dropped him. Davis is defending well enough though and will see the end of the round. (10-9 Kang)
Round 2: Davis is very aggressive early; he takes Kang down but can’t keep him there. Davis is charging forward with wide hooks. He connects with a left and Kang’s mouthpiece goes flying! Davis connects with a left hand, and then a right and a low kick! (10-9 Davis)
Round 3: Davis throws a kick but slips. Kang takes advantage and drops down into side control. Kang is a bit inactive, and the ref stands them up. Not a good place for a stand-up, but it is what it is. Kang scores with another takedown, and he is right back in side control. Davis scrambles back to his feet, but Kang drags him back to the mat, albeit briefly! We’re back on the feet! But Kang takes him down again… Davis recovers guard, but Kang is maintaining top position. It looks like the round will end this way. (10-9 Kang) (29-28 Kang)
Result: Kyung Ho Kang def. Brandon Davis via Split Decision
Analysis: Davis out-landed Kang by about 15 strikes. Kang scored with three takedowns as well. It was a solid fight, Davis did a lot of damage with low kicks, but he couldn’t stop the takedown. During the fight, Rogan mentioned that Davis runs 20 miles a day… wild stuff.
Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel (Strawweight)
Favorite: Cifers -200
Round 1: They’re engaging on the feet early on… Esquibel connects with a big left hook. We see lots of fakes; neither fighter seems to want to commit to anything. Cifers connects with a quick right hand, and then a low kick follows it up. Esquibel connects with a left hand, but Cifers returns one of her own. Very close round. (10-9 Esquibel) It was very close… I made a pick, but it is hard to say and could go either way. Esquibel seemed a bit more aggressive.
Round 2: Esquibel opens up with a front kick to the face. Cifers is a bit more aggressive here in round two. Esquibel shoots and completes a takedown, her first of the night. Cifers recovers guard… They scramble and we’re back on the feet. Cifers catches a kick, and takes Esquibel down, but can’t quite keep her there. Esquibel shoots this time and takes Cifers down. Cifers has a triangle, but Esquibel is defending. They scramble again, and we’re back in the center of the cage. Esquibel connects with a kick to the body, but Cifers is staying on her. (10-9 Cifers)
Round 3: Much slower round than the first two so far. Cifers connects with a low kick, and Esquibel appeared to buckle a bit. Cifers connects with a kick to the midsection. She has outlanded Esquibel 65-25 so far tonight. Esquibel shoots and completes a takedown with two and a half minutes left in the round. We see a stand up after several moments of inaction. Cifers connects with a front kick, and then a straight right hand. Esquibel connects with a left hand with just under thirty seconds remaining in the round.
Result: Hannah Cifers def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision
Casey Kenney vs. Manny Bermudez (Catchweight/140)
Pre-fight notes: Bermudez is 14-0 coming into this fight. Kenney holds a notable win over former flyweight title challenger, Ray Borg.
Favorite: Bermudez -300
Round 1: Kenney scores early with a takedown, but Bermudez recovers half guard after a scramble. Exciting position here, Bermudez is attempting to escape to the back, but Kenney scrambles to his feet. Kenney connects with a left hand, and then a spinning back kick. He connects with a final right hand in the final moments of the round. Most of the round was spent on the ground with Kenney on top, but he was in a real tight spot due to the odd half guard held by Bermudez. (10-9 Kenney)
Round 2: Bermudez scores early with a takedown! Kenney scrambles into top position, but Bermudez is looking to set something up. Kenney takes the back, and slaps on a rear-naked choke, though he does not have any hooks. Bermudez escapes, but Kenney connects with a series of elbows. Bermudez is looking to make something happen, but Kenney is just stuck on him like glue. Just as I say that Bermudez pops out and we are back on the feet. Bermudez secures underhooks and takes Kenney down against the fence. He is looking for an RNC, but Kenney escapes and lands a hard right hand on his grounded opponent just as the round ends. (10-9 Kenney)
Round 3: Bermudez is landing lots of straight shots and jabs in the early part of the round. Kenney is returning some shots and takes Bermudez down. Bermudez sweeps with the aid of the fence, and he is now working from side control. Kenney recovers half guard, but Bermudez is looking for a guillotine from top control. Kenney escapes with just under two minutes left in the round. Bermudez is landing punches from the top; he needs a finish here I think… its been odd because the commentators are acting as if Bermudez is ahead, but I’m not so sure. (10-9 Bermudez) (29-28 Kenney)
Result: Casey Kenney def. Manny Bermudez via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Bermudez seemed to be the more skilled fighter, but he kept making mistakes. Kenney appeared to gas around round two, but he just stayed there and did enough to get the job done.
Christos Giagos vs. Drakkar Klose (Lightweight)
Pre-fight notes: Klose holds a 4-1 record in the UFC. He is coming off wins over Lando Vanatta and Bobby Green. Giagos is 2-1 in what is currently his second stint in the UFC. He is 3-3 in the UFC overall.
Favorite: Klose -200
Round 1: Giagos connects with a kick to the midsection, and then to the lead leg. Klose closes the distance, but Giagos forces him against the fence. Giagos connects with a knee to the body. Klose ducks and eats a knee from Giagos. Very good performance by Giagos so far. Giagos changes levels and connects with a hard jab to the body. Klose secures a clinch and puts Giagos against the fence. Klose connects with a right hand, and then another that landed just after the bell. (10-9 Giagos) Giagos looks strong and appears to be competitive on the feet which may have been unexpected. Klose came alive in the final moments of the round but landed an illegal strike.
Round 2: Giagos scores with a takedown early on and threatens with an RNC. He held it for a while but Klose has popped free. He takes top position and he is now working from side control. (10-9 Klose)
Round 3: Klose lands a left hand and then shoves off his opponent. Giagos connects with a right hand as Klose closes the distance and forces him against the fence. Klose connects with a low kick, but Giagos returns one to the body. Giagos attempts a kimura, but Klose lifts him up and slams him. Giagos attempts an armbar, but Klose escapes with just under a minute left in the round. Giagos is up and he’s landing! He connects with several jabs and straights. They’re clinched and both guys are swinging shots! (10-9 Klose) (29-28 Klose)
Result: Drakkar Klose def. Christos Giagos via Unanimous Decision
Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen (Bantamweight)
Pre-fight notes: Assuncao holds an 11-3 record in the UFC and has been a top-ranked bantamweight for some time. Sandhagen is a perfect 4-0 and is coming off a split decision win over John Lineker, the biggest of his career.
Favorite: Sandhagen -240
Round 1: They’re trading shots in the early part of the round. Sandhagen lands a jab and then a nice uppercut. Assuncao connects to the body with a kick. Sandhagen returns fire with a hook to the body. Lots of action so far. Sandhagen connects with a solid 1-2! He follows it up with a hook to the body! Sandhagen is starting to find his way here. Assuncao connects with a quick and short left hook, but he is not throwing much offense. Assuncao secures a body lock, but Sandhagen breaks it and puts him against the fence. Sandhagen scores with a jab and a low kick just before the round ends. (10-9 Sandhagen)
Round 2: Assuncao eats a few shots early on. Sandhagen throws a low-kick, but Assuncao catches it and drags him to the mat. Sandhagen reverses the position and takes side control. They scramble, and Sandhagen takes Assuncaos’s back. They scramble again, and this time Assuncao takes the back, but Sandhagen stands up. Assuncao is looking to drag him back down, Sandhagen helps him by going for a kimura, but Assuncao ends up on top. He is landing as Sandhagen searches for a leg. Assuncao takes the back, but Sandhagen reverses into top position. Assuncao is looking to stand but drops to his back. He has Sandhagen tied up in a very weird position and it will end that way. (10-9 Assuncao) Good round, I would give the slight edge to the Brazilian but it was very close. Sandhagen is no joke.
Round 3: Assuncao secures a body lock after a brief exchange. He forces Sandhagen against the fence, and from there he scores with a takedown. Sandhagen pops right back up though. Assuncao lands a left hand in the pocket before separating for a bit of distance. Assuncao secures a body lock, and from there he lands a knee against the fence. Assuncao slams him! But Sandhagen pops right back up and puts him against the fence. Sandhagen attempts a flying knee, but Assuncao catches him. Sandhagen pulls Assuncao down with a kimura but they pop right back up. (10-9Sandhagen) (29-28 Sandhagen)
Result: Cory Sandhagen def. Raphael Assuncao via Unanimous Decision
Devonte Smith vs.Khama Worthy (Lightweight)
Pre-fight notes: Smith is the biggest favorite on this card. These guys are also former training partners for what that is worth.
Favorite: Smith -1000
Round 1: They’re trading early on in the fight. Worthy is coming off a win from late July, he is also the biggest underdog on this card. Smith lands a low kick, but Worthy returns a three punch combo. Smith returns a quick jab. Both guys appear to be in first gear, not a lot of action so far, at least no serious action. Smith connects with a low kick, his fourth or fifth solid land of the night. Worthy connects Worthy connects with a counter left hook! Smith is down! Worthy rushes in and finishes him off on the ground! Wow! What an upset!
Result: Khama Worthy def. Devonte Smith via KO (Punches) Round 1, 4:15
(PPV Main Card)
Ian Heinisch vs. Derek Brunson (Middleweight)
Pre-fight notes: Heinisch called for this fight after his recent victory over Antonio Carlos Junior. Brunson, coming off two straight first-round KO losses, and a lackluster win over Elias Theodorou, he will need a win here to remain relevant.
Favorite: Heinisch -130
Round 1: Heinisch catches Brunson early with a high kick! Brunson scrambles for a takedown and secures the position, but Heinisch keeps his balance. Brunson lunges forward with a straight right hand that appeared to graze his opponent. Bit of an odd fight so far… Brunson is far less aggressive than he was in the past. Brunson takes the back and attempts a takedown, but he can’t quite get it. (10-9 Brunson) Hard round to score.
Round 2: Brunson lands several big right hands to get things going. Heinisch shoots for a takedown, but can’t find it. Brunson lands several big shots, Heinisch shoots, but Brunson takes his back. Brunson connects with a big left hook! Heinisch is swinging and missing. He shoots, but Brunson sprawls and lands a left hand in the final seconds of the round. (10-9 Brunson)
Round 3: Brunson scores with a takedown. Heinisch pops right back up, but Brunson is still on him. Brunson connects with a left, while Henisch connects with a right. Brunson returns another left hand. Brunson secures a clinch and trips Heinisch down to the mat. They scramble back to the feet, and Heinisch lands a left hand. Two minutes left in what has been a fairly slow-paced, but effective round for Brunson. Heinisch lands a left hand, and Brunson returns a front kick. Brunson connects with a kick to the body. Both guys are exhausted… (10-9 Brunson) (30-27 Brunson)
Result: Derek Brunson def. Ian Heinisch via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Aside from the head kick in the first round, Brunson was flawless. It appeared to be too much for Heinisch at this stage of his game. Still a game performance by him though.
Sodiq Yusuff vs. Gabriel Benitez (Featherweight)
Favorite: Yusuff -230
Round 1: Benitez scores with an inside leg kick, but eats a combination for his efforts. Benitez cracks Yusuff with a big right hand! Yusuff hits the mat but pops right back up! Benitez cracks him with a low kick! Benitez land a stiff right hand! Benitez connects with a jab, but Yusuff cracks him with a counter right hook! Benitez is down! Yusuff swarms him, he lands another right hand to his grounded opponent and this fight is over!
Result: Sadiq Yusuff def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO (Punches) Round 1, 4:14
Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero (Middleweight)
Pre-fight notes: This will be the first fight for both fighters since mid-2018.
Favorite: Romero -150
Round 1: Romero connects with a high kick! He shoots, but Costa scrambles! Romero lands an uppercut as they separate! Costa connects with a big right hand! Romero returns one of his own and Costa is down! We’re back on the feet and things have slowed a bit. Costa connects with a right hand and then a kick to the body. They clinch… Romero just fell to the mat for some reason. Apparently a groin strike, we will see a break in the action. Wow, this fight is very fast-paced… I’m glad for this break to be honest. Costa is lighting Romero up with punches to the body! Costa connects with an overhand right in the final seconds of the round… Wow… (10-9 Costa) Great round. Both guys took some big shots.
Round 2: Costa is stalking… he lands to the face and body again and again! Romero connects with a jab, but Costa returns a kick to the midsection. Romero connects with a jab to the body. Much slower round for both guys, likely on purpose. That first round was hectic. Romero is starting to return fire in volume here and let’s not forget that he is the best third-round fighter in MMA. Romero shoots in the final moments of the round, and completes a takedown! (10-9 Romero)
Round 3: Costa lands a hard right hand to get things going. Romeo returns a left hand. Romero moves forward with an open hand and pokes Costa in the eye… Break in the action. Costa lands a jab to the body. He appears a bit fresher after that breather. Romero connects with a right hand! Costa is moving forward with a double jab! Romero charges forward with an uppercut! They’re swinging in the center of the octagon! Big jab lands for Romero! Costa connects with a front kick to the body! Romero rushes forward for a takedown but Costa defends! Romero shoots and completes a last-second takedown! Costa scrambles though and returns to his feet as the round ends. (10-9 Romero) (29-28 Romero)
Result: Paulo Costa def. Yoel Romero via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Well that was incredible… just a shot for a shot type of fight, each guy gave everything. I thought Romero did enough but it was so close that nobody should be upset with the outcome.
Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz (Welterweight)
Pre-fight notes: This is the first fight for Diaz since 2016. Pettis has competed seven times since then.
Favorite: Pettis -130
Round 1: Pettis is landing with kicks early on. Diaz pressures him against the fence and secures an underhook. They separate and Pettis lands a head kick but Diaz appears to be okay. Diaz connects with a right hand! Diaz scores with a takedown, but Pettis has a guillotine! Diaz separated and he is now working from top control. Diaz takes the back, and then full mount when Pettis attempts to reposition. Diaz has the back again late in the round. (10-9 Diaz)
Round 2: Pettis connects with a low kick that wobbled Diaz a bit, but it wobbled Pettis as well. Diaz is acting as if his eye is messed up, pretty sure he’s just being Diaz. We see a break in the action but we’re right back to it. Diaz pressures Pettis against the fence, and scores with several jabs and uppercuts! Pettis is returning fire, but he appears to be slowing a bit, could just be the positioning against the fence though. Pettis lands a sharp elbow! Diaz is bleeding pretty badly. Pettis scores with another elbow…. Wow, this is a fight… (10-9 Diaz)
Round 3: Pettis lands a front kick to get things started. Diaz returns a jab, and then another. Diaz lands several big knees! Pettis drops to the mat, he is either hurt or tired! Diaz has his back with just under three minutes left in the round! Pettis reverses the position and he is now in full guard. Diaz is working from his back. Diaz scrambles, but Pettis takes his back! Diaz escapes the position and now he has the back! What a fight! (10-9 Diaz) (30-27 Diaz)
Result: Nate Diaz def. Anthony Pettis via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Nate Diaz is back and better than ever! He called out Jorge Masvidal post-fight. Let’s make it happen!
© Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic (Heavyweight)
Pre-fight notes: This is a rematch from UFC 226. Miocic is the former champion, and longest-reigning in UFC history.
Favorite: Cormier -145
Round 1: They’re exchanging low kicks in the early part of the round. DC fakes a takedown and comes up with a left hook. DC connects with a left hook and then a right! DC lifts Miocic up and slams him to the mat! Miocic recovers guard with just under two minutes left in the round. Good defense here on the ground so far by Miocic. Miocic connects with a nice upkick! But DC repositions and he is landing some serious hammerfists! DC wants the stoppage by Miocic is covering up well enough. (10-9 Cormier)
Round 2: Miocic comes out with a jab to break the ice. Miocic connects with several good punches in the clinch. Cormier connects with a nice standing elbow. He is having no problems getting inside so far. Miocic is connecting with several big shots here! DC connects with a left hook in the clinch. Miocic is connecting with jabs! Cormier returns a right but Miocic hits him with a left! Miocic eats a left hand and then clinches… DC is staying on him though. Miocic connects with a kick to the body. (10-9 Miocic)
Round 3: Miocic connects with a 1-2 to get things going! DC is returning jabs. Miocic secures a clinch and forces DC against the fence. From there Miocic lands a solid right hand. DC connects with a well-placed kick to the body. DC lands a hard right hand in the clinch! Miocic secures underhooks and takes DC down! Cormier is up, but he eats a knee! They clinch again, lots of dirty boxing here. Cormier connects with a big 1-2! (10-9 Cormier)
Round 4: Miocic is looking good in the early going. He is targeting the body, and countering well. Miocic connects with a wide hook to the body! And again! Miocic is just digging into the body with hooks. DC returns a hard right hand! Miocic tags the body again and again! He lands a right hand! Cormier is hurt! Miocic is turning up the heat! Wow! Stipe Miocic has knocked out Daniel Cormier! Wow! Wow! Wow!
Result: Stipe Miocic def. Daniel Cormier via TKO (Punches) Round 4, 4:09
Analysis: What. A. Fight. Cormier was in control throughout much of the fight, but he got tired and Miocic seemed to regain energy as the fight went on. With this win, I guess that Miocic can argue that he is the greatest heavyweight again. Regardless, this was the best fight of his career. Is Francis Ngannou up next?
More UFC 241 Coverage
- The MMA & Sports Betting Podcast: UFC 241
- UFC 241 PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS 8/17: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight
- ROUNDTABLE: Who wins between Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis?
- ROUNDTABLE: Who wins between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic?
- Throwback Thursday: UFC 141, Vallejos and Hiscoe relive the end of an era
- Video released of Conor McGregor punching man in bar