UFC Fight Night 178 ‘Covington vs. Woodley’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Sep 19, 2020
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Tyson Nam vs. Jerome Rivera

Round 1

We begin the evening with a classic striker vs. grappler matchup in the bantamweight division, as the heavy-handed Hawaiian Nam (19-11, 1-2 UFC) welcomes recent Contender Series winner Rivera (10-2, 0-0 UFC) to the Octagon. Drawing the first assignment of the night is referee Chris Tognoni, and the two decide not to touch gloves to begin the 14-fight card. Rivera fakes a knee as he tries to jab his way in, but Nam does not fall for it and instead jabs back at him. Rivera scores a side kick to the torso as he switches stances a few times, while keeping Nam at bay with a front kick that just misses. Rivera gets a front kick in, and he misses another but slaps the lead leg. Nam loads up on a right hand, but Rivera swats it away. Rivera chains a punch into a low kick, and does so again. Rivera pops the leg once more as Nam stalks him down while looking to land a bomb, but he does not lob it. Rivera’s reach is keeping Nam backing up, and another hard leg kick from “The Renegade” nearly kicks Nam’s leg out from beneath him. Rivera reaches out with his fingers and gets warned, but is using the total extent of his length to not let Nam get in on him. He gets warned again for leaving his fingers out, and Nam bites down on his mouthpiece and fires a huge right hand that slams into Rivera’s face. Nam grins and throws another, and Rivera is backpedaling quickly against the fence. Rivera jabs out a few times before smacking the lead leg on the inside to make Nam’s leg nearly give out. Nam gathers himself and plods forward to swing that power right hand, but Rivera sees it coming and keeps him off with a few kicks up the middle. Rivera hops forward with a superman punch, and Nam blocks it and eats a knee up the middle. Nam loads up on that right hand, and delivers it right to the body before following it with a stiff left hand. Nam kicks the leg a few times, and a right hand from Nam scores straight to the diaphragm to surprise Rivera. He clinches up, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rivera
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Nam
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rivera

Round 2

Nam comes out of his corner like a man possessed, walking through a heavy low kick to unload a thunderous right hand from below his hips to crack Rivera on the temple. Rivera falls to the canvas, and Nam attacks him with a furious vengeance of punches. Rivera throws up his legs to defend against or stave off the advancing man, but the Hawaiian gives it everything he has to force the stoppage, battering Rivera until Tognoni has seen enough. That’s two knockouts in a row for Nam, who is making his name in a big way with these wild finishes.

The Official Result

Tyson Nam def. Jerome Rivera R2 0:34 via TKO (Punches)

Andre Ewell vs. Irwin Rivera

Round 1

Remaining in the bantamweight division, two men who love a good scrap will square off as Ewell (16-6, 3-2 UFC) takes on “The Beast” Rivera (10-5, 1-1 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni again draws the charge for the bout, and a glove touch checks it in. Ewell starts off the round aggressively, walking down Rivera. He lands a crisp combination, and Rivera gets off a left hand counter. Rivera hacks at the lead leg and avoids a punch down the middle, but Ewell backs off and lands a slapping shot to the body. Rivera blitzes in with a few punches to catch Ewell, but “Mr. Highlight” attacks back and blasts Rivera on the chin to send “The Beast” flying. Rivera rolls through it and gets back up, where Ewell is there to greet him with punches and a knee. Ewell jabs the body as Rivera recovers, and tags the damaged man from a distance before leaping in with a knee. Ewell continues to target the body with long, straight shots, and he nearly sneaks a right hand up. Rivera stands in front of him and trades, getting off a hard left hook. Ewell eats it without issue and kicks him to the gut, and when he drops his hands, Rivera zooms a huge left hand just inches away from his face. Rivera swings and misses again, and Ewell catches him with a left hand. When Ewell reaches in, Rivera times a huge jump knee that cracks Ewell on the chin. “Mr. Highlight” wobbles but stays upright, and Rivera shoots in for a takedown to try to catch him off-guard. Ewell scrambles and circles around to take Rivera’s back, but he cannot get his hooks in and nearly falls off. Ewell re-positions when Rivera kicks off, and the California native takes Rivera’s back. Rivera spins out to gain top position, where he lands a few punches until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Ewell leads off with a kick, and Rivera ducks out of the way. He tries to throw a few bombs, and Ewell is able to avoid most of the damage. They keep their distance and try to find their range, until Rivera explodes into a spinning back kick. He chains the kick into a short salvo of punches, and Ewell covers up as he bounces back to the fence. Ewell starts ripping the body again, and he barely avoids a superman punch that flies towards his chin. Ewell’s hands by his waist, he is able to snap them up quickly to land some single shots to the chin and midsection. Rivera commits to a pair of superman punches that are both blocked, and Ewell returns to his primary torso target with a reaching left hand. Rivera misses with a kick, and Ewell makes him pay in the form of four punches to make Rivera retreat back to the fence. Rivera circles out to the center of the cage, where he lands a loud leg kick. Ewell jabs at him from a distance. And Rivera blitzes forward but most of his strikes fall shy of the mark. Ewell sticks him with several left hands until he lifts up a big uppercut that rattles Rivera. “The Beast” wears it well and tries to swing back, but Ewell is too quick for him. Rivera sells out for a takedown, and Ewell stuffs it and barely misses a head kick. Rivera digs a shin into the crook of Ewell’s knee to end the round, as Ewell cannot counter with a long left hand in time.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Both fighters slug it out right out of the gate, and Ewell backs off to land a kick to the body. Rivera slings a head kick that zooms over his target, and crashes forward but ends up getting clipped on the inside by Ewell. “Mr. Highlight” lands a leg kick but gets drilled to the body with a spinning back kick. Rivera swarms him with several punches, but Ewell is able to roll with them and protect himself. They both start jabbing at one another, and a stiff left hand from Rivera snaps Ewell’s head back. Ewell returns fire with a one-two, and he stabs his toes into Rivera’s body with a teep kick. Ewell re-commits to the body shots as Rivera briefly doubles over, but “The Beast” regains his composure and starts swinging. Ewell obliges him, and the two start trading heavy leather. Ewell slips a huge right hook and gets one back on Rivera, and he jabs from a distance. Rivera is still interested in slugging it out, as he bites down on his mouthpiece to start throwing hooks. Ewell throws a kick that goes wild, and Rivera punishes him with a short barrage of punches. Rivera chops at the lead leg on the inside and outside, and he targets it again as Ewell tries to defend up top. Rivera changes levels but Ewell staves it off, and several sharp jabs find their home on Rivera’s chin. Rivera lunges forward with a few looping punches, and Ewell clips him on the way in but does not slow him down. A powerful shot from Rivera busts Ewell’s nose open, and he celebrates by ripping the body a few times. Ewell kicks at the body three times, and Rivera shrugs them off as he comes on with a fury. Rivera lands several ferocious punches and chains it into a takedown, where he slams Ewell on his back. “The Beast” puts all of his remaining energy into a long series of ground-and-pound that does some serious damage, and the horn sounds to end the exciting fight.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Andre Ewell def. Irwin Rivera via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Randy Costa vs. Journey Newson

Round 1

Still in the bantamweight division, Newson (9-2, 1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC UFC) tries to earn his first UFC win across three tries at the expense of proud Massachusetts native Costa (5-1, 1-1 UFC). Although Newson sparked Domingo Pilarte at UFC 247 in February, he failed a post-fight drug test for marijuana and the win was overturned. Keeping things clean in the cage is referee Mark Smith, and the two show a sign of respect by touching gloves. Smith immediately warns both men to retract their fingers, as they start off reaching them out at one another. “The Zohan” lands a quick left first, and Newson backs off and jabs from several feet away. Costa reaches in with a left hand, and slings a deadly left head kick that knocks Newson off his feet. Newson crumbles to the ground against the fence, and a few follow-up punches for Costa are purely academic as Smith cannot get in to save an unconscious Newson fast enough. What a finish for Costa, who now posts six first-round knockouts across his six career wins. You don’t mess with “The Zohan.”

The Official Result

Randy Costa def. Journey Newson R1 0:41 via KO (Head Kick)

Darrick Minner vs. T.J. Laramie

Round 1

After three bantamweight tilts, we switch gears to featherweight as the submission-minded Minner (24-11, 0-1 UFC) tries to become the first fighter to tap out Canada’s Laramie (12-3, 0-0 UFC). This bout between two men seeking their first UFC victory will be overseen by referee Dan Miragliotta, and a glove touch is the first strike of what could be many. Minner swings hard to the lead leg and his foot glances off the shin. Minner throws everything he has into a punch and stumbles, but he hops back up and starts winging shots with reckless abandon. Laramie takes a few but covers up and changes levels for a takedown, so Minner grabs hold of the neck. Still in danger, the Canadian continues to commit to the takedown. Minner jumps guard to drag his man down with the guillotine choke locked in tight. Laramie’s legs are stuck and he is wedged against the fence, and has no choice but to tap out with Minner’s vice-like squeeze. Minner has now earned his 22nd career submission across his 25 wins, and gets his first UFC victory in the process.

The Official Result

Darrick Minner def. T.J. Laramie R1 0:52 via Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Sarah Alpar

Round 1

In the first women’s bout of the evening, we return to 135 pounds, where “Jessy Jess” Clark (9-6, 1 NC; 2-2 UFC) will try to make “Too Sweet” Alpar’s (9-4, 0-0 UFC) UFC debut not so sweet. The Octagon ranger is referee Chris Tognoni, and the two touch gloves before throwing down. Both women paw out with jabs, and Alpar strikes first with a leg kick. Clark slings a right hand back at her, and two let loose a short flurry of punches. Alpar kicks the leg again, and Clark slaps her foot on Alpar’s body. Alpar wings a right hook that glances off Clark’s head, and “Jessy Jess” rushes in only to get taken down by a level-changing Alpar. The Aussie walks up the fence wall, so Alpar keeps her mashed to the fence while delivering a few knees to the thigh. Alpar changes levels again and nearly trips Clark’s leg out from beneath her, and when that does not work, she tries on the other wide before searching for a double. Tognoni asks Alpar to keep working, so Alpar commits to a single leg takedown and gets stuffed. Clark protects the takedown with a guillotine choke, and she uses it to stave off Alpar for a moment. “Too Sweet” doggedly pursues the takedown, and she grounds Clark again briefly. Like before, Clark does not stay down for more than a couple seconds before popping back up to her feet. Alpar continues to grind her on the fence, and Clark slams her in the face with a pair of elbows. The American turns away when getting shaken up from the strikes, and Clark uses the opportunity to take Alpar down. Like her opponent, Alpar springs back to her feet, and Clark drags her back down. Alpar pursues a kimura sweep, and the Aussie pulls out and steps into half guard. Clark grinds her elbow on Alpar’s face before landing some punches. Clark hops over to side control, but the round ends before she can capitalize.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Clark
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Clark
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Clark

Round 2

Clark walks through an early leg kick to land a right hand, and when she follows with a few punches, Alpar ducks down and hits a double. Clark pulls herself back up using the fence as her ally, and Alpar manages to get her back down. Clark once more muscles her way to her feet, and she plants a knee right on Alpar’s chest. The single strike allows for Clark to turn her about, where she takes Alpar’s back and starts kneeing and elbowing her on the inside. Clark pushes off and wings a right hand that misses, and Alpar fails to spin for a back fist. Halfway through the spin, Clark bullies her to the fence, and the action stalls as Tognoni implores the two women to do something. Clark pushes off, and she scores a popping kick to the thigh. When she walks forward, Alpar grabs hold of her and attempts a body lock takedown. Clark stays upright and starts smashing elbows on the side of Alpar’s head. Alpar falls to her knees from these strikes, and Clark presses her to the cage before kneeing her in the stomach. Alpar falls over and Clark follows her to the ground, where she knees Alpar to the side several times. Clark rains down several right hands that almost all land to the side of Alpar’s head, and Tognoni is taking a close look at the action. Briefly considering a rear-naked choke, she instead drills Alpar to the side of the head with a bevy of elbows until the horn ends the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Clark
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Clark
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Clark

Round 3

Clark runs towards her opponent at the start of the round to touch gloves, and Alpar ducks an overhand right to shoot in for a takedown. The Aussie stuffs it and may have grabbed the fence to defend from the very low takedown attempt, and she circles around to take Alpar’s back. Alpar spins to go after the takedown again, and Clark elbows her in the side of the head. Clark simply stands up to get out of harm’s way, and she knees Alpar in the chest to make her double over. Clark unloads with a striking combination that makes Alpar’s knees buckle, and Alpar slides down the cage. Clark blasts Alpar on the nose with a knee when Alpar is potentially grounded, and Tognoni stops the time but does not wave off the fight. The knee appears to be legal, and this fight should be over. Instead, Tognoni allows Alpar to recover while he calls on the doctor to check the blood pouring from her face. Tognoni claims he did not end the fight, and he asks Alpar if she can continue. She says yes. This is preposterous. A befuddled Clark walks back towards her dazed opponent and gets restarted in top position, and reluctantly rips into Alpar, attacking a fighter that has already been knocked out. Blood streams from Alpar’s face as she continues to take punishment, and Clark pours it on but does not earn the stoppage she deserved minutes ago. Alpar powers her way back to her feet but is busted up and on wobbled legs, and Clark land a right hand and knees her in the head to put Alpar down for good. Mercifully, the fight is now over as Tognoni finally intervenes. What a horrible mess, and yet another egregious error from Tognoni.

The Official Result

Jessica-Rose Clark def. Sarah Alpar R3 4:21 via TKO (Punch and Knee)

Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Mara Romero Borella

Round 1

Moving to the women’s flyweight category, Brazil native Silva (6-1, 1-1 UFC) will try to rebound from her first career defeat against Italy’s Borella (11-8, 3 NC; 2-4 UFC). Our referee is Jason Herzog, and the two decide against touching gloves to start things off. Instead, they flick out jabs, and both get some off before Borella changes levels to hunt for a takedown. She spins Silva around and drags the Brazilian down, where she lands in full guard. Silva grabs hold of her opponent’s hands, but Borella yanks her right hand free and smacks Silva in the face a few times. Silva throws up her legs for a triangle before aiming at an armbar. Borella lands a few more punches, but Silva tightens up her legs and locks it around Borella’s neck. Borella tries to punch her way out before sitting back, and she sits down to break the posture. Silva re-positions with her legs, wrapping her other leg around Borella’s head and snatching up an armbar. A complacent Borella is now concerned as her arm is trapped, and before Silva can even get the elbow extended, the Italian fighter taps out knowing things will end poorly for her otherwise. That is now five submissions in seven wins for the Brazilian, who bounces back from her first loss without breaking much of a sweat.

The Official Result

Mayra Bueno Silva def. Mara Romero Borella R1 2:29 via Submission (Armbar)

Mirsad Bektic vs. Damon Jackson

Round 1

Up next at featherweight, Bektic (13-3, 6-3 UFC) will look to snap the first losing streak of his career as he welcomes “The Leech” Jackson (17-3-1, 1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC UFC) back to the UFC. The third man inside the Octagon is referee Dan Miragliotta, who observes the two men as they decide not to touch gloves. Bektic instead marches forward and hits a quick takedown, putting Jackson on his back hard. Jackson attempts to kick off, and manages to power to his feet. Bektic trips him down and slams Jackson on his face, where he starts raining down punches. Bektic takes Jackson’s back and gets a hook in, so Jackson rolls through it. Bektic pushes Jackson’s head down and punches him illegally hard, and Miragliotta pauses the fight and admonishes Bektic. Miragliotta restarts the fight in a neutral position, and both men slug each other with right hands. Bektic changes levels and takes Jackson down, and Jackson immediately hunts for a guillotine choke. Bektic yanks his head out and bullies Jackson to the fence, where he nearly takes Jackson’s back while Jackson is on his knees. “The Leech” stands up only to get dragged down, and Bektic delivers a few heavy knees to the thigh. Jackson grabs hold of Bektic’s left arm and pulls for a kimura, and Bektic miraculously gets his arm wrenched behind his back without much concern. Instead, Bektic rolls out and punches Jackson in the face a few times to break the grip. Jackson tries to defend with the kimura, but Bektic rolls through it and considers taking Jackson’s back. Bektic cracks Jackson a few times, and Jackson goes for a low single to protect his face. When Jackson sits up, Bektic circles around to take Jackson’s back. Bektic lands one punch before putting his full body weight down to press Jackson down, and presses Jackson’s face to the mat. Bektic lands some thudding hammerfists to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Bektic
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Bektic
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Bektic

Round 2

Bektic kicks the leg and blocks a counter left hand, before shooting in for a takedown. Jackson defends on his back with a guillotine choke, and he grimaces as he squeezes tighter and tighter. Bektic punches the body to break the grip, but Jackson re-adjusts and pulls tighter. Bektic stays patient and manages to pop his neck free, taking Jackson’s back in a wild scramble for both men. Jackson tries to roll out and Bektic is happy to oblige the ground battle, expecting Jackson’s arms to be gassed out. When Jackson gets to his knees and back to his feet, Bektic slams him right back down. Jackson continues a kimura from his back to sweep, so Bektic punches his opponent’s unguarded side a few times. When Jackson muscles to his knees, Bektic pulls his leg out and brings him right back down. Jackson fights the hands while Bektic’s arms are around his waist, and Bektic gets a body triangle before bailing on it when Jackson stands up. Jackson tries to roll through, but Bektic thwarts him and punches him in the side of the head a few times. Bektic sees an opening and pulls for a guillotine choke, and Jackson is practically doing a handstand with his legs on top of the fence as he tries to walk through it. Jackson pulls his head out and winds up on top, where Bektic throws his legs up with triangles. With seconds left on the clock, Jackson rips a few elbows that are just angled right to not be considered 12-6 until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Bektic
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Bektic
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Bektic

Round 3

Jackson strides out of his corner like a man on a mission, and he slings a big right hand as soon as he reaches his man. He lands a few more punches until Bektic clinches up with him, and Bektic takes a few knees to the body before changing levels. When Bektic goes after a single, Jackson tries to defend with a guillotine choke, and Bektic ignores it to power through the takedown. Jackson rolls through into mount with the choke still tight, and Bektic is wincing as his face changes color. “The Leech” squeezes with everything he has left, as he presses down on his foe. Bektic thinks about going out, but at the last second, he taps out a few times to surrender. Unbelievable! Jackson pulled off the shocking upset and comeback on short notice. All but one of Jackson’s win have come by stoppage, and although this is his 14th submission, it is his first by guillotine choke. On the other hand, Bektic had never been submitted.

The Official Result

Damon Jackson def. Mirsad Bektic R3 1:21 via Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Jordan Espinosa vs. David Dvorak

Round 1

Headlining the preliminary portion of the event is a flyweight affair pitting the ranked Espinosa (15-7, 1 NC; 2-2 UFC) against a surging Dvorak (18-3, 1-0 UFC). Referee Jason Herzog will keep a watchful eye on this likely fast-paced match, and the two touch gloves to start off. Dvorak opens with a heavy leg kick that nearly turns his opponent about, and Espinosa stings him with a right hand. Dvorak kicks the leg out from beneath Espinosa, and he jabs to the body but takes his own kick to the knee. Dvorak attacks the leg once more after dodging a looping punch, and he eats a right hand when trying to press forward. Another leg kick from Dvorak leads to Espinosa switching stances, and he comes back with a quick one-two. Espinosa whiffs with a right hand and avoids a low kick that swings past him. Espinosa gives one leg kick back, and Dvorak drops his hands to taunt him. Dvorak lands a few punches, and a right hand makes Espinosa stumble backwards. The American keeps his balance, and he pursues a takedown but gets shoved away. Dvorak tries to make him pay with an overhand left, and Espinosa barely ducks out of the way. Espinosa closes in and gets caught with a right hand, and Dvorak delivers one more low kick. When Espinosa wades in to attack, Dvorak clips him with a right hand to make “The Gamer” back off. Espinosa swings and misses with a head kick, and Dvorak is similarly inaccurate with a low kick. Dvorak again chips at the lead leg, and he absorbs a calf kick that flies back at him. Dvorak walks in and ducks a pair of punches that whiz by his head, and he dances out of the way from a head kick. Both men come up short with kicks, and Dvorak tries to spin with a wheel kick but Espinosa is far enough away to avoid it. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak

Round 2

Espinosa rushes out of his corner but does not engage, instead reaching out with a jab and a one-two that do not connect. Dvorak crashes his leg off Espinosa’s thigh, and the American changes stances immediately. Dvorak blocks a head kick and tries to counter but comes up short. Espinosa steps in with a knee, and he backs off before eating a right hand. Dvorak cracks him with another, and Espinosa is keeping a good poker face but is starting to have his movement hampered as Dvorak chops at it again. They come together with right hand, and both land and stumble backwards. Dvorak spins around in a circle while attempting a leg kick, and Espinosa jabs out at him. Dvorak scores a right hand, and he keeps making Espinosa nervous by kicking the leg. Espinosa pops out the jabs a few times, and Dvorak walks through it to try to land a few hooks. The American dodges and weaves, sticking jabs and moving. Dvorak kicks the leg once more, and Espinosa is forced to change stances a few times. Espinosa lands a left hand, and Dvorak fires back in kind with a right hand counter before hacking at the leg. Espinosa is in trouble as he falls backwards, and Dvorak sees it and throws another kick to the same spot. Espinosa comes in to fire, and Dvorak catches him on the end of a right hand before planting a leg kick on the American. At the sound of the 10-second clapper, Dvorak blitzes him with a series of punches before slapping a pair of leg kicks to end the round in style.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak

Round 3

Espinosa gingerly walks out of his corner, but he quickly gets on his bike and kicks at Dvorak’s knee. When Espinosa changes stances, Dvorak kicks the other leg. Espinosa goes back to the knee stomp, and Dvorak bullies him into cage with a few heavy shots. Dvorak may have gotten away with a groin shot, and as they separate, Dvorak kicks the leg. Espinosa flings a high kick up, and Dvorak lets it bounce off his shoulder before bearing down on his opponent. Dvorak gets off a heavy calf kick, and as Espinosa is struggling with it, Dvorak kicks the other leg. Espinosa lets fly a head kick that Dvorak ducks, and the Czech fighter strides forward with a big right hand. Three punches come from Dvorak, and he punctuates his combination with a low kick. Espinosa scores a right hand and has his own leg kick checked, so Dvorak thanks him for it with another leg kick. “The Undertaker” gets off another, and Espinosa falls backwards. Dvorak charges him with a few punches, and Espinosa defends against them while keeping his balance. Dvorak kicks at the same time as Espinosa, and they clack shins. Dvorak kicks the other leg of Espinosa, whose leg swings back to try to take some of the sting off of it. Espinosa jabs a few times but Dvorak is unfazed and chops down the tree that is Espinosa’s left leg. Dvorak gets clipped with a right hand to open up a cut under his eye, and he ignores it to bestow some leg kick gifts to his adversary. Dvorak circles on the outside and celebrates his win before the horn sounds to end the fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak (30-27 Dvorak)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak (30-27 Dvorak)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Dvorak (30-27 Dvorak)

The Official Result

David Dvorak def. Jordan Espinosa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Kevin Holland vs. Darren Stewart

Round 1

Opening the main card – the whole event is airing on ESPN+ – is a middleweight matchup pitting Stewart (12-5, 1 NC; 5-5, 1 NC UFC) against yet another fighter initially signed from the Contender Series in Holland (18-5, 5-2 UFC). The pairing between two men who prefer to get the finish will be presided over by referee Mark Smith, and the two men touch gloves to start off. Holland opens up with a leg kick and blocks an overhand right. Stewart goes to the same big right hand, and Holland charges him. In the clinch, a wild volley from both men comes in the form of several knees and elbows. Holland pushes Stewart to the fence, and he tells Stewart that he is strong. Holland gets kneed in the groin and is allowed time to recover, and he says it is an “Apex thing.” The action resumes as Holland kicks the leg, and they both clash leg kicks at the same time. Holland ducks a pair of looping hooks on the way out, and as he jabs he gets kicked in the leg. Stewart connects with a hard leg kick, and he tries to check it but does not get his guard up in time. Holland flings a head kick and Stewart eats it like a sandwich, and Stewart responds with a huge right hand that wobbles Holland. “Trailblazer” falls back to the canvas, possibly to lure his opponent in or he could be hurt, and he cracks Stewart with two huge punches that make the Brit have rubber legs. The two bite down on their gumshields and swing furious leather until they die up, and Holland stomps his toes as hard as he can. Both men start punching each other in the thigh as they turn one another about against the fence, and Holland works the body and checks Stewart in the face with his shoulder. Stewart absorbs several loud stomps on his toes and knees to the thigh, and Holland backs off to fire two punches but the Brit blocks them. Holland steps in with a side kick, and as Stewart steps out of the way, Holland hits him with a standing hammerfist. When Stewart throws a naked leg kick, Holland counters him with a left hand, and Stewart wears it well. The Brit crashes in for a takedown, and Holland defends it with a guillotine choke to stand Stewart up. Smith already calls both men to work, and Holland attempts to throw his man. They separate, and Holland kicks him in the head and points at him to laugh. The horn sounds, and the two men grin.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Holland

Round 2

The second round begins with Holland cracking jokes and laughing, before he kicks the lead leg. Holland stomps forward to make Stewart react, and he kicks the knee hard. Stewart returns with one of his own, and Holland kicks high and gets his leg caught. The Brit picks up the leg and slams Holland down, before landing a strike on the ground before standing up. When Holland tries to hit him with an upkick, Stewart punches the sole of his foot. Both men trade leg kicks, with Holland trying to sweep the leg and kick out the knee. Smith decides he has had enough of that exchange and stands them up. Holland kicks the leg, and Stewart kicks straight to the kneecap in response. Holland chops at the leg again, and he avoids the counter while smacking Stewart with a hammerfist. They trade leg kicks, and Holland blasts Stewart with a one-two. Stewart spins about possibly hurt, but he fires back at him and shouts “Let’s go” repeatedly. Holland backs off and takes a few leg kicks along with a jab, before chaining together an unorthodox combination with a back fist and hammerfist included. Stewart lands a kick to the groin, and Smith does not see it so we do not take a pause. Holland shoots in low to duck an overhand right, and his neck is instantly in guillotine choke danger. Stewart grabs hold of the neck but bails on it to punch him in the side of the head. Holland stands up and wings a few punches, but Stewart defends them without concern. Stewart stomps the knee again, forcing Holland to shake his leg out. The Brit kicks it again, halting Holland in his tracks. Holland lands a side kick, and he avoids a jab to shoot in from a distance. He abandons the takedown to start swinging heavy leather on Stewart, landing shots until they clinch up. Stewart spins him around and lifts him in the air as the horn blares. Mid-air, Stewart decides to slam Holland down with gusto, and Smith breaks them up.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Holland
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Holland

Round 3

They clap hands to check in the third round, and as Stewart walks forward, Holland slings a few hooks that glance off the chin. Stewart winds up with a right hand and Holland is barely able to duck out of the way. Holland kicks the leg and gets it caught, so he punches Stewart in the face a few times until the Brit elevates the leg and slams Holland down. Holland works his way back up, but Stewart has his hands clasped and he puts Holland back to the ground. “Trailblazer” again fights his way up and sets up a kimura to sweep Stewart. Stewart holds the cage several times with his toes, and Smith and Holland both call him out on it. The two get back up against the cage, and they jockey for position while they deliver a few knees to the body. After landing a few punches to the thigh, they disengage. Holland stings him with a right hand, and Stewart is not concerned and walks forward. The American ducks down to take the fight to the ground, and “The Dentist” stuffs it and cracks Holland on the chops with an elbow. Holland stays committed to the takedown, but Stewart turns him around and scoops Holland up to slam him down. Stewart lands a few strikes from on top, and Holland rolls to his side to eat several punches and draw a warning to fight back from Smith. Holland boxes his ears and elbows him from his back, and Stewart postures up to rain down punches and elbows. Stewart starts trash talking Holland on top as he drops down punches, and yells at his opponent while punishing him from on top. Stewart continues to shout and strike until the final horn ends this unusual fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Stewart (29-28 Holland)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Stewart (29-28 Holland)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Stewart (29-28 Holland)

The Official Result

Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Mackenzie Dern vs. Randa Markos

Round 1

In the lightest division in the UFC, submission magician Dern (8-1, 3-1 UFC) looks to become only the second fighter to submit “Quiet Storm” Markos (10-8-1, 6-7-1 UFC). Clocking in the strawweight match is referee Jason Herzog, and the two women touch gloves. Dern walks forward with a left hand and Markos counters her with a few punches. Dern kicks high and falls over, and Markos jumps into her guard and nearly gets armbarred instantly. Markos pulls through it, so Dern sets up a high guard into a triangle and sits up to pull Markos down. The Canadian stays calm and composed while in the lion’s mouth, and she does not strike as she instead looks to posture out. She lands three punches on the side, forcing Dern to sweep her with an omoplata. Dern steps into mount, and Markos pulls her to half guard for a moment before Dern steps back into the dominant position. Holding one of Markos’ arms down, Dern elbows her in the face but is in a three-quarter mount with a leg caught between Markos’ legs. Dern tries to trap an arm in an armbar, and Markos twists her shoulder to pull herself free. Markos kicks her legs and twists, but Dern locks the arm under her armpit and torques it past the point of no return. Appearing frustrated with herself, Markos surrenders with her arm in an awkward angle. For the first time in her career, Markos has lost consecutive bouts.

The Official Result

Mackenzie Dern def. Randa Markos R1 3:44 via Submission (Armbar)

Johnny Walker vs. Ryan Spann

Round 1

The heaviest bout of the night comes in the form of light heavyweight finishers Walker (17-5, 3-2 UFC) and Spann (18-5, 4-0 UFC). Keeping a lid on what could be a thriller is referee Dan Miragliotta, and the glove touch precedes the action. Walker cracks Spann with a leg kick, and he scores a right hand to force Spann shoot in for a takedown. The Texan gets Walker down for a moment, but Walker walks up the cage wall to his feet. Spann knees the thigh as he grinds Walker against the fence, and they turn each other around as Spann gets off a few more short knees. Walker gives it back to him as Spann puts his full body weight, but Walker pushes him off. Spann cracks him with a left hand and puts Walker down, where he takes mount and traps Walker’s arm. Spann rains down punches, and Walker bucks him off and rolls over to get on top. Spann throws his legs up and pushes Walker off. Spann springs back up, and both men blast each other with punches at the same time. Spann recovers faster, and loops a right hand while charging in for a single. Walker slams Spann in the head with elbows and punches while defending the takedown, and Spann appears to go limp for a moment. The American re-positions and tries to yank out Walker’s leg, allowing Walker to keep landing elbows and punches at an angle that could be on the back of the head. As Walker pours it on, Miragliotta intervenes to stop the fight. Spann’s coach Sayif Saud explodes out of concern for his fighter or possibly because some illegal strikes landed. For the time being, Walker records a huge win with a first-round knockout of Spann.

The Official Result

Johnny Walker def. Ryan Spann R1 2:43 via KO (Elbows and Punches)

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert

Round 1

At middleweight, recent fan-favorite Chimaev (8-0, 2-0 UFC) comes to blows with the submission-savvy Meerschaert (31-13, 6-5 UFC) in the former’s third UFC bout since mid-July. There is some bad blood between the two, but they still decide to touch gloves before referee Mark Smith. Chimaev reaches out with a front kick, and he backs Meerschaert up against the cage. Chimaev walks “GM3” down and loads up on a bomb of right hand. That shot right down the middle detonates on the side of Meerschaert’s head, sending the veteran down and out. As Smith is sprinting to stop the fight, “Borz” gets off a few more shots that are completely unnecessary. Wow. What a wild knockout.

The Official Result

Khamzat Chimaev def. Gerald Meerschaert R1 0:17 via KO (Punch)

Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price

Round 1

In a match many are considering imminently worthy of post-fight bonus money, “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC; 23-12 UFC) tries to right the ship against the hard-hitting Price (14-4, 1 NC; 6-4, 1 NC UFC). Hanging on tight in this welterweight battle is referee Jason Herzog, and both men are amped up as they touch gloves before trying to take one another’s heads off. Price steps in with a left and a right, and Cerrone ducks out of the way and lands a hard leg kick. Price tries to counter with a right hand, and lets fly a head kick. Price scores a hard right hand, and he gets a body kick in to hurt Cerrone. Price bullies Cerrone against the fence and lands several blistering elbows in the clinch. Price pours it on, so Cerrone pushes him off to reset. They jab at one another at the same time, and Cerrone is hurt from a right hand. Price knees him and elbows him in the face, and Cerrone sneaks a few back to force a separation. Price wings a big right hand, and Cerrone avoids and backpedals as he is still trying to shake out the cobwebs. He considers a takedown but ends up clinched, where Price knees him and “Cowboy” gives him a few back. Price gives Cerrone a reminder of a recent fight by scoring a heavy shoulder check, and Cerrone thanks him by kneeing Price in the face. Cerrone turns Price to the fence and knees him in the gut, and knees him again along with a head kick on the break. Cerrone lands a body kick and a right hand as Price reaches out, and he steps away from a big front kick. Price jabs out his fingers and pokes Cerrone in the eye, and “The Hybrid” immediately apologizes for the foul. Cerrone takes only a few seconds to clear it, and he takes a right hand. Cerrone ducks out of the way of one that follows and checks a leg kick to throw back. Price steps in to slug it out, and Cerrone dips and lands a right hand. Cerrone ducks another looping shot and scores a jab, and the head kick that follows barely misses. Price throws a high kick that lands on the body, and Cerrone tries to return fire and it clatters off Price’s chest. Price sinks in a right hand, and a left comes after it, but “Cowboy” kicks him in the head for it. Cerrone changes levels for a takedown, and when Price stuffs it, Cerrone lets fly a head kick. Price jabs out with his fingers to push off, and this time he pokes Cerrone in his other eye. Price curses loudly out of frustration, and Herzog takes a point from him for the second foul. Cerrone comes out with a few body shots when the action resumes, and he sits down on his strikes and ends a combination with a leg kick. The horn sounds, and the two men clap hands.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 9-9
Ben Duffy scores the round: 9-9
Tyler Treese scores the round: 9-9

Round 2

Price starts off with a low kick followed by a one-two. Price keeps Cerrone at bay with low kicks, and when Cerrone steps forward, Price has his fingers out and Herzog warns him again. Cerrone eats a few more leg kicks, and Price rips the body with a left hand. Price scores a few body kicks and a left hand right on the spot where Cerrone is cut. Cerrone lands a left hand, and he blocks a combination to score an uppercut. Price jabs out and gets countered with a left hand, and Cerrone is starting to work his own jab. Price paws out with his fingers out, and he kicks the leg and up high indiscriminately. Cerrone takes a few body shots, and he ducks the punches up top to go to the body. Price kicks the leg, and Cerrone steps in with a knee to the body. Cerrone works the body with several punches, and he drills Price in the body with a spinning back kick. Price walks through it to try to land some shots, and Cerrone pushes through it to get off another couple punches. “Cowboy” tries to take the fight down, and Cerrone answers it with a short barrage of strikes. Price connects with kicks from a distance, and Cerrone returns fire with a left hand. “The Hybrid” connects with a string of body kicks, and Cerrone winds up with a heavy, thudding shot to the liver. Cerrone ducks a jab and looks for an uppercut, and he crashes forward but does not land much with it. Cerrone scores a jab and a big elbow on the way in. Price’s eye immediately starts to swell up, and Cerrone jabs at it and tags the body with a three-punch salvo. The Florida native kicks the leg a few times, and Cerrone winds up and scores a spinning back kick. Cerrone blocks a body kick, and he catches one on the other side to land an elbow over the top. The horn ends the second round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cerrone
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Price
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Price

Round 3

The two strikers hug it out to begin the round, and Price attacks the leg and hits a jab on Cerrone’s face. Cerrone blocks a head kick but takes a leg kick. Cerrone may have landed a groin shot, but Price waves it off. “Cowboy” shoots in for a takedown, pulling Price down to the ground. “The Hybrid” works his way back to his feet, and he swings and misses on the way up. Cerrone takes a few body kicks while landing over the top, and Price continues to pepper him with a distance. Cerrone sticks out a jab and takes a leg kick, and both men reach out and poke one another in the eye. A double eye poke, that’s a new one. Both men agree to continue and apologize to one another, and they start slugging it out. Cerrone ducks out of the way from a Price flurry, and he ducks down to dig a left to the body. Cerrone shoots in from afar to take Price down, and when the Floridian stands up, Cerrone hops on his back like a backpack. Cerrone is high on the back and Price tries to buck him off, but Cerrone keeps a tight grip with his legs. Price punches himself in the head to punch Cerrone, and he manages to toss Cerrone off of him. Price allows Cerrone to stand back up after a kick to the thigh, and both men land punches. Cerrone lands a left to the body, and Price returns with a left to the head. Price keeps attacking the lead leg of “Cowboy,” and Cerrone pops him with a few left hands. Price wades forward for his own takedown, and Cerrone circles out to boot Price in the head. Price is fatigued and wobbled, and Cerrone goads him on and they land shots. Cerrone scores a trip of jabs, eating a right hand and attacking right back. Cerrone kicks twice to the body, and Price clinches up. One last combination from Cerrone to the body with a head kick up top ends this wild fight. The scorecards could be all over the map in this one.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cerrone (29-27 Cerrone)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Cerrone (28-28)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Cerrone (28-28)

The Official Result

Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price is Ruled a Majority Draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley

Round 1

We have reached the main event, which culminates in a welterweight grudge match between bitter rivals and former champs Covington (15-2, 10-2 UFC) and Woodley (19-5-1, 9-4-1 UFC). There is no time for love or glove touches – Woodley does offer but is rebuffed – and referee Dan Miragliotta will have his hands full watching over this matchup. Woodley walks forward with several left hands to find the range, and Covington gets him to back off with a head kick that comes up short. Covington gives him a leg kick, so Woodley replies in kind with a heavier one. Covington shoots in and hots a double leg takedown with relative ease, and he is in Woodley’s full guard as Woodley has him locked down. Covington stands up in the guard to start punching Woodley in the head, and “The Chosen One” explodes to his feet. Covington knees him in the body and the two begin to trade punches to the midsection, until Covington lands another and Woodley pushes him off. Covington throws up a head kick that gets blocked, and he reaches out with a front kick to the body. Woodley whiffs with a right hand, and he barely blocks a left hook from his opponent. Covington gets in a left hand, and he presses Woodley back to the cage. Woodley backs him off with a straight right to the body, and Covington kicks him harder to the torso. Covington winds up with a right hand and catches Woodley right on the chin, but the former champ shrugs it off as Covington bullies him into the fence. Woodley tries to push him back but Covington grinds him against the cage wall as he starts firing knees. Covington stings Woodley with a pair of elbows to force a break, and he follows the strikes with a right hand that gets Woodley’s attention. Covington goes back to embracing the grind, and Woodley aims to the body a few times. They separate again, and both miss from a distance until the horn ends the first frame.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Covington

Round 2

Woodley swings with four punches and misses each one, and Covington slaps him in the leg for his effort. Covington slings a high kick that gets blocked, and a jumping switch kick that splits the guard. Woodley lands at the end of a right hand, and as Covington retreats, Woodley kicks him in the leg. Covington leaps into a knee, and Woodley pushes it off but winds up with his back mashed on the fence. Woodley keeps peppering the body with short punches, and Covington sneaks in an elbow. Covington digs to the body with an elbow, and the two men break away. Covington connects with a left hook as Woodley ducks and tries to circle out to reset. Covington slaps his midsection with the instep of his foot, and he grabs hold of Woodley to take him down. Woodley rebuffs his attempt and takes Covington down instead. “Chaos” defends it and puts his neck in danger, where Woodley latches on with a guillotine choke. Covington drops down for a single as his double is unsuccessful, and when Woodley too stops that, Covington elbows him in the head to break away. Covington swings and misses on a series of punches, and Woodley uppercuts him on the chin. Covington bullies him back to the fence, but Woodley pushes away. The former interim champion kicks him in the cup and the action does not stall, and instead Covington keeps striking him. Woodley throws back to get him to retreat, and Covington comes back at him with a body kick. Woodley wears it well and springs off the fence with a superman punch that partially lands. Covington sneaks up a high kick and scores a left hand, and Woodley appears to be hurt or playing possum, as when he backs up to the fence, he waits to counter Covington. Woodley lands a few strikes, but none are flush as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Covington

Round 3

The round begins very quickly with an eye poke from Covington after a leg kick, and Woodley turns away while Miragliotta pauses the fight. Miragliotta calls in the doctor to check, and allows Woodley to wipe off his face as he tries to blink it out. Woodley does not promptly respond that he can see, and instead takes all the time he can to recover. The fight clocks back in, and Woodley puts on the pressure with several looping punches. Covington evades them and fires back at him, ducking an overhand right in the process. Woodley swings and misses with a right hand as Covington slings a head kick his direction. Covington scores a jab, and Woodley cracks him with a right hand. Covington clinches him up and pursues a takedown after that heavy shot, going after a single but losing his grip as he squeezes Woodley against the fence. Covington tries to sneak in an elbow on the inside, and Woodley knees him to the body twice in response. Miragliotta asks the two men to work, and Covington frames off to wing an elbow. Woodley briefly turns out but “Chaos” turns him back as he presses his full body weight on the ex-champ. Covington stays latched on to Woodley like an Alabama tick, and Woodley again tries to explode out but gets powered back to the same position. The action has stalled out for well over a minute, with a small number of clinch strikes landed as time ticks off the clock. Covington throws an elbow and goes right back to the clinch, where he controls Woodley and lands a knee up the middle. The two men separate and Covington jumps forward with a vertical elbow, and the round ends in the clinch.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Covington

Round 4

Covington walks out of his corner and plants a head kick on Woodley. “The Chosen One” wears it well as he gets back to the fence, and he throws back a body kick and a leg kick. Woodley rips another body kick, and just blocks an overhand right coming at him. Covington uses the strike to close the distance and shoot in for a takedown, where he pursues a single and transitions into a double. Woodley defends again with a guillotine choke, forcing Covington to change his approach and abandon the attempt. He re-gathers himself and lifts Woodley up to slam him down. Woodley keeps a butterfly guard and targets a kimura to try to sweep, but Covington pulls his arm out and lands a few right hands. Woodley closes his guard and gets swatted with arm punches from his opponent, before Covington elbows him in the face. “Chaos” continues to grind Woodley out with punch after punch, and when Covington pulls his head up, Woodley’s eye starts pouring blood – likely from the elbow. Covington drills him with a right hand and an elbow to force Woodley to re-close the guard, and he is making the former champion miserable. Covington lands more punches from on top as the blood leaks into Woodley’s eyes, and Woodley is struggling as he keeps taking punches. Covington punches to the body and head to open up Woodley to more shots, dropping down an elbow every so often. Woodley blocks punches with a hand covering his face, and Covington ends the round on top with more of the same.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Covington
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Covington
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Covington

Round 5

Covington steps in with a body kick, and he jabs his way forward before landing a body kick with the other leg. Woodley eats a front kick and one to the leg, and he rushes in with a looping right hand that comes up shy of the mark. He shoots in for a takedown and lifts up Woodley to put him on his back once more, to resume where he left off in the last round. Woodley defends it with a guillotine choke, but as soon as it hits the ground, he looks completely defeated. Woodley holds on to the guillotine, and as Covington looks to get some ground-and-pound off and turns him on the ground, Woodley shrieks in pain to force Miragliotta to intervene. Woodley appears to have hurt his rib or something in his abdomen, and the fight is over. Covington springs to his feet to scream at the camera that he wants to rematch Kamaru Usman or face former training partner Jorge Masvidal. This was one-way traffic for Covington, who grinded out a bitter rival without ever really being in danger. This is the last card at the UFC Apex for a while, so we will see you on the scenic Yas Island in a week with a big pay-per-view offering!

The Official Result

Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley R5 1:19 via TKO (Rib Injury)
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