UFC on ESPN 24 ‘Rodriguez vs. Waterson’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
May 8, 2021
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Christian Aguilera (170.5) vs. Carlston Lindsay Harris (170.5)

Round 1

This ESPN fight card that took hit after hit proceeds with 9 fights tonight, and we start things off in the welterweight division. “The Beast” Aguilera (14-7, 1-1 UFC) will try to make Guyanese newcomer Harris (15-4, 0-0 UFC) feel unwelcome in the Octagon – win or lose, Harris will become the first fighter from Guyana to set foot in the UFC cage. Referee Marc Goddard will be in charge of this card opener, and there is no glove touch to commence the violence for the evening. Instead, Aguilera hops forward with odd angles, but rushes right into a takedown attempt from the debutant. Harris grabs hold of a body lock, spins him around, and cannot get Aguilera down. Harris does manage to get Aguilera’s back for a moment, but the American powers his way to spin out of the precarious position to press “Mocambique” into the cage wall. Aguilera pushes him away, and he narrowly avoids a front kick. Aguilera reaches out with a few jabs and bumped back with a kick, and he stings Harris with a quick uppercut. “The Beast” throws so hard after this strike that he falls over, but Harris is still recovering so he does not take advantage of it. The two clinch up, giving Harris a moment to clear out the cobwebs. When Harris gets free, he rocks Aguilera with a right hand, and he fires off another big looping shot that makes Aguilera shoot in for a desperation takedown. “The Beast” falls neck-first into an anaconda choke while on his knees, as Harris snatches up the grip and cinches it around Aguilera’s neck in an instant. The choke is immediately tight, and Aguilera is doomed. A few seconds elapse as Aguilera tries to break the grip or wriggle himself free, but there is nothing for him to do but surrender. The American does not decide to tap, and Harris’ vice-like squeeze sends Aguilera off to dreamland. Goddard recognizes that Aguilera is sleeping with his eyes open, and he halts the fight to award the win to the UFC neophyte. That is a great way to start the night, with a slick technical submission in the first round.

The Official Result

Carlston Lindsay Harris def. Christian Aguilera R1 2:52 via Technical Submission (Anaconda Choke)

Tafon Nchukwi (186) vs. Jun Yong Park (186)

Round 1

Up next at middleweight, Park (12-4, 2-1 UFC) tries to keep his momentum going after a 2020 “Beatdown of the Year” candidate drubbing of John Phillips against unbeaten “Cameroon Express” Nchukwi (5-0, 1-0 UFC). The 185ers will draw officiating from referee Chris Tognoni, and there is a respectful glove touch to get things going. Nchukwi opens up with a leg kick as he takes the center of the cage, and there is a clear hole on Park’s chest that appears to be something like a staph infection reminiscent of Kevin Lee in the past. Nchukwi begins an assault on the South Korean, landing punches buoyed by kiais as he slugs away at his defensive foe. Park blocks the majority of the strikes, but the sheer impact knocks Park back a few times. A few noteworthy kicks land for Nchukwi, forcing Park to clinch up and go chest-to-chest. Nchukwi pushes off, and he sticks out a stiff jab and a slapping leg kick. Park tries to find his range, and all the while, Nchukwi is chipping at him with kicks. Park sets up his jab a few times, disrupting combinations and breaking up the constant forward momentum of the Cameroonian. When Park sits down on a one-two, Nchukwi is right there to counter with an overhand right that clips him on the side of the head. “The Iron Turtle” stays stoic and continues to pepper Nchukwi with frustrating but effective jabs. Nchukwi swings and misses with a power strike, allowing Park to counter him. Nchukwi charges in with a spinning strike, but Park sees it coming, blocks it, and kicks the calf with an audible thud. Both men land leg kicks and right hands, and neither is worse for wear from these accurate blows. Nchukwi catches Park coming forward with a strangely angled slapping kick to the groin, and the South Korean crumbles to the ground in pain as Tognoni goes over to attend to the downed fighter. Park gives himself 60 seconds to get his bearings, and the fight resumes. The two touch gloves, and both men score quick jabs one after the other. Park shows a tell whenever a strike lands, as he wipes his nose before throwing back. Nchukwi crashes forward to throw bombs, and Park parries most of them and continues to work the jab. The Cameroonian gets off a thumping kick to the body, and Park dances out of the way when leg kicks follow to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The middleweights touch hands to commence the second frame, and Nchukwi backs away to score a few glancing leg kicks. Park scores, and Nchukwi weaves and rips the body. The man once known as the “Cameroon Express” chugs forward and delivers a barrage of heavy strikes, but Park is able to protect himself from the majority of the harm and circle away. A Nchukwi shot gets defended by Park, who presses his man into the cage. After a stalemate, Nchukwi lifts up a crunching knee that smashes square into the cup. Park once more clatters to the ground as he screams in pain, and this time he is not getting back up quite as quickly. Tognoni deducts one point for the second foul, and Nchukwi is apologetic about this indiscretion. Less than two minutes elapse before Park is able to recover and fight, and Nchukwi picks up where he left off in the center of the cage with leg kicks and long punches. Nchukwi snaps the head back with a jab, and his foe replies in kind with a power jab of his own. Nchukwi walks through strikes and scores a body kick, and he gets jabbed as he winds up with a bomb. Park shoots in low for a takedown, and Nchukwi’s sheer power bowls Park over. The South Korean bucks and kicks to try to get his man off of him, and Nchukwi slams his fist into the side of Park’s head. Park meets Nchukwi’s muscle with some of his own, as he powers back to his feet without taking much damage. Nchukwi thanks him for this by getting off a thudding overhand right, and Park is not remotely fazed. The fighters trade jabs as the round winds to an end, and Nchukwi breaks up a series of jabs with a leg kick. Nchukwi shoots in for a takedown, and Park grabs hold of his neck and jumps guard for a guillotine choke. The choke is tight, but there is not enough time to finish it before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Park offers a touch of gloves to begin the final round, and Nchukwi reluctantly accepts this. Both fighters pick up where they left off with a steady diet of jabs, one after the other. Nchukwi changes his target by jabbing the body a few times, and they clash together but cannot land on one another. The Cameroonian winds up on power punches, but they cannot quite land flush and instead careen off the side of Park’s head. Nchukwi rips the body with a left hand and follows it with a leg kick, but he gets countered with a crisp counter strike. When Nchukwi attacks with a body kick, Park sees it, snags the leg mid-air and pushes forward to trip Nchukwi over and climb on top. Park, in half guard, is trying to keep Nchukwi grounded and is more concerned about his position than dealing damage from above. Despite this, Nchukwi gets to a knee to sit up, only for Park to drag his leg out again. Nchukwi redoubles his effort to stand, and he succeeds. Park does not allow him up for long, and secures a quick mat return to put the unbeaten fighter on his back again. Park steps over to three-quarter mount as he simultaneous aims a few punches while setting up an arm-triangle choke. It does not take Park long to take mount, but he backs off to the three-quarter mount again to land strikes. Nchukwi turns and surrenders his back, and Park sinks in a rear-naked choke. The choke is not totally in, and Nchukwi is able to break the grip and survive. Another Park choke attempt is unsuccessful, but this time, he makes Nchukwi pay by smashing Nchukwi up with punches and elbows. A few emphatic elbows slash Nchukwi open, and the blood is flowing like a horror movie. Park sucks the legs out when Nchukwi tries to get back to his feet, and he rains down brutal elbows right to the final bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Park (29-26 Park)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Park (29-26 Park)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Park (29-26 Park)

The Official Result

Jun Yong Park def. Tafon Nchukwi via Majority Decision (30-25, 29-26, 28-28)

Ludovit Klein (146) vs. Michael Trizano (146)

Round 1

Moving on featherweights to cap off this truncated preliminary card, the finish-minded Klein (17-2, 1-0 UFC) will aim to lift his win streak to nine at the expense of the TUF 27 lightweight victor Trizano (8-1, 2-1 UFC). The Octagon ranger is referee Herb Dean, who bears witness to a glove touch before they start swinging. Trizano’s majestic mullet sways behind him as he presses forward, reaching out with his left hand to find his range. Klein catches him with a jab, and then a right hook as the American bears towards him. Klein sits back, sinks in a one-two, and Trizano is surprised but he does not miss a beat. Trizano scores a heavy right hand, and the Slovakian kickboxer backs way and paws out with a jab. Another big right to left hook clips Trizano, and he scores a solid jab that reddens the nose. “The Lone Wolf” fires back with a clubbing right hand, and Klein circles away around the fence. Trizano touches him with a front kick that makes Klein bounce off the cage, and he flicks out a solid jab. “Mr. Highlight” returns fire with a piercing front kick, and he leans back to evade a jab that soars at him. A quick Klein head kick gets blocked, allowing Trizano to march forward and occasionally reach out with a jab. Trizano looks to time Klein’s circular movement with a body kick, but Klein blocks it and fires back with a stomping kick to the knee. Trizano lunges and reaches with a strike, but Klein counters and charges in for a takedown. The Slovakian fighter successfully lands the double, putting Trizano on the corner between the cage and the floor. Trizano does not want to stay down for long, and he bursts back upright but gets mashed into the cage wall. Trizano gets off a slapping leg kick and he eats a front kick to the body, and he ends the round with a few swinging strikes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round begins with a solid inside leg kick from Trizano, and he walks into a few punches and a body kick as he advances. Trizano sneaks in a big right hand, and Klein returns right after to land a heavy right hand of his own. Trizano meanders forward and scores a body kick, and he is just able to get out of the way from a high kick. Klein scores a heavy left hand and he chains it together with a solid combination, before trying to take the fight down. This time, Trizano stuffs the first try, leading Klein to change levels for a double. Trizano fights off this attempt as well, and he makes Klein pay with a right hand on the break. Another inside leg kick from Trizano gets off, who targets that same spot again. Klein, after absorbing a few of these strikes, surges forward with a stream of looping punches that make Trizano retreat. Both featherweights trade kicks, and Klein swings and connects with his forearm and not his fist. Trizano does not even register the strike, as he continues to advance and reach with strikes. Klein changes his timing and leaps forward with a three-strike combination, and Trizano backs away to score a couple leg kicks. A few outstretched punches from Trizano find their home, but Klein fires back with some much more emphatic shots to ring Trizano’s bell. Klein slings a head kick, and when Trizano pays attention to blocking it, he rushes across the cage to hit a double leg takedown and put Trizano down again. Trizano defends while sitting down by punching his man in the side, and the round ends in this position.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

There is one last glove touch to begin the round, and we pick up where we left off with Trizano chasing Klein around the cage. Trizano blasts Klein with a huge right hand, rocking the Slovakian fighter and forcing Klein to shoot in for a desperation takedown. Trizano stuffs it without issue, and he marches Klein down to try to finish the job. Instead, it is Klein whose strikes find their home, with a big right hand and a leg kick that makes Trizano fall over. Klein stands back and observes his work instead of following Trizano to the ground, allowing Trizano to get up and continue his stalking approach. Trizano walks through a kick to try to knee Klein in the chest, and Klein is there to counter him with a few body kicks and sharp punches. Two hooks bounce off Trizano’s head, and Trizano bears down on him but cannot keep Klein trapped. Trizano tries with all his might to throw big punches, and he splits the guard with a stiff jab. Klein tries to get off a spinning kick, but Trizano is too close range, allowing him to counter with a right hand. Trizano rings home a one-two, and Klein retreats to eat a few more punches. Trizano’s right continues to find its home, until Klein has had enough of this and shoots in for a takedown. The two go all the way across the cage with Klein’s shot, and “Mr. Highlight” completes it and puts Trizano on his seat against the fence. After a few body shots, Trizano stands up and gets back to striking range. Klein lets loose with an overhand left and a body kick, and Trizano tries to respond too aggressively. This leads Klein to attack a takedown, and Trizano defends with a guillotine choke off his back. The American looks to sweep with the choke, and he nearly takes mount but decides to just hold on to it. Klein’s face changes colors as he bucks and kicks, and he manages to survive the round and reach the final bell. This could be a close one.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Michael Trizano def. Ludovit Klein via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Phil Hawes (186) vs. Kyle Daukaus (186)

Round 1

The new main card opener sees a middleweight clash between representatives of rival states New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as Hawes (10-2, 2-0 UFC) will ply his knockout-friendly trade against submission specialist Daukaus (10-1, 1-1 UFC). The third man in the cage for a fight that may not last long is referee Mark Smith, and there is no serious glove touch before the two get down to business. The blonde-haired Hawes comes out aggressively, throwing bombs and backing Daukaus up immediately. Hawes has a kick clip the cup, and there is a pause for just a second or two. Daukaus adjusts himself and throws back with heavy leather, and Hawes is either hurt or off-balance, as he slips back. Hawes interrupts an advancing Daukaus with a front kick, and he goes back to stalking the Philadelphia native down and throwing big strikes. Out of nowhere, Hawes ducks down, scoops Daukaus up and slams him down. Daukaus defends off his back with a guillotine choke, but he is immediately in danger for the Von Preux choke. Hawes recognizes this and presses his shoulder down, but he cannot finish it. Instead, Daukaus uses pure power to roll Hawes over and put him on his back. “Megatron” slides right into danger with a choke attempt from Daukaus, but he scrambles and gets out of harm’s way. When he gets to his knees, Daukaus takes his back. Hawes defends the hooks, powers back to his feet, and is quick to fight off a single leg takedown attempt from Daukaus. When he does not land it, Daukaus drops to his knees for a double, and that too comes up short. Hawes, while keeping himself upright, is landing short strikes to the body and head to make Daukaus think twice about his position. Hawes lifts Daukaus up with a knee to the chest, but he cannot get the Pennsylvanian off of him. Daukaus embraces the grind, pressing Hawes into the wire and putting his full body weight on his man. Both men try to get off elbows, but neither are successful. Daukaus sells out for a double, and Hawes sprawls against the cage and keeps his balance to fight off this attempt. Hawes introduces his knee to Daukaus’ torso, and the two separate with seconds to spare. Neither throw anything of note until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The middleweights rush out of their corners to meet in the middle, but it does not take long for Hawes to push the pace and start backing Daukaus up against the fence. Daukaus tries to spring forward with a kick to the body, and Hawes interrupts him and lands a few punches. Daukaus swings a spinning strike, and Hawes does not completely avoid it. “Megatron” is suddenly rocked, and Daukaus lays into him with a salvo of punches to try to finish the job. Hawes gains the wherewithal to embrace the grappling, and even though he cannot get the takedown, he gains valuable time clearing his head. The two clinch briefly, and push off, where both men trade heavy shots. Daukaus gets the better of an exchange, and Hawes bends over and slams his right hand into the torso. A cracking right hand puts Daukaus on roller skates for a moment, and the Philadelphia native crashes in to clinch and try to take the fight down. Daukaus looks to trip his man down, attack singles or otherwise plant Hawes on his back, but the Sanford MMA fighter stands tall and looks frustrated. Hawes frames off to nail Daukaus with a stern elbow, and this forces Daukaus to backpedal quickly. Hawes parries a strike to fire back at Daukaus, and he mixes things up with body strikes and head shots. “Megatron” notices his body work is starting to make a difference, and he lifts up a knee to the body. The knee does not rise high enough, and it clunks straight into Daukaus’ cup. Thirty seconds are all Daukaus needs to catch his breath, and Hawes picks up where he left off with body shots. As he targets the body and again with impunity, Daukaus shoots in low for a takedown to stop this. Hawes stuffs it and pushes Daukaus back, where he drills Daukaus with a right hand and a front kick that nails Daukaus in the head when Daukaus bends over. Hawes hunts Daukaus down with strikes until the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Smith calls in the doctor between rounds to check a cut around Daukaus’ eye, but there is no concern and the fight clocks in normally. Hawes loads up on several big shots to begin the round, alternating between the head and body with punches and kicks. Hawes works the body, catches a body kick, and puts Daukaus on his back. Daukaus throws up his legs quickly to defend with a triangle choke off his back, but “Megatron” laughs it off, breaks the position and postures up in Daukaus’ guard. There may have been an eye poke for Hawes, but he is warned in passing as Daukaus complains. Daukaus opens and closes his guard to try to find a better way out, all while Hawes pounds on him with short strikes. Individually, they may not be especially damaging, but they are adding up quickly as time ticks off the clock. Daukaus punches the back of the head a few times in passing, and he grimaces when his own blood trickles into his eye. Hawes steps into half guard, where he begins to unleash a series of punches to try to pound Daukaus out. Daukaus twists and nearly climbs to his feet, but Hawes pushes him back over and continues to work him over with left hands. Smith asks for Daukaus to keep moving and defend himself, and Hawes uses this as an opportunity to start slamming down elbows. Hawes continues to batter Daukaus with punches and elbows, and once more, Hawes appears to scrape the eye with his fingers. Daukaus appears miserable as blood is in his eyes, Hawes relentlessly punches him, and he cannot do anything but get Hawes back to his full guard. The 10-second clapper leads Daukaus to close his guard to lock Hawes down, where he survives and does not take much more punishment until the fight is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Hawes (29-27 Hawes)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Hawes (29-27 Hawes)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Hawes (29-27 Hawes)

The Official Result

Phil Hawes def. Kyle Daukaus via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

Diego Ferreira (160.5: Missed Weight) vs. Gregor Gillespie (156)

Round 1

It’s grappler versus grappler in a catchweight affair, after Ferreira (17-3, 8-3 UFC) missed weight by nearly five pounds ahead of his meeting with college wrestling champ Gillespie (13-1, 6-1 UFC). This 160.5-pound contest draws officiating from referee Chris Tognoni, and Ferreira appears apologetic as he offers a glove touch. Gillespie rebuffs him, and takes the center of the cage. Both men try to find their range from far away, and Gillespie closes the distance with a big left hook. He misses this one but lands a subsequent similar strike, and he fakes a level change to disrupt Ferreira’s movement. Ferreira does not bite, and he takes a stern leg kick on the way in. Gillespie gets off a front kick, and he counters Ferreira on the way in but still eats a left hand. Gillespie lifts Ferreira’s leg up in the air in an effort to take the fight down, and Ferreira scrambles and fights for a leglock. The submission attempt forces Gillespie to change his plan, which allows Ferreira to attempt his own takedown. Gillespie gets up, but he takes several crisp punches that bust open his nose. Ferreira follows them with more strikes that ring Gillespie’s bell, and Gillespie begins to attack for a desperation takedown. Ferreira pulls his leg out, and Gillespie attacks another but falls short as well. Gillespie drops to his knees, but Ferreira starts to pound on him with an odd crucifix position. Gillespie powers through to take him down, and Ferreira throws his legs up for an omoplata shoulder lock. Ferreira uses the try to get back to his knees, and the two are trapped arm-in-arm as they jockey for dominant position. Ferreira gets up first, and he threatens with a head kick but cannot get it off in time. From a distance, Gillespie shoots in low, and he manages to take him down on a subsequent try. The Brazilian scoots his way back to the fence, and Gillespie hits a mat return but stands back up. Gillespie’s aggression allows him to take the back, but he slides off and it is Ferreira that secures back position. Ferreira flattens Gillespie out and starts smashing him with elbows, and he ends the round on top.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Between rounds, Gillespie appears to be a bit hurt or totally spent as the round concluded. Tognoni calls in the doctor, and Gillespie is a bit out of sorts but able to continue. Ferreira steps forward, gets off a one-two, and is kicked in the chest on the way out. Another solid one-two finds its mark from Ferreira, and Gillespie ducks down and shoots for a double. Ferreira hops on one leg and punches Gillespie in the side of the head, ultimately defending the takedown and landing a left hand. Ferreira once more defends a desperate attempt, and Gillespie redoubles his effort and gets Ferreira down. The Brazilian scrambles wildly to push Gillespie over, and he gets away with a fence grab to stay upright momentarily. Ferreira attacks a kimura to sweep the position, and he takes Gillespie’s back for a second. The two are going wild as they buck and twist for dominant posture, and Ferreira winds up on his back with a two-on-one wrist lock held tight. Tognoni asks for Gillespie to keep working as the action has stalled out, and Ferreira sits up only to get shoved back over. Ferreira kicks off the fence and rolls for an armbar, but he abandons it when Gillespie defends properly. This allows Ferreira to get to his knees, and Gillespie grabs him and rolls through to put Ferreira back down. The American circles around to the back to land a few strikes, but the two continue to swirl back and forth. Every time one takes solid position, the other one reverses and gets an advantageous place. Gillespie secures the back control with hooks in, where he flirts with a rear-naked choke but decides instead to start landing shots. Gillespie sits on top in mount as Ferreira twists and turns, and his strikes continue to add up while Ferreira is stuck looking for a way out. Gillespie starts hammering Ferreira with elbows and punches, and he has Ferreira flattened out and he continues his assault. Ferreira is spent now and barely defending, and “The Gift” pours it on with one final barrage. Tognoni has seen enough, with a never-ending onslaught of punches and elbows as Ferreira has nothing left to give. This is a massive comeback for a fighter who looked like he might not have even been able to start the round, let alone secure a finish over a tough contender.

The Official Result

Gregor Gillespie def. Diego Ferreira R2 4:51 via TKO (Elbows and Punches)

Maurice Greene (237) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (264.5)

Round 1

It’s time for a heavyweight battle between two renowned camps as Jackson-Wink MMA’s Greene (9-5, 4-3 UFC) comes to blows with American Top Team rep Rogerio de Lima (17-7-1, 6-5 UFC). This classic striker versus grappler bout, as Rogerio de Lima sports most of his wins by knockout while Greene prefers the submission, will receive oversight from referee Herb Dean. There is a touch of gloves, and both men are amped and ready to go. Greene lands a right hand, and he just barely avoids a huge counter. These two start slinging crazy leather, and both land flush and do some damage. Rogerio de Lima loads up on a right hand that Greene ducks, and “The Crochet Boss” grabs hold of him in the clinch. Greene clings on to him, and he pulls guard to drag Rogerio de Lima down with him. Greene keeps a full but open guard, and Greene closes it up briefly with his neck against the fence. Rogerio de Lima starts dropping down right hands as Greene looks to finagle a better position, and Greene’s odd angle prevents him from being able to throw his legs up. The Brazilian’s ground-and-pound slowly continues to mount, and Greene eats these strikes without much concern. “Pezao” keeps his full body weight on Greene, and he gives Greene no space to do anything. Greene gets shoved into the wire while Rogerio de Lima lays on top of him, and Greene decides to start landing short strikes from off his back since Dean has not so much as warned them to stay busy. The round ends like this, with Rogerio de Lima heavy on top landing sporadic shots.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rogerio de Lima
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rogerio de Lima
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rogerio de Lima

Round 2

Greene rushes out of his corner, but as soon as Rogerio de Lima is there to duck a strike, Rogerio de Lima hits a trip takedown and puts the American on his back in seconds. Rogerio de Lima lands in side control, and he begins to introduce his right hand into Greene’s face repeatedly. Greene gets him back to half guard, but he is trapped now in a similar position from the previous round with his neck on the cage and his body flat on the canvas. Greene bucks and tries to scoot back to the fence, but the Brazilian wrenches him back down and he starts nailing Greene with right hands. Rogerio de Lima carries on with his smothering top pressure and prevents Greene from turning over by landing a few strikes. Greene groans as he takes a few heavy punches, and there is nothing he is able to do to get out of this position. Greene looks to sit up, but the Brazilian easily gloms on him and pushes him back down to the ground. With an approach that some would consider lay-and-pray, Rogerio de Lima holds Greene down and occasionally gets off a short strike or two. The slow round ends with Rogerio de Lima landing a strike after the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Rogerio de Lima
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Rogerio de Lima
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Rogerio de Lima

Round 3

Greene is not thrilled about the strike after the bell, and he and Rogerio de Lima jaw at one another between rounds. Before the round begins, Dean admonishes both men for their respective fouls, as Greene may have poked the eye while Rogerio de Lima landed the illegal blow. It is unclear if Dean deducted one point from Rogerio de Lima, and this will need to be monitored. Once we begin, Greene reaches out with his fingers outstretched, and Dean shouts at him to close his hands. A few strikes for Greene are met with a body lock into a trip, and Rogerio de Lima puts Greene back down on the canvas again. Rogerio de Lima sits on half guard in his grinding best by flattening Greene down and landing shots. Yet again, Greene cannot move as he is trapped, taking punches every now and then. Rogerio de Lima may be winning the fight, but he is not winning any fans with this agonizing performance. Rogerio de Lima steps over to side control, allowing Greene to walk his feet to the fence and try to kick off. Rogerio de Lima gets to north-south position due to this, and the Brazilian works the body a few times. Dean finally calls for action after little-to-no activity between the two, and he tells Greene to watch the back of the head as Greene flails in this north-south placement. Once again, Dean implores them to work, and Greene kicks off but falls back into half guard. This fight ends in this position, and this dreadful 15-minute slog is now mercifully over.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Maurice Greene via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Neil Magny (170.5) vs. Geoff Neal (171)

Round 1

Not since Arnold Allen faced Alan Omer in 2015 will the UFC commentary team struggle to call these two fighters, as Neil Magny (24-8, 17-7 UFC) takes on Geoff Neal (13-3, 9-1 UFC) for top-10 consideration. Both men will be looking to right their records, as each most recently dropped headlining appearances. Gracing the cage with his officiating presence is referee Mark Smith, and there is no glove touch between these two welterweights before they throw down. Magny comes out firing, with long punches as he keeps Neal at bay. Neal cracks Magny with a left hand as Magny comes down from a flying knee, and Magny is shook. The two clinch up with Neal pressing Magny into the wire, and Neal aims to unload with elbows but Magny has him tied up. Neal backs off to land a storm of punches, and Magny backs him away with a few kicks. Neal clubs Magny with another big left hand, forcing Magny to bounce off the cage wall and take a few more shots. The two tie up in the clinch again, and Magny tries to tie Neal’s leg up to hit a trip. Neal does not let this succeed, and he squeezes Magny into the chain links like a cheese grater. Magny holds on tight as the two jockey for position against the fence, and Magny sneaks in a few open-handed strikes to the ear before Neal backs off. Both men trade single strikes, and Neal walks through to put a few more together and force Magny to defend. “The Haitian Sensation” scores a body kick, only to get bullied back with several punches. Magny fires right back, leading to a clinch. Magny circles around, takes Neal’s back, and lifts Neal in the air. “Handz of Steel” has balance of steel as he hops back to stay upright, but Magny is relentless with the pursuit of this takedown. Neal and Magny both get to a knee, and Neal springs up to take an elbow flush on the jaw. Magny backs him off with a few kicks, as Neal looks to press the action, and Neal enters the clinch again. Both men trade short strikes right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Both welterweights meet in the middle, and Magny pumps put several jabs that Neal blocks outright. Neal does the same, and they all fall short. Magny sits down on a right hand that splits the guard, and Neal replies with a punch to the body. Magny’s strikes are sharp, as he connects with several when Neal bears down on him. Neal fires off a big right hand that partially lands hard, and Magny pushes him off with a kick to the cup. After the briefest of pauses, they get back to it, with a slapping body kick for Magny. Neal wades through the long strikes from Magny and score on his own, but Magny’s volume is keeping Neal at bay long enough to escape. Neal stings Magny with a right hand, and Magny circles out of the way to sneak in a left. Neal grabs him, and he hits a trip takedown to put Magny down for a second. When Magny gets back up, Neal times a damaging left hand that Magny can do nothing but take flush. Magny backs away, only to rush forward and attempt his own takedown. Neal stuffs it and makes him pay with a solid left hand. After a brief clinch exchange, the two separate and fire off kicks at one another. A charging Neal is met with a Magny that changes levels to pursue a single, and Neal hops back to try to put his leg down. Magny takes his back as Neal puts his foot down, but Neal is not grounded for long before jumping back up. Neal pushes Magny into the fencing, where he lands a body shot before they separate. Both men trade strikes, with Magny content to touch him while Neal is trying to land with more damaging intent. Magny gets off kicks and jabs as Neal wades through them, and Neal pushes Magny into the fence with such force that Magny’s head bounces off of one of the cameramen. Magny ignores it and breaks free, but Neal is pushing the pace as he throws heavy, and two big lefts land right before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Neal comes out of his corner a man possessed, loading up on a few big punches. Magny slips them and flicks out his jab, but it is Neal that lands a straight punch to the body. Magny’s strikes are largely parried, but they are keeping Neal from establishing his own rhythm and getting anything serious together. As Neal comes at him, Magny kicks him in the head. Neal blocks it and lands a solid left hand, forcing Magny to retreat and reset. Neal stalks him down, only to be met by a knee to the chest that slows him for a moment. Magny sticks and moves, throwing punches and even a spinning kick, but not many of them land successfully. “The Haitian Sensation” goes for a takedown in the open cage, and Neal pushes him off and tries to hit him with big shots. Magny circles away from the power, and his jab is adding up fast as Neal sees it but cannot stop it. Three big punches from Neal back Magny into the cage wall, and Magny welcomes the clinch as it takes Neal’s power away from him. Magny lands a quartet of quick punches on the break, and several more jabs land while Neal comes to load up on shots. Neal keeps eating jabs, and he comes up well short of the mark with a head kick. Magny rushes in with jabs, and he ties Neal up and takes him down. Neal powers back up, but Magny holds him bent over against the fence where he can knee him a few times. Neal breaks free, only to have to stuff another takedown attempt. Magny embraces the clinch with several strikes, and he dislodges Neal’s mouthpiece with one such blow. The work rate for the Elevation Fight Team standout is spectacular, landing five for every one that Neal can get off. Magny puts his hands up and tells Neal to come at him, and he lands a big right hand and a body kick. Magny keeps talking to Neal, and he fires off a head kick right before the final horn blares. There is a bit of a tense moment as the two stare one another down, but it quickly subsides into congratulatory hand slaps after three hard-fought rounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Neil Magny def. Geoff Neal via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Donald Cerrone (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)

Round 1

Even though Cerrone (36-15, 2 NC; 23-12, 1 NC UFC) has not won a fight since 2019, and is winless in his last five, he still comes in as moderate favorite against Morono (18-7, 1 NC; 7-4, 1 NC UFC). The winningest fighter in company history, who also holds the all-time finish record of 16 with Charles Oliveira, will greet the short-notice replacement and hard charging Fortis MMA stalwart before referee Marc Goddard. All business, the two welterweights do not touch gloves before committing violence on one another. Morono comes out firing from his corner, launching a booming right hand right at Cerrone’s head. “Cowboy” ducks it and attempts a takedown, where he gets stuffed and pressed into the fence. Morono lands inside strikes while Cerrone looks for a trip, and Morono knees him and scores an uppercut on the inside. The two break away, and Morono comes out swinging big shots that glance off the target. Cerrone ducks a right hand to land a kick, and Morono gathers himself to throw a big punch. Cerrone stops him in his tracks with a knee to the liver, and Morono shakes it off and tries to come back firing. Cerrone lands a body shot and a low leg kick, stepping forward to connect with a few punches after. Morono winds up with a big shot that is partly blocked, and Cerrone times a body kick on a Morono jab. “The Great White” dings a right hand off Cerrone’s chin, and he slings another that does not find its mark. “Cowboy” keeps the body kick going, and he ducks down for a takedown attempt. Morono fights it off and tosses Cerrone to the ground, but he does not engage with him and legs him up. Morono instead throws everything he has into a few punches, and “Cowboy” ducks and pursues a takedown. When Cerrone pushes off and advances, Morono greets him with an overhand right that busts up his nose. Cerrone tags the body with a kick, and Morono paws out his left hand to decent effect. Another power right hand makes Cerrone double over, and Morono headhunts with several more thudding punches as “Cowboy” rolls but still takes most of them flush. Cerrone walks through another right to score a leg kick and a jab, and Morono winds up with a huge right hook that hurts “Cowboy” badly. Cerrone takes a big body shot as he bends over backed against the fence, and Morono is nailing him with lethal punches. Morono continues to pour it on as Cerrone falls back into the cage wall, in serious danger and getting smashed up. “Cowboy” tries to defend with a body kick, but Morono marches through it, lobs a few more bombs, and each of them detonate on the head of Cerrone. Goddard sees that Cerrone may be out on his feet or otherwise unable to defend himself, and he calls the fight. This is undoubtedly the biggest win of Morono’s career, beating a legend in the game in the first round with strikes, and doing it on short notice in a huge co-main event opportunity.

The Official Result

Alex Morono def. Donald Cerrone R1 4:40 via TKO (Punches)

Marina Rodriguez (125.5) vs. Michelle Waterson (125)

Round 1

Our main event, which was put together on short notice, comes at flyweight between two ranked strawweights Rodriguez (13-1-2, 3-1-2 UFC) and Waterson (18-8, 6-4 UFC). Needing no further introduction, referee Herb Dean will keep track of the match as he observes the final cage-sealing glove touch. Neither woman is willing to advance early, as Rodriguez reaches out low with a kick. Waterson tries to step in with a side kick, and she is well out of range. A leg kick from Waterson gets countered by a straight right hand, and Waterson trips on the way back. Waterson gets off a low kick and a body kick, only to get met with a body kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez lays into her with several body shots and a right hand over the top, and Waterson can do little but shell up for a second. The Brazilian backs off and measures a looping right hand that comes up short. “The Karate Hottie” slaps Rodriguez in the face with her foot, and Rodriguez responds with an overhand right that again draws a reaction out of Waterson. The power differential is evident so far, with Rodriguez putting more behind her shots than Waterson early on. Rodriguez meets an advancing Waterson with an elbow, and she chains it together with a combination. Waterson tries to get her back with a spinning kick followed by one after she stopped spinning, and neither are there when Rodriguez is. Waterson chops at the lead leg, and Rodriguez responds with a body kick and a right hand when she plants her foot. Waterson backs off, scores a leg kick, and returns to her distant range where spinning kicks miss. The Brazilian chops at the calf, and Waterson steps in with a thudding leg kick in response. Rodriguez marches through when Waterson spams her side kick to crowd her with punches, and Waterson pushes her away with a side kick. Rodriguez absorbs a leg kick to walk in, land a few punches and a knee up the middle, and back off. Waterson kicks out Rodriguez’ leg on the way forward, and the Brazilian stumbles and stands back up unconcerned. She loads up on a right hand and tags Waterson, and she fires off one more to force Waterson to clinch her. Rodriguez thanks her with this by kneeing her in the head a few times until the horn halts the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Waterson strides out of her corner to stand in the center of the cage, and Rodriguez kicks her in the chest as if Rodriguez were in "300" shouting "This is Sparta!" Waterson tries to give her one back, but Rodriguez checks it. A step-in side kick from Waterson bounces off the face of her opponent, and Rodriguez slides out of the way when Waterson throws a big head kick. Another side kick from Waterson comes up high, leading Rodriguez to try to greet her on the way in with a step-in knee. Rodriguez marches her down, ignoring a kick to the side so she can throw hands. Waterson does not like the head kick that comes at her after a few punches, and Rodriguez lays into her with a few more crushing punches. Rodriguez chases Waterson down, as Waterson retreats and tries to escape the clinch that Rodriguez is setting up. Rodriguez gets the clinch against the cage, where she starts attacking the body with knees. One more big knee leads Waterson to push off, and Waterson sneaks in a right hand as Rodriguez throws wild punches. Rodriguez fakes a leg kick to blast Waterson with an overhand right, and Waterson reels before getting off a leg kick. Rodriguez is ready to brawl, marching forward and laughing off strikes so that she can throw bombs and clinch up to knee. Rodriguez targets the midsection with a few such knees to solid effect, and Waterson cannot get out of this position fast enough. Waterson tries to land another leg kick, and this one is checked like earlier in the round. Rodriguez checks another kick to fire one back, and she aims a few big shots across the forward bow. Both women trade leg kicks, and Waterson kicks the solar plexus as Rodriguez winds up on a huge right hand. Waterson ducks it, pushes in to clinch, and bails on it once Rodriguez tries to knee her. Rodriguez unloads with several knees and elbows as Waterson is stuck on the cage wall, and a few more knees and one thumping elbow conclude the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two women meet in the middle, and Waterson kicks the leg low early and falls over kicking so hard. Waterson somersaults to get away, and Rodriguez is on her only to get kicked in the head. The Brazilian gets pinned to the fence, where Waterson looks to hit a body lock or trip takedown. Rodriguez frames her off and shoves her away, where she lances the body with a right hand. Waterson uses her legs to keep Rodriguez away, but Rodriguez is laying into her with massive shots. Dean calls for Waterson to work as Waterson turtles up against the fence, and Rodriguez pours it on to try to force a finish. Waterson escapes, and she boots Rodriguez with a side kick that makes Rodriguez fall over. When she stands up, Waterson hacks at her lead leg and forces Rodriguez to take a bad step. Rodriguez begins to target the knee with several stomp kicks to the knee a la her training partner Jon Jones, and she lands an outside leg kick that makes Rodriguez visibly react. Rodriguez gathers herself and walks forward to throw leather, landing a few big shots and making Waterson careen off the cage wall. Waterson gets in a leg kick, but she cannot keep Rodriguez at bay as the Brazilian attacks with a swarm of punches to the body. Rodriguez kicks the body, only to get countered over the top, and Waterson keeps attacking Rodriguez’ lead leg. Waterson stings Rodriguez with a right hand, but Rodriguez takes it like a walk in the park and nails Waterson with a trio of blistering punches. Rodriguez tries to get off a head kick, and when it is blocked, she bears down on Waterson to land three punches. Waterson lands a single body kick, and Rodriguez rushes at her to land more punches. A few punches from Rodriguez make Waterson double over, and Rodriguez takes the opportunity to knee her in the head a few times. Rodriguez starts assaulting Waterson with punches and knees, and Waterson retreats as she is hurt. “The Karate Hottie” circles on the outside to survive to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

The first strike of the round lands from Waterson, who kicks Rodriguez in the chest. Rodriguez looks to counter, but she hits nothing but air on the way back. The Brazilian sees a leg kick coming, which allows her to counter and land two big punches. Rodriguez backs off and slaps at the leg, and alternates to the body with her left leg. She walks forward like a Terminator to batter Waterson, and Waterson is stuck throwing single strikes and kicks. Rodriguez stabs her toes in the midsection, and she goes up high with a kick that gets barely blocked. Waterson suddenly changes levels and hits a takedown, putting the Brazilian firmly on the ground. Rodriguez has her neck on the corner between the floor and the cage, where she scoots her back up in an effort to stand. Waterson gets off a single left hand while she is half guard, and Rodriguez seems complacent to be in this position. Waterson tries to posture up and land another blow, and Rodriguez kicks off the cage but cannot improve her position. Waterson begins to work her over with left hands and elbows, while Rodriguez is stuck with no way up as if she were Maurice Greene earlier tonight. Rodriguez kicks off the chain links again, but Waterson shoves her back down in the same position as before. When Rodriguez sits up, Waterson pulls her back down. The Brazilian attacks a two-on-one wrist lock off her back to threaten with a sweep, but “The Karate Hottie” embraces the grind as she sits up and elbows Rodriguez a few times. A few more punctuating elbows from above wrap up Round 4.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 5

Waterson is fired up to start the last round, and Rodriguez offers a glove touch to clock it in. Waterson accepts, and Rodriguez tosses out a body kick. Waterson reaches out with a left hand, interrupting a kick coming her way. Rodriguez sits down on a leg kick, and Waterson takes a moment to fire off a body kick. The Brazilian reaches with a big right hand that just misses, and she chains together a combination and a head kick that breezes by Waterson’s hair. Waterson snaps out a high kick that stuns Rodriguez for a moment and may have broken or otherwise damaged her jaw, and Rodriguez tries to attack but gets kicked in the body and doubles over. Rodriguez is hurt but Waterson may not recognize this, as she allows Rodriguez to catch her breath and launch a looping right hand that collides with Waterson’s forehead. Rodriguez attacks the body and falls over when Waterson circles away, and both women load up on shots and sting the other. Waterson lands a left hand and a glancing head kick, and the two trade single punches at the same time. One after the other, the two score leg kicks, and they back up to reset. Rodriguez digs deep with a kick to the body, and she swats at Waterson with a few punches as Waterson whiffs. The two score with big strikes, and Rodriguez is throwing wildly but with full power still. Rodriguez kicks Waterson in the head, and Waterson eats it like a sandwich and is ready to keep going. Rodriguez lands a few more punches, bounces Waterson off the fence, and the fight is over. Waterson unleashes a screech of joy and jubilation that the battle is over, and this turned out to be quite a fun contest for one that was put together this week. Next week, fight fans will be treated with a scintillating pay-per-view card with a headliner worth its weight in gold between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight strap. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (49-46 Rodriguez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (49-46 Rodriguez)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (49-46 Rodriguez)

The Official Result

Marina Rodriguez def. Michelle Waterson via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
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