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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Nolan King

UFC Fight Night 224 play-by-play and live results

LAS VEGAS – UFC Fight Night 224 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

In the main event, Mackenzie Dern (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) takes on Angela Hill (15-13 MMA, 10-13 UFC) in a women’s strawweight bout. In the co-feature, Anthony Hernandez (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Edmen Shahbazyan (12-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) at middleweight.

To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC Fight Night 224 discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporter Ken Hathaway (@kenshathaway ) on Twitter.

Themba Gorimbo vs. Takashi Sato

Round 1 – What’s up folks? We have 13 fights on tap today. Not the most high-stakes card of all time, but there are some fun matchups. The first fight is underway. Sato comes in aggressive and Gorimbo clinches him. Sato stuffs a Gorimbo takedown attempt but Gorimbo keeps driving. Gorimbo drives Sato into the fence. They’re just hanging out here. Sato briefly takes Sato’s legs out but Sato pops back up. Sato gets off the cage and takes Gorimbo down. Gorimbo uses a beautiful reversal and now has Sato’s back. Gorimbo seeks the rear-naked choke but Sato defends. Gorimbo lands some punches from the back. Sato survives until the horn. 10-9 Gorimbo.

Round 2 – OHHH! Gorimbo drops Sato with the first punch of the round. It was a right hand. Sato is on his back. Gorimbo pounding away. Sato ties him up and rises up to his feet. Sato lands a nice knee in the clinch – and another. Gorimbo shoves him into the fence, but Sato reverses and lands another pair of hard knees to the body. Gorimbo reverses position again. Sato tosses Gorimbo to the canvas with a head and arm throw. Gorimbo works back up and takes Sato down against the fence. Sato wall-walks upward. Satos lands a knee to the body and breaks. Gorimbo lands a hard punch and shoots for a low single leg. Sato tries to stuff but ends up on the ground against the cage. 20-18 Gorimbo.

Round 3 – Unless the judges are smoking something funky, Sato needs a finish here to win the fight – and potentially his UFC career hangs in the balance. Gorimbo grabs hold of Sato again and slips the legs out from under his opponent. Sato tries to scramble but ends up in butterfly guard. Sato tries to scramble away again but Gorimbo takes his back. That was a risk and it didn’t pay off. Gorimbo has the body triangle and Sato is trapped. Eventually, Sato rolls into Gorimbo and rains down some ground-and-pound. Gorimbo is blocking a lot of these elbow attempts. Sato runs out of time. 30-27 Gorimbo.

Result: Themba Gorimbo def. Takashi Sato via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Themba Gorimbo (11-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Takashi Sato (16-7 MMA, 2-5 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Mike Bell, Junichiro Kamijo, Tony Weeks

Victoria Leonardo vs. Natalia Silva

Round 1 – Silva comes out with some very slick, confident combinations. The high kick is her combo-finishing strike of choice early. Leonardo is staying calm and composed, but hasn’t really threatened much of anything. Perhaps she’s trying to get a feel of what Silva is showing. Silva snaps another head kick. Silva is spamming head kicks. Leonardo is leaking and on the retreat. A right hand stuns Leonardo, who covers up while standing. Silva blasts her with a head kick against the cage and referee Kerry Hatley jumps in. A standing stoppage, but a good one. Silva lets out a victorious roar. She’s a force to be reckoned with.

Result: Natalia Silva def. Victoria Leonardo via TKO (strikes) – Round 1,
Recap: Natalia Silva swarms Victoria Leonardo for Round 1 TKO
Records: Victoria Leonardo (9-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC), Natalia Silva (15-5-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
Division: Women’s flyweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Kerry Hatley

Nick Fiore vs. Chase Hooper

Round 1 – Both men come out super aggressive on the feet. Hooper shoots for a takedown. Fiore drops to a knee but gets up against the fence. Fiore tries to toss Hooper on his face. They crash to the canvas, but Fiore grabs hold of a calf slicer attempt in the scramble. Fiore smartly escapes and lands on top. Hooper scrambles but Fiore lands in north-south. They get to the feet and Hooper tags Fiore, who retreats. Hooper pushes forward and the tie up against the fence. Fiore gets away and the two trade. Their heads brush. They need to watch out for that. Fiore lands some decent combinations. Hooper returns and ties up Fiore. It backfires, though. Fiore tosses him to the canvas. Hooper bucks his legs up and puts Fiore in a position reminiscent of Gary Goodridge vs. Paul Herrera. Fiore rolls out and they get to the feet. Hooper swarms Hooper with a barrage of punches with about 20 seconds left in the round. Referee Jason Herzog is warning him to move. Fiore absorbs dozens of strikes but survives until the bell. 10-9 Hooper.

Round 2 – Hooper comes out aggressive and lands a big punch. Fiore catches a Hooper kick and takes him down. Fiore moves right into mount. Hooper once again bucks his hips and grabs Fiore’s leg. Fiore rolls and rolls and rolls to escape. Hooper still has a grip on the leg but it’s not enough for a heel hook. Hooper utilizes it to get up, however. Hooper is landing over and over again. Fiore’s mouthpiece falls out. A timeout is called and it goes back in. They tie up and separate. A hard standing elbow from Hooper lands. He’s all over Fiore, who isn’t mustering up much offense. Hooper lands another flurry of shots. Fiore returns with a hard punch. Hooper’s pressure and cardio is propelling him to excel here. Hooper ties up Fiore and tries a takedown. Fiore reverses, however, and lands on top to close out the round. 20-18 Hooper.

Round 3 – Fiore grabs Hooper’s leg and gets on top. Hooper welcomes him into the guard with a triangle choke attempt. Fiore breaks the leg grip. Hooper keeps his guard wide open for the time being. Hooper lands a hard hammerfist from the bottom. Hooper shoves Fiore off. On the feet, Fiore catches another Hooper kick and releases. Hooper continues to push forward and shoots for a takedown. Fiore stuffs and now has Hooper in that weird Goodridge-Herrera reverse crucifix position. After some more bizarre positions, Hooper ends up on top and tries to take the back. Fiore stands up and is driving Hooper into the fence. Fiore’s coach Tyson Chartier is screaming at Fiore to “go first,” but I’m not sure Fiore has any gas left in the tank. Hooper, on the other hand, runs right at Fiore and dumps him to the canvas. The round and fight end with Hooper on top. Clear, dominant decision for him. 30-27 Hooper.

Result: Chase Hooper def. Nick Fiore via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Nick Fiore (6-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), Chase Hooper (12-3-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Jason Herzog
Judging: Mike Bell, Tony Weeks (30-27); Junichiro Kamijo (30-26)

Ilir Latifi vs. Rodrigo Nascimento

Round 1 – Big boys are up. They come out with synchronized jabs. Nasicmento is moving forward and lands a nice combination. Latifi briefly shoots for a leg but pulls up. Latifi lands a counter overhand left. A left hook cracks Latifi square in the face. Latifi clobbers Nascimento’s lead, left leg with a pair of kicks. This is a slow-paced chess match of sorts thus far. Not the most thrilling fight, but it only takes one at heavyweight. At the 10-second warning clacker, Nascimento opens up with an aggressive combination. 10-9 Nascimento.

Round 2 – The action picks up where it left off. Nascimento plods forward. Latifi moves backward. Latifi shoots for a takedown and gets it against the fence. Nascimento has his back flat on the mat. Latifi is in Nascimento’s guard. They’re hanging out here. The round ends with Latifi laying on Nascimento. 19-19.

Round 3 – Nascimento comes out jabbing. Latifi comes out leg kicking. In the hardest exchange of the fight, both men land punches. Latifi landed first, but it appears Nascimento landed harder. A combination stunned Latifi, who retreats while blinking. Nascimento pursues hard, but doesn’t immediately land anything of significance. Latifi grabs hold of Nascimento but referee Herb Dean calls a foul for grabbing the shorts. Latifi loses position and they’re back at distance. Latifi shoots and gets Nascimento down near the fence. Nascimento works back up and Latifi lands some hard punches to close the round. 29-28 Nascimento.

Result: Rodrigo Nascimento def. Ilir Latifi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Records: Ilir Latifi (16-9 MMA, 9-7 UFC), Rodrigo Nascimento (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Division: Heavyweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging: Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato (29-28 Nascimento, scoring Round 2 for Latifi; Jacob Montalvo (29-28 Latifi, scoring Round 1 for Nascimento)

Orion Cosce vs. Gilbert Urbina

Round 1 – Urbina comes out swinging on Cosce, who missed weight Friday for the second straight fight. Urbina clunks Cosce with a left hand. The punch drops Cosce but he only fell to a knee. Urbina pursues aggressively. Cosce covers up and circles away. A few exchanges later, Cosce lands a pair of nice lefts. Urbina takes Cosce down and hops to mount. Cosce nearly gives up his back but elects to face up instead. Urbina makes him question that decision, however, with big ground-and-pound. Cosce initially calms Urbina’s flurry, but Urbina postures back up and lands more. Urbina is trying an arm-triangle choke from mount. He’s up so high on Cosce, who escapes. Urbina is back to banging away with mounted ground-and-pound. Urbina punches and punches until the horn sounds. 10-8 Urbina.

Round 2 – Cosce tells his corner he’s having a rib issue. Cosce is moving forward in Round 2. Urbina teeps and Cosce returns with an outside leg kick. Urbina drills Cosce in the midsection with a front kick. That hurt! Cosce keels over and Urbina lands a big knee that finishes the job. That was a pretty first UFC victory for Urbina.

Result: Gilbert Urbina def. Orion Cosce via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:55
Recap: Gilbert Urbina breaks down Orion Cosce for first octagon win
Records: Orion Cosce (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), Gilbert Urbina (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Division: 172.5-pound catchweight (Cosce missed the welterweight limit)
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Kerry Hatley

Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Round 1 – Demopoulos lands a leg kick. Kowalkiewicz catches another kick attempt and lands some short punches. Kowalkiewicz lands a flurry and Demopoulos is bleeding and shoots for a takedown. Kowalkiewicz defends successfully but Demopoulos drills her with a left hand on the break. Kowalkiewicz is wobbled. Demopoulos pursues but Kowalkiewicz ties her up. They separate. Back in the center, Demopoulos continues to use a lot of movement, circling around Kowalkiewicz, who moves forward. Kowalkiewicz ties up Demopoulos against the fence. Kowalkiewicz cracks Demopoulos with a big right hand. Demopolous landsa. low kick but Kowalkiewicz makes her pay with a pair of hard punches. The round ends. That was fun – and relatively close. 10-9 Kowalkiewicz.

Round 2 – Kowalkiewicz lands a right hand. Demopolous is very red around her neck area – almost like she received a chop from Ric Flair. Kowalkiewicz must’ve snuck some sneaky throat punches in during these flurries, whether they were intentional or not. Kowalkiewicz lands an inside leg kick. Demopolous is very game, but it seems like Kowalkiewicz has an answer for a lot of what’s she’s doing. Kowalkiewicz knocks Demopolous off balance as they both trade. This is a battle. Probably the most action we’ve seen tonight (not that that’s too high of a bar). A few fun exchanges lead us to another horn. 20-18 Kowalkiewicz.

Round 3 – Demopolous pulls guard early, but Kowalkiewicz ends up in half guard. Demopolous threatens a kneebar, but Kowalkiewicz decides to escape danger and stand up. Both fighters land jabs. Kowalkiewicz lands another punch. If nothing else, Demopolous has excellent cardio, even though she missed weight Friday. Both women are really opening up. Demopolous has blood coming out of her nose and from a cut above her left eyebrow. Demopolous half-catches a Kowalkiewicz kick, which sends Kowalkiewicz to the canvas. Kowalkiewicz pops up. Kowalkiewicz and Demopolous swing away in the final seconds. 30-27 Kowalkiewicz.

Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Vanessa Demopoulos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Vanessa Demopoulos (9-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (15-7 MMA, 8-7 UFC)
Division: 117.5-pound catchweight (Demopoulos missed the women’s strawweight limit)
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Mike Bell, Derek Cleary, Jacob Montalvo

Viacheslav Borshchev vs. Hayisaer Maheshate

Round 1 – Borshchev cracks a kick high to start things off. It was blocked by Maheshate, who counters with a nice left jab. Both men jab. Borshchev rips a left body shot, similar to the one he finished Dakota Bush with. Maheshate returns. Referee Jason Herzog calls a timeout after Borschev was poked in the eye. The doctor comes in to examine and determines there is blood coming from the eyelid – not the eyeball. That’s always good to hear. Herzog gives Maheshate a firm warning and the action resumes with 90 seconds left in the round. Borshchev doubles up on a body kick to the midsection. Maheshate connects with a big right hand. Borshchev returns – with a bigger and better punch, as he drops Maheshate to the canvas. Borshchev fires away as Maheshate picks himself up off the canvas, but the horn sounds. Wow. 10-9 Borshchev.

Round 2 – Maheshate shoots and Borshchev denies him. Maheshate is bleeding from a laceration above his lip. Borshchev’s left eye is practically closed but he doesn’t appear too phased. He’s doing some nice work. The two fighters throw and Borshchev drops Maheshate again. Maheshate is back up and he walks into another big Borshchev right. Borshchev lands a ridiculously powerful one-two that freezes Maheshate, who tips over. Borshchev pounces but the damage is done. Herzog jumps in and saves the day, as Maheshate turtles. That’s likely $50,000. WOW.

Result: Viacheslav Borshchev def. Hayisaer Maheshate via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:37
Recap: Viacheslav Borshchev sits down Hayisaer Maheshate with thunderous right
Records: Viacheslav Borshchev (7-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Hayisaer Maheshate (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Jason Herzog

Diego Ferreira vs. Michael Johnson

Round 1 – Two vets kick off the main card. This should be pretty fun. Johnson lands a nice kick, then a flurry. Coach Sayif Saud barking in the corner of Ferreira. The instructions indicate he wants his fighter to be aggressive. Ferreira kicks. Johnson lands a zipping left hand. Ferreira lands a hard punch in a wild furry. Johnson connects on a body shot. Ferreira says something to Johnson, then eats another hard punch. This is a fun, tactical fight. Johnson just seems to be a step ahead. 10-9 Johnson.

Round 2 – Saud tells Ferreira in between rounds that he should stop talking to Johnson. After a couple of minor exchanges, Ferreira shoots for a takedown and Johnson denies him. Back in striking distance, they reset. Ferreira throws a haymaker overhand right and it drills Johnson, who is stiff upon impact. OH MY! Johnson timbers over, unconscious. Ferreira dives in with a leaping hammerfist and that’s it. What a knockout. My word.

Result: Diego Ferreira def. Michael Johnson via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:50
Recap: Diego Ferreira knocks Michael Johnson out cold
Records: Diego Ferreira (18-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC), Michael Johnson (21-19 MMA, 13-15 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean

Joaquin Buckley vs. Andre Fialho

Round 1 – Don’t blink during this one. Two knockout artists. It’ll be hard to top that last one, I’ll admit. Anyway, the thunder comes early. Fialho throws a loud body kick. Buckley explodes and Fialho avoids. Buckley lands a spinning back kick to the face, but Fialho was barely in range so it simply glanced. Buckley is moving back and forth on the outside of Fialho, switching stances. Fialho lands a knee, then a right hand. Buckley leaps in with a flying knee, but Fialho plays matador. Fialho has been incredible patient thus far. Buckley takes Fialho down briefly, but Fialho explodes upward. Buckley swings wildly with a punching combination. After he misses, Buckley dives for the legs again. Fialho uses the fence to deny the takedown. Buckley tosses him over as the round ends. 10-9 Buckley.

Round 2 – The round begins with a ceremonial nut shot, as Fialho kicks Buckley in the groin. After a brief timeout, the action resumes. Fialho lands a hard punch. Buckley lands a combination and comes in wildly. Again, Fialho avoids danger. Buckley lands a left. Buckley glances Fialho in the groin again, but the fighters high-five and continue. As much credit as Fialho deserves for being calm against a beastly opponent, he needs to muster some offense. Defense isn’t going to win him this fight. Buckley lands a spinning kick to the body. The two fighters clash heads. Referee Kerry Hatley calls timeout. After a brief pause, the action resumes. Seconds after the time-in, Buckley floors Fialho with a massive high kick. Hatley pump-fakes a stoppage and Buckley whacks his downed foe one more time. There’s the stoppage. That was violent!

Result: Joaquin Buckley def. Andre Fialho via TKO (head kick) – Round 2, 2:15
Recap: Joaquin Buckley blasts Andre Fialho with head kick knockout
Records: Joaquin Buckley (16-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC), Andre Fialho (16-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Kerry Hatley

Emily Ducote vs. Loopy Godinez

Round 1 – Ducote comes out with a leg kick. Godinez, who took this fight on short notice, pumps a jab. Godinez lands a nice overhand right, then shoots for a takedown. Ducote stuffs the attempt. Ducote lands a right hook and then lands a body shot. Both fighters land punches. Godinez lands a loud leg kick. Ducote returns with one of her own. Ducote shoots for a takedown and shoves Godinez against the cage. They trade elbows and break. A few exchanges later, the round ends. 10-9 Godinez.

Round 2 – Godinez lands a good combination – then an even better one. Ducote has to figure some things out if she wants to win this fight. It’s been a fairly repetitive sort of battle and she’s not winning. Godinez lands a hard punch that bloodies the bridge of Ducote’s nose. Ducote shoots for a takedown. Godinez defends with a front headlock and drills Ducote with a pair of knees. Ducote lands a leg kick. Godinez jabs. Ducote connects with a hard one-two combination. Ducote is warming up here. She goes to Godinez’s body with a kick then the head. Ducote lands another one-two. Ducote shoots for a takedown. Godinez easily defends. Godinez shoots for a takedown and Ducote defends. Now separated again, both fighters land. That was a very, very close round. 19-19.

Round 3 – Godinez lands a nice counter right, then a combination. Ducote catches a leg kick from Godinez, then fires her own back. Godinez continues to move forward, even when Ducote is landing. That could impact the way the judges are seeing this fight. Ducote slaps another leg kick on Godinez’s lead leg. Another two punch combination from Godinez lands. Ducote shoots for a takedown and nearly gets it, but Godinez displays great balance and athleticism to evade. Ducote lands a hard right hand, then a follow-up combination. Godinez gets a takedown with about 15 seconds left. Ducote threatens an armbar but time expires. 29-28 Godinez.

Result: Loopy Godinez def. Emily Ducote via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Records: Emily Ducote (12-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC), Loopy Godinez (10-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC)
Division: 120-pound contract weight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Junichiro Kumijo, Ron McCarthy (29-28, scoring Round 3 for Ducote); Mike Bell (30-27)

Anthony Hernandez vs. Edmen Shahbazyan

Round 1 – Shahbazyan stings Hernandez in the opening seconds with a brutal jab. Shahbazyan gets aggressive and grabs hold of the clinch. Hernandez defends a few strikes and separates. Hernandez charges toward Shahbazyan and absorbs a big knee. Shahbazyan pumps the jab, then gets a takedown. Hernandez threatens a guillotine choke but Shahbazyan breaks the grip with ease. Hernandez gets up and separates. Shahbazyan lands a body kick. Hernandez grabs hold in the clinch. Hernandez tries for a single leg, then a double leg. No luck. Shahbazyan stuffs, but is bleeding. Hernandez shoots again and Shahbazyan threatens a standing guillotine. Hernandez hits the deck in order to escape. While the submission fails, Shahbazyan ends up on top in side control. As they scramble, Shahbazyan threatens an armbar. He doesn’t get it. Hernandez is on top now. Shahbazyan stands up and Hernandez dumps him back down. Hernandez tries a rear-naked choke. Shahbazyan avoids and stands up. 10-9 Shahbazyan.

Round 2 – Hernandez ties Shahbazyan up and drags him down. Shahbazyan gets up and they separate. Hernandez lands a good standing elbow. As Shahbazyan retreats, he lands a knee as Hernandez lands a big overhand right. Shahbazyan ties up Hernandez. After some battling along the cage, Hernandez takes down Shahbazyan, who gets back up seconds later. Hernandez dumps him down again. Hernandez works for a guillotine choke, his signature submission. That looks deep! Shahbazyan is grimacing as Hernandez adjusts grip and position. Somehow Shahbazyan survives long enough to break the grip. Hernandez tries it again. Still no dice. Shahbazyan is tough, man. Wow. Now Hernandez is on Shahbazyan’s back. Shahbazyan wiggles into guard as Hernandez tries some elbows. Once in guard, Hernandez lands even harder elbows. The round ends. That’s a 10-8. 19-18 Hernandez.

Round 3 – Hernandez immediately takes Shahbazyan down and slices him open with elbows. Now postured up in back mount, Hernandez batters Shahbazyan until Dean steps in. A mercy stoppage, but the right stoppage.

Result: Anthony Hernandez def. Edmen Shahbazyan via TKO (ground-and-pound) – Round 3, 1:01
Recap: Anthony Hernandez mauls Edmen Shahbazyan for third-round TKO
Records: Anthony Hernandez (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Edmen Shahbazyan (12-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean

Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill

Round 1 – They tie up quickly. Hill drives Dern into the cage. Hill lets go. They start slinging leather, wow! Dern bites down on her mouthpiece and trades. As Hill moves in, Dern grabs hold and explodes with a hip toss. Hill slams into the canvas and then gets back up. At distance, Dern floors Hill with a punch and pounces. Dern moves to half guard and strains to slip her other leg out. Hill scoots and blocks Dern from advancing. Dern stands up and grabs hold of a leg for a kneebar attempt. Dern uses the threat to move into Side control. Dern steps into mount with a little less than a minute left. Dern is pounding Hill, who looks a tad lost. Dern works for an armbar. The clock is ticking though. Hill grabs the inside of her own leg, then grasps her hands together. Dern is straining. Hill is, too. But the clock expires. 10-8 Dern.

Round 2 – Dern is showing no concern about trading with Hill. She once again comes out hurling bombs. It’s been a while since Dern has shown this sort of striking aggression. Dern gets a little too wild and Hill grabs hold of her back. They’re standing against the fence. Hill is leaning on Dern. There’s not much action going on here. Hill lands a knee to the body. They eventually separate. Dern continues her aggressive game plan as the two nearly clash heads. Dern shoots hard. Hill stuffs the attempt, pivots Dern, and pushes her into the fence as the horn sounds. 19-18 Dern.

Round 3 – Dern throws a kick and Hill catches it. Hill dumps Dern on her back and dives into guard. Immediately, Dern shoots her legs up for a triangle attempt, then an armbar. Hill smartly decides to stand up. Dern drills Hill with a big knee. Hill is on rollerskates. Dern once again lands a crazy head-and-arm throw. They clatter to the canvas and get up. Dern takes Hill down again. Dern moves to mount and drills Hill with elbows and punches. Referee Jason Herzog warns Hill, who moves. Dern continues to pound away, as she lets out a scream with each punch. Hill pushes her feet on the fence to temporarily halt Dern’s onslaught. Moments later, it resumes, however. Dern steps over for another armbar attempt. Hill swings her legs upward to defend the attempt. Just like in Round 1, the horn ends the armbar battle. 29-26 Dern.

Round 4 – Dern once again comes out firing. Hill grabs her and pushes her into the fence. They separate. Dern lands a short left hand. They clinch and Dern elbows Hill. They break. Dern lands a nasty leg kick and ties Hill up against the fence. Eventually, Hill turns Dern around and they separate. They trade leather again. Dern gets a little out of control as she whiffs on a spinning punch attack. Hill grabs Dern and they tumble to the canvas. Hill initially ended up on top but Dern wiggles into top position. Hill is threatening an arm-triangle choke from the bottom. How bizarre would that be? Dern doesn’t appear to be in any real danger, though. The horn sounds. 39-35 Dern.

Round 5 – Dern charges toward Hill and grabs hold. Dern tosses Hill down again and ends up in guard. Dern moves to side control. Despite Dern largely dominating this fight, Hill has proven to be really, really damn tough. Hill gives up her back and Dern immediately takes it. Hill is flattened out. Dern is landing short little rabbit punches. Hill rolls into Dern, then turns away again. Hill faces up Dern again. Dern pounds Hill with elbows to the ear until the final horn sounds. 49-43 Dern.

Result: Mackenzie Dern def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (49-43, 49-44, 49-44)
Recap: Mackenzie Dern dominates Angela Hill, earns third-degree jiu-jitsu blackbelt
Records: Mackenzie Dern (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), Angela Hill (15-13 MMA, 10-13 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Jason Herzog
Judging: Mike Bell, Sal D’Amato (49-44, scoring Round 2 for Hill and 10-8s for Dern in Round 3 and 5); Ron McCarthy (49-43, scoring Round 2 for Hill and 10-8s for Dern in Round 1, 3, and 5)

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