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Here’s everything that happened at UFC on ESPN 4 last night in San Antonio

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its presence known to San Antonio, Texas, last night (Sat., July 20, 2019) for UFC on ESPN 4. On the whole, the event was an average card on paper. A trio of Heavyweight clashes sought to draw some casual eyes onto the main event, a fantastic match up of top Welterweights. Unfortunately, the undercard was an absolute slog, as nine straight bouts went to the judges.

Let’s take a look at the best techniques and performances of the night!

Leon The Professional

Did I use this headline the last time Leon Edwards fought? Yes. Do I stand by it after his 25-minute showcase against former champion Rafael dos Anjos? Absolutely. It should be his official nickname.

From the first bell, Edwards was prepared for what dos Anjos brought to the table. Early on, the Englishman timed a takedown perfectly, keeping “RDA” pinned to the mat for a majority of the first round. Now a bit behind, dos Anjos came after him in the second round — and found some success with his calf kicks — but Edwards landed hard counter shots, most notably his left elbow. Edwards landed a ton of elbows, opening up a disgusting cut on the Brazilian’s mug.

After taking the first two rounds, Edwards was largely in cruise control. Despite dos Anjos doing his damnedest to claw his way back into the fight, Edwards remained a step ahead. He adjusted well to the low kick, making dos Anjos miss often and occasionally checking it. Dos Anjos landed some good shots, but he was forced to do so underneath the hail of Edwards’ straight punches. Whenever “RDA” picked up any momentum, Edwards closed the distance and landed either a hard elbow or takedown.

It was dominant, smart work carried across five rounds against an elite opponent. It’s also the win that should finally get Edwards the respect he deserves as a top-tier Welterweight. In an ideal world, Edwards will square off with Masvidal next in a title eliminator match up.

12 Second KO

Walt Harris delivered the third-fastest knockout in UFC Heavyweight history opposite Aleksei Oleinik.

The opening few seconds of the bout were odd. Oleinik lumbered forward, switched stances, reached toward the knee for a feinted takedown. The older vet moved with almost no urgency. No one told Harris there would be a feeling-out process though, as the 6-foot-5, 260 lbs. Heavyweight suddenly leaped into a flying knee. It didn’t land cleanly, but it off-balance Oleinik, allowing the follow-up left hand to score perfectly.

Oleinik went down for good.

The 36-year-old Harris is now unbeaten in his four fights, which includes a trio of knockout wins. This is absolutely the biggest win of his career, the victory that should introduce him into the top 10. His athleticism has always been considerable, but now it seems Harris has enough experience to compete with the best.

Let’s see him against someone like Alistair Overeem next.

Additional Thoughts

  • Greg Hardy defeats Juan Adams via first-round knockout: In a very odd fight, Adams ducked into a single leg and was forced to his back by Hardy’s overhook. Hardy immediately fired off some punches — the initial blows seemingly landing to the back of the head — and continued landing as Adams... did nothing? Adams held onto the leg and absorbed dozens of blows, resulting in a quick stoppage loss.
  • Dan Hooker defeats James Vick via first-round knockout: Hooker went after Vick in this fight, not willing to get trapped on the outside like his last bout. That resulted in him eating a few early shots, but he also found the timing on his left hook quickly. The finish itself was a thing of beauty: Hooker feinted a right hand, causing Vick to lean back with his chin high. Instead of firing the cross, Hooker shifted into Southpaw with a majorly powerful left hook, separating Vick from his senses.
  • Alexander Hernandez defeats Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision: In the night’s 9th straight decision, Hernandez abandoned his all-offense style and tried to out-counter strike the much more experienced counter striker. Predictably, it didn’t work at all, but the judges gave it to him anyway. Texas!
  • Andrei Arlovski defeats Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision: In the most surprising fight of the night, Arlovski actually looked great! The 40-year-old Belarusian hasn’t put on this strong a performance since 2015. Opposite Rothwell, Arlovski landed over 100 significant strikes, working in combination frequently and punishing Rothwell’s lumbering style. “Big Ben” landed some hard shots across three rounds, but “Pitbull” held up to them well and generally fired back to land more powerful blows.
  • Klidson Abreu defeats Sam Alvey via unanimous decision: If possible, I would prefer never to see Sam Alvey fight again.
  • Mario Bautista defeats Jin Soo Son via unanimous decision: This was an absolute brawl. At range and in the clinch, these two put on the hurt with punches and elbows. While neither man was a defensive marvel, Bautista did demonstrate something of a general rule in MMA: if two fighters are consistently exchanging, the one making an effort to move his head will get the better of the scrap. Throughout the wildness, Bautista slipped his head off the center line often and mixed in some good rolls, creating opportunities for himself to land his power punches.

For complete UFC on ESPN 4 ‘Dos Anjos vs. Edwards’ results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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