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UFC on ESPN 2: Barboza vs. Gaethje live results, discussion, play by play

Live, blow-by-blow updates for today’s UFC event in Philadelphia, which features a lightweight striking dream matchup in the headliner.

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Join us today on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC on ESPN 2: Barboza vs. Gaethje from Philly.

The headliner comes in the lightweight division, where striking specialists Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje will square off. The co-main is at middleweight, where David Branch and Jack Hermansson will settle their differences.

We’re still adjusting to the new schedule the promotion is using for ESPN broadcasts. This is a big ESPN show, but it’s starting even earlier than usual. The three-fight early preliminary card starts at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT, then things move to ESPN for four more fights at 5pm ET. The six-fight main card will kick off at 7pm ET and will air on ESPN.

Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the each matchup.

Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza

Round 1 - Leg kick from Gaethje. Another. Barboza fires back with two of his own. Gaethje with a right. They’re brawling. Barboza is hurt! Gaethje moves in and clinches. It looks like Gaathje landed a punch to the eye. Barboza is visibly bothered by it. Gaethje with a short shot in the clinch. He misses with a home run shot on the break. Gaethje wades in and get clipped. They’re throwing down in the phone booth again! This is already what everyone expected. Gaethje with more leg kicks. Right hook and Barboza is out! JUSTIN GAETHJE!

Justin Gaethje defeated Edson Barboza via KO (right hook), 2:30 of round 1

David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson

Round 1 - Hermansson with a beautiful foot sweep and gets Branch to the ground. Guillotine! BRANCH TAPS! JUST LIKE THAT!

Jack Hermansson defeated David Branch via submission (guillotine choke), :49 of round 1

Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson

Round 1 - Emmett wades in but eats a left hook. Emmett fakes a takedown attempt. Outside leg kick from Emmett. They mix it up and Johnson lands a nice right hook. A lot of feinting. Leg kick from Emmett. Johnson with a counter left. He fights off a telegraphed takedown attempt. There really wasn’t much to that round at all. 10-9 Johnson I guess.

Round 2 - Johnson with a counter left. Emmett with a hard right. Inside leg kick from Johnson. Straight left scores for Johnson. Slapping right too. There’s a distinct lack of action in this bout. High kick from Emmett is blocked. Body shot from Emmett. Cup check. In the Johnson. He doesn’t need any time though and they get back to it. Johnson scores with the left again, and a body kick. Emmett shoots late but can’t get Johnson to the floor. 10-9 Johnson.

Round 3 - Emmett is pressing but not landing anything. Johnson’s counters are hitting a lot of air though too. Johnson with a lead left that connects. Emmett with a kick. This is a pretty disappointing fight overall though. Emmett with a head kick. They both land inside. Emmett goes to the body. The crowd is restless. Emmett lands again. Big left from Emmett. Johnson with a front kick. Emmett cracks him with a right hook and JOHNSON FALLS LIKE A TREE! UNCONSCIOUS! HOLY COW! That was a picture perfect KO!

Josh Emmett defeated Michael Johnson via KO (perfect right hook), 4:14 of round 3

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Michelle Waterson

Round 1 - Waterson lands a right and a knee to the body. She’s being quite aggressive. Kowalkiewicz scores with a couple of low kicks. Kowalkiewicz presses with kicks and lands a couple of rights. Waterson is moving well though. Kowalkiewicz clinches, but Waterson reverses and gets back to range. Super fast spin kick misses for the Karate Hottie. They clinch again. Waterson with an elbow. 10-9 Waterson.

Round 2 - Waterson off to a quick start again with kicks. Kowalkiewicz with a nice right. And another, which made Waterson smile. Kowalkiewicz with an outside leg kick. Kowalkiewicz catches a kick but can’t do anything with it. Waterson with a head-and-arm throw and she’s in side control with three minutes left. Kowalkiewicz almost secures an inverted triangle but Waterson pulls her head out. Waterson not getting much going here, but she’s maintaining control. She falls out with an armbar! Karolina somehow survived! That looked dead to rights. 10-9 Waterson.

Round 3 - Kowalkiewicz pushing forward but not landing. They get in close and Waterson looks for the throw again, but Kowalkiewicz isn’t having it. Kowalkiewicz clinches against the cage. Waterson with a knee. Waterson with a single leg takedown. Kowalkiewicz up. Big elbow against the cage from Waterson. Kowalkiewicz spins. Waterson spins right back. No one lands, but it looked cool. 10-9 and 30-27 Waterson.

Michelle Waterson defeated Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Paul Craig vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu

Round 1 - Leg kick from Craig. High kick from Nzechukwu is blocked. Craig catches a knee and tries for a takedown. Nzechukwu lands a few elbows. Craig is cut from them, but he’s still trying to get him down. He pulls guard. Armbar! That looks gross! He might have dislocated it, but Nzechukwu pulls the arm out and beckons Craig back to his feet! Wow! Craig gets up and immediately dives on a leg. He’s attacking the arm again, but Nzechukwu pulls away. Right hook from Craig and he tries to pull guard again. It doesn’t work, but he gets up and chases Nzechukwu to the fence. He gets him to his knees, but Nzechukwu is back up. Pretty relentless. He flops to his back and attacks a leg. Nzechukwu is defending. He pulls the leg out and Craig is back on his feet. Craig with a three-punch combo. High kick from Nzechukwu. Craig flops, hoping Nzechukwu will engage on the ground. He doesn’t. 10-9 Craig.

Round 2 - Shovel hook from Craig. Body kicks. Long right scores too for Craig. He jumps on a single, but Nzechukwu pushes him off. He literally dives onto Nzechukwu’s ankle and Nzechukwu grabs the cage to stay upright. Craig drags him into his guard, then tries to scoot to his back. But Nzechukwu lands some big elbows. They get back up and the ref warns Nzechukwu for eyepoking. Craig lands a knee to the junk. Cornuts cam confirmation. They get back to it quite quickly. Nzechukwu with a head kick. The next one connects. Craig shoots late but eats a couple of elbows. 10-9 Nzechukwu.

Round 3 - Body kick from Craig. Hard knee to the body from Nzechukwu but Craig lands a counter. Craig falls back and looks for a leg lock. Nada. Nzechukwu pokes him in the eye again. Yuck. Craig needs some time. Nzechukwu loses a point. They restart and Craig lands to the body. Craig grabs a single but can’t get anything accomplished. Craig perseveres but Nzechukwu is holding him off. Craig goes to his back but Nzechukwu is in side. He lands an elbow while Craig scoots to full guard. He frames up a triangle, but can’t get it. He locks it up again though, and rolls with it. It’s in! WOW! He gets the finish!

Paul Craig defeated Kennedy Nzechukwu via submission (triangle choke), 4:20 of round 3

Sheymon Moraes vs. Sodiq Yusuff

Round 1 - Yusuff with a slapping right hook. Two outside leg kicks. Jab and a front kick from Yusuff. Moraes comes back with his own front kick to the body. Moraes lands a hard right. Yusuff is just clubbing the front leg of Moraes with kicks. Yusuff scores with a hard lead right and clinches. The ref quickly separates them. Moraes with a nice right. Moraes ties up his arms so Moraes lands a nice knee to the body. More fence battling. Yusuff with a knee inside, then a nice leg kick upon separation. 10-9 Yusuff.

Round 2 - Yusuff stiffs him with a leg kick. Moraes goes after the body. Moraes catches a kick, lands a head kick, and eats an elbow in return. That was a cool sequence. Moraes touches the body again and then lands a question mark kick. Jab and yet another head kick from Moraes. They tie up against the fence. Yusuff with a knee to the body and trips Moraes to the mat for about one second. More clinch battling. The action died there. 10-9 Moraes.

Round 3 - Yusuff lands a right. They clinch battle in the middle of the cage for a minute. Yusuff still kicking the front leg. Moraes fires back but can’t find a home for his punches. Moraes is walking him down and jabbing. They both land big punches in the phone booth. Moraes with an elbow to the body. Left and a a head kick, but Yusuff blocks it. Yusuff drops Moraes with a huge right! He jumps into mount and tries to finish but Moraes bucks him off and gets back up! He’s on really wobbly legs though and immediately begs off. Yusuff pressures but Moraes ties him up. Moraes spins but misses. He’s got his wits about him again but it’s too late. 10-9 and 29-28 Yusuff.

Sodiq Yusuff defeated Sheymon Moraes via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jessica Aguilar vs. Marina Rodriguez

Round 1 - Immediate eyepoke from Rodriguez. She gets a warning from the ref. Aguilar with a right on the restart. She charges inside and lands another shot. They clinch battle against the fence. Roriguez with a knee. She reverses position. Aguilar is bleeding from her nose. They trade knees and break. Aguilar boots her to the floor with a front kick. Rodriguez immediately posts up a triangle as Aguilar jump o her. There’s a ton of blood coming from Aguilar’s nose, and it’s all over Rodrigues now. Aguilar attacks a submission from the top but gets reversed. She’s looking for a triangle but Rodriguez’s length is keeing her at bay. Now she goes for a slam but Aguilar takes it and gets an armbar out of it! It looks like a wrap but Rodriguez somehow defends! They stall out in a a strange position and the ref restarts them on the feet. Another eyepoke. Yikes. No-nonsense Keith Peterson takes a point this time. Aguilar restarts quickly and gets dropped with a left at the end of the round! 10-8 Aguilar.

Round 2 - Front kick from Rodriguez. Aguilar gets in close but can’t tie Rodriguez up. Rodriguez lands to the body and head. Superwoman punch. Knee up the middle. Aguilar with a looping right. Knee to the body from Rodriguez. Knee again and Aguilar is feeling them. She’s using the teep kick very well. Rodriguez flurries against the fence and another front kick that hurts Aguilar. She keeps it up. Elbow! Left hook. Aguilar is covered in blood. Huge knees. Five in a row. Wow. Aguilar manages to reverse her against the cage and lands her own knee. She’s double tough. Rodriguez throws her to the mat at the horn. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 3 - Rodriguez gets right back to it. She misses with a spinning back fist. Aguilar fires back with a 1-2. Another. Another knee to the body and a kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez is walking Aguilar down and clubbing her with knees and rights. Head kick. Aguilar with another right over the top. Back to the front kick for Rodriguez. Rodriguez spins but gets clubbed to the body. Good fight. 10-9 Rodriguez and 28-28 on my card.

Marina Rodriguez defeated Jessica Aguilar via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-27, 29-27)

Ross Pearson vs. Desmond Green

Round 1 - Pearson with a leg kick. Green with his own. Green drops Pearson with a shot, but Pearson gets up immediately. Pearson beating up the front leg with kicks. Knee up the middle again for Green. Green with a takedown and he’s landing huge shots against the cage! Pearson isn’t covering up and he’s in trouble! It’s over!

Desmond Green defeated Ross Pearson via TKO (strikes), 2:52 of round 1

Enrique Barzola vs. Kevin Aguilar

Round 1 - Barzola with an outside leg kick. Aguilar looking to jab. Low shot from Aguilar. Cornuts cam confirms. Quick restart. Aguilar with sneaky counters. Nice shovel hook to the chest from Aguilar. Barzola with a left hook. Aguilar with a right over the top. Nice leg kick from Barzola. They clinch briefly. Barzola misses with a knee. He lands a couple of jabs though. 10-9 Aguilar.

Round 2 - Barzola shoots, but Aguilar stands tall. Barzola scoops Aguilar up for a takedown, but when he threw him to the floor, Aguilar landed on his feet. That was weird. Straight left from Aguilar. Aguilar stuffs another takedown and rips Barzola to the body. Barzola lands his own body shot. A left and a body kick from Aguilar. Aguilar attempts a single leg but gets nowhere. Aguilar with a right over the top. Barzola shoots again but is thwarted. 10-9 Aguilar.

Round 3 - Right over the top from Barzola. Aguilar with a counter left. Barzola puts a combination together but still can’t get a takedown. Body kick from Aguilar. Head kick from Barzola. Another body kick from Aguilar. Barzola scores with a right. Barzola with a left hook and a leg kick. He’s pressuring, but it might be too late. He tries for a takedown again, but Aguilar’s defense is stout. Aguilar with a left and a body kick. Big 1-2 from Barzola. Huge knee from Barzola just before the horn! 10-9 Barzola, but 29-28 Aguilar.

Kevin Aguilar defeated Enrique Barzola via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Kevin Holland vs. Gerald Meerschaert

Round 1 - Holland immediately gets a takedown. He rolls to his back with a guillotine, but can’t get it. Meerschaert is working from side. Holland just dumps him off and they get up. Holland gets another takedown. Meerscheart secures a choke and rolls Holland over. Meerschaert is in mount with a guillotine. Holland is surviving. He somehow gets out and scrambles to his feet! Meerschaert jumps on his back, but gets sluffed off quickly. There’s a lot going on here, I can barely keep up. Meerschaert jumps on his back and sinks a standing choke! Bulldog choke! Holland defended by somehow sinking his own choke! This is ridiculous. They both give it up and Holland is in mount, landing elbows. He’s just slapping him and Meerschaert gives up his back. Elbows from Holland. I’ve never said this in 11 years of doing play-by-play, but I have absolutely no idea how to score that. 10-10.

Round 2 - Holland jumps in with a kick but Meerschaert catches his leg and gets a takedown. Meerschaert is up and holding Holland against the fence. Meerschaert tries to drag Holland down but ends up on his back. He’s tired. And I get that, because the first round was completely non-stop. Meerschaert is still on top, looking for an arm triangle. Holland is laughing. Seriously. Meerschaert decides to back and and jump back in - but he jumps right into a triangle. Meerschaert pulls out and they return to the feet, albeit briefly. Meerschaert spins him back down and attacks an arm. He’s on his back with Holland in turtle position. Meerschaert deftly rolls him over and looks for a sub, but somehow Holland flipped him over and he’s in mount now. This is like a video game. Elbows from Holland. 10-9 Meerschaert.

Round 3 - Leg kick from Holland. Another chops Meerschaert down, but he’s right back up. Holland is wrestling now. Somehow Meerschaert locks up a guillotine and it looks dangerous. Holland straight stands up, in a guillotine, and dumps him off. That was boss! Now he’s on Meerschaert’s back, clubbing him with hammerfists. Now Meerschaert slips out and he’s on top with some exhausted strikes. They get to their feet and Holland slaps Meerschaert like a Diaz brother. Meerschaert is on Holland’s back standing, but eats an elbow. Meerschaert is holding him against the fence, and Holland is slapping him again. Meerschaert with a takedown. Back up, and they stall in the clinch. Meerschaert lands a couple of body shots. That was super fun! 10-9 and 30-28 Meerschaert, but my PBP doesn’t do that justice. That was ridiculous, in a great way.

Kevin Holland defeated Gerald Meerschaert via split decision (29-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Ray Borg vs. Casey Kenney

Round 1 - Kenney aggressive early. He lands some kicks. Borg wades in and gets the clinch. Kenney reserves and hits a nice trip takedown. Kenney attacks an arm and get to Borg’s back. Borg pushes off the cage and gets back to his feet. That was nice. Borg does some work and gets his own takedown, but Kenney scrambles away immediately. Borg attacks a kimura in close but Kenney spins behind him and gets Borg to the floor again. Borg looks for the kimura again but Kenney defly uses the cage to get out of danger and take top position. Fun round. 10-9 Kenney.

Round 2 - Borg gets to the wrestling right away. Kenney stays on his feet, but Borg is relentless. He finally gets a body lock and puts Kenney on his back, but once again he’s up right away. This time Borg spins to his back and looks for the choke. He’s up high though, and Kenney shake shake shakes him off. Knee to the belly from Kenney. They stall out against the cage. They separate and Borg lands a nice combination. Back to the takedown for Borg. He elevates and slams Borg. Another good round. 10-9 Borg.

Round 3 - Kenney comes out firing and trips Borg up with an inside kick. Borg pushes him against the fence, scoops him up like a sack of garbage, and slams him to the mat after a few seconds. Kenney scoots and gets up immediately, and they battle on the fence. Borg gets on him with the grappling, and takes the back briefly. Kenney gets away and he’s bringing the pressure. They’re brawling to the horn! Great fight! 10-9 and 29-28 Borg.

Casey Kenney defeated Ray Borg via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Sabina Mazo vs. Maryna Moroz

Round 1 - Moroz closes the distance right away. She gets a takedown and works in Mazo’s full guard. After a long time where basically nothing happened, Mazo used butterflies to puh Moroz away and she got up. Moroz lands a nice counter right. Moroz punches her way into the clinch again. All Moroz. 10-9 Moroz.

Round 2 - Moroz lands and clinches. Mazo got back to distance quickly though this time. Moroz clinches again. She gets a body lock and drags Mazo down, but she’s up right away. Mazo squirmed away and got back to range. Moroz with a left and a combo, but Mazo counters. Body kick from Mazo. Moroz lands too. Moroz with a jab and she follows it up with a nice combo. Moroz clinches again. 10-9 Moroz.

Round 3 - Moroz is putting together nice combinations. Mazo is landing decent counters though, and landing nice body kicks. She scores with a knee. Moroz walks it off. Mazo lands another knee, so Moroz clinches. Mazo reverses position and gets separation. Inside leg kick from Moroz. Body kick from Mazo. Moroz with an uppercut. More body kicks from Mazo. Head kick from Mazo now and that stunned Moroz a bit. Good finish. 10-9 and 30-27 Moroz.

Maryna Moroz defeated Sabina Mazo via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Alex Perez vs. Mark De La Rosa

Round 1 - Perez with an inside leg kick. He lands a nice left. He scores with a combo but De La Rosa fires back with a counter. They trade. Perez ends a combo with a right hook. He comes in and scoops a single. Nothing there so he’s battling in the clinch. A bunch of body shots. He changes directions with the takedown attempt and gets De La Rosa to the floor. De La Rosa looks for a kimura but eats some punches for his efforts. De La Rosa is trying to strike from the bottom. Big elbows from Perez. Big shots. 10-9 Perez.

Round 2 - Outside leg kick and a right hook from Perez. More leg kicks and he chained some takedowns together to get De La Rosa to his knees. Perez is hitting him with punches and looking to flatten him out. And he does. De La Rosa is trying to tie up his hands but not really doing anything to get up. Perez is doing enough to stay on top but not a lot is happening. 10-9 Perez.

Round 3 - Tepid start to the third. Neither man is doing much. De La Rosa is jabbing and throwing out leg kicks. Hardly what you need when you’re down two rounds. They clash heads. Perez with the outside leg kicks. Perez waits till there’s 90 seconds to go to look for a takedown. De La Rosa just pulls guard in response. Perez lands a few shots from the top. De La Rosa is trying to attack an arm but there’s nothing there. 10-9 and 30-27 Perez.

Alex Perez defeated Mark De La Rosa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)