UFC Fight Night 197: "Holloway vs Rodriguez" Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada today for UFC Fight Night 197: “Holloway vs Rodriguez.” The event featured a featherweight bout between ex-champ Max “Blessed” Holloway and Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez, who returned following a two-year hiatus.

In today’s heavyweight co-main event, “Big” Ben Rothwell took on Marcos Rogério “Pezão” de Lima. Elsewhere on the main card, Felicia “FeeNom” Spencer met the returning Leah “Nidas” Letson in featured featherweight action. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for UFC Fight Night 197.


Max “Blessed” Holloway vs Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez

Round 1:
Holloway opened the action with two leg kicks, but Rodriguez fired right back with kicks to Holloway’s lead leg and body. He landed a one-two and Holloway snapped his head back with a right cross. Another hard right hand scored for Holloway and Rodriguez resumed kicking at his leg. A right hand from Holloway led to an exchange of body kicks. Rodriguez landed three leg kicks and a head kick that stunned Holloway very briefly, but Holloway backed Rodriguez up with a right hook that opened a gash on Rodriguez’s left cheek. Holloway missed with a spinning back kick and Rodriguez took his back. Holloway turned into the clinch and he broke free. A Holloway head kick was countered by a body kick from Rodriguez, who slipped to the mat and upkicked from his back. Close round. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 2:
Rodriguez alternated between jabs and leg kicks in the second round until Holloway chased after him with two right hooks. Rodriguez attacked the inside and outside of Holloway’s leg while Holloway stuck to throwing right hands. More leg kicks scored for Rodriguez and Holloway threw punches from a southpaw stance. Both men landed one-two combos near the cage wall and Rodriguez chopped away with more leg kicks before circling to his right. Holloway flurried with punches to the head and body late in the round and Rodriguez fell while throwing a body kick. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 3:
Holloway used a jab-cross combo to back Rodriguez up in the third round and he jumped in with a flying knee to Rodriguez’s face. Rodriguez pushed him away and both fighters landed jabs. Rodriguez slipped while throwing a leg kick and Holloway took advantage by landing punches from the top. He eyed an arm-triangle choke, but gave it up in favour of mounting Rodriguez. When Rodriguez rolled to his side, Holloway dropped elbows and then took his back. Rodriguez kicked off of the cage and scrambled up to his knees, but Holloway kept him down with a front headlock. Rodriguez escaped and stood up, and he immediately attacked with punches and a brief takedown. The fighters stood again and Holloway countered a spinning backfist with three punches and a takedown into side control. 10-8 Holloway.

Round 4:
Holloway pressured Rodriguez with punches and knees to the body in round four, which allowed him to secure a power guillotine choke. Rodriguez tried to escape by dropping down to the mat, but Holloway took top position and he avoided a Rodriguez heel hook attempt by passing to side control. Rodriguez scrambled back to full guard, but Holloway stood and avoided an upkick. He briefly took Rodriguez’s back, but Rodriguez was able to power out and the fighters stood up. Time was called when Rodriguez was poked in the eye. The fight continued after a short break and Rodriguez landed a flying switch kick to Holloway’s face. He followed with an elbow and an uppercut late in the round. 10-9 Holloway.

Round 5:
In the final round, Holloway pressed the action with quick punches and Rodriguez replied with leg and body kicks. More punches and a knee to the body scored for Holloway. Rodriguez landed an elbow and a standing backfist in response. Holloway jabbed and Rodriguez attacked both of his legs with kicks. Rodriguez missed with a tornado kick and fell to the mat, and Holloway blasted him with a big right hand from the top. Rodriguez was able to sweep out from the bottom and he hunted for a guillotine choke. Holloway escaped to his feet and he landed a knee to the body. Time was called again when Holloway sustained an eye poke. Holloway clinched after the restart, but Rodriguez punched his way free. He missed with a spinning kick attempt and Holloway tied him up in a clinch. Close final round. 10-9 Holloway.

Winner: Max Holloway by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 23-6-0.


Marcos Rogério “Pezão” de Lima vs “Big” Ben Rothwell

Round 1:
De Lima landed two hard leg kicks to begin the fight and he rocked Rothwell with a big right hook. Rothwell stumbled backward to the cage and de Lima swarmed on him with a barrage of punches. Rothwell was rocked again, but he still stayed on his feet. Two final hooks from de Lima badly hurt Rothwell, who clinched and fell to the mat, and the fight was waved off a few seconds later than it should have been.

Winner: Marcos Rogério de Lima by TKO (Punches) at 0:32 of round one. He improves to 19-7-1.


Felicia “FeeNom” Spencer vs Leah “Nidas” Letson

Round 1:
Spencer punched her way into an early clinch and she held Letson against the cage while working for a takedown. Letson remained on her feet and Spencer threw knees to her thighs and short right hands to her face. Letson could not break free from the clinch and Spencer landed more right hands and elbows. Letson countered with knees to the body, but her offence was short-lived and Spencer bloodied her with more elbows to both of Letson’s eyes. 10-9 Spencer.

Round 2:
The second round began with another clinch and Spencer dragged Letson down, but she could not keep her there and Letson sprung back to her feet. Spencer held her against the cage and landed a series of right hands to Letson’s nose, which began to bleed. Letson stayed on her feet, but she could not mount any offence at all and Spencer continued to chip away with knees and short right hands. Letson finally broke free with 40 seconds to go, but Spencer caught a kick and took her down into back control. Spencer landed left hands to the side of Letson’s head and two knees after Letson stood up. 10-9 Spencer.

Round 3:
Letson opened the final round with a takedown, but Spencer easily powered out from the bottom and she landed numerous left hands to the side of Letson’s head as the fighters returned to their feet. Spencer unloaded with knees to the body and left hands to Letson’s face. She followed with a big elbow and Letson’s nose bled again. Spencer took Letson down and she struck with elbows and punches from Letson’s half-guard. She passed to mount and landed a final series of elbows and punches that forced referee Mark Smith to stop the fight.

Winner: Felicia Spencer by TKO (Elbows & Punches) at 4:25 of round three. She improves to 9-3-0.


Kalinn “Khaos The Ox Fighter” Williams vs Miguel “Caramel Thunder” Baeza

Round 1:
Baeza circled all around the cage and then darted in for a takedown attempt, but Williams easily stuffed it and stayed on his feet. Baeza resumed circling and he landed a counter right-left combo as Williams moved forward. Both fighters landed big punches during an exchange and Baeza went back to circling again. Williams knocked him down with a leg kick and Baeza attacked with a kneebar from the bottom. He switched to a toe hold and then an inverted heel hook. Williams refused to submit and he blasted Baeza with some hard right hands to the face in the final seconds. Close, back-and-forth round. 10-9 Williams by a slim margin.

Round 2:
The fighters traded leg kicks in the second round until Baeza landed a front kick to Williams’s jaw. Time was called when Baeza was kicked in the groin. Action resumed with three hard leg kicks from Baeza. Williams landed a combination in response, but Baeza continued to chop away at his lead leg. Williams landed a short uppercut in the final minute and he countered a Baeza leg kick with a three-punch combo. A clinch followed and time was called again when Baeza was kneed in the groin. Baeza stayed down for a while, but he was able to continue and the bell sounded soon after the restart. 10-9 Baeza.

Round 3:
Williams opened the final round with two lead left hooks and a leg kick. After two leg kicks from Baeza, the fighters exchanged punches and Williams landed a massive right hook that floored Baeza and ended the fight.

Winner: Kalinn Williams by KO (Punch) at 1:02 of round three. He improves to 13-2-0.


Yadong “Kung Fu Monkey” Song vs Julio Arce

Round 1:
Song landed an early jab-cross combo while Arce circled and kept his distance. Song rushed forward with overhand punches, but Arce ducked under them and circled to his left. He blocked a head kick, but Song landed another right hand and then a lead left hook. Arce finally landed a left hook and then a body kick, but Song quickly responded with a right hook to the temple. Song landed two- and three-punch combos, and both men blocked head kicks from the other. 10-9 Song.

Round 2:
Arce was more active in the second round and he landed jabs and leg kicks in the opening minute. Song wobbled him with a head kick and then charged in with punches that sent Arce crashing to the mat.

Winner: Yadong Song by TKO (Head Kick & Punches) at 1:35 of round two. He improves to 18-5-1, 1 NC.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)