UFC Vegas 11: Covington vs. Woodley – Winners and Losers

Colby Covington did his Colby Covington thing before, during and after his UFC Vegas 11 matchup against Tyron Woodley. Before the bout, which served…

By: Trent Reinsmith | 3 years ago
UFC Vegas 11: Covington vs. Woodley – Winners and Losers
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Colby Covington did his Colby Covington thing before, during and after his UFC Vegas 11 matchup against Tyron Woodley.

Before the bout, which served as the headliner of the fight card, Covington said, “You’ve got two guys who want to take each other’s heads off. You’ve got red vs. blue. Capitalism vs. him, communism. You’ve got MAGA vs. maggots. This is a heated rivalry.”

During the fight, Covington pursued takedowns and racked up 232 total strikes to Woodley’s 67 before he won the fight via a TKO because of a rib injury.

After his win, Covington shouted about getting his belt back and received a phone call from Donald Trump. Later, Covington asked current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who was born in Nigeria, “Who did you get a phone call from, your little tribe? Did they give you some little smoke signals for you.

So, yeah, it was a Colby Covington kind of night at the UFC Apex.

Read on for the winners and losers of UFC Vegas 11.


Colby Covington: Covington did what he does when he faced Tyron Woodley in the main event. He kept the former champion from landing any real damaging blows while he stayed busy and scored points with takedowns and volume.

Covington’s takedown success rate didn’t rival the 55 percent he scored in his dominating win over Robbie Lawler in 2019, but he went three for eight against Woodley.

Covington is an incredibly talented fighter with a great gas tank and his December 2019 loss to Usman did not seem to affect his style or his mindset in the least. Covington remains one of the most confident fighters in the UFC and rightfully so. His only losses since he joined the promotion in 2014 are a 2015 submission to Warlley Alves and his TKO loss to Usman.

Covington most likely has another fight on his dance card before he gets another shot at UFC gold, but if he wins that contest, don’t be surprised to see him back in a title fight with the winner of the upcoming Usman vs. Gilbert Burns scrap, which is scheduled for UFC 256 in December.

Khamzat Chimaev: I’ll admit that I wasn’t sold on Chimaev before Saturday. Well, that changed when he landed a one punch knockout win over the more experienced Gerald Meerschaert at middleweight. Many people were quick to compare Chimaev to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but those comparisons should go by the wayside after his knockout win at UFC Vegas 11. At this point, all signs point to Chimaev being the real deal.

Mackenzie Dern: Dern threw a terrible kick in the early going, but that strike missing actually helped Dern as Randa Markos made the huge mistake of going to the mat with Dern before either fighter broke a sweet. From there Dern put on a clinic of patient jiu-jitsu before earning an armbar finish in the first round. Markos gave Dern a gift in this matchup.

David Dvorak: Dvorak and Jordan Espinosa had themselves a nice striking battle in the first five minutes of their matchup. The first round was fairly even, but Dvorak pulled away in the final 10 minutes of the scrap with a better arsenal of strikes. His leg kicks were especially noteworthy. Those blows hurt Espinosa. This was obvious when he told his corner exactly where he needed the ice placed on his leg between rounds. Dvorak should move up the flyweight rankings with this victory.

Damon Jackson: Jackson had a three-fight run with the UFC in 2014-16 after he won the Legacy FC featherweight title. Jackson went 0-1-1-1 in that run. He spent the next four years with LFA and PFL. He got the chance to get back in the UFC with a short notice call to face Mirsad Bektic on the UFC Vegas 11 card. Jackson seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder in this fight. Jackson was very aggressive in his submission game throughout the fight. He racked up seven submission attempts during the Bektic bout. At least once his corner became frustrated with Jackson looking for the finish. However, that seventh attempt from the stubborn Jackson was the last one he needed. He got Bektic to tap at the 1:21 mark of the third stanza. A big win for the 32-year-old Jackson.

Mayra Bueno Silva: Bueno Silva’s fight against Mara Romero Borella went to the ground early, which was favorable for Bueno Silva. What wasn’t favorable was that Borella had Bueno Silva’s right arm trapped under her leg, which limited Bueno Silva’s offense. However, when that arm slipped free Bueno Silva grabbed an armbar and get a quick tap. While Bueno Silva’s arm was trapped, she took some hammerfists, but she didn’t panic and waited for her opportunity to use her jiu-jitsu game. This was a nice finish for Bueno Silva and a warning for future opponents to not go to the ground against her.

Jessica-Rose Clark: Clark opened her contest against Sarah Alpar winging heavy strikes in the open, but Alpar forced her to the cage and made her fight off a takedown. Clark did good work stopping the takedown, she also did an excellent job in breaking the clinch with nice elbows. For most of the second and third rounds, this sequence repeated itself. In the third, Clark decided to break the clinch and get to the open. Once there she let go with her striking. When the fight went to the fence, Clark landed a knee that crushed Alpar’s nose. Referee Chris Tognoni stopped the fight to see if it was a legal strike. It was and Tognoni restarted the fight. From that point, Clark just worked over Alpar to get the TKO win. The win was Clark’s first finish since 2014.

Darrick Minner: Minner was a big underdog and whoever put money down in him walked away from this fight with a smile on their face. After some striking against the fence, T.J. Laramie left his neck open and Minner seized that moment to lock up a guillotine choke and finish the fight within the first minute. Minner had excellent awareness and took advantage of what was offered him. Good performance.

Randy Costa: Costa staggered Journey Newson early with a punch. He remained calm as he walked Newson back toward the cage. When he saw an opening he fired off a beautiful head kick that dropped and finished the fight in the early going. Costa is still young and early in his career, but he has two straight first round finishes in the UFC, so he is someone to keep an eye on.

Andre Ewell: Ewell used his long reach and fast striking in the opening round. While he used his aggressive style, the UFC commentators voiced their concern about his cardio. Ewell faded a bit in the second round, but it was not by a concerning amount. He continued to use his length well in the second five minutes of the contest. Ewell faded more in the third, but kept firing out his long strikes and avoided the pressure of the always game Irwin Rivera to take the win. This was a good performance by Ewell and it showed he is working on his growth as a UFC fighter.

Tyson Nam:– Nam was patient in his matchup against Jerome Rivera. He didn’t force his heavy hands. Nam took several heavy inside leg kicks in the early going of the first round, but he kept advancing. Nam had success walking Rivera to the fence a few times and when he did that he had success when he let his hands fly.

Nam must have caught the timing of that inside kick during the first five minutes because he delivered a huge counter in the first few seconds of the second round to deck Rivera and score a TKO. Nam now has two straight knockout wins in the UFC.

Jason Herzog: As fight fans we have become accustomed to referees offering an endless string of warnings when a fighter fouls their opponent, so it was noticeable when Herzog deducted a point from Niko Price after he delivered two eye pokes to Donald Cerrone. Herzog’s move was so rare that it deserves praise.


Tyron Woodley: Fans of the former welterweight champion have been waiting for a few years for the “old” Tyron Woodley to return. He did not come back for this fight. Woodley’s past three fights have all been five round contests. He’s lost every round of those bouts. If Woodley could not find the motivation to let his hands fly against Covington, it’s hard to imagine him doing so again.

Niko Price: Price wanted to take advantage of Donald Cerrone’s slow starts and he did that. The first half of the initial stanza was all Price. When Price did not get the early finish, he slowed his pace, but he was still active. However, he fought at Cerrone’s preferred distance and that allowed Cerrone to stay in the fight and make things more difficult for himself. Had Price put more pressure on Cerrone — and not poked him in the eye for a point deduction — the outcome of this bout (a majority draw) could have been different.

Gerald Meerschaert: The stat line on Meerschaert’s loss to Khamzat Chimaev was zero strikes landed and one thrown for Meerschaert. That pretty much says it all about how things went for Meerschaert.

Ryan Spann: Spann’s fight against Johnny Walker wasn’t pretty, but it was entertaining. Spann knocked Walker down twice in the first round, but he got a bit too ahead of himself and put himself in a bad spot. From there, Spann took a lot of shots to the head before the fight was waved off. Spann and his team thought some blows Walker landed were illegal, but the ref, Dan Miragliotta, didn’t see it that way.

Randa Markos: Markos landed some heavy strikes early, but then made a huge mistake when she willingly went to the ground with Mackenzie Dern. That was a terrible decision and it cost Markos as Dern submitted her in the first round. The loss puts Markos on the first losing skid of her career.

Darren Stewart: Stewart might be wondering what could have been had he started his fight against Kevin Holland with more aggression and pressure. Holland struggled with his cardio in the third round. Had Stewart put more pressure on his opponent earlier in the fight, he might have drained Holland’s gas tank earlier, which could have been the difference maker as Holland won via split decision.

Jordan Espinosa: Espinosa looked good for the first five minutes of his matchup opposite David Dvorak, but he fell behind once Dvorak started landing powerful leg kicks. This bout should serve as a learning experience for Espinosa and help him to become a more well-rounded fighter.

Mirsad Bektic: Bektic was 13-1 after he defeated Ricardo Lamas in 2018 and he looked like he was on his way toward the top of the featherweight division. On Saturday, he lost his third straight fight when Damon Jackson submitted him in the third stanza. Bektic is a talented fighter and at 29, he has time to get back on track, but he is going to have a difficult climb back up the rankings.

Mara Romero Borella: Borella did a nice job fighting off a triangle early in the first round by trapping Mayra Bueno Silva’s right arm under her leg. That defense allowed her to land some hammer fists. However, Borella’s willingness to stay in that spot for too long allowed her opponent time to free her arm and get an armbar submission. Borella needs to work on situational awareness. She’ll most likely need to do that outside the UFC as she now has four straight losses.

Sarah Alpar: Alpar did her best to get her fight against Jessica-Rose Clark to the mat and keep it there. She was not able to do so. Alpar got her nose crushed by a knee in the third stanza. The damage was significant, but Alpar carried on. That decision might not have been wise as all she did from that point on was take more damage. Alpar’s corner and the referee in this contest also land in the “loser” category in this bout.

T.J. Laramie: Laramie must not have done much research on his opponent, Darrick Minner. If he had done so, he would have known not to leave his neck open as most of Minner’s wins had come by submission heading into this contest. Minner added another sub to his name when Laramie left his neck wide open in the early moments of this matchup.

Journey Newson: Newson did not offer much to Randy Costa. He landed one significant strike and was knocked out in under a minute.

Irwin Rivera: Rivera is a tough guy who can take a lot of damage. He never stops moving forward and he never gives up. Even though he was down two rounds and seemed to be on his way to a loss in the third stanza of his fight against Andrew Ewell, Rivera kept looking for a finish. Irwin is 1-2 in the UFC, but he has gone the distance in each of those bouts. Rivera is a fighter who will give anyone he faces a problem.

Jerome Rivera: Rivera used kicks and long punches to keep his opponent Tyson Nam at distance during the first round. Rivera allowed Nam to back him into the fence frequently. When that happened Rivera got caught with Nam’s strikes. Rivera did a decent job of circling out when he realized where he was, but that did not seem to come naturally. Rivera’s inexperience showed in this bout.

UFC, NSAC, Chris Tognoni: Before the event, the UFC posted a graphic that said that instant replay could only be used in a fight ending sequence, which was a change from last week’s fight card that said replay could be used at any time. While the event went on, it was confirmed that the NSAC rulebook said that instant replay could be used at any time. When Chris Tognoni did use replay during the Clark vs. Alpar bout it caused quite an uproar, especially when he restarted the fight. The NSAC, UFC and the referees need to get on the same page regarding instant replay.


Donald Cerrone: Niko Price seemed to have Cerrone in trouble in the early going of this bout, but Cerrone weathered the storm and stayed in the fight. Cerrone had opportunities to score because of the distance Price fought at, but he could not take advantage of those to the point of overwhelming Price. Cerrone ended his four fight losing skid, but he did so with a majority draw ruling.

Johnny Walker: Walker said all the right things heading into his matchup against Ryan Spann. It actually sounded like Walker was going to come into this fight as a more calm and focused technical fighter. That didn’t happen. Instead, we go a typical crazy Walker bout where Spann dropped him twice before Walker finished the fight with strikes to the head against the fence.

I don’t think Walker corrected any of the errors he makes in his fights, but he won and he entertained and that counts for a lot in the UFC. As far as Walker being a future title challenger, well, the jury is going to be conferring about that for quite a while.

Kevin Holland: Holland is on the second three-fight winning streak of his UFC career following a split decision win over Darren Stewart. Holland looked good over the first two rounds of the bout, but he faded in the third round and that allowed Stewart to gain some ground on him, but not enough to get the nod. Cardio continues to be a problem for Holland and that might keep him from making the next step up the middleweight ladder.

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About the author
Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

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