UFC on ESPN+ 36: Andre Ewell vs. Irwin Rivera Play-by-Play

Bantamweights Andre Ewell and Irwin Rivera fought on the preliminary card of Saturday’s show. Here’s how it went.

Bout 2: Andre Ewell (16-6) vs. Irwin Rivera (10-5) (Bantamweight)

Ewell utilized his reach advantage early, striking from a distance with two-punch combinations of straights to Rivera. Rivera stormed forward with a two-punch combo of his own in the second minute. Ewell dumped Rivera to the round, landing a clean punch after. The fighters exchanged strikes before Rivera failed to score a takedown. Ewell stopped another takedown in the third round of the fight, landing a knee from the clinch after. Rivera connected with a flying knee to Ewell in the fourth minute. Ewell was able to stuff a takedown, keeping the fight on the knees. Ewell got on the back of Rivera with under a minute to work. Rivera was able to escape the position, taking full guard on top for the final 10 seconds of the round.

The pace of striking had significantly slowed down to open the second round. Ewell stopped another takedown in the opening minute of the second round. Rivera connected with a clean leg kick in the second minute of the round. While both fighters were connecting with punches, Ewell was landing with a higher volume.

The close striking battle continued into the final round of the fight. Ewell was able to keep the fight at a longer distance for most of the fight, although Rivera would dip in with combinations that would work. Ewell’s distance striking was connecting frequently. The fighters traded wild punches in the closing moment of the fight. Rivera scored a single leg takedown and threw some elbows before the fight ran out of time. A split decision went to Ewell after three rounds (29-28 Rivera, 29-28 Ewell & 29-28 Ewell).

RESULT: Andre Ewell def. Irwin Rivera via Decision, Split

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ewell 10 10 9 30
Rivera 9 9 10 27

Live coverage of the entire show can be viewed here.

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