UFC on ESPN+ 38 results: Gillian Robertson controls Poliana Botelho for flyweight wins record
After overcoming some early resistance, Robertson (9-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) put her superior ground skills to work and controlled Botelho (8-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) en route to a unanimous decision win by scores of 29-28, 29-27 and 29-27.
The women’s flyweight bout was part of the UFC on ESPN+ 38 preliminary card at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It streamed on ESPN+.
Robertson immediately shot in for a takedown on Botelho, who was able to resist the initial entry before taking over in the clinch against the fence. Botelho broke free with just over three minutes remaining and started to attack with some hard kicks. Robertson shot for another takedown in the center of the cage, but Botelho denied it and forced the fight to stay standing. They traded strikes, and a flying knee attempt from Botelho led to a successful takedown counter. She landed in half guard but wasn’t able to do anything with it before the end of the round.
Botelho came out too aggressive after Robertson lost her mouth guard in the opening seconds of Round 2, and it walked her right into a takedown. Robertson established dominant positions, working from half guard and side control and eventually mount. She started to overwhelm Botelho with peppering ground strikes before she postured up and got some punishing blows off before the end of the round.
With momentum heavy in her favor going into the final frame, Robertson instantly shot for a takedown to start Round 3. Botelho stuffed it, but overcommitted on a punch moments later and found herself on her back. Robertson went back to work, chipping away with short punches an trying to advance her position. She eventually got the mount, as well as the back, but wasn’t able to finish the fight before the final bell.
“The plan was to finish her, so I’m not happy,” Robertson said in her post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “I believe she’s ranked No. 12 or No. 13. I would like to see Antonina Shevchenko across the cage from me.”
Robertson’s victory was her sixth in UFC women’s flyweight competition, breaking out of a tie with champion Valentina Shevchenko and former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian for most in divisional history. Botelho, meanwhile, fell to 1-1 since she moved to 125 pounds.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 38 results include:
- Poliana Botelho vs. Gillian Robertson
- Jun Yong Park def. John Phillips via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)
- Fares Ziam def. Jamie Mullarkey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Maxim Grishin def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:58
- Said Nurmagomedov def. Mark Striegl via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:51