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UFC on ESPN+ 17 live results: Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens

Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens, emanating from the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico.

The Octagon returns to Mexico for the first time in just over two years with a featherweight main event featuring one of the country's biggest UFC stars.

Yair Rodriguez looks to score his second straight win when he takes on long-time UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens in the night's five-round headline featherweight bout. Rodriguez returns from a ten-month layoff following the 2018 Knockout Of The Year win he scored over Chan Sung Jung in November, while Stephens looks to get back into the win column after dropping back-to-back fights to Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedshapirov.

In the co-main event, it will be a women's strawweight bout as former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza takes on Alexa Grasso as both look for their second straight wins. Also on the card is the return of flyweight Brandon Moreno, who takes on UFC newcomer Askar Askarov, as well as Sergio Pettis moving back to 125 pounds to battle Tyson Nam, a long-time veteran of the sport who is making his UFC debut.

Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.

ESPN+ PRELIMS | 5 PM ET/2 PM PT

> Claudio Puelles (8-2, 1-1 UFC) vs. Marcos Mariano (6-5, 0-1 UFC)
Lightweights

Mariano with a high kick to start and Puelles goes right for a takedown and scores it. Puelles working from the half-guard against the fence and lands some from the top. Puelles goes for a kimura from the bottom but Mariano is able to sweep to the top. They are stood up by the referee. Puelles gets the body lock against the fence. Puelles picks Mariano up and slams him to the ground. Puelles working in the guard and lands some elbows from the top. 10-9 Puelles.

Puelles gets an immediate takedown to start the second. Puelles in the half-guard against the fence and trying to move to mount which he does. He moves back to half-guard and then to full guard and lands from the top. Puelles still working from the top and landing and Mariano looks clueless on the bottom. Puelles with more ground-and-pound from the top. Puelles with some big elbows at the end of the round. 10-8 Puelles, 20-17 Puelles.

Puelles lands a left hand and then picks Mariano up and slams him down. Puelles landing from the top and then grabs the arm for a kimura. Mariano is grabbing his own shorts to block it. Puelles gets the arm fully extended and it is in tight. Mariano is able to escape but Puelles gets to full mount and lands big elbows and punches. He's landing more big punches but Mariano is going to be able to survive the fight. 10-8 Puelles, 30-25 Puelles.

Official Result- Claudio Puelles def. Marcos Mariano by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)

> Sijara Eubanks (#14, 4-3, 2-1 UFC) vs. Bethe Correia (#15, 10-4-1, 4-4-1 UFC)
Women's Bantamweights

Eubanks with a right hand to start. She lands another right hand that stuns Correia. Eubanks landing more punches but Correia starting to land. Eubanks gets a takedown and is in the half-guard. Eubanks with some punches from the top after she pushes Correira against the fence. Eubanks with big punches from the top as she is looking for the finish but Correia survives the onslaught. 10-9 Eubanks.

They trade to start the second and Correia starting to land kicks. Correira lands a right hook. Eubanks shoots for a takedown but Correia fights her off with some punches. Eubanks with a right hand. Eubanks went for a takedown against the fence but Correia defends. Correia lands a right hand. Correia lands another right hand. Correira gets a body lock and almost got a takedown. Eubanks is slowing down. They trade in close range. Correia lands a right hand. They clinch at the end. 10-9 Correia, 19-19.

Eubanks with some punches to the body to start the third. They trade punches and then clinch. Correira pushes Eubanks against the fence. They break and return to the center of the Octagon. Correia landing more this round. Correia lands a right hand. They trade in close range. Correia landing combinations in the pocket as Eubanks is just landing a punch here and there. Correia with a right hand. Correia definitely thinks she has won the fight. 10-9 Correia, 29-28 Correia.

Official Result- Bethe Correia def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

> Vinicius Moreira (9-3, 0-2 UFC) vs. Paul Craig (11-4, 3-4 UFC)
Light Heavyweights

Moreira pushes Craig against the fence after getting the body lock. Moreira pulls guard and then Craig pushes him against the fence. Craig trying to pass guard and does and they scramble to their feet. Craig gets a judo throw takedown but they scramble up. Craig hurts Moreira with a knee on the way up and then drops him with a knee and lands some punches and swarms for a finish. Craig then grabs the back of Moreira and locks in a rear-naked choke and Moreira taps! Great finish by Craig there.

Official Result- Paul Craig def. Vinicius Moreira by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:19 of Round 1

> Sergio Pettis (#5, 17-5, 8-5 UFC) vs. Tyson Nam (18-9-1, 0-0 UFC)
Flyweights

Both men being patient in the first minute with no punches landed. Pettis with a high side kick. Nam fakes a takedown and Pettis slips away. Nam lands a right hand. Pettis landing a jab. Nam shoots as he pushes Pettis to the fence but they break. Pettis with a high kick. They have a flurry late with both landing. Close round. 10-9 Pettis.

They trade jabs to start the second round. Both landing punches and kicks in close range. Nam lands a right hand. Pettis circling away. Pettis with a step-in knee to the body. Nam misses some punches as he walks forward. They clinch against the fence. Pettis with a spin kick to the body and Nam counters with a right hand. Nam with a leg kick and Pettis counters with a combo. Pettis tries a cartwheel kick but ends the round on bottom. He was still more active that round. 10-9 Pettis, 20-18 Pettis.

They trade and Pettis with a standing elbow followed by a right hook. Pettis with the jab. Nam rushes in but Pettis lands a high kick. Nam now lands some punches. They continue to trade punches. Nam is rushing in but it is letting Pettis land some counters. Nam with a combo to the body. Pettis with a front kick to the face. They trade and clinch late. 10-9 Pettis, 30-27 Pettis.

Official Result- Sergio Pettis def. Tyson Nam by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

> Ariane Carnelossi (12-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Angela Hill (9-7, 4-7 UFC)
Women's Strawweights

They quickly clinch and Hill with some knees to the body. Hill with an elbow as they break. They clinch again and Carnelossi looking for the takedown. They break and Hill circling around. Hill lands a couple of right hands. Hill lands a left hook and they clinch and both land knees. They break and Hill with a left hook. Hill with a knee. Carnelossi with a leg kick. They trade in close range and Hill landing better. 10-9 Hill.

They clinch early and both land in dirty boxing range. Hill lands a nice uppercut after they break. They take the center and both landing but Hill landing better. Carnelossi with a nice body kick. They trade and Carnelossi with a heavy right hand but eats a counter combo from Hill. Hill with a combo ending with a body kick. Hill lands a right hand. Carnelossi lands a nice combo. They clinch and Carnelossi has the edge but Hill is able to land some knees before they break before the end of the round. 10-9 Hill, 20-18 Hill.

They trade to start the third and Hill is getting the better of it. Carnelossi keeps coming forward and Hill lands a right hand. Carnelossi misses some punches. Hill then lands a hard elbow that cuts Carnelossi open above her left eye. The referee stops it for the doctor to come in and check the cut and now the doctor stops the fight. It is a nasty cut on Carnelossi. That will give Hill the TKO win.

Official Result- Angela Hill def. Ariane Carnelossi by TKO (cut) at 1:56 of Round 3

> Polo Reyes (8-5, 4-3 UFC) vs. Kyle Nelson (12-3, 0-2 UFC)
Featherweights

Reyes coming forward and they clinch against the fence. Both land knees. Nelson with a big elbow and starts unloading on punches on Reyes. Nelson lands a big right hand that rocks Reyes badly and a flurry of punches follows and Jason Herzog stops the fight. Reyes was out on his feet and this is a good stoppage. Great win by Nelson with that huge flurry.

Official Result- Kyle Nelson def. Polo Reyes by knockout (punches) at 1:36 of Round 1

> Jose Quinonez (7-3, 4-2 UFC) vs. Carlos Huachin (10-4-1, 0-1 UFC)
Bantamweights

Quinonez with a right hand. Quinonez drops Huachin with a right hand and goes to the ground to try for a finish but Huachin is able to scramble to his feet. Quinonez with a leg kick. They trade punches. Huachin lands a left hand. They trade punches and Quinonez with a leg kick. Both are circling around. Huachin lands a right hook and Quinonez circles away. Quinonez with a heavy leg kick. 10-9 Quinonez.

Quinonez with some leg kicks. Huachin is checking them. Huachin with the jab. Quinonez gets a takedown and into the half-guard. Quinonez tries to pass but Huachin forces him up but Quinonez gets right back into side control and moves back to the full guard. Quinonez with a big elbow from the top. Quinonez stands and Huachin scrambles up. Quinonez with a leg kick and Huachin with a right hook. Quinonez with a high kick. Huachin lands a right hand. 10-9 Quinonez, 20-18 Quinonez.

Quinonez gets a takedown to start the third and goes to work in the full guard of Huachin. Quinonez working with punches and elbows from the top. Huachin able to push him off and they get to their feet. Huachin with a high kick that Quinonez checks. Huachin complains about being poked in the eye but Dan Miragliotta didn't see it and tells him to keep fighting. Quinonez takes advantage and lands a couple of punches. Huachin lands a few punches. 10-9 Quinonez, 30-27 Quinonez.

Official Result- Jose Quinonez def. Carlos Huachin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ESPN+ MAIN CARD | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT

> Martin Bravo (11-2, 1-2 UFC) vs. Steven Peterson (17-9, 1-3 UFC)
Featherweights

They trade right away. Peterson with a body kick. Bravo gets a takedown. Peterson with some elbows from the bottom and kicks Bravo off and they get to their feet. Peterson with an overhand right. Bravo lands some combos. Bravo drops Peterson with a shot but Peterson gets up. Bravo with a spin kick. Bravo with a right hand. They are both throwing lots of wild punches. Peterson lands a combo. Bravo with lots of body punches. Peterson lands the jab but Bravo fires back with a body kick. Bravo with a combo. They both land punches ending with body kicks. Peterson with a body kick. 10-9 Bravo.

Bravo gets a takedown to start the second but they get right back up. They trade punches in close range. Peterson then knocks Bravo out cold with a spinning back fist. Holy cow. It was actually a counter spinning back fist as Bravo threw one as well. One of the best knockouts of the year. Big win for Peterson.

Official Result- Steven Peterson def. Martin Bravo by knockout (spinning backfist) at 1:31 of Round 2

> Irene Aldana (#10, 10-5, 3-3 UFC) vs. Vanessa Melo (10-5, 0-0 UFC)
Women's Bantamweights* (Melo missed weight by 4 pounds)

Aldana throwing punches right away. Aldana with a heavy leg kick. Melo missed weight badly and looks big in there. Melo lands some punches but Aldana covering up. Melo comes forward with more punches. Aldana coming forward with punches and kicks. Aldana with more leg kicks. Melo loading up on right hands and missing them. Aldana with some big punches. Aldana with a heavy leg kick. Aldana working to the body and then an overhand right and a Superman punch. 10-9 Aldana.

Aldana with some right hands and Melo comes forward with some punches. Aldana with more punches in bunches. Aldana with a spinning back kick and then more punches. Melo goes for a takedown but Aldana defends and tees off on Melo. Aldana with another combo. Aldana's striking is looking fantastic. Aldana fakes an uppercut and then delivers an overhand right. Melo lands a right hand. 10-9 Aldana, 20-18 Aldana.

Aldana landing combos to start the third. Melo with a heavy inside leg kick. Aldana with a spinning back kick to the head and Melo eats it. Aldana with some more punches and leg kicks. She misses another spinning back kick attempt. Melo is doing better this round but Aldana still significantly one step ahead. Aldana lands a flush right hand. Aldana with a nice combo and a leg kick. Aldana with a spin kick to the body. Melo misses a spinning backfist. Aldana with a right hand. Aldana with a late flurry. The crowd went crazy for Aldana. 10-9 Aldana, 30-27 Aldana.

Official Result- Irene Aldana def. Vanessa Melo by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

> Brandon Moreno (#9, 15-5, 3-2 UFC) vs. Askar Askarov (10-0, 0-0 UFC)
Flyweights

Moreno with a flurry as Askarov grabs a single leg. Moreno rushes to the fence and Askarov grabs the back and gets a takedown. Moreno rolls and Askarov gets into side control. Askarov gets the back and has the hooks in and is landing punches. Moreno is trying to fight him off. Askarov with some elbows and Moreno explodes out and is in the guard of Askarov now. They now trade shots on the ground. Moreno with some big punches from the top. They get to their feet and Moreno rocks Askarov with a big left. They trade punches. Askarov tries to land a punch as Moreno runs away. Close round. 10-9 Moreno.

They trade and Askarov gets a takedown and finally gets into the guard of Moreno. Moreno gives up his back as they stand. Moreno able to scramble away. Askarov lands a right hand. Moreno with an uppercut and Askarov grabs the back. Askarov lands punches as they go to the mat but Moreno able to push him away. Askarov goes right back for the takedown and has the body. They break and Moreno with some punches. Moreno then drops Askarov to his knees with a head kick. Moreno tries to capitalize but Askarov grabs the legs. Moreno is going for a reverse triangle choke but time runs out. 10-9 Moreno, 20-18 Moreno.

Moreno gets a takedown to start the third and is working in the guard of Askarov. Askarov lands some elbows from the bottom and now some punches. Moreno with a big left hand as he retains top position. Moreno remains landing punches from the top and Askarov is throwing elbows from the bottom. Moreno then takes the back of Askarov and is looking for a rear-naked choke. Askarov is defending and Moreno has to let his arms rest. Moreno keeps back control but Askarov able to reverse to the guard with seconds left. Fun fight. 10-9 Moreno, 30-27 Moreno.

Official Result- Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov ends in a split draw (28-28, 28-29, 30-27)

> Carla Esparza (#8, 14-6, 5-4 UFC) vs. Alexa Grasso (#9, 11-2, 3-2 UFC)
Women's Strawweights

Grasso with a nice combo to start. Grasso with the jab. Esparza lands a right hand. They exchange in close range. Esparza gets a takedown and Grasso almost reverses it bt Esparza ends up in Grasso's guard. They scramble to their feet and Grasso almost gets a takedown and almost lands a head kick. They trade punches. They clinch against the fence. Esparza with some knees. Grasso reverses position. Esparza with a head-and-arm takedown. They get to their feet and Grasso lands a big right at the end. 10-9 Esparza.

Esparza with a right hand. Esparza gets a takedown and in the guard of Grasso. Grasso is landing from the bottom but Esparza is maintaining top control. Grasso being more active on her back but Esparza is keeping her pinned to the mat. Grasso able to spin to the top and they scramble to their feet. Grasso with a hard right hand that stumbles Esparza. Esparza lands a right hand. Esparza gets another takedown against the fence. Grasso almost sweeps at the end. 10-9 Esparza, 20-18 Esparza.

They trade to start the third. Grasso looks like the fresher fighter. Grasso with a combo and rocks Esparza with some left hands. Esparza runs away and Grasso slips trying to land a head kick. Esparza was in trouble but Grasso gave her time to recover. Esparza tries a takedown but Grasso defends. Grasso with a combo. Esparza tries a takedown and Grasso gets the crucifix looking for an armbar but Esparza takes the top. Grasso has the arm and is looking for the armbar and has it locked in. Esparza's arm is in bad shape but Esparza escapes. Grasso looks for a triangle but Esparza gets out in the guard. Esparza lands some punches but Grasso gets to her feet. They trade punches and Grasso rocks Esparza again. Great last round. 10-9 Grasso, 29-28 Esparza.

Official Result- Carla Esparza def. Alexa Grasso by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

> Yair Rodriguez (#7, 11-2, 7-1 UFC) vs. Jeremy Stephens (#8, 28-16, 15-15 UFC)
Featherweights

Rodriguez with some quick leg kicks and then an eye poke and a timeout. Stephens is in a lot of pain and the doctors are checking him out. Herb Dean gives him the full five minutes to recover but Stephens still can't open his eye and the fight is stopped. The crowd is not happy and starts throwing trash into the Octagon. Ugly scene.

Official Result- Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens ends in a no contest (accidental eye poke) at :15 of Round 1