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UFC on ESPN 7 results: Cynthia Calvillo and Marina Rodriguez ends in a majority draw in co-main event

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cynthia Calvillo nearly pulled off a third round finish in her co-main event fight against Marina Rodriguez and while she didn’t get the win, the late comeback helped her secure a majority draw.

Rodriguez had a strong start through two rounds but Calvillo got her to the mat with five minutes remaining where she opened up a barrage of punches that almost forced the referee to stop the contest. Rodriguez survived but Calvillo’s performance swayed at least two judges to give her a 10-8 third round, which was reflected in the final scorecards.

The judges scored the fight 29-28, 28-28 and 28-28 for the majority draw.

The fight played out in a tale of two game plans with Calvillo searching for takedowns while Rodriguez wanted to use her range and striking to keep the action on the feet.

Rodriguez biggest advantage came from clinch work where she was able to pull down Calvillo’s head and then chip away with knees to the head and body. In return, Calvillo continued to press forward looking to take the Brazilian down to the ground but she had to be wary not to eat punches or another knee as she looked to grab onto a leg.

Rodriguez was very aware of Calvillo’s biggest strength and she defended the takedowns well while punishing the Sacramento-based fighter to the head and body any time she managed to close the distance.

While her grappling defense was sound through two rounds, Rodriguez couldn’t keep Calvillo off her in the final five minutes and it nearly cost her the fight.

Castillo secured a takedown, advanced her position and she began dropping bombs on Rodriguez looking to get the finish. As much as Calvillo wanted the finish, Rodriguez was able to scramble free and get back to her feet before the final horn brought the fight to a close.

It was not the result either fighter wanted, although Calvillo definitely had her back against the wall after missing weight badly on Friday before securing the majority draw against Rodriguez on Saturday.

The majority draw was the second of the night at UFC on ESPN 7 after the bantamweight fight between Cody Stamann and Song Yadong ended the same way earlier on the main card.

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