Weekly Recap post UFC Vegas 31

Saturday was one of the biggest UFC cards of the year and it surely did not disappoint. Several prospects broke through with big wins including Dricus Du Plessis, Ilia Topura and Zhalgas Zhumagulov. The main event saw Dustin Poirier get the best of Conor McGregor in their trilogy fight, but talks of a fourth bout swirl due to the leg injury McGregor sustained. Following is a short recap of each bout

  • Rodrigo Nascimento defeats Alan Baudot via Punches at 1:29 of Round 2- The card opened with a very back and forth fight at heavyweight. Alan Baudot looked strong early, out striking Nascimento and keeping things on the feet. He looked very quick, and threw much faster than Nascimento. I was very much impressed with the chin of the Brazilian, eating plenty of clean shots in this bout. In the second round we saw Nascimento pour on the pressure as Baudot quickly faded away. Rodrigo Nascimento was awarded a $50,000 performance bonus for his stoppage win
  • Malcolm Gordon defeats Francisco Figueiredo via Unanimous Decision– This fight was underwhelming. Malcolm Gordon was the superior grappler and frustrated his opponent for a relatively easy win. He was able to control Figueiredo for long periods on the mat, but Figueiredo had gassed quickly and spent too long content on his back. Neither of these fighters have what it takes to compete with the top flyweights
  • Sergey Morozov defeats Khalid Taha via Unanimous Decision– Morozov looked spectacular in a dominant decision win here. On the feet we saw him land to the head early and often, but wrestling was the tale of this one. Morozov landed six of sixteen takedown attempts and racked up over eight minutes of control time. It was a huge bounce back for Morozov after being dominated by Umar Nurmagomedov in his bout prior
  • Amanda Lemos defeats Montserrat Ruiz via Counter Right at 0:35 of Round 1 This fight was over in a flash. Amanda Lemos threw a right hand to stun a charging Ruiz and followed up with a left right counter that put her down. It was a quick stoppage by Chris Tognoni but the fight was likely going to be over not long after anyways
  • Daniel Rodriguez defeats Preston Parsons via Punches at 3:47 of Round 1– Rodriguez did what he was supposed to and finished Preston Parsons inside of one round. The UFC newcomer was seriously outmatched when he took this short notice call. Rodriguez once again displayed fast and heavy hands as he gained momentum and teed off on Parsons. His record improves to an outstanding 15-2
  • Billy Quarantillo defeats Gabriel Benitez via Punches from Back Control at 3:49 of Round 3– This was easily the best bout of the night. Billy Q landed 179 strikes in a beatdown of Moggly Benitez. A knockdown had Benitez compromised very early on and Quarantillo capitalized by landing powerful shots and slamming him on the mat. He landed numerous times to Benitez on the ground and back on the feet in this one. Benitez did have his moments, including a knockdown of Quarantillo early in round three. The late rally was stopped in its tracks though as Billy secured his final takedown and got the finish from an awkward position behind Benitez. Both fighters were awarded a $50,000 bonus for Fight of the Night
  • Rodolfo Vieira defeats Dustin Stoltzfus via Rear Naked Choke at 1:54 of Round 3– It was a dominant return for Vieira, rebounding after a terrible loss his last time out. This bout was controlled by him pillar to post as he beat down on Stoltzfus, who landed in return but not nearly as heavy or accurately. Vieira secured three takedowns, and finished the bout with a lightning quick back take and tap by rear naked choke
  • Mateusz Gamrot defeats Jeremy Stephens via Kimura at 1:05 of Round 1– Another very fast finish here as Mateusz Gamrot bullied Jeremy Stephens. Immediate clinch position was the exact game plan expected from Gamrot and Stephens was very quickly on the mat. He secured a kimura grip, but was reversed by the much stronger Gamrot who quickly got the tap from Stephens just north of the one minute mark. Mateusz Gamrot was awarded a $50,000 performance bonus for his stoppage win
  • Miesha Tate defeats Marion Reneau via Ground and Pound at 1:53 of Round 3– The return went as well as Miesha Tate could’ve expected, being the first woman to ever finish Marion Reneau. Tate looked as good as ever, dominating in the striking and wrestling exchanges. She mixed it up on the feet but was most accurate to the head in top position, ultimately finishing Reneau with elbows in the early third. She likely returns as a large co-main event draw for the UFC. A potential rematch with Holly Holm in the future would be must see television. Miesha Tate was awarded a $50,000 performance bonus for her stoppage win
  • Islam Makhachev defeats Thiago Moises via Rear Naked Choke at 2:38 of Round 4– The main event was as one sided as expected, as the -800 favorite Makhachev got the job done. Moises landed just 18 total strikes on the Russian in this bout, but absorbed plenty more from his opponent over the course of nearly eighteen minutes. Makhachev was a bit reluctant to follow father’s plan, striking a ton more than we usually see. The takedowns ultimately led to the finish though, as Makhachev sunk in the rear naked choke and got the tap. With the best grappling and wrestling in the lightweight division, I am certain his striking is a high enough level to make a run at the title. I expect him to be in a championship fight by the end of 2022

MMA fans also got to enjoy Bellator 262, KSW 62 and a pair of LFA cards this weekend. Plenty of prospects got wins they were looking for. A few of the best bouts are discussed below.

  • Juliana Velasquez defeats Denise Kielholtz via Split Decision– It was and still for the Bellator flyweight champion as she defeat Kielholtz by split decision. The fight really was close. A few media score cards liked the performance of the challenger here, as she was rather strong offensively in the first and parts of the second. Velasquez keeps the belt but in a win that was much much closer than it should have been
  • Szymon Kołecki defeats Akop Szostak via Uppercut at 0:45 of Round 1– The main event at KSW 62 delivered with Kolecki earning his tenth professional win. He dwarfed his opponent and made things look easy, ultimately getting the win by uppercut in the first minute. It was a nasty KO. Kolecki was a -1500 favorite in this matchup

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