The UFC 234 main card is in progress, and Lando Vannata just submitted promotional newcomer Marcos Rosa with just five seconds remaining in the opening round. This marks Vannata’s first win since 2016 and his first submission win since 2014. Before that, Ricky Simon put on in all phases against the UFC’s #15 ranked bantamweight Rani Yahya. Simon showcased big punching power, strong takedown defense, strong fight I.Q. and even takedowns of his own en route to a dominant decision win.
The UFC’s #14 ranked women’s flyweight Montana De La Rosa put on a dominant performance against Australia’s own Nadia Kassem, realizing a second round armbar. That’s three up and three down for DLR in the UFC, all by submission at that. Who will be next for the rising flyweight as she rises up through the rankings? Kicking off the PPV, the 22-year-old Jim Crute stopped the 17-UFC-fight veteran Sam Alvey with ground strikes in the first round. The undefeated Crute now moves to a perfect 10-0 overall and 2-0 within the UFC.
PPV Main card:
Lando Vannata def. Marcos Rosa by submission (Kimora) at 4:55 of round 1: Lightweight
Rosa brought out the head kicks right away. Vannata closed the distance and scored a scooping takedown. A whole lot of top control time was racked up by Vannata. Towards the end of the round, Vannata began to land some damaging blows from the top of full guard. With about ten seconds remaining in the round, Vannata locked up a Kimora and achieved the tap.
Ricky Simon def. Rani Yahya by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-25): Bantamweight
Yahya opened the fight with a head kick, but was quickly backed up by the power punching of Simon. Yahya failed at his initial takedown attempt, and was content to trade some leather. Just when Yahya got aggressive and connected with a clean punch, Simon dropped him with a powerful punch. Simon knocked down Yahya again with some heat and wisely avoided a ground exchange. Yahya continued to fail at getting the fight to the ground but he did make it out of the round.
Simon continued to style on Yahya, landing clean and even scoring takedowns that he opted to not engage with. Yahya just couldn’t get the fight to the ground on his terms and was forced to stand with Simon. Yahya landed a heavy punch that got the attention Simon. As Yahya pursued, however, he was dropped with a shoulder bump. Simon engaged with Yahya on the ground in the final 10 seconds of the round, but nothing came of it.
Yahya pulled guard to start the final round, but Simon was having none of it and stood back up. Simon continued to dictate where the fight took place. The strikes of Simon began to add up. Yahya moved on the backfoot, pulling guard when he could. With about 45 seconds left in the fight, Simon agreed to fight Yahya on the ground.
Montana De La Rosa def. Nadia Kassem by submission (Armbar) at 2:37 of round 2: (W) Flyweight
DLR came out blasting punches and closing the distance. Kassem gave up the takedown and found herself stuck on the bottom of half guard. Kassem did a sound job of breaking down the posture of her opponent, but was rendered defensive for the bulk of the round. DLR attacked an arm in the closing moments, but ran out of time before she could finish.
DLR started the second act the same she started the first. She punched her way into the clinch and scored a takedown. Kassem continued to get controlled on the ground. DLR locked up a mounted triangle, and then switched to the armbar. From the triangle and back to the armbar, DLR managed to force the tap.
Jim Crute def. Sam Alvey by TKO at 2:49 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
A bit of feeling out went on across the first-two minutes. Then, Crute cracked Alvey with a heavy right hand that sat him down. Crute walked away as if the fight were over, but the referee did not step the bout. Crute took top position and unleashed a series of ground strikes. Despite Alvey signaling with a thumbs up, the referee stopped the fight.