The UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori. The card saw five (T)KOs and three decisions, including a split-decision.
The prelims opened with Jake Collier taking a lopsided unanimous decision over Gian Villante in a fight that wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we all thought it would be. Very good showing by Collier. That was followed up with Ilia Topuria’s sensational knockout of Damon Jackson after a pretty intense slugfest. It was a brief but exciting battle. Louis Smolka and Jose Alberto Quinonez put on an exciting scrap that ended with Smolka getting the ground and pound TKO finish in the second round.
The main card kicked off with Jordan Leavitt getting a massive slam knockout of Matt Wiman inside the first minute. The fight was likely moved from the prelims to open the main card with the idea that Leavitt would probably steamroll him to open the card. Strategic, yet savage. Roman Dolidze vs. John Allan Arte was a fight that happened. Dolidze won via split-decision even though he clearly won all the rounds. Judging continues to be all over the place. Gabriel Benitez chopped Justin Jaynes to bits with leg kicks and superior striking. He scored the first-round knockout off a nasty knee to the liver and followup punches. The co-main event saw OSP look every bit of his 37 years, and Hill was eager to capitalize on it. After lighting up the former title contender for the entire first round, he managed to get the standing TKO intervention in the second. Jamahal Hill looks like the real deal.
The main even was an absolute thriller that saw Hermansson dropped in the first round and beaten up in the second, but he managed to get back in competitive mode and took the third, possibly the fourth too. Vettori clearly took the fifth and the unanimous decision.
Performance of the Night: Jordan Leavitt, Gabriel Benitez
Ilia Topuria (KO-punches, 2:38 of round 1), Louis Smolka (TKO-punches, 2:15 of round 2), Jordan Leavitt (KO-slam, :22 of round 1), Gabriel Benitez (TKO-knee and punches, 4:06 of round 1), and Jamahal Hill (standing TKO-punches, 3:37 of round 2) all finished their fights before the final horn, but it would be Jordan Leavitt and Gabriel Benitez taking the POTN bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Hermansson vs. Vettori
Jake Collier (30-27 x3), Roman Dolidze (30-27, 28-29, 29-28), and Marvin Vettori (49-46 x2, 49-45) all went the distance in their respective fights but it would be Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori taking FOTN after a fantastic back and forth battle.
*Note: Dana White said Jamahal Hill and Ilia Topuria will also get bonus checks for their wins.