We got a bunch of submissions on the UFC Vegas 8 preliminary card... four out of six to be exact! Those came earlier in the night, with the prelims closing out with Impa Kasanganay striking his way to a unanimous decision over Maki Pitolo, and Zak Cummings taking a unanimous nod over Alessio Di Chirico. Let’s get to the finishes shall we?
In the submission portion of the UFC Vegas 8 prelims, the now 23-UFC-fight veteran Alex Caceres earned himself a first-round submission of Austin Springer. Caceres clipped his opponent with a head kick right away, and then once Springer decided to shoot in, that’s when Caceres spun to the back and locked up a rear-naked choke. Don’t look now, but “Bruce Leeroy” has won three-fights in a row.
We also got a tech sub on the undercard! Undefeated welterweight prospect, Sean Brady, put Christian Aguilera to sleep with a guillotine choke in the second round. Once Brady grabbed ahold of the neck, Aguilera tried to fend it off, but all of the correct adjustments were made to successfully finish the choke. That’s three up and three down for the 27-year-old up and comer, so look for him to take a step up in competition here in the near future.
Also on the prelims, Polyana Viana hit a slick first-round armbar on Emily Whitmire. It was Whitmire who got the takedown, but she was tapping out just 1:33 into the fight. Viana showcased some great techniques off of her back, and snaps a three-fight losing skid in doing so. Opening up the event, Mallory Martin had to overcome all sorts of early adversity in her first round against Hannah Cifers. She was first dropped and then beat on by Ciphers, but survived the round by pulling guard in what was a truly pure form of Jiu-Jitsu. Martin came out in the second round, got a takedown, took the back, and found the rear-naked choke for the comeback win. Mallory Martin has officially won a UFC fight.
**See complete results below
Impa Kasanganay def. Maki Pitolo by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
No feeling out was needed here. Both men were willing to step into the pocket and exchange. Kasanganay took the center but Pitolo skirted the outside. Pitolo started to work the body and then come over the top with his boxing. Kasanganay rebounded with a blitz of his own, unloading several haymakers to back up Pitolo. One of the punches cut open Pitolo on the cheek.
Kasanganay got off to a solid start in the second act. He was catching Pitolo cleanly with some big punches. Pitolo started to hang out on the outside, staying reserved and looking to counter. Kasanganay clinches up against the cage, but Pitolo quickly reversed the position and returned to open space. Kasanganay started to tee off, connecting flush with solo punches.
The pace slowed down just a bit int the third round, which is to be expected considering the pace. It was Kasanganay leading the dance, methodically marching forward and periodically winging shots. Pitolo just kind of skirted along the outside while avoiding damage.
Zak Cummings def. Alessio Di Chirico by unanimous decision (30-27 , 29-28 x2): Middleweight
Cummings stood in the center of the Octagon and slowly marched forward as Di Chirico sat back and looked to pick him off. Di Chirico was having a lot of success with his movement. Being the faster fighter out there, he was beating Cummings to the punch. The slow-paced kickboxing bout continued into the second frame. It was a sticky back and forth affair, with a couple of strong single strikes landing here and there. Bit of a tough round to score live, especially without any major damaging blows being dished out on wither side.
The referee brought the fighters to the center fo the cage at the start of the third round to warn them about bringing the fight. Di Chirico started to turn things up, to which Cummings responded with some heat of his own. That aggression quickly subsided, and then an accidental cup shot slowed things down further. Di Chirico started to wing hooks wildly with about 30-seconds to go, but nothing really landed. He again blitzed with just seconds remaining and was landing clean, but Cummings threw up a head kick that dropped Di Chirico at the bell. WOW!
Alex Caceres def. Austin Springer by submission (RNC) at 3:38 of round 1: Featherweight
Caceres opened the bout with a well-timed head kick that wobbled Springer. The veteran opted to not punch, allowing his foe to get back into the fight. The fight quickly slowed into a sparring-like technique for technique pace. Then, Springer shot in but got his back taken. Caceres aggressively worked for the RNC to get the tap.
Sean Brady def. Christian Aguilera by technical submission (Guillotine) at 1:47 of round 2: Welterweight
The welterweights got right to work, trading punches back and forth. The left hook from Brady was finding a home, and keeping Aguilera from rushing in. A cut formed around the right were of Aguilera, but he started to find a groove with his right hand. That’s when Brady blasted a takedown to control the top for the final minute of the round. Brady got himself another takedown within the first-minute of the second round. He attacked with a guillotine choke, and began to transition with Aguilera as he tried to fight it off. The escapes weren’t there for Aguilera and he passed out before he tapped.
Polyana Viana def. Emily Whitmire by submission (Armbar) at 1:33 of round 1: Strawweight
Whitmire realized an early takedown to start things off. Viana worked to gain the full guard, and then started landing elbows from her back. Whitmire started to defend the blows, but that’s when Viana threw ups an armbar. Whitmire tried to fight it off, but it was too late and she was forced to tap.
Mallory Martin def. Hannah Cifers by submission (RNC) at 1:33 of round 1: Strawweight
Martin took the center of the cage to kick things off, with Cifers happy to play the outside. There was a bit of back and forth going on, then KABOOM!!! Cifers dropped Martin with an overhand right, and then went in for the kill. Martin stayed in the fight though, thanks to her pulling guard to get the fight off of its feet. Martin came out int he second act and quickly got herself a takedown. She began to drop all sorts of ground strikes, seeming to have fully recovered. Cifers ended up exposing her back, and it wasn’t long before Martin was attacking with an RNC. Cifers quickly tapped.