The UFC Vegas 42 main card enjoyed a bunch of cool finishes, with a five-round war in the main event being the only decision. The marquee matchup of the day witnessed the UFC’s former featherweight champion, Max Holloway, winning a scrappy decision over the promotion’s #3 ranked featherweight, Yair Rodriguez.
The fight started pretty even on the feet, with Yair having the obvious edge in kicks, but Holloway having more punching power. Rodriguez had sneaky elbows, and Holloway had knees to the body in the clinch. The major difference came on the ground. Holloway enjoyed a lot of time of top and was able to dish out some punishment with the dominant positions. It seems like Alexander Volkanovski is his only equal, but he’s already down 0-2. What could be next for the Blessed Express?
Before that, the card’s co-main event lasted all of 32-seconds. Marcos Rogerio de Lima rocked 20-year MMA veteran, Ben Rothwell, with a right hand, and then swarmed him with a devastating flurry of hooks to get the swift stoppage. “Pezao” must’ve had things to do and people to see because nobody has ever defeated Rothwell this quickly before. De Lima has now won three of his last four fights, with this being the biggest win of his career by far.
The UFC’s almost phantom women’s featherweight division witnessed Felicia Spencer put the stamp on Leah Letson, ultimately producing a late third round TKO. Spencer clinched up and dished out a steady diet of punches and elbows for the bulk of the fight. Then in the final frame, she earned a takedown and finished the fight with ground and pound. This dominant win gets Felicia back into the win column, and from a clinch-striking perspective, she looked downright dangerous out there.
Also on the main card, the heavy handed Khaos Williams picked up a third round TKO on Miguel Baeza. Williams was absorbing a bunch of calf kicks throughout the fight, but ultimately countered them with some ferocious punches to send Baeza down to the canvas early in round-three. The power of Khaos is undeniable, and him being able to carry it into the third round is a fantastic sign.
Opening up the UFC Vegas 42 main card, the promotion’s #15 ranked bantamweight, Yadong Song, blasted Julio Arce with a head kick and some cracking right hands to get a second-round TKO. Song took control of the fight right away, remaining calculated until the time came to turn up. The UFC record of Song is now 7-1-1.
**See complete results below
Max Holloway def. Yair Rodriguez by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2): Featherweight
Holloway went right at Rodriguez, who met him with kicks. Max started to land with his jab and cross, but Yair stayed right there by finishing his punching combos with kicks. Rodriguez started to attack with calf kicks, and the former champ wasn’t blocking them. Yair started to rock Max, and then Holloway responded by staggering Rodriguez with a huge right hand. Both fighters seemed fine, and then Rodriguez shot in for a takedown. Holloway was able to remain standing, and actually ended the round in top position after Yair fell to his back. What a round!
Rodriguez went right back to attacking the legs of Holloway int he second act. Both guys began landing with their hands, taking turns connecting with their respective combos. The difference was Rodriguez mixing in his kicks, while Max was landing the bigger punches. Towards the end of the round, Holloway scored a couple of body shots that had Yair backed up to the cage. It was a pretty close round, but Max was coming on strong.
Holloway started applying pressure in the third frame, and exploded at Yair with a flying knee. He then knocked over Rodriguez with a jab, and followed his foe to the floor. Big blows were raining down from Holloway, who had advanced to full mount. Rodriguez eventually works back to his feet, and the eve striking battle continued, until the more seasoned Max counted a kick with a double leg. Yair did not get back up until he bell.
The fighters met in the middle of the cage to trade punches in the pocket, and both men were connecting, too. The former champ clinched up and attacked with a standing high elbow guillotine that forced Rodriguez to drop to his back. Holloway took control on the ground and punished Rodriguez as he struggled to get back up. Yair finally did get up, but an accidental eye poke to Rodriguez paused the match. The fight resumed and Rodriguez went hard with kicks, but couldn’t quite take back the round.
Rodriguez a fire lit under him to begin the final frame. He was throwing hard combos at Max, but Holloway quickly responded with a burst of overwhelming volume. Holloway was pressing forward while Rodriguez was attempting spinning backfists and crafty elbows. A cartwheel kick resulted in Holloway taking top position again. Rodriguez hit a sweep to get on top, but Holloway scrambled back up. Rodriguez accidentally poked Holloway in the eye, causing a small pause in the fight. Upon the restart, Yair threw some more kicks while Max landed more straights to the face and knees to the body.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Ben Rothwell by TKO at :32 off round 1: Heavyweight
This one didn’t last very long. De Lima landed some hard leg kicks, and then a right hand sent Big Ben stumbling back to the fence. That’s when De Lima started bombing on Rothwell with right and left hooks. Somehow, Rothwell stayed on his feet, but the haymakers kept landing so the referee stepped in... at the same time Rothwell botched a desperation takedown and Herb Dean kind of just let the fight continue. De Lima took knee on belly and looked to the ref to see if he was stopping the fight, and thankfully Dean decided that he was.
Felicia Spencer def. Leah Letson by TKO at 4:25 of round 3: (W) Featherweight
Spencer closed the distance right away, clinching Letson up against the fence. Letson was getting controlled, but also getting roughed up. Spencer would mix in punches to the face that busted open the nose of her opponent. Letson had a moment where she reversed the situation, but opted to throw knees instead of breaking free, so she went right back to the fence. Spencer deployed several elbows while Letson’s back was to the cage that were starting to add up.
Spencer went right back to mugging Letson against the cage in round-two. She hit a short-lived takedown, and then went right back to grinding on Letson. Spencer was landing plenty of strikes from the clinch, and Letson didn’t seem to have any answers. To her credit, Letson did get up quickly when Spencer did hit a takedown, however did eat a mean knee to the face on her last get-up.
Letson blasted a takedown of her own to begin the final round. Spencer hit a sweep and went back to unloading her grinding volume. This was total domination. Felicia hit a takedown and continued to drop strikes. She kept throwing and refused to stop until the referee said so. Wicked!
Khaos Williams def. Miguel Baeza by TKO at 1:02 of round 3: Welterweight
Williams was leaping in with haymakers to start the match, but he wasn’t landing. Baeza was extra cautious of the power of Khaos and was skirting along the outside. When Baeza did plant his feet, he rocked Williams with his power punches. Williams went right back with his own heaters, and the Baeza again returned another big combo. Williams took top position off of Baeza slipping, but was instantly fighting off a kneebar. Baeza switched to a heel hook, but ate a couple of punches for his troubles.
The second round began with the fighters going strike for strike in a controlled manor. A accidental cup kick to Baeza brought a brief pause to the match, but quickly got back underway. Baeza landed a trio of calf kicks upon the restart, looking to inflict some damage. Williams seemed to be feeling the effects of the leg kicks, so Baeza kept throwing them. The fighters clinched up, and Williams landed an accidental knee to the cup. Baeza took a bit more minutes to recover than the first infraction, and there wasn’t much time left on the clock.
Baeza went back to the calf kick in the final frame, but Williams was ready for them. He didn’t block them, but instead threw some devastating punches that caught Baeza clean. Miguel fell to the floor all sorts of dazed, and Khaos pounced with a couple of academic ground strikes. YIKES!
Yadong Song def. Julio Arce by TKO at 1:35 of round 2: Bantamweight
Song took the center of the Octagon right away, with Arce playing the outside. It was Song who was being more active, as Arce seemed to be more defensively minded. It was a bit of a sticky round, with a lot of calculating and measuring going on. When the fighters did connect, most of the shots weren’t clean. Song being the busier man likely won him the round. It was Arce who took the center of the Octagon in round-two. He was throwing much more volume than the first frame. Then, Song landed a head kick to right hand that staggered Julio, then some more hefty right hands put him down. A couple of ground strikes landed before the referee was able to intervene.