UFC Vegas 43 was the very definition of decision-heavy, with 10 of the 11 featured fights on Saturday night going the distance. The bantamweight headliner between No. 7 and No. 8 in the division was fairly competitive, and the welterweight co-headliner produced a new contender.
The preliminary portion of the event saw Luana Pinheiro get her second win under the UFC banner with a unanimous decision over Sam Hughes. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke took Sean Soriano down and kept him there for most of their fight for a decision win. Cody Durden and Qileng Aori were involved in a close fight that had some fun exchanges, but it was the Georgia native who did just enough to leave the Octagon with a win. Lupita Godinez set a new record for the shortest turnaround in modern UFC history (previously held by former UFC bantamweight Dustin Pague) and used her grappling to secure a win over Loma Lookboonmee. Rafa Garcia employed a wrestle-heavy strategy to hold off Natan Levy and earn a unanimous decision over the promotional debutant. Pat Sabatini was absolutely relentless on the ground and dominated Tucker Lutz with submission attempt after submission attempt en route to a unanimous decision win.
The main portion of the event had Adrian Yanez score the biggest win of his career thus far with a split decision over a game Davey Grant. Rani Yahya survived an early knockdown by Kyung Ho Kang and controlled his opponent on the ground for a unanimous decision. Taila Santos sent a message to the rest of the flyweight division with a first-round rear-naked choke over Joanne Wood, the first and only finish of the event. In his co-main event outing, Sean Brady put on a show and outgrappled a surging Michael Chiesa to remain unbeaten.
Ketlen Vieira and Miesha Tate fought for 25 minutes in a back-and-forth affair that ended in the Brazilian getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards. Vieira returned to the win column with an impressive victory over a seasoned veteran, while Tate suffered her first defeat since ending her retirement earlier this year.
Performance of the Night: Taila Santos
Taila Santos def. Joanne Wood by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:49 of Round 1
Fight of the Night: Davey Grant vs. Adrian Yanez
Luana Pinheiro def. Sam Hughes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. Sean Soriano by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Cody Durden def. Qileng Aori by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Loopy Godinez def. Loma Lookboonmee by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Rafa Garcia def. Natan Levy by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Pat Sabatini def. Tucker Lutz by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Adrian Yanez def. Davey Grant by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Rani Yahya def. Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Sean Brady def. Michael Chiesa by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Ketlen Vieira def. Miesha Tate by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)