The UFC Vegas 45 preliminary card was pure fire with six of the seven fights ending early. The exceptional finishes range from an inverted triangle to a super-heavyweight head kick. Closing out this portion of the event, Gerald Meerschaert pulled off a third round rear-naked choke on a game Dustin Stoltzfus. This was a grind, with Stoltzfus getting takedowns and racking up top control. Meerschaert kept working, though, and his Jiu-Jitsu skills shined through as he was able to take the back and get the tap. This makes three-straight for GM3!
Before that, the heavyweight division was blessed with a head kick finish thanks to Justin Tafa taking a leg to the head of Harry Hunsucker in the first round. The end came at just 1:53 into the match, when Tafa caught his opponent out of position against the cage, and delivered the tree trunk of doom to the skull to get the stoppage. it should be noted that Tafa missed weight by one-pound, which is actually a first for UFC heavyweights. Does that make this the first ever super-heavyweight head kick finish in the UFC?
In the flyweight division, Melissa Gatto pulled off a TKO of Sijara Eubanks in the third act. Most of this fight was taking place on the ground with ample control, but then an exchange in the third brought the body kick that ended it all. Gatto is now 2-0 in the UFC and 8-0-2 overall.
Also on the prelims, Charles Jourdain fought his heart out against Andre Ewell en route to a unanimous decision. He hit Ewell with leg kicks, wheel kicks, screamed at Andre, and even closed out the final round with a sensational THIS IS SPARTA push kick. This was the final fight on Jourdain’s UFC contract, and he is a ton of fun, so hopefully they re-signs him after this.
Longtime MMA veteran Raquel Pennington pulled off a 10-finger guillotine on Macy Chiasson in the second round. There was plenty of throwing down on the feet going on here, but it was a takedown attempt from Chiasson that resulted in Rocky snatching up the neck. Don’t look now, but Pennington is currently on a three-fight wining streak.
In the heavyweight division, Don’Tale Mayes picked up a third round TKO of Josh Parisian. He leaned on his wrestling, grinding on Parisian before ultimately pounding him out from the mounted crucifix. This makes two in a row for Mayes.
Kicking off the show, Jordan Leavitt picked up a second round submission of Matt Sayles. It was an inverted triangle that got Leavitt the tap, which is the perfect addition to the unusual finishes already present on his resume. It wasn’t a bad way to respond after your first career loss.
**See complete results below
Gerald Meerschaert def. Dustin Stoltzfus by submission (RNC) at 2:58 of round 3: Middleweight
The middleweights wasted no time in trading blows, but it was Meerschaert who shot in and got the takedown. He methodically improved his position, remaining in total control. Just as Stoltzfus stood up, Meerschaert dove on a Kimura, so he had to defend before ehe could take top position. Meerschaert rolled for a pretty close armbar, but again Stoltzfus was able to escape to finish up the round on top.
It was Stoltzfus who actually shot in and scored the takedown early in the second round. Meerschaert kept attacking arms and preventing his opponent from doing a lot of damage, but he was giving up control time. Stoltzfus did threaten with a Peruvian neck tie, although Meerschaert easily escaped.
Stoltzfus closed the distance again in the second round, but quickly had to fight off a guillotine. After eating an elbow to the face, Meerschaert exploded up to his feet and the fighters exchanged labored punches. Stoltzfus went back to the takedown, but Meerschaert scrambled on top. From there, Gerald took the back and was able to lock up a rear-naked choke. Stoltzfus tapped!
Justin Tafa def. Harry Hunsucker by TKO at 1:53 of round 1: Heavyweight
Tafa knocked over his opponent with a right hand as Hunsucker was throwing a kick. From there, Tafa took top control, but had to defend a close Kimura attempt that Hunsucker used to get up to his feet. In open space they started bombing on one another, until Tafa went upstairs with a head kick. The strike was blocked, but it didn’t matter. Hunsucker was rocked and hit the deck. YIKES!
Melissa Gatto def. Sijara Eubanks by TKO at :45 of round 3: (W) Flyweight
Eubanks bulled forward right way behind her punches, and then muscled the fight to the floor. A couple of elbows dropped down for Eubanks before she had to start defending various submission attempts. None of the subs came that close, and Eubanks was able to rack up a bunch of control time.
Eubanks tried to go back to the takedown in round-two, but had to eat a couple of 1-2’s before finally getting it. Gatto hit a gorgeous sweep to get on top, and had her chance to spend a lot of time controlling.She kind of threatened with a D’arce before the bell, but it never materialized. The third round came and Gatto seemed like the much fresher fighter. In an exchange, Gatto landed a front kick to the body that dropped Eubanks to the ground. Gatto pounced with fight ending ground strikes to get the win. WOW!
Charles Jourdain def. Andre Ewell by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27): Featherweight
Leg kicks were flying early in this one, and from both sides. Ewell was looking as sharp and fast as ever, and Jourdain was having to find a way inside the length. Jourdain was landing the better leg kicks, and scored with some pretty and technical punches, but did slip and give up a takedown. He was able to stand back up just before the bell. It was a pretty close round.
Jourdain went right back to the leg kicks to start the second act. Ewell wasn’t checking them, and Jourdain wasn’t letting up. Jourdain was being aggressive, pushing the pace, and in complete control of the fight. He kept building the pressure, slowly overwhelming a fading Ewell. Jourdain kind of just pushed over his opponent, and then several hard ground strikes scored before the bell.
Jourdain went back to work in the third, applying pressure and landing his punches. Ewell landed a mean front kick, but Jourdain just shook it and went back to swinging leather. Jourdain started brutalizing his foe with knees, let go, let out a primal scream before going right back to launching knees. The closing sequence saw Jourdain go crazy, landing a spinning wheel kick, and then screaming out ‘COME ON!’ before delivering a nasty THIS IS SPARTA kick that knocked over Ewell. SAVAGE!
Raquel Pennington def. Macy Chiasson by submission (Guillotine) at 3:07 of round 2: Featherweight
The fighters got right to work, exchanging leather right in front of each other. Chiasson was showing off some fast hands, while Pennington seemed too have the edge in punching power. On the inside, Pennington was unloading her dirty boxing while Chiasson was attacking with knees. Inside of the final minute if the round, Macy hit a takedown to get on top, and scored a couple of short shots before the bell.
Pennington came out aggressive in the seocnd stanza, letting her hands go and backing up Chiasson. Once they clinched up, Rocky failed at getting the takedown, and ate some hard knees in the clinch, too. Back in open space, Pennington was finding ways to connect with her hands. Chiasson went for another takedown, but Rocky attacked with a front choke. Macy was stuck and respectfully tapped out.
Don’Tale Mayes def. Josh Parisian by TKO at 3:26 of round 3: Heavyweight
Mayes pressed forward right away, and was bale to earn himself a takedown. As soon as Parisian would stand to his feet, Mayes would just took him right back down. Mayes threatened with a key lock from the mounted crucifix, but bailed on it in order to maintain control. He even rolled for a kneebar at the bell.
Parisian dropped Mayes with a leg kick to begin the second round. Mayes responded with a flurry to the midsection, followed by a takedown. Parisian threatened with a Kimura trap, and then scrambled to get up. Unfortunately for him, he went for a takedown his own, but was countered and ended up on the bottom. Mayes continued to have his way, and even did a weird cup smash on Parisian’s face from north south just before the bell. The ref warned him for it.
Mayes went after his opponent with fancy jump kicks to open the final round. Parisian responded with a spinning elbow of his own, but was taken down again. He kept working to improve his position, but Mayes was just all over him. Mayes went back to the mounted crucifix, and dropped elbows until the referee stopped him.
Jordan Leavitt def. Matt Sayles by submission (Inverted Triangle) at 2:05 of round 2: Lightweight
Sayles took the center of the Octagon to get things going, with Leavitt hanging out on the outside. Leavitt started hunting for the takedown, and although Sayles fended it off at first, he ultimately conceded the bottom position. Sayles got stuck in an anaconda choke, but fought really hard to escape it. It wasn’t long before Leavitt was searching for the takedown again in the second round. He ended up jumping a guillotine, and that turned into an extended scramble. Sayles hit a takedown of his own, however Leavitt had an inverted triangle awaiting in his back pocket. Sayles tapped out.