The UFC Vegas 45 main card continues on and started out with a trio of cool finishes, including two unranked guys picking up wins over top-15 competition. The co-main event of the evening witnessed the UFC’s #10 ranked welterweight, Belal Muhammad, get his wrestle on against the #5 ranked welterweight, Stephen Thompson, to run away with the scorecards. Plenty of takedowns were achieved, and tons of control and ground strikes were accrued. This was a dominant win for Belal, and the biggest of his career. He is now unbeaten in his last seven outings, and used his post-fight interview to call for a title shot against Kamaru Usman.
Before that, the UFC’s #11 rated strawweight, Amanda Lemos, took a fun split decision over the #12 rated, Angela Hill. Lemos scored an early knockdown with a wicked front kick, and then held off a rallying Hill to get one score of 30-27, and one of 29-28 — with Hill earning one judge’s card at 29-28. For what it’s worth, it’s always weird to see a score of 30-27 in a split decision. This makes five wins in a row for Lemos, which should set her up for a massive fight in her next outing.
Ricky Simon realized the biggest win of his career to date by knocking out the UFC’s #12 ranked bantamweight, Raphael Assuncao, in the second round. It was a big right hand that sat down Assuncao, and then a nasty uppercut prompted the referee to wave it off. This makes four-straight wins for Simon, who should be ranked come Monday.
Unranked lightweight Mateusz Gamrot picked up a big second-round TKO win over the UFC’s #12 ranked 155-pounder, Diego Ferreira. Gamrot held his own the feet while hunting for takedowns, and then it was knees to the body while Ferreira was on one knee against the fence that caused Diego to verbally communicate to the referee that he was done. Gamrot slapped on an RNC before he was aware that Ferreira was done, but quickly let go once he realized the ref was stepping in.
Opening ups the main card, two longtime UFC veterans finally met up when Cub Swanson stopped Darren Elkins with strikes in the opening round. It was the boxing of Cub that had Darren in all sorts of trouble, and then Swanson unleashed a wheel kick in his finishing sequence to get the standing TKO. This was about as good as Swanson has ever looked.
**See complete results below
Belal Muhammad def. Stephen Thompson by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2): Welterweight
Thompson got off to a solid start. Throwing his punches and kicks while using his footwork to stay out of trouble. Muhammad took over the round, though, off the strength of his takedowns. Thompson was fighting hard to get up, but just couldn’t stay there. The second round saw more takedowns for Muhammad, and more control. Thompson just couldn’t stay in open space for any meaningful amount of time. The third round saw more of the same, which was total domination on the ground.
Amanda Lemos def. Angela Hill by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): Strawweight
Lemos is known for her power, and that was definitely on display in the opening round. She blasted hill with a wicked front kick to the face that sat down Hill, and then took top position trying to finish. Hill rallied, using her heart and clinch to get herself back in the fight. She was shoving Lemos against the fence, delivering a bunch of knees to the body and pushing the pace. The third round got wild! Lemos was dishing out some hefty strikes, but Hill did come rip with a spinning elbow that dropped Amanda. The final round came to a close with both fighters launching strikes at the other, and it’s a shame that one of them had to lose.
Ricky Simon def. Raphael Assuncao by KO at 2:14 of round 2: Bantamweight
The opening round saw a big lifting takedown for Simon, followed by tons of top control. Assuncao found himself stuck on the bottom with few answers. He didn’t take a ton of damage, but he wasn't able to mount much offense either. The second stanza saw Simon get busy with his hands. he feinted his way into a big right hand, connecting perfectly and sitting down Assuncao. A big uppercut came crashing in for Simon before the referee had seen enough.
Mateusz Gamrot def. Diego Ferreira by TKO at 3:26 of round 2: Lightweight
The pace of this opening round was pretty crazy. the ground exchanges didn’t last for very long. Gamrot would get the takedowns, but Ferreira was quick to scramble back up. Both men were throwing jabs and crosses on the feet, plus plenty of body kicks, too. Ferreira was even attacking the leg. In the second round, Gamrot continued to hunt for the takedown. He was able to grab ahold of Ferreira and get him down to one knee against the fence. That’s where he dropped a set of knees to the body that cause Ferreira to signal to the referee that he was done. Gamrot was unaware that Ferreira was done, so he dove on a rear-naked choke, but luckily the referee umped in before the fight continued any longer.
Cub Swanson def. Darren Elkins by TKO at 2:12 of round 1: Featherweight
Zero feeling out was needed between these two veterans. Elkins was looking to swing his right hand and Swanson was beyond willing to trade. As the round grew on, Swanson started to connect, dropping Elkins on several occasions. Cub stayed composed and didn’t overcommit to anything. he stayed patient, picked his shots wisely, and put hands on Elkins. Darren was dazed when Cub threw a wheel kick that just connected, and then another left hand landing was all the referee needed to see to call it off.