The UFC Vegas 20 main card is underway and the co-main event just watched the #11 ranked light heavyweight, Magomed Ankalaev, take a grinding decision over the #8 ranked, Nikita Krylov. Despite Krylov being the one looking for the early takedown, it was Ankalaev who leaned on his grappling late to solidify his win. This is six-straight wins for Ankalaev in the UFC, with his lone loss being that last-second buzzer-beating submission loss to Paul Craig back in 2018.
The UFC’s women’s flyweight division witnessed a gritty battle between Montana De La Rosa and Mayra Bueno Silva that resulted in a majority draw. One of the judges saw the fight 28-27 for Bueno Silva, with the other two seeing the fight 28-28. Silva had a clear power advantage on the feet and did the better damage, but was deducted a point in the first-round for grabbing the cage to stop a takedown. Credit to DLR for for never quitting and finding a way to get the takedown.
Before that, the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division got a banger of a rematch between the #8 ranked, Pedro Munhoz, and the #9 ranked, Jimmie Rivera. Both men showed up looking to target the lower leg, but it was Munhoz who was first to do the damage. Rivera fought a lot of the match with his lead leg compromised, and despite fighting hard, it was Munhoz’s turn to take a win. Perhaps there will be a trilogy match in the future for these two, however, Pedro got on the mic to call for a fight with the returning former champ, TJ Dillashaw.
Opening up the main card, Alex Caceres took a dominant unanimous decision win over Kevin Croom. Kevin tried hard for the takedowns, but Caceres stuffed a lot of them while landing all the strikes. This is Alex’s fourth-straight victory, and in his post-fight interview the veteran requested a rank opponent for his next outing.
**See complete results below
Magomed Ankalaev def. Nikita Krylov by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Light Heavyweight
Krylov was looking to grapple right away, clinching up with Ankalaev against the cage. Ankalaev struggled to find seperation, and took some time before freeing himself. The boxing of Ankalaev was smooth in open space, with Krylov working his kicking game. Ankalaev went for a last-second takedown before the bell, but Krylov managed to stay vertical.
Ankalaev stuck with his boxing attack in the second round. He took the center of the Octagon, leaving Krylov on the outside. Krylov had to find ways to get inside without getting clocked, and Ankalaev was not making it easy. Ankalaev did a superb job of managing the distance and staying just outside of striking distance. Then, he snuck in a takedown to enjoy top position for quite some time.
Ankalaev closed the distance right away in the final round. He earned a clinch takedown, forcing Krylov to carry his weight as he tried to work back to his feet. Up and down they went, with Ankalaev using a rinse and repeat wrestling attack to remain in the driver’s seat until the bell.
Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Montana De La Rosa resulted in a majority draw (28-27, 28-28 x2): (W) Flyweight
The fighters quickly clinched up, with DLR getting the takedown. Bueno Silva got up but used the cage to stop the next takedown attempt. The referee was right on top of the foul and elected to take a point. In open space DLR landed a couple of right hands before rushing back into the clinch. Bueno Silva responded with a big knee to the face and was being rather vicious with her clinch striking.
Bueno Silva stunned DLR with a head kick to begin the second round. DLR went in for the clinch, but ended up on here back when she couldn’t get the takedown. Bueno Silva allowed her foe to get back up, and she continued to showcase her power advantage. DLR finally got the fight to the floor, and was able to drop some elbows. She threatened with an arm triangle, but Bueno Silva was hip to it and easily escaped.
DLR went back to the clinch in the final round, but had to eat some knees and elbows to get there. She pressed her foe against the cage, and earned a short-lived takedown. As soon as the fight got back to the face, Bueno Silva blasted DLR with a head kick. Montana was bleeding badly from the face at this point, but kept trying for the takedown. Bueno Silva finally gave up the takedown, but nothing came of it before the final bell.
Pedro Munhoz def. Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Bantamweight
Munhoz attacked the calf right away, kicking the lower leg over and over again. Rivera returned some calf kicks of his own, but not nearly as many. Munhoz started to connect with hands, but was briefly wobbled by a bomb from Rivera. Then, Munhoz started to land with his wining punches. A stinging leg kick from Munhoz compromised the lead leg of Rivera.
Jimmie went to the takedown early in the second act, but Pedro instantly attacked with a leg lock to get back up. Munhoz went back to the leg kick, limiting the movement of Rivera and prompting a stance change. There was even a moment where Pedro stopped a takedown with a calf kick. Rivera gritted through the pain, but Munhoz was the one doing the better damage.
Rivera got aggressive with his boxing in the final round, but an accidental cup kick paused the bout. The fighters exchanged calf kicks upon the restart, but it was Rivera who came up limping. Rivera never stopped trying, he was throwing his punches, but it was Munhoz who was the one dishing out the more serious damage.
Alex Caceres def. Kevin Croom by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27): Featherweight
Croom went after Caceres, but the veteran used slick counters and equally smooth footwork to address the aggression. When they clinched up, Croom worked hard for the takedown, but Caceres just wasn't having it. Croom resorted to dropping down to the mat, but Caceres was too savvy and avoided the bad position. Back in open space, it was Caceres who was landing the strikes.
Croom went back to his wrestling in the second round. He was able to put Caceres on his back, but wasn’t doing much with the position. Caceres threw up a triangle attempt and seemed to have Croom dead to rights, but mysteriously let go. From there, the rest of the round took place in the clinch, with Croom attempting the takedowns but Caceres refusing them.
Caceres rocked Croom with punches right away in the final frame. Croom went back to his wrestling, but again struggled to get the takedown. In fact, it was Caceres who ended up getting the takedown. Back on the feet, Caceres continued to land all the strikes, until a sloppy takedown attempt from Croom gave him top position. Alex took the back and worked for the RNC until the bell.