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UFC Vegas 18 results: Dariush wins scrappy rematch with Ferreira, Marques tech-subs Rodriguez

On the UFC Vegas 18 main card, Beneil Dariush won a war with Diego Ferreira, and Danilo Marques choked Mike Rodriguez unconscious.

The UFC Vegas 18 main card is underway and longtime UFC veteran Clay Guida just took home a unanimous decision over the quick-handed Michael Johnson. Guida showed up with some rather effective boxing in the opening round, and then went back to his usual wrestling grind for the second and third acts. When the dust settled, it was Guida who walked away with three-scores of 30-27. This victory breaks up a two-fight losing skid for Clay who seems to be as eternal as a heavyweight.

Before that, the promotion’s #5 rated flyweight, Alexandre Pantoja, was involved in a three-round chess match with highly anticipated UFC newcomer, Manel Kape. Neither man was able to fully take over at any one moment in the bout, but Pantoja was the busier fighter and did enough to get the nod. Pantoja finds himself back in the win column and holds his spot as one of the top-5 flyweights in the UFC.

Also on the UFC Vegas 18 main card, the company’s #13 ranked 155-pouder, Beneil Dariush, waged war with the #10 ranked, Diego Ferreira, until the final bell of their rematch. This bout took place everywhere, with heavy strikes scoring on the feet and plenty of high-level grappling exchanges between the two. When the dust settled, it was Beneil who walked away with the split decision. This puts Benny on a ridiculous six-fight winning streak, which is quite absurd for the proverbial shark tank that is the top of the lightweight division.

Opening up the main card, Danilo Marques put on a grappling clinic on Mike Rodriguez before choking him out in the second round. Marques absolutely owned his foe on the ground, and once he locked up his rear-naked choke, Rodriquez passed out briefly before coming to in a somewhat hard to watch fashion. There’s not many 205-pounders with this sort of controlling grappling, so it might be wise to keep an eye on this guy.

**See complete results below

Main card:

Clay Guida def. Michael Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight

Johnson pressured early, backing up Guida to the cage with sharp punching combinations. Guida responded with some sharp leather of his own. He started peppering Johnson with clean punches, which opened up a takedown opportunity for him. Johnson worked back to his feet and started launching crushing knees to the head to regain the momentum. Just before the bell, Guida connected with a trio of overhand rights. What a round!

It didn’t take very long for Clay to achieve a takedown in the second round. Johnson worked diligently to return to his feet, but Guida was still deep on a single leg. Johnson couldn’t stay in open space for very long. Guida was his usual tenacious self and was adamant about closing the distance. Johnson knew it, but just couldn’t do anything about it.

Both fighters came out brawling in the third act. The moment Johnson landed a stinger, Guida changed levels and earned a takedown. Johnson continued to struggle with controlling the distance, and Guida continued to thrive. Guida worked to the back and attacked with an RNC as time ticked away. Johnson fought the choke and was able to make it to the bell.

Alexandre Pantoja def. Manel Kape by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Flyweight

Pantoja took the center of the cage to lead the dance to get things going. Neither man was really landing early on, with a bit of feeling out taking place. Kape stopped the initial takedown attempts of Pantoja, but wasn’t throwing much offense. Kape came out more aggressive in the second act, throwing more volume. The fighters began mixing it up, with Kape coming forward a lot more. The output slowed from both men at the end of the round, not from fatigue rather a bunch of measuring and feinting.

The final round saw the same sort of kickboxing match take place. Lots of feints on both sides, but not a ton of volume being thrown. Pantoja was the more active fighter, particularly with his kicks. Kape wasn’t getting out-classed, he just wasn’t pulling the trigger. Kape started to open up down the stretch, throwing way more than he did the entire fight. It was a strong finish to the round for Kape, but not enough for him to get the win.

Beneil Dariush def. Diego Ferreira by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Lightweight

Dariush went right at Ferreira with punches and kicks, before shooting in for a takedown. Ferreira threatened with an omoplata to get back to his feet, where they began slugging it out. Dariush hurt his foe with a brutal knee to the body, causing Ferreira to fall to the floor. Ferreira threatened with a leg lock, but Dariush was too savvy and remained on top. Back on the feet, Ferreira came alive at the end of the round with a flurry that had beneil wobbled.

The wild pace continued into the second round, with both men swinging for the fences. Beneil switched gears and snagged a takedown and began to grind on his opponent. Ferreira would work back to his feet, but Dariush would re-shoot to put Ferreira on his back again.

Ferreira looked to box in the final round as Dariush was hunting for his takedowns. Then, an accidental cup shot from Dariush brought the bout to a brief timeout. The match got back underway and Ferreira kept throwing combinations while avoiding the takedown. Beneil tried using a couple pod punches to set up his takedown, and although the strikes scored, the takedowns weren’t there. It wasn't until there was about 50-seconds to go in the match that Dariush got that elusive takedown.

Danilo Marques def. Mike Rodriguez by technical submission (RNC) at 4:52 of round 2: Light Heavyweight

Marques hunted for a takedown right out of the gate, and managed to chase it down. Rodriguez stood back to his feet, but Marques stayed attached and worked again until he earned another takedown. This time, he was able to establish top position and figure four his legs around those of Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was able to spend a lot more time on his feet in the second round, but ultimately gave up the takedown. Marques dominated from the top, moving to full mount and sprinkling down blows. Rodriguez remained calm and kept trying top get up, eating punches along the way, but the control of Marques was just too much for him. Marques attacked with an RNC, and Rodriguez passed out for just a moment before he could tap.