The UFC Vegas 22 preliminary card is in the books. Bruno Silva and Montel Jackson got the action started with impressive knockout wins over their respective opponents. Middleweight Trevin Giles extended his winning streak to three after handing Roman Dolidze his first loss, Grant Dawson turned a ho-hum decision win into a devastating last-second KO of Leo Santos, and Macy Chiasson got the better of Marion Reneau in what was the best fight of the prelims.
Here’s how they all played out.
Macy Chiasson def. Marion Reneau by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Women’s bantamweights
Reneau rather comfortably outstruck Chiasson in round one with slick combination boxing and a steady diet of leg kicks. She closed out the opening frame with some nice work from the clinch. Chiasson was active with body kicks but struggling to let her hands go.
Chiasson began round two with a bang by cracking Reneau with a hard left hook that stumbled “The Belizean Bruiser.” Reneau was bleeding from her nose as Chiasson tied up with her. Macy went work with knees to the body as Reneau kept the clinch going. Elbows cracked Reneau some more as Chiasson asserted her physical advantage. A liver kick had Reneau in retreat mode and hurt once more. Chiasson kept the pressure going but Reneau got a much-needed takedown with under a minute left in the ground. Chiasson avoided getting mounted, attacked a leg and used that to sweep into top position. Arguably a 10-8 round in Chiasson’s favor.
Reneau body kicked Chiasson off balance briefly early in round three. Marion did well to fight her way back into things and she sought the takedown. With two minutes left Reneau got the takedown with wrist control and got on top for a brief moment. Reneau had a front head lock but Chiasson easily escaped that and they exchanged heavy fire in the clinch with dirty boxing and knees. Chiasson turned the tables and got a crucial takedown with a minute to go. She got in some ground-and-pound to cap off a very competitive fight and a deserved decision win. Macy Chiasson is now 7-1 in her young MMA career, whereas the oldest fighter on the UFC roster Reneau has dropped four straight.
Grant Dawson def. Leonardo Santos by KO (punches) at 4:59 of round 3 - Lightweights
Santos landed some hard low kicks early on but Dawson had the most significant strike of the round with a right hand that stunned the Brazilian. Grant’s efforts to take the fight to the mat proved unsuccessful and it was the seemingly ageless Santos who tripped the American to the mat. Dawson worked his way back to his feet and a clinch stalemate ensued for the remainder of the round.
Dawson again connected on a big right hand on Santos but Santos paused proceedings with a kick to the pills. After the right resumed Dawson got drilled with a knee to the chest as Grant changed levels for a takedown. Dawson was unable to get the takedown as they exchanged clinch offense. Santos was able to take Grant’s back in a scramble and then land a right hand. A slow spinning kick caught Santos but didn’t hurt him.
An early single leg shot by Dawson was sprawled by Santos superbly. On the 11th time of asking, Dawson finally slammed Santos to the ground and with the back taken. Dawson moved into side control and then half guard at the halfway mark of the final round. That prolonged top position time and effective enough offense would’ve been enough to give Dawson the decision win. Instead, Dawson hammerfisted the living daylights out of Santos for a literal last-second KO. It’s his eighth win in a row and the end of Santos’ 13-fight unbeaten streak. Good GOD.
Trevin Giles def. Roman Dolidze by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Middleweights
Moving down from 205 to 185, Dolidze had a solid start to the contest, landing several low kicks and completing a takedown while getting in some clinch control. Giles just seldom threw and had more feinting than actual strikes attempted.
Giles started round two with a quality left hook that caught Dolidze clean and drew a smile from Roman. It certainly looked like Giles was getting the better of the stand-up exchanges and then as Giles searched for a takedown Dolidze attacked with a leg lock. He went from kneebar to heel hook but to no success. Giles kept throwing and landing punches up top as Dolidze kept searching for a submission. The ensuing scramble saw Dolidze take Giles’s back standing and then Giles cracked Roman with a left hook after spinning out of trouble. Dolidze saw out the final 20 seconds with control against the cage and some knees to the thigh.
A massive straight right early in round three had Dolidze wobbled and struggling to keep his balance. For reasons known only to him, Giles went for a choke and didn’t come close to getting it. Dolidze was able to get to his feet. Like the mad man that he is, Dolidze hunted for a kneebar again but while he failed to get it, he landed in side control. He got some top position time but not anything in the way of damage or a potential fight-ending move. They returned to striking and Giles crashed into Dolidze once more with a right hand. Unbelievably he pulled himself into being fully mounted. Dolidze was too exhausted to take advantage. The fight ended with Giles throwing up a weak triangle choke attempt. His damaging shots in the last two rounds got him his third straight victory, and Dolidze’s first loss.
Montel Jackson def. Jesse Strader by TKO (punches) at 1:58 of round 1 - Bantamweights
This wasn’t very competitive at all. Jackson floored Strader with a right hook after a knee in the clinch. Strader returned to his feet but was wiped out by a sweeping left hand. On this occasion, the heavily favored Jackson unleashed some brutal ground-and-pound to force the stoppage inside of two minutes.
Jackson is now 4-2 in his UFC career, whereas that was the rudest of rude awakenings for the newcomer Strader. It should be noted that Strader missed the bantamweight limit.
Bruno Gustavo da Silva def. JP Buys by TKO (punches) at 2:56 of round 2 - Flyweights
Silva began the night with a low blow and an eye poke just within the opening minute. He didn’t lose a point for either infraction and proceeded to get some good grappling control on Buys and he landed the better strikes. A spinning backfist put Buys down just as the opening frame ended.
Buys didn’t get off to the best of starts in round two when he slipped on a kick and wound up on his back. He got up not too long afterward but took a head kick on the way up. A massive right hand by Silva led to a somersault knockdown of Buys. He went for the finish on the mat, Buys got back up but was knocked down once more. Buys incredibly was able to survive the onslaught and return to his feet once more. The Brazilian proved far too powerful and relentless however, and one more right hand put Buys down for good for the knockout.
That’s a big win for Silva considering he was 0-3 in his UFC career. Buys has his UFC debut spoiled and it’s not a good start to the night for the Buys couple, with wife Chayenne set to fight Montserrat Ruiz on the main card.