The UFC Vegas 24 main card is in progress and we got nothing but decisions before heading into the main event. The makeshift co-main event of the evening saw former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, take a tightly contested decision over Chase Sherman. It was the calf kick that was the most damaging tool that Arlovski brought to the table. It reduced the output of Sherman, and opened up his patented boxing game. The 42-year-old veteran has won three of his last four fights, and that’s bananas!
Before that, Australian born Jacob Malkoun went full Dagestani on Abdul Razak Alhassan, deploying a grinding wrestling attack to earn a unanimous decision. Malkoun completely neutralized Alhassan, out-working the dangerous striker to earn his very first UFC win. It was far from a thriller, but a clean win for Jacob nonetheless.
The women’s flyweight division got a close split decision between Tracy Cortez and Justine Kish. Cortez did her best work on the ground while Kish did her damage on the feet. When the dust settled, it was Cortez who walked away with the win. Cortez moves 3-0 under the UFC banner, and 9-1 overall.
Kicking off the main card, “Violent Bob Ross” Luis Pena took a tightly contested split decision over a very game Alex Munoz. Pena seemed to get stronger as the fight went on, and by the third he was in a bit of a flow state, throwing and landing a bunch of variety. This win gets Pena back onto the win column, who still seems to have a ton of potential.
**See complete results below
Drakkar Klose Jeremy Stephens : Lightweight
Andrei Arlovski def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Heavyweight
Sherman was dinking v right out of the gate. His hands seemed faster, and he was throwing volume. Arlovski began swinging back, hitting his mark and looking to dirty box once on the inside. Sherman began pressuring forward, backing up the former champ to the fence. Then, Chase rocked Arlovski with a flurry of punches and tried to finish. Andrei managed to cover up and regain his composure to survive the round.
Sherman continued to press forward in the second round. He was pumping out volume, but was also getting countered. Arlovski was working his jab, chopping the leg, and using his footwork to address the forward movement of Sherman. The former champ then shifted gears and spent some time holding Chase against the cage. The round ended in open space, with Sherman marching forward but eating leg kicks.
Arlovski continued to attack the legs of Sherman in the final round. Then, a blow to the cup of Arlovski brought a halt to the round. Upon the restart, the former champ chopped at the leg agains as Sherman pressed forward behind his punches. Arlovski started to connect with his overhand right by allowing Sherman to close the distance for him. He stayed with his calf kick, limiting the movement and output of Sherman, but also opening his punches.
Jacob Malkoun def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Malkoun hit a takedown right away, putting Alhassan on the ground. Alhassan worked up to his feet where he landed some mean elbows before breaking free. Malkoun kept hunting for the takedown, seeming to want no part of Alhassan’s standup. Alhassan was stuck in a rinse and repeat strategy, unable to get to open space.
The second round saw Malkoun go right back to the takedown. Alhassan found himself stuck on the bottom with few answers. Malkoun went for a couple of guillotine attempts, and even a D’arce, but just couldn’t quite get the finish. Alhassan eventually worked back to his feet, but was unable to inflict much of any damage before getting shoved against the fence. Malkoun went right back to his takedown in the final round, with Alhassan being unable to stop it. No matter what he did, Alhassan just could not stop the grind.
Tracy Cortez def. Justine Kish by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): (W) Flyweight
Kish started aggressively, going right at Cortez and muscling her against the cage. It was Cortez who managed to get the takedown, and she dropped some meaningful ground strikes. Kish threw up a couple of armbar attempts, but Cortez was savvy to them and remained in the dominant position. Cortez took the back, held the position with a body triangle, and punched away until the bell.
Kish kept her distance to start the second stanza. The fighters exchanged punches before Cortez was able to close the distance. She jumped on the back again, picking up where the opening round left off. This time, though, Kish was able to explode back up to her feet. Back and forth they went with kicks, with both combatants absorbing several body strikes.
Kish was the busier fighter to start the final round, but her accuracy wasn’t high and she gave up the takedown. Cortez unloaded some brutal ground strikes as Kish turtled up, making the most of her position. Cortez threatened with a guillotine, but Kish escaped and returned to her feet. Then, a big counter right hook from Kish knocked Cortez to the floor. Cortez quickly stood up, but Kish stayed in command for there remaining moments of the match.
**It should be noted that Cortez missed weight for this matchup by .5 lbs.
Luis Pena def. Alex Munoz by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Lightweight
Munoz came out and earned himself a takedown to get things going. Pena worked dup to his feet, but struggled to find space. Munoz kept him pressed against the cage, trying to grind away and get the fight back to the ground. Pena freed himself, but had to deal with some hard calf kicks coming his way. Pena began to do a good job of staying on his feet, but Munoz started to connect with his hands.
Pena started the second act with a series of clean solo punches. He was mixing up the levels and then bringing his knee up the middle. Munoz responded with a set of clean punches, and then hit a level change to put Pena on the mat. It didn’t take Pena very long to get back up and return to open space. Munoz went back to the calf kick, as Luis threw his straight punches.
Pena entered a flow state in the final round. He was slowly pressuring his foe, sticking behind his long punches. He was talking to his opponent, saying he’s going to change his name to “Violent Kevin Holland.” Pena was grooving, and even when he gave up a takedown he almost instantly exploded up to his feet. Pena started to turn it up, picking apart his opponent and seeming to have a blast while doing so.