The APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Vegas 26: Rodriguez vs. Waterson. The card saw two (T)KOs, one submission, and six decisions, including one majority decision.
Tonight’s card was shortened dramatically thanks to several last minute cancellations, and resulted in just three fights on the undercard. That said, the prelims kicked off with newcomer Carlston Harris putting a big exclamation mark on his UFC debut with a sensational anaconda choke of Christian Aguilera in the first round. Mike Trizano defeated L’udovit Klein via unanimous decision in a fight that many believe Klein won. That was followed by Jung Yong Park taking a majority decision over Tafon Nchukwi.
The main card opened with Phil Hawes taking a comfortable unanimous decision victory over Kyle Daukhaus in a fun fight that shouldn’t have seen such lopsided scores, as it was a lot closer than reflected on the cards. Gregor Gillespie likely lost the first round of his fight with Diego Ferreira, but he turned his fortunes around in the second stanza when he lit up Ferreira like a Christmas tree with a barrage of punches. Excellent way to rebound from his first loss. Marcos Rogerio de Lima beat Maurice Greene pretty handily via lopsided unanimous decision, and that has got to be a wrap for Mo Green, right? Neil Magny took a close decision over Geoff Neal by way of being Clay Guida 2.0 and proved that Geoff Neal still has some work to do before he breaks into contention. Alex Morono would stop UFC lifer Donald Cerrone in the first round via TKO, and that gives “Cowboy” five losses in his last six fights, with the sixth fight in that series being a NC.
The headliner saw a great battle between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson, but Rodriguez would take the W via unanimous decision. She controlled the clinch and won the striking exchanges handily, while Waterson was finally able to get her wrestling to the forefront in the fourth round, she just couldn’t do enough to stop Marina’s steady onslaught. I need to see Marina vs. Joanna ASAP.
Performance of the Night: Alex Morono and Carlston Harris
Carlston Harris (anaconda choke at 2:52 of round 1), Gregor Gillespie (TKO (punches), round 2 (4:51), Alex Morono (TKO (punches), round 1 (4:40) all finished their fights before the final horn but it would be Alex Morono and Carlston Harris taking performance bonus gold.
Fight of the Night: Diego Ferreira vs. Gregor Gillespie
Jung Yong Park (majority decision: 30-25, 29-26, 28-28), Mike Trizano (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Phil Hawes (30-26, 30-26, 29-27), Marcos Rogerio de Lima (30-26, 30-26, 30-27), Neil Magny (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), and Marina Rodriguez (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) all went the distance but it would be Diego Ferreira vs. Gregor Gillespie taking fotn honors.