The UFC Vegas 28 main card is almost over and saw a handful of decisions, including a classic banger between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Miguel Baeza, but the co-main event did just witnessed a first-round finish. The UFC’s #11 ranked heavyweight, Marcin Tybura, stopped the #8 ranked, Walt Harris, with ground strikes towards the end of the opening round. Harris started strong, putting Tybura through a dangerous storm of explosive strikes that had him wobbled, but once Tybura got the fight to the floor, it was only a matter of time. Tybura worked his way to the back and kept punching away until the referee intervened. This makes five in a row for Tybura, which is quite a difficult thing to accomplish in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Before that, Roman Dolidze earned himself a grinding decision over Laureano Staropoli. He made good use of the body lock takedown, and refused to give Staropoli any sort of space. It was a rather lackluster showing, but it was a clean win for Dolidze nonetheless. It gets him back into the win column and extends his UFC record to 3-1.
One of the brightest moments of the night happened when the UFC’s welterweight division was blessed with an epic three-round war between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Miguel Baeza. It was Baeza who got ahead early with damaging calf kicks, but Ponzinibbio would not be denied. He started pumping his jab and cranking up the volume, rallying to take the seocnd and third rounds. Both men left everything out there tonight, slugging it out to the finish in a tremendous display of heart. This unanimous decision victory marks Santiago’s first win since November of 2018.
Opening up the main card, Montana De La Rosa picked up her first career TKO victory by stopping Ariane Lipski on the ground in the second-round. De La Rosa leaned on her takedowns to put Lipski on her back, and that’s where she unleashed a mean streak of ground and pound. After suffering a loss followed by a draw, DLR is now back in the win column, and did so in impressive fashion.
**See complete results below
Marcin Tybura def. Walt Harris by TKO at 4:06 of round 1: Heavyweight
Harris blitzed Tybura right out of the gate. He was launching head kicks to spinning backlists, tons of punches, and mean knees from the clinch. He wobbled Tybura with the hands, prompting Marcin to shoot in for a takedown attempt. Harris fought off the advance, but Tybura caught a kick and found top position. Tybura took the back, and started to drop small strikes. Those little strikes kept flowing, and they began to add up. Harris was unable to improve his position, forcing the referee to step in and wave off the match.
Roman Dolidze def. Laureano Staropoli by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Staropoli attacked the calf right away, prompting Dolidze to shoot in and initiate a scramble. Staropoli was stuck in a body lock clinch, getting kneed over and over to the body. Dolidze would get a takedown, and Staropoli would have to explode right back up. No matter what, Staropoli just couldn’t get Dolidze off of him.
Dolidze started the seocnd round by immediately closing the distance to resume his blanketing grind. Staropoli finally got back to open space, but it wasn’t very long before Dolidze was back under his hips and making him carry his weight. It took awhile for Staropoli to finally get free again, but he still couldn’t stay there. Dolidze was too strong at closing the distance.
Staropoli spent a lot more time in open space in the third round than he did in the previous two. The second he fully opened up, Dolidze closed the distance and went right back to the body lock. Staropoli ended up scoring a takedown of his own, but elected to back away and stand back up. The second Dolidze stood back up, he instantly closed the distance and rode out the rest of the clock.
Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Miguel Baeza by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Welterweight
Ponzinibbio brought the pressure right away. He backed up Baeza, but had to walk through several leg kicks. Ponzinibbio wasn’t really pulling the trigger, but his leg was still getting chewed up. Baeza stayed with his calf attack, doing significant damage and preventing his opponent from really opening up. Ponzinibbio did have a flurry at the end of the round, but Baeza wore it all rather well.
Baeza got right back to attacking the calf in the second round. Ponzinibbio was trying to punch through them, but the kicks were taking the wind out of his sails. They were also opening up the hands for Baeza. He started to rock Ponzinibbio with his punches. Ponzinibbio then started to turn it up, working behind his jab and turning up the volume. Baeza got away from the calf kick, and Ponzinibbio unloaded his hands to turn things around.
Baeza started kicking the leg again at the start of the final round. Ponzinibbio responded by working his jab again, and even delivering a damaging leg kick of his own. The jab of Ponzinibbio continued to be an effective weapon, which set up his heavier punches. Baeza started to swing wildly to get Ponzinibbio off of him, but ate some stinging leg kicks for his troubles. They started to brawl it out, with both men gripping and ripping. Both men were connecting , but it was Ponzinibbio who was getting the better of the exchanges. What a fight!
Gregory Rodrigues def. Dusko Todorovic by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Middleweight
Todorovic closed the distance early, trying to control Rodrigues against the cage. Rodrigues hit a pretty hip toss to free himself, and then landed a couple of clean punches on the feet. Todorovic was rolling with the punches, but she of them were getting through. The punches that Todorovic were throwing just didn’t seem to have the same pop as those of Rodrigues.
Rodrigues got right back to work in the second act, working his boxing combos and pressing his foe. Then, Rodrigues switched gears and blasted a gorgeous double leg takedown. Todorovic scrambled up and was able to finally free himself, and Rodrigues was waiting to test his rolling chin. As the round grew on, the fighters exchanged jabs in the center of the Octagon until the bell.
Todorovic pressed forward in the final frame, backing up Rodrigues to the cage. It wasn’t very long before the fighters were back to exchanging jabs in the center of the cage again. Each man was started launching their right hand, and both were landing, but neither man was really taking over. Todorovic started to land more down the stretch, but he just wasn’t inflicting much damage.
Montana De La Rosa def. Ariane Lipski by TKO at 4:27 of round 2: (W) Flyweight
Lipski got things going with her boxing, showcasing quick hands and combinations. DLR responded with some slick punches of her own that got through, and then was able to achieve a body lock takedown. Lipski regained her full guard, but she was stuck on the bottom. DLR dropped down an elbow that cut open Lipski, who did not return to her feet until the bell.
Lipski opened the second stanza with another gorgeous punching combination the landed flush, but DLR instantly hit a takedown in response. DLR then surfed atop her foe, smashing down with elbows while maintaining control. She worked for an arm triangle as she continued to dominate from the top, but bailed on it to take full mount. That’s where she unleashed an endless barrage of strikes, giving lipski nowhere to go, and the referee every reason to stop the fight.