The Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises. The card saw five (T)KOs, three submissions, and two decisions.
The prelims opened with Rodrigo Nascimento scoring a second-round TKO over Alan Baudot. That was followed by a back-and-forth battle between Francisco Figueiredo and Malcolm Gordon that saw Deiveson’s brother take his first loss inside the octagon via unanimous decision. It also marked Gordon’s first win with the UFC. Sergey Morozov thoroughly outclassed Khalid Taha, taking a lopsided unanimous decision and Amanda Lemos wowed fans around the world with her 35-second knockout of Montserrat Ruiz. Daniel Rodriguez would score his own first-round knockout of Preston Parsons to close out the undercard.
The main card opened with Billy Quarantillo absolutely tuning Gabriel Benitez up for the first two rounds. Each of those rounds could have been 10-8’s. The third saw “Moggly” drop Quarantillo briefly, but Billy rebounded well and went on to get the TKO finish with just 80 seconds left on the clock. Outstanding battle! Rodolfo Vieira clearly learned a little something from his last fight about preserving his stamina, because he maintained his cardio well, and it saw him through to a third-round submission of Dustin Stoltzfus. Mateusz Gamrot wasted absolutely no time submitting Jeremy Stephens with a gnarly kimura just 65 seconds into the fight. Miesha Tate’s return saw a pretty competitive first round with Marion Reneau, but that didn’t last long. Miesha controlled the striking and the grappling for the rest of the fight, snagging the TKO finish in the third. Welcome back, Miesha!
The main event saw Islam Makhachev control Thiago Moises from start to finish. Moises did a little better in the third, but Islam still edged that round out from under him. In the fourth, Makhachev had finally finished playing with his food and got a beautiful rear-naked choke—with no hooks in. Lightweight is officially on notice.
*NOTE: The UFC issued SIX bonuses tonight.
Performance of the Night: Rodrigo Nascimento, Miesha Tate, Mateusz Gamrot, Rodolfo Vieira
Rodrigo Nascimento (TKO (punches) at 1:29 of round 2), Amanda Lemos (KO (punches) at :35 of round 1), Daniel Rodriguez (TKO (punches) at 3:47 of round 1), Billy Quarantillo (TKO (strikes) at 3:40 of round 3), Rodolfo Vieira (rear-naked choke at 1:54 of round 3). Mateusz Gamrot (kimura at 1:05 of round 1), Miesha Tate (TKO (punches) at 1:53 of Round 3), and Islam Makhachev (rear naked choke, 2:38 of round 4) all finished their fights inside the distance but it would be Rodrigo Nascimento, Miesha Tate, Mateusz Gamrot, and Rodolfo Vieira taking tonight’s performance bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Gabriel Benitez vs. Billy Quarantillo
Malcolm Gordon (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) and Sergey Morozov (30-27 x3) saw wins that went the full 15 minutes but it would be Gabriel Benitez’s war with Billy Quarantillo that would take fight of the night honors.