The Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw. The card saw five (T)KOs, one submissions and five decisions, including two split-decisions and a majority decision.
The prelims opened with Diana Belbita taking a lopsided unanimous decision over Hannah Goldy. Then, Sijara Eubanks beat the stuffing out of Elise Reed, taking the TKO victory in the first round. Side note: the UFC is shameful in their matchmaking here. That was followed up by Julio Arce getting the second-round standing TKO over Andre Ewell, and hopefully, this will propel him to a main card spot next time around. Jordan Williams didn’t stand a chance today. He was rocked early and had just barely regained his senses when he ended up on the ground with Gall threatening submissions. Before the three-minute mark, he’d taken Williams back, slapped on a rear-naked choke and forced the tap. Nassourdine Imavov defeated Ian Heinisch by surgically precise punches, scoring the TKO in round 2. Wrapping up the undercard was Brendon Allen and Punahele Soriano in a battle that saw Allen take the unanimous decision. Was a fun scrap, even if a couple of the scores seemed suspect.
The main card opened with Randy Costa and Adrain Yanez, two of the nicest guys in the sport with the most wholesome leadup to a fight in the history of ever, putting on one helluva scrap, but it would be Yanez that landed a nasty uppercut to end the fight and Costa’s night in the second round. Maycee Barber would take a split-decision against Miranda Maverick, a bit of scoring that once again left many befuddled. Darren Elkins took a second-round victory over Darrick Minner when he snagged the TKO in a fight that saw Elkins stunned at the end of the first round, but once again, he turned the tides to get his second, straight win.
Raulian Paiva and Kyler Phillips put on an instant classic, going hell for leather from Jump Street. It would be Paiva that would take the majority decision, but both men would enjoy fight of the night bonuses.
The main event was an exciting scrap that saw plenty of two-way traffic, with both men having their moments, but Dillashaw sustained a nasty cut that his corner somehow managed to keep under control. He also ended up with a knee issue (in the first round), but he fought through it to the end. Sandhagen fought well, occasionally having wild moments, then settling back into his rhythm. It was a great fight but Dillashaw would take the split-decision. Hopefully we get to see a rematch somewhere down the road.
Performance of the Night: Adrian Yanez, Darren Elkins
Sijara Eubanks (TKO (strikes) at 3:49 of round 1), Julio Arce (TKO (punches) at 3:45 of round 2), Mickey Gall (rear-naked choke at 2:57 of round 1), Nassourdine Imavov (TKO (punches) at 3:09 of round 2), Adrian Yanez (TKO (punches) 1:11 of round 2), and Darren Elkins (TKO (strikes), 3:48 of round 2) all won their fights before the final horn but it would be Darren Elkins and Adrian Yanez taking the performance bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Paiva-Phillips
Diana Belbita (30-27 x3), Brendan Allen (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Maycee Barber (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Raulian Pavia (29-28, 29-28, 28-28), and T.J. Dillashaw (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) all went the distance but it would be Raulian Paiva’s sensational battle with Kyler Phillips that took fight of the night honors.