The UFC Vegas 32 main card is just about over, and a war went down at 135-pounds in the co-main event when the #14 ranked bantamweight, Kyler Phillips, left everything in the cage along with the UFC’s #12 ranked flyweight, Raulian Paiva. Phillips had a dominant opening round, hurting his foe on three different occasions on the feet. Just when it looked as though Kyler had this one in the bag, Paiva scored an early knockdown in the second, and then hurt Phillips a couple more times before the next frame. The last round was grueling, with both men running on heart, but it was Paiva who walked away with the majority decision. One judge had the fight scored as a 28-28 draw.
Before that, longtime UFC veteran Darren Elkins did what Darren Elkins does - which is get beat up by his opponent just to rally and come out on top. Darrick Minner was his victim this time, who had multiple submission attempts, top position, and plenty of ground and pound before hitting his wall. That’s when Elkins came alive, pushed the pace, and earned himself a second-round TKO. This is actually Darren’s second win in a row.
We got a controversial decision in the women’s flyweight division when the #14 rated, Maycee Barber, managed to win a split decision over the #13 rated, Miranda Maverick. Barber had a strong third round, but Miranda clearly landed more strikes in both the first and second rounds. It seemed as if Maverick did enough to win, according to the rules, and Daniel Cormier mentioned on the broadcast that he believed Maverick should have been declared the victor. As it stands, the judges awarded Maycee with the decision. How did you score this fight?
Opening up the main card, Adrian Yanez overcame an opening round swarm to stop Randy Costa with strikes in the second act. Costa was throwing all sorts of kicks and jabs to start the fight, but it wasn’t enough. Yanez was able to weather the storm, make the necessary adjustments, and then find a way to finish the fight with a slick boxing combination to ground and pound. Adrian has now won all three of his UFC bouts by way of knockout. Keep an eye on this guy!
Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips by majority decision (29-28 x2, 28-28): Bantamweight
The bantamweights went right at it, with Phillips scoring an early knockdown off of his right hand. Paiva recovered and used a caught kick to initiate a scramble. Phillips was able to free himself without allowing Paiva to control him for very long. Another right hand from Phillips hit its mark, which seemed to rock Paiva for the second time. A botched spinning kick from Phillips gave Paiva top position, but Kyler almost instantly reversed the position. Another right got through, hurting Paiva yet again, and then Phillips punched away with nasty ground and pound until the bell.
Paiva closed the distance right away in the second round, and then attempted to drop down for a leg. Phillips was hip to it and was able to push off and remain standing. Then, Paiva scored himself a knockdown off of a right hand. He pounced on Phillips, landing big punches and trying to get the finish. Phillips managed to blast a double leg to slow things down, but when the fight returned to the standing position, Paiva unleashed several more bombs. Phillips was able to scramble his way to the back, but he didn’t stay there for long. Crazy scrambles on both sides, and already a wild ride of a fight.
Paiva pressed forward in the final frame, eating punches in order to some of his own. He kept pressuring as Phillips seemed to be gassing out. Phillips managed to hit a takedown, and he didn’t hold it for long at all, but he did crack Paiva with an overhand as they stood up. Paiva jumped on a single leg and took top position, controlling Phillips and eating clock. Kyler stood to his feet for one last exchange, where he landed a standing elbow before the horn.
Darren Elkins def. Darrick Minner by TKO at 3:48 of round 2: Featherweight
Minner worked his boxing right away, causing Elkins to shoot in for the takedown. After fighting through a couple of guillotine attempts, Elkins was able to instigate a scramble. Minner attempted a triangle and an armbar, but Elkins was able to wiggle out of both situations. Minner did a fantastic job of staying a step ahead of Darren, and started to drop some damaging ground strikes.
Minner shot in immediately to start the second round, and put Elkins on his butt. Elkins threatened with a guillotine, but wasn’t able to convert or capitalize on the position. Then, it seemed as if Minner hit a wall and just sort of conceded the bottom position. Elkins locked up a mounted crucifix and began battering Darrick. “The Damage” kept pounding away and Minner was unable to improve his position. The referee had no choice but to step in and rescue the overwhelmed fighter.
Maycee Barber def. Miranda Maverick by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): (W) Flyweight
Maverick took the center to get things going, while Barber skirted along the outside. There wasn’t a ton of strikes landing on either side, but Maverick was the one leading the dance and being the busier fighter. Barber wasn’t really opening up. She was focused on her defense, allowing Maverick to get ahead on the strike count, particularly with body kicks.
Maverick went right back to work in the second stanza, landing technical combos while making Barber miss. The fighters clinched up, and Miranda pressed Maycee against the cage for a bit. Barber escaped and almost it a takedown, but Maverick was able to use a whizzer to thwart it. Barber worked hard to get a takedown, having a turn to control Maverick for a bit. Back in open space, Maverick blasted a takedown and finished up the round on Barber’s back.
The final round opened with Maverick landing a combo, and Maycee attempting another takedown. Miranda took the center of the Octagon again, with Barber much more willing to throw and engage. Miranda was getting the better of the standup, so Maycee switched gears and started grappling. She snagged a takedown against the cage, but Maverick quickly scrambled back to her feet. After a brief exchange, Barber closed the distance again, pressing Miranda up against the cage. She landed a smooth spinning elbow upon the break, and then the athletes jockeyed for position until he bell.
Adrian Yanez def. Randy Costa by TKO at 2:11 of round 2: Bantamweight
Costa was active right away, launching an array of kicks at Yanez. A bunch of head kicks were grazing the head of Yanez, who was spending a lot of time defending. The jab of Costa began landing religiously, busting open the face of Yanez. Just when it seemed as if Costa was in complete control, Yanez started to comeback. He returned the favor by busting open the nose of Costa, and then started to pressure until the bell.
Yanez started the second round coming forward, throwing his jab and keeping Costa on the back foot. Costa began shelling up and Yanez began unloading a onslaught of punches. Costa was hit clean with a two-piece to the body, followed by an uppercut through the high guard that caused him to take a knee. The ground strikes came crashing down and the referee stepped in to wave off the match.