The UFC Vegas 34 preliminary card is officially over and boy was it lit! It opened up with a sweet tech sub, followed by a spinning wheel kick KO, then a fadeaway hook knockout, and then a walk off overhand left. From there, it was a set of unanimous decisions to close out this portion of the card — including Austin Lingo taking two of the three rounds against Luis Saldana, and Brian Kelleher running the table against Domingo Pilarte.
UFC Vegas 34 saw a walk off knockout in the women’s bantamweight division when Josiane Nunes dropped an overhand left on Bea Malecki that caused a good ol’ fashioned timberrrrrrr! Nunes was aggressive right away, overwhelming her opposition with flurry after flurry, without any regard for her own gas tank. We don’t really see too many one-punch knockouts amongst the woman of 135-pounds, so the entire division might want to take note of this UFC newcomer.
The light heavyweight division enjoyed a one-punch knockout when William Knight countered a charging Fabio Cherant with a superbly timed fadeaway hook. This was wild because in real time it was hard to see the punch land. It actually looked as if Cherant was the one landing, but the next thing you know he was face down getting pounded on. To put the cherry on top of this decadent sundae, Knight then hit a gorgeous ‘big man’ back flip, and stuck the landing like he was Simone Biles or something. Fun!
We got a slick spinning wheel kick knockout on the prelims when Ignacio Bahamondes took out Roosevelt Roberts with authority — with only five-seconds to go in the third round. Bahamondes was completely in the driver seat the whole time and seemed to be well on his way to a decision victory — but then decided to pick up a highlight finish. This is one of those knockouts that you must see, and the type of finish that’ll likely pocket Bahamondes an extra chunk of change. Not a bad way to earn his first UFC win.
We got a sweet technical submission in the UFC Vegas 34 opening bout when Ramiz Brahimaj strangled Sasha Palatnikov with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Brahimaj hit his takedown right away, controlled there for a bit, and then attacked with the RNC until Palatnikov eventually passed out. This marks the first official UFC win for Brahimaj.
**See complete results below
Austin Lingo def. Luis Saldana by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Featherweight
Lingo showed up looking to bomb with his hands while Saldana was unleashing his kicks. Lingo was the one pushing the pace, forcing Saldana to counter. Saldana kept launching kicks, and one of them hurt Lingo to the body. That slowed down the pressure of Lingo, and positioned Saldana in the driver seat. Lingo was still throwing his left hook and overhand right, but the damage was all in favor of Saldana.
Lingo started the second act with some urgency. He was throwing his punches in bunches, while bringing his forward pressure. The broadcast mentioned that Saldana was dealing with a foot injury, that may have been disrupting his movement and preventing him from kicking the way he did in the opening round. This gave Lingo an opportunity to get himself back into the fight, and he made the most of it. He kept up with his pressure and let his hands go, enjoying the lack of kicks being thrown by Saldana.
Lingo stayed after it in the final round, pressuring Saldana and staying true to his punches only strategy. He came up with a huge knockdown thanks to a savage punch to the body. Saldana fell to his back in agony, and Lingo pursued his injured foe. The fight came to a close with Lingo having the back, and Saldana trying his best to escape out the back door.
Brian Kelleher def. Domingo Pilarte by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Bantamweight
Kelleher shot in right away and took Pilarte down. From inside of the full guard, Brian dropped some mean elbows and punches, while shutting down the subs at the first sight of Pilarte throwing up his legs. Pilarte did not return to his feet until after the bell sounded.
Kelleher went right back to the takedown in the second stanza, planting Pilarte on his back in the center of the Octagon. This time, Kelleher passed the guard, but Pilarte used the moment to get up. Kelleher jumped on a guillotine, but Pilarte easily escaped and took top position. Pilarte dropped one huge elbow from the top, but then jumped a feeble guillotine attempt of his own to end the round on bottom.
Kelleher started the final round by lifting up his opponent and carrying him over to his corner before slamming him down. He worked from the full guard of his foe, dropping short strikes and maintaining control. Pilarte was stuck up against the fence, with seemingly few answers for Kelleher’s top game. He did not get up until the fight was over.
Josiane Nunes def. Bea Malecki by KO at 4:54 of round 1: (W) Bantamweight
Nunes started hot, going right at Malecki with a non-stop barrage of blows. Malecki had her back to the cage, shelling up and trying to not get overwhelmed. She was able to find open space and launch some knees and head kicks to get herself some temporary breathing room. Nunes went right back to her blitzing attack, and Malecki struggled with properly addressing the onslaught. Then, a viscous overhand left hit its mark and Malecki dropped like a sack of potatoes. No followup punishment was required.
William Knight def. Fabio Cherant by KO at 3:58 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Knight methodically pressured right away, attacking with kicks to the leg and the head. Cherant responded with several straights to the body, and then looked to go upstairs. Then, Cherant looked to go to the well again, but ate a fadeaway hook that from Knight that put him out. Some academic ground strikes scored before the referee stepped in and stopped the match.
Ignacio Bahamondes def. Roosevelt Roberts by KO at 4:55 of round 3: Lightweight
Roberts got his jab going early, and used it to set up an entry to the clinch. Bahamondes fought off the eventual takedown attempts, and was able to return to open space. He then started kicking the leg of Roberts, and even dropped him with one. Roberts had enough of open space, so he went back to the clinch to work for a takedown. Bahamondes again thwarted those advances to get back to the middle of the Octagon. That’s where he was out-striking Roosevelt and doing his best work.
Bahamondes took the center again in the second round. He was backing up Roberts and touching him with the hands. Roberts was throwing out his jab, which caused some bleeding from the face of his opponent, but Bahamondes was bullying him. He tried going back to the clinch, but the takedowns just weren’t anywhere to be found.
Roberts shot in with a double leg to start the final frame, but the takedown defense of Bahamondes was stellar. Bahamondes then landed a couple of stinging body crosses that visibly hurt Roberts. The desperation takedowns weren’t there either, so Roberts started to flop to his back. Bahamondes refused to go to the grand with him, forcing Roberts to stand with him. Just when it looked as though this one was going to the scorecards, Bahamondes uncorked a wicked spinning back kick to the face that put Roberts out on impact. Wow!
Ramiz Brahimaj def. Sasha Palatnikov by technical submission (RNC) at 2:33 of round 1: Welterweight
Brahimaj shot in right away, and after a brief scramble, he was able to get Palatnikov on his back. He threatened with an arm triangle, and used the hold to take full mount. Palatnikov then exposed his back and Brahimaj aggressively locked up a rear-naked choke. Credit to Palatnikov for fighting it as long as he did, but ultimately the squeeze proved to be too much and Brahimaj put his foe to sleep.