The UFC Vegas 34 main card has just wrapped up with four decisions and a pair of submissions. The main event witnessed the promotion’s #3 ranked middleweight, Jared Cannonier, getting the best of the #9 ranked, Kelvin Gastelum, in the main event. Both men looked sharp right out of the gate, but Cannonier scored a knockdown in the third which aided him in earning three scores of 48-47. Is this the sort of performance that warrants a title shot against the champion Israel Adesanya?
In the night’s co-main event, Mark O. Madsen took a split decision over long time UFC veteran Clay Guida. Despite getting dropped in the first round, Madsen still earned one score of 30-27, with the other judge in his favor seeing it 29-28. Guida received one card his way that read 29-28. It seemed as though Guida did enough to get the dub, but that’s not the way it went. How did you score it?
Also on the UFC Vegas 34 main card, the heavyweight division got a big man war when Parker Porter took a hard fought decision over Chase Sherman. Plenty of damage was dished out on both sides, with Chase abusing the calf and Parker coming over the top with his right hand. Fatigue was understandably present, but both men dug deep and swung until the final bell. The head movement of Porter was just better, so he was able to get out of the way of more strikes than Sherman did. Parker Porter vs. Jon Jones 2 anybody?
Making good on his UFC debut, Saidyokub Kakhramonov pulled off a third-round tech sub on Trevin Jones... on four-days-notice no less. A lot fo this fight was spent in the clinch, with Jones pressing Kakhramonov against the cage looking for the takedown. Off of one of Jones’ botched TD attempts, Kakhramonov locked up a standing guillotine and made all of the correct adjustments. Jones ended up going to sleep and Kakhramonov earned his first UFC win.
We got a strong performance from Vinc Pichel tonight, as he ran away with the scorecards against Austin Hubbard. Pichel was getting stronger as the fight went on, and his output seemed to be quite taxing for Hubbard. Pichel has now won three in a row, bringing his overall UFC record to 7-2. In his post-fight interview, he asked for a rematch with the last man to defeat him, Gregor Gillespie.
Opening up the UFC Vegas 34 main card, the promotion’s #3 rated flyweight, Alexandre Pantoja, submitted the #6 ranked, Brandon Royal, with a rear-naked choke in the second round. This was a prototypical flyweight fight with plenty of exciting and energetic scrambles. It was a highly competitive fight, right up until the moment it ended. With two dominant wins over the now 125-pound champ Brandon Moreno, Pantoja used his post-fight interview to respectfully call for a title fight.
**See complete results below
Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (48-47 x3) : Middleweight
Cannonier was utilizing his kicks right away, trying to keep Gastelum on the outside. Kelvin was using active footwork to try and leap fun and out with his own strikes. Gastelum started to throw his own kicks to the leg and body. It was a solid round from both guys, since neither man gave up a big moment.
The high level chess match continued into the second stanza. Gastelum was the one pressing the action and backing up Cannonier. He was also staying with his leg kick attack, which seemed to open up his hands. Cannonier wasn't as mobile as he was in the previous round, and he was getting touched because of it.
Cannonier scored an early knockdown in the third round with a bodacious right hook. Miraculously, Kelvin sprung right back up to his feet seeming unfazed. He went right back to pressuring Cannonier, throwing combos and acting like he didn’t just get dropped. What a great fight this has been!
Gastelum closed the distance in the beginning of the fourth frame, pressing his foe against the cage. Cannonier was able to push against the face of Kelvin to get the space he needed to return to the center of the Octagon. Gastelum was pressing, but was eating hard shots as he moved forward to land his own. It looked as if he was knocked down again, but the broadcast stated that the punch landed on his shoulder, and was not a knockdown.
Cannonier was trying to snipe Gastelum in the final frame. When Kelvin would close the distance, Jared would look to cut him off with some leather to the face. Gastelum changed levels for the takedown, but Cannonier refused to concede the position. Gastelum kept pressuring and trying for the takedown, but Cannonier just wouldn’t let that happen.
Mark O. Madsen def. Clay Guida by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) : Lightweight
Guida opened the match with a set of calf kicks that went unblocked. Madsen clinched up and delivered a few knees to the midsection. Clay broke free and staggered Madsen with a right hand, but the former Olympian went right back to work. He clinched up again and pushed Guida’s body with more piercing knees. Guida fought hard to not stay inside of the clinch for very long.
Guida stuffed a shot to open the second act, and then cracked off a couple of low calf kicks. When Madsen would close the distance, Guida would throw a heated flurry of punches to back him off. Guida was turning up, landing his punches and kicks, while Madsen was becoming increasingly stationary.
The final act had Madsen taking the center behind his jab, with Guida still kicking at the leg. Madsen would close the distance, and as Clay would escape, Mark would chase him down with strikes. Guida kept attacking the leg but wasn’t getting the results he wanted. Madsen pushed the action down the stretch.
Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28) : Heavyweight
Zero feeling out was needed here. Sherman was working his leg kicks, while Porter was trying to come over the top with a bug right hand. Both men were connecting, too. Porter then took a page out of Chase’s playbook and delivered some blistering leg kicks of his own. He then caught one of Sherman’s kicks to find top position, and controlled his foe for the remainder fo the round.
The fighters went back and forth in the second round. Sherman was throwing straight punches and calf kicks, while Porter was following his jab with an overhand right. Porter shot in for a takedown, but Chase was hip to it and shucked it right off. Sherman kicked at the calf again, causing more damage and altering the footwork of Porter. Despite one wheel, Porter was still throwing and connecting with bombs.
Porter rushed his foe to open the final round, but backed off after failing to snag a takedown. Sherman responded with an intelligent body kick, but his head was there to be hit. Porter kept landing his punches, and somehow Sherman was just taking them. Chase went back to kicking the calf, but was still getting punched in the face. Then came a cup check from Porter, causing a stop to the action. The fight resumed and they went right back to going blow for blow as time expired.
Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones by technical submission (Guillotine) at 4:39 of round 3: Bantamweight
Jones closed the distance, but Kakhramonov hit a toss and quickly jumped a super-tight guillotine. Jones was able to flip out of the hold and get back to his feet, where he pressed Kakhramonov against the cage. They spent some time in this position, but they were staying busy enough to not get separated.
The fight went right back to the clinch in the second round, with Jones pressing Kakhramonov against the fence again. Despite Kakhramonov having his back to the fence, he was still able to get off some quality strikes. Back in open space, Kakhramonov started to let his strikes fly as Jones seemed to be tiring a bit. Jones started throwing back, and then hit a double leg with about 90-seconds to go to take top position. He was able to get back some damage with ground strikes, some of that occurring from full mount.
Kakhramonov pushed the pace to begin the third act, kicking to the body and backing up his opponent. Jones responded by closing the distance and pressing Kakhramonov against the fence like he has done all fight. Jones was kind of just holding on, while Kakhramonov was throwing soft strikes. Jones changed levels to try and get a takedown, but Kakhramonov grabbed a hold of the neck. He made all the right adjustments and Jones went to sleep!
Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight
The fighters got right to work, exchanging nasty leg kicks back and forth. This was a bit of an ugly fight, with neither fighter really landing clean with their punches. The way the styles were clashing made for some awkward moments. An accidental eye poke from Hubbard brought a brief pause so that the doctor could come in and take a look. The fight continued, and the guys went back to going blow for blow. Pichel did manage to drop his foe with a leg kick, but Hubbard stood right back up.
Pichel opened up the second act with an angry flurry, prompting Hubbard to close the distance. Pichel freed himself, but when Hubbard jumped on his back, he had to escape again. That’s when Pichel was able to rock Hubbard on the feet. He tried to go in for the kill, but the toughness of Hubbard held up. Just as Pichel was taking over, Hubbard forced a takedown. Pichel stood back to his feet, but had to eat a knee to the head for his troubles.
Pichel marched out for the final frame throwing punches in bunches, trying to pour it on. Hubbard was hanging tough, but the output of Pichel was paying dividends. Hubbard switched gears and managed to hit a takedown, but a scramble resulted in Pichel taking top position. The fight moved back to its feet, and Hubbard landed a crafty uppercut before falling into top position. The fighters stood up with 10-seconds to go, and the lightweights slugged it out until the bell.
Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval by submission (RNC) at 1:46 of round 2: Flyweight
Pantoja immediately closed the distance and dragged Royval to the mat. Royval kept the scramble going, doing his best to keep Pantoja from fully taking the back. He then attacked with a leg lock, forcing Pantoja to start defending. The moment Pantoja was free, he went right back to trying to take the back. Royval made his way back to open space, and even tried to take Pantoja’s back at one point. The fighters started trading leather on the feet, with Pantoja landing a punch to the eye that seemed to bother Royval. Then, Royval responded by scoring with his straight punches. Back and forth they went!
The fighters went right back to trading to start the second act. Pantoja shot in for a takedown, but Royval stuffed it and stood back up. Pantoja clinched back up and hit a trip to finally fully take back. He locked up a body triangle and then began hunting for an RNC. Royval rights, so he opted to respectfully tap out.