The UFC Vegas 37 main card was blessed with a set of decisions, and then four cool finishes — including two matches where one fighter overcame being dropped to come back and win with strikes.
The main event of the night also enjoyed a finish when the UFC’s #6 ranked light heavyweight, Anthony Smith, tapped out the #11 ranked, Ryan Spann, with a rear-naked choke in the opening act. It was the strikes of Smith that hurt Spann, and then the submission skills sniffed out the finish. There was a bit of trash talk from Smith afterwards as he screamed at Spann, but cooler heads prevailed and the two fighters hugged it out in a show of mutual respect. On the microphone after the fight, Smith called for a rematch with the #3 ranked 205-pounder, Aleksandar Rakic.
In the UFC Vegas 37 co-main event, Ion Cutelaba put it on Devin Clark for the bulk of three rounds to take a unanimous decision. He out-grappled Clark and out-struck him, and then survived an extremely late surge to get the dub. This is actually Ion’s first win since September of 2019. Before that, Ariane Lipski put hands on Mandy Bohm, dropping her in every round to solidify three scores of 30-27. This was a tough way for Bohm to take her first loss, but a great way for Lipski to get back into the win column.
Also on the UFC Vegas 37 main card, the company’s #14 ranked lightweight, Arman Tsarukyan, stopped Christos Giagos with a TKO early in the first-round. It was a left hook that dropped Giagos, and then a violent display of ground and pound brought an end to the fight. In his post-fight interview, the 24-year-old prospect called for a match with the UFC’s #8 ranked 155-pounder, Dan Hooker.
In what was a crazy turn of events, Nate Maness overcame being dropped and nearly pounded out at the end of the first round, to knock down and finish off Tony Gravely with punches in the second. This was a ridiculous comeback, and a crazy fight that extends Maness’ UFC record to 3-0.
Oddly enough, we got a very similar situation opening up the main card. Joaquin Buckley had to overcome plenty of adversity in the first-two acts before knocking out Antonio Arroyo, midway through the final round. Arroyo was doing damage with his kicks from range, but it was while he was throwing a knee to the body that Buckley blasted him with a powerful punching combo that put him down. From there, it was some academic ground strikes that sealed the deal. All-five of Buckley’s UFC bouts have ended inside the distance.
**See complete results below
Anthony Smith def. Ryan Spann by submission (RNC) at 3:47 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
The fighters got busy right away exchanging punches. Spann then picked up Smith and carried him over to his corner. Smith broke free and dropped Spann with a hook. Spann used a botched armbar attempt to get back to his feet, but Smith was dialed in with his hands. He wobbled Ryan with another combo, and then stuffed a desperation takedown to take top position. Spann exposed his back and Smith sank an RNC for the tap!
Ion Cutelaba def. Devin Clark by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-26, 29-27): Light Heavyweight
Clark shot in right away for the takedown, but Cutelaba sprung right back up to his feet. In open space, a lot of feeling out was going on. Then, Cutelaba blasted Clark with a huge right hand that connected to the back of the head that dropped him. Ion followed Devin to the floor, but somehow Clark managed to scramble back to his feet. Cutelaba scored a takedown and started punching away, but Clark again held on and stood up. Another takedown for Cutelaba was followed by some more ground and pound before the bell.
Cutelaba went back to his takedown in the second stanza, and he landed right in the full mount. A couple of hammerfists scored from the bottom, but then Cutelaba responded with a set of much more dangerous elbows from the top. Miraculously, Clark wiggled free and stood back to his feet, but Cutelaba stayed all over him. Ion stayed attached in the clinch with Clark pressed against the cage until the round expired.
The doctor came in and took a look at Clark before the start of the final round, specifically his teeth, and deemed him fit to continue. The bell rang and Clark ran right at Ion, but was unable to hit a takedown. Then it was Cutelaba’s turn to hit a takedown, and he did just that. Somewhat surprisingly, Devin quickly worked back to his feet, but it wasn’t for very long. Cutelaba found his way back into the full mount, but Clark scrambled out, up, and then into top position himself.
Ariane Lipski def. Mandy Bohm by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Flyweight
Lipski was looking to land some leather right away. The fighters clinched up and Lipski scrambled into top position. Bohm gained her full guard, and the fight kind of stalled out there, but luckily for the audience the fight drifted back to its feet. In open space, Lipski was dishing out some mean combos that had Bohm covering up. The flurries seemed to be enough for Lipski to win the round.
The fighters looked to strike it out to kick off the second round. Lipski appeared to have a bit ore steam on her punches, and she took the center and looked for her openings. Bohm would throw out a variety of single strikes, and some would land, but they weren’t really doing anything to get any respect from Lipski. With less than 30-seconds to go in the round, Lipski dropped Mandy with a right hand. She followed her foe to the floor, but luckily for Bohm the round came to an end.
The second act started with a technical pace. Lipski wasn’t being overly aggressive. She was staying composed and picking her shots wisely. Then a huge overhand right knocked Mandy to the floor again. Lipski took top position, but ultimately allowed Bohm to stand up. The athletes battled it out in the clinch down the stretch, but this fight belonged to Ariane.
Arman Tsarukyan def. Christos Giagos by TKO at 2:09 of round 1: Lightweight
Tsarukyan shot in first, but Giagos ended up on top. Giagos couldn’t maintain control, and Tsarukyan scrambled back up to his feet. Then, Tsarukyan dropped Giagos with a left hook, and pounced with some wicked ground and pound to get the finish. GEEZ!
Nate Maness def. Tony Gravely by TKO at 2:10 of round 2: Bantamweight
Gravely went right at Maness, throwing hands and backing him up. Maness fought off the fence and started throwing back. The fighters traded in the pocket, with both men landing punches. They then took turns taking each other down, with neither man being able to solidify the position. Just before the bell, Gravely dropped Maness with a right hook, and then landed several unblocked ground strikes before the bell.
Maness answered the bell for round-two, seeming to have recovered. Then, KABOOM! Maness landed a clean left to the liver, followed by a rear uppercut right to the button. Gravely went stumbling to his butt, and Maness jumped on him with fight-ending ground strikes.
Joaquin Buckley def. Antonio Arroyo by KO at 2:26 of round 3: Middleweight
Buckley took the center of the cage, launching a varied attack at Arroyo. Most of his attacks were being blocked, as Arroyo was playing the outside. Arroyo was looking to land his head kick, as that is the move that did Buckley in during his last fight. Buckley clipped Arroyo in the cup, causing a brief halt to the bout. The bout resumed and Arroyo got back to launching kicks from range.
Arroyo stayed with his kicks in the second round. He was attacking the body of Buckley as well as the legs. Buckley responded with some leg kicks of his own, and then exploded on the inside for a brief clinch exchange. Arroyo landed a flying knee, but that resulted in Buckley getting ahold of double unders. Unfortunately for Buckley, he wasn’t able to get the takedown, but he got time to recover from that knee.
Arroyo was ready to check the kicks of Buckley in the third round. That’s when Buckley shot a takedown to no avail. Buckley would get his entries to the takedown, but then he would lose steam and Arroyo would escape into open space. Then, as Arroyo threw a knee, Buckley rocked his world with a monstrous hook to uppercut that dropped him. A savage series of hammerfists came crashing down until the referee waved it off. WOW!