The UFC Vegas 36 main card just wrapped up, and we got four cool finishes and one dominant decision. This event was also the setting where Liverpool, England’s rising star, Paddy Pimblett, picked up a first-round TKO finish of Luigi Vendramini. This win did not come without a challenge, as Vendramini was connecting flush with some damaging left hooks early in the fight. Paddy would not be denied, though, and unleashed his own onslaught of leather that put Vendramini on the proverbial ropes. Once he smelled blood, “The Baddy” cranked up his aggression to achieve a standing TKO ,just as Vendramini fell to the ground. Like him, love him, or hate him... Paddy is must-see television and has now officially won a UFC fight.
In the UFC Vegas 36 main event, the company’s #5 ranked middleweight, Derek Brunson, submitted the #7 ranked, Darren Till, with a rear-naked choke in the third round. Brunson was getting his takedowns and was making the most of his positions with his ground and pound. Having now won five-straight wins, is it time for Derek to get a high stakes rematch with the champ, Israel Adesanya?
In the UFC Vegas 36 co-main event, the promotion’s #13 rated heavyweight, Tom Aspinall, dusted the #14 rated, Sergey Spivac, with a first-round TKO. It was a slick elbow to the face from the clinch that hurt Spivac and sent him down to the canvas, and then some classic ground and pound sealed the deal. Aspinall remains undefeated in the UFC, having now won all four of his promotional appearances.
Before that, the UFC’s welterweight division was where Alex Morono ran away with the scorecards against David Zawada. Morono owned the standup, outboxing his opponent in every round en route to the unanimous nod. Alex has now won two in a row, and three of his last four.
Earlier on the UFC Vegas 36 main card, we got a wicked injury TKO finish in the light heavyweight division. Khalil Rountree stopped Modestas Bukauskas with a nasty stomp to the lead leg, right around the knee area. Rountree was on fire right away, rushing Bukauskas with a blistering series of bombs that busted open his nose. Then it was as Rountree dialed back his volume in the second round that he was able to deliver the fight-ending blow. Bukauskas instantly dropped down to the mat and let out a scream of sheer pain. The referee was right on top of the action, and was able to wave off the bout before any meaningless punishment was dished out.
Some people shun this specific technique, and for this exact reason, but this is prize fighting and the move is perfectly legal under the unified rules. How do you feel about fighters utilizing this particular kick? How does it compare to the 12-6 elbow, soccer kicks, and knees to the head of grounded opponents?
**See complete results below
Derek Brunson def. Darren Till by submission (RNC) at 2:13 of round 3: Middleweight
Till went right at Brunson with some laser crosses to begin the bout and establish some respect. Brunson was able to hit a level change and put Till on his back. Several heavy ground strikes got through for Brunson, as Till was stuck on the bottom. Till was wearing it on his face, and had to eat some more punishment before the Liverpool native made it back to his feet. Nothing really happened in open space before the round expired.
The second stanza saw Till have to fight off several early takedown attempts in order to remain on his feet and in his wheelhouse. Brunson would not be denied, though, and stuck with his wrestling attack and successfully put Darren on his back. Till took a long time to get back to his feet, but he didn’t absorb as much damage as he did in the previous round.
A laser left hand from Till opened up the third round, and then started kicking at the leg of Brunson. Till was keeping his distance and disengaging whenever the fight drifted on the inside. Till was connecting and looking good, but then Brunson hit another takedown. Till tried to scramble out of it, but Brunson ended up taking the back and locked up an RNC to force the tap.
Tom Aspinall def. Sergey Spivac by TKO at 2:30 of round 1 : Heavyweight
Aspinall commanded the cage from the jump, forcing Spivak to fight with his back just off of the cage. Spivac wasn’t throwing many strikes, and as soon as he closed the distance and clinched up, Aspinall rocked him with a knee to the gut and then a mean elbow to the face. Spivac went stumbling backwards and fell down to the mat, and that’s when Tom pounced with fight-finishing ground strikes.
Alex Morono def. David Zawada by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
Zawada took the center right away, making Morono play the outside. Both fighters were throwing with their respective punches, but Morono was landing a bit cleaner. As Zawada would advance, Morono would counter him and then dip out of the way. By the end of the round, Morono started to press forward a lot more and seemed to be pulling away.
Zawada started to attack the midsection in the second round, while Morono was pretty much head hunting. Alex was using his timing to press forward and connect with something, and then would use his head movement to avoid David’s return shots. Zawada was the one who was completely on his back foot, and Morono was pushing him back.
The final frame saw Morono hit a takedown and scramble for the back, although Zawada managed to get to one knee and ultimately back up. Back in open space, Morono continued to lead the dance and Zawada was wearing it on his face. Even a spinning back kick and spinning backfist were deployed by Alex. Zawada ended up shooting in for a takedown, and Morono threatened with a guillotine to get back to his feet.
Khalil Rountree def. Modestas Bukauskas by TKO at 2:30 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
Rountree stormed the castle of Bukauskas right away, blasting him with hefty haymakers and pushing him all over the Octagon. One of the shots busted open the nose of Bukauskas, who was basically in survival mode. Rountree started to settle down and dial back that unsustainable pace. Bukauskas didn’t capitalize on the drop in volume, rather looked to stay defensibly responsible by not taking many risks.
Rountree opened up the second round a lot more reserved than he did the opening act. He still took the center and kept Bukauskas on the outside, but was being much more calculated about it. Rountree started to through a vicious oblique kick, and one of them actually caused Bukauskas to drop down and scream in agony. The referee quickly jumped in to rescue Bukauskas from any unnecessary damage.
Paddy Pimblett def. Luigi Vendramini by TKO at 4:25 of round 1: Lightweight
Paddy opened the match with a bunch of teep kicks, while Vendramini was looking to come over the top with his hands. Then KABOOM! Vendramini blasted Paddy with a wicked left hook that registered. Paddy threatened with the takedown, but Vendramini denied the advances and returned to his feet. In open space, another left hook got through for Vendramini, but Paddy was still standing firm. Paddy then started unloading his hands, and a lot of them were getting through. Once he recognized that Vendramini was in trouble, Paddy turned up his aggression and ended the fight with another flurry.