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UFC Vegas 63: Kattar vs. Allen Winners and Losers

The real winners and losers of UFC Vegas 63

UFC Fight Night: Kattar v Allen Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

On Saturday night, referee Herb Dean raised Arnold Allen’s hand to signal his TKO win over Calvin Kattar in the main event of the UFC Vegas 63 fight card. With that, Allen tied UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski for the longest active winning streak in the promotion’s 145-pound weight class. True, the victory came under less-than-ideal conditions — a knee injury prevented Kattar from continuing — but that doesn’t remove the win from Arnold’s record.

The 28-year-old Allen began his march through the UFC featherweight division in June 2015 with a submission win over Alan Omer. On Saturday night, Allen was the No. 6 ranked fighter in the official UFC featherweight rankings. Kattar checked in at No. 5. It’s not a lock, but there’s a good chance that the two will switch positions when those rankings are updated.

In the co-main event, a welterweight battle between Max Griffin and Tim Means ended with Griffin getting the split decision nod.

Read on for the winners and losers of UFC Vegas 63, which took place at the UFC Apex and streamed on ESPN+.

Winners:

Arnold Allen: Before his fight against Calvin Kattar ended with Kattar unable to continue because of a knee injury, Arnold Allen was doing Arnold Allen things. Which means he was landing strikes while avoiding his opponent’s offense. Entering UFC Vegas 63, Allen ranked second among active UFC featherweights in striking defense, avoiding 66.7 percent of his opponent’s significant strikes.

Allen’s defense against Kattar, who had a strikes landed per minute average of 5.19 heading into the event, was better than his UFC average. Over the first five minutes of the fight, Allen had a striking defense of 76 percent.

With UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski expected to challenge for the promotion’s lightweight title in February at UFC 284, the UFC could decide to crown an interim featherweight champion. If that’s the case, Allen, who should be able to get back into the octagon very soon barring an unknown or undisclosed injury, would be a prime candidate to be one half of that interim title scrap.

Max Griffin: Max Griffin scored a big win over Tim Means in the co-main event. Griffin used his striking to hurt his foe and his wrestling to control Means on the mat.

Griffin did an excellent job in the third round in heeding his corner’s instructions. Griffin’s trust in his coaches allowed him to pick up 3:44 of control time during the third stanza and limit Means to 10 landed significant strikes.

The victory put Griffin back in the win column following a March split-decision loss to Neil Magny that ended a three-fight winning streak.

Waldo Cortes-Acosta: Waldo Cortes-Acosta picked up his first UFC win and moved his professional record to 8-0 with a decision win over Jared Vanderaa. Cortes-Acosta packs a lot of power in his strikes, but he ate an excessive number of calf kicks that slowed him down. I expect Cortes-Acosta will use his UFC Vegas 63 win as a learning experience and make adjustments to his style and approach. If he fails to do so, he will find himself in trouble when he faces higher-level competition.

Tresean Gore: Tresean Gore was likely fighting for his UFC career on Saturday night opposite Josh Fremd. Gore was 0-2 with the promotion, but he scored a nasty technical submission win via guillotine choke to secure his first win under the UFC banner.

Dustin Jacoby vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.: Dustin Jacoby and Khalil Rountree Jr. put together a solid back-and-forth striking battle. Both fighters mixed up their strikes and targets well, but the power of Rountree carried him to victory.

With the win, Rountree has his first three-fight winning streak as a UFC fighter. As for Jacoby, who was the No. 13 fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings ahead of UFC Vegas 63, he tasted defeat for the first time in his second run with the UFC. Jacoby was 6-0-1 with the promotion since returning in 2020.

Roman Dolidze: Roman Dolidze’s finish of Phil Hawes was not easy to watch, but it was a big knockout win for Dolidze, who is now on a two-fight winning streak.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima: Marcos Rogerio de Lima ran over Andrei Arlovski at UFC Vegas 63, knocking him down early in the first round and then finishing the bout via a rear-naked choke at the 1:50 mark.

De Lima called for a matchup in Brazil in January, a fight he should be able to book, considering he absorbed just three strikes on Saturday.

Jun Yong Park: Jun Yong Park picked up a smart and workmanlike submission win over Joseph Holmes. Park used his wrestling to negate the height advantage of his opponent and then slowly broke down Holmes on his way to the rear-naked choke win.

Steve Garcia: Steve Garcia bounced back from a nasty knockout loss at UFC 275 to score his own highlight-reel stoppage at UFC Vegas 63. Garcia scored three knockdowns in 92 seconds against Chase Hooper on Saturday before Herb Dean waved off the fight.

Cody Durden: Cody Durden picked up his first two-fight winning streak on Saturday with a win over the favored Carlos Mota. Durden used his wrestling and heavy top game to neutralize Mota, racking up 12:32 of control time on the way to his win.

Durden fought to his strengths in this matchup, but it must be pointed out that Mota was happy to allow Durden to do so.

Christian Rodriguez: One of the first noticeable things in the opening fight of the UFC Vegas 63 fight card was how relaxed Christian Rodriguez looked. The 24-year-old, who dropped from featherweight following a loss in his UFC debut in February, was calm and collected throughout the fight. While Rodriguez needs to work on his takedown defense, he showed off his technique, strength and fight IQ by scoring the fight-finishing anaconda choke after Joshua Weems took him down.

In addition to a new weight division, Rodriguez had a new gym — Fight Ready — for this contest.

Rodriguez’s win over Weems was a nice bounce-back victory.

Losers:

Calvin Kattar: Calvin Kattar tried his best, but an injured knee prevented him from continuing past the eight-second mark of the second round of his fight opposite Arnold Allen.

Tim Means: Tim Means celebrated his 10th anniversary with the UFC in February. Means has had his ups and downs as a member of the UFC roster and his loss to Max Griffin put him on his third two-fight losing skid with the promotion, but he is still a viable competitor and he has never lost more than two fights in a row.

Jared Vanderaa: I suspect the UFC appreciates Jared Vanderaa’s willingness to fight, but his loss to Waldo Cortes-Acosta at UFC Vegas 63 put him on a five-fight losing skid dating back to October 9, 2021. It will be a surprise to see Vanderaa back inside the octagon.

Dan Miragliotta: Referee Dan Miragliotta screwed up during the Phil Hawes vs. Roman Dolidze fight. With Hawes injured from a leg lock, Miragliotta got between Hawes and Dolidze and in the process, seemed to indicate the fight was over through his body language and the fact that he put his hand on Dolidze. However, Miragliotta allowed the bout to continue, which resulted in a compromised Hawes getting knocked out.

Miragliotta needed to stop that fight after he decided to get between the two men and touch the fighter who was on offense. There’s no room for indecision in an MMA fight. Miragliotta should have gone with his first reaction, which seemed to be to stop the fight.

Phil Hawes’ corner: Phil Hawes’ corner allowed their fighter to continue after he seemed to sustain a knee injury against Roman Dolidze. I don’t find fault in Hawes trying to continue even though he was compromised. However, Hawes’ corner is supposed to be there to protect him if necessary. They failed and Hawes suffered a nasty knockout loss because of their inaction.

Andrei Arlovski: Andrei Arlovski could have tied Jim Miller for the most wins in UFC history with a victory at UFC Vegas 63. That did not happen. Instead, Marcos Rogerio de Lima submitted the former UFC champ in the first stanza. The loss ended Arlovski’s four-fight winning streak.

Chase Hooper: Chase Hooper was and is a one-trick fighter and he did not get the chance to work that trick at UFC Vegas 63 because he was too busy getting knocked down by Steve Garcia.

Hooper is a tough young man, but the UFC has done him no favors by keeping him on the roster when he needs to work on his striking offense and defense.

I said this before and I’ll say it again, the 23-year-old Hooper needs time to develop his striking skills. If the UFC cared about this young man as a potential future UFC fighter, it would keep him on a development deal and bump him down a level of competition.

Carlos Mota: When Carlos Mota gets back to the gym next week, the ex-LFA champ’s team needs to put him through takedown defense drills and working from bottom position to get back to standing.

The hyped 27-year-old was far too comfortable fighting from his guard and searching for submissions that were not there. That won’t work in MMA with the current scoring criteria.

Mota gave up four takedowns and gave up 12:32 of control time. He had one recorded submission attempt.

Joshua Weems: Joshua Weems took his matchup against Christian Rodriguez on short notice. He missed weight by 3.5 pounds and looked overmatched during his submission loss to Rodriguez. It would not be a surprise if Weems is one and done with the UFC.