The odds favored Marina Rodriguez in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 64. Those odds collapsed after a right hand from Amanda Lemos left Rodriguez struggling to defend herself against an onslaught of punches against the fence. With her third-round upset TKO win, Lemos put herself in position to get some consideration as the next title challenger in the UFC’s strawweight division.
In the co-main event, veteran welterweight competitor Neil Magny picked up a record-setting win with a submission victory over the hard-hitting Daniel Rodriguez, who was on a four-fight winning streak and looking to break into the top-10 of the UFC’s 170-pound division.
Of the 11 fights on the UFC Vegas 64 fight card, which took place at UFC Apex and streamed on ESPN+, only two went the distance. Read on for the winners and losers from the event.
Amanda Lemos: Amanda Lemos fought her fight against Marina Rodriguez. She set a slow pace in the first round and had a dominant second round, thanks to a nifty trip followed by pressure on the ground. Then, in the third round, Lemos caught Rodriguez with a big right that left Rodriguez defenseless and open to the onslaught of strikes that followed. Those blows ended the contest at the 0:54 mark of the third stanza.
The win should put Lemos in the mix to face the winner of the upcoming UFC 281 title fight between UFC strawweight champ Carla Esparza and former champ Zhang Weili.
Jason Herzog: At full speed and live, I can understand why viewers might have questions regarding the main event stoppage. However, on slow-motion replay, it’s hard to argue that Herzog made the appropriate call at the right time.
Neil Magny: Neil Magny made his 28th walk to the UFC octagon on Saturday. With his third-round submission win over Daniel Rodriguez, Magny broke his tie with the legendary Georges St-Pierre for most wins in the history of the UFC’s 170-pound weight class. Magny, who also holds the UFC welterweight record with 13 decision wins, picked up his 20th victory with the stoppage.
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke: Shayilan Nuerdanbieke picked up his first finish under the UFC banner with a first-round knockout win over Darrick Minner. Yes, Minner suffered a knee injury before Nuerdanbieke wrapped things up with ground strikes, but that doesn’t go in the official record of the fight.
Tagir Ulanbekov: Tagir Ulanbekov bounced back from a March decision setback to Tim Elliott with what can only be described as a vicious guillotine choke submission win over Nate Maness. I’m not sure the win will be enough to move him up the official flyweight rankings, where he is currently ranked at No 15, but it should get him a matchup against a ranked opponent.
Grant Dawson: Grant Dawson moved to 7-0-1 in the UFC with a submission win over Mark Madsen. A dominant wrestler, Dawson has built a reputation as a strong wrestler during his time with the UFC, but he showed some growth in his striking in this matchup, especially when Madsen’s defense slipped as his cardio faded.
Dawson was a late replacement for his UFC Vegas 64, accepting the fight in late October. Unfortunately, he missed weight for this contest, which — as he acknowledged — took some shine off the victory. With that being said, I would not be shocked to see him crack into the lightweight rankings after UFC Vegas 64.
Miranda Maverick: Miranda Maverick and Shanna Young were closely matched on the feet, but Maverick was much better on the mat. Once she and her team realized the path to victory was Maverick’s wrestling, she dominated the fight and cruised to a decision win. Maverick went 5-for-8 in takedowns and had 7:47 of control time in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Maverick is just 25. She is young and coachable and getting better. She is a fighter to watch in the flyweight division.
Mario Bautista: Mario Bautista seemed focused on putting pressure on Benito Lopez from the opening of their fight. Bautista was successful. He never allowed Lopez to get his feet under him. That pressure led to Bautista scoring his second consecutive first-round submission victory.
Polyana Viana: Polyana Viana needed a win at UFC Vegas 64. The former Jungle Fight strawweight champ was 2-4 with the UFC dating back to August 2018 when she stepped into the octagon against Jinh Yu Frey. Viana overwhelmed Frey, scoring one of the quickest knockout wins in UFC strawweight history.
Viana landed a knee to the body of Frey and then unleashed a barrage of head strikes that Frey struggled to defend. Referee Herb Dean waved off the fight 47 seconds into the opening stanza.
Johnny Munoz Jr.: Johnny Munoz Jr. bounced back from a June knockout loss to Tony Gravely with a decision win over Liudvik Sholinian. Munoz was better than Sholinian in every aspect of this fight. The former KOTC bantamweight champ is now 2-2 in the UFC.
Jake Hadley: Jake Hadley had a fantastic showing in stopping Carlos Candelario in the second round of their 128.5-pound catchweight scrap — Candelario missed weight. Hadley put a high pace and a fair share of forward pressure on his opponent in the striking department during the first five minutes of the fight, which resulted in Candelario going for a takedown in the second stanza. However, that proved to be a mistake as Hadley quickly cinched up a triangle and then unloaded with elbows to Candelario’s exposed dome. The triangle brought a tap from Candelario at the 2:39 mark of the second stanza.
Hadley’s first UFC win was an impressive all-around performance from the 26-year-old English competitor.
Tamires Vidal: It’s not often that a debuting UFC fighter puts their name next to two former UFC champions. But that’s what Tamires Vidal did at UFC Vegas 64 when she scored the third finish in the history of the UFC women’s division via a knee strike to the body. The other two fighters who accomplished the feat were Ronda Rousey and Germaine de Randamie.
Marina Rodriguez: In hindsight, Marina Rodriguez might regret her approach to the main event of UFC Vegas 64. Rodriguez didn’t put any pressure on Amanda Lemos and allowed her opponent to dictate the pace of the fight, which let Lemos conserve her energy and power.
The knockout loss ended Rodriguez’s four-fight winning streak.
Daniel Rodriguez: Daniel Rodriguez is a good striker with a lot of power and high output. That style will give a lot of welterweight fighters problems, but it will not get him past well-rounded and experienced opposition like Neil Magny.
Mark Smith: Referee Mark Smith allowed an injured and defenseless Darrick Minner to take a lot of unnecessary elbow strikes to the head before waving off Minner’s fight against Shayilan Nuerdanbieke
Nate Maness: Nate Maness made weight for his UFC flyweight debut. However, he lost that fight by submission 2:11 into the first round. After seeing how depleted Maness looked making weight, it might behoove him to go back up to bantamweight.
Benito Lopez: On Saturday, Benito Lopez returned the octagon for the first time since 2019. Before his fight, the UFC commentary team said that Lopez did not believe in ring rust. I’m left to wonder if he has the same opinion after Mario Bautista overwhelmed — and submitted — him in the first round of their 138.5-pound catchweight fight (Lopez missed weight.)
Jinh Yu Frey: Jinh Yu Frey fell to 2-4 in the UFC with a first-round knockout loss to Polyana Viana. The 37-year-old is a former atomweight turned strawweight in the UFC. At this point, it’s not out of line to question if Frey has the size to compete at 115 pounds under the UFC banner.
Carlos Candelario: UFC president Dana White took a flyer on Carlos Candelario, signing him after a split-decision loss on a DWCS card. Following his submission loss to Jake Hadley, Candelario is now 0-2 in the UFC and he missed weight ahead of Saturday’s card. The one thing that could save Candelario’s job is that he’s likely on a low-rate contract coming off the DWCS.
UFC commentary team: It might be a little thing, But Mark Madsen’s middle initial is O. Despite his last name being Madsen, every member of the UFC commentary team working cageside, referred to him as O’Madsen during the first round.