The UFC Vegas 48 prelims saw four finishes across seven matches, including closing out with David Onama violently knocking out Gabriel Benitez in the first round. The fight was a thriller, with Benitez coming to bang, but Onama found his moment late in the first to unload his power and separate Benitez from consciousness. Onama is now 1-1 in his UFC career.
Before that, Stephanie Egger snagged up a first-round armbar on Jessica-Rose Clark. It was a gorgeous Judo toss that resulted in Egger getting on top and shifting into position to attack an arm. This makes two finishes in a row for Egger, who is proving to to be a legitimate threat in the UFC’s bantamweight division.
Also on the prelims, Chas Skelly pulled off a second round TKO of Mark Striegl, in what he said was likely his final fight as a professional MMA fighter. Skelly rocked his opponent with an elbow on the feet, dropped him with a knee, and then pounded him out to make it official. If this was the last match for Skelly, what a way to go out! If this is it, then Chas is calling it career with a highly respectable record of 19-3-1.
We got a war in the UFC’s strawweight division when Gloria de Paula took a unanimous decision over Diana Belbita. The bulk of this fight took place on the feet, with plenty of strikes being thrown and landed on both sides. It was a close one, but De Paula officially has a UFC win.
The first finish of the card came when Chad Anheliger stopped Jesse Strader with strikes in the third round. This was a grueling war with both men going for it late, but Anheliger pulled out a big knockdown in the third, and then sealed the deal with some good old fashioned ground and pound. Making good on his UFC debut, Chad is now on a 10-fight winning streak.
Jonathan Pearce won a scramble-heavy decision over promotional newcomer, Christian Rodriguez. Pearce is now on a three-fight winning streak. Opening up the show, Mario Bautista defeated Jay Perrin by unanimous decision, running away with the scorecards on the UFC newcomer.
**See complete results below
David Onama def. Gabriel Benitez by KO at 4:24 of round 1: Featherweight
Benitez went right at Onama with straights and body kicks. Onama began swinging back with combos to get some respect, and even started to press forward. Benitez was regularly attacking the legs, disrupting his advancing opponent. Benitez stung Onama with a combination that prompted David to start to wrestle, but the fight didn’t stay in that facet for very long. Onama let his hands go, landing flush punch after flush punch, causing Benitez to faceplant. YIKES!
Stephanie Egger def. Jessica-Rose Clark by submission (Armbar) at 3:44 of round 1: (W) Bantamweight
It wasn’t long before this fight went to the clinch. Clark was pressing Egger against the fence for some time. Egger hit a pretty hip toss, but Clark stood right up. Egger went back to the toss, and this time kept the position. She landed a couple of punches with a scarf hold, and then started to attack an arm. After a couple of adjustments, Clark was tapping.
Chas Skelly def. Mark Striegl by TKO at 2:01 of round 2: Featherweight
Skelly came out swinging a flurry before clinching up. The fighters jockeyed for position against the cage, until Skelly was finally able to hit a takedown. Chas controlled from the full guard, throwing body punches and keeping the position. From his back, Striegl was throwing a couple of elbows, and also landed some good up kicks.
Skelly closed the distance again in the seocnd round. He clinched up, but Striegl scrambled too well to be taken down. On the feet, Skelly landed a nasty elbow that wobbled Striegl. He then delivered a knee to the jaw from the single collar tie to score a knockdown. A ton of ground and pound came flying in for Chas, and the veteran got himself the finish.
Gloria de Paula def. Diana Belbita by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) : Strawweight
The fighters were content to stand in front of one another to get things going. Belbita was leading the dance behind some volume, with De Paula looking to counter with harder strikes. Belbita was really working the body, while De Paula was doing more head hunting. De Paula did try a late takedown, but Belbita was able to stay vertical.
The striking battle continued into the second, going neck and neck before entering into the clinch. They jockeyed for position for a bit, but then broke apart and went right back to teeing off on one another. The only real difference here was that De Paula had a tad bit more sting on her strikes.
De Paula shot in for a takedown right away in the final round. Belbita sprawled, and partially landed a head kick as De Paula stood up. The toe to toe continued, until an accidental eye poke caused a brief pause. Upon the restart, De Paula hit a short-lived takedown, and that evolved into a clinch war against the fence. The fighters agreed to exchange knees on the inside for quite some time. The round ended with a gritty brawl, as both Belbita and De Paula bit down and chucked leather.
Chad Anheliger def. Jesse Strader by TKO at 3:33 of round 3: Bantamweight
Anheliger got overzealous with his punches early in the first round, leaving an opening for Strader to hit a takedown. Anheliger worked back to his feet and went right back to swinging. He was pumping his jab, but ended up giving up another takedown. As soon as Anheliger got up, it was another flurry. Strader was doing a good job of mixing in his kicks and forcing Anheliger to show a little bit of respect his power.
The fighters exchanged leg kicks to open the second act. Then it was Strader’s turn to get overzealous with his punches, and Anheliger capitalized by scoring a knockdown with a counter right. Anheliger took top position for a bit, racking up some control time before the fight returned to the feet. Anheliger went back to leading the dance, and Strader was countering with plenty of quality shots, but the better strikes seemed to be on the side of Chad.
Strader went to his wrestling to kick off the final frame. He tried to take the back standing, but Anheliger was able to fight him off and return to open space. The fighters started exchanging, and Anheliger dropped his opponent again, this time with a left hand. Anheliger took full mount and dropped all sorts of punches to get the referee to stop the match.
Jonathan Pearce def. Christian Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Rodriguez closed the distance right away, pressing Rodriguez against the cage. He then went hunting for the takedown, but had to fight hard to get out of a guillotine. The fighters scrambled back and forth, which was rather fun to watch, but Pearce ended up on the back. Rodriguez wasn’t able to shake him off before the bell.
Rodriguez brought his hands to the second round. He was peppering Pearce with slick boxing combinations of jabs and crosses. Then Pearce blasted another takedown to take the fight back into the grappling realm. Rodriguez threw some funk out at first, but Pearce was able to get to the back again. Rodriguez was able to shuck him off this time, and landed a couple of punches before the bell.
Pearce tried to stand to start the final round, but Rodriguez was tagging him with much better strikes. Pearce went back to the wrestling, but Rodriguez seemed to be the fresher scrambler. Rodriguez went to the back, but elected to stand up and land a big elbow to the face. Seemingly dazed, Pearce managed to blast a much needed takedown to get off of his feet. He then went to the back, looking for chokes and maintaining control until the time expired.
Mario Bautista def. Jay Perrin by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26): Bantamweight
Bautista took the center right away, looking for jump knees while Perrin was countering off of his back foot. Mario then closed the distance into the clinch, with Perrin being stubborn about giving up a takedown. It was actually Perrin who blasted a short lived takedown, but Bautista was quick to scramble right up.
The second round saw some early clinch fighting, with Bautista landing some mean knees and elbows. Perrin was the one getting stuck with his back to the cage. When the fight broke off into open space, Perrin was scoring with his boxing, but so was Bautista. The third round looked a lot similar to the second. Bautista was connecting with elbows from the clinch, pushing the pace and giving Perrin no space.