The UFC Vegas 49 prelims just ended with three finishes and three decisions. Closing out this portion of the show, Ignacio Bahamondes pulled out a late third round submission of Zhu Rong. Bahamondes was out-striking his opponent, but it was Rong forcing the takedown that resulted in Ignacio grabbing the neck and locking up a guillotine. This makes two finishes in a row for Bahamondes, who is proving to be quite dangerous everywhere, and he also has a knack for finishing late.
Before that, Josiane Nunes let her hands go en route to a dominant unanimous decision over Ramona Pascual. Nunes threw a ton of haymakers, and landed a lot of them. She got taken down a couple of times, and held there, but wasn’t ever in any real danger on her back. Pascual advances to 9-1, and 2-0 under the UFC banner.
Terrance McKinney picked up another quick finish, but this time with his submissions instead of his strikes. He caught Fares Ziam in a rear-naked choke at 2:11 of the very first round to add a submission to his UFC record. McKinney has a ton of talent, an undefined ceiling, and a winning attitude to boot. Definitely keep an eye on him.
Jonathan Martinez overcame being dropped at the end of the opening round to win a unanimous decision over Alejandro Perez. It was the kicks of Martinez that got him ahead on the scorecards, and he has now won four of his last five.
The first finish of the night came at the hands of Ramiz Brahimaj, who tapped out Micheal Gillmore with a rear-naked choke just over two-minutes into the fight. Brahimaj shot in, took the back, locked the choke and lost it, took the back again, sunk the choke for the tap. It all seemed so easy for Ramiz, who has alternated wins and losses in his last nine-fights.
Opening the event, UFC newcomer Carlos Hernandez won a scrappy split decision over Victor Altamirano. This one really could have gone either way, but two of the three judges sided with Hernandez, and so it was.
**See complete results below
Ignacio Bahamondes def. Zhu Rong by submission (Guillotine) at 1:40 of round 3: Lightweight
There was a lot of back on forth on the feet to start things. Bahamondes was using his long strikes to pick away at Rong. It was challenging for Rong to get close enough to land clean without having to walk through a strike first. Rong ended up shooting in, but Bahamondes used a guillotine attempt to get on top. From there he dropped some descent ground strikes to solidify the round.
Rong pushed forward to start the second round, but he was still getting picked off by Bahamondes. Rong was doing his best to no-sell the strikes being landed on him, but he was just getting out struck. Rong tried to work his takedown in the final frame, but as soon as he put his opponent on his back, Bahamondes instantly hit a sweep to stand up. Rong tried to force another takedown, but left his neck out there and got choked.
Josiane Nunes def. Ramona Pascual by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26): Featherweight
The fighters agreed to bite down and push a heated pace to start this one. Nunes was the aggressor, scoring an early knockdown and leading the dance behind her heavy combinations. Pascual was starting to get overwhelmed, so she blasted a takedown to get on top. From there she maintained control for much the rest of the round.
Pascual got even more aggressive to start the second round. She was catching Pascual with haymaker after haymaker, doing a ton of damage and wobbling Ramona on several occasions. Pascual was finally able to get a takedown to stop the onslaught, but she only really rested there until the bell. Nunes remained in control in the third round, bombing away while Pascual was doing her best to survive. Pascual got another late takedown, but this time there was only about 10-seconds left in the match.
Terrance McKinney def. Fares Ziam by submission (RNC) at 2:11 of round 1: Lightweight
McKinney closed the distance right away, initiating a scramble that resulted in him having top position. He controlled from the top for a bit, before making his way to the back. That’s where he locked up a RNC to force a tap.
Jonathan Martinez def. Alejandro Perez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Both fighters were working calf kicks early in the opening round, before they started going up to the head. Martinez is the one that took the center of the cage, looking to pick off Perez from range. Just before the bell, a clean right hook from Perez dropped Martinez, but there was no time left for him to try and finish.
Martinez had the same sort of command in the second round that he did in the first. He was using his kicks to keep Perez on the outside, seeming to not step on the gas for any real reason. Then at the end of the round, Perez came alive again and had Martinez backpedalling with a smile for the final moments of the round. Perez started strong in the third, trying to go after Martinez. That enthusiasm died out, though, and Martinez returned to controlling the fight with his range weapons. Martinez was not put on the ropes in the last 10-seconds of that round.
Ramiz Brahimaj def. Micheal Gillmore by submission (RNC) at 2:02 of round 1: Welterweight
Brahimaj instantly shot his takedown and transitioned to the back of Gillmore. He worked for a rear-naked choke, making several adjustments as Gillmore tried to escape. Gillmore did a great job of escaping the sub, but Brahimaj stayed on the back, and soon locked up another RNC attempt. Gillmore did not escape that one.
Carlos Hernandez def. Victor Altamirano by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): Flyweight
This was a bit of a banger and was competitive from the get go, with neither man really being able to take over. Descent strikes were being landed on both sides, but nobody was really in serious trouble, or hurt for very long, without coming back with something meaningful. Altamirano was attacking the body with kicks, sometimes naked and other times behind punching combos. Hernandez was doing some of his best work with a stiff cross and some clever knees to the head from the clinch. Tough to say who took it.