UFC Vegas 51 was low on relevancy, and wow moments for that matter, but it did have a bunch of fouls, point deductions, two technical decisions and a majority one. Across 14-fights, we did enjoy five sweet finishes, but it was quite challenging to sustain the excitement with them being sandwiched between decisions that took out a bunch of time for various infractions.
Closing out the main card was actually a meaningful match when the UFC’s #6 ranked welterweight, Belal Muhammad, took a unanimous decision in his rematch with the #5 ranked, Vicente Luque. Muhammad hit takedowns in every round, and then stayed elusive on the feet to land his strikes and prevent Vicente from firing off combos. Now on an eight-fight unbeaten streak, Belal made the most of his post-fight interview by calling for a bout with Colby Covington.
In the anti-climactic co-main event, Caio Borralho handily out-grappled Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, but in the third round he connected with an illegal knee — resulting in the match being stopped, a point being deducted, and the bout getting to the scorecards with 1:04 left on the clock. Caio went on to win a majority decision, which was the second one of the night. This was an unfortunate end to an otherwise fantastic performance.
Before that, Andre Fialho picked up his first UFC win with a first-round TKO of Miguel Baeza. Fialho hurt Baeza in the clinch with some dirty boxing, and then knocked him down with a bodacious left hook. As he pounced with ground strikes, Baeza shot in for a desperation takedown, but the referee already decided that he had seen enough to stop the fight. Was this a good stoppage?
Mayra Bueno Silva moved up to bantamweight to win a unanimous decision over Yanan Wu. She started strong, but began to slow down as the fight went long. Despite fatiguing, Bueno Silva did enough to win all-three rounds on one of the scorecards, and then also received two scores of 29-28.
Pat Sabatini ran away with the scorecards against a returning T.J. Laramie. Pat scored a nasty body kick that hurt Laramie in the first round, and then spent the next two rounds dominating him on the ground. This makes six wins in a row for Sabatini.
Opening up the UFC Vegas 51 main card, Mounir Lazzez out-struck Ange Loosa to earn a unanimous decision. There were a few takedown attempts, but this was predominantly a kickboxing match.
See complete results below
Belal Muhammad def. Vicente Luque by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2): Welterweight
Luque went right at Muhammad, backing him up to the cage. He was kicking at the calf and mixing in his jab. Muhammad began returning counter punches, while using his footwork to prevent Luque from cornering him. He then blasted a double leg to get on top, but didn’t much with it before Luque stood up.
Luque went back to his pressure to open the second stanza, and Muhammad was content to hang back and counter punch. The calf kick continued to be a weapon for Vicente, while Muhammad would attack the body with kicks. Muhammad then blasted another double leg to get on top, but was unable to keep Luque down.
More pressure came from Luque in the third round, along with a short left hook that wobbled Muhammad. Luque stayed with his left hook, catching Muhammad through his guard. Muhammad went to the takedown again, but it wasn’t there this time. The combinations were flowing for Luque, but it was still the left hand that kept landing. Muhammad found his moment to snag a takedown, but again did nothing with it before Luque got up.
More pressure came from Vicente in the fourth, but he gave up another takedown. Muhammad controlled from the top, but again wasn’t able to inflict any damage before Luque scrambled back to his feet. Luque pressed forward, but Muhammad was darting in and out with strikes of his own.
Luque was able to stuff Belal’s first and second takedown attempts in the final round. Muhammad ultimately found his entry and was able to get Luque down to one knee, and controlled him there for some time. Luque eventually freed himself, but Muhammad was too elusive and too defensively sound for Luque to come up with a finish.
Caio Borralho def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev by technical decision (29-27 x3): Middleweight
The fighters started exchanging right away, but it wasn’t long before Omargadzhiev hit a takedown. Borralho immediately hit a sweep to get on top, and eventually made his way tot he back. From the backpack position, Borralho was sneaking in some clever elbows, all while switching sides with his body triangle.
Borralho hit a flying knee in round two, followed by a cross that wobbled Omargadzhiev and caused him to take a knee. Omargadzhiev stood back to his feet, but overcommitted to a haymaker and gave up his back again. Borralho made all of the proper adjustments to keep the position for the rest of the round.
The final round kicked off with Omargadzhiev closing the distance and landing a knee to the cup. The referee paused the match to allow Borralho time to recover. Upon the restart, Borralho went back to the flying knee. He then earned himself a takedown, and travelled to the back of Omargadzhiev yet again. Omargadzhiev rolled for a kneebar, but Borralho defended it well. Borralho landed an illegal knee to the face to a downed Omargadzhiev, prompting the referee to call another timeout, and deduct a point for the infraction. The doctor came in, and ultimately Omargadzhiev was unable to continue.
Andre Fialho def. Miguel Baeza by TKO at 4:39 of round 1: Welterweight
Fialho took the center right away, pushing Baeza backwards. Baeza got some respect with a crisp 1-2 down the pipe, causing Fialho to move on his back foot. A mean multi-punch combo went flying at Fialho’s head, with about half of them getting through. Fialho returned a hefty left hook that busted Baeza’s nose open. Then they clinched up, and Fialho landed several uppercuts that staggered Baeza. Fialho then uncorked another big left hook that sent Baeza flying to the ground. Fialho pounced and Baeza grabbed ahold of a leg for a desperation takedown attempt, but the referee was already stopping the fight.
Mayra Bueno Silva def. Yanan Wu by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Bantamweight
Bueno Silva took the center to get things going, while Wu was bouncing around on the outside. In an exchange, Bueno Silva unloaded her hands and a set of left hooks staggered Wu, causing her to fall over. Wu started to kick at the legs, but Bueno Silva began kicking the legs too, but her’s seemed much more impactful.
Bueno Silva continued to command the center of the cage in the second stanza. Wu decided to shoot in for a takedown, but had to immediately fight off a triangle attempt. Next came a Kimura attempt from Bueno Silva, but Wu was able to hang tough and find a way out. From top position, Wu landed some mean elbows, but allowed Bueno Silva to stand up in the process.
Wu was still bouncing on her feet to start the final act, appearing to be the fresher of the two out there. She started to push Bueno Silva backwards, throwing volume and being the busier fighter. Down the stretch, Bueno Silva started to come alive as she was egging on Wu and popping her with the jab.
Pat Sabatini def. T.J. Laramie by unanimous decision (30-26 x3): Featherweight
Laramie closed the distance early on in the clinch, and was able to trip Sabatini down to the mat. Sabatini was able to work back to his feet without enduring much of any damage, and then blasted a takedown of his own. Laramie was also quick to get up before eating any ground strikes. Then, a kick to the liver visibly hurt Laramie, followed by a head kick and punches. Laramie shot in and Sabatini jumped a guillotine, but it wasn’t really tight and TJ escaped.
Sabatini hit a quick takedown to begin round-two, but Laramie was instantly back up. Laramie began hunting for a takedown of his own, didn’t get it, and then it was Sabatini’s turn. Sabatini swept the leg and got Laramie down, and started to rack up control time. He then rained down a ton of punches while controlling a belly down Laramie for the remainder of the round.
The final frame saw Sabatini go right back to his grappling. He was able to get Laramie down, and proceeded to grind away. He was dropping plenty of punches, all while maintaining the dominant position. Laramie did explode into top position with about 20-seconds to go, but he was unable to manifest some magic.
Mounir Lazzez def. Ange Loosa by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
The welterweights came out measuring one another. They were both mixing in punches and kicks, without either seeming to want to grapple. Lazzez was the one taking the center, with Loosa staying right in front of him, but playing more of an outside game. With about a minute to go in the opening round, Lazzez shot in for a takedown, but Loosa fought to stay on his feet.
Lazzez took the center again to start the second act looking to land his combination boxing. Loosa shot in for a takedown, and extended the leg of Lazzez over his head, but Mounir showcased great balance by remaining vertical. Lazzez was using his jab to command the cage and keep Loosa on the outside. Loosa was firing solo strikes, and was scoring but wasn’t building on whatever success he was having.
Loose continued to struggle to string things together to begin the final round. He went back to the takedown, but again it wasn’t there. As the round grew on, Loosa began throwing his hands in combinations, and it was being effective. Lazzez then attacked with some leg kicks to try and slow down the surging Loosa. With about 30-seconds to go, Lazzez unleashed a lengthy combo that seemed to briefly stagger Loosa, but Ange went right back at him with hands of his own.