The main card of UFC Vegas 52 featured five fights. Four of those bouts ended via submission. All of those stoppages were impressive, but the standing arm-triangle choke finish — the first in UFC history — that Jessica Andrade used to finish Amanda Lemos was extraordinary.
Andrade, fighting at strawweight for this first time in nearly two years, could have very well punched her ticket to a title fight with the performance she delivered in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 52 fight card.
Read on for the winners and losers of UFC Vegas 52, which took place at UFC Apex and streamed on ESPN+.
Jessica Andrade: Jessica Andrade used her strength and situational awareness to secure the first standing arm-triangle choke finish in UFC history in the main event of UFC Vegas 52. Her opponent, Amanda Lemos, did a good job of keeping the fight at distance for the first couple of minutes, but once Andrade was able to get ahold of her, and force her to the fence, things went incredibly badly for Lemos.
Andrade had not fought at strawweight since she lost back-to-back contests at 115 in 2019 and 2020, but her return to the division and the way she won on Saturday, should earn her consideration for the next opponent of the upcoming title fight between champion Rose Namajunas and ex-champ Carla Esparza.
Claudio Puelles: Claudio Puelles picked up his third kneebar submission in the UFC in his sixth fight with the promotion. With the win over Clay Guida at UFC Vegas 52, Puelles moved to 12-2. He is now on a five-fight winning streak.
Puelles is incredibly comfortable and confident on the ground and he might be ready for a test against an opponent who can push him out of his comfort zone.
Maycee Barber: Maycee Barber opened her MMA career on an 8-0 run. She then dropped two straight. On Saturday, Barber used her clinch striking and aggression to get a second straight win. The 23-year-old is now 10-2.
Charles Jourdain: Charles Jourdain made it back-to-back first-round guillotine choke submission wins for Canadian fighters at UFC Vegas 52. The stoppage victory over Lando Vannata gave Jourdain his first UFC winning streak.
This was a fun fight for as long as it lasted and Jordain showed some excellent grappling skills in attacking the neck of his opponent after he put Vannata on the mat with a well-timed and placed punch
Marc-Andre Barriault: Marc-Andre Barriault earned his first career submission victory on Saturday with a guillotine choke. The win was a huge bounce back performance for the 32-year-old, who was coming off a 16-second February knockout loss to Chidi Njokuani.
Sergey Khandozhko: Sergey Khandozhko returned to the octagon for the first time since November 2019, earned his first win since June 2019 and picked up his first UFC knockout win at UFC Vegas 52.
Khandozhko showed patience, power and a willingness to trade punches in a entertaining striking bout opposite Dwight Grant.
Tyson Pedro: Tyson Pedro was a monster favorite over Ike Villanueva at UFC Vegas 52, but he was coming off three surgeries and more than three years outside the octagon so, there were some questions that Pedro needed to answer for himself. He did that with a masterful performance in getting a first-round stoppage.
After the fight, Pedro said his mentality about the fight game has changed with his time off and he showed some patience early in the fight.
Pedro was a top-15 ranked fighter before his time off and there’s a chance the 30-year-old could find himself back in those rankings after Saturday night.
Aoriqileng: After two losses at flyweight, Aoriqileng decided to give bantamweight a try. Things worked out well for him. Aoriqileng shut down his opponent Cameron Else with a nasty body shot and then unloaded a (too) large number of ground strikes to get the stoppage win.
Aoriqileng looked fast, powerful, confident and comfortable in this 135-pound scrap. His win at UFC Vegas 52 was an excellent bounce back performance for the 28-year-old and a fantastic launching point for a run at 135 pounds.
Preston Parsons: Preston Parsons had a rough UFC debut. His first fight with the promotion came on short notice against the much more experienced Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez won via first-round knockout.
With a full camp behind him, the 26-year-old Parsons looked good in scoring a dominant win over Evan Elder at UFC Vegas 52. He showed all-around skills, patience and impressive fight IQ.
Evan Elder: Evan Elder showed a lot of heart in his UFC debut. He was in deep trouble on a few occasions against Preston Parsons, but he did not quit. Elder, who was training for a lightweight fight on an FAC card, accepted this bout during fight week and at welterweight. UFC Vegas 52 will be a good learning experience for Elder.
Philipe Lins: Philipe Lins got his first UFC win on Saturday. It was not pretty, but Lins, the winner of the 2018 PFL heavyweight tournament, was 0-2 in the UFC heading into UFC Vegas 52 and he had not fought since a June 2020 knockout loss to Tanner Boser.
Lins dropped to 205-pounds for his decision win over Marcin Prachnio. This is an experience Lins should be able to build on.
Chris Tognoni: It’s sad that calling a fight the way it should be is praiseworthy, but this is MMA we’re talking about. And so Chris Tognoni calling Dean Barry’s straight up eye gouge of Mike Jackson an intentional foul and giving Jackson the win via DQ gets an “attaboy.”
Clay Guida: Clay Guida fought out his UFC contract on Saturday and things did not go well for him. It’s going to be interesting to see what the UFC does with Guida. If the promotion was still under the Fertitta brothers I believe Guida would get a new deal. I’m not so sure of that with the new ownership group.
Jordan Wright: Jordan Wright made a big mistake in leaving his neck exposed while working for a takedown and it cost him as Marc-Andre Barriault easily locked up a choke that forced Wright to tap for the first time in his career.
Alexandr Romanov and Chase Sherman: The heavyweight clash between Alexandr Romanov and Chase Sherman was scratched during the event. That was surely a bummer for both fighters, but perhaps more so for Sherman, who was recently released from the UFC only to be brought back on short notice — with a favorable contract — to face Romanov.
Dwight Grant: Dwight Grant looked like a different fighter in the second round of his bout opposite Sergey Khandozhko. Where Grant was aggressive in the first round, he was more laid back in the second stanza. That change, which made have had something to do with a badly damaged eye, hurt him and might have cost him the fight as Khandozhko took control of the striking in the second round.
Ike Villanueva: Ike Villanueva dropped to 1-5 in the UFC with a first-round knockout loss to Tyson Pedro. Each of his five losses has come via KO or TKO. The light heavyweight division might be thin, but the UFC doesn’t need to be responsible for the 38-year-old Villanueva taking any more damage.
Dean Barry: The biggest favorite on the UFC Vegas 52 fight card did not make a great impression in his UFC debut. Dean Barry rang up several fouls on his way to a disqualification loss before four minutes ticked off the clock.
Barry didn’t make things any better in a social media post after the fight where he more or less blamed Mike Jackson for not being able to fight after Barry fish-hooked Jackson’s eye socket.
Keith Peterson: Keith Peterson allowed Cameron Else to take a lot of unneeded strikes. Else was doing nothing but covering up against Aoriqileng on the ground. Else’s body language was screaming, “get me out of here” and Peterson ignored that.