UFC San Diego was great from start to finish. The bantamweight headliner ended with a ‘KO of the Year’ contender, and the featherweight co-headliner produced one of the best fights of the year.
The preliminary portion of the card began with a back-and-forth affair between Youssef Zalal and Da’Mon Blackshear that resulted in a majority draw. Josh Quinlan had his debut delayed for a week but showed why he has worth the wait after finishing Jason Witt with a one-punch KO. The ‘Maverick’ caught Witt with a left hand that sent him to the canvas in a heap and it was over. Tyson Nam earned style points with his first-round KO of Ode’ Osbourne. It started after the flyweight countered a flying knee from Osbourne, dropping him with a right hand and following up with another right hand that put him out. Gabriel Benitez fought through some early adversity against Charlie Ontiveros, but ‘Moggly’ found a home for a left hook that wobbled his opponent. From there, Benitez slammed Ontiveros to the canvas and unleashed ground-and-pound before the referee stepped in and waved off the fight. Nina Nunes returned to the win column with a split decision over Cynthia Calvillo. The 36-year-old then left her gloves in the Octagon and announced her retirement, telling Daniel Cormier that she would focus on training the newer generation of fighters and growing her family with her wife Amanda, the current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion. Congratulations and best of luck, Nina! Martin Buday got his second UFC win, a split decision over promotional newcomer Łukasz Brzeski. Angela Hill vs. Loopy Godinez lived up to expectations with a fun fight, but it was ‘Overkill’ who emerged victorious. With her win over Godinez, Hill snapped a three-fight losing streak.
The main portion of the card saw Gerald Meerschaert buckle Bruno Silva with a left and snatch him up in a guillotine choke in the third round. ‘G3’ reminded everyone he was a ‘submission guy that can crack’ and said he would entertain a fight against Andre Petroski for his next outing. Priscila Cachoeira tore through Ariane Lipski for a 65-second TKO. Azamat Murzakanov crushed Devin Clark with a body shot from hell for his fourth consecutive finish. The ‘Professional’ improved to 12-0 and further solidified himself as one to watch out for at light heavyweight. Yazmin Jauregui and Iasmin Lucindo went to war in what should be a shoo-in for the ’Fight of the Night’ bonus. Both women gave us nonstop action in their respective debuts (!), and after 15 minutes, Jauregui was declared the winner by unanimous decision. The fight was so good, UFC president Dana White greeted Jauregui and Lucindo as they left the Octagon. Nate Landwehr shined against David Onama in the co-headliner. The ‘Train’ survived nearly being finished in the first round and returned the favor, getting the better of the ‘Silent Assassin’ in the second and third rounds. Add Landwehr vs. Onama to the list of wildest fights of 2022 so far.
Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera needed one moment to finish Dominick Cruz and he got it. Though potentially down 0-3 against the ‘Dominator’ (note: Cruz was ahead 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards), the No. 5 bantamweight ended things violently with a head kick that stiffened Cruz in the fourth round. What a way to close the show!
Performance of the Night: Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera and Tyson Nam
Josh Quinlan def. Jason Witt by KO (punch) at 2:09 of Round 1
Tyson Nam def. Ode’ Osbourne by KO (punches) at 2:59 of Round 1
Gabriel Benitez def. Charlie Ontiveros by TKO (punches) at 3:35 of Round 1
Gerald Meerschaert def. Bruno Silva by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:39 of Round 3
Priscila Cachoeira def. Ariane Lipski by TKO (strikes) at 1:05 of Round 1
Azamat Murzakanov def. Devin Clark by TKO (punches) at 1:18 of Round 3
Marlon Vera def. Dominick Cruz by KO (head kick) at 2:17 of Round 4
Fight of the Night: Nate Landwehr vs. David Onama
Youssef Zalal vs. Da’Mon Blackshear ends in majority draw (28-29, 28-28, 28-28)
Nina Nunes def. Cynthia Calvillo by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Martin Buday def. Lukasz Brzeski by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Angela Hill def. Loopy Godinez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Yazmin Jauregui def. Iasmin Lucindo by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Nate Landwehr def. David Onama by majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)