After four of four prelims ended early, the finishes kept flowing on the UFC Vegas 59 main card with six of six matchups not needing any judges. That’s a ultra-rare finishing rate of 100%, with the last time this occurring being back in 2014.
Capping off this finish-happy card, the UFC’s #10 ranked light heavyweight, Jamahal Hill, stopped former title challenger, Thiago Santos, with strikes in the fourth frame. A bit of a brawl broke out, which resulted in Hill taking top position. From there, Jamahal dropped strike after strike, until the referee pulled him off. This is a massive win for the lethal Hill, who used his mic time to call for a fight with the UFC’s former 205-pound champion, Jan Blachowicz.
In the co-main event we saw ranked welterweights go at it, with the #13 rated, Geoff Neal, knocking out the #6 rated, Vicente Luque, in the third round. Neal was doing damage all throughout the opening round with a crisp cross, stinging Luque on a couple of occasions. The ending came in the third when Neal unleashed his cross again, opened up with a violent flurry, and then put Vicente away with a stiff 1-2. After getting the biggest win of his career, Neal called for a match with the UFC’s #4 ranked 170-pounder, Gilbert Burns.
Also on the main card, we got a violent ending to the TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) heavyweight finale when Mohammed Usman devastated Zac Pauga with a nasty knockout early in the second round. It was a hefty left hook that sent Zac soaring to the floor, and some intense and unblocked hammerfists completely shut out the lights. Mohammed, the brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, is The Ultimate Fighter.
In the women’s TUF flyweight finale, Juliana Miller stopped Brogan Walker with ground strikes in the third round. Miller was getting her takedowns, and made her way to the full mount in the final frame to unload a ton of elbows and punches to find the finish. Not a bad showing for her fourth official pro fight ever and already The Ultimate Fighter.
In the heavyweight division, Sergey Spivak, worked his ground and pound to get a second round TKO on the #14 ranked, Augusto Sakai. Spivak snagged plenty of takedowns, and was dropping plenty of punches along the way. Sergei has now won five of his last six outings, and should be set up for another ranked opponent in his next go.
Kicking off the main card, Terrance McKinney secured a first-round RNC on Erick Gonzalez. McKinney came out blasting his strikes, but as soon as Gonzalez started to fire back, Terrance went to his grappling. It was as Gonzalez stood up that McKinney took the back and finished the fight with the standing rear-naked choke. McKinney’s last eight fights have ended in the very first round. He made the most of his post-fight interview by requesting a match with Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett.
Jamahal Hill def. Thiago Santos by TKO at 2:31 of round 4: Light Heavyweight
Santos came out attacking the leg right away, and even went for an early takedown. Hill wasn’t checking the kicks, but he did stuff the wrestling attempt. Hill started to pressure, but Santos closed the distance trying to get a takedown. Hill remained vertical, but his back was to the cage. An accidental knee to the cup of Santos resulted in a pause to the fight, and the restart occurred in open space instead of in open space.
Hill came out launching his own leg kicks in the second stanza. Santos responded by hitting a takedown, but Hill rapidly returned to his feet. Hill started to let his hands go, and had Santos shelling up. Santos started to swing back, but Hill was landing the better punches and still seemed to be in control.
Hill went back to his leg kicks to start the third round, and Santos returned to the takedown. Hill again refused to concede the ground position and sprung back up to his feet. Santos went hard to get the fight back to the floor, exploding after his attempts and turning this into more of a grappling match. Hill was the one landing the better strikes in between the takedowns, and it seemed as if Santos was using up more energy.
Hill pressured in the fourth round, backing up Santos to the fence. That’s where he started to flurry, which prompted Santos to flurry right back. A brawl broke out with men connecting, but Santos fell to the ground. Hill got on top and dropped a plethora of punches, refusing to give Santos any breathing room to recover. The ref gave Santos every opportunity to improve his position, but the punishment was not going to stop, so the official called the fight.
Geoff Neal def. Vicente Luque by KO at 2:01 of round 3: Welterweight
The combos were flying back and forth as soon as the opening bell sounded. Soon after that Neal landed a crisp cross that wobbled Luque, but he wasn’t able to put him away. Luque was bleeding from the nose, but he got back to pressuring anyway. Neal landed that same cross again, causing Luque to stumble for the second time. Then that cross landed yet again, but this time it dropped Luque. Somehow Vicente recovered and got back to his feet, but that same sinister cross connected again to stagger him just before the bell.
Luque stuck to his gameplan in the second, and pressed forward behind his volume. He wasn’t exactly hurting Neal, but he wasn’t getting caught by that cross either. Neal started to show the takedown, and was able to put Luque on his back foot. After Geoff landed some elbows on the inside, Luque went right back to pressuring.
Neal was connecting with cross again early in the third. Luque was doing his best work with his kicks, but it wasn’t enough. The power in the hands of Geoff was undeniable. He continued to pepper Vicente with the cross, and unleashed a flurry of uppercuts to keep him on the proverbial ropes. It was a blistering 1-2 that finally put Luque down for good.
Mohammed Usman def. Zac Pauga by KO at :36 of round 2: Heavyweight
There wasn’t any feeling out process to start this one. The heavyweights were trading, with Pauga setting the pace and leading the dance behind his volume. The tempo slowed down as the round grew long, with a lot more feints being thrown out there and a lot less engaging. The second round didn’t last very long. A left hook from Usman dropped Pauga, and then some brutal followup hammerfists put Zac out cold!
Juliana Miller def. Brogan Walker by TKO at 3:57 of round 3: (W) Flyweight
The fighters exchanged punches right away, with Miller connecting with the cleaner strikes. They clinched up and Miller came up with top position. She controlled for a bit from the half guard, and it wasn’t until Walker gained the full guard that Miller was able to rain down blows. Walker did not return to her feet this round.
Walker started the second round with some major swelling just below her left eye. It didn’t seem to bother her too much, and she got right to work landing strikes. They clinched up again with Miller getting the takedown, but Walker instantly attacked a leg. Miller freed herself and a scramble ensued, that resulted in Walker giving up her back. Miller attacked with an RNC, but Walker hung tough and exploded up to her feet. The fighters stayed in the clinch, where Miller regained control and found another takedown.
Miller was maximizing her reach in the final round, keeping Walker at the end of her punches where the counters couldn’t really hit her back. Juliana then clinched up and hit another takedown, and moved right into full mount. Several elbows scored for Miller, who was completely dominating Walker. The referee had seen enough and stepped in to rescue Walker from any further damage.
Sergey Spivak def. Augusto Sakai by TKO at 3:42 of round 2: Heavyweight
Spivak rushed Sakai to get things going, snagging a quick takedown. Sakai did rapidly return to his feet, but he went right back down as fast as he stood up. Spivak was all over Sakai, dropping punches as he made him carry his weight. As Spivak went for a rear-naked choke, Sakai was able to turn into him and scramble up to his feet. From the clinch, Sakai scored some knees to the body, but this round belonged to Spivak.
Sakai was able to avoid the early takedown attempts at the beginning of the second act, but after a couple of jousting jabs from Spivak, he ended up getting taken down anyway. Augusto just couldn’t keep the fight on the feet. When Spivak was on top, he wasn’t just controlling. He was dishing out punishment with his fists. The ground and pound bloodied the face of Sakai, with the referee warning of a stoppage. The punches kept flowing for Spivak, and the referee decided to end the bout.
Terrance McKinney def. Erick Gonzalez by submission (RNC) at 2:17 of round 1: Lightweight
McKinney attacked right away with some head kicks, backing up Gonzalez to the fence. The punches came flying after that, causing Gonzalez to shell up. Just when it seemed as though Gonzalez was going to get overwhelmed, he stung McKinney with some hands of his own. That’s when McKinney switched gears and blasted a takedown. McKinney jumped to the back as Gonzalez stood up, and quickly sank a rear-naked choke. it wasn’t long before Gonzalez was tapping.