Like many UFC events, UFC Vegas 70 had its fair share of shuffling ahead of the event. But, unlike most events, Saturday’s fight card lost two bouts on weigh-in day. Then, with the ESPN+ event underway inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, the promotion announced it had scratched the scheduled light heavyweight main event between Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann after Krylov fell ill. Of course, losing a main event is never optimal, but losing the headlining bout on fight night? That’s less than ideal for any fight promotion.
Despite the circumstances, the makeshift main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 70 provided one of the middleweights in that contest the opportunity to shine. Brendan Allen, the fighter who stepped into that spotlight, scored a submission win over the favored Andre Muniz in that contest.
Also on the main card, Tatiana Suarez returned to action after a prolonged absence. Suarez, who had not fought in nearly four years, scored a second-round submission win over Montana De La Rosa. With the victory, Suarez kept her perfect record intact, moving to 9-0.
Read on for the winners and losers from UFC Vegas 70, which took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streamed on ESPN+.
Brendan Allen: A member of the UFC since 2019, the former LFA champ extended his winning streak to four straight with an impressive submission win over the favored Andre Muniz in the impromptu main event of UFC Vegas 70. Allen, who was absent from the official UFC middleweight rankings ahead of Saturday’s event, should find himself in the top 15 after ending the nine-fight (five in the UFC) winning streak of Muniz, who entered the contest at No. 11 in the rankings mentioned above.
In this matchup, Allen excelled in the wrestling and grappling departments, showing patience and poise in securing his second consecutive rear-naked choke submission victory.
BRENDAN ALLEN GETS THE SUB OVER ANDRE MUNIZ #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/YBKJXM7eeg— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 26, 2023
After having his hand raised, Allen said his wish was to run back one of his two UFC losses in his next outing (Chris Curtis or Sean Strickland). However, if neither of those bouts is an option, Allen wouldn’t mind scrapping with Dricus du Plessis, who faces Derek Brunson on next week’s UFC 285 fight card.
He's literally trying to fight everybody #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/rXH9fl9NRP— UFC (@ufc) February 26, 2023
Tatiana Suarez: Tatiana Suarez smartly avoided a big weight cut in her first fight in nearly four years. For a fighter who was being touted as a potential champion before injuries cost her so much time, Suarez wisely saw this 125-pound matchup as a way to shake the rust off and get some octagon time. As expected, Suarez used her wrestling skills throughout the fight, eventually earning a second-round guillotine submission.
Expect Suarez to get back in the strawweight mix as soon as possible and pursue a title shot in that division.
TATIANA SUAREZ IS BACK #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/QqgQAux0Mr— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 26, 2023
Megan Olivi: While Dominick Cruz speculated why the scheduled main event between Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann was off, Megan Olivi thought to ask why the fight was scrapped. She reported it was because Nikita Krylov was suffering from a food born illness. .
Mike Malott: Mike Malott picked up a knockout win over Mickey Gall at UFC 273. On Saturday, he moved to 2-0 in the UFC with a submission win over Yohan Lainesse. Malott is now 9-1-1 in his career with all his wins coming via first-round finish. Malott only has a few fights because he focused on coaching rather than competing. Now that his attention is on his UFC career, Malott looks ready to step up in competition.
PROPER MIKE MALOTT WITH ANOTHER FIRST ROUND FINISH #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/7nZFK68BYJ— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 26, 2023
Trevor Peek: In the lead-up to Trevor Peek’s fight against Erick Gonzalez, it was mentioned that his first martial art was “street fighting.” His striking style reflects that. Peek is heavy-handed and aggressive, but he needs to shore up the technical aspect of his striking in a big way if he wants to move up the lightweight ranks. However, even if Peek fails to do that, his all-out approach to throwing bungalows will make him a fan favorite.
KO AT THE BUZZER #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/Itgpoi5dxS— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 25, 2023
Jasmine Jasudavicius: Once Jasmine Jasudavicius got Gabriella Fernandes to the ground, the difference between the two fighters was glaring. Jasudavicius went four for eight in takedowns, had 11:31 in control time and landed 149 of 215 total strikes. Jasudavicius was totally dominant in picking up the 30-26 x 3 win.
Jordan Leavitt: Jordan Leavitt bounced back from his July 2022 submission loss to Paddy Pimblett with his first career knockout win via strikes. Saturday’s first-round stoppage of Victor Martinez was a much-needed bounce-back win for Leavitt.
Huge knees from Jordan Leavitt lead to the first round finish ⚡#UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/MHgbkdkN5R— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 25, 2023
Ode’ Osbourne vs. Charles Johnson: The catchweight bout between Ode’ Osbourne and Charles Johnson was a good back-and-forth scrap with both fighters having their moments. Osbourne’s leg kicks gave him the advantage in the early going, but Johnson seemed to pull even thanks to his wrestling and clinch striking. As the fight continued, both men seemed to struggle with their cardio. By the time the contest ended, it appeared as if the fight could have gone either way. The judges were split on the victor, with Osbourne getting the nod (29-28) on two of the three cards for the victory. This was a good fight despite it coming together on short notice.
Joe Solecki: Joe Solecki did what he needed to do against Carl Deaton II, putting him away via submission. Solecki didn’t let the quality of his opponent change his approach to this lightweight fight. In other words, he did not fight down to the level of his competition, which is often a problem. Instead, Solecki was patient and persistent in his attack. Solecki was originally booked to face Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC Vegas 69. That’s a fight that still makes sense for both men.
Solecki gets the submission with seconds left in the round #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/QBwBAmQHef— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 25, 2023
Nurullo Aliev: Nurullo Aliev scored three takedowns on four attempts and racked up 10:51 of control time in earning a win over Rafael Alves in the UFC Vegas 70 opener. Aliev’s ability to secure takedowns against the fence where his opponent had little room to work was laudable. When given an opening, he also showed that he was unafraid to employ ground strikes from top position. Besides being deducted a point for biting Alves’ finger, Aliev had a solid UFC debut.
The home support for Nurullo Aliev in Tajikistan is incredible— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 25, 2023
UFC: With the majority of the UFC Vegas 70 fighters coming off Dana White’s Contender Series, the UFC delivered an ESPN+ card that was, let’s call it cost effective, when it came to fighter payouts. Many DWCS contracts start fighters at $10,000 to show.
Dominick Cruz: Moments after it was announced the main event was off, UFC commentator Dominick Cruz speculated that a bad weight cut or improper rehydration was why the fight was off. That’s not what a professional does. It was what Cruz did.
Kerry Hatley: Referee Kerry Hatley could have and should have stopped the Trevor Peek vs. Erick Gonzalez fight a bit sooner than he did. I don’t know if he was waiting for the clock to run out on the round, but if that was why he didn’t step in sooner, that’s unacceptable.
Gabriella Fernandes: Gabriella Fernandes’ lack of defensive ground experience was glaring in her loss to Jasmine Jasudavicius, a disappointing performance from the former interim LFA flyweight champion.
Carl Deaton III: A late replacement, Deaton, who lost to Joe Solecki via submission, might be one and done with the UFC after Solecki limited Deaton to one significant strike landed.
Rafael Alves: Rafael Alves fell to 1-3 in the UFC with his loss to Nurullo Aliev. Alves did not look especially impressive as he focused on scoring a guillotine choke submission throughout the lightweight bout. If Alves remains with the UFC following UFC Vegas 70, he needs to add new wrinkles to his game or his career with the promotion will be short.
Nurullo Aliev: Referee Mark Smith docked Nurullo Aliev a point after he bit Rafael Alves’ finger. Man, you cannot bite your opponent.
UFC matchmakers: If the UFC wants to give fans a reason to tune into the promotions ESPN+ streaming cards, it needs to up the level of fights it puts together for these events. I understand fight fans need ESPN+ to get the UFC pay-per-view events and that is what keeps many subscribed to the service, but sooner or later, there could be a tipping point where those fans discover the monthly ESPN+ fee is not a cost they wish to absorb.