UFC Las Vegas was a solid event. The bantamweight headliner was entertaining, the the heavyweight co-headliner ended quickly.
The preliminary portion of the card started with Carlston Harris returning to the win column with a unanimous decision against Jared Gooden. After trading on the feet in the first round, ‘Moçambique’ went to the ground and controlled the ‘Nitetrain’ in the second and third rounds. Bruno Silva gave us a highlight-reel finish of Tyson Nam. The fight-ending sequence started after the ‘Bulldog’ floored Nam with a front kick to the jaw and followed him to the ground with punches. Moments after, as Nam tried returning to his feet, Silva got a hold of the rear-naked choke and squeezed until his opponent was asleep. What a performance after nearly a year away! Ariane Lipski dominated JJ Aldrich en route to a unanimous decision. The ‘Queen of Violence’ fired on all cylinders, turning in one of the most complete performances of her UFC career.
In our early contender for ‘Fight of the Night,’ Victor Henry won a split decision against Tony Gravely. This one was a back-and-forth affair that had shining moments (including a nice kneebar attempt!) from both fighters, but it was ‘La Mangosta’ who did enough on two of three judges’ scorecards. Josh Fremd handed Sedriques Dumas his first professional loss with a second-round submission. The ‘Big Yinz’ hurt the ‘Reaper’ before getting him to the ground and snatching up the guillotine choke. Davey Grant pulled off a ‘Submission of the Year’ against Raphael Assunção! A minute or so away from a potential loss, ‘Dangerous’ turned up the pressure and stunned Assunção with a spinning back fist. Then, as the Brazilian tried going for a takedown, Grant sat down and tied him up in an inverted triangle! Assunção announced his retirement after the fight. Karl Willams was successful in his UFC debut, mauling Łukasz Brzeski for a unanimous decision.
The main portion of the card kicked off with a slobber knocker between Vitor Petrino and Anton Turkalj. There were so many twists in this one, as both fighters had near-fight-ending moments, but it was the Brazilian who put a stamp on the fight with several takedowns. Mario Bautista made quick work of Guido Cannetti, getting the ‘Ninja’ down (by suplex!) and securing a rear-naked choke in the very first round. Now on a four-fight win streak, Bautista set his sights on either a top-15 opponent or Cody Garbrandt for his next appearance. Jonathan Martinez survived a few rear-naked choke attempts from Said Nurmagomedov to earn a unanimous decision. In his post-fight interview, the ‘Dragon’ called for a couple of former UFC champions in Dominick Cruz and Deiveson Figueiredo now that he was ranked. Nikita Krylov extended his win streak to three with a first-round submission of Ryan Spann. After some grappling exchanges, the ‘Miner’ locked in a triangle choke that forced ‘Superman’ to tap. Alexander Volkov ran through Alexandr Romanov. ‘Drago’ fended off a takedown from Romanov and worked the body with some punches and kicks. ‘King Kong’ went for another takedown, but Volkov got to his back, flattened him out and peppered him with punches until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
Merab Dvalishvili overwhelmed Petr Yan for a unanimous decision. From start to finish, the ‘Machine’ gave ‘No Mercy’ little to no wiggle room to the former UFC bantamweight champion, who struggled to get anything significant off throughout five rounds. In the end, Dvalishvili swept the judges’ scorecards.
Performance of the Night: Bruno Silva and Davey Grant
Bruno Silva def. Tyson Nam by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:23 of Round 2
Josh Fremd def. Sedriques Dumas by submission (guillotine choke) at 3:00 of Round 2
Davey Grant def. Raphael Assunção by technical submission (inverted triangle) at 4:43 of Round 3
Mario Bautista def. Guido Cannetti by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:18 of Round 1
Nikita Krylov def. Ryan Spann by submission (triangle choke) at 3:38 of Round 1
Alexander Volkov def. Alexandr Romanov by TKO (punches) at 2:16 of Round 1
Fight of the Night: Vitor Petrino vs. Anton Turkalj
Carlston Harris def. Jared Gooden by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ariane Lipski def. JJ Aldrich by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Victor Henry def. Tony Gravely by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Karl Williams def. Lukasz Brzeski by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Vitor Petrino def. Anton Turkalj by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Jonathan Martinez def. Said Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Merab Dvalishvili def. Petr Yan by unanimous decision (50-45 x3)