Vancouver was the home of an entertaining UFC event, with the top three bouts delivering fireworks. We saw 6 finishes tonight, with 4 (T)KOs being capped by two submission victories in the main and co-main event bouts, courtesy of Anthony Pettis in his featherweight debut and Demian Maia in his welterweight title eliminator. Here’s a breakdown of who won the $50,000 bonus checks on offer.
Performances of the Night: Demian Maia and Paige VanZant Demian Maia and Paige Vanzant both put on impressive performances, though their fights followed rather different trajectories. This card was solid from top to bottom, but the top three fights on the card definitely stood out above the others.
Demian Maia managed to put away former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit early in the first round with a beautiful rear naked choke. Condit decided to pull guard early in the round against the BJJ black belt, and was quickly made to pay for it, as Maia transitioned swiftly to the submission attempt. Despite appearing to not be fully under the chin, Maia’s rear naked choke was on the verge of rendering Condit unconscious before he finally tapped.
Paige VanZant had a tougher time of it against Aussie badass “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings. VanZant seemed interested in testing her striking against Rawlings, and at the end of the first round it was looking like that particular strategy might backfire. Rawlings managed to out-strike VanZant almost 2-1 in the first, and definitely landed the harder blows. Vanzant is quickly becoming known for her toughness, though, and kept moving forward through Bec’s hardest shots.
Paige was coming forward from the moment round two started and landed a beautiful jumping switch-kick, reminiscent of the greatest work of Ralph Macchio. Rawlings was dropped, and Paige pounced, finishing the fight with rapid ground and pound, earning herself the victory and $50,000.
Fight of the Night: Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon A somewhat controversial decision couldn’t mar this entertaining scrap between two of the UFC’s longest-serving veterans. The striking stats on this bout are almost perfectly even, with both men landing over 90 strikes. Joe Lauzon spent over six minutes in controlling positions against just sixteen seconds for Miller, which caused some consternation when Miller took the split decision victory.
We’ve seen the UFC promote rematches soon after controversial decisions, and since neither guy is set to play a key role in the title picture any time soon, I wouldn’t be averse to seeing a rematch of this entertaining bout in six months.
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