The tumultuous week ahead of UFC Vegas 41 has now come to an end, and what a week it was. The light heavyweight headliner (between middleweight contenders) was a bonafide slugfest, and the co-headliner had lightweight veterans compete in a hard-fought battle on the ground.
The preliminary portion of the card saw Jonathan Martinez bounce undefeated Georgian prospect and UFC debutant Zviad Lazishvili from unbeaten ranks with a unanimous decision win. Randa Markos survived an early rear-naked choke attempt from Livinha Souza and went on to dominate the Brazilian en route to a unanimous decision that may have saved her spot on the UFC roster. Jeff Molina kicked the night into high gear with a brutal right hand and ground-and-pound that led him to a second-round technical knockout over Daniel da Silva. Jai Herbert then followed that performance with a flurry of punches that crumpled Khama Worthy in the first round of their fight. Jamie Pickett bested Laureano Staropoli on the scorecards and got his first win under the UFC banner. Tabatha Ricci returned to the strawweight division, secured various takedowns and controlled Maria Oliveira on the mat throughout three rounds to earn a unanimous decision. Mason Jones and David Onama went to war in a back-and-forth affair, but the Welsh fighter came out on top over the promotional newcomer. Not to be outdone by the previous contest, Gregory Rodrigues and Jun Yong Park engaged in a fun firefight jam-packed with near-finishes until ‘RoboCop’ blasted ’The Iron Turtle’ with an uppercut that sent him to the canvas near the end of the second round.
The main portion of the card started with a quick fight between Nicolae Negumereanu and Ike Villanueva that ended once the Romanian dropped and finished his opponent in just 78 seconds. The finish was a bit marred by controversy as Villanueva complained that most of the final strikes landed were to the back of his head, but the result stood as a first-round technical knockout for Negumereanu. Francisco Trinaldo overcame a late one-point deduction for an eye poke to beat Dwight Grant via split decision. Alex Caceres was almost stopped twice by SeungWoo Choi, but ‘Bruce Leeroy’ recovered and submitted Choi with a second-round rear-naked choke. Jessica-Rose Clark kept Joselyne Edwards pinned down and wrested her way to victory. Ricky Glenn and Grant Dawson were involved in a very close fight that resulted in a majority draw.
Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori put on one hell of a fight in the headliner. The judges saw the fight for ‘The Italian Dream’ and he left the Octagon with a solid win over ‘Borrachinha’.
Performance of the Night: Alex Caceres, Marvin Vettori
Jeff Molina def. Daniel da Silva by TKO (punches) at :46 of Round 2
Jai Herbert def. Khama Worthy by TKO (punches) at 2:47 of Round 1
Gregory Rodrigues def. Jun Yong Park by KO (punches) at 3:13 of Round 2
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ike Villanueva by TKO (punches) at 1:18 of Round 1
Alex Caceres defeated SeungWoo Choi via submission (rear naked choke), 3:31 of Round 2
Fight of the Night: Gregory Rodrigues vs. Jun Yong Park
Jonathan Martinez def. Zviad Lazishvili by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Randa Markos def. Livinha Souza by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jamie Pickett def. Laureano Staropoli by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Tabatha Ricci def. Maria Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Mason Jones def. David Onama by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Francisco Trinaldo def. Dwight Grant by split decision (29-27, 27-29, 29-27)
Jessica-Rose Clark def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Grant Dawson and Ricky Glenn ends in a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Marvin Vettori defeated Paulo Costa by unanimous decision (48-46 x3)
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