The APEX Center in Las Vegas, NV was home to a great evening of fights at UFC Vegas 50: Santos vs. Ankalaev. The card saw five (T)KOs, three submissions and six decisions.
POTN: Khalil Rountree Jr., Cody Brundage, Song Yadong and Azamat Murzakanov
The early portion of the card opened with a sizzler between Tafon Nchukwi and Azamat Murzakanov that saw Murzakanov get the finish with the gnarliest flying knee knockout we’ve seen in a long time. That was followed by Guido Cannetti defeating Kris Moutinho in just over two minutes, scoring the TKO more than 12 minutes faster than Sean O’Malley was able to last July. Cody Brundage survived some rough moments early on and defeated Dalcha Lungiambula by submission when he secured a tight guillotine in the first round, putting an early end to the Congolese kickboxer’s night. Miranda Maverick sent Sabina Mazo home winless when she sunk in a lethal rear-naked choke that earned her the victory and put Mazo on a three-fight losing skid. Damon Jackson defeated Kamuela Kirk via arm-triangle choke in round 2 after a fun bit of scrapping in the leadup to the submission. Damon Jackson is the man to keep your eye on. Javid Basharat defeated Trevin Jones via unanimous decision in a really exciting battle that really showcased Basharat’s excellent striking and durability. He then went on to give the mic to his opponent first, so that he could recognize a friend that had passed away recently. Feel good moment of the night. JJ Aldrich defeated Gillian Robertson via UD, which now puts Robertson at just 1-3 in her last four fights. Matthew Semelsberger defeated A.J. Fletcher by unanimous decision in a very exciting back-and-forth scrap that closed out the prelims.
Preliminary card (4 PM ET, ESPN+)
- Matthew Semelsberger def. A.J. Fletcher by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- JJ Aldrich def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Javid Basharat def. Trevin Jones by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Damon Jackson def. Kamuela Kirk by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:42 of round 2
- Miranda Maverick def. Sabina Mazo by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:15 of round 2
- Cody Brundage def. Dalcha Lungiambula by submission (guillotine) at 3:41 of round 1
- Guido Cannetti def. Kris Moutinho by TKO (punches) at 2:07 of round 1
- Azamat Murzakanov def. Tafon Nchukwi by KO (flying knee) at :44 of round 3
The main card opened with an absolute firefight between heavy hitters Alex Perreira and Bruno Silva that saw Perreira take the unanimous decision. The hype is real. Terrance McKinney looked like he was well on his way to a big finish but Drew Dober wasn’t so easily put away, and after surviving by the skin of his teeth in the first couple minutes, Dober was able to turn the tide and score the TKO himself. Great fight! Khalil Rountree looked like he was going to have a hard night after a pretty taut first round, but he rectified the situation in violent fashion when he landed a monster right that dropped Karl Robertson, and from there, Rountree was all over him, getting the TKO win in round two. Sodiq Yusuff and Alex Caceres put on a very competitive fight with Caceres taking the better of the grappling exchanges and Yusuff doing better in the striking, especially the way he chewed up Alex’s lead leg. In the end, it would be Sodiq Yusuff taking the unanimous decision victory.
The co-main event didn’t last long. Marlon Moraes looked good in the early goings, but Song Yadong was not to be deterred from his mission, and just needed two minutes and six seconds to get the knockout from a devastating uppercut. Outstanding performance from the youngest man on the card tonight, and nice callout of Dominic Cruz.
The main event saw Ankalaev scoring big with counters and Santos’ back stayed to the fence for nearly the entire first round. After that, it was a lot of slow, methodical clinch work for the remainder of the fight. Ankalaev would overcome a knockdown to take the unanimous decision in the end, and one has to wonder whether that performance will immediately propel him into active contention. It was an anti-climactic end to a really good card.
Main Card (7 PM ET, ESPN+)
- Magomed Ankalaev def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (49-46 x2. 48-47)
- Song Yadong def. Marlon Moraes by KO (punches) at 2:06 of round 1
- Sodiq Yusuff def. Alex Caceres by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Khalil Rountree Jr. def. Karl Roberson by TKO (strikes) at :25 of round 2
- Drew Dober def. Terrance McKinney by TKO (strikes) at 3:17 of round 1
- Alex Pereira def. Bruno Silva by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
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