UFC Vegas 51 kept us busy on Saturday night. The welterweight headliner between top ranked contenders went the distance, and the middleweight co-headliner was going well until the odd ending.
The preliminary portion of the card saw Alatengheili score a 47-second knockout of Kevin Croom with a brutal overhand right and follow-up punches that sent his opponent face-planting into the canvas. Sam Hughes fought through adversity and a few fouls to earn a majority decision over Istela Nunes, the first win for ‘Sampage’ under the UFC banner. Jordan Leavitt spoiled the promotional debut of Trey Ogden, who he edged out by split decision and then celebrated with a post-fight split and twerk. Martin Buday secured a win over Chris Barnett, albeit in controversial fashion. The heavyweight debutant hit ‘Beastboy’ with an illegal elbow to the back of the head, which was deemed accidental and the fight went to the scorecards. Buday was awarded a technical decision, but the result continued to be debated by the fight community as the event proceeded. Rafa Garcia was deducted a point for an illegal knee thrown to the head of a grounded Jesse Ronson, but kept the fight out of the judges’ hands and submitted his opponent with a second-round rear-naked choke. Drakkar Klose brutalized Brandon Jenkins in his return to the Octagon after more than two years away. The lightweight also had a name ready for his next appearance. Klose vs. Mark O. Madsen, anyone? Pannie Kianzad met Lina Lansberg again nearly ten years after their first meeting on the Swedish scene. ‘Banzai’ emerged victorious at the end of a bloody brawl, notching her second win over the ‘Elbow Queen’. Devin Clark moved up from light heavyweight to heavyweight and settled into his new division with a vicious knockout of William Knight.
The main portion of the card started with Mounir Lazzez and Ange Loosa in a short-notice fight, where the ‘Sniper’ outstruck the ‘Last Ninja’ en route to a unanimous decision. Pat Sabatini showed up and dominated as usual, mauling TJ Laramie on the ground for a clean sweep of the judges’ scorecards. Mayra Bueno Silva returned to the win column after punishing Wu Yanan with heavy punches and kicks throughout three rounds. Andre Fialho survived some hairy moments, unleashed a series of uppercuts from hell and finished Miguel Baeza early. Caio Borralho won the clash of Contender Series graduates against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, but the ending was also marred by controversy. Like Buday, Borralho was declared the winner via technical decision after he hit Omargadzhiev with an illegal knee near the end of the third round.
Belal Muhammad avenged the first — and only — knockout loss of his professional career with a unanimous decision over Vicente Luque. ‘Remember the Name’ looked sharp, mixing in his strikes with his wrestling to keep ‘The Silent Assassin’ guessing on the feet and working off his back. The always dangerous Luque connected with a few shots that stunned Muhammad, but he was unable to finish the fight. Muhammad extended his win streak to 8 in a row, one of the longest in the division.
Performance of the Night: Drakkar Klose and Andre Fialho
Alatengheili def. Kevin Croom via TKO (punches) at 0:47 of Round 1
Rafa Garcia def. Jesse Ronson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:50 of Round 2
Drakkar Klose def. Brandon Jenkins via TKO (strikes) at :33 of Round 2
Devin Clark def. William Knight by KO (punches) at 3:21 of Round 3
Andre Fialho def. Miguel Baeza via TKO (punches) at 4:39 of Round 1
Fight of the Night: Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Wu Yanan
Sam Hughes def. Istela Nunes via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Jordan Leavitt def. Trey Ogden via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Martin Buday def. Chris Barnett via technical decision (30-27 x3)
Pannie Kianzad def. Lina Lansberg via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mounir Lazzez def. Ange Loosa via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Pat Sabatini def. TJ Laramie via unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Mayra Bueno Silva def. Wu Yanan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Caio Borralho def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via technical decision (29-27 x3)
Belal Muhammad def. Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
About the author