The APEX Center in Las Vegas Nevada was home to a great evening of fights at UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic. The card saw four (T)KOs, two submissions, and five decisions, including one split-decision.
FOTN: Chookagian vs. Ribas
POTN: Spann, Torres
The preliminary card opened with Andre Petroski nabbing a sensational first-round submission over Nick Maximov. The anaconda choke came just 76 seconds into the fight. Tatsuro Taira showed why he’s such a highly touted prospect when he dominated Carlos Candelario for the majority of their very entertaining fight. Virna Jandiroba used effective grappling to take a lopsided unanimous decision victory from Angela Hill, giving the struggling kickboxer her third, straight loss. Hill has only won a single bout in her last six bouts. Michael Johnson took Alan Patrick into the second round before finishing him with punches after a huge bomb started the sequence. Entertaining end to an entertaining fight. Johnson gets his first win since 2018. Viviane Araujo defeated Andrea Lee via unanimous decision to the chagrin of Lee’s cornerman, UFC fighter Tony Kelley. Kelley decided to refer to Araujo as a “dirty Brazilian” while giving advice between rounds. Appears as though Ms. Lee has a type.
Preliminary Card (ESPN/ESPN+, 7:30 PM ET)
- Viviane Araujo def. Andrea Lee by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Michael Johnson def. Alan Patrick by KO (punches) at 3:22 of Round 2
- Virna Jandiroba def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Tatsuro Taira def. Carlos Candelario by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andre Petroski def. Nick Maximov by submission (anaconda choke) at 1:16 of Round 1
Allan Nascimento took a unanimous decision victory after dominating Jake Hadley for the majority of the fight. Aggressive grappling was the name of the game and Nascimento’s size also proved advantageous in securing the victory. Manuel Torres needed just three-and-a-half minutes to put Frank Camacho away, taking the win via TKO after a barrage of punches ended the Guamanian’s night. Camacho also ends up with just one win in his last six fights and this loss marks three-in-a-row. Katlyn Chookagian managed to take a hard-fought, split-decision victory, this time against Amanda Ribas, showing once again why she remains in the Top 4. Davey Grant separated Louis Smolka from consciousness in the third round after a very entertaining scrap that saw Smolka almost out in the first round. Both men traded ferociously, but it would be Smolka finally wilting under the constant barrage. Grant breaks a two-fight losing skid in the process. Ryan Spann wasted no time at all getting a guillotine locked onto Ion Cutelaba, getting back in the W column after suffering a defeat last September at the hands of Anthony Smith. Great rebound!
The main event saw a competitive, albeit slow-paced fight between Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic. The men were likely even heading into the third round when Rakic stepped back on his right leg, wincing immediately in pain, then falling over, grasping his knee, which is likely blown. Blachowicz got the win, even after a massive cut looked like it could end the fight early.
Main Card (ESPN2/ESPN+, 10 PM ET)
- Jan Blachowicz def. Aleksandar Rakic by TKO at 1:11 of round three
- Ryan Spann def. Ion Cutelaba by Sub (guillotine) at 2:22 of Round 1
- Davey Grant def. Louis Smolka by KO (punches) at :49 of Round 3
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Amanda Ribas by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Manuel Torres def. Frank Camacho by TKO (punches) at 3:27 of Round 1
- Allan Nascimento def. Jake Hadley by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
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