Stay up to date with what’s happening today at UFC San Antonio, which is going down from the AT&T Center in the great state of Texas.
This post will cover the main card, starting with Chidi Njokuani vs. Albert Duraev, and ending with Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen.
In the main event, the UFC’s #3 ranked bantamweight, Marlon Vera, will collide with the #5 ranked, Cory Sandhagen. Vera is hoping to extend his winning streak to five straight, while Sandhagen is hunting for a back-to-back win.
This should be a lot of fun! Both men love to stand and trade, and both men are the owners of some of the most sinister finishes you will ever see. Sandhagen is definitely much more of a volume guy, while Chito has been known to sit back more and wait for his opportunities. I’m definitely expecting a standup up war here, but if the match does happen to hit the deck, then I can see Vera being the reason.
In the UFC San Antonio co-main event, the UFC’s former women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, will tangle with the promotion’s #6 ranked 135-pounder, Yana Santos. Both fighters have won two of their last three, but they are both also trying to get back into the win column. I have no idea who is going to win this, but I do know it’s going to spend some time in the clinch… for better or worse.
The main card is slated for 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT, and the preliminary bouts begin at 4:30pm ET/1:30pm, PT — all of which can be streamed on ESPN+.
Cory Sandhagen def. Marlon Vera by split decision (50-45, 49-46, 47-48): Bantamweight
Sandhagen took the center right away and began to methodically apply pressure. Vera was getting backed up to the cage, as Sandhagen marched forward behind his volume. Sandhagen then scored a takedown and began sprinkling down some ground and pound. Chito managed to split open Sandhagen with a strike from the bottom, but that round was all Sandhagen.
It didn’t take long for Sandhagen to hit another takedown in the second round. He was dominating Chito on the ground, chipping away with short shots while maintaining control. Vera finally found enough space to escape, but wasn’t even close to doing enough on the feet to take back the round.
Vera tried to pressure to open the third frame, but Sandhagen was doing a great job of being elusive. Chito was landing his best punches of the fight this round, and being more aggressive, but he was failing to sting Cory in a meaningful way.
Sandhagen went hard for the takedown to kick off the fourth round, but Chito’s takedown defense finally decided to show up. In open space, Sandhagen was pecking away with his boxing, while remaining elusive with his footwork. Chito had a burst of offense at the end of the round, but this was another good one for Cory.
A takedown presented itself for Sandhagen in the fifth, but Vera used a series of up kicks to get back up. Sandhagen continued to fight the perfect fight, sticking and moving while frustrating Chito the entire time. Vera and Sandhagen got into a heated exchange for the closing moments of the match, which was probably the most exciting sequence of the entire fight.
Put in 25 minutes of work!
The #UFCSanAntonio main event goes to @CorySandhagen!!!! pic.twitter.com/xUzrDUcQDK
— UFC (@ufc) March 26, 2023
Holly Holm def. Yana Santos by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2): (W) Bantamweight
Santos wasted no time in closing the distance and pressing Holm against the fence. There they jockeyed for position, taking turns pressing the other against the cage. They pretty much nullified one another on the inside, and eventually broke free into open space. The striking was a bit messy, but Holm started to find some success with her kicks. She built off that momentum by landing a takedown to finish up the round in the dominant position.
It took about a minute for Holm to snag a takedown in the second n stanza. Santos was stuck on her back on the bottom of side control, with very few answers to the control of the former champ. Holm had a moment where she realized a crucifix, and landed some solid punches before Santos squirmed out. Holly took full mount, and dropped a few more hammers before the bell.
It took about 45-seconds for Holm to get the takedown in the final frame. The ground dominance continued for Holm, who was out-classing her former teammate. Santos finally scrambled up to her feet, but it wasn’t long before Holly scored another takedown.
The #UFCSanAntonio crowd was HYPED for Holly Holm ️ pic.twitter.com/OZHwf3GgXg
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 26, 2023
Nate Landwehr def. Austin Lingo by submission (RNC) at 4:11 of round 2: Featherweight
Lingo got off to a strong start here, finding success behind his straight punches. A cut formed around the right eye of Landwehr, who was swinging some leather, but not connecting with the same frequency of Lingo. In the final minute of the round, Landwehr came alive and started to swing the momentum in his favor.
We got some more boxing with small gloves in the second round. Landwehr was coming forward, and Lingo was tagging him with sharp counters. The pressure of Landwehr had Lingo fighting off of his back foot. A well-timed head kick from Landwehr wobbled Lingo, and then Nate followed it up with a body lock takedown. After landing a couple of big punches, Landwehr moved to back and locked up an RNC before even setting the hooks. Lingo tried to fight it off, but the squeeze was on and Austin tapped out!
NOT JUST A HYPE TRAIN @NateTheTrain with the submission win at #UFCSanAntonio pic.twitter.com/bAo5VCc3Fe
— UFC (@ufc) March 26, 2023
Maycee Barber def. Andrea Lee by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): (W) Flyweight
Barber was letting her strikes go to open this one. Just as she was working her combinations, Lee clinched up and hit a takedown. From the bottom of side control, Barber isolated one of the arms of Lee with her legs in an unorthodox way, and eventually found a way back to her feet. We got some technical brawling back on the feet, but that aggression quickly died down as both fighters decided to settle down.
We got a lot of missing to start the second act. There was a spout where Lee and Barber were standing too far from one another to connect. Barber changed levels to score a takedown, but Lee immediately jumped right back up to her feet. From there, the hooks of Barber started to find a home. Just as Lee started to get overwhelmed, she shifted gears and hit a takedown to get back in control.
The hands of Barber looked sharp again to open the final round. Lee went back to her takedown, and she got it, but Barber quickly scrambled up to her feet. The volume was coming from Barber, and then she scored a short-lived takedown of her own. The round ended with Lee getting one more takedown to ride out top position until he bell.
Albert Duraev def. Chidi Njokuani by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Middleweight
Duraev patiently waited for his moment to get Njokuani down to the ground. He utilized a Dagestani handcuff to score with several unobstructed ground strikes. Njokuani slowly worked his way up to his feet, but Duraev managed to plant him right back down on the mat.
A weird kickboxing battle broke out in the second round. Duraev slowly pressured forward, while Njokuani remained on his bike looking to counter. Njokuani scored with his best strikes of the fight, but Duraev’s defense was holding up.
Duraev continued to pressure forward in the final frame. Njokuani was able to thwart the initial takedown of Duraev, and began to work his volume from range. The match kind of devolved into car crashes. They would take turns crashing into the pocket with their respective strikes, but either man was really able to take over.
Duraev’s reaction to the kick #UFCSanAntonio pic.twitter.com/Id557pzmsN
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 26, 2023
Daniel Pineda def. Tucker Lutz by submission (Guillotine) at 2:50 of round 2: Featherweight
Pineda closed the distance right away and scored a quick takedown, but Lutz sprung right back to his feet.In open space, Pineda was battering the leg of his opponent, but he was eating some clean punches for his troubles. Then, Pineda evened the score when he unloaded a right hand that resulted in a flash knockdown.
The striking was dialed in for Pineda to begin the second stanza. He was countering with sharp boxing combos, and also returned to the leg kick. Lutz started to wrestle, but Pineda defended it well and delivered a big knee to the face that dropped Tucker to one knee. Pineda then jumped a guillotine and then turned it into a back take. From there he got on top and waited for his opportunity to jump back on the guillotine. This time, Lutz was stuck and his only way to stay conscious was to tap. What an upset!
Daniel Pineda forces the tap in his home state #UFCSanAntonio pic.twitter.com/p5cNkHQCdI
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 25, 2023
He gets the tap!
@DanielPitPineda sinking in a crafty guillotine at #UFCSanAntonio pic.twitter.com/XtO5Knvnhg
— UFC (@ufc) March 25, 2023
Manel Kape vs. Alex Perez : Flyweight**Fight cancelled following health issues with Alex Perez
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)
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