The UFC’s second tenure on the ABC network was a memorable one. The prelims served as a platform for rising contenders while the main card had standout performances and exciting bouts of attrition. The five winners of the UFC Vegas 23’s main card in particular further established themselves in their respective divisions.
UFC Vegas 23 Results
Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision – (50-44 x3)
Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff via Unanimous Decision – (29-28 x3)
Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey via Submission (RNC) – Round 2 (2:07)
Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes via Submission (Armbar) – Round 1 (4:48)
Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry via Unanimous Decision – (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Joe Solecki def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision – (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Mateusz Gamrot def. Scott Holtzman via KO – Round 2 (1:22)
John Makdessi def. Ignacio Bahamondes via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Jarjis Danho defeats Yorgan De Castro via KO – Round 1 (3:02)
Jack Shore def. Hunter Azure via Split Decision – (30-27 x2, 28-29)
Luis Saldana def. Jordan Griffin via Unanimous Decision – (29-28 x3)
Da Un Jung def. William Knight via Unanimous Decision – (30-26 x2, 30-27)
Impa Kasanganay def. Sasha Palatnikov via Submission (RNC) – Round 2 (0:26)
Marvin Vettori Outclasses Kevin Holland
Marvin Vettori took advantage of Kevin Holland’s weaknesses, wrestling the “Trailblazer” to a unanimous decision victory. Holland, a rare “anytime, anyplace” type fighter, did not have enough time to fix the problems Derek Brunson had exposed in their fight last month. Holland was still vulnerable to being backed to the cage and wrestled to the floor. Despite showing his diverse striking at times, Holland was still stifled by the disciplined attack of Vettori.
The fans watching UFC Vegas 23 were pleased to see that Holland did show a heightened sense of urgency to try to get to his feet, which was absent from his fight with Brunson. However, Vettori’s excellent chain wrestling denied any attempt and set a UFC middleweight record (11 takedowns). Vettori believes with this win at UFC Vegas 23, and his prior four-fight win streak, he deserves a title shot against the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Certainly a possibility, Vettori may also be keen on the winner of the matchup between Robert Whittaker and his fellow Kings MMA teammate Kelvin Gastelum next week.
Allen Edges Yusuff in a Clash of Prospects
Arnold Allen and Sodiq Yusuff were two of the more highly touted prospects in the featherweight division. This bout at UFC Vegas 23 would determine the newest contender to enter the otherwise stagnant list of title contenders. Allen extended his winning streak to eight, once again proving he was a step ahead of his opponent, and deserving of his top ten ranking.
Displaying his evasiveness and shot selection, Allen waited for Yusuff to overextend and capitalized with his counterstriking. “Almighty” won the first round with a swift left hand, earning a knockdown against the durable Yusuff. Allen continued this momentum into the second, catching Yusuff slipping to the inside with a head kick. Allen remained composed seeking a finish that would not materialize. Yusuff would rally back and earn a hard-fought third round in the clinch but he would lose the fight 29-28 on all the UFC Vegas 23 judges’ scorecards.
Marquez and Alvey Go to War
UFC Vegas 23 had many exciting showings for MMA, but the bout awarded Fight of the Night was the two-round battle between Julian Marquez and Sam Alvey. At the start of the bout, Marquez established octagon control and forced Alvey’s back to the cage. Both competitors disregarded their kicking and wrestling skills in favor of trading in the pocket. Marquez controlled the action for most of the first round before getting wobbled by a right hand from Alvey.
Between rounds, Glory MMA’s head coach James Krause reeled Marquez back in. Krause refocused his fighter and encouraged Marquez to begin using more feints. In the second round, Marquez executed his coach’s plan to create an opening. He rocked Alvey with a short combo and followed his foe to the floor where he grabbed a rear-naked choke and finished the fight.
Dern Swiftly Submits Nunes
Mackenzie Dern wrapped up a tight armbar against the returning Nina Nunes 4:48 into the first round. Denying Nunes any opportunity to set up her striking, Dern fought into the clinch and secured a DC-esque single-leg takedown early in the round. From top position, Dern passed into mount and displayed patience, drawing out Nunes’ high guard with punches. Eventually, the armbar presented itself and Dern methodically worked her way to the finish. With this win at UFC Vegas 23, Dern extends her win streak to four and sets herself up for another matchup with the upper echelon of the strawweight division.
Rodriguez Impresses Against Durable Perry
At UFC Vegas 23, Daniel Rodriguez out-struck Mike Perry en route to a unanimous decision victory. “D-Rod” outmaneuvered Perry. He established great foot placement to set up his primary southpaw jab and sneaky left straight. Despite Perry finding success with his wrestling early in the fight, Rodriguez remained composed and fended off Perry’s takedown attempts. Rodriguez remained disciplined in his engagements, not allowing Perry to find a comfortable range and land his signature right hand. With this win, Rodriguez rebounds from a close loss to Nicolas Dalby last year and advances to a 4-1 UFC record
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