UFC Vegas 31 showcased young prospects making names for themselves, a pioneer of women’s mixed martial arts making her return and everything in between. Join us as we recap the results and give some of our biggest takeaways from all the action that transpired at the UFC Apex.
UFC Vegas 31 Results
#9 Islam Makhachev def. #14 Thiago Moises via Submission – Round 4 (2:38)
Miesha Tate def. #12 Marion Reneau via TKO – Round 3 (1:53)
Mateusz Gamrot def. Jeremy Stephens via Submission – Round 1 (1:05)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Dustin Stoltzfus via Submission – Round 3 (1:54)
Billy Quarantillo def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO – Round 3 (3:40)
Daniel Rodriguez def. Preston Parsons via TKO – Round 1 (3:47)
#14 Amanda Lemos def. Montserrat Conejo via TKO – Round 1 (0:35)
Sergey Morozov def. Khalid Taha via Unanimous Decision – (30-27 x3)
Malcolm Gordon def. Francisco Figueiredo via Unanimous Decision – (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Rodrigo Nascimento def. Alan Baudot via TKO – Round 2 (1:29)
UFC Vegas 31 Bonuses
Fight of the Night – Gabriel Benitez vs. Billy Quarantillo
Performance Awards – Miesha Tate (Submission), Mateusz Gamrot (Submission), Rodolfo Vieira (Submission), and Rodrigo Nascimento (TKO)
UFC Vegas 31 Takeaways
Islam Makhachev is Now Amongst the Elite in the Lightweight Division
Every single fighter in the top 10 of the lightweight division just got put on notice by Islam Makhachev. A man that has been called the next Khabib, just showed the world why he is held in such high regard. A mauling from start to finish, it felt that it was just a matter of time before Makhachev would be able to get the victory. It would eventually come in round four against Thiago Moises by way of submission.
What makes someone with the grappling expertise of Makhachev even more of a threat you may ask? His striking can hold up with the best in this division and he is arguably more polished and powerful than his mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Makhachev fights with nearly the same pressure-heavy style and has very precise, technical striking to pair with his world-class sambo wrestling. UFC Vegas 31 was the platform that Makhachev needed to truly showcase his skillset to the world and now he is the talk of the town.
It is simply inevitable at this point that Makhachev is on his way to a title shot in this stacked lightweight division. He calls out nearly every single man ranked ahead of him, and to be truthful, you can’t blame him. A fighter like Makhachev presents so many different issues for future opponents and this has shown time and time again, as he has struggled to get fights booked consistently. A good sign is that after a two-year layoff, Makhachev has already fought twice this year, and should he get one more booked before the calendar turns to 2022, this time next year the top of this division may have a real wrench in their plans.
Back and Better Than Ever?
“With all due respect, I’m not just here for a fight. I’m here for a belt.” These are the words following Miesha Tate’s comeback victory against Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 31. After nearly five years spent in retirement, becoming a mother of two, and placing herself in the best shape of her life, both mentally and physically, “Cupcake” proved she’s still got it.
All eyes were on the former Strikeforce and UFC champion entering fight week and for good reason. Having not competed in the octagon since November of 2016, in what was a losing effort, there were plenty of questions regarding Tate’s return to competition. However, she answered them all and then some after her outstanding performance against Reneau.
Tate looked physically in the best shape of her career. Her footwork, and striking, much quicker and fluent. The all-so-famous Miesha Tate grappling, still up to par with the best in the division. It seems as if “Tate 2.0” as she has dubbed herself, is for very good reason. All of these skills allowed Tate to get her first KO/TKO in the UFC and become the first-ever woman to finish Marion Reneau. Whilst this win was not against a championship-caliber contender, it was against one of the toughest women in all of the UFC and that should be enough to credit Tate’s well-rounded performance.
What comes next for Miesha Tate is what is most intriguing about this victory. She is sure to have a number next to her name when the rankings are announced this upcoming week. However, her name power alone, matched with her impressive comeback victory, may just land her against a very high-caliber opponent next. It is clear that the star that is Miesha Tate, is shining as bright as ever, and considering she has already held gold once, at a point she felt the lowest, you can’t help but wonder what could come in Tate’s second go of things.
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