All the results, highlights and analysis from UFC Vegas 23
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What an exciting main card it was for UFC Fight Night – Vettori vs Holland also known as Vegas 23. We had a week off after UFC 260 only to be welcomed back with yet another exciting fight card by the UFC. It was the 30th event at the APEX Centre Las Vegas only to be behind the iconic MGM Grand to host the most live UFC events (43).
Let’s have a look at what went down at UFC Vegas 23 with the results stated below:
I had 66% accuracy on my predictions this time around. Mike Perry didn’t do as expected and fell short to Daniel Rodriguez’s strategy.
Rodriguez camped at the BMF Ranch with Donald Cerrone at his native Albuquerque, New Mexico and the difference was evident from his previous fight versus Nicolas Dalby. Rodriguez started off with a few leg kicks and immediately got his range figured within the first minute of the fight. Perry was finding it difficult to find his range and the few haymakers he threw were way off target. Rodriguez used his jab perfectly and timed the cross to perfection. So much so it broke Perry’s nose in Round 2. Even though Perry landed a body lock takedown in Round 2, the offense by Rodriguez was too much and the judges had it in favour of Rodriguez.
Round 3 started off badly for Perry as he looked visibly damaged coming out of his corner. It started no differently where Perry was the aggressor and made some wild swings only to miss Rodriguez completely. Rodriguez by now has read Perry perfectly and is cracking him with his one-two’s easily. Perry is slowly fading away but his heart isn’t giving up. Perry lands a few solid leg kicks only to be countered beautifully with a Rodriguez combination. Rodriguez does try a take down to fluster Perry and quickly pushes him towards the fence.At the end of round 3, there was no surprise that Daniel ‘D-Rod’ Rodriguez showed his true potential in a full camp.
Mackenzie Dern proved to be a handful for Nina Ansaroff now Nunes as she dismantled her clean in Round 1 itself. The fight was slated to be the return of rank 5 Nina Nunes versus the ranked 11 Mackenzie Dern. It was a classic striker versus grappler contest till the bell went off. Nina was returning to the octagon after 2 years and wanted to carry on the momentum of her life partner Amanda Nunes. As the bell went off Dern was aggressive to take the centre and land some immediate strikes that caught Nina off guard. Dern, known to be a BJJ specialist, has been camping with veteran striking and MMA coach Jason Parillo and the striking technique of Dern is immediately seen as a massive improvement. Dern throws a leg kick followed by a punch and immediately goes for the takedown that she secures very easily. Dern continues to ground n pound Nina and sets up the arm bar. Even though Nina is tough and holds on to it pretty tight, she’s dealing with a world class black belt BJJ fighter. Dern doesn’t rush in but strategically isolates Nina’s arm for a perfect arm bar. Dern ended this with 12 seconds to go in the very first round skyrocketing her in the women's strawweight rankings. A Performance of the Night bonus for Dern for that slick arm bar.
And now… to the main event of the evening – Italy’s own Marvin Vettori taking on Kevin ‘Trailblazer’ Holland.
For those of you who didn’t know, Kevin Holland accepted this fight on 9 days’ notice as the original opponent Darren Till was forced out due to a broken collar bone. Holland was coming off a gruelling 5 round battle with Derek Brunson not even a month back making him the tied for the fastest turnaround between two consecutive main events. Surely seems like a companys man!
The brash talking happy Holland went back to his old ways of being serious and grim before the fight as he knew he was stepping up to a betting favorite and if he had to pull this one off, he would need to give it his 100%. Vettori on the other hand was taking a lesser experienced opponent to save the main event. Another company's man in my eyes. The back and forth war between the two warriors was gruelling to watch. Holland went 10 rounds in a span of three weeks over two main events but unfortunately didn’t secure a victory in either. Vettori had the perfect strategy of taking advantage of Holland’s weakness (ie: the takedowns) and showed a gaping loophole in Holland’s game. Whilst Holland landed more significant strikes (37) compared to Vettori’s 24, it was the 11 takedowns that gave a clear unanimous decision to Italy’s own Marvin Vettori.
Camping at Kings MMA with Rafael Cordeiro and training partners like Kelvin Gastelum has clearly worked for Vettori as he looks to make his way to the top and have a rematch against the champion Israel Adesanya. Standing in Vettori’s way is obviously, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker that takes on Vettori’s team mate Kelvin Gastelum in the coming Fight Night with Paulo Costa hanging in the wings somewhere.
It's an exciting time to be a fan of the sport and the UFC.
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About the author
Somesh Kamra is a professional mixed martial artist specializing in Muay Thai. He has designed many effective training programs for Superhuman Gym and the Police Academy. His knowledge of hand to hand combat is unbeaten and has been a success story for many students. Somesh Kamra is educated from the University of Gold's Gym in the field of physical fitness that includes strength training, plyometrics & cardiovascular training for muscular conditioning. He works closely with the UFC for India and serves as the panelist for the TV Show – The Ultimate Guide to UFC and Pit Stop on Sony Sports Network.