Sanabul Fight News: UFC Vegas 53

With UFC 274 quickly sneaking up on us, a potential bantamweight title eliminator was nothing to snuff at. With some exciting fights on the prelims such as Romanov/Sherman, and Lianesse/Green, as well as the obviously exciting main card, fans were pleasantly surprised at how UFC Vegas 53 turned out. 

Shanna Young, Nathan Levy, and Gabe Green started out the card in a fun way, each notching another win under their belts to move up in the rankings in their respective divisions. Shanna Young took the win over Gina Mazany with a TKO/KO from strikes on Gina’s back, ending with the referee calling the fight in the second round, earning herself an impressive win in a stacked W Flyweight division. Nathan Levy moves his record up to 7-1 with a decision win in the lightweight division against UFC newcomer Mike Breeden, who now has a loss to Levy and Alex Hernandez in his first two UFC fights, tough fights for your first two that’s for sure. Rising prospect Yohan Lianesse ended up taking a loss in his UFC debut after being matched up with Gabe Green, who now has an impressive decision win over Philip Rowe as well as a finish over Lianesse now. 

Francisco Figueiredo and Daniel Lacerda followed these fights with a relatively highly anticipated flyweight bout, with Francisco being looked at pretty highly by UFC fans as his brother is the current champion of the flyweight division, Deiveson Figueiredo. With a large shadow to try and overcome, Francisco made his spot in the division clear with a first round submission victory over a highly touted 11-3 Lacerda. In a growingly competitive 125 pound division, Francisco will be a prospect to look forward to as he gets closer to that #1 spot while his brother holds the belt. 

Alexandr “King Kong” Romanov is a very scary dark horse in the heavyweight division. His opponent, Chase Sherman, was the biggest underdog in UFC history on Saturday night, at over +1100 odds on some sportsbooks, there didn’t seem to be a great chance of him winning this matchup. Romanov proved Vegas right, being absolutely dominant in a first round key lock submission, Romanov is on a 5-fight win streak, four being finished in the first two rounds. It is obvious that there is a new age dawning in the heavyweight division, and the newer athletes being signed to the UFC at that weight class have shown to be a different breed, Alexandr being one. 

Krzysztof Jotko and Gerald Meerschart opened up the card in exciting fashion with a very important matchup between two UFC veterans, with the pair combining for around 17 years in the UFC.  After a relatively fun three rounds, Jotko ended up coming out on top with a unanimous decision victory, giving him his 24th professional MMA win over a seasoned veteran in Gerald.

Speaking of veterans, Darren Elkins made an appearance on Saturday night against fellow featherweight Tristan Connelly in Tristan's second UFC fight after losing to another savage in Pat Sabatini. With Tristan being fed to the sharks, Darren absolutely dominated this matchup, really showing off his experience as well as striking and grappling skills with 165 total strikes and 5 takedowns to Tristan's 106 strikes and 0 takedowns, Darren earned himself a unanimous decision victory and cemented his place as a veteran in the division with his 28th professional win.

Grant Dawson and Joanderson Brito both had spectacular outings on the main card on Saturday night, with Dawson moving his record up to an astounding 18-1 with the 12th submission of his career. Grant was matched up against UFC veteran Jared Gordon, who was sitting at an impressive 18-4 going into this matchup. The two middleweights had a relatively exciting standup war, until Grant snatched up a rear-naked choke in the third round, earning him a submission victory in a stacked lightweight UFC division. Andre Fili and Joanderson Brito were up next, with Fili going in as a pretty large favorite against the 12-3 Featherweight Brito. 40 seconds in, Joanderson hit Andre with a perfectly placed overhand, sitting Fili down and finishing the fight with some ground and pound. This knockout may have happened 1/10 times these men met, but the timing and placement of the power shot was perfect, and ended up getting Brito the win on Saturday night.

The Co-Main event was a pretty exciting fight to look forward to, and it was pretty fun to watch as well! With Andrei Arlovski being the UFC legend that he is, it’s a can’t-miss fight to see him against another fun heavyweight in Jake Collier on a Vegas Fight Night. After a super fun striking battle, with over 230 total strikes being thrown between the two heavyweights, many had thought Jake came out with the victory, with around 30 more strikes than Andrei. The judges thought differently, with Arlovski coming out with a controversial split-decision victory, to give him his fourth win in a row, and his 34th Pro MMA victory. 

The main event was expected to be an absolute war of a matchup, and the hype paid off on Saturday night. With Marlon Vera coming off of two stellar performances against Davey Grant and Frankie Edgar, it was only right for him to move up in competition against a proven fighter like Rob Font. Rob has a very solid boxing style, consistent with his 1-2s, and speedy strikes, he doesn’t land many power shots. Chito is a lot less consistent with throwing as many shots, but when he throws he throws with intention and power. In the 5-round main event, Rob threw 270+ significant strikes, over 100 more than Marlon, consistent with his output and pumping out his jab, but the effects were nowhere to be seen on the body or head of Chito.

With Chito only throwing a total of 170+ strikes, you would think the decision would be given to Rob, but watching the fight was a completely different story. Marlon dropped Rob three separate times in three separate rounds, ending two of the rounds on top in a dominant position, and the effects were clear on the face of Font. Chito ended up winning via unanimous decision, and earning his spot at the top of the Bantamweight division, asking for the 2-4th ranked fighters in his next matchup.

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