UFC continued its stay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the UFC APEX last night (Sat., Sept. 12, 2020) for UFC Vegas 10. After a couple unusually short cards in a row, last night’s 12 bouts were something of a return to form. Of course, COVID-19 cancellations and weight cut mishaps still knocked off a couple fights, including the original main event between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos.
Fortunately, the small Octagon still hosted some very fun fights. Let’s take a closer look at the slickest techniques and best performances:
An Incredible Main Event
Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill was not the main event anyone asked for, but it absolutely delivered beyond the expectations of most anyone. It was competitive and technically interesting for all five rounds. There was very little shadowboxing at air.
I wrote a lot on the main event HERE!, but know this if nothing else: it was genuinely great.
Ottman Azaitar fights with the mentality of an undefeated bruiser.
Khama Worthy is a pretty ferocious puncher in his own right, but Azaitar showed him little respect. He waited about a minute to find his range and get comfortable, but the second Azaitar scored a clean connection on the jaw, he immediately released a gigantic flurry of punches. Alternating left and right hooks — and mixing in the occasional uppercut — Azaitar ignored any threat coming back his way.
It worked. Azaitar successfully stormed into the clinch distance, where Worthy’s lanky arms were less valuable, and he put the veteran down hard. It’s yet another first-round knockout win for the prospect, who didn’t reveal much new information about his overall game ... because he didn’t need to!
The Dumbest Fight In Months
MMA is a stupid sport. The results don’t have to make sense. The better man often loses. Officiating incompetence routinely rears its ugly head.
All of the above was the case in last night’s main card bout between Mike Rodriguez and Ed Herman. Rodriguez really put a beating on “Short Fuse.” On at least three separate occasions, “Slow” nearly finished his opponent. In the second round, a knee to the chest dropped Herman, but somehow the referee confused the pectoral muscle with the groin, calling it an illegal blow and giving Herman a five-minute breather and opportunity to keep fighting after basically getting TKO’d.
In the third, both men were tired, but again, it was Rodriguez doing damage. He nearly secured a finish with defensive elbows along the fence, forcing Herman to hit his butt. Out of nowhere, Herman wrapped up a kimura from his back, flipped his opponent over, and landed the shoulder lock.
I am not at all mad at Ed Herman for capitalizing on the weird circumstances — that’s veteran sh*t! But, it is a bummer for Rodriguez, who largely proved himself the better fighter and was very arguably robbed of a finish (and therefore, his win bonus).
It’s also a reminder that MMA is ... dumb.
Bet The Short-Notice Underdog
Roosevelt Roberts was a 6-1 favorite last night, and it made sense why. After all, his opponent Kevin Croom accepted the bout on extremely short-notice. It was just a couple days ago that Roberts’ original match up was shaken up due to COVID-19, and few expected Croom and his relatively average (21-12) record to pull through against the prospect.
Well, “The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” did his thing. He immediately dropped Roberts with a heavy left then jumped on the guillotine, forcing his foe to submit in the opening 30 seconds.
These UFC APEX cards are strange events, but this is something of a trend. There has been several major upset wins by fighters coming in on extremely short-notice, throwing caution to the wind, and finding success as a result.
- Billy Quarantillo defeats Kyle Nelson via third-round knockout: Quarantillo’s strategy isn’t a secret. He puts heavy pressure on opponents, both on the feet and on the mat, simply wearing on them. Nelson played right into his hands, loading up on power punches and hunting for the knockout. When that perfect punch didn’t land, Nelson grew tired quickly, and Quarantillo just kept working. By the start of the third, Nelson was exhausted, allowing Quarantillo to feint his way into a hard right hand that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas.
- Alexander Romanov defeats Roque Martinez via second-round arm triangle: Romanov was simply a level — or more accurately, several levels — ahead of his opponent on the mat. The debuting Heavyweight scored takedowns with relative ease, including a huge belly-to-back suplex. Once on top, he flowed quite nicely, allowing Martinez to burn energy without gaining much ground. Eventually, one such scramble attempt saw Martinez basically fall into the arm triangle choke, and Romanov quickly capitalized.
- Jalin Turner defeats Brock Weaver via second-round rear naked choke: Turner beat up Weaver last night. He was the more accurate and more powerful man from the onset of the fight, dropping his opponent in the first. The damage added up quickly, and by the second, Weaver didn’t look very stable in his stance anymore. “The Tarantula” turned up the heat yet again, forcing his opponent to turn away in the clinch. From there, Turner secured a very nice two-on-one tie on the wrist, using that hold to drag his opponent down to the mat. The submission came moments later, and it will be interesting to see if Weaver remains on the roster after a really rough start to his UFC career.
- Sabrina Mazo defeats Justine Kish via third-round rear naked choke: Kish is a physical talent, one who wins fights via a combination of activity and strength. Even without a great deal of refinement, that can be a difficult challenge, but all things considered, Mazo handled it fairly well. She kept her feet moving and made use of straighter punches, which eventually slowed Kish. In the third, Mazo snuck a high kick threw the guard, which dropped Kish and set up the submission finish.
For complete UFC Vegas 10: “Hill vs. Waterson” results and play-by-play, click HERE!