Last night (Sat., Oct. 23, 2021), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) remained inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 41. On paper, last night’s card was supposed to be a step back up from the recent Las Vegas offerings, at least until a bloated “Borrachinha” showed up the scales. Paulo Costa’s weight cutting antics dominated the storylines ahead of this fight, as his bizarre behavior really overshadowed everything else until the actual fights began.
There were 13 other match ups too, however, so let’s take another look at the best performances and techniques:
A Fantastic Main Event
Yeah, there were a lot of hijinks ahead of the contest, but did you see the fight itself?
Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori beat the crap out of each other. Vettori was a bit smarter and threw in combinations, but his general strategy was only successful because he was able to tank a ridiculous amount of hard body shots and nasty overhands. The Italian does not appear to feel pain.
For more in-depth thoughts on this big, dumb fight, click HERE!
A Classic Bruce Leeroy Comeback
I don’t know how many fights I’ve seen Alex Caceres dropped or badly hurt in the first round, only for the veteran to storm back into the fight.
Caceres looks good at Featherweight, but he was having trouble with Seungwoo Choi’s long, snappy straight punches. One such cross dropped Caceres in the first, and he was arguably saved from a knockout loss when Choi threw an illegal knee that cost him a point and stalled the action.
Either way, Caceres was behind heading into the second, and Choi was still marching him down. Choi’s crisp right hand proved to be a double-edged sword, however, as Caceres ducked a cross and found himself behind the South Korean slugger. Caceres immediately jumped his foe’s back, and it’s a bit easier to secure the neck crank on a standing foe.
Choi was forced to tap, and now Caceres rides an unexpected five-fight win streak. Did anyone expect this type of skill or longevity from that goofy kid on The Ultimate Fighter? Caceres’ career has been consistently fun to watch, even if he’s faced some adversity.
Must-Watch Flyweight Action
At 24 years of age, Jeff Molina is a definite prospect to keep in mind.
In his UFC debut a few months back, Molina impressed with his boxing, showcasing great combinations and incredible volume. Last night, Molina faced another promising up-and-comer in Daniel da Silva, and he put on a great display of his skill and toughness to earn another UFC victory.
Da Silva started strong, firing powerful and varied kicks before jumping onto Molina’s back. Throughout the hard shots and bad position alike, Molina kept his composure, working out the back door and avoiding some excellent armbar attempts. Once in top position, Molina immediately started dropping absolute hammers, doing a ton of damage throughout some entertaining scrambles.
The Brazilian was wearing that damage in the second, and a much slower kick attempt allowed Molina to step through with a gorgeous counter that ended the contest.
- Nicolae Negumereanu defeats Ike Villanueva via first-round knockout: There’s not a ton to break down here. Negumereanu was significantly younger and a bit more athletic, so when a takedown failed early on, he simply flurried. Villanueva moved his head well, but a right hand behind the ear sent him to the mat, and a few iffy backfists ended the night for good.
- Gregory Rodrigues defeats Jun Yong Park via second-round knockout: WHAT A BRAWL! Rodrigues was the bigger, stronger man with the sharper boxing and superior grappling, but no one told “The Iron Turtle!” Park took the fight to Rodrigues, and early on, that only really provided “Robocop” with takedown opportunities. As both men fatigued, however, Park started finding real success, backing his foe into the cage and landing big shots. Unfortunately for the South Korean, he pushed his advantage a bit too hard, as Rodrigues was still throwing heat. All of a sudden, a Rodrigues right hand brought the momentum right back to his corner, and he swarmed to end the fight with a huge uppercut.
- Jai Herbert defeats Khama Worthy via first-round knockout: Worthy has a lot of skill, but unfortunately, he’s not the most durable fighter, and that’s a major problem at the highest level. Worth was landing well early, landing some hard punches and nice low kicks. However, when Herbert really opened up and let his combinations fly, Worthy was unable to answer back without getting hurt in the process.
For complete UFC Vegas 41: “Costa vs. Vettori” results and play-by-play, click HERE!