Last night (Sat., Nov. 20, 2021), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) remained inside Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 43. In the main event, former women’s Bantamweight champ Miesha Tate looked to continue her unlikely title run opposite Ketlen Vieira, while the co-main featured a collision of top-tier grapplers in Michael Chiesa and Sean Brady. Even with a last second COVID-19 cancellation, 11 bouts took place from inside the UFC Apex.
It was not the best UFC event in history, but still, let’s take another look at the best performances and techniques:
The Meh-Ain Event
I do my best to keep this column fairly positive. I have sympathy for fighters who make bad decisions or put on poor performances. There’s a lot going on inside that Octagon, and it happens. Ideally, the winner and their skill are highlighted, while the loser is at worst lightly critiqued.
So, with that in mind, how to discuss the main event without simply s—ting on it? Vieira definitely hits hard. Tate is still game as hell. Unfortunately, neither showed much of an aptitude for adapting on the fly, which made for an extremely repetitive 25 minutes. It just wasn’t a ton of fun and neither looked that good, so ... let’s move on?
Look, I knew Brady was a talented wrestler with a jiu-jitsu black belt, but am I alone in expecting him to employ a sprawl-and-brawl strategy game plan vs. a well-established grinder in Chiesa?
Perhaps I’m alone in this, but Brady shocked me by consistently outwrestling Chiesa, racking up long periods of back control time to sway the decision in his favor. Equally unexpected was Chiesa’s sharp left hand, which was repeatedly the most damaging shot of the fight against the man I thought I knew to be the sharper boxer!
Whatever the case, Brady fought well, proving himself a top contender at 170 lbs. Chiesa, meanwhile, may not have an argument for victory, but he should be proud. The finish did not materialize in the third, but he fought damn hard and tried to rally, doing everything one would hope for from a fighter down on the cards.
Santos Secures Her Shot
Taila Santos announced herself as a top contender last night.
19-1 as a pro, Santos decimate Joanne Wood last night. Wood is known for her highly competitive fights with much of the Flyweight Top 10, but Santos proved far beyond the veteran. Immediately, she was the quicker woman, and before long, that resulted in several huge right hand connections.
Wood hit the mat twice inside the first round as a result. She gamely tried to survive, but Santos jumped the back and secured the strangle soon afterward. At this point, no one is going to be anything less than a huge underdog vs. Valentina Shevchenko, so doesn’t sending a finish to the lion’s den at least feel slightly more optimistic?
Adrian Yanez vs. Davey Grant lived up to expectations.
Grant 2.0 debuted somewhere in 2020, and he lived up to his “Dangerous” moniker more than ever. The veteran has become an unorthodox but incredibly violent kickboxer, and he did his damnedest to take off Yanez’s head last night.
Early on, Yanez’s craft was winning exchanges. The prospect controls range so well and picks his shots expertly, landing beautiful body rips and chopping low kicks whenever Grant was backed too close to the fence. In addition, Yanez landed big on the counter, ducking beneath Grant’s swings and immediately firing back.
Grant did not go away quietly, however. He was attacking the calf himself and digging front kicks up the middle, and when combined with gigantic swinging hooks, he started landing. Yanez’s head movement kept his face fairly clean, but Grant still did damage, notably swelling up Yanez’s ear like a small peach.
The fight was up for grabs in the third, and the jab won the day. Yanez continued to bloody up his foe’s mug while also slowing the madness back down, clearly taking over in the final frame. It made for a great win for Yanez, his fourth in a row, and further evidence that Yanez is destined for the division’s elite.
- Patrick Sabatini defeats Tucker Lutz via unanimous decision: This wasn’t necessarily the most entertaining figh of all time, but it was a dominant display. The former CFFC champ secured his third straight win inside the Octagon with relative ease, consistently outwrestling his opponent at every turn with power double legs and tricky inside trips. Once on the mat, Sabatini put his jiu-jitsu black belt skills on display, attaining excellent positions and maintaining them for long periods of time. The submission didn’t emerge, but Sabatini remains one to watch at 145 lbs.
For complete UFC Vegas 43: “Tate vs. Vieira” results and play-by-play, click HERE!