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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 62 last night

UFC Fight Night: Assuncao v Henry Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Last night (Sat., Oct. 15, 2022), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) remained inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 62. It’s never the best case scenario when the most interesting fight on the card is canceled on weigh-in day, but at least the main event between Viviane Araujo and Alexa Grasso carried some title implications. Otherwise, the appeal of the night is likely the bevy of hungry young prospects eager to score quick finishes, many of them veterans of Contender Series.

Let’s take a look at the best performances and techniques:

UFC Fight Night: Grasso v Araujo Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Boxing Wins The Night

Grasso vs. Araujo proved a very close contest. Frequently, the rounds were decided by just a handful of strikes, as the duo matched each other in volume. Neither really adjusted their approach, so the core exchanges kept repeating themselves.

Araujo landed some decent jabs and left hooks, but as the fight wore on, she grew increasingly one note. Early on, she kicked the lead leg, attacked the body, and mixed in takedowns. As it became more and more of a boxing match, Grasso’s tighter punching and willingness to attack the body slowly proved the deciding factor.

It wasn’t tremendously entertaining, but Grasso extends her win streak to four nevertheless.

Bad Ideas At Bantamweight

UFC Fight Night: Swanson v Martinez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The general reaction to Cub Swanson’s late career drop to 135 pounds was confusion.

It just didn’t make much sense. “Killer Cub” was unlikely to go on any kind of sudden title run in 2022 regardless of weight class. Why bother to endure a brutal weight cut to drop 10 additional pounds? It’s not like Swanson wasn’t winning fights at Featherweight. He was entertaining and well-liked there!

Jonathan Martinez is no easy introduction to the division either. His left kick is brutally powerful, and it slammed into Swanson’s jaw, mid-section, and leg frequently. A heavy knee to the jaw could have ended the fight in the first, but instead the two fought on, simply so Martinez could rip apart his lead leg too.

Maybe it’s time to bounce back to Featherweight?

UFC Fight Night: Assuncao v Henry Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Vintage Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao is 40 years old, but he didn’t look it at all against Victor Henry.

Henry came into this bout with some hype, having upset Raoni Barcelos in impressive fashion in his short-notice UFC debut. He was widely expected to run over Assuncao, seeing as the Brazilian had lost four straight and been finished three times in that span. It just felt like his career was coming to an end.

Instead, all the classic Assuncao techniques were on display. Time and time again, he punished Henry’s offense, taking small angles and sticking him with jabs and overhands. Assuncao’s kick defense remains tremendous. Henry’s kicks were frequently checked or countered, including some of Assuncao’s biggest lands. At one point, the Brazilian caught a teep, landed three right hands, then finished with a takedown!

It was really nice to see the technician back in the win column.

UFC Fight Night: Cirkunov v Menifield Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The End Of Misha Cirkunov

Cirkunov joined the UFC roster in 2015 and quickly picked up four finish victories to rise into the Top 10. He was en route to a title shot before Volkan Oezdemir derailed his momentum. After that first knockout loss, he’s just never been able to get back on track. He’s been finished five times since that defeat, and each loss just seems to cost more confidence.

Alonzo Menifield pretty much bullied Cirkunov. He looked faster, more powerful, and more confident. Right away, he was swinging big shots and bloodied up the Canadian athlete. Then, he turned Cirkunov around with a left hook and smoked him with an uppercut from hell, handing Cirkunov his fourth straight loss and likely pink slip.

It’s been a seriously tough spiral.

UFC Fight Night: Taira v Vergara Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Taira Has Talent

Tatsuro Taira improved to 12-0 last night with a second-round submission win over CJ Vergara. He showed off some solid counter punching from his back foot, but the 22 year old really shined when the fight transitioned to the canvas.

Taira’s takedown entries can be iffy, but his transitions once on the hips are slick. He did great work in constantly working towards the back mount. In particular, his trip from the back clinch — set up by an attempted standing back take — was very nice, and he quickly took the back fully by remaining in control of the tripped leg.

The smooth ground transitions continued from there. Taira attacked the neck smartly for most of the second before attacking an armbar in the closing minute of the round. It’s a second strong win for perhaps the best Japanese prospect in UFC at the moment.

UFC Fight Night: Wright v Todorovic Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Additional Thoughts

  • Dusko Tudorovic defeats Jordan Wright via second-round technical knockout: When the fight advanced about a minute into the second frame, it was officially the longest bout of Wright’s 17-fight career. “The Beverly Hills Ninja” doesn’t even attempt to pace himself, which resulted in an incredibly dominant first round. Then, he looked real tired to start the second, and Tudorovic turned the tide with a vengeance. He battered his opponent in the clinch, gained top position, and then finished his exhausted foe with strikes from mount. Cardio is everything! Still, Wright’s wrestling was pretty impressive early on given that he’s known more as a striker than anything else.
  • Joanderson Brito defeats Lucas Alexander via first round rear-naked choke: Alexander was a short-notice replacement fighting an experienced and explosive finisher. The result wasn’t shocking, as Brito was pretty easily able to swarm Alexander, jump his back, and lock in the strangle to secure his first UFC win streak.
  • Pete Rodriguez defeats Mike Jackson via first-round knockout: Well, that’s probably the long overdue end of the Mike Jackson UFC experiment thing. Credit to Jackson for somehow sticking around on the roster for the better part of a decade, but it’s always been clear he’s not actually at the level of a UFC undercard fighter. Rodriguez was smoked in his sole UFC performance prior to this fight, but he did what he was supposed to here, erasing Jackson in just 93 seconds with heavy punches and a clean knee. What a drastic change in competition level for Rodriguez, going from fighting Jack Della Maddelena to Jackson.

For complete UFC Vegas 62: “Grasso vs. Araujo” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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