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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 78 last night | dos Anjos vs. Luque

Last night (Sat., Aug. 12, 2023), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned home to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 78. On paper, the card was nothing to write home about in terms of top contenders or massive names, but this one had an aura of violence around it from the get-go. The fights more than delivered, starting with a rare twister submission and mostly ramping up from there! There were tons of first-round finishes, which helped make the night run smoothly (if you can ignore the repetitive ads).

Let’s take a look at UFC Vegas 78’s standout performances and techniques:

A Main Event Wrestling Match

Rafael dos Anjos could not stop wrestling with Vicente Luque.

I have to assume that’s because Luque hits real hard. “RDA” took a few check left hooks and some hard jabs to the jawline, and the veteran understood that eating more would end his night early. That’s the only logical reason I can see for why the highly intelligent ex-champion would choose to continually wrestle when that strategy cost him the fight.

Dos Anjos landed good strikes when he threw, and Luque didn’t like it one bit. There was potential for dos Anjos to take over on the feet, but he couldn’t commit to that strategy. It made for an odd fight, and it also leaves Luque’s future as a Welterweight contender looking rather foggy.

UFC Fight Night: Swanson v Dawodu Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

29-28 Who?!?

Confession: I don’t think Cub Swanson over Hakeem Dawodu is an awful scorecard. Personally, I had Dawodu winning the first two rounds, but I’ll freely admit that the second round was highly competitive, and Swanson did finish it by landing a huge shot right at the bell. Regardless of what the rules say, those last-second lands matter more to the judges than the first minute of combat.

Still, Dawodu, Swanson, and everyone watching all assumed that the Canadian was getting his hand raised when the unanimous decision began to be announced. “Mean” landed some gorgeous multi-level combinations, hard counters, and consistently did more than Swanson. His good work deserves to be recognized.

UFC Fight Night: Rountree v Daukaus Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The Wrong Light Heavyweight Debut

Chris Daukaus made the right decision in dropping to 205-pounds. His frame fits the division, and he looked healthy at weigh-ins. Certainly, he was in better shape than his Heavyweight appearances.

The problem is that UFC matched him with Khalil Rountree, a cruel move against a man who had lost his last three via knockout. Rountree is not a perfect fighter, but he’s remarkably powerful. He hits as hard as most Heavyweights, except he’s much faster and his Muay Thai technique is far cleaner.

Plain and simple: Daukaus was not set up for success here. He showed off some fast combinations that landed well, but he couldn’t handle the offense that came back at him. Rountree’s check hook kept interrupting his attacks, and then a clean left hand ended the contest immediately.

There are 205-pounders on the UFC roster that Daukaus can beat, but Rountree isn’t one of them.

UFC Fight Night: Viana v Lucindo Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Talented At 21

Iasmin Lucindo is going to be a problem for the Strawweight division.

At just 21 years of age, she already has a wealth of experience and a rounded skill set. Unlike the majority of her 115-pound peers, Lucindo has power. Some of her counters really wobbled the knees of Polyana Viana, and she has the quickness and hand speed necessary to put forth punches-in-bunches.

To complement her stand up skill, Lucindo proved herself on the mat in this bout too! She took Viana down twice, navigated her foe’s dangerous guard, and then locked in a well-executed arm triangle choke from top position. It was a mature, well-rounded display of talent, the kind of performance that seems to promise an eventual position in the Top 15.

UFC Fight Night: Parisian v Buday Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

An Unlikely Heavyweight Contender?

Martin Buday improved to 4-0 inside the Octagon, smashing Josh Parisian inside a round. He showed little to no respect for his opponent’s offense, storming forward with combinations and heavy clinch knees. Within three minutes, Parisian was worn down, throwing back desperately in the hopes that Buday’s pressure would ease.

Instead, the Slovakian athlete reversed a takedown, isolated the figure-four grip, and sat on Parisian’s head. That’s a 265-pound Heavyweight — there was nowhere for Parisian to go! He was quickly forced to submit to the kimura, which made for a well-rounded display of Buday’s talents.

“Badys” is a big boy with solid conditioning and well-rounded skills. Maybe he’s ready to give a Top 15 opponent a scrap?

UFC Fight Night: Blackshear v Johnson Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images


In just the third instance of the submission in UFC history, Da’Mon Blackshear secured a twister to tap out the debuting Jose Johnson. He scored a takedown early and advanced to the back quickly, but then he switched up his approach by locking up single leg control. When Johnson gave him the opening by reaching for his head, Blackshear immediately took advantage with a twister. Initially, his arms were wrapped around the chin, but as soon as he moved more up the face and extended, Johnson was forced to tap.

Here’s the thing about the twister: it shouldn’t happen. It’s a really powerful submission that can do nasty damage, but for that spinal crank to work, the defending fighter basically has to make a mistake with his arm positioning. Otherwise, it just won’t happen. That’s why they’re so uncommon!

Still, Blackshear saw an opening that Johnson didn’t realize existed, and he made it happen. Full credit to “Da Monster,” who now rides a two-fight winning streak.

UFC Fight Night: McKinney v Breeden Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Additional Thoughts

  • Marcus McGhee defeats JP Buys via first-round knockout: McGhee looks like a solid UFC talent, and I don’t want to take away from his moment, but man ... Buys’ UFC career has gone terribly. He proved his wrestling skill on Contenders Series, but he’s just been so hittable inside the Octagon, getting knocked down time and time again in four straight UFC losses. It only took McGhee a couple of minutes to start timing Buys’ offense, and then a right hand sat him down for good and very likely ended his UFC career.
  • Terrance McKinney defeats Mike Breedan via first-round knockout: McKinney may be a one round fighter, but he’s a nasty first five minutes! He took apart Breedan with absolute ease, showing him the Southpaw double threat of left kick and left hand, scoring with both. Then, he started targeting the body as well, hurting Breedan with so many different weapons that he just couldn’t keep up. Breedan clearly wanted to extend the fight beyond the opening round, but it remains easier said than done.
  • Isaac Dulgarian defeats Francis Marshall via first-round TKO: This fight illustrates why Contenders Series prospects are tough to judge. In his previous two UFC fights, Marshall showed good potential in my eyes. Athletic, powerful, solid wrestling — all good things you want to see from a young fighter, even if he didn’t win both fights. Dulgarian took him down and immediately exposed a major weakness, however. Marshall looked wildly uncomfortable on his back, and as soon as the elbows started landing, he didn’t really have an answer. It’s a massively successful debut for the undefeated Dulgarian, but until we see more of both men, it’s hard to say whether Dulgarian is extremely skilled or Marshall just has a hole in his game.
  • Jaqueline Amorim defeats Montserrat Conejo via third-round TKO: Honestly, this fight could have ended in the first, seeing as it played out the same in each and every round. Amorim was just way bigger and had a significant jiu-jitsu edge. She overwhelmed Conejo on the floor. Even when Conejo managed to scramble into top position, Amorim would roll her over with absolute ease. Then, she’d alternate between taking the back, hunting the armbar, and dropping punches — eventually, one had to result in the finish.
  • Luana Santos defeats Julianna Miller via first-round knockout: It wasn’t necessarily the most high-level performance of the year, but Santos debuted in style all the same! The Brazilian prospect is just 24 years old and has a mere seven fights to her professional record, so some lack of polish is easily forgiven anyway. In her debut, she simply overwhelmed Miller after the two initially brawled evenly. Once Santos hurt her with a right, she swarmed and swarmed until Miller was kept up by the cage alone, forcing referee intervention.

For complete UFC Vegas 78: “Dos Anjos vs. Luque” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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