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UFC Vegas 64: Five Things We Learned

UFC Vegas 64

(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 64
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 64: Five Things We Learned

At UFC Vegas 64 we saw a handful of impactful fights. The main event between Amanda Lemos and Marina Rodriguez had serious title implications, while history was on the line in the co-main between Neil Magny and Daniel Rodriguez. Outside of that, prospects and talented fighters looked to get one step closer to the UFC rankings.

With all of this action, there is plenty to talk about. Here are five things we learned at UFC Vegas 64:

1. Amanda Lemos is close to a title shot

In the UFC Vegas 64 main event, Lemos got a third-round knockout victory over Marina Rodriguez. This was by far the best win of Lemos’ career. She controlled a large portion of the fight prior to the knockout, too.

The first round was fairly close as both fighters were inactive, but things turned in Lemos’ favor shortly after. She controlled the second round with a body triangle and nearly found a rear-naked choke finish. She carried the momentum into round three and landed a flurry of massive strikes that had Lemos badly hurt which resulted in a stoppage.

Lemos is certainly on the shortlist for a women’s strawweight title fight. The only other fighter that is in serious contention for a title fight is Xiaonan Yan. Rose Namajunas looms around the top of the division as well, but it does not appear like she will get the next title fight. It is hard to say if Lemos will get the next title fight. She may end up in a title eliminator with Yan. Regardless, she is sitting close to the top of the division. We should know more about the future of the strawweight title after UFC 281 as champion Carla Esparza will attempt to defend her belt against Zhang Weili.

2. Neil Magny is a UFC legend

Magny made history at UFC Vegas 64 when he submitted Daniel Rodriguez in the third round of their bout. With this win, Magny passed Georges St-Pierre for the most welterweight wins in UFC history. This record has come after Magny has gone 20-8 since joining the UFC in 2013.

This was a great win for Magny, too. In all likelihood, the loser of this bout would lose their rankings. Magny ensured that did not happen. He did a great job of mixing in clinch work and grappling to gain an advantage. Rodriguez then won round two with his boxing. However, in round three, Magny was the fresher fighter and he made it clear by out-grappling Rodriguez. This grappling control culminated with a D’arce choke finish.

3. Grant Dawson can wrestle

Dawson did not have an easy fight at UFC Vegas 64. His opponent, Mark Madsen, is an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. Despite that, Dawson won the wrestling exchanges. It was not close either. Dawson was able to land takedowns and advance into dominant positions. Ultimately, he was able to take Madsen’s back and land a rear-naked choke. Prior to this bout, everyone knew that Dawson could wrestle, but he proved to be better than people thought.

It will be interesting to see who Dawson fights next. He is itching close to the lightweight rankings. There is a case to be made that he deserves a ranked fight. With that being said, the lightweight division may be the hardest division to earn a ranked opponent in. I do not think he gets a ranked fight next. Instead, he is likely one win away.

4. Mario Bautista is entertaining

Bautista looked great at UFC Vegas 64 as he submitted Benito Lopez in entertaining fashion in the first round.

Bautista was throwing hammers on the feet. Every strike he throws has bad intentions. In this bout, he was landing those strikes too. Eventually, he landed a takedown and the fight swung in his favor every further. On the ground, he landed ground-and-pound before finishing the fight with a nasty armbar. At a minimum, this fight sealed Bautista as an entertaining fighter with a violent style.

5. Polyana Viana is Adding to Her Game

Polyana Viana put Jinh Yu Frey out cold at UFC Vegas 64. She landed a quick four-piece combo and each strike landed with pinpoint accuracy. What makes this so impressive is that Viana is not known for her knockout power. Viana’s best skill is by far her Brazilian jiu-jitsu and she has great submission skills.

Prior to this fight, all of her UFC wins came via submission. I do not know if this performance will be an outlier or if she has actually made massive strides in her striking. If her striking is as good as it looked at UFC Vegas 64, she will be a tough fighter to beat.


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