Thursday December 10, 2015– Live from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas Nevada, one of the biggest weeks in UFC history got kicked off with the newest division to the UFC, the women’s strawweight division. As one of UFC rising star Paige VanZant got ready to take on one of her biggest challenge yet, top ranked contender Rose Namajunas. With both fighters looking ahead to a title shot, it makes the stakes for the fight a lot higher and with both fighters coming of victory’s it just makes the storyline just a little bit juicier. Also another new star to the UFC is in action, as young and upcoming lightweight Sage Northcutt looked to make it two in a row against Cody Pfister. Jim Miller returned to fight Michael Chiesa, and the always exciting Tim Means makes his return to the octagon. A full slate of Prelims got the Vegas Crowd ready to roll before the ladies hit the main stage. Let Get Things Started!!!
The 1st prelim got things started in the women’s strawweight division as Kailin Curran (3-2) took on Emily Kagan (3-2), Curran with the 2nd round submission victory. Next up in the featherweight division Zubaira Tukhugov (17-3) took on Phillipe Nover (12-5-1), Tukhugov gets the split decision victory. Next in the welterweight division Danny Roberts (12-1) took on Nathan Coy (14-6), a classic Blackzilians Vs ATT battle and a very impressive 1st round triangle choke finish by Roberts. Staying in the welterweight division Aljamain Sterling (11-0) took on Johnny Eduardo (27-9), and the winner and still undefeated Aljamain Sterling with a 2nd round guillotine finish. Next up the middleweights take center stage as Antonio Carlos Junior (6-1) took on Kevin Casey (9-3), and in the 1st round an eye poke cause the fight to be decided in a no contest. Next up the welterweights as Omari Akhmedov (15-2) took on Sergio Moraes (9-3), and after falling behind early in the fight Moraes pulls through with a TKO victory in the 3rd round. Next up as we stay in the welterweight division, the featured prelim bout as Tim Means (24-7-1) took on John Howard (23-11), and in the 2nd round a devastating right hand by Tim Means ends the fight wow what a finish. The Main card kicks off in the middleweight division as Elias Theodorou (11-0) took on Thiago Santos (11-3), and after three rounds the winner by unanimous decision Thiago Santos a hell of a battle. Next up in the lightweight division, the youngest fighter on the roster Sage Northcutt (6-0) took on Cody Pfister (12-4-1), and in the 2nd round Sage Northcutt continues to impress with a 2nd round submission finish.
Co Main Event Lightweight Division
Jim Miller (25-6) Vs Michael Chiesa (12-2)
In the co main event two UFC veterans stepped into the octagon looking for a huge win to take the next step in their careers. With a combined 37 wins between the two of them these fighters know how to finish. Miller knows how to finish off big name opponents and Chiesa was looking to show that he will not be overlooked. The 1st round begins with both fighters trading hard blows, a takedown landed for Chiesa as he works his way into a half guard. Miller works is way out and try’s for a leg lock finish but a beautiful transition by Chiesa finds himself set up to possibly land a triangle. With Miller’s experience he finds himself taking Chiesa’s back. Miller locks in the body lock and continues to try to slip in the choke. Some strong submission and ground defense helps Chiesa get himself into the 2nd round. Round two starts off with Chiesa eating some hard strikes from Miller, but an opening occurred and Chiesa lands a takedown and works some mean ground and pound but the submission specialist himself works his way out of it and lands a knee lock. Chiesa works his way out of it and into a top position where he landed some mean hammer punches that stunned Miller. An opening occurred and Chiesa locked in a rear naked choke and that was it. A 2nd submission finish for Michael Chiesa ends the fight and it was a beautiful finish, perfectly executed when he looked down and out after the 1st round he worked his game and earned the finish.
Main Event Women’s Strawweight
#7 Paige VanZant (6-1) Vs #3 Rose Namajunas (4-2)
In the main event two of the UFC top women’s fighters took the main stage in the main event. VanZant a young and striving star that is shooting her way up the ladder may have her toughest opponent in her career In front of her. Namajunas is coming off a big win like VanZant is, and Rose knows that she is just a fight or two away from a title shot. These two women are tough and deadly in the octagon, with all eyes on them they didn’t let the MMA world down. The 1st round started off with Rose landing some mean shots that VanZant ate. A take down landed by Namajunas opens up for some ground and pound. Paige eats some elbows and a cut opens up. Both fighters are back to stand up but Rose is taking over the fight early. Rose takes VanZants back with both hooks locked in Paige works her way out. VanZant’s face covered in blood tries to work off her back. As the 1st round comes to and end a bloody VanZant barely survived the 1st round. The 2nd round began with Rose really putting the pressure on VanZant pressing her with hard shots that are landing. VanZant continues to miss her takedowns, with the misses coming Rose takes advantage of it by not only landing ground and pound but also wearing down VanZant. Even though Rose is in clear control Paige keeps working her way free and staying in the fight. The 3rd round began with Rose staying calm and cool by working her same game that she’s been working all night landing great combos and taking advantage of VanZant’s mistakes. Rose finds an opening and jumps on Paige’s back and locks in the rear naked choke. But as locked in as the choke was VanZant bloody and fading found her way to slip out of the hold and work her way to the end of the round. The 4th round begins with another takedown by Namajunas. Rose works in a kamura and arm bar and VanZant works her way out again. As much of a beating this women has taken she continues to get herself out of trouble. Rose locks in another armbar and this one was even deeper than the last but once again 12 Gauge finds a way out. Arm twisted backwards no problem for Paige. Rose just continues to work the fight not tired just taking her time. Another takedown landed and we are on are way to round five. The 5th round begins and everyone knows that VanZant needs a finish to win this fight and as for Rose she just needs to keep doing what she’s doing. Rose lands another takedown and takes VanZants back, Paige scrambles but this time it wasn’t enough and Rose gets the tap put finish over VanZant and that’s it. What a fight from both fighter Rose Namajunas put on a clinic and VanZant never gave up when she looked down and out but a body can only take so much. 8 takedowns and a ton of submissions locked in the win for Rose, that I what you get when you work hard for a win.
What a night to kick off the biggest week in UFC history. Sage keeps the hype train rolling and Rose Namajunas puts on a clinic to show that she is ready for whatever is next but is also ready for a title shot. Namajunas knew that she was on center stage and knew what was on the line, she didn’t fail, she rose to the occasion and dominated. VanZant on the other hand showed a lot of heart and even though there are no moral victories, the MMA world saw just who 12 Gauge really is.
For the UFC Fight Night 80 UFC Reebok Pay, Bonuses & Post Fight Press Conference click here.
UFC Fight Night 80: VanZant vs. Namajunas Official Results:
- Rose Namajunas def. Paige VanZant by
submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 5, 2:25
- Michael Chiesa def. Jim Miller by
submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2, 2:57
- Sage Northcutt def. Cody Pfister by
submission (guillotine choke) in Round 2, 0:41
- Thiago “Marreta” Santos def. Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Tim Means def. John Howard by
knockout (punches) in Round 2, 0:21
- Sergio Moraes def. Omari Akhmedov by
TKO (punches) in Round 3, 2:18
- Kevin Casey vs. Antonio Carlos Junior by
no-contest (unintentional eye poke) in Round 1, 0:11
- Aljamain Sterling def. Johnny Eduardo by
submission (guillotine choke) in Round 2, 4:18
- Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Andreas Stahl by
TKO (punches) in Round 1, 4:25
- Danny Roberts def. Nathan Coy by
technical submission (triangle choke) in Round 1, 2:46
- Zubaira Tukhugov def. Phillipe Nover by
split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Kailin Curran def. Emily Kagan by
submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2, 4:13
By: Rick San Bartolome
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