MMA Root

Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 26 last night – MMA Root

Last night (Saturday, May 8, 2021), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stayed inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 26. With the main and co-main events falling apart just days from the event, it really is Impressive that there were still a handful of high-quality matches left. It may not have been a night to remember forever, but UFC Vegas 26 still turned out to be a sight to see.

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

A good bit of fun

Look, no one asked for a Michelle Waterson main event against Marina Rodriguez. The undercard took a lot of hits, and these two ladies stepped up and scrapped for most of the five rounds. It was entertaining!

Ultimately, however, Rodriguez was too big and strong. Waterson found some success with his side kicks and check hooks (probably too much, since he relied on them so often), but every time Rodriguez continued his combination or hit the clinch, Waterson was in trouble. “Karate Hottie” couldn’t put any real fear in her opponent, and it’s hard to win a fight on that stage.

However, thanks to Waterson, she found some success at the end of the match to keep things interesting. She may not be a contender, but Waterson is a top-tier keeper for the strawweight elite.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is a nasty kickboxer, and I’d like to see her pitch with another top-tier forward next.

Crushed cowboy

Donald Cerrone was reprimanded by short-term replacement Alex Morono, and I wrote a bit more about that in depth HERE!

Magny the spoiler

Neil Magny knows how to frustrate fighters.

How many younger enemies have been favored to handle Magny? Far fewer than have actually gotten over it! Geoff Neal was the last to suffer the indignity of being grabbed and beaten by the awkward lanky man, and he’s also among the best to suffer this fate.

Neal’s biggest mistake was headhunting. The Southpaw has fierce power, certainly, but Magny knew well enough to avoid the left. If Neal had instead worked to break the body and legs with his kicks first, he might have been right. Instead, he rocked too often, which only led to the clinch more often.

Magny played the distance, and her opponent, very well to earn the nod for a decision.

A war worth waiting for

Gregor Gillespie vs. Diego Ferreira was always going to be the best fight on the card.

Gillespie pushes at a crazy pace, but he’s an imperfect fighter on defense. Meanwhile, Ferreira really specializes in countering his opponent’s takedown attempts, and he has really grown to become a puncher as well. Barring an early ending, the only potential outcome was a battle of blood and guts.

In the first round, Ferreira’s skill was enough to overcome Gillespie’s fight and pace. He countered takedown attempts with his jiu-jitsu, finishing the round on his back while throwing strong elbows. He also rocked Gillespie at one point with punches.

By the end of the first five minutes, Gillespie looked absolutely drained. However, the four-time American champion and national champion wrestlers have a different level of “digging deep.” Gillespie still stormed out the door in the second, putting Ferreira on his back early and showing excellent superior control. It floated over the Brazilian’s attempts to fight and drop submissions, advancing his position in the process.

Near the end of the round, Gillespie hit both hooks and began throwing unanswered punches, stopping the tremendous competition and returning to the win column in style.

Additional thoughts

• Phil Hawed defeats Kyle Daukas by unanimous decision: UFC Vegas 26 featured the debut of Hawes 2.0. Before last night, Hawes was something of a glass cannon, a tremendous physical talent held back by his durability and gas tank. Daukas, a complete player, seemed well equipped to capitalize on those problems, and he pushed intelligently at a very hectic pace. However, Hawes was prepared for that battle, using his enemy’s forward pressure to land his knees and work his body. In the third, it was Hawes who really took over, scoring a 10-8 third round and the biggest win of his young career.

Carlston Harris defeats Christian aguilera via first round anaconda choke: A couple of rookie wrestlers got together to open the preliminary card last night, and Harris was really impressed! Between the two, Aguilera was known as the forward, but opted to shoot for a takedown in the second half of the first round. Harris fought back and capitalized, throwing his arm deep around the neck and cleverly using his knee to momentarily block his opponent’s elbow. As a result of that cunning maneuver, he was able to fully sink into the anaconda’s strangulation, putting his enemy to sleep.

For full UFC Vegas 26 results: “Waterson vs. Rodriguez” and play-by-play, click HERE!

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