UFC Vegas 43 was long over the primary card decisions, with six games each reaching the scorecards. The worst part is that there are very few wow moments, if any. Matches are not bad, and most of them lack a certain attractive aspect. Nevertheless, the prelims ended with a unanimous decision over Pat Sabatini Tucker Lutz. Sabatini gave his opponent zero space to extend his UFC record to 3-0.
Instead of competing, Rafa Garcia made a unanimous decision on the Naughton Levy. Both were getting takedowns, and both fighters were ready to trade shots, but the night belonged to Rafa. After a rough 0-2 start with the UFC, Garcia has found himself on the winning column. After a quarrel last month, Lupita Godinez returned to work to win a unanimous decision against dangerous striker Loma Lookbunmi. It was a fight that Godinz won to improve his UFC record to 2-2.
In the flyweight division of the UFC, Cody Durden made a comprehensive unanimous decision over Arikileng. There were several back and forth scrambles, and there were some fights between the two, but wrestling was the big difference here. This is Durden’s first UFC win as his promotion record moves to 1-1-1. Aoriqileng has yet to be dubbed with the company.
Shylan NourdanBK favored his takedowns and took control of Sean Soriano’s unanimous decision. This is Nuerdanbieke’s first UFC victory. Opening the event, Luana Pinhero scored a coupon of knockdowns and takedowns against Sam Hughes to warn the unanimous decision. After winning the UFC debut here by disqualification, this was Pinheiro’s first campaign victory of his own. Hughes never won at 0-3 under the UFC banner.
** See the full results below
Pat Sabatini def. Tucker Lutz (30-26 x2, 30-27) by unanimous decision: Featherweight
It wasn’t long before the fighters took hold while they were looking for a Lutz takedown. Sabatini reversed the position and was able to convert his removal attempt. Lutz worked his way back to his feet but was thrown right back. Sabatini took her back and began to control Lutz. He attacked with the RNC a couple of times, but Lutz stayed calm and waited for the end of the round.
Sabatini immediately blasted the double leg in the second stanza and gradually increased his position. He then jumped the guillotine he used to take the entire mount and then went for another back take. Lutz did not improve his position until he became Bell. Sabatini returned for removal in the final act. Lutz stood up, but still carried the weight of his opponent. Sabatini stuck with his rinse and repeat style, putting Lutz on the defensive. Lutz finally got back to his feet, but couldn’t do anything to win the round, leaving the fight.
Rafa Garcia def. Natan Levy (29-28 x3) by unanimous decision: lightweight
The fighters went over it, exchanging blows back and forth. Garcia seemed to have the energy advantage. He gripped and Garcia snapped down and held the position for a while. Back on the legs, Levi was mixing in kicks but Garcia was still giving good shots. Garcia finished the round with a late takedown.
Garcia hit the kick to secure an early takedown in the second act, but it was short-lived. He then went back and forth on the legs, swapping punches in the pocket. Levi was still mixing in kicks. They also mixed the removal with a bit of high control time. Garcia worked to get it back but scored another takedown before Bell.
Levy pressed forward in the final frame, filling Garcia’s efforts to eliminate him. Levi seemed to be a little too fresh out there and was throwing more strikes. It was then that Garcia decided to go back for removal. Levi explodes again, but Garcia is grinding on him. In the final minute, Garcia hit a beautiful double leg to put Levi on the back and finish the round again.
Lupita Godinez def. Loma Lookbunme unanimously (30-27 x3): Stravite
Godinez went to Lookbunmee with his boxing, but as soon as he won, Loma made the trip. Godinez got up and was able to stop Loma slightly against the cage. They worked hard for the removal, but somehow the lookbunmee was able to stay vertical. Back in the open, Godinez was still scoring by jumping with punches, while Lookboonmee was more of a kick focus. Godinez hit a late takedown to complete the top round.
Godinez used his boxing to set up a double-leg takedown to get a second stanza. Lookboonmee got back to her feet, but after a kick and a knee, Godinez pulled her back. Loma was stuck in the bottom of the half guard for a while, eating a couple of ground shots. She ended up giving her back, and Godinez still felt good for the closing moments of the round.
Godinez went right for a takedown in the final frame, taking the fight to the ground. After Godinz hit the heel hook, Lukbunmee rose to the top and worked to get his opponent up. Lookboonmey dropped a bunch of small knees to the body, but Godinez broke free and blasted another takedown. Lookbunmee stood behind and started the knee to the body with the rest of the round.
Cody Durden def. By Unanimous Decision Killeng Ari (29-28 x3): Flyweight
Durden opened the game with some hard leg kicks, followed by a couple takedowns. Arikileng was able to avoid any meaningful damage before getting back to his feet. However, it wasn’t long before Durden returned for a takedown and worked to protect Aricileng. As the wrap got longer, Durden began to get tired and Aricileng came alive with pressure and volume.
Durden was down with his hands at the start of the second act, but Aricileng was still looking like a new fighter out there. Aoriqileng was actually looking for a takedown and tried to further strain his opponent. Durden slipped and Aricileng jumped on him, but the fight quickly got back to his feet. In the final minute, the fighters started to beat it and each person hit punches and no one gave an inch.
The Durden Pigeon was in the final frame for a takedown, but Aricileng fenced several times, before being taken down and warned by a ref along the way. Arikileng got back to his feet and the fighters held on for a while. Once the open space was four, the athletes returned to swing the skin. Durden closed the wrap with Aricileng pressing against the fence, hunting for removal.
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. Sean Soriano (29-28 x3) by unanimous decision: Featherweight
There was plenty of measure at the start of the opening round, and for Soriano the accidental cup kick slowed the fight even further. Nuerdanbieke hit a takedown, but Soriano did a good job of getting up immediately. The fight didn’t last long, and on the feet it was Soriano who had the fastest hands. He also hit a late takedown.
Soriano continued to be the most effective striker on the legs. Nuerdanbieke was struggling to land his strikes, but threatened with removal. Sean was able to fight off a takedown attempt to get in, but he was quickly swept away by Neurodanbic. Soriano then took the lead, only to sweep back to Neurdanbeck.
Nuerdanbieke hit an early takedown in the third, and then as soon as Soriano stood up he got suplexed in power fashion. After a while, the Neuerdonbeek Soriano was able to settle on the ground. He transitioned to the back and locked the body triangle and from there, Soriano got stuck. Nuerdanbieke remained behind and in control until the bell.
Luana Pinheiro def. Sam Hughes (30-27 x2, 29-28) by unanimous decision: Stravite
It was a bit of a feeling process to keep things going, but as soon as Pinheiro started to connect with her hands, she was able to hit the toss. She tried the Peruvian nectai, but as soon as she realized it wasn’t there, she bailed on it. Hughes got back to her feet, but couldn’t do anything to steal the round.
Hughes took center stage in the second act, forcing Pinheiro on her back. It kept Pinheiro out of reach and from its own striking range. Unlike the opening round, Hughes was able to fill out the takedown attempts to avoid being on his back. While Sam seemed to have a round on the bag, Pinheiro dropped her with a flurry of punches at the end of the round.
Pinheiro used a stinging leg kick to open the final round, and then followed with several hard punches. After that, Hughes established control of the center, but was unable to hurt his opponent. Whenever they collided, Pinhero was unloading significant strikes. Hughes had Pinheiro running past, but she couldn’t do any better.