Mixed Martial Arts

UFC: Vettori takes hard-fought decision victory over Hermansson

Leigh Nald Cabildo
UFC: Vettori takes hard-fought decision victory over Hermansson

IMPRESSIVE. Marvin Vettori becomes the face of Italian MMA.

Photo from UFC

Last-minute replacement Marvin Vettori gets the upperhand in the middleweight bout against Jack Hermansson

The action packed fight card wrapped up in a spectacular fashion as Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori (16-4-1) took a hard-fought decision victory against the No. 4 ranked middleweight Jack “The Joker” Hermansson (21-6) in UFC Fight Night on Saturday, December 5 (Sunday, December 6, Philippine time), at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vettori – a last minute opponent – displayed his blinding hand speed from the get-go and dropped Hermasson with a powerful left hand in the opening round of the fight.

The 27-year-old Italian tried to end the fight early, but failed to connect his submission attempt.

All thanks to his impressive takedown defense, Vettori remained in control in the 2nd round of the fight.

Hermasson, however, recovered and came out swinging in the 3rd round where he started to land heavy right punches and combinations.

Despite all the action, both fighters maintained the high-octane pace in the championship rounds with their hands doing all the talking.

But Vettori’s aggressive start in the final round and accurate left punches placed him on the winning side of the scorecards.

“Today I looked stronger,” said Vettori. “It was a hell of a fight and I’m so happy I got the win. I was able to make it a boxing fight, that’s what I want. I know I got the advantage there, but man [Hermansson] is tough.”

Vettori (164) and Hermansson (122) put up 282 combined significant strikes – the most in UFC middleweight history. 

Right after the fight, Vettori – who won his 4th straight bout and, by far, the biggest fight of his career – called out the Brazilian juggernaut Paulo Costa.

“Now I’m in the mix too, you better put me in the game,” he said. “Let’s go Borrachinha [Costa], we’ll make a hell of a fight.”

Vettori was a last-minute replacement for the main event, filling in the spot for the streaking middleweight fighter Kevin Holland, who tested positive for COVID-19 a week before the event.

Prior to the event, UFC announced additional scratched off bouts due to health reasons.

The  featherweight clash between Nate Landwehr and Movsar Evloev and the women’s flyweight bout featuring Montana De La Rosa and Taila Santos have been canceled due to COVID-19.

Another bout involving Cody Durden and Jimmy Flick also got pulled off due to Durden’s non-COVID health issue.

No shortage of action

But despite all the ruined bouts, the Fight Night had no shortage of action.

In the co-main event, Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill (8-0, 1NC) continued his climb to the rankings and took a standing TKO win against Ovince St. Preux (25-15).

Both fighters used their range well, but Hill came out on top with his accurate and sharp strikes in the 2nd round that forced a referee to call the fight over. 

At the start of the main card, Jordan “The Monkey King” Leavitt (8-0) only needed 22 seconds to retain his unbeaten record as he pulled off a terrifying first round slam knockout victory against the veteran Matt “Handsome” Wiman (16-10).

Leavitt positioned his left forearm perfectly on the side of Wiman’s neck before slamming his opponent to the ground – which resulted in an instant stoppage. 

The 12th slam knockout in UFC history, however, put everyone on the edge of their seat as Wiman took awhile to regain consciousness. The veteran, fortunately, was able to stand up and walk out of the octagon.

Lightweight prospect Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez (22-9) also pulled off an outstanding victory as he knocked out Justin “Guitar Hero” Jaynes (16-6) in the opening round with a solid knee strike to the body.

Meanwhile in the preliminary card, Ilia Topuria (10-0) used his deadly striking combinations to take a Round 1 knockout victory against Damon “The Leech” Jackson (18-4-1, 1NC). 

While Louis “The Last Samurai” Smolka (17-7) wisely adjusted in the 2nd round and pummeled the flashy “El Teco” José Alberto Quiñónez (9-5) on the ground to take a TKO victory. – Rappler.com