UFC Vegas 5:
UFC Vegas 5, the first UFC show back at the UFC Apex, took place on Saturday night, this after four shows in three weeks on Fight Island (Yaz Island, Abu Dhabi.)
In total, UFC Vegas 5, a card exclusive to ESPN+ inside the United States, featured eight MMA fights.
Fights called off:
Fights were affected five times in the run-up to and during this card on Saturday night, with two cancellations stemming from positive virus tests.
Originally, Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana was to have been the main event on Saturday night, but Aldana withdrew from the card last week due to a positive test for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19.)
That main event has since been rebooked for the Oct. 3 UFC Fight Night card.
Several other adjustments were made to this card:
Markus Perez vs. Eric Spicely- cancelled after Spicely failed a weight cut.
Timur Valiev vs. Jamall Emmers- cancelled after Valiev could not secure a visa.
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Ed Herman- cancelled after Meerschaert received a positive COVID-19 test.
Kevin Holland vs. Trevin Giles– cancelled moments before fight was to begin due to Giles fainting, fight postponed by order of Nevada State Athletic Commission.
In the case of Valiev, Vincent Cacheiro stepped in on one day’s notice to fight Emmers.
Cheap shots were quite common on Saturday night.
During the eight-fight card, contests were paused on nine separate occasions for illegal blows (groin shots)—with a 10th pause for an eye poke during the main event.
Of those eight fights, four ended in stoppages on Saturday night in Las Vegas, resulting in a stoppage rate of 50 percent.
Dating back to UFC 249 in Jacksonville, there have been 143 individual UFC fights held.
Of those 143 individual fights, 71 have ended in stoppages, resulting in a stoppage rate of 49.6 percent all told.
The Fights Themselves:
Chris Gutierrez vs. Cody Durden:
UFC Vegas 5 began with this Bantamweight contest.
Durden (11-2-1) led after the first round with dominant ground control, but Gutierrez (15-3-2) fought back over the last two rounds.
After 15 minutes, the judges unanimously scored it 28-28 for the draw.
Jamall Emmers vs. Vincent Cacheiro:
Although both men in this Featherweight contest landed over 100 strikes over the course of 15 minutes of action, momentum swung in the favor of Jamall Emmers (18-5), who landed five takedowns [an average of one takedown every three minutes of action] against Cacheiro (7-3), to take the victory by unanimous decision (30-27 across the board.)
Nate Maness vs. Johnny Munoz Jr.:
This Bantamweight attraction marked the UFC promotional debut for both fighters.
Munoz (10-1) dominated the first round and nearly finished Maness (12-1) with a knockout before the latter was saved by the bell, Maness was the beneficiary of a point deduction due to a low blow, giving him a unanimous decision victory (29-27 across the board.)
Jonathan Martinez vs. Frankie Saenz:
After fighting in a remarkably close first round of the featured Bantamweight prelim, Martinez (12-3) poured it on over the second and third rounds, nearly finishing Saenz (12-7) in round two, culminating in a flourish of strikes to score a third-round TKO.
Unfortunately, Martinez failed to make weight for this fight, rendering him ineligible for a bonus at the post-fight press conference.
Lando Vannata vs. Bobby Green:
Let’s talk stats for a fight that was shifted to the main card opener at the last minute.
Bobby Green (26-10-1) landed 110 strikes over the course of the three rounds, compared to 59 for Lando Vannata (11-5) in this Lightweight fight.
Green picked up a unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after 15 minutes.
Vicente Luque vs. Randy Brown:
The second stoppage of UFC Vegas 5 took place in this Welterweight attraction—and all you really need to know about this one is what happened in the final few seconds of round two.
Luque (19-7) landed a knee to Brown (12-4), and upon dropping him, scored with some punches to end the fight via knockout.
Co-Main Event: Joanne Calderwood vs. Jennifer Maia:
This co-main event in the UFC’s Women’s Flyweight division.
Maia (18-6-1) needed four minutes and 29 seconds and some back control to lock in an armbar vs. Calderwood (14-5) to score the submission, Saturday’s third stoppage.
Main Event: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Derek Brunson:
This Middleweight main event was a rarity in that, due to its contract, it was only a maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.
At the very end of round two, Brunson (21-7) landed serious ground and pound strikes against Shahbazyan (11-1), which prompted the fight doctor to ask him if he wanted to continue.
Just moments into round three, Brunson took Shahbazyan down again and began to resume the ground and pound.
Herb Dean called it right then and there.