UFC Fight Night 129 Standout Performances

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The UFC has travelled to South America more than 40 times, but only in Brazil. Saturday night, the UFC debuted in Chile as UFC Fight Night 129 went down in the capital city of Santiago. The main event saw a welterweight clash between veteran, Demian Maia, and the red-hot Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event, talented strawweights Alexa Grasso and Tatiana Suarez, fought to further climb up the rankings. Before the co-main event, Jared Cannonier took on Dominick Reyes in a light heavyweight fight. Also, hometown fighter, Diego Rivas took on Guido Cannetti and the debut of Andrea Lee as she took on Veronica Macedo. Finally, kicking off the main card was a welterweight fight between Vicente Luque and Chad Laprise. Out of the six finishes on the card, five of those came in the very first round.

UFC Fight Night 129 Standout Performances.

#1: Gabriel Benitez def. Humberto Bandenay via Knockout (Slam and Punches) at 0:39 of Round 1

SANTIAGO, CHILE – MAY 19: (R-L) Gabriel Benitez of Mexico reacts after knocking out Humberto Bandenay of Peru with a slam to the mat in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Movistar Arena on May 19, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Coming into the fight, Humberto Bandenay was looking like someone who could turn into an exciting fighter. He entered the fight a winner of six straight, the most recent of those victories being his UFC debut. That win came at UFC Fight Night 114 when he knocked out Martin Bravo in 26 seconds. On the other side of the cage stood Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez who was coming off a win at UFC Fight Night 123 over Jason Knight.

Round One

The fight began and both fighters were rushing in for what looked like could have been an exciting fight. About ten seconds into the round, Bentiez landed an uppercut that dropped Bandenay. He immediately jumped on top, throwing hard hammer fists, but Bandenay quickly recovered and had Benitez in his guard. The two scooted towards the fence and soon after, Bandenay was looking to lock in an armbar. He looked like he had it, but Benitez lifted Bandenay up in the air and slammed him down on the mat. After the slam, he landed one hammer-fist that shut Bandenay’s lights out, awarding Benitez the 39-second knockout victory.

#2: Claudio Puelles def. Felipe Silva via Submission (Kneebar) at 2:23 of Round 3

SANTIAGO, CHILE – MAY 19: Claudio Puelles of Peru celebrates his submission victory over Felipe Silva of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Movistar Arena on May 19, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Coming into this fight, Felipe Silva was coming off his first loss since 2013 at the hands of Mairbek Taisumov at UFC Fight Night 115. Before that, he was undefeated at 8-0. Across the cage was TUF Latin America 3 finalist, Claudio Puelles. He hadn’t fought since the finale, which was back in 2016 at UFC Fight Night 98. 2017 was full of injuries and he made his return in Chile against Silva.

Round One

In the first round, both fighters began slow, feeling each other out and throwing a few kicks here and there. About a minute into the first round, Puelles shot in for a takedown, and got it, ending up in Silva’s guard. Silva was attacking from his back, going for armbars and connecting with some punches. As they continued to scramble on the mat, Puelles attempted to lock in a guillotine but couldn’t lock it in, ending up on the bottom. They continued to scramble and Puelles began to hunt for a leg, going for either a kneebar or a leg lock, but couldn’t get it done.

The two stood back up again and Puelles continued to lunge in for takedowns and when he was unsuccessful, he would immediately pull Silva into his guard. The problem was that he couldn’t hold Silva there for long and they’d be stood back up again before the horn sounded.

Round 2

The second round was all Felipe Silva. Throughout the round, he began to turn it on and land good shots. He was landing shots that forced Puelles to desperately search for a takedown, but Silva would stuff them every time. With about a minute and a half left in the round, Silva began throwing hard shots and landing them. These shots made Puelles look for a takedown, but Silva stuffed it and ended up on top. For the next minute, he was on top landing hard ground and pound. He had Puelles trapped underneath him for the next minute until they stood back up once again.

This opened up another opportunity for Silva to start pouring it on once again, and he did. He began landing shots again until Puelles shot in, only to have it defended and end up on the bottom once again. The round ended with Silva on top. It seemed clear that Silva had won that round pretty dominantly.

Round 3

Silva began round three right where he left off in round two. He was the aggressor early as he walked Puelles down, throwing hard shots. A little under a minute into the round, he landed a shot that dropped Puelles and he immediately jumped on him looking for the finish. Unfortunately, Puelles seemed to have recovered quickly and was able to defend himself enough so the ref did not have to step in.

Realizing that his opponent had recovered and it was better to fight him on the feet, Silva got up and made Puelles get back up as well. Soon after, Silva landed a shot that made Puelles’ legs buckle. He began to rush in on him once again and landed a hard body shot that dropped Puelles. Soon after, the two were standing again. Puelles shot in for a takedown, but Silva defended it well and ended up on top. Desperately looking for a finish, Puelles started looking to attack the leg, looking for a kneebar. He got it locked up quickly and, due to the pain, Silva was forced to tap quickly, awarding Puelles the comeback victory.

#3: Poliana Botelho def. Syuri Kondo via TKO (Punches) at 0:33 of Round 1

SANTIAGO, CHILE – MAY 19: Poliana Botelho of Brazil celebrates after knocking out Syuri Kondo in their women’s strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Movistar Arena on May 19, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Going into the fight, Poliana Botelho had won her last four straight, most recently in her UFC debut at UFC 216 against Pearl Gonzalez. Across from her was undefeated Syuri Kondo who was also victorious in her debut back at UFC Fight Night 117 when she defeated Chan-Mi Jeon.

Round One

In round one, Botelho came out quick, throwing a head kick that barely missed Kondo. A little over 20 seconds into the first round, Botelho landed a hard kick to the body of Kondo that immediately made her slow down. She rushed in and landed another kick to the body that backed Kondo up to the fence where Botelho dropped her with a massive right hand. Kondo curled up into a ball and Botelho landed hard ground and pound that forced the ref to step in, awarding Botelho the 33 second TKO victory. In a deep women’s strawweight division, Botelho has looked very impressive in her first two fights making her someone to watch for in the future.

#4: Vicente Luque def. Chad Laprise via Knockout (Punches) at 4:16 of Round 1

SANTIAGO, CHILE – MAY 19: Vicente Luque celebrates after his knockout victory over Chad Laprise of Canada in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Movistar Arena on May 19, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Coming into the fight, MMASucka’s Fighter of InterestVicente Luque was coming off a win over Niko Price back at UFC Fight Night 119. Across the cage from him was Canada’s Chad Laprise, who was a winner of his last three straight going into the fight. His most recent victory came against Galore Bofando at UFC on Fox 26.

Round One

For the majority of round one, both fighters were feeling each other out, not throwing many shots. About two minutes in, both fighters were locked up in the clinch and Luque was able to pull Laprise down to the ground. He wasn’t able to hold Laprise down on the ground for long as they stood back up. After they stood back up, Laprise had Luque’s back to the fence as he was attempting to take him down. He wasn’t able to get the takedown, and the two broke apart once again.

Just like in the beginning of the round, each fighter wasn’t throwing very many shots. With about 50 seconds left in the round, Laprise closed the distance looking to land a combination. As he closed in, Luque threw a short, counter left hook that dropped Laprise. Luque jumped on him and he landed a few ground and pound shots before the ref stepped in to stop the fight.

Another good week for MMASucka as it is the second consecutive week our Fighter of Interest got a finish, and made the list of standout performances.

#5: Tatiana Suarez def. Alexa Grasso via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:44 of Round 1

SANTIAGO, CHILE – MAY 19: Tatiana Suarez celebrates after her submission victory over Alexa Grasso of Mexico in their women’s strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Movistar Arena on May 19, 2018 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Coming into the fight, Mexico’s Alexa Grasso was coming off a big win over Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 114. Across the Octagon from her was TUF 23 winner, Tatiana Suarez, who was coming off a win over Viviane Pereira at UFC Fight Night 120.

Round One

Tatiana Suarez came out in the first round looking like the aggressor as she backed Grasso up early. About 40 seconds into the round, Suarez shot in for a takedown, but Grasso was able to defend it. The two were then locked up in the clinch on the cage, where Suarez was eventually able to get Grasso down. About ten seconds later, Grasso stood back up, but Suarez immediately began looking for another takedown and she got it. Grasso was desperately moving and looking for a way out, making it difficult for Suarez to lock anything in. As Grasso continued looking for a way to get up, she exposed her neck and Suarez immediately locked in the rear naked choke. Grasso attempted to punch her way out of it, but the choke was too tight, forcing her to tap.

Next Week

After an entertaining show in Chile, these were the top five standout performances from UFC Fight Night 129. Next week, the UFC makes its debut elsewhere, this time in Liverpool, England. It will be a special Sunday card starting at 1 p.m. ET and 10 a.m. PT. The main event will feature a welterweight match between two elite strikers, Stephen Thompson and Darren Till. Plus, in the co-main event, Neil Magny takes on UFC newcomer, Craig White. So, join me next week as we look back on the UFC’s debut in Liverpool and determine the top five standout performances.

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Discovered the UFC and the sport of MMA the night Nate Diaz upset Conor McGregor and since then I have been a die hard fan and have rarely missed a fight.

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