Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 45 last night

Last night (Saturday, December 18, 2021), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 45. The final event of 2021 doesn’t have to be a ranked match. the most stack of the year, but it’s packed with endings and action, a great classic Apex event! Plus, with Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus starring in the main event, massive splash violence is almost guaranteed.

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

UFC Knockout King

The fact that “The Black Beast” entered last night’s match as an underdog is absurd.

Daukaus is a solid prospect, for sure. But, if we look back at his achievements, has he never beaten anyone so great? Aleksei Oleinik was very old, even by Heavyweight standards. Shamil Abdurakhimov is undoubtedly Daukaus’ best win, but it doesn’t look like the Russian went on to become world champion during his UFC stint.

On the other hand, yes, Ciryl Gane put Lewis to shame. Again, we have to consider the circumstances, which suggest that Gane is probably the best heavyweight technician ever. That loss seemed to force the public to forget that Lewis took out Curtis Blaydes THIS YEAR!

Last night’s main event was the classic “There’s this level” fighting style. Daukaus circled outside and only hit low free-kicks until Lewis decided he had enough. Lewis then loaded the goods onto a hook, ran around after that, and fairly easily knocked Daukaus out of his mind.

“The Black Beast” is a fighter with flaws, but he isn’t the man with the most kills in UFC history by accident. Put Lewis in a cage with anything less than an elite talent, and that’s the most likely outcome!

An unsatisfactory ending

At the age of 39, veteran rival Raphael Assuncao suffered a fourth straight loss to Ricky Simon when a handball sent him to the frame.

On their own, those results don’t necessarily spell doom for the Brazilian, as he fights nothing but excellent Bantamweight contenders. Unfortunately, Assuncao looks really flat here. Simon immediately bullies him, and Assuncao doesn’t offer much in attack beyond a few low kicks. He hesitantly pulled the trigger, and as a result, he took large pictures. It’s not easy to age in the lower weight classes, but Assuncao has outlasted most people.

As for Simon, he has now won 4 games in a row and is likely to take a spot in the standings. The UFC’s never-ending wheel spins once again, and this time, it’s Simon who benefits.

WEC never dies

Darren Elkins landed with a few firm right hands, but otherwise it was all “Killer Cub” last night.

Swanson was the faster one, and he made good use of that attribute. Keeping his hands low and gliding around the cage, Swanson was prepared for any takedown attempt. In between those hits, Swanson was letting his opponent down with sudden hits, and each landing seemed to hurt.

As Elkins stepped forward to pursue another right, Swanson made a corner and landed several counterattacks. When his opponent was stunned, Swanson patiently worked on further powerful shots, winning in a rather classic performance.

Grit And Killer Instinct

Things are not going well for Gerald Meerschaert.

The serve started off strong, but when Dustin Stoltzfus managed to reverse him, it became clear that the Brazilian could compete with him on the carpet. After a few minutes underneath Stoltzfus, “GM3” looked really tired, and he was completely overwhelmed in the second inning.

However, Meerschaert didn’t complete 32 of his 34 wins by accident. In the third round, Meerschaert was finally able to create a scramble and claim the top spot. Moments later, the bare rear shock absorbers buckled, a testament to the veteran’s ability to keep trying late into the game.

Give him a small chance, and the fight is over.

Unfortunately, Stoltzfus’ timing inside the Octagon can also be done. He’s shown his talent on three trips to the Octagon, but he’s also lost all three times. It’s a lucky case, as he’s certainly talented enough to beat a fair percentage of UFC middleweights.

A new one Fly class Expect

Women’s Flyweight is a pretty deadweight division. It’s not women’s bantamweight, but there’s still hope that some young upstart can break through the ranks and dethrone Valentina Shevchenko as far-fetched.

Brazil’s Melissa Gatto may be an exception. The 25-year-old is unbeaten, and as of last night, 2-0 inside the Octagon through a pair of finishes. She broke her opponent’s arm earlier in the year, but at UFC Vegas 45, Gatto became the first woman to finish off Sijara Eubanks.

Gatto soon struggled with Eubanks’ size and strength, but she did an admirable job at forcing her opponents to work and defending submission. As Eubanks got a little more tired in the second, Gatto was able to land a sharp 1-2 seconds then score his own takedown. The fight raged in the third installment, and Gatto took a dramatic hold, sending Eubanks to the carpet after a gut-wrenching front kick.

I haven’t bet on her matchup with “The Bullet” yet, but Gatto is definitely someone to watch.

Additional thoughts

  • Justin Tafa defeat Harry Hunsucker via first round knockout: Tafa made history as the first-ever heavyweight miss in UFC history, and he went all out on a high left kick to stop Hunsucker from outperforming in the first fight. Hunsucker raised both hands to block, but the impact still sent him down for good!
  • Raquel Pennington defeat Macy Chiasson through the second round guillotine: This last-second match resulted in a failure on the Chiasson scale even when the match was already in a weight division, but the match started well enough for the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner. Chiasson controlled good position in the clinch, but the two really exchanged in dirty boxing, keeping a high tempo and entertaining. The two continued to trade in the second inning, when a single bad takedown attempt from Chiasson allowed Pennington to finish an extremely tight ten-finger guillotine. Pennington’s chokes just pop up every so often, but they’re always smooth!
  • Don’Tale Mayes Fails Josh Parisian through third round knockout: Two heavyweight knockouts collide, and the end result is… a wrestling match? Mayes was able to repeatedly impose her will on the Parisians, gathering his opponents around for the top spot and methodically beating him from there. A significant portion of the skirmish took place from a south-north position, with Mayes sitting on top of her opponent and throwing punches, so… that happened. More seriously: Mayes looks a lot better than recent efforts, so good for him!
  • Jordan Leavitt defeat Matt Sayles through the second inverted triangle: Remember Ryan Hall vs Darrick Minner a week ago? How did Minner keep plunging into the world of his opponent’s grappling even when the coach yelled at him? If you enjoyed that fight, here’s another classic! Leavitt controlled the first period with a lengthy frontal choking attack, but he looked a bit weary into the second half. Sayles seemed to have a path to victory as the better striker with a weary enemy in front of him…until he brought it down on his own and quickly got stuck in an inverted triangle. Leavitt’s shot may be a bit rough, but his grappling style is beautiful.

For full UFC Vegas 45: “Lewis vs. Daukaus” results and turn-by-turn click here HERE! Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 45 last night

Dustin Huang

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