The UFC returned tonight for their eighth Fight Night since hosting events at their APEX. In the main event of the evening, top eight light heavyweights went to war as Anthony Smith (33-15) took on Aleksandar Rakic (12-2).
Rakic chops down Lionheart
The main event saw former UFC title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, taking on top contender, Aleksandar Rakic. Both men entered the cage coming off of a loss and looking to bounce back.
The main event started with a touch of the gloves. Rakic immediately opened up with a few powerful leg kicks. Smith countered with some of his own, but Rakic’s had a lot of pop on them. Rakic dropped Smith with back to back massive leg kicks.
Once on top, Rakic landed some good body shots. Smith was able to use a scramble to get to Rakic’s back, but Rakic was able to shake him off. Rakic was able to get top position with about two minutes left in the round.
Rakic displayed really good top control over the final couple of minutes. Smith looked like he was going to go for a triangle at one point, but he seemed more content to ride out the round. Clear first round for Rakic.
Smith moved forward to start round two, but Rakic continued to pepper him with kicks. Lionheart used a big right to engage the grappling. However, Rakic used his superior strength to just throw Smith to his back.
Rakic landed right in Smith’s guard and started working on ground and pound. Smith looked for butterflies to try and sweep, but Rakic did a good job maintaining top control. Smith did do a good job of working slowly back to the fence.
Once the action was there, Smith did try and throw up a couple of submissions, but Rakic did a good job defending. The final minute didn’t contain a ton of action which led to another clear round for Rakic.
The final round opened with another massive leg kick from Rakic. Rakic landed a couple of big kicks that seemingly rocked Smith for a second. Smith show in for a takedown, but again, Rakic was able to use his strength to throw Smith down.
After being on his back for over a minute, Smith used the cage to try to get back to his feet. Rakic did a fantastic job of controlling Smith from the back. Finally Smith got back to his feet for two seconds with a minute left, but was dragged right back down. There was really no more action in the final minute.
The final round was another clear round for Rakic. I gave him the fight 30-27. The judges gave the fight unanimously to Rakic (30-26, 30-27, 30-27). A very solid bounce back win
Magny hands Robbie Lawler fourth straight loss
The co-main event of the evening featured the former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler (28-14, 1 NC), taking on Neil Magny (23-7). Lawler was looking to snap the longest losing streak of his career.
As the first round started, Magny looked to strike from distance with his kicks. Lawler was able to back up Magny while throwing big shots. Lawler tried to get a takedown, but Magny defended well. Magny was able to drag Lawler down with a headlock before transitioning to the back.
Lawler was able to get back to his feet, but Magny maintained control. Magny got to Lawler’s back and almost locked up a rear-naked choke before Lawler fought out of it. Magny dragged Lawler down, but a scramble found Lawler on top.
After taking some good shots, Magny was able to get back to his feet. Once the fight was back on the feet, Magny landed a takedown. Lawler got back to his feet, but Magny snapped him back down with a headlock. Round ended and a clear first for Neil Magny.
As the second round started, Lawler showed some urgency on his feet. Magny threw a big headkick which was blocked, but he used that momentum to shoot in for a takedown. Magny was able to drag Lawler down.
Once the fight was on the ground, Magny was able to get Lawler’s back again. After controlling Lawler for a few minutes, Magny lost the top position. Lawler got to his feet with about a minute left in the round. However, he wasn’t able to land anything significant. Another clear round for Magny.
Both men touched gloves as the final round began. Lawler looked light on his feet to start the final round. Lawler landed a big right hand and Magny pulled guard. It wasn’t clear on if the shot actually hurt Magny or not.
Magny just hugged Lawler on the ground with no action so the referee stood them up. Lawler really started pressing forward landing good shots, but Magny reengaged the grappling and got Lawler down.
Lawler was able to work his way back to the feet with about two minutes left in the round. Magny started doing a good job landing from distance. Lawler was plotting forward, but Magny was just peppering him.
Magny’s boxing looked incredibly crisp as he continued to pepper Lawler with straight shots as Lawler came forward. The round ended with Magny landing over and over. Another clear round for Magny and I give him the fight 30-27.
The judges agreed unanimously giving the fight to Neil Magny (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The third win of 2020 for Magny. The former UFC champion, Lawler, has now lost four fights in a row.
Alexa Grasso makes successful UFC flyweight debut
The second fight on the main card featured a women’s flyweight contest between Ji Yeon Kim (9-2-2) and Alexa Grasso (11-3). Grasso was moving up from strawweight for her UFC flyweight debut.
Both ladies touched gloves as the first round started. Grasso opened the action with a very solid overhand right. Kim seemed extremely calm early on just trying to find her rhythm. Grasso kept trying to press forward, but was having a little trouble with the reach.
Kim owned a six inch reach advantage, and it was playing a factor early. Every time Grasso would push forward, Kim would land one solid counter on Grasso’s exit. Both women landed in a big exchange with about two minutes left in the round.
Grasso was pushing forward and throwing more in the first. Kim was staying patient and landing good counters, but Grasso was landing more while being aggressive. Solid first round that I’ll give to Grasso.
Grasso opened up the second round with a very solid body kick. She followed that with a very big leg kick. Kim wasn’t displaying great defense as she continued to get hit with solid shots from Grasso.
Grasso continued to push forward with combinations as Kim looked for counters. A big three punch combination landed for Grasso halfway through the round. Kim started throwing some combinations after that.
Urgency started setting it for Kim as she was getting peppered by Grasso. Kim’s nose was really bothering her as she continued to take big combinations from Grasso. Kim landed some decent shots late in the round, but this is another round for Grasso.
The final round opened with both ladies throwing combinations. Grasso was staying very busy, but Kim was pushing forward more early in the round. Kim pushed forward, but Grasso was still getting the better of the exchanges.
It was very evident in the third that Kim sensed that she needed a finish. The problem was that Grasso was just quicker on the feet. Halfway through the round the two women engaged in some grappling. Both exchanged the controlling position against the cage.
Grasso was able to land a takedown with about a minute into the round. Grasso stayed in half guard the full final minute landing big shots on Kim. Another round for Grasso and I give her the fight 30-27.
The judges unanimously agreed giving Grasso the fight (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). A very solid UFC flyweight debut for Alexa Grasso.
Lamas defeats Algeo in a war
Kicking off the main card on ESPN+ was a featherweight contest between Ricardo Lamas (19-8) and Bill Algeo (13-4). Algeo who has appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series was making his UFC debut against Lamas.
Algeo opened the first round in a side stance looking to kick. After Lamas landed a good leg kick, Algeo responded with big body shots. Algeo was really pushing the pace early on looking for big shots. Lamas engaged in some grappling to try to get the fight to the ground, but wasn’t successful.
When they separated, Lamas really started to find his range. He was doing a good job of landing calf kicks and straight shots. These two men started throwing caution to the wind throwing massive shots at the other.
Just as Lamas started taking control, Algeo was able to find his range with some big shots. Lamas landed a couple of big calf kicks, but Algeo seemingly rocked Lamas right as the round entered. Incredible round that I slightly lean towards Algeo.
As the second round started, Algeo was really pushing the pace. Looked to be trying to build off the momentum of the way round one ended. Lamas shot in for a takedown and was able to get Algeo’s back. However, Algeo created a nice scramble to get up.
Both men again engaged in landing massive shots in close quarters. Algeo backed Lamas up landing big shots, and the moment he stopped, Lamas fired back. Lamas again tried to get the fight back to the ground halfway through the round.
Algeo was doing a very good job of defending the takedown while landing big elbows. Lamas got wobbled by a big knee up the middle. Algeo shot in for a takedown and took Lamas down. Lamas was then able to reverse the position and get on top. Algeo immediately got back to his feet.
Algeo started showboating a little in the final minute of the round. Lamas landed a pretty good calf kick, but Algeo appeared to be having fun. Clear second round for Bill Algeo.
The third and final round began with three solid kicks from Lamas. Seemed to be much more urgency with Lamas entering the final round. Algeo was doing a really good job of staying calm. Lamas tried to get a takedown a minute into the round, but Algeo defended well.
After working on the takedown for about 20 seconds, Lamas was able to get Algeo down. Algeo kept trying to scramble, but Lamas did a really good job of keeping top position. Lamas was landing very solid shots while Algeo kept trying to scramble.
Algeo was able to get up, but Lamas dragged him right back down. Algeo seemed to be very tired from all the grappling. After working his way back up, Algeo was slammed back down by Lamas. Lamas transitioned immediately to his back.
Lamas was able to get the mount with about thirty seconds left. Algeo wasn’t doing much to defend. Lamas was raining down massive elbows as the round ended. By far the most dominant round of the fight. I will give Lamas a 10-8 round which would make the fight a 28-28 draw.
In the end, all three judges gave the fight to Ricardo Lamas (29-27, 29-27, 29-27). An incredible fight and despite the loss, a very impressive UFC debut for Bill Algeo.
UFC Vegas 8 Takeaways
UFC on Vegas 8 delivered with a very solid night of fights. The four fight main was entertaining from start to finish. Aleksandar Rakic was able to get back on track in the main event. Robbie Lawler suffered his fourth consecutive loss in the co-main. The UFC returns next week for Alistair Overeem – Augusto Sakai.