Taking a fight against former WEC and interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit on two weeks’ notice is a risky proposition, but Brazil’s Alex Oliveira fearlessly took it and then delivered in the UFC Glendale co-main event at Gila River Arena, submitting Condit in the second round.
Albuquerque’s Condit had a tough time getting a read on the timing of the unorthodox Oliveira, who landed some solid counters before taking Condit down 90 seconds into the fight. Condit fought his way free and scored a takedown of his own, allowing him to fire off ground strikes before taking Oliveira’s back in a scramble. Condit nearly got in a rear naked choke twice, but the Brazilian got loose and made it to the end of the frame.
Oliveira got the fight to the mat as round two commenced, and the two scrambled back and forth, Oliveira cutting Condit, but “The Natural Born Killer” working his way into the top position. Midway through the round, Oliveira caught Condit with an up kick, and soon after he locked in a tight guillotine choke. And while Condit held on for a while, eventually he was forced to tap, with the end coming at 3:17 of the second round.
With the win, Tres Rios’ Oliveira moves to 18-4-1 with 2 NC. The No. 12-ranked Condit, who has lost four straight, falls to 30-12.
Adesanya turning it on in round 2!#UFCGlendale @Stylebender pic.twitter.com/jbxTVKRpCt
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2018
ADESANYA vs VETTORI
Highly-touted middleweight Israel Adesanya got a tough test out of fellow up and comer Marvin Vettori, but he still left Glendale with a three-round split decision victory and his undefeated record intact.
Vettori was aggressive from the start, but Adesanya’s speed and defense kept him from any serious trouble as he mainly focused on his opponent’s legs throughout the opening frame.
After missing on two takedown attempts in the first round, Vettori also came up empty on the third early in the second stanza, and Adesanya was settling into a groove on the feet, which was bad news for the Italian, who began to take an array of kicks, punches and elbows.
Vettori finally got his takedown in the third round, but Adesanya avoided any trouble and got back to his feet. Vettori kept the pressure on, though, and he put the New Zealander back on the deck again. A restart from referee Herb Dean broke up a subsequent clinch against the fence, but Adesanya wasn’t able to do enough in the closing moments to get the round. “The Last Stylebender” did do enough for the win via scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29.
Adesanya moves to 13-0 with the win. Vettori falls to 12-4-1.
WATERSON vs CASEY
Strawweight contender Michelle Waterson snapped a two-fight losing streak as she took a three-round split decision over Arizona’s own Cortney Casey in the main card opener.
What a fight!!@KarateHottieMMA & @CastIron_Casey put on a show!
How'd you score it? #UFCGlendale pic.twitter.com/zDfhHVH2f4
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2018
Waterson’s movement kept Casey at bay early in round one, but eventually, Casey began landing some hard shots that got Waterson’s attention. With 90 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Waterson was able to take Casey down, and while the Arizonan worked well off her back, nearly locking in an armbar, Waterson got free and ended the round with some hard ground strikes.
Phoenix’ Casey had a good start to round two, as she cut off the ring on Waterson and landed several solid shots. Waterson again responded by a takedown, and Casey got closer with the armbar the second time around. Waterson escaped once more, and then again on a third attempt, and as the fighters rose, Waterson landed a kick to the body that knocked “Cast Iron” off balance just before the horn.
The strawweights continued to get after it in the final frame, with Albuquerque’s Waterson getting the fight to the mat but Casey always responding with submission attempts. In the closing seconds, Casey went all-in in search of the finish, but Waterson was able to hold out until the fight ended.
With the win, the No. 7-ranked Waterson ups her record to 15-6. The No. 10-ranked Casey falls to 7-6.