With the prelim bouts now in the books, it’s time to move to the main card of UFC Fight Night 80, which will see Rose Namajunas take on Paige VanZant in the headliner.
Thiago Santos vs. Elias Theodorou
Round 1: (internet issue wiped out play-by-play–sorry folks. Kicks were the theme of the round. Theodorou was much busier, however, and took the round).
Round 2: Santos fires in hard elbow as Theodorou works a TD. Santos gets back to his feet. Theodorou is still looking for the TD along the fence but is taking elbows for his efforts. Santos threatens with a big knee. Theodorou is still looking for the takedown but Santos is defending, and chucking in hard elbows. Theodorou clinches up again but Santos is outstriking him by a wide margin. Theodorou looks tired. Big comeback round by Santos. Latter gets the TD. Wow. Theodorou gets back up and takes Santos to the mat. Round ends.
Round 3: Theodorou pushes Santos to the cage again. Somewhat surprising Theodorou is coming with this strategy again after winning the striking exchanges in round one. Ref splits them up. Theodorou charges in again looking for the TD but eats elbows in return. Yikes. Theodorou has a massive cut above his right eye and the ref has the doc look at it. Doctor quickly says Theodorou’s good to go. Theodorou is still working for the TD. Santos fires in a huge knee from the Muay Thai clinch. Head kick attempt from Santos. Theodorou is in trouble and clinches up. More hard knees from Santos to the body. Wow. Theodorou takes a finger to the eye but says he’s good to go. Theodorou shoots in but Santos defends. Latter lands a pounding kick to the body. Santos has really taken over this fight. Round ends.
Thiago Santos def. Elias Theodorou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister
Round 1: Pfister comes out charging and quickly takes Northcutt down. Northcutt is just trying to tie him up and is doing a good job of doing so. Pfister passes into half guard finally and lands an elbow. Northcutt recovers guard. Pfister moves into halfguard again, lands an elbow, but Northcutt gets guard back. Ref stands them up; crowd disagrees as Pfister was keeping busy. Wow. Northcutt scores a double leg. Latter moves into half guard and throws some elbows. Northcutt is working an arm-triangle-choke but Pfister is working his way out. Some big punches from Northcutt and the round ends.
Round 2: Pfister is yelling at Northcutt as the round ends. Northcutt comes in with another TD and gets it. Pfister tries to reverse but is caught in a guillotine. Pfister taps. Nice finish by Northcutt.
Sage Northcutt def. Cody Pfister via submission (guillotine choke) R2, 0:41
Michael Chiesa vs. Jim Miller
Round 1: Chiesa with a crisp combo. Miller plants a hard left counter. Miller tags him with a right and Chiesa clinches up, sweeps him to the floor. Chiesa throws a couple of elbows from above. Chiesa briefly stands up and out but comes back down to the floor. Miller reverses and takes the top. Now Chiesa tries to roll out but Miller takes his back. Nicely done. Miller is looking for a choke but Chiesa is defending well. Round ends.
Round 2: Miller misses with a left counter. Second time around Miller lands. Chiesa grabs a single leg and gets the TD. Beautifully timed. Chiesa fires down an elbow. Miller starts working the rubber guard. Chiesa throws in some left hands. Chiesa is cut. Miller grabs a leg and is looking for a lock. Chiesa scrambles out and is bombing big shots. Miller could be stunned. Wow. Chiesa slaps on a RNC and Miller taps. Huge win for Chiesa.
Michael Chiesa def. Jim Miller via submission (rear-naked-choke) R2, 2:57
Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant
Round 1: VanZant comes with a hard leg kick and Namajunas counters with a nice 1-2. Namajunas plants another combo and takes VanZant down. Namajunas pounds down some elbows and cuts VanZant under her right eye. VanZant scrambles back to her feet. Namajunas lands another right. “12 Gauge” is getting outgunned. VanZant looks for a throw but Namajunas takes her back. VanZant rolls and takes another elbow. VanZant is all bloodied up. VanZant gets back to her feet but Namajunas trips her to the floor again. Namajunas avoids some upkicks and starts with the ground-and-pound. Another elbow from Namajunas. One sided round ends.
Round 2: Namajunas tags PVZ wit another 1-2. PVZ attempts another head-and-arm throw but can’t get it. PVZ goes for the throw yet again but Namajunas counters and sweeps her to the floor. Namajunas is in sidemount. Latter is in halfguard now but PVZ rolls, gets back to her feet. PVZ is looking for another throw but she can’t get it. PVZ finally scores the throw but Namajunas takes top position quickly. VanZant gets back to her feet. Namajunas clinches up and PVZ falls to her back, looking for sweep but can’t get it. Round ends.
Round 3: PVZ charges out but is quickly taken to the floor. PVZ just doesn’t seem to have any answers for the size and technique of “Thug”. PVZ fires a knee after getting back to her feet. Nice right from Namajunas. Latter yet again, throws PVZ to the floor. Right hands from Namajunas. PVZ gets back to her feet but Namajunas drags her back down with a choke. Wow. PVZ is a bloody mess. Unbelievable. PVZ works her way out! Crazy. Round ends.
Round 4: Namajunas clinches up and easily takes PVZ down. Now Namajunas is looking for an armbar. This could be it. PVZ rolls out! Wow. Now Namajunas is hunting for another choke. PVZ gets to her feet but Namajunas takes her down one more time. “Thug” goes for an armbar and yet again, PVZ rolls out. Ridiculous toughness from VanZant. Latter gets back to her feet. Namajunas with a beautiful trip to finish the round.
Round 5: PVZ fires a right to begin the round. Namajunas executes another trip, no problem. Latter is working from sidemount. PVZ gets halfguard back. Namajunas takes VanZant’s back after another scramble. Wow. Namajunas sinks in the RNC and this time, however, there’s no escape for PVZ. Latter taps. What a performance from “Thug”.
Rose Namajunas def. Paige VanZant via submission (rear-naked-choke) R5, 2:25