Brazilian bantamweight contender Mayra Bueno Silva made it three submission finishes in a row as she claimed the biggest scalp of her MMA career at UFC Vegas 77.
Silva defeated former champion Holly Holm in the main event at the UFC Apex, finishing “The Preacher’s Daughter” with a ninja choke in the opening seconds of the second round.
The victory extends Silva’s win streak to four, with her three most recent victories – against Stephanie Egger, Lina Lansberg, and Holm – all coming via submission.
After her victory, Silva called for a shot at the bantamweight title recently vacated by retiring double-champ Amanda Nunes.
Speaking to reporters backstage at the post-fight press conference, Silva said her finish of former champ Holm should push her to the front of the bantamweight queue, and suggested that she deserves to be one half of the fight for the vacant 135-pound belt.
“Raquel (Pennington)? No, because the UFC gave her a chance to fight with me, and she didn’t want it,” said Silva.
“So, if she doesn’t want it, it’s Julianna Pena and me, because I am a fan of Julianna. Raquel too, but she didn’t want to fight with me, so now I don’t want to fight with her. Julianna deserves it. I deserve it. UFC, let’s go!”
Pena was an interested spectator online, and posted a tweet suggesting she’d beat both Silva and Pennington on the same night. Silva was amused by the tweet, and returned the favor with a similar statement of her own.
“She’s funny,” she said.
“I love you, Julianna, but I will smash you. You and Raquel at the same time. Look at my fight, and look at her fight. Julianna, shut up!”
The co-main event saw a fun back-and-forth battle as Jack Della Maddalena was pushed to the limit by short-notice replacement Bassil Hafez in their welterweight matchup.
Hafez proved to be a much tougher assignment for Della Maddalena than many predicted and, when the pair stood with the referee and awaited the judges’ scores, neither was fully sure of the final outcome.
In the end, Della Maddalena edged a split-decision verdict over the debutant, with scores of 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 giving him the 15th win of his career.
Chatting to Daniel Cormier in the cage after his win, the Australian admitted that he was far from convinced that his performance had been good enough to secure the win.
“I thought it could go either way,” he said.
“When I heard it was a split, the judges don’t always make good decisions, so, I thought I had a good shot.”
The six-fight main card featured four finishes, with Francisco Prado stopping Ottman Azaitar with ground and pound in the first round of their lightweight bout, and South Korea’s Park Jun Yong locking up a rear-naked choke to finish Albert Duraev in the second round of their middleweight bout.
The main card opened with a rear-naked choke submission, too, as lightweight Nazim Sadykhov forced the tap from Terrance McKinney 67 seconds into the second round.
The only finish on a decision-filled preliminary card came in the strawweight bout between Viktoriya Dudakova and Istela Nunes. Dudakova claimed the first-round TKO win after Nunes sustained a nasty dislocated elbow 34 seconds into the bout.
UFC Vegas 77: Official results
- Mayra Bueno Silva def. Holly Holm via submission (ninja choke) – Round 2, 0:38
- Jack Della Maddalena def. Bassil Hafez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Francisco Prado def. Ottman Azaitar via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:05
- Park Jun Yong def. Albert Duraev via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:45
- Norma Dumont def. Chelsea Chandler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Nazim Sadykhov def. Terrance McKinney via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:07
- Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Tucker Lutz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Viktoriya Dudakova def. Istela Nunes via TKO (arm injury) – Round 1, 0:34
- Melquizael Costa def. Austin Lingo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Evan Elder def. Genaro Valdez via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
- Azat Maksum def. Tyson Nam via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Alexander Munoz def. Carl Deaton via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
- Ailin Perez def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)