Ciryl Gane cruised through his first main event at UFC Vegas 20, picking up a win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik from the Apex Facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Gane put together a nice first round but found out how dangerous Rozenstruik can be. He was the overall busier fighter but learned about the power that his opponent has when the Suriname native landed some big shots on the counter.
Despite only seven professional fights in MMA, Gane was composed and patient in his first main event. He utilized his jab to maintain the distance and control the second round in a veteran performance.
Rozenstruik, who once scored a last-minute knockout of Alistair Overeem, struggled to press the issue and alter the rules of engagement. Gane was able to control the tempo and keep Rozentruik on the end of a well-executed jab.
Although Gane remained in total control of the bout, he left others unimpressed with his lack of finishing instincts. Former light heavyweight champion and soon-to-be heavyweight Jon Jones weighed in on the general lack of action:
However, others stuck up for his choice to play it somewhat safe against Rozenstruik:
As evidenced by his spot in the main event and his undefeated record, Gane has tons of potential and the organization sees that.
Here's a look at how the rest of the card went as well as a close look at the main card fights.
- Ciryl Gane def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via unanimous decision (50-45 x3)
- Magomed Ankalaev def. Nikita Krylov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva—majority draw (28-27, 28-28 x2)
- Pedro Munhoz def. Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Alex Caceres def. Kevin Croom via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)
- Thiago Moises def. Alexander Hernandez via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Alexis Davis def. Sabina Mazo via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Ronnie Lawrence def. Vince Cachero via TKO at 2:38 of Round 3
- Dustin Jacoby def. Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Magomed Ankalaev def. Nikita Krylov
Magomed Ankalaev was expected to extend his winning streak in the co-main event, but it didn't come without some struggle. Ankalaev has now won six in row on the strength of a 29-28 win on all three of the judges' scorecards.
On the feet, the action was pretty tightly contested. Much of the first frame took place there, and Nikita Krylov held the upper hand as he was able to win the opening round.
Then Ankalaev turned to his wrestling in the second frame, which turned out to be wise. He scored three takedowns and spent nearly six minutes in top control. He proved he was the superior grappler in his ability to stifle Krylov.
Ankalaev had three straight knockout wins in his last three bouts in which he showcased his abilities as a counter-striker. While he didn't get the finish here, this was a good reminder that he's actually a strong wrestler when he needs to call upon that skill set.
The 28-year-old hasn't lost since his UFC debut against Paul Craig in 2018. Krylov gave him a good veteran challenge, but Ankalaev proved he is still an ascendant name in a light heavyweight division going through a transition from the Jon Jones era.
Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva—Draw
MMA referees are notoriously lax when it comes to taking a point away for things like grabbing the fence or even poking an opponent in the eye. Jerin Valel showed how important it can be when refs actually bring some consequences into the match.
The referee docked Mayra Bueno Silva one point for grabbing the fence in the first round. She was able to deny Montana De La Rosa's takedown attempt with the rule infraction, and the deduction ended up being crucial as the fight was declared a draw.
The fight itself was a back-and-forth affair that was interesting to score.
De La Rosa was able to dictate the terms on the ground and spent a lot of time in top control. However, she wasn't the sharpest when it came to keeping up on the feet.
When Bueno Silva could create the space, she was able to create some damage on the feet. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to make up for the early fence grab, and the fight didn't end up really pushing either fighter forward.
A rematch could be in order.
Pedro Munhoz def. Jimmie Rivera
When Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munhoz met in 2015, they brought all-out action and showcased some of their best skills in a fight that went to decision. The 2021 version was just about the same with one exception, Munhoz was the one who got his hand raised.
The Brazilian picked apart Rivera's game plan with several calf kicks that left his rival thinking twice about getting into kicking range.
Never one to back down, Rivera still found a way to bite down on the mouthpiece and swing with some heavy shots. But Munhoz's chin proved tough enough to weather those shots, and he continued to throw some heavy punches of his own.
This was a perfect example of how deep the bantamweight division is. Both of these fighters have exciting styles and were able to put on a show, but both will still have work to do to get into the title picture.
But if the UFC is looking for someone to add some excitement to a Fight Night card, either of these guys is going to bring it.
Alex Caceres def. Kevin Croom
Alex Caceres is officially on a roll. He snagged his fourth consecutive win with a comprehensive decision victory over Kevin Croom.
The 32-year-old has been around the UFC for more than 10 years, but consistency has never been his best attribute. After submitting Austin Springer with a rear-naked choke in his last fight, he nearly made it back-to-back submission wins against Croom.
Though he made a somewhat bizarre choice to give up on a near triangle choke attempt, he was still able to display his grappling dominance over his opponent en route to the unanimous scorecards.
Croom was hoping to get a better result. He had his UFC debut against Roosevelt Roberts overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and had an opportunity to make a statement against a veteran.
Instead, Caceres added some legitimacy to his win streak and could see a ranked opponent next time out.