UFC on ESPN 29 Results: Jared Cannonier Beats Kelvin Gastelum Via Decision

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 21: (R-L) Jared Cannonier punches Kelvin Gastelum in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

Jared Cannonier bested Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) to close out UFC on ESPN 29 from the APEX Facility in Las Vegas.

Ultimately, Cannonier's power and length was the difference in a competitive, intriguing fight.

Cannonier came out as the aggressor in the first. He utilized his length to fight behind his jab and established himself as more than just a knockout threat to his opponent.

Gastelum wasn't willing to go quietly, though. He started to figure things out in the second round and found a home for some of his harder punches in the round.

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Gastelum's toughness and durability showed up in the third round. Cannonier—who owns knockouts in three different divisions—was singing heavily but couldn't land the knockout punch. A clean hook took Gastelum off his feet but he immediately bounced back and finished the round.

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For all of his grit to take some punishment, it didn't buy the 29-year-old enough time to figure out how to get his opponent to the ground. Cannonier defended at least eight takedowns to ensure the fight stayed in his wheelhouse.

While fans are used to seeing Cannonier putting people to sleep, this was a very smart performance. Gastelum is a tough fighter to put away, and he put together a good gameplan and stuck with it to continue raising his profile and rank.


Main Card

  • Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision (48-47 x3).
  • Mark O. Madsen def. Clay Guida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
  • Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
  • Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones via sub (guillotine) (R3, 4:39.
  • Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
  • Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval via submission (rear-naked choke) (Round 2, 1:46).


Preliminary Card

  • Austin Lingo def. Luis Saldana via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
  • Brian Kelleher def. Domingo Pilarte via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
  • Josiane Nunes def. Bea Malecki via KO (Round 1 4:54).
  • William Knight def. Fabio Cherant via first-round KO (Round 2, 3:58).
  • Ignacio Bahamondes def. Roosevelt Roberts via third-round KO (4:55).
  • Ramiz Brahimaj def. Sasha Palatnikov via submission (rear-naked choke) (R1, 2:33).


Mark O. Madsen def. Clay Guida

Fomer Olympic wrestler Mark O. Madsen extended his undefeated record in MMA, but it didn't come without struggles against Clay Guida in the co-main event.

The 36-year-old was fighting for the first time over a year after breaking his jaw last time out. There was some rust early on and he didn't do enough to win the fight on all three scorecards, but he showed a lot of good things against a veteran in Guida.

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The biggest difference for the two was in the clinch. Madsen's background in Greco Roman wrestling gives him a huge advantage in close quarters and he used it to slow down the constant movement of Guida.

He was able to do enough in that situation to get the nod from two of the three judges.


Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman

Parker Porter showcased a little bit of everything in an impressive unanimous decision win over Chase Sherman.

The two heavyweights did the division proud, setting a good pace and combining to throw for 547 total strikes in a three-round fight. Porter's striking wasn't incredibly technical, but he was leading the dance the majority of the time.

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He was willing to wade into striking range and that strategy paid off for him. He did mix in enough takedowns to keep Sherman off balance and ultimately built a strong lead on the scorecards.

It's Porter's second consecutive decision win. He's now won four of his last five. He isn't likely to become a title contender at 36, but there are some interesting options out there for a heavyweight who doesn't necessarily fit the mold.


Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. It's a great piece of life advice in general, but also describes Saidyokub Kakhramonov's approach to guillotine chokes apparently.

Making his UFC debut against a solid wrestler in Trevin Jones, the 25-year-old jumped at a guillotine opportunity early in the fight. It was tight but wasn't quite enough to get the tap from Trevin Jones.

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How'd he get out of that one?! 😳 @SaidYokubMMA bringing the pressure early at #UFCVegas34. https://t.co/CvV3CTKCdD

Jones went on to control much of the fight after that. He scored a handful of takedowns and was in good position more often than not. The fight appeared to be headed to the cards, but Kakhramonov saw another opportunity to hop on a guillotine.

This time, it stuck.

Jones tapped and Kakhramonov officially had a successful UFC debut. There's still a lot to learn about the debutant but he showed a lot of self-belief and grit in working through some rough spots to get the finish he wanted.


Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard

It wasn't easy, but Vinc Pichel took a clean sweep of the scorecards to score a win against Austin Hubbard in the lightweight division.

Pichel and Hubbard made a strong case for Fight of the Night, going toe-to-toe for three rounds at a good pace.

Hubbard was more willing to change levels and mix things up. He scored four takedowns, but wasn't able to control Pichel on the ground consistently. Instead, Pichel was able to work his way to the feet where he was the busier fighter.

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While both showed a willingness to bite down on the mouthpiece and throw heavy punches, Pichel landed his with more regularity.

The win now gives Pichel three straight, including a win over Jim Miller just over a year ago. If he can remain more active he might be able to do something with the momentum he has.


Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval

Both Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval have a history of putting up Fight and Performance of the Night-worthy performances. Saturday night was no different as the two put on a fast-paced, fun fight up until Pantoja drew the tap from Royval in the second round.

The first round was a back-and-forth affair. Even the grappling exchanges were frenetic as both fighters were looking for finishes:

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Already a scramble from the beginning! 👀 #UFCVegas34 https://t.co/RjbKMbooXQ

Royval had a leg lock submission attempt in the first but wasn't able to seal the deal. The Brazilian, however, was able to convert one of the scrambles in the second round into a submission attempt himself and locked in the rear-naked choke.

The win gives Pantoja back-to-back wins and an interesting position in the division. He has two wins over current champion Brandon Moreno with the last coming all the way back in 2018.

If he can get another quality win or two, he could be getting a shot at gold.