David Teymur outworked and upset Lando Vannata to take his spot as the top lightweight up-and-comer at UFC 209 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Vannata and Teymur, both rising talents, got an unexpected bump from supporting cast to co-main event status when the interim lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was canceled at Friday’s weigh-in… and they made the most of the opportunity.
Though Vannata was regarded as the hottest prospect in the UFC, Teymur held his own and then some.
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While Vannata was the one pushing forward, showing a lot of the flash that he is known for, like a cartwheel kick that landed, Teymur’s extensive Muay Thai background served him well. Though he had difficulty picking up on where Vannata was striking from on several occasions, he didn’t get rattled and countered well, particularly with his kicks to the body.
While Vannata was fluid, as he has quickly become known for, and landed several of his flashy techniques, Teymur stayed true to his workmanlike style, answering every one of Vannata’s techniques with two or three of his own.
Teymur only got stronger as the fight wore on. While Vannata never backed off, constantly pressing forward, landing impressive jumping and spinning techniques, Teymur adjusted well. The Swede clinched numerous times, and made the most of every engagement, landing several hard knees to the body.
Teymur kept attacking with knees to the body in the final frame, but added another twist… takedowns. Though he was never able to keep Vannata on the canvas, he took him down at least three or four times, and still clinched and drove knees to the body.
Vannata landed numerous hard shots throughout the fight, but Teymur ate them and kept attacking. Teymur was the busier fighter and outworked Vannata to earn a unanimous nod from the judges.
(Photo courtesy of UFC)
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