UFC Argentina is in progress, and Johnny Walker just brutally knocked out Khalil Rountree in the opening round to make his promotional debut in style. Holy smokes! Before that, Ian Heinisch went the distance in his UFC debut tonight, using his strikes and sub attempts to pick up a unanimous decision over Cezar Ferreira.
Also on the main card, Marlon Vera overcame a rocky opening round to go on and hurt Guido Cannetti with strikes, and then finish him off with an RNC in the second. Vera has now finished his last four wins and is proving to be quite the killer at 135 pounds. Opening up the main card, Cynthia Calvillo got herself back into the win column with a first round rear-naked choke on Poliana Botelho. Calvillo is now 4-1 inside of the UFC, having only lost to inaugural strawweight champ Carla Esparza.
Johnny Walker def. Khalil Rountree by KO at 1:57 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
We saw a ton of feints to open up this bout, but once Walker grabbed ahold of the Thai plum, it was over. Instead of knees, it was a set of well placed elbows that hurt and sat down Rountree. A couple of academic ground strikes closed the show. Yikes!
Ian Heinisch def. Cezar Ferreira by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Middleweight
Heinisch moved forward right away but Ferreira blasted a double leg to briefly put him on his back. Ferreira went for another takedown but Heinisch jumped an arm-in guillotine, which ultimately gave Ferreira top position. Heinisch was able to lock up an armbar but Ferreira escaped just before the bell sounded.
Ferreira blasted a takedown to start the second round, and scored another the second that Heinisch stood back up. Heinisch worked back up to his feet but wasn’t able to do anything before getting taken back down. Ferreira was unable to hold his opponent down for any real length of time, and Heinisch was able to drop Ferreira with a right hand at the very end of the round.
Ferreira looked for the takedown to kick off the final round, but was ready for it and was able to remain vertical. A flurry of punches from Heinisch wobbled Ferreira, which led to a Heinisch takedown at about the midpoint of the round. Ferreira worked his way back to his feet where he ate a few more shots. In an incredible display of grit, both men slugged it out to the point of slow motion for the final ten seconds.
Marlon Vera def. Guido Cannetti by submission (RNC) at 1:31 of round 1: Bantamweight
Cannetti was all over Vera in the opening round, chasing him down with heavy punches and slamming his foe to the ground a couple times. Vera had very few moments across the first five minutes. Vera poured it on early in the second round, landing all sorts of strikes on Cannetti and rocking him. After a brief guillotine attempt, Vera went back to the strikes and hurt Cannetti again, dropping him with a knee from the clinch. Vera quickly took the back and snagged up a rear-naked choke to get the finish.
Cynthia Calvillo def. Poliana Botelho by submission (RNC) at 4:48 of round 1: Strawweight
Botelho took the center of the cage with Calvillo playing the outside. There quite a bit of feeling out going on as each fighter threw legs kicks at the other. Calvillo found top position and was able to drop several elbows to both the head and body. From the wrestlers ride, Calvillo locked up an RNC, and after a little bit of hanging tough, Botelho has to tap.
**It should be noted that Calvillo weighed in at 118 pounds