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UFC Fight Night 80 live blog: Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant

Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant will battle in the UFC Fight Night 80 main event Thursday.
Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant will battle in the UFC Fight Night 80 main event Thursday.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC Fight Night 80 live blog for Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant, a strawweight bout at Saturday night’s UFC event at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nev.

Namajunas, who is 3-2 in her career, will face VanZant, who is 6-1 overall, and has won four straight fights, in the main event.

Check out the UFC Fight Night 80 live blog below.

More Coverage: UFC Fight Night 80 Results | UFC News


Round 1: Here we go, our first main event of the week. Huge step up in competition here for Paige VanZant. Herb Dean is the referee in charge. Rose Namajunas walks out to Run the Jewels, so yeah, she wins the walkout battle. Namajunas immediately cracks VanZant with a hard flurry. VanZant wades inside, eats another shot, then gets tripped to the floor. VanZant tries to use the fence to escape, but Namajunas stifles it and starts unloading. VanZant sees an opening and squirms out. Namajunas eats a shot on the way up. One-two from Namajunas. Stiff straight right from Namajunas. Namajunas sticks another left hand in VanZant's face, then wrestles her to the mat. Namajunas takes her back in a scramble. VanZant briefly rolls, giving up mount, then gives up her back again. VanZant slowly works to her feet but her face is an absolute mess. Namajunas keeps VanZant close and trips her back down. Namajunas works into half guard, then unloads with punches. She's battering VanZant here. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Namajunas.

Round 2: VanZant looks to close the distance and gets cracked. Namajunas muscles VanZant to the fence, then throws her onto her back. Namajunas floats right into mount. VanZant gives up her back. VanZant continues to move and Namajunas is forced to settle inside VanZant's half guard. Namajunas stands, then dives into half guard on the opposite side. VanZant climbs to her feet, but her back is still trapped against the fence. Namajunas is just overwhelming right now. And as I type that, VanZant nearly grabs Namajunas' back in a scramble. Namajunas defends and they stand. Great action here. The crowd loves it. VanZant is noticeably less aggressive than in past fights. Namajunas closes the distance and tosses her to the mat, landing in half guard. Namajunas looks to strike but gets kicked off. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Namajunas. (20-18 Namajunas.)

Round 3: VanZant rushes inside and misses with a flying knee. That was a bad idea. Namajunas deftly trips her back to the mat, again landing in half guard. VanZant scrambles up to her feet, then wades forward with sloppy punches. Namajunas cracks her with a succession of counters. Namajunas blocks a high kick. Namajunas ducks under a punch and smacks VanZant with a big right. VanZant dials up her pressure only to get driven back to the fence. Trip attempt fails for VanZant and Namajunas easily settles inside her half guard. VanZant tries to shrimp out but ends up relinquishing her back. VanZant stands wearing Namajunas like a backpack! Namajunas has a rear-naked locked in tight and VanZant falls back to the floor! Fifteen seconds! VanZant escapes and stands, an absolute bloody mess but still alive. Wild fight so far. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Namajunas. (30-27 Namajunas.)

Round 4: VanZant stalks forward and suffers through the same sequence: a Namajunas trip that sends VanZant to the mat. Namajunas slowly works to the side then hunts for an arm. She might have it! Wow, VanZant twists out. No one can doubt this woman's perseverance. Namajunas continues to work from VanZant's back. VanZant stands and walks to the fence with Namajunas still attached. VanZant tries to roll forward but ends up giving up her arm in the scramble! This one is deep! WOW. Again she escapes. This is crazy. Namajunas stays locked to VanZant's back and sinks in one hook. VanZant works out of it and stands. They release to the center of the Octagon, only to have Namajunas throw VanZant back down, this time landing in side control. MMA Fighting scores it 10-8 Namajunas. (40-35 Namajunas.)

Round 5: The crowd gives these two women a standing ovation as we start the fifth. Instant trip from Namajunas. Half guard. Namajunas works to mount, then takes VanZant's back. VanZant tries to stand, but Namajunas stays locked on and cinches a rear-naked! They fall backwards to the canvas. VanZant finally has no choice but to tap! Great, great fight.

UFC Fight Night 80: Rose Namajunas def. Paige VanZant via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:25 of round five