When Lando Vannata and Marcos Mariano woke up on Sunday morning (Australian time), their UFC 234 lightweight matchup was scheduled as the Fight Pass feature prelim bout.
Then Robert Whittaker’s middleweight title fight with Kelvin Gastelum was called off, and Vannata-Mariano was bumped up all the way to the co-feature slot of the pay-per-view main card at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.
But Vannata proved to be the only one ready for the prime-time callup, as he made short work of his debuting foe. Vannata had his way before finishing things off with a Kimura submission at 4:55 of the opening round.
Mariano threw a couple sharp leg kicks in the early going, but Vannata wasted little time wading in and getting the fight to the ground. Vannata dominated the bout from top position from there, with a pair of nasty elbows the most damaging blows before he sunk in the Kimura and got the quick tap.
The victory was Vannata’s first in his past five fights, although he’s only lost two of those, at 1-2-2. He improved to 10-3-2 overall. Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Mariano (6-5) has lost two of his past three.