Chris Gutierrez showcased a diverse striking attack to handle Felipe Colares over three rounds to win a split decision at UFC Vegas 39.
Time and time again, Gutierrez was able to stick a jab in Colares’ face while also battering his leg with kicks as Gutierrez maintained a strong based on his feet throughout the fight. When the bout ended, the judges returned two scores of 30-27 for Gutierrez with the third official giving it to Colares with a 29-28 score, although it was tough to imagine how Colares actually won two rounds.
Regardless, Gutierrez got the win and has now gone undefeated in his past six fights in the octagon.
“I thought I did enough to get the decision,” Gutierrez said afterwards. “Hats off to Felipe. We knew he was going to be a tough fighter.”
The bantamweights were ready to play the kicking game as the action started with Gutierrez targeting the legs and Colares countering by going back to the body and head. While there were heavy striking exchanges early, Gutierrez and Colares ended up spending a lot of time locked in the clinch as each attempted to earn the advantage against the cage.
When the action moved back towards the center it was Colares acting as the aggressor as he was constantly looking to move forward but only throwing a single kick or punch at a time. Gutierrez, meanwhile, was happy to stand and trade in the pocket as he kept throwing a well-timed jab then stepped into combinations that were giving Colares headaches.
With Gutierrez really starting to connect with his combinations, including a number of straight punches that were snapping Colares’ head back, the Brazilian had to make a change to his game plan. That led to a late takedown from Colares as he attempted to change his fortune, but Gutierrez stayed patient on his back before eventually scrambling free.
As time ticked away to the final horn, Gutierrez landed on target with a blistering series of strikes that had Colares on wobbly legs, although he was cognizant enough to switch into survival mode in order to make it to the end of the round.
Still, Gutierrez was the better striker throughout all three rounds, which led to his victory as he seeks to keep his momentum going as he moves forward with his UFC career.