Anthony Hernandez weathered the early storm of Rodolfo Vieira, exhausting the decorated submission grappler before pulling off a major upset - and adding a big feather to his cap – by finishing a guillotine choke in the second round of the UFC 258 preliminary card bout.
Bloodied and disoriented, Vieira shot for a takedown and found himself caught in a submission that bought a meek tap at the 1:53 mark of the middle frame and made Hernandez bettors richer as a -500 underdog.
Check out the finish.
Hernandez, a jiu-jitsu purple belt with none of the gold medals of Vieira, was in trouble from the outset of the fight, giving up mount after giving up a takedown. Vieira transitioned to an armbar and cranked away. But at every position, Hernandez stayed calm and worked himself free. And when the two returned to the feet, the disparity between their striking skills couldn’t be more evident. Hernandez chased Vieira down and pummeled him with punches, landing a right hand that stunned the Brazilian. By the end of the first round, it was clear Vieira had completely gassed.
With nothing left in the tank, Vieira shot for an early takedown in the second. But a quick transition to the back left him too high on Hernandez’s torso, and he slid off. That gave Hernandez another opportunity to let his fists and feet go, and he met Vieira’s rise with a kick straight to the head. An elbow opened a big cut, and the desperation shot sealed the finish.
Hernandez left UFC commentator Joe Rogan – a huge submission grappling fan – gushing as they processed the upset afterward.
Hernandez bounces back after a TKO loss to Kevin Holland in his previous outing, while Vieira suffers the first loss of his pro MMA career after seven wins, two of which came in the octagon.