Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz may have been a late replacement at UFC Vegas 22, but she definitely took advantage of her opportunity.
The Mexican-born strawweight showcased a strong grappling game to take Cheyanne Buys down repeatedly over three rounds to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision victory. The scorecards read 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 as Ruiz picks up her first win in the UFC while spoiling Buys’ debut after she gained a lot of attention following her appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020.
“I feel so happy,” Ruiz said afterwards. “I want to say thank you to Dana [White] and the UFC.”
There was no feeling out period with Buys and “Cenejo” swinging heavy leather as soon as they were released from the corner. While Buys connected with a hard shot during that exchange, Ruiz was clearly looking to close the distance in order to work for a takedown.
Ruiz eventually dragged the fight to the ground with Buys stuck in a headlock where she began chipping away with short punches while maintaining control on top.
After spending the better part of five minutes on her back, Buys came out firing in the second round and she clipped Ruiz with her strikes but that aggression once again gave way to another head and arm takedown. From there, “Conejo” did her best to control Buys for another round but the Contender Series veteran was finally able to earn a reversal where she blasted away with ground and pound until the horn sounded.
Despite that comeback, Buys’ coaches warned her that she may be down two rounds, which pushed the urgency needed during the final five minutes. Buys was definitely the better striker, especially at distance where she popped “Conejo” with well-placed shots during nearly every exchange.
Once again, however, Ruiz found enough space to work inside, grab onto the head and bring Buys crashing down to the canvas yet again. Ruiz continued to work her ground assault until the fight came to an end, which led to a fiery exchange between the strawweights before officials intervened to prevent another clash.
The win moves Ruiz to 10-1 in her career overall while picking up an impressive victory over a highly touted prospect like Buys.