A notable power puncher, Lemos was swinging hammers at Marina Rodriguez throughout the fight but the biggest shot came with a glancing right hand at the start of the third round. Rodriguez was immediately wobbled by the punch and that gave Lemos the opening she needed to rush ahead with a barrage of punches in succession
With Rodriguez trapped against the cage and eating unanswered punches, referee Jason Herzog had no choice but to rescue her from further harm with the end coming at just 54 seconds in the third round.
“We worked it so hard,” Lemos said afterwards. “She always leaves that back hand over there and I said we were going to meet her in the middle. This was the strategy.
“When I hit her, her legs started wobbling a little bit. I didn’t think twice. I was going to finish the fight right there.”
A slow start with the strawweights hesitant to really engage on the feet actually gave way to some grappling exchanges in the second round, which allowed Lemos to overpower Rodriguez on the ground.
As soon as the fight hit the canvas, Lemos quickly took the back and nearly wrapped up a neck crank and then a rear naked choke but Rodriguez was able to break free to survive. Lemos continued attacking as she took top control while peppering Rodriguez with short but powerful punches to the head and the body.
Then as the third round started, Lemos was surging forward and that’s when she threw a perfectly timed right hook that caught Rodriguez in the head. Rodriguez took a step back and looked like she was losing her balance, which gave Lemos the opening she needed to get the finish.
Lemos immediate threw a flying knee followed by rapid-fire punches coming from every angle as Rodriguez was just eating punishment without offering any kind of resistance. When the referee stopped the fight, Rodriguez appeared to throw her hands up in protest but replays showed her taking multiple punches without any attempt to slow down Lemos from just blasting her with more.
The victory moves Lemos to 7-1 in her past eight fights with her only loss coming in a submission to former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade. With that performance, Lemos is hoping she’ll actually get the call to perhaps help out UFC 281 next week when the strawweight title goes up for grabs in the co-main event between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili.
“Dana [White], I’m here already,” Lemos shouted. “Put me as a backup for the title fight in New York.”
As for Rodriguez, her four fight win streak comes to a disappointing end as she’ll now need to beging her climb back up the ranks with hopes that she can eventually compete for UFC gold one day.
Neil Magny sets all-time records for wins at welterweight in UFC
A knee injury suffered by Darrick Minner allowed Shayilan Nuerdanbieke to pick up a quick first-round TKO finish in just 67 seconds.
The fight came to an end after Minner threw a body kick and when he planted his leg back on the canvas, he grabbed his knee and started limping around the cage. Nuerdanbieke wasted no time attacking Minner as the featherweights went crashing to the canvas.
With Minner on his back, Nuerdanbieke started blasting away with punches and elbows until the referee had no choice but to stop the fight. Nuerdanbieke has now earned three straight victories as he moves to 39-10 overall in his career with a 3-1 resume in the UFC.
Tagir Ulanbekov gave Nate Maness a rude welcome to the flyweight division at UFC Vegas 64.
Following a few exchanges on the feet to start the fight, Ulanbekov closed the distance to get a takedown on Maness before a scramble allowed him to snatch the guillotine choke.
Ulanbekov backed Maness against the cage and just tightened up the submission while almost lifting him off the ground as he attempted to get the finish. Maness tried his best to resist the standing guillotine choke but alas there was no escape as he was eventually forced to tap out.
The win puts Ulanbekov back on track after he lost a controversial decision to Tim Elliott in his last outing, which serves as his only loss in the UFC.
Grant Dawson dominates then taps out Mark O. Madsen
In the main card opener, Grant Dawson made quite a statement with a submission win over previously undefeated lightweight Mark O. Madsen.
Dawson survived an early knockdown before taking Madsen’s back throughout the opening round, which gave him a path to victory. Once Dawson realized he could outwrestle the Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, he continued to go back to that game plan again and again.
After dragging Madsen to the canvas repeatedly, Dawson was staying busy with ground and pound while also working towards submission attempts. With five minutes remaining, Dawson nearly scored a standing knockout after blasting Madsen with calf kicks that dropped the Danish fighter down to the canvas.
From there, Dawson shredded Madsen’s defense before locking on the fight ending rear naked choke that helped him secure the victory. Dawson is now 7-0-1 in eight fights in the UFC and afterwards he called for a future showdown against Tony Ferguson as he looks to continue his climb up the lightweight ranks.