The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us for the first time in a month tonight, January 13, 2024, for UFC Vegas 84, going down live from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada.
Headlining the event is a light-heavyweight rematch between no. 3 ranked Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1) and no. 7 ranked Johnny Walker (21-7).
Co-headlining the event was also intended to be a rematch, that one coming in the flyweight division between no. 5 ranked Matheus Nicolau and no. 6 ranked Manel Kape (19-6). However, Kape weighed in at 129.5 lbs yesterday, 3.5 lbs over the flyweight non-title limit, thus scrapping the bout altogether.
As a result, the feature fight of the evening between Jim Miller (36-17) and Gabriel Benitez (23-10) was bumped up to the co-main event slot.
Our new feature fight of the evening came in the bantamweight division between no. 13 ranked Ricky Simon (20-5) and Mario Bautista (13-3).
Simon came into the bout off a defeat to no. 7 ranked Song Yadong last April, a fight he went into on a very impressive five-fight win streak that showcased three finishes, while Bautista came in on a five-fight win streak of his own, also with three finishes.
Continue reading to see how our feature fight of the evening went down:
Official Result: Mario Bautista def. Ricky Simon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Simon controls the early goings of the fight with a beautifully timed takedown, remaining on top for a time before Bautista gets back to his feet. Simon controls him along the cage for a bit before Bautista is able to separate.
Bautista lets go on a combination toward the end of round one, landing a few good punches before walking right into a heavy shot that floored him.
Bautista really gets to work with his striking in the second, utilizing great footwork and angles to land good offense without taking many hits in return. He also did a great job of keeping the fight on its feet, denying every attempt Simon threw his way.
Simon secures an early takedown to begin round three, though he’s only able to remain on top for a couple minutes, and when Bautista got back to his feet, he overwhelmed him with volume once again. Bautista didn’t get taken down again and really let his hands go toward the end of the round, proving he deserves to be a ranked contender at 135 lbs.
Mario Bautista improves his win streak to six-straight, handing Ricky Simon his second-straight defeat tonight at UFC Vegas 84.
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