Though the UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori fight card took a lot of hits over the past week, and even lost three bouts on the day of the event, the fighters that did compete delivered.
2020 has been a turbulent year, to say the least, on many fronts. The global coronavirus pandemic has run roughshod on everyone, and it certainly showed with the changes forced upon UFC Vegas 16.
The main event got a shift less than a week from fight day, while three other bouts got nixed just hours before the fighters were expected to walk to the cage.
Fight of the Night: Jack Hermansson vs. Marvin Vettori
Jack Hermansson was original supposed to headline Saturday’s fight card at the UFC Apex opposite Kevin Holland. That promised to be a tremendous fight, but it’s difficult to imagine that it could have been any better than the war that Hermansson fought against Holland’s replacement, Marvin Vettori.
The two fought back and forth for five solid rounds, but it was the Italian fighter that beat Hermansson to the punch for the better part of the fight. He also nearly made it an early night by dropping Hermansson in the first round.
Hermansson survived the early storm, but couldn’t find his way out of it, as the judges scored the bout unanimously in Vettori’s favor.
Their combined efforts, however, earned Hermansson and Vettori the UFC Vegas 16 Fight of the Night honors.
Performances of the Night: Gabriel Benitez
Gabriel Benitez ate some early punishment from Justin Jaynes, his left eye wearing the abuse of several Jaynes right hands.
Benitez slowed Jaynes with several powerful leg kicks. Later in the opening round, he dropped Jaynes with a knee to the solar plexus and finished him off with a series of elbows to earn a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Performances of the Night: Jordan Leavitt
Perhaps the most stunning performance of the night was from UFC debutant Jordan Leavitt.
Leavitt punched his ticket to the UFC in August with a win on Dana White’s Contender Series. He made the most of his moment, opening the UFC Vegas 16 main card with a knockout slam of 26-fight veteran Matt Wiman in just 22 seconds.
The victory moved Leavitt’s record to 8-0 and also earned him an additional $50,000.
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