Rose Namajunas completely dominated Paige VanZant in every facet of MMA tonight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80 en-route to a fifth round submission victory via rear-naked choke.
The main event of the evening is underway. Namajunas feels out with the jab. Hard leg kick from VanZant and a couple of punches from Namajunas. Namajunas lands again with a strike.
Side kick the body from PVZ. Namajunas into the clinch and lands a good takedown early in this fight.
Namajunas passes and into north south for a moment. Namajunas landing a few strikes, but then PVZ rolls back to her feet. VanZant has a cut high on her right cheek though.
A few punches from Namajunas. A right hand snaps PVZ’s head back. Leg kick for VanZant, but Namajunas lands a right hand in response.
PVZ looks to clinch, but Namajunas is the one who ends up on top as they go to the mat. Namajunas takes her back and it’s all her so far in this fight. PVZ works to her knees, then stands. The right side of her face is smeared with blood from the earlier cut.
Namajunas has her back down. She stands over VanZant, then gets back down into her opponent’s guard. Lands a few strikes then again she postures up and down again. Half guard now and puts together a few solid shots. Elbows now as the round comes to a close.
PVZ circles around on the outside to start the second. She tries to come forward but gets caught by a flurry from Namajunas. PVZ trying for the takedown, but Namajunas stuffs it and clinches up.
VanZant again with that weak takedown and Namjunas lands on top and takes her back. PVZ gets to her back again and Namajunas has to work for half guard, then full guard.
Namajunas to half guard again. PVZ works to her knees and is back upright. Namajunas clinching again though against the cage. A few knees in there. This time VanZant gets the takedown, but it’s somewhat sloppy and Namajunas quickly ends up on top and again has her back.
PVZ stands up again and they trade in close. VanZant gets some space and goes back to circling on the outside. She looks a little out of ideas her and so far has been outclassed by Namajunas.
VanZant tries to pull Namajunas back down to the mat and scramble on top, but it doesn’t pay off and Namajunas is happy to take half guard. She doesn’t look for offense so much this time, but is able to keep control for the remaining seconds of the round.
VanZant rushes into a push kick that Namajunas almost catches and then finds herself back on the mat with Namajunas in half guard and looking to pass. Knee strikes to the body from Namajunas. PVZ scrambles and works for a takedown while still on the mat. She almost gets it, but Namajunas works to her feet.
PVZ marches forward and lands a knee. She’s trying to work her pressure game now, but eats a punch while trying a spinning technique and they are momentarily into the clinch.
VanZant back to working on the outside again. She lands a kick. Solid overhand right for Namajunas lands. She tries to go upstairs with a kick, but it’s blocked.
Left hand for Namajunas as PVZ tries to clinch. Namajunas gets the better of this position though and the headlock takedown attempt from PVZ again doesn’t pay off and Namajunas is on top again.
She continues working and looks to take PVZ’s back. VanZant turtled up and then stands. Namajunas hops up onto her back though and drags her back down to the mat while sinking in the rear-naked choke. It looks tight, but PVZ, who’s covered in blood, refuses to tap and she survies the submission attempt and makes it to the end of the round.
PVZ barrels forward to start the round, trying to make something happen, but Namajunas brings her to the mat once again. There’s just a huge skill gap between these two. The fears about bringing VanZant up the ranks too quickly have proven to be true here tonight.
Namajunas in control on top and she’s working for an armbar now. All heart from PVZ as she somehow finds a way out of that. Namajunas remains on top though and lands a few strikes. She’s got her back now as PVZ turtles up. A couple of knee strikes from Namajunas and PVZ stands.
Namajunas pushes her to the cage, still controlling her back. She pushes her opponent back down to the mat, steps into the armbar attempt. That looks tight, yet PVZ just won’t tap. She scrambles and despite her elbow looking in a bad position she somehow gets out of it. That was reminscent of the early submission attempt in Rousey Vs Tate 1.
Fantastic courage and determination from VanZant, but the problem is Namajunas is still all over her. VanZant manages to get back up, but Namajunas is just almost permanently on her.
Eventually VanZant gets some space, but eats a push kick and then Namajunas lands a smooth takedown to end the round.
— MMA GIFS (@mma_gifs_) December 11, 2015
VanZant tries to scrap in the opening seconds of the last round, but Namajunas picks her shots and then takes her down.
Namajunas working from Half guard and hoping to pass. The jockey for position and Namajunas secures side control. PVZ gets her back to half guard. Namajunas with a nice elbow. She gets to VanZant’s back. VanZant turtled and tries to stand, but as she does so Namajunas sinks in the rear-naked choke and brings her back down to the mat with it.
This time PVZ can’t escape and is forced to tap, Namajunas gets the submission she’s been hunting for all fight long with 2.25mins of the fifth round.
Hats off to Namajunas for putting on a dominant display there. While PVZ has been getting a lot of attention, she’s a young, talented and marketable fighter in her own right and is now firmly into the title picture at 115lbs.
As for PVZ, this was a painful, but valuable lesson that exposed many of the flaws in her game. You can’t teach toughness though, and the 21 year-old clearly has that in spades.
— #UFCVegas (@ufc) December 11, 2015