Jared Vanderaa proved to be the better striker tonight at UFC Fight Night 188, getting the better of Justin Tafa for much of the fight with his kicks to the legs and body and punches to the head, and even a significant cut couldn’t stop him from emerging victorious via unanimous decision.
Outside leg kick for Vanderaa to start. Both men feeling out with the jab. Another outside leg kick for Vanderaa.
Another leg kick and jab for Vanderaa. Tafa threatening with the straight left. Tafa closes distance and throws heavy leather, but without the clean connection he needs.
Solid body punch for Tafa. Vanderaa lands one of his own. Another low kick for Vanderaa. And again.
Tafa punches to the body, but Vanderaa lands a knee upstairs in response. Tafa presses into range, but Vanderaa lands a counter hook.
Nice straight left for Tafa. Push kick from Vanderaa. He lands again with a punch this time. Right hook for Tafa as Vanderaa lets his own hands go.
Swing and a miss from Tafa. Body kick for Vanderaa and then a low leg kick. Again to the leg for Vanderaa. Body punch from Tafa, body kick for Vanderaa.
Jab from Vanderaa. Now a kick to the body. Left hand, body kick combo for Vanderaa. Another body kick for him.
Tafa barrels forward with his head down and Vanderaa looked to grab his neck for a moment, but they go back to striking range to close up the round.
Tafa trying for a kick, but eats a punch. Leg kick for Vanderaa. Tafa lands a kick, but then Vanderaa lands a solid one to the body.
Head kick seems to partially land for Vanderaa but Tafa eats it. Vanderaa mixing up the punches to the body and kicks to the leg. Tafa lands a solid punch.
Nice kicks from Vanderaa. Vanderaa landing some big punches and elbows here, but something (replays show it’s a left hook) from Tafa has opened up a nasty cut to the left of Vanderaa’s temple.
Despite the blood Vanderaa is continuing to be the aggressor here. Tafa tries a leg kick and it’s checked. Tafa works a jab. Now a left hook. Another left hand for him and shoves Vanderaa backwards.
Exchange of strikes inside and Tafa landed an elbow. Tafa lands another punch to end the round well, though Vanderaa was doing some very good work earlier in that stanza.
Tafa lands a with a left hand. He gets it again. Vanderaa with an outside leg kick. Body punch for Tafa. He lands again, but Vanderaa lands a solid body kick.
Leg kick for Vanderaa. Lazy left hand from Tafa and Vanderaa lands a body kick in response. Tafa with that left hand again, faster this time.
Kick for Vanderaa. overhand left from Tafa. Knee to the body from Vanderaa as Tafa was stepping in. Head kick attempt from Vanderaa.
Another kick from Vanderaa, Tafa lands a body punch and Vanderaa connects upstairs with a punch.
Vanderaa working the jab. Body kick for Tafa. Front kick to the body from Vanderaa. A couple of right hands land for Vanderaa.
Flurry of punches from Vanderaa. Tafa clinches up and walks Vanderaa over to the cage. Before he gets there Vanderaa turns him into the fence instead though.
They break apart. Tafa connects. Tafa with a heavy connection and Vanderaa stopped in his tracks for a moment. Vanderaa bleeding from that cut again. Tafa wading forward. He gets into the clinch, but a groin strike from Vanderaa leads to a brief stoppage.
35 seconds to go. Tafa trying to let his hands go. Vanderaa lands a body kick though. Tafa rips to the body, but Vanderaa lands a knee and punches at close range. Another body kick from Vanderaa to end the round.
Vanderaa proved to be the more active fighter here and mixed up his punches and kicks to good effect, resulting in a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).