One hype train was derailed, at least temporarily for the UFC on Wednesday night. Their huge week of fights started with Paige VanZant suffering a mollywhopping at the hands of another young star in Rose Namajunas.
VanZant looked technically flawed, throwing leg kicks without setting them up, and giving her back up on a poorly executed hip throw attempt. Early in round one, Namajunas opened PVZ up with big elbows on the ground, before having her way on the feet for much of the rest of the round.
The second round saw Namajunas in complete control, taking down VanZant at will. VanZant, bloodied, defended a deep rear naked choke in round 3 to stay alive, and two excellent armbar attempts in round 4. The display of toughness didn't make up for the mismatch in skill, but it was impressive nonetheless. Ultimately, Namajunas put VanZant away with a Round 5 rear naked choke.
The card was also built around 19-year old Canadian phenom Sage Northcutt, who's rapid ascension to the UFC turned a few heads, and left some people with a sour taste in their mouth. Sage was able to defeat Cody Pfister, but not without overcoming some adversity. Northcutt was taken down in the first round and attacked with elbows, but was saved by a questionable stand-up call. Northcutt landed a takedown of his own and finished round 1 strong.
Round 2 was all Northcutt, as he pressured early on. Looking fresh as a daisy after the close first round, Northcutt was able to lock on a guillotine choke and keep his hype train rolling.
Elsewhere on the card, Michael Chiesa likely punched his ticket to the lightweight top 15 with a submission win over Jim Miller. #5-ranked bantamweight Aljamain Sterling also moved a step closer to a title shot with a big win over top-10 fighter Johnny Eduardo.
You can see full results of UFC Fight Night 80 below. Don't forget that Wrestling Inc will have results of the TUF Finale tomorrow night, and full, live coverage of UFC 194 Saturday night, with a podcast following the show.
Rose Namajunas (#3) defeated Paige VanZant (#7) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:25 of R5
Michael Chiesa defeated Jim Miller (#14) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:57 of R2
Sage Northcutt defeated Cody Pfister via submission (guillotine) at :41 of R2
Thiago Santos defeated Elias Theodorou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Tim Means def. John Howard via KO (left hook) at :21 of R2
Omari Akhmedov def. Sergio Moraes via TKO (punches) at 2:18 of R3
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey ends in no contest (eye poke) at :11 of R1
Aljamain Sterling (#5) def. Johnny Eduardo (#10) via submission (guillotine) at 4:18 of R2
Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Andreas Stahl via TKO (punches) at 4:25 of R1
Danny Roberts def. Nathan Coy via submission (triangle) at 2:46 of R1
Zubaira Tukhugov def. Phillipe Nover via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Kailin Curran def. Emily Kagan via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:13 of R2