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Cynthia Calvillo has a home at flyweight, if she wants it.
The Tiger Muay Thai representative outclassed Jessica Eye for the majority of five rounds in the UFC on ESPN 10 main event, winning a unanimous decision at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Calvillo got the nod from all three judges -- 49-46 (twice) and 48-47 -- in a successful 125-pound debut.
“I feel great, especially for putting on a performance like that with a short amount of training,” Calvillo said. “It feels amazing being able to do this during this time.”
Eye, a former flyweight title challenger, took the center of the Octagon in Round 1 and showcased the superior power in her hands for the opening five minutes. From there, however, Calvillo (9-1-1, 6-1-1 UFC) gradually imposed her will, landing takedowns in each of the final four frames and often looking quicker in landing punching combinations on the feet. Eye (15-8, 1 NC, 5-7, 1 NC UFC) was resilient in surviving while Calvillo took her back on multiple occasions, but the Ohioan was unable to establish a rhythm after a strong start.
“It was my first time getting ready for a five-round fight. I knew that it was gonna take me a little bit to really get it going,” Calvillo said. “I needed that first round as a warm-up to really get my feet going.”
Vettori Overpowers Roberson, Earns Submission Win
Marvin Vettori settled the score with Karl Roberson in a big way.
After weight-cut issues for Roberson scrapped a fight scheduled between the two last month and led to a shouting match in the fighter hotel in Jacksonville, Vettori submitted his rival with a rear-naked choke 4:17 into the opening round of their co-main event, middleweight clash. Scale issues plagued Roberson again this week, as he missed weight by 4.5 pounds on Friday.
“I just trained so hard. This is my reward and this is my life,” Vettori said. “I was just so hyped up before the fight. This is what i love to do.”
A measured beginning on the feet eventually gave way to some entertaining grappling exchanges and scrambles, but it was ultimately Vettori (15-4-1, 5-2-1 UFC) who gained the edge. “The Italian Dream” nearly gave up his back on an initial single-leg attempt, but he was able to assume top position following a scramble. Moments later, after failing on a guillotine attempt, Vettori escaped a choke from Roberson (9-3, 4-3 UFC) and powered back into top position. From there, he unloaded with punches and elbows before eventually taking his foe’s back to secure the fight-ending maneuver.
“Everybody’s been dodging me. I don’t think they can hide anymore. I want names,” said Vettori, who targeted a rematch with middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. Vettori has won three straight in UFC competition.
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Rosa Edges Aguilar Via Split Decision
Charles Rosa utilized a strong finish to capture a split-decision victory over Kevin Aguilar in a lightweight affair. Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for “Boston Strong,” while a third submitted a 29-28 tally for Aguilar.
Aguilar found success countering Rosa’s kicking arsenal with punches to the head and body, particularly in the early going. Rosa (13-4, 4-4 UFC) appeared to get stronger as the fight progressed, attacking with kicks to the legs and body along with several clean straight lefts to the face. An incidental headbutt opened a cut over Rosa’s forehead in Round 2, but the Peabody, Massachusetts, native was undeterred. While always competitive, Aguilar wasn’t active enough to sway the scorecards in his favor.
After beginning his promotional tenure with back-to-back wins, Aguilar (17-4, 2-3 UFC) has dropped his last three Octagon appearances.
Fili Earns Split Verdict Over Jourdain
Team Alpha Male product Andre Fili earned a split-decision triumph over Charles Jourdain in a competitive featherweight encounter. Two judges scored the contest 29-28 for Fili, while a third submitted a 29-28 tally in favor of Jourdain.
“I was begging God. I don’t understand [the split decision],” Fili said. “I really feel like I didn’t perform as well as I could’ve, but I’m also my harshest critic. I really don’t see how you could watch that fight and score it a split.”
In a bout marked by spirited exchanges on the feet, Jourdain (10-3, 1-2 UFC) struck the first significant blow when he dropped Fili (21-7, 9-6 UFC) with a left hook in the opening stanza. “Touchy” quickly recovered, however, and was able to increase his output with sharp punching combinations and solid kicks over the final 10 minutes. Fili put a final stamp on the victory by landing multiple takedowns in the final period.
Espinosa Cruises Past De La Rosa
Jordan Espinosa was simply too quick and too crafty for Mark De La Rosa.
The Albuquerque-based fighter relied on superior speed and movement to garner a unanimous decision triumph over Mark De La Rosa in a bantamweight tilt. Two judges scored the fight 30-27, while a third had it 30-26 for Espinosa, who snapped a two-fight skid. Both men normally compete at 125 pounds.
Espinosa was masterful, switching stances and tagging his foe with straight punches and kicks to the legs and body while staying on the outside. When De La Rosa shot for a single leg in Round 1, Espinosa made his foe pay with a battery of elbows and hammerfists to the side of the head for nearly half the frame.
Espinosa (15-7, 1 NC, 2-2 UFC) remained in control as the bout progressed, and De La Rosa struggled to close the distance. The Luttrell-Yee MMA representative punctuated his victory with a pair of takedowns in Round 3, and he was able to capitalize on the position with hard hammerfists from above. De La Rosa (11-5, 2-5 UFC) has lost his last four fights.
Agapova Batters, Submits Cifers
Dana White’s Contender Series alum Mariya Agapova was successful in her promotional debut, as she submitted Hannah Cifers in the opening stanza of a flyweight scrap. The Kazakhstan native brought a close to the bout with a rear-naked choke at the 2:42 mark of Round 1.
Early on, the 23-year-old Agapova (9-1, 1-0 UFC) used her considerable reach advantage to repeatedly tag Cifers (10-6, 2-4 UFC) with stinging straight left hands. Cifers, whose previous five UFC appearances came at 115 pounds, found a brief respite in the clinch but ultimately proved to be overmatched. Agapova set the stage for the finish by dropping her foe with a left high kick. When Cifers returned to her feet, Agapova moved to the back, locked in a body triangle and slid her arm under the chin to force the tapout.
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