Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight contender Rose Namajunas desperately tried to stop Team Alpha Male’s Paige VanZant in the UFC Fight Night 80 main event on Thursday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Persistence eventually paid off.
However, contrary to her walkout tune -- Run the Jewels’ “Get It” -- “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 20 runner-up could struggled to get the finish she desired despite multiple tries in the third and fourth rounds. Namajunas pushed VanZant to the brink at the end of the third, where the 21-year-old escaped an airtight rear-naked choke. VanZant, who walked out to Trick Daddy’s “Let’s Go,” freed herself from two attempted armbars in round four, one of them appearing to dislocate her elbow. Her luck ran out in the fifth, as Namajunas cinched a rear-naked choke and finally secured the elusive submission.
The loss was the second of VanZant’s career and snapped her four-fight winning streak.
In the co-headliner, “The Ultimate Fighter 15” winner Michael Chiesa strolled out to Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” before his scrap with Jim Miller and took that exact route to victory. After fending off kneebar and heel hook attempts from Miller, Chiesa scrambled to the back after hammering the New Jersey native with ground-and-pound. He quickly wrapped his arm around Miller’s exposed neck and locked in the rear-naked choke for the finish.
After arguably the biggest win of his career, Chiesa channeled his inner Nugent and demanded a top-15 opponent in his next outing.
Other notable song choices included Pharell’s “Happy,” which brought a dancing Sergio Moraes to the cage before his comeback knockout against Omari Akhmedov; DMX’s “Slippin,” which played prior to Tim Means’ one-punch knockout on John Howard; and Fugazi’s “Waiting Room,” which trumpeted Nathan Coy’s arrival prior to his submission loss to Danny Roberts.
A partial rundown follows:
UFC Fight Night ‘Namajunas vs. VanZant’ Walkout SongsPaige VanZant: “Let's Go”| Trick Daddy
Rose Namajunas: “Get It”| Run the Jewels
Jim Miller: “Sweet Emotion” | Aerosmith
Michael Chiesa: “Stranglehold” | Ted Nugent
Cody Pfister: “Guerilla Radio” | Rage Against the Machine
Sage Northcutt: “Awesome God” | R-Swift
Elias Theodorou: “The Nights” | Avicii
John Howard: “Mosh Pit” | Casino
Tim Means: “Slippin” | DMX
Sergio Moraes: “Happy” | Pharell
Omari Akhmedov: “Amazing” | Kanye West
Andreas Stahl: “Live Wire” | Motley Crue
Santiago Ponzinibbio: “Latinoamerica” | Calle 13 and Susana Baca
Nathan Coy: “Waiting Room” | Fugazi
Danny Roberts: “Rise and Fall” | Michael Molloy and Alex Evans
Phillipe Nover: “Born in the USA” | Bruce Springsteen