Siyar Bahadurzada exposed the glaring hole in Brandon Thatch’s game.
Bahadurzada submitted the Elevation Fight Team standout with a third-round arm-triangle choke at UFC 196 “McGregor vs. Diaz” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Thatch (11-4, 2-3 UFC) conceded defeat 4:11 into round three, as he suffered his third straight defeat.
Thatch could not stay on his feet. Bahadurzada (22-6-1, 2-2 UFC) executed repeated takedowns, applied his ground-and-pound and seized control of the match. Late in the third round, he dragged the exhausted and visibly discouraged Thatch to the mat one more time, latched the choke and coaxed the tapout. The submission was Bahadurzada’s first since January 2007.
Related » UFC 196 Round-by-Round Scoring
Taleb One-Punch KOs Silva
Tristar Gym rep Nordine Taleb knocked out Erick Silva with a counter right hand in the second round of their undercard welterweight duel. Taleb (12-3, 4-1 UFC) drew the curtain on the onetime Jungle Fight titleholder 1:34 into round two.
Silva (18-7, 6-6 UFC) tried and failed to lure the Canadian into a firefight. Taleb refused to take the bait, picked his spots from the outside and waited for his opening. Early in the second round, he caught a front kick from Silva and fired a perfectly timed straight right behind it. His fist connected with a concussive thud, and Silva face-planted on the mat.
Miranda Head Kick Sinks Guimaraes
Team Nogueira export Vitor Miranda wiped out former Jungle Fight champion Marcelo Guimaraes with a second-round head kick and follow-up punches in their preliminary affair at 185 pounds. Miranda (12-4, 3-1 UFC) forced the stoppage 69 seconds into round two.
Guimaraes (9-2-1, 2-2 UFC) employed a clinch-heavy approach that ultimately proved ineffective. Miranda shut him down in close quarters early in the second round, smashed him with rapid-fire elbows behind the ear and connected with a head kick on the break. Power punches on the compromised Guimaraes followed, leading referee Chris Tognoni to step in.
Miranda will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next appearance.
Elkins Wears Down Skelly
Consummate grinder Darren Elkins slowed the rise of Team Takedown’s Chas Skelly and pocketed a unanimous verdict in their three-round featherweight pairing. Elkins (20-5, 10-4 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 29-27 and 30-26 marks.
Outside of a few volleys of power punches in the first round, Skelly (15-2, 4-2 UFC) was a non-factor. Elkins sucked him into the clinch, dragged him to the mat and abused him with steady ground-and-pound. By the time round three arrived, Skelly was spent and had nothing left with which to mount a comeback.
The setback halted Skelly’s run of four consecutive victories.
Sanchez Outduels Reeling Miller
Timely takedowns, occasional ground-and-pound and a superior gas tank carried “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez to a unanimous decision over Jim Miller in a three-round undercard scrap at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Sanchez (26-8, 15-8 UFC).
Sanchez was at his best in the first round, where he answered effective counterpunches from the former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder with a takedown and a stifling top game paired with punches and elbows from the top. Miller (25-8, 14-7 UFC) managed to stay on his feet in the second, as he stuck the Jackson-Wink MMA export with straight lefts, sneaky right hooks and heavy leg kicks. The third round was almost too close to call, as the two lightweight veterans battled to a virtual stalemate on the feet. Sanchez landed a late takedown and then touched off a punching flurry until the final bell.
Miller, 32, has lost four times in his past five outings.
Returning Saggo Downs Salas
Royler Gracie protégé Jason Saggo disposed of Grudge Training Center rep Justin Salas with first-round punches in a preliminary lightweight clash. In his first appearance since October 2014, Saggo (11-2, 2-1 UFC) put the notch in the win column 4:31 into round one.
Salas (12-7, 3-4 UFC) secured a takedown inside the first 90 seconds but played right into the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s hands. Saggo swept into top position under threat of an omoplata and went to work. The Canadian grappler settled in half guard, drew blood with elbows and methodically climbed to the back, setting both hooks. Saggo then flattened out Salas and mopped up the rest with ground-and-pound.
The 30-year-old Saggo has won six of his last seven bouts.
Ishihara Blows Away Erosa
Shooto veteran Teruto Ishihara knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter 22” alum Julian Erosa with a counter left hook and follow-up punches in the second round of their undercard battle at 145 pounds. Ishihara (8-2-2, 1-0-1 UFC) sealed the deal 34 seconds into round two.
Erosa (15-3, 1-1 UFC) could not match his opponent’s aggression. Ishihara slammed kicks into the inside of his lead leg, forced him to switch stances and routinely beat him to the punch in the first round. Early in the second, he clipped Erosa with a left hook behind the ear, pounced on his prey and finished it with punches and hammerfists.
The loss snapped Erosa’s five-fight winning streak.