Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 262 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
Andre Muniz won’t soon forget his third Ultimate Fighting Championship triumph.
The Dana White’s Contender Series alum scored the most significant victory of his career to date at UFC 262, submitting eight-time world jiu-jitsu champion Ronaldo Souza in the opening round of their middleweight clash at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday night. Muniz (21-4, 3-0 UFC) locked in an armbar 3:59 into Round 1, with an audible snap bringing an immediate end to the contest. Muniz has won his last seven professional bouts.
Souza, who is mired in a four-fight losing streak, was submitted for the first time in his 37-bout professional tenure.
“I’m a fan of ‘Jacare’ since I was a kid,” Muniz said. “He’s my idol. I hope he’s good. I want to let the UFC know I’m here to stay.”
Souza (26-10, 1 NC, 9-7 UFC) started well, landing a takedown and attacking with standing-to-ground punches on his fellow Brazilian. Muniz eventually returned to his feet to land a takedown of his own before transitioning to the ex-Strikeforce champion’s back during a scramble. “Sergipano” was too high to maintain that position, but when “Jacare” attempted to toss his foe over his head and slide out the back door, he left his right arm exposed. Muniz was able to keep the limb trapped and apply torque until the Souza’s upper arm broke. Once it did, Muniz let go immediately, but the damage had already been done.
Vannata Confounds Grundy
Lando Vannata was successful in his featherweight debut, earning a split decision over England’s Mike Grundy. Chris Lee saw it 29-28 for Vannata and Marcos Rosales had it 30-27 for “Groovy,” while Patrick Patlan submitted a head-scratching 30-27 tally in favor of Grundy. The Jackson’s MMA Acoma product has won three of his last five Octagon appearances.
Despite Grundy’s best efforts, Vannata (12-5-2, 4-5-2) was able to keep the majority of the fight upright with sturdy takedown defense. When standing, Vannata held a clear edge in striking volume by connecting with punching combinations, knees and kicks to various levels. Grundy (12-3, 1-2 UFC) landed a couple hard right hands but was unable to string any consistent offense together. All told, Vannata defended 17 of Grundy’s 20 takedown attempts in the contest.
Related » UFC 262 Round-by-Round Scoring
Wright Overwhelms Pickett
Once Jordan Wright got rollling, there was nothing Jamie Pickett could do to stop him. “The Beverly Hills Ninja” earned his 12th career finish, defeating his fellow Contender Series alum via technical knockout 64 seconds into the opening round of their middleweight clash. All told, Wright has secured 11 of his 12 wins inside of a round.
Pickett’s evening went downhill shortly after he attempted to take Wright (12-1, 1 NC, 2-1 UFC) down against the fence. The California native defended well and then buckled his foe with a series of elbows to the side of the head. Wright followed up with a barrage of hammerfists before Pickett returned to his feet in survival mode. Wright gave chase and landed a knee in close quarters before throwing Pickett to the mat. From there, the 29-year-old battered Pickett (11-6, 0-2 UFC) with a stream of unanswered ground-and-pound until referee Kerry Hatley intervened.
Lee Armbars Shevchenko
Former Legacy Fighting Alliance title holder Andrea Lee snapped a three-bout skid in emphatic fashion, as she submitted Dana White’s Contender Series alum Antonina Shevchenko in a flyweight affair. “KGB” ended her opponent’s night with a triangle armbar at the 4:52 mark of Round 2.
An entertaining sequence at the outset of the second stanza set the stage for Lee (12-5, 4-3 UFC) to impose her will. After Lee connected with a spinning back elbow during an initial exchange, Shevchenko (9-3, 3-3 UFC) attempted to execute a throw. Lee was able to assume top position in a scramble, where she locked in a mounted triangle and then rolled to her back. Shevchenko was trapped in that position for the rest of the bout, as Lee looked to tighten the squeeze, landed elbows to the head and periodically threatened with an armbar. It wasn’t until the waning seconds of the period that Lee was able isolate her foe’s limb and elicit the tapout with the triangle still in place.
Cachoeira Swarms, Finishes Mazany
Priscila Cachoeira authored a huge momentum shift to come back for a technical knockout victory over “The Ultimate Fighter 18” cast member Gina Mazany at flyweight. The Parana Vale Tudo representative swarmed her reeling foe with power punches against the fence to force the stoppage at the 4:51 mark of Round 2.
Mazany set the tone early behind takedowns and control from top position. Cachoeira (10-3, 2-3 UFC) stayed busy from her back, however, cutting Mazany open with an elbow after being grounded in the second frame. When referee Mike Beltran ordered a standup once he determined Mazany (7-5, 2-5 UFC) wasn’t being active enough from top position, Cachoeira capitalized. The 32-year-old Rio de Janeiro native attacked a fading Mazany with a flurry against the fence, and with her foe doing little to defend herself, Beltan stepped in to halt the bout.
Lutz Wins UFC Debut vs. Aguilar
Two-time Dana White’s Contender Series alum Tucker Lutz was successful in his promotional debut, earning a competitive three-round verdict over Kevin Aguilar at featherweight. All three judges submitted scorecards in favor of Lutz: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28. “Top Gun” has won his last 12 professional outings.
Lutz (12-1, 1-0) ran out to an early lead on the scorecards, as he was quicker to the punch and landed multiple takedowns over the course of the first 10 minutes. Aguilar (17-5, 2-4 UFC) fought with the appropriate sense of urgency in Round 3, and he had Lutz on the retreat in the bout’s waning moments. However, it wasn’t enough to sway the scorecards in his favor.
Giagos Rallies, Brabo Chokes Soriano
Christos Giagos gave Sean Soriano a rude welcome back to the Octagon, winning via submission in a lightweight clash. “The Spartan” brought the contest to a close 1:01 into Round 2, when he rendered his opponent unconscious with a brabo choke.
In his first UFC bout since January 2015, Soriano (14-7, 0-4 UFC) was sharp in the opening stanza. He twice stunned Giagos with straight right hands while also connecting with crisp left hooks and powerful leg kicks in a round that was contested primarily on the feet. Giagos (19-8, 4-4 UFC) shifted gears at the right time, as he landed a takedown early in the second frame and then secured the fight-ending maneuver following a scramble on the mat.