After two draws in his last three fights, ‘Groovy’ Lando Vannata made no mistake at UFC 234, dominating Marcos Mariano and submitting him within a round.
With the late shake-up to the UFC 234 card on Saturday, Lando Vannata was once again called upon to step up on short notice. Of course, unlike his UFC debut (which saw him thrust into the spotlight against Tony Ferguson, in a barn burner of a fight), this simply meant being bumped up into the co-main event, against his scheduled opponent, Marcos Rosa Mariano.
Vannata entered the fight arguably one of the most entertaining fighters in the lightweight division despite a subpar record in the UFC. Two draws in his UFC career didn’t exactly help matters.
Mariano had the clear height advantage Saturday, towering over Vannata at 6″1. To combat that, Vannata attacked his opponent’s lead leg, firing off a couple of calf kicks, at least one of which Mariano answered. He’d go upstairs with a kick as well, but Vannata then closed the distance, cinched on a body lock and landed a takedown, moving to side control, then into half-guard. Vannata would attempt to score some damage while Mariano looked for a possible submission attempt, using his lengthy limbs to his advantage. Vannata, however, managed to land a number of punches on his opponent, as Mariano seemed unsure of whether to commit to a submission attempt or escape. Big elbows by Vannata followed.
After Marianno finally created some space, however, Vannata switched his approach, stacking Mariano up and isolating an arm. ‘Groovy’ soon had his opponent tapping to a Kimura.
— UFC (@ufc) February 10, 2019
“If Jim Miller would do me the honor of stepping in here with me this summer, I would absolutely love it,” Vannata said in the octagon post-fight. A bout against the lightweight veteran would certainly be interesting.
Lando Vannata def. Marcos Rosa Mariano by submission (kimura), Round 1, 4:55