Through a full fifteen minutes at UFC Rio Rancho, Lando Vannata simply proved to be too elusive, too hard to hit for Hawaii’s Yancy Medeiros.
Kicking off the UFC Rio Rancho main card were lightweights Lando Vannata and Yancy Medeiros. Vannata had gone 1-1 in 2019, after a 2018 campaign that saw him post an 0-1-2 record. Medeiros, a Hawaiian who was once a highly touted prospect, was winless in his last two fights, one each in 2019 and 2018 — making him badly in need of a victory at the Santa Ana Star Center on Saturday.
A lot — potentially a job — was on the line Saturday night. Vannata had the home field advantage, should you choose to believe in such things. The Jackson-Wink fighter was mobile early, hands low, constantly moving. He was able to effectively counter Medeiros’ attacks, and nearly caught the Hawaiian clean with a high kick about ninety seconds in.
Medeiros, for his part, had the potential to be flashy, but seemed stymied by the movement of his opponent. Medeiros employed stance switches, but ate a number of counter rights. Still, it was a close affair, aside from a single burst from Vannata, who was able to land a handful of times in quick succession.
The second round had Medeiros pressing forward, with Vannata throwing an early counter combination. He then went to the body with a kick, and threw Medeiros down, though the Hawaiian popped right back up. Medeiros fired off a punch — a cross — but couldn’t follow up. While he wasn’t exactly chasing his opponent, Vannata was leading the dance thanks to superior footwork.
The lack of actual strikes connecting had the crowd a bit antsy, but Vannata was clearly a puzzle. As the round wore on, Medeiros began connecting more, but Vannata found his own success, and seemed to have landed more overall. Vannata closed out the second with a spinning kick that sailed wide of the mark.
In the third, Medeiros was showing some damage to the nose. Vannata was still far too elusive for him to hit, while Vannata himself found success with his right hand. Not to mention his leg kicks. And a spin kick. Vannata was also going to the body, mixing up his strikes well. So while not heavy on the volume end of things, his strikes were adding up. He’d wobble Medeiros in the final minute, after eating a left from his opponent, and the fight would come to a close.
— UFC (@ufc) February 16, 2020
Official Result: Lando Vannata def. Yancy Medeiros by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)