Chris Gutierrez secured a rarely-seen leg kick TKO victory over Vince Morales at UFC Vegas. Just the 11th such finish in UFC history, it was a process that was painful to watch, as Gutierrez first chopped away at his opponent’s lead leg — then went to work on the other.
At times, all Morales could do was grasp the cage to keep from toppling over. In the end, stranded at center, legs taken out from under him again, the ref mercifully put a stop to the affair.
The win over Morales makes it three in a row for Chris Gutierrez (15-4-1). But performances are remembered far longer than records, and Saturday’s was a performance that will be remembered for a while.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press post-fight, Boston’s “El Guapo” was asked about the finish. “It always feels good to get a stoppage, right? You don’t need no judges, you don’t need no controversy about them. So, to get a stoppage especially in the biggest promotion in the world, man it’s just nice.”
No doubt. While Gutierrez clearly targeted his opponent’s legs throughout the fight, it wasn’t necessarily something he’d planned on from the outset. “I just go in and go with the flow, honestly,” he said. “That’s what I do. I just go in there, go with the flow and listen to my coaches.”
His coaches clearly steered him in the right direction at the UFC Apex on Saturday. The card-opening fight was the first of four straight finishes, and among the most memorable.
A solid performance, for a short-notice fight up a weight class at featherweight. The Factory X fighter, training under Marc Montoya, usually competes at bantamweight. He could have made the cut on short notice — but the preference was to protect his health.
“Bantamweight is my home, that’s where I fight at. But this one, I took it on what, like nine or ten days’ notice? I don’t want to hurt myself going down an extra ten pounds,” he stated. “So anytime your body doesn’t suffer — making 35lbs is no problem when I have the proper timeframe, but if you do that in ten days, then you can really fatigue, you can really hurt yourself. So of course not dropping the extra ten, it worked out.”