A fun bantamweight bout kicked off UFC Vegas 9, with Hunter Azure securing a close decision win over Cole Smith.
British Columbia’s Cole Smith returned to action Saturday at UFC Vegas 9, with the Canadian taking on Hunter Azure. The bantamweight bout opened up what was left of the card, which saw multiple fighters drop out just hours from kickoff time.
Smith opened the fight with a jumping front kick right out of a Bruce Lee movie, however, it didn’t land. However, he did follow up with some low kicks that did land hard, but Azure did get a takedown off one of those kicks to end up on top. Smith did his best to scramble and get up and eventually did despite eating a big right hand off the break. Azure then followed up with a perfect left cross that dropped Smith hard. Azure followed that with ground and pound before moving to the back. Azure lost the back and Smith got in on a takedown and got a minute to survive before landing a huge elbow that knocked Azure’s mouthpiece out. Azure threw Smith to the ground and hopped into full guard. Smith threw up a couple of armbar attempts but couldn’t get anything going. Smith worked his way back to the feet again, and the two ended the round swinging.
Azure opened the second round quickly, throwing a big combination that backed Smith up to the fence. Smith reversed position and worked on a takedown, and he got it, albeit briefly. Azure and Smith had a big scramble halfway through the round that resulted in Smith getting his back taken, but Azure couldn’t do anything with it. Azure got a takedown of his own, but Smith once again scrambled up to his feet before being taken down again promptly. Smith was able to scramble up and end the round on the feet, but it was all Azure in round two.
Smith went on the offensive in the opening moments of round three, landing some decent combinations and mixing in his kicks well before Azure once again worked on a takedown. Smith stuffed it this time however and landed a hard combination coming out of the break. However, Smith slipped after landing a flying knee and allowed Azure to get into the grappling. Azure got another takedown, and moved to the back, and began landing hard knees to the body. Smith shook him off and ended up getting Azure’s back. Smith desperately went for the rear-naked-choke and got extremely close. However, Azure would survive and make it to the judge’s scorecards.
Hunter Azure def. Cole Smith by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)