After a reshuffling of the deck, the UFC Vegas 15 main card wound up opened by featherweights Jonathan Pearce and Kai Kamaka III.
The “Fighting Hawaiian” Kamaka entered the fight on a six-fight win streak that included stints in Bellator and LFA. In his last bout, his octagon debut, he’d won a unanimous decision against Tony Kelley to mark his arrival in the UFC.
Pearce was in a somewhat different situation, having lost his own octagon debut last time out. That loss came to Joe Lauzon, just over a year ago, however. And had snapped a five-fight win streak for Pearce.
Pearce opened Saturday’s bout with front kick, and Kamaka pushed forward. Kamaka launched a nice straight right and Pearce answered back with a kick. Kamaka mixed up the jab with the low kick and Pearce fired back a combination. Pearce moved in but Kamaka got the take down for a moment before Pearce got back to his feet. Pearce landed a solid combination, and Kamaka answered with a stiff straight right hand. Kamaka continued to work the jab and Pearce moved in and out as he mixed it up some more. That ability was slowly giving him the edge. Pearce went for the single leg but gave it up and threw a punch. Kamaka moved forward and looked to throw but Pearce dropped levels and got the take down. Kamaka worked to his feet, but Pearce stuck with him and landed a pair of knees before breaking and going back to their feet as the horn sounded to end the round.
Pearce opened the second with a pair of jabs followed by a kick and a flying knee. Pearce looked to overwhelm Kamaka and dropped for the take down that got Kamaka to the mat, where he took his back. Kamaka worked back to his feet quickly and reversed to land back on top before they scrambled to their feet and exchanged. Pearce ate a body shot but drove through and took Kamaka to the ground. Pearce worked from Kamaka’s back again and threw him back to the mat as he got back to his feet. Pearce got his hooks in and dropped punches down on Kamaka to open up the choke. Pearce rolled Kamaka over and for a moment looked to have the position. But Kamaka spun to take top position before they scrambled back to their feet — only to end up on the mat again. Kamaka briefly got the choke but Pearce broke free and ended up on the back of Kamaka again. This time there would be no choke. Pearce rained down punches on Kamaka until the referee had to stop the action.
— UFC (@ufc) November 29, 2020
Official Result: Jonathan Pearce def. Kai Kamaka III by TKO, Round 2, 4:28