Saturday’s UFC Vegas 17 card marked the final UFC event of the year. It was also an occasion for both Gillian Robertson and Taila Santos to finally get back to work, after both flyweight fighters saw opponents drop out earlier this month.
For Robertson, the move from Andrea “KGB” Lee to Santos arguably had more downside. Instead of a fighter ranked just above her, she was now faced with an unranked fighter looking to make a name for herself. Santos, meanwhile, had an opportunity to break into the top 15, should she come out with her hand raised.
Someone was going to get an early Christmas present on Saturday. Whoever adjusted better to the change of opponent, frankly. That turned out to be Brazil’s Santos, who used heavy top position and was able to fight off submission attempts from Robertson time and again.
Santos tied things up early in the opening round, but Robertson went after an arm-bar in the opening minute, basically jumping into it. In an awkward position, Robertson let go of the attempt, but threatened with another a moment later. Santos wound up working from guard, but Robertson landed more elbows from the bottom than Santos landed anything from on top. Santos managed to land a little more at the end of the round, and would likely take the round on the scorecards thanks to her top time.
The first round was essentially a template for things to come. It wasn’t long before Robertson was on her back again in the second. Once again, Robertson went after the arm-bar. Santos, however, pressed her knee into Robertson’s face, forcing the Canadian to break the hold. Santos then caught Robertson in a triangle, although Robertson — bloodied perhaps from the knee pressing against her face — wound up on top. She was too high up on her opponent, however, and Robertson wound up on bottom, once again unsuccessfully going after an arm-bar.
Robertson jumped into a guillotine early in round three. And when she couldn’t finish it, she was once again on her back with Taila Santos on top. Robertson arguably had her best chance at an arm-bar submission late in the round, but Santos pulled free, ending up in side control.
In the end it was a unanimous decision victory for Santos, with Robertson taking just a single round on one scorecard.
Official Result: Taila Santos def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)