UFC 262 Results: Lando Vannata Beats Grundy, Judges in Featherweight Debut

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Lando Vannata UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 31: Lando Vannata poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After spending his UFC run at lightweight, Lando Vannata took the initiative to drop to 145lbs at UFC 262, where he would take on Mike Grundy.

For Vannata, a talented fighter whose record simply doesn’t reflect his skills, it was a chance for a fresh start. Grundy, meanwhile, was appearing in just his third UFC fight after splitting his first two.

From the outset, “Groovy” Lando showed improved takedown defense. Vannata started the fight with a counter left and a body kick. Less than a minute into the fight, Grundy shot on a powerful double. Both fighters threw knees, but Grundy’s knee hit Vannata below the belt, which halted the action. Grundy landed another takedown, but Vannata got to his feet. Grundy clinched and landed another takedown, but Vannata again got to his feet via reversal. Grundy put Vannata against the fence and ate elbows for it. Two minutes left in the round, and Vannata broke free. Vannata missed on a spinning kick. Vannata threw a high kick, missed, and Grundy shot for a takedown — which Vannata again escaped. Grundy attempted nine takedowns in round one, only landing two.

Both fighters took the center to start round two, but Vannata eventually walked Grundy down. Barely 20 seconds into the round and Grundy shot for another takedown but didn’t get it. Grundy landed a knee on the exit. Grundy shot for a lazy takedown with 3:35 left and didn’t get anything. Vannata landed a switch kick, and Grundy answered with a hard punch. Yet another takedown attempt from Grundy but nothing came of it. Vannata started teeing off on Grundy with some combos. One minute left in the round, and Vannata landed a head kick, but Grundy laughed it off. Another hard punch by Grundy landed.

Vannata landed a 1-2 to start round three, which made Grundy shoot for a takedown, and Vannata sprawled perfectly. Despite Vannata’s strong takedown defense, his volume had been inconsistent early, and it felt like anyone’s fight. Grundy shot for a takedown and ate a hard knee but continued and eventually grabbed Vannata’s neck. Vannata got up and landed a hard slam! With half a round remaining, Vannata landed a hard jab and front kick to the body. Vannata threw a head kick, but Grundy blocked it. One minute left, and Grundy whiffed on a hard right hand. Time was winding down, Grundy missed another takedown. Grundy tried to rush Vannata to cap thing off, but there was nothing doing.

Vannata stuffed 17 of Grundy’s takedowns. A very impressive feat. Vannata was successful in his featherweight debut and handed Grundy his second consecutive loss. But with opposing 30-27 scorecards, Vannata’s biggest win might have come against the judges.

Official Result: Lando Vannata def. Mike Grundy via a split decision (29–28, 27–30, 30–27)

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