Dustin Stoltzfus said ahead of UFC Vegas 31 that he believed BJJ star Rodolfo Vieira was the best possible match-up for him. With both men looking to bounce back from losses, a lot was on the line Saturday.
Rodolfo had been shocked to find himself exhausted and beaten at his own game, submitted by Anthony Hernandez in his last outing. Stoltzfus, after winning big on the Contender Series, was coming off a loss to Kyle Daukaus, and a bout with COVID-19.
When it came time for Stoltzfus vs. Vieira on Saturday, it was a case of “be careful what you wish for.”
Stoltzfus kicked off the fight by denying a glove touch. Vieira shrugged his shoulders and started turning up the pressure. Vieira worked behind some jabs and a few decent 1-2s early — one of which landed well enough to get Stoltzfus’ nose bleeding. In the middle part of the round Stoltzfus got his hands going a bit too. They traded on the feet for the remainder of the round — surprisingly no takedown attempts coming from either guy for the whole round. Stoltzfus may have landed a few more, but the sting was coming from Vieira.
Vieira didn’t take long to shoot in the second round. Just seconds in he got the takedown, but Stoltzfus worked quickly to the feet and separated. While the volume was there for Stoltzfus on the feet, Vieira was the one with the pressure and seemed to be landing with greater impact again. That all changed with about 90 seconds left with a big right from Stoltzfus, who appeared to put Vieira on skates a bit. Vieira failed on a takedown and ate a knee for his troubles. Vieira jabbed at Stoltzfus a bit more and they ended the round with Vieira pinning Stoltzfus to the cage.
Stoltzfus appeared to had a little more urgency out there in the third round. Then Vieira quickly put an end to that with a huge double leg takedown in the middle of the cage. After a scramble against the cage, Vieira got another takedown. As Stoltzfus worked back to his feet this time, Vieira leapt to his back and sunk in a choke. Stoltzfus tapped as he was falling and it was all over.
— UFC (@ufc) July 18, 2021
Official Result: Rodolfo Vieira def. Dustin Stoltzfus by Submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 1:54