UFC Vegas 43: Relentless Wrestling of Pat Sabatini Too Much for Tucker Lutz

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Pat Sabatini and Tucker Lutz, UFC Vegas 43
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Pat Sabatini kicks Tucker Lutz in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Looking to build off a win in his promotional debut earlier this year, Contender Series alum Tucker Lutz found himself in the featured preliminary bout at UFC Vegas 43, against former CFFC featherweight champ Pat Sabatini.

Sabatini, like Lutz, had got off to a solid start in his UFC career, winning his first two fights under the promotional banner.

There was plenty of action early in Sabatini vs. Lutz, with both men throwing before Sabatini changed levels and shot forward for a takedown. Lutz stuffed it, and they’d reverse, then reverse again. Sabatini definitely wanted the fight on the ground, and he got it there care of an inside trip. Lutz posted up, but Sabatini still had him wrapped up, dragging him back down. Lutz tried to climb up again; again, Pat Sabatini dragged him back to the canvas, this time taking the back and landing a few punches to the head.

Sabatini’s approach was methodical, improving position inch by inch between volleys of punches. Sabatini would eventually take the back and get Lutz into a sitting position, wrapping up a rear-naked choke. It wasn’t under the chin, however. The body triangle was locked on, however, and Sabatini finshed the round in control.

Sabatini wasted zero time getting the fight to the ground in round two, opening with a double leg takedown out in the open. Lutz was in no man’s land, well away from the fence. That gave Sabatini all the time in the world (or in the round anyway) to work. From inside half guard, Sabatini postured up and landed a big elbow. He looked to trap an arm with his knee, and landed several punches up top before stepping over into side control. Just as Lutz managed to get to his knees and possibly escape, Sabtini latched on with a guillotine.

While Sabatini couldn’t finish with the choke, he used the submission to secure position, transitioning to the back and locking on with a body triangle. That left things looking awfully similar to way the first round had ended. The rear-naked choke attempts increased in the final minute, Sabatini peppering his opponent with punches to try to open up space under the chin, to no avail.

Between rounds, Lutz’s corner urged him to keep the fight standing. Lutz complied, stuffing an early single-leg attempt. He still had his back to the fence, however, but reversed Sabatini and dropped levels for a takedown of his own, that Sabatini seemed to accept as much as Lutz completed it. Sabatini was soon back to his feet, reversed, and got back to the grind, soon taking Lutz down — with over three minutes remaining in the fight.

This time Lutz was quickly back up, only to be dropped back down again, legs taken out from under him. Sabatini just would not let up on the wrestling attack, and every time Lutz made it up, he had to deal with yet another takedown attempt from Sabatini. That was the story of the fight; the relentless takedowns of Sabatini were just too much for Lutz to overcome.

Official Result: Pat Sabatini def. Tucker Lutz by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

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