Lightweights Claudio Puelles and Chris Gruetzemacher were both looking to build off recent wins at UFC Vegas 44 on Saturday.
But where Gruetzemacher was coming off a single win over Rafa Garcia, Puelles had more momentum behind him, having won three straight — most recently against Jordan Leavitt back in June.
Both fighters took the center of the octagon after a touch of gloves. Gruetzemacher closed the distance quickly. Puelles hit Gruetzemacher with a couple of body kicks and then dropped down and landed a takedown. Not much ground and pound from Puelles. Gruetzemacher tried for an armbar, but Puelles took his back in response. Both fighters were against the fence. A mounted guillotine from Puelles, but Gruetzemacher defended. Puelles got back to full mount and started dropping elbows, and 15 seconds later, starting dropping punches. The rounded with Puelles on top. Very dominant from the Peruvian fighter.
Puelles threw three high kicks to start round two, and they all landed. Puelles shot in for a takedown, but Gruetzemacher reversed it. Gruetzemacher went into Puelles’ guard and almost landed in a triangle. Both fighters got back to their feet with 2:20 left. Puelles landed a hard left hand that hurt Gruetzemacher and went for another takedown. Puelles put Gruetzemacher against the fence for a few seconds, but they broke from the fence. Gruetzemacher landed a knee to Puelles body from the clinch and then ate a elbow. Puelles landed a couple of elbows against the fence to end the round.
The final round started with Gruetzemacher pressuring Puelles. Gruetzemacher clinched with him and then landed a knee below the belt, which halted the action at 4:35. After restarting, both fighters exchanged kicks. A combo from Gruetzemacher got Puelles’ attention. Over three and a half minutes left in the final round, and Puelles shot for another lazy takedown, which Gruetzemacher defended and then reversed. Both fighters got to their feet. Puelles put Gruetzemacher against the fence. Gruetzemacher landed a takedown trip, and Puelles immediately tried a heel hook. Gruetzemacher defended, and then Puelles went for the kneebar and Gruetzemacher tapped.
Getting the job done late 💪
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 5, 2021
Puelles has now won four straight, with two kneebar submissions in that span. Don’t give that man a leg.
Official Result: Claudio Puelles def. Chris Gruetzemacher by submission (kneebar), Round 3, 3:26