UFC 271: Kyler Phillips Submits Marcelo Rojo In Style

Kyler Phillips and Marcelo Rojo, UFC 271
Kyler Phillips and Marcelo Rojo, UFC 271 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

Last year, Marcelo Rojo had made his UFC debut, up a weight class, in a losing effort against Charles Jourdain on short notice.

Since then, he’d seen fight after fight fall through, at least until he ran up against Kyler Phillips at UFC 271 on Saturday. “The Matrix” was coming off the first loss of his own UFC career, a controversial majority decision that went in favor of Raulian Paiva last July.

This fight started exactly how you expected with both men getting right at it. Phillips dropped Rojo with a leg kick just over a minute in, leading to big exchange with Rojo landing a big shot. Phillips was able to take Rojo’s back after a clinch exchange, leading to a takedown that Rojo was able to get up from after not allowing Phillips to stay in full mount. Phillips continued to work his jab to right hook, which was finding success through the entire round. “The Matrix” had an excellent leg sweep at the 18 second mark, ending the round by evading an armbar attempt from Rojo.

Phillips started the second round showing his speed, throwing smooth combinations and slipping Rojo’s offence. Phillips made incredible use of the outside calf kicks, while countering the very tough Rojo who just wouldn’t quit. Rojo continued to press forward against Phillips despite the brutal calf kicks he continued to take, finding more success as we got deeper into the round. It was all Phillips and his outside calf kicks through two.

Phillips was able to land a takedown within the first minute of the third frame, moving to side control and transitioning to full mount using a kimura do so. Phillips started with the ground pound, this led to a triangle choke attempt; giving him the opening to lock in a triangle arm bar and causing Rojo to submit.

Phillips moved to 10-2 with the win, and showed that he is one of the most talented fighters in the bantamweight division, putting on an absolute masterclass and showing his incredible versatility. Rojo dropped to 16-9 and has now lost his first two UFC fights. He’s proven to be a tough competitor after the brutal punishment he took through the better part of three rounds at UFC 271.

Official Result: Kyler Phillips def. Marcelo Rojo by submission (triangle arm-bar), Round 3, 1:48