Featherweight prospect Sodiq Yusuff was looking to get back in the win column, after suffering a rare loss against Arnold Allen last year. He was up against Alex Caceres on Saturday at UFC Vegas 50 — with “Bruce Leeroy” on the best run of his UFC career.
The pair traded kicks early as the main card featherweight dust-up got underway. Within 30 seconds, the ref gave a warning for fingers being extended. A moment later, Caceres got the fight down, looking to take the back, but Yusuff quickly escaped out.
On the feet, right where he wanted to be, Yusuff pressed forward, eventually catching a kick and dumping Caceres. But Yusuff had to be careful, first of upkicks, then of Caceres’ dangerous ground game.
Soon enough, they’d be back to the feet, Caceres happy to trade power shots while slipping Yusuff’s attacks. “Bruce Leeroy” proved elusive, but trading with Yusuff was a dangerous game. Sodiq Yusuff, however, opted to take the back, holding on to a body lock and controlling his opponent. He could not, however, get the fight to the ground; Caceres broke free, spun around, and put some space between himself and Yusuff.
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Round two saw Yusuff open with some power shots, while Caceres worked his jab and a check hook. Yusuff mixed in some leg kicks, no doubt hoping to make his opponent more of a stationary target. Before too long, Caceres appeared to be stepping a little more gingerly.
Another kick followed, just as Caceres’ own corner instructed him to at least check the kicking attacks. Another took the leg out from under Caceres, though he was back to his feet in a heartbeat. Caceres continued to press forward, firing a front kick and letting his hands going, but the leg kicks were the story of the round.
For all the damage his legs had incurred, Caceres was still impressively mobile to start the third round. Yusuff continued his measured attack, chopping the leg, and occasionally firing a punch or two. As the seconds ticked away, Cacares fought with renewed urgency, in stark contrast to the methodical Yusuff. That having been said, Yusuff mixed it up in the second half of the final round, going upstairs with a kick, showing some solid movement of his own — then going back to the well and kicking Caceres’ leg out from under him.
No surprises from the judges after the fact, all of whom scored the fight for Sodiq Yusuff.
Official Result: Sodiq Yusuff def. Alex Caceres by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)