One of two Canadian fighters on Saturday’s UFC Vegas 51 card (the other being Jesse Ronson), featherweight T.J. Laramie was looking for his first win in the promotion. That would be no easy feat, however, in a match-up with Pat Sabatini, who had won his first three fights under the UFC banner.
To kick off the action on the main card Saturday, Sabatini and Laramie traded leg kicks. Then did it again. Sabatini next shot for a takedown, but Laramie sprawled and stuffed it. Laramie then drove Sabatini against the fence; Sabatini briefly trapped the neck in a guillotine, but did have it. Instead, Laramie got the fight down, and stayed on top even as Sabatini tried to roll through.
Working from half guard, then guard, Laramie had lots to contend with. Sabatini threw up an omoplata, but Laramie pulled free. Still, lots of action off his back allowed Sabatini to escape back up, and they reset at center. From there, Laramie moved in with a jab, but a kick to the body was caught, and Sabatini dumped the Canadian on his back. Laramie used to cage to wall walk up almost immediately however. When they engaged again, Laramie fired a leg kick, but ate a punch. He clinched up along the fence again, putting Sabatini’s back to the fence. They didn’t stay there long, and Sabatini struck next with a body kick! Laramie was hurt, doubled over, and Sabatini pounced, dropping him, but somehow Laramie recovered, and in a scramble wound up on top.
The featherweight pair clinched up early in round two, with Laramie impressively seeming fully recovered. Sabatini, however, got the fight down and got on the back about 90 seconds in. With one hook in, Sabatini peppered his opponent with short punches. Laramie twisted and turned and tried to work his way out, but couldn’t shake Sabatini. Instead, Sabatini landed dozens of strikes from the back, with Laramie doing just enough to stay in the fight. With under a minute remaining, Sabatini briefly got both hooks in. Somehow, Laramie survived what could easily have been a 10-8 round.
Sabatini kept the pressure on in the third, getting the fight down in the opening minute. After a decent first round and a disastrous second, Canada’s Laramie needed to change things up, but instead had to contend with a very motivated Pat Sabatini. The American would control most of the round, with Laramie scrambling at the end and getting a few strikes in in the process.
Turns out, the second frame was indeed a 10-8 round. Pat Sabatini took the decision win, with 30-26 scores across the board.
Official Result: Pat Sabatini def. T.J. Laramie by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)