UFC Vegas 51: Faced with Point Deduction, Rafa Garcia Submits Jesse Ronson

Rafa Garcia and Jesse Ronson, UFC Vegas 51
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 16: (R-L) Rafa Garcia of Mexico punches Jesse Ronson of Canada in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

After a 22-month suspension from USADA stemming from a positive drug test following his UFC debut, Canada’s Jesse Ronson returned to action at UFC Vegas 51 on Saturday.

Meeting him in their lightweight match-up on the preliminary card was Rafa Garcia, looking to build off a win over Natan Levy in his last outing.

From the outset, Ronson and Garcia appeared game to trade on Saturday. Ronson mixed in some leg kicks, fighting out of a southpaw stance against the orthodox Garcia. Rafa looked to counter, with Ronson leading the exchanges. Garcia pumped his right hand, coming close with it several times.

Through the first half of the round, Garcia had better movement, and appeared to be the quicker fighter, even as Ronson continued to walk him down. With just under two minutes to go in the frame, Garcia changed levels and shot for a takedown. Down they went, but Ronson was right back up, with Garcia still on him against the fence. They wouldn’t stay there long, moving back to center, but Garcia changed levels again and landed another takedown. Again, Ronson was right back up — but the message had been sent by Rafa “Gifted” Garcia.

A single leg attempt from Garcia was landed early in round two, and Ronson was on his back. As they got back up, however, a knee clipped Ronson while he was still grounded. That halted the fight, and the ref would take a point. Garcia answered that with a double-leg takedown.

From there, Garcia would spend the rest of the round in control. Just when it seemed like Ronson would escape the round, he wound up caught in a rear-naked choke, and was forced to tap with just seconds left in the round.

Official Result: Rafa Garcia def. Jesse Ronson by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:50