A preliminary card bantamweight match-up at UFC Vegas 57 promised fireworks when Brian Kelleher faced off against Mario Bautista.
Kelleher, for his part, was looking to reignite things after his momentum was halted by Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC 272 back in March. Bautista, on the other hand, was in search of his second straight victory.
While both men were more than capable on the feet, one proved to have some slick ground skills when all was said and done.
The opening minute saw Kelleher fire a kick up the middle, while Bautista fired a low kick, then went high. Bautista then changed levels and landed a takedown just past a minute in. He had plenty of time to work, landing in side control, but Kelleher got him to half-guard then scrambled up. Kelleher then looked for a trip takedown, but landed on bottom. “Boom” looked for a guillotine, but Bautista was hip to it. He then moved to mount, transitioned to the back, and locked up a rear-naked choke! Absolutely fluid. It didn’t take long for Bautista to force the tap after that.
CLEAN, CLEAN, performance by @Bautista_MMA! 😎
Early domination to get the RD 1 finish! 💪 #UFCVegas57 pic.twitter.com/zKc6vfcdaB
— UFC (@ufc) June 25, 2022
With the victory, Bautista improves to 4-2 inside the octagon, and it’s worth noting that one of those loses came against current contender Cory Sandhagen. “I’ve been kind of waiting to show it in the UFC, and what a guy to show it against,” Bautista said of his jiu-jitsu, noting he’s been working on just that with coach John Crouch.
Official Result: Mario Bautista def. Brian Kelleher by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 2:27