Women’s strawweight action on the UFC Vegas 62 preliminary card saw Sam Hughes and Piera Rodriguez both looking to build on their current win streaks.
At 7-0 to start the night, Rodriguez had yet to taste defeat in her professional career. Hughes, meanwhile, had won two straight inside the octagon coming into Saturday’s contest.
Early on in the first of two women’s bouts on the UFC Vegas 62 card, it was Hughes working her hands, and Rodriguez relying on low kicks. Piera soon loaded up on some counters, however, as the pair continued to circle one another at center.
As the round progressed, Rodriguez targeted the body with her kicks; Hughes added a front kick, and landed a combo that resulted in Rodriguez tying things up and looking for a takedown. Hughes was having none of that, fighting off the attempt. With just under two minutes remaining, however, Rodriguez changed levels and landed a takedown, and while Hughes was quickly back up, in a close round, it could have made the difference. Another takedown attempt moments later was stuffed; in the final minute, Rodriguez caught Hughes coming in a few times, but none of those punches had much on them.
The pair ended a close round trading, and headed to the second. There, Rodriguez opened immediately circling, allowing “Sampage” to chase her. On the flip side of that, Hughes constantly moving forward and leading the attacks made her the aggressor in a razor-thin contest. Hughes’ hands were serving her well in the second, but Rodriguez fell back to her takedown attempts. With Hughes fighting off another attempt, however, it was back to circling. Inside of two minutes, Rodriguez did land a takedown, but Hughes was immediately back up, using the cage to reverse as they traded in a clinch.
Round three started out with an early clinch, with Hughes landing a few uppercuts before Rodriguez answered with a big knee. Hughes fought with a little more urgency, and had Rodriguez looking tired. But Hughes herself was showing some damage around the nose, and the takedown threat from Rodriguez was ever-present.
The pair would go the distance in the end, with both women lifting their arms in celebration. Only one could be victorious however — and that turned out to be Venezuela’s Rodriguez, with 29-28 scores from all three judges.
Official Result: Piera Rodriguez def. Sam Hughes by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)