UFC Vegas 63: Cody Durden Wrestles Way to Victory Over Carlos Mota

Cody Durden and Carlos Mota, UFC Vegas 63
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 29: (L-R) Cody Durden punches Carlos Mota of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 29, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Carlos Mota made his debut on short notice against Cody Durden, a five fight UFC veteran, at UFC Vegas 63.

Mota won the LFA flyweight belt in his last fight after a loss against Charles Johnson in a Fight of the Year candidate earlier this year. For his part, Durden had a 2-2-1 record in the promotion including a first round KO in his last fight.

The path to victory for Durden was on the ground Saturday night.

The flyweights came out both bouncing on the balls of their feet, feinting and throwing at a high pace. Thirty seconds in, Durden landed a big straight right that seemed to drop Mota, but Durden turned it into a takedown as Mota stumbled and ended up in side control. Eventually Mota was able to reclaim guard with his head against the fence.

When Durden tried to drop down punches, Mota threw up an armbar and seemed to almost have it, but Cody exploded out. The Brazilian then transitioned to a triangle from his back but Durden was able to get his arm inside and end up in half guard. Durden postured up with a minute left and rained down some blows, the most significant of their time on the ground. Mota seemed too focused on playing from guard, trying to get submissions instead of working back to his feet against the wrestler. The round ended with Durden on top and winning a dominant round after accruing over four minutes of control time.

The second round started with a takedown attempt from Durden but this time around Mota was able to defend it with ease. A few seconds later he shot a single leg, to which Mota responded with a guillotine attempt. Durden escaped and transitioned to a double leg. Despite having an underhook, Mota went down and ended up playing guard again. Mota looked for another armbar attempt but this time it did not come close and Durden responded with clean elbow strikes, one of which opened up a cut on the eyebrow of Carlos Mota. With ninety seconds left in the round Mota threw up another armbar which was extremely tight for a period of time. However, Durden was able to relax, avoid tapping, and close the space between them to keep Mota from extending the arm and thus escaped the submission. The round once again ended with Durden on top after racking up more control time and short ground strikes.

Mota opened round three with a slick combination, the best strikes he’d had in the fight. His forward pressure was effective to start. Durden shot a low single that looked hopeless but in the end he was able to land it as Mota rolled for a heel hook.

Durden ended up on Mota’s back in the ensuing scramble, but only had one hook in. Still, he tightly controlled his opponent until the opening came and he slid the second hook in before switching to a body triangle. Halfway through the round Mota got flattened out briefly but was able to turn into Durden and almost escape the position. Durden held on for a bit but eventually he was reversed. Mota stood up and demanded that Durden follow him to the feet. Durden shot again almost immediately and pushed Mota to the fence. Mota tried to roll for a leg lock again but ended up on bottom. Some heavy hammerfists from bottom forced Durden to defend and Mota renewed his attack for the leg, but ended up in a 50/50. With seconds running out Mota stood up and threw a big shot to the body of Durden, but it was too little too late and time expired.

The decision was not in question when the scorecards were read and no one was surprised when Durden swept the scorecards, winning three rounds on two judges’ scorecards and two rounds on the third scorecard.

Official Result: Cody Durden def. Carlos Mota by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


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