UFC Las Vegas: Davey Grant Pulls Off Sensational Reverse Triangle, Raphael Assuncao Retires

Raphael Assuncao and Davey Grant, UFC Las Vegas
Raphael Assuncao and Davey Grant, UFC Las Vegas weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Bantamweight veterans Raphael Assuncao and Davey Grant faced off on the UFC Las Vegas preliminary card on Saturday, with the event going down at The Theater at Virgin Hotels.

Assuncao and Grant were both coming off single wins that had snapped their respective losing streaks; Grant, for his part, had earned post-fight bonuses in four of his last five fights.

He put in an effort that might land him another at UFC Las Vegas.

Raphael Assuncao showed last time out that he still had a lot to give. And that could be said for the start of this fight. A counter overhand right from Assuncao turned Grant’s lights on and resulted in him throwing a kick that was caught by the Brazilian. The veteran threatened on the back of Grant after pushing him down to the floor, but because of their cage position, it made it difficult for him to wrap in the second hook. The Brit made it back to his feet, relatively unharmed.

Grant then landed a big straight right hand that pushed Assuncao back momentarily. The leg kick of Assuncao became his clear weapon of choice to try and halt the forward pressure of Grant. After a close round one, both veterans made it back to their corners for round two.

The second round began with some more forward pressure from Davey Grant, but Assuncao looked slightly more comfortable in this round. Raphael ducked under a big right hand attempt from Grant and latched onto the single leg attempt, but couldn’t secure it. Grant once again tried to close the distance with a low leg kick, but Assuncao returned a big counter right hand.

Assuncao’s lateral movement made it difficult for Grant to nail down his timing, and because of this he was unable to get much offence going in the second round. The Brazilian once again managed to secure a takedown with just under a minute left of round two and did well to maintain strong wrist control to keep Grant where he wanted him for the rest of the round.

Going into round three, Eric Nicksick told Assuncao that he needed to put the pressure on as he was unsure how rounds one and two would’ve been scored. Despite that, it was his counter work and counter grappling that were giving him the clear advantage in the fight.

Grant landed himself a heavy right hand behind the ear of Assuncao in the third, momentarily dropping him to his backside. Not long after though, the 40-year-old found himself securing another takedown. He wasn’t able to keep the Brit down for long though, and Grant made it back to his feet and once again landed some heavy shots to a laboured Assuncao. The latter attempted another takedown and was deep on the heel of Grant quite close to the fence, and due to grabbing the fence was deducted a point.

After being deducted a point Grant knew for a fact he needed a finish in the final moments of round three. After landing a huge spinning back fist, Assuncao was dropped to his knee’s and shot for an emergency takedown. Unfortunately for the vet, he was caught in a reverse triangle by the dogged Brit and was put unconscious by Grant. A huge, come from behind submission win for Davey Grant, with a rarely seen reverse triangle.

Raphael Assuncao took off the gloves following the fight, laying them down in the cage to signal his retirement. “I think my time has come now. I put a lot of effort into this training camp, away from my family. I think it’s time for me,” he told Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview.

Official Result: Davey Grant def. Raphael Assuncao by submission (reverse triangle), Round 3, 4:43