Former middleweight Jake Collier was looking to avoid the dreaded 0-3 stretch when he took on Martin Buday in a heavyweight featured prelim at UFC Vegas 72 on Saturday.
Collier had suffered back-to-back losses against Andrei Arlovski and Chris Barnett, leaving him badly in need of a win. Buday, a 2021 Contender Series winner, had seen his hand raised in his first two UFC fights, and sat on a 10-fight win streak to start the night.
Over five hundred pounds of fighter met in the middle of the octagon in Saturday’s featured prelim, and they wasted no time trading bombs. Collier backed Buday up to the fence a couple of times, landing his jab — but Buday connected with an uppercut. Both men had landed heavy shots, and through a minute, both proved to have solid chins.
Buday then caught Collier with a punch and trapped him by the fence, but in essence that just gave Jake time to recover. Collier’s jab, meanwhile, was on point; he mixed in some low kicks, but Buday wasn’t shaken up by much.
The second half of the round found Collier frequently walking Buday down. Towards the final minute, he caught Buday with an elbow off a break. Collier, moments later, kicked the legs out from under Buday, then took the back, getting a hook in. He finished the round controlling from the back, landing a few hammer fists.
Early in the second, Collier walked Buday down, but had slowed a step. Buday landed a couple of counters; Collier fanned on an uppercut, and later a spinning back fist. Buday found a home for his knee in the clinch, but Collier continued to press, tying things up with Buday against the cage. Later in the round, a knee to the body hurt Collier, and he had to fight off a surge from Buday. Collier covered, continued to clinch, and paid for that decision with another knee landing for Buday.
Round two likely went to Collier, while Buday had a stronger case for round two. Which left the fight up in the air as they entered the final frame. Hurt as he was at the end of the second, Collier pressed forward with his jab and mixed in leg kicks to start the third. Buday landed a counter, but it was his knee to the body that was key. Collier would land a knee of his own, but the fight was halted a moment later by an eye poke, with the ref quickly bringing in the doctor. Collier indicted he was good to continue, and the pair traded kicks as action resumed.
The tide would turn late in the round, care of a key Martin Buday takedown. Collier was flat on his back away from the fence, and Buday quickly made his way to mount. Collier tied him up from the bottom, with Buday landing to the body. Collier made it to his knees, but ate a couple more punches for his efforts before the buzzer.
The win is #11 in a row for Martin Buday, who has now won his first three outings in the UFC.
Official Result: Martin Buday def. Jake Collier by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)