Guram Kutateladze returned to the octagon for only his third fight in four years with the UFC. After he had to pull out of a recent bout, ‘The Georgian Viking’ accepted this short notice opportunity to fight Elves Brener at UFC Vegas 76.
Guram beat now-ranked foe Mateusz Gamrot in a ‘Fight of the Night’-winning bout in his UFC debut and then lost a narrow decision to UFC Vegas 76 card-mate Damir Ismagulov in his sophomore performance. Those performances against top-15 level opponents at lightweight have many believing Kutateladze has championship potential if he can stay healthy. However Chutebox fighter Elves Brenner looked to take notes from former champion Charles Oliviera and spoil the party.
Kutateladze opened with a powerful switch kick to the body, setting the tone for what he wanted to do in the fight. Brener worked to press forwards but largely got out-struck. He attempted a blatant takedown one minute in which Guram initially stuffed but was soon able to turn the corner on and get Kutateladze to the mat. Guram looked to work his rubber guard, pulling his leg up to the head of Brener. He had little success until he switched to a butterfly sweep, lifting Brener up in the air, but he was not urgent enough in standing up once he created space and so he stayed on his back. However Kutateladze was able to stand up when he simply butt-scooted to the fence and wall-walked up. Brener tried another throw but the whizzer saved him and he got back to striking. Brener fell to his back but was able to spring up and get a takedown on Guram with ninety seconds left, though Kutateladze stood back up against the fence and landed an elbow. The Georgian then initiated a clinch himself and held Brener against the cage. Suddenly with twenty-five seconds left Guram opened up with strikes and hurt Brener badly. Elves only just managed to stay alive through the onslaught, including a knockdown. He was on his feet again by the time the bell rang, but that sequence may have lost him a round he was previously winning.
The second round began with them trading violence in the cage. Guram landed a big knee twenty seconds in that hurt Elves, but Brener shot a takedown. However Kutateladze was able to stuff the takedown and force Brener to his back. Guram landed a big elbow and then welcomed his foe to the feet as a cut appeared on the forehead of Elves Brener from the elbow. On the feet Kutateladze landed a massive overhand left and began to widen the gap. Brener refused to back up though, he came forward and landed what shots he could but just appeared the less polished striker. Guram got deep in on a double leg takedown but Brener somehow stayed up as blood covered the left half of his face and hair, drawing a comparison from the commentary team to Batman villain Two-Face. The last two minutes of the second round saw Kutateladze’s pace, which was so high to start the round, slow down. He still seemed to be out in front, but Brener was in it. With one minute left Guram got a second wind and let off a violent flurry. Elves Brenner failed a takedown to relieve the pressure and fell to his back. Kutateladze stayed on top, landing ground strikes, until the bell.
The final round saw Brener do good work with pure forward movement in the first minute. He made Guram lose his mouth guard as he shot in for a takedown after landing strikes. Kutateladze looked ragged as he defended it and got back to space but he kept throwing diverse, lengthy combinations of strikes. Brener’s freshness let him have his moments when his pace and pressure made Kutateladze shell up, but Guram always came right back. The clinch was big for Kutateladze in round three as he landed knees and elbows from there. Brener maybe landed the biggest strike though, a flying knee with around two mintues left. Guram soon seemed to wilt after eating one short left hook which was just too much for him. He went to a knee and Brener only needed a few shots to bring the referee in to stop the fight.
The massive underdog, Elves Brenner, got the biggest win of his career when he stopped Guram Kutateladze in the final round of their bout at UFC Vegas 76. He improved to 2-0 in the UFC and put himself in the conversation for a performance bonus at the end of the night.
Official Result: Elves Brener def. Guram Kutateladze by TKO (punches), Round 3, 3:17