Only a week after earning only the third finish by twister submission in the UFC, Da’Mon Blackshear looked to make history once again by winning two fights in the shortest time as he replaced Cody Garbrandt against Mario Bautista at UFC 292.
If he could end Mario Bautista’s four-fight winning streak then Da’Mon would break the record Khamzat Chimaev set when he won two fights in ten days in 2020. However Bautista is no pushover, even touted as one of the brightest unranked talents in the stacked bantamweight division, and a win for Mario could earn him a ranked opponent in the near future.
Blackshear pressed forward to start while Bautista looked to evade and pick his shots; he landed a good right hand early on. Blackshear tried to finish a body-lock takedown and spun around Bautista several times but was unable to secure it as Bautista got to the fence to help his balance. However Da’Mon kept at it and after landing a few knees he took down Mario, landing in his full guard. Bautista scrambled to the fence and wall-walked to the feet. Mario grabbed a collar tie on the feet and landed a knee and an elbow with that. Da’Mon shot another takedown with ninety seconds left in the round but Bautista got back up. Blackshear tried to pull him into his lap but was too low and Mario scrambled to top position. However Da’Mon kept trying for a double leg relentlessly. Bautista sat back for a guillotine and it seemed tight at first but by staying calm Blackshear was able to get his head out. Bautista scrambled to his feet after that and the round ended, with Blackshear seemingly out in front.
The second round saw Bautista pushing the pace more after being encouraged by his coach John Crouch. He landed some decent shots early, including a big elbow, and then shot for a double leg. His head was too low however and Da’Mon defended it. They both landed hard elbows in the clinch before separating. Bautista shot again but Da’Mon defended it and pushed Mario to the fence, who then escaped. Bautista targeted the body with punches before shooting again and being stuffed again. Blackshear then shot himself and was denied. Bautista then landed a good overhand right as he turned up the pressure, making Da’Mon uncomfortable. Blackshear shot and got Bautista’s butt to the mat but only for a half-second before Mario scrambled up and cleared the grips. Bautista landed a good knee to the body in the clinch before the round ended.
The fight seemed like it might be tied going into the last round, but only the judges knew for sure what scores they had. Bautista started the round with more pressure, as he did in round two, and landed a clean right hand forty seconds in. Bautista invested in body work as well and got off to a quick lead to start the round. He shot in for a takedown just past one minute but still Blackshear’s TDD held up. They clinched but Bautista used that to land body knees. Finally, about halfway through the round, Bautista landed his first takedown. Blackshear gave up his back to get up but Mario took it with one hook in against the fence. Da’Mon seemed content to simply stay there and be defensive but Mario took his hook out and let Blackshear start to scramble up before landing a big knee to the body. He took the back again with one hook and then got two. Blackshear escaped with forty seconds left in the fight. A right hand by Blackshear caught Bautista off-balance and he stumbled; Da’Mon then went for a takedown but got reversed right before the final bell. Bautista ended the fight by raining down ground strikes on his foe.
After fifteen hard fought minutes it was all in the hands of the judges and could go either way. When Bruce Buffer read the scorecards out it was a unanimous decision in favor of Mario Bautista, with one judge giving him all three rounds while the other judges gave him two of the three. Bautista extended his winning streak to five in the most stacked division in the sport.
Official Result: Mario Bautista def. Da’Mon Blackshear by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)