UFC Vegas 79: Nasty Eye Poke on Jake Collier Nearly Derails Fight, but Mohammed Usman Earns Decision Win

Mohammed Usman and Jake Collier, UFC Vegas 79
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Mohammed Usman of Nigeria punches Jake Collier in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 23, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A stark contrast in body types was on display as TUF winner Mohammed Usman faced Jake Collier at UFC Vegas 79.

Collier had formerly competed as a middleweight, and came into the fight at 256lbs, giving him a sizeable weight advantage over the 237lb Usman. Collier had also poked the bear a little, questioning Usman’s fighting ability in comparison to older brother (and former UFC welterweight champ) Kamaru Usman.

Early in the fight, Collier connected with a left that most certainly got Usman’s attention. That led Usman to thinking about a takedown; the pair wound up in a clinch, with Collier looking for a standing choke. Usman avoided that, but ate a knee before Collier took a coupe swings. Usman did fire back, catching Collier, and began landing his jab.

In the second half of the round, both men found success with their hands, trading punches in bunches. Collier’s own jab hit its mark more than once; Usman went to the body repeatedly, something that could pay dividends later in the fight. A fun start to the fight, and certainly active by heavyweight standards.

Usman took a big swing early in round two, but it was Collier clinching, looking to land a knee. Off the break, Usman jammed his fingers directly into the right eye of Collier, bringing an immediately halt to the action. Collier smashed his fists on the canvas in frustration, clearly in pain. After about four minutes and an exam by the doctor, Collier was allowed to continue— and he got back underway by chopping at Usman’s legs. Collier was showing blood from a cut by his left eye, but continued to press forward. Usman, however, was splitting the guard with his jab, and appeared to have settled in.

Round three opened with a Collier calf kick; he also hit the mark with his jab. Usman fired a right hand that was blocked, but the pair then exchanged jabs with both connecting. Usman then closed the distance looking for a takedown, taking Collier to the fence. He stayed on the attempt, grabbed a single leg up high, and eventually dumped Collier, dodging an upkick to get on top.

In a fight that was very likely tied coming into the third round, that takedown appeared to be key. Usman was in half-guard with two minutes to go. Usman looked to get busy and flirted with a kimura, and an arm-triangle choke, and Collier came back late with an arm-lock attempt of his own, but they would go the distance with Mohammed Usman finishing strong.

Official Result: Mohammed Usman def. Jake Collier by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)