Mexico’s Montserrat Rendon made her promotional debut on Saturday at UFC Vegas 79, with the undefeated bantamweight signing directly with the UFC and booked opposite Tamires Vidal.
In her own promotional debut, Brazil’s Vidal had stunned Ramona Pascual with a flying knee last November. As for Rendon, she had missed the historic Noche UFC, celebrating Mexican Independence Day, by just a week. But she had plenty of reason to celebrate regardless by the end of the night.
Vidal started of the fight with a few kicks. Rendon was coming forward and was finding a home for her right hand. When Vidal started to go forward she was throwing but missing wide on her punches. She was landing leg kicks but Rendon was the one landing on the chin. Rendon ended up pressing Vidal against the cage looking for a takedown but couldn’t get it. Vidal landed a few power hooks into the clinch where she went for a takedown. The round ended with Vidal’s back against the cage.
Vidal took center cage to start round two. Vidal was actively throwing the legs kicks to the outside and inside. Rendon did catch a kick and Vidal fell to her back. Rendon jumped on top but Vidal used a leg lock to get back to her feet. Neither girl was landing anything significant on their feet. Vidal was landing soft leg kicks and Rendon was coming up short with the jab. Vidal did start to double down on the leg kicks and threw about six back-to-back. Rendon caught another kick and was able to take Vidal down. Rendon ended the round on top landing a few short elbows.
In the final round, it was likely tied up with round three deciding the winner. Vidal was back to work early with the inside and outside leg kicks. The leg kicks were Vidal’s best weapon but they were also her only weapon. Rendon was mixing it up better but wasn’t throwing enough nor was she setting anything up. She was doing a good job catching the kicks and she did again planting Vidal. As the leg kicks were the best weapon for Vidal it was also costing her because Rendon was taking her down off catching the kicks. Like in round two Vidal had nothing to offer off her back and Rendon rode out the final round on top.
Official Result: Montserrat Rendon def. Tamires Vidal by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)