Ranked Brazilian flyweights Viviane Araujo and Natalia Silva faced off on the UFC Vegas 85 main card, with both looking to push towards the top half of the rankings.
Araujo, ranked #7 in the weight class, opened on the offensive, putting the #9-ranked Silva on the fence. She would eventually spend a whole lot of time there, climbing Silva at points, fishing a hook in and looking for back control. Silva struggled to get her opponent off of her, but most of the round was a slow, grinding pace with knees and clinch work in close against the cage. Silva had something of a late surge in the final moments of round one, but it wasn’t much. The biggest surprise was that the ref wasn’t more on top of separating the pair.
Round two saw Silva on the outside, and Araujo walking her down only to be greeted with front kicks. Silva’s jab started to come on, and the pace had picked up from the first frame. Silva’s lateral movement was constant, though Araujo finally closed the gap with about two minutes left in the frame, putting on a body lock for a moment. The pair battled for head position in a fight that had been more about control than damage for the majority of the first two rounds. Still, Silva had a much better round and likely did enough to secure the round.
The third round opened with Araujo again coming forward, and Natalia Silva once again staying on her bike on the outside. Silva then connected with a pair of kicks, drawing a reaction from the sparse crowd inside the UFC Apex. Not out of it yet, Araujo connected with a right hand. She then closed the distance, pursuing a single-leg takedown to no avail while the ref urged the pair to work, while warning Araujo to let go of the cage.
Silva eventually freed herself with over two minutes left on the clock. That didn’t give much time for Viviane Araujo to mount a comeback; in any case it was Silva with some offensive flurries including spinning attacks, jabs, and kicks in the final minute.
With wins over KGB Lee and Jasmine Jasudavicius, both of whom are no stranger to the women’s flyweight rankings, Natalia Silva claimed her biggest scalp yet at UFC Vegas 85. The win comes on her birthday, making it a little extra special as well.
Official Result: Natalia Silva def. Viviane Araujo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)