Rodolfo Vieira finally fought Armen Petrosyan in the opening bout of UFC Vegas 86’s main card, and won with his signature head-and-arm choke
The pair’s scheduled bout last year fell through when Petrosyan got sick at the last minute. Four months later, they finally threw down. Coming in, Rodolfo Viera had bounced back from a loss to Chris Curtis with a win over Cody Brundage. The ‘Black Belt Hunter’ and former ADCC champion came into the cage expecting to submit another man he held a massive grappling advantage over.
After two tepid decision wins back-to-back, Petrosyan sought not only a victory, but a knockout against someone he was expected to have a considerable advantage over on the feet. This binary stylistic clash could really only have gone a few different ways and in the end grappling won out, like it has so many times before.
Petrosyan pressed forward behind his jab to start Saturday’s long-awaited showdown, but Vieira appeared more comfortable in the striking than he had at times in the past, jabbing with Armen, both high and low. Petrosyan still held an advantage in actual lands – his leg kicks were good – but then the takedown came. Vieira level changed and took him down with ease. As Petrosyan tried to stand back up against the fence, Rodolfo jumped on his back and got one hook in. Armen did manage to stand fully and turn to face him, but Vieira lifted him and slammed him back down. However, he put Petrosyan back against the cage. But he was able to get the high ground in half-guard and keep Armen from standing.
Rodolfo Vieira put pressure on the head to distract Petrosyan while he passed to mount, then landed elbows. Time was running out, but with thirty seconds left he began to sink in his arm triangle. With the skills only a truly world class jiu-jitsu artist possesses, and the strength of a great athlete, he turned Petrosyan’s face purple.
Petrosyan tapped, but then tried to keep fighting and protested. He definitely tapped, so it is likely that he simply did it as he approached the throes of unconsciousness and did not have all his mental capacity available as his brain lost oxygen. Either way, Vieira got back on a win streak for the first time since his first two UFC fights and looked as good as he ever has in the process.
That was the fourth arm-triangle choke for Rodoldo Vieira in the UFC, having only won by another method with the promotion once.
Official Result: Armen Petrosyan def. Rodolfo Vieira by SUB (arm-triangle choke) Round 1, 4:48