UFC Vegas 91: “Lord Kong” Beats “Bigfoot” As Don’Tale Mayes Decisions Caio Machado

Don'Tale Mayes and Caio Machado, UFC Vegas 91
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 27: (R-L) Don'Tale Mayes punches Caio Machado of Brazil in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 27, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Heavyweight Don’Tale Mayes won a decision over Brazilian Caio Machado on the preliminary portion of UFC Vegas 91.

As both men were coming off losses, the pairing made sense. With Mayes holding a 3-4 (1 NC) record in the UFC and Machado being 0-1, this bout was crucial for both men, as a win would have them at a .500 win rate but with a their job would be in jeopardy. With ‘Lord Kong’ Mayes against ‘Bigfoot’ Machado, only one cryptid could win.

Mayes came out aggressive and snapped Caio’s head back early, but soon settled back into a comfortably medium-paced striking rhythm. Machado stunned Mayes with his southpaw overhand left at one point, but Don’Tale recovered quickly. He did the better work from range, throwing open side body kicks and a lead uppercut to right hand combo many times. The pace slowed way down with two minutes left in the round, which can be expected from heavyweights. After a short recovery period, Mayes attacked again and managed to drop Machado with a punch in the final thirty seconds of the round, allowing him to close the round out on top, though Caio stayed defensively responsible from his back.

Machado was the one to press forward with aggression to start the second round, snapping Mayes’ head back a few times. Midway through the round Mayes fought his way back into it and got some momentum, landing some good body shots and putting Caio on the back foot again. The final twenty seconds saw a wild pocket exchange where both men landed big blows. However, Machado came out worse and retreated to recover for the final ten seconds.

With Mayes potentially stealing the first two rounds in the final minute, Machado needed to go all-out in round three, but Don’Tale could not afford to rest on his laurels. Indeed, Caio Machado came out pressing forward again with a second wind, but could not do much damage before Mayes forced him back to a 50/50 range striking match. ‘Lord Kong’ seemed more accurate in the final half of the round but it was close. Once again they brawled wildly for the final moments but both men were so tired that their sloppy punches did not connect clean at all.

When the scorecards were announced, Don’Tale Mayes came away with the win, earning a 29-28 score from all three judges.

Official Result: Don’Tale Mayes def. Caio Machado by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)