The UFC returned to the Apex for UFC Vegas 61 headlined by Mackenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan. This was a huge fight in the women's Strawweight division as the winner is one step closer to a title shot. The main card had everything fans would ask for. There were some impressive performances, nice finishes, and more. Let's take a look and recap what took place at UFC Vegas 61 on the main card.
The main event featured an important fight in the women's Strawweight division as Mackenize Dern and Yan Xiaonan battled it out in a high paced fight. The first round was great for Xiaonan as she displayed early that her striking ability was going to force problems for Dern throughout the fight. She defended takedowns and looked freshed out of the gates. In the second round, Dern made adjustments and got the fight to the ground. Dern is one of the best BJJ practitioners in the UFC and she poses a serious threat on the ground. She recorded a couple of submission attempts but Xiaonan did an impressive job on surviving the round. Xiaonan responded back in rounds three and four in a big way as she continued to throw at a high volume. Dern had her moments in rounds three and four but she had her best round in the fifth. Dern immediately got the fight to the ground and had over four minutes of control time. She was searching for multiple submission attempts but Xiaonan did a great job with her defense as it looked like Dern might be able to submit her. The fifth round was so dominant for Dern that many in the Verdict Community scored it a 10-8 round and even one judge did as well. It still was not enough as Xiaonan edges out a majority decision at the end in a huge main event win.
The co-main event featured a fun Welterweight bout between Randy Brown and Francisco Trinaldo. Brown started the fight great in the first round. He scored a knockdown on Trinaldo and was keeping pace with him on the ground as well. Brown kept the same striking pace in the second round but Trinaldo tried to give it his all in the third round. He recorded over three minutes of control time and was trying to finish Brown. Unfortunately for Trinaldo, the fight went the full 15 minutes and Brown got the nod from the judges. All three judges had it 29-28 in favor of Brown for the fight. Brown has now won four consecutive fights and is poised for a top 15 fight. He's currently not ranked in the Welterweight division but some have imagined that Brown will be ranked sooner than later.
In the featured fight between Trevin Jones and Raoni Barcelos, both fighters desperately needed a win. Jones and Barcelos entered the fight on a two-fight skid and a win at UFC Vegas 61 would be huge for either one of them. To start the fight, Barcelos was the one that came out aggressive. He had a control time of over two minutes in the round and was having the better of the exchanges too. It was more of the same in the second round as Jones only landed two significant strikes in the round and was controlled for over three minutes. The output and pace of Barcelos was overwhelming for Jones and it continued in the third round. It appeared that Barcelos had Jones stunned in the third round but Jones recovered and continued to fight. Barcelos eventually got the fight to the ground again and did what he does best. He landed heavy shots on Jones towards the end of the fight but was not able to get the finish. Barcelos earned the win over Jones via unanimous decision as this was one of his biggest wins in his career.
Sodiq Yusuff adds to the total of finishes at UFC Vegas 61 with his own submission win over Don Shainis. Yusuff came out hot and on the attack to start the fight. Both fighters engage in the clinch and Yusuff lands some vicious knees to the body of Shainis. Yusuff jumps on the guillotine and gets the finish in just 30 seconds. He continues to climb the ranks in the Featherweight division. He couldn't have looked better and continues to show the world that he keeps on improving. Yusuff improves his record to 13-2 with back-to-back wins.
The fight to open up the main card did not disappoint. Mike Davis and Viacheslav Borshchev slugged it out and it was nothing but entertaining. Daivs looked great to start the fight, considering this was his first fight since January of 2021. He had Borshchev hurt in the first round with a knee to the head and proceeded with some damaging ground-and-pound shots on the ground. Borshchev returned the favor to start the second round as he came out firing on all cylinders. The striking of Borshchev looked crisp as long as it lasted because Davis decided to take the fight to the ground again where he found much success throughout the duration of the fight. Going into the third round, it appeared that Borshchev needed a finish to win the fight as he fought with a lot more urgency to start. Davis was patient and capitalized on the opportunity for the takedown to seal the fight. He was in control for most of the round and got the judges approval for the fight. Daivs earned the victory via unanimous decision in his return to the octagon.