The UFC’s return to San Antonio, Texas, saw Cory Sandhagen re-emerge as a potential bantamweight champion following a split decision victory over Marlon “Chito” Vera. Having analysed his previous losses to former champions TJ Dillashaw and Petr Yan, Sandhagen and his team at High Altitude Martial Arts in Colorado expanded his game, pressuring Vera and taking him down repeatedly. Sandhagen’s evolution has allowed him to climb the bantamweight division, in which he was once tipped as a future champion.
Daniel Pineda picked up “Submission of the Night” with a guillotine choke on Tucker Lutz in the first round, securing his third UFC win by submission and tying for second-most submission wins all-time at featherweight.
Holly Holm, still in pursuit of UFC gold at the age of 41, showcased new wrestling skills to dominate Yana Santos, scoring four takedowns in her victory. Holm aims to compete for a title again, but will need to remain healthy and active, having previously competed only once a year. Holm’s new contract with UFC is for six fights, taking her to age 46.
CJ Vergara secured “Knockout of the Night” with a come-from-behind victory over Daniel Lacerda. After Lacerda dominated the first round, Vergara found his wits in the second, establishing ground position before raining down ground-and-pound strikes, which forced referee Jason Herzog to stop the fight.
Other winners on the 10-fight card included Rafael Fiziev, who defeated Bobby Green in a split decision, and Miranda Maverick, who scored a unanimous decision over Maycee Barber.