16/04/2024

Jared Vanderaa lands a jab against Justin Tafa at UFC Vegas 27. Photo: @ufc Instagram

Australian Justin Tafa suffered a unanimous decision loss to Jared Vanderaa at UFC Vegas 27 while Joshua Culibao earned his first UFC win.

Australian Justin Tafa suffered a unanimous decision loss to Americas Jared Vanderaa at UFC Vegas 27.

Two judges scored the fight 30-27 while the other gave Tafa a round with a 29-28 scorecard.

This was Vanderaa first official win in the UFC having found his way into the promotion following a TKO victory over Harry Hunsucker on Dana Whites Contender Series in November last year.

The fight was a stand-up battle, with both heavy hitters exchanging power shots in the first round.

Vanderaa was the more successful of the two, landing with more accuracy and mixing up his strikes and techniques, while Tafa was throwing big power shots but missing, landing 15 strikes compared to 31.

The second round followed a similar storyline with Vanderaa mixing up the striking culminating in a right hook which appeared to hurt Tafa.

Vanderaa followed up with a flurry of punches but Tafa remained composed and returned fire with a big left followed by a right which opened a cut on the forehead of Vanderaa, covering him in blood.

Unphased, Vanderaa continued going to work landing big elbows and knees in the clinch.

Tafa picked up the pace to end the round but Vanderaa remained the busier fighter throughout the round, throwing 90 strikes compared to only 47 for Tafa.

The third round followed a similar pattern with Vanderaa being the busier fighter, throwing combinations while Tafa looked to land one big knockout blow.

Tafa again picked up the pace in the final minute of the round re-opening the cut on the forehead of Vanderaa but it was little to late.

This now marks the second straight defeat for the Aussie and moves his UFC record to now one win and three losses.

The three round slugfest earned fight of the night giving both fighters a $50,000 bonus.

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Joshua Culibao

Sydney’s Joshua Culibao earned his first UFC win via unanimous decision spoiling China’s Shayilan Nuerdanbieke UFC debut.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28.

Nuerdanbieke was able to win the first round by employing a wrestling heavy approach with the majority of the round being spend in the clinch against the fence.

Culiabo takedown defence was on full display, only allowing Nuerdanbieke to secure one takedown of the six attempted.

Nuerdanbieke was unable to land anything effective once the fight returned to on the feet later in the round, with Culiabo causing more damage and getting the better of the striking exchanges.

Aware of Nuerdanbieke game plan going into the second, Culiabo kept the fight in the middle of the octagon picking Neurbanbieke left leg apart with kicks.

Culiabo fainting and unorthodox striking made it difficult for Neurbanbieke to pressure Culiabo against the fence where he would try to secure a takedown.

The third round Culiabo continued to dominate in the striking, landing heavy damage to Neurbanbieke face, bloodying up his nose badly which looked as though it may have been broken.

Overall Culiabo’s striking proved the difference, outstriking Neurbanbieke 87 to 23 and negated Neurbanbieke takedowns, only allowing him to secure 2 of the 14 attempted.

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