Aoriqileng returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory over Johnny Munoz Jr. at UFC Vegas 80. He had suffered a first-round knockout loss to Aiemann Zahabi in January, but looked much sharper here as the judges awarded him two of the three rounds.
The contest began with a methodical feeling-out phase before Munoz unleashed a thunderous right hand that left Aoriqileng shaken. Munoz followed up with a takedown against the cage.
He clung to his opponent with a tight body lock but the American was able to turn. Munoz then transitioned to secure Aoriqileng’s back, hooking in both legs.
The American relentlessly pursued a rear-naked choke while Aoriqileng adeptly defended the submission attempts. In the closing moments of the round, the Chinese fighter managed to slip out of Munoz’s grasp and landed a significant right hand just before the bell chimed.
View this post on Instagram
Aoriqileng took the initiative in the second stanza, planting a well-placed right hand that appeared to unsettle the 30 year old. This prompted the American to make an ill-fated attempt at a takedown.
Aoriqileng seized the opportunity to turn up his offensive pressure, executing a messy takedown that saw him land in Munoz’s full guard. Munoz actively searched for openings to lock in an armbar from the bottom, but his opponent demonstrated solid defense, successfully thwarting the attempt.
Aoriqileng then rose to his feet, delivering a potent hammerfist before returning to the upright position. The referee intervened to separate the fighters, but Munoz suffered a damaging right hand that briefly dazed him.
Aoriqileng landed a stout right-hand early in the final round, prompting Munoz to attempt another takedown that culminated in a clinch deadlock. Two minutes into the round, the American once again found himself on the canvas, courtesy of another well-timed right.
Aoriqileng allowed Munoz to regain his footing and the American grappled fruitlessly in pursuit of takedowns but midway through the round it was the Chinese fighter who found himself in top position.
Munoz looked for a leg lock, managing to entangle their legs, but he couldn’t find a submission. Aoriqileng then dished out hammerfists to Munoz’s head.
Eventually, they scrambled out and resumed their clinch. Munoz attempted one last throw just as the round came to a close.
All three judges scored the fight to Aoriqileng by 29-28. The win takes his record to 25-11 while Munoz fell to 12-4.
View this post on Instagram
Best of the rest
In the main event Bobby Green (31-14-1-1) finished Grand Dawson (20-2-1) just 33 seconds into their all American lightweight fight. He dropped his opponent with a left hand and then went to work with ground and pound.