Brady Hiestand scored a last gasp stoppage win over Danaa Batgerel at UFC Vegas 71. The American left it late, finishing the Mongolian bantamweight with just 39 seconds remaining in the fight.

Batgerel had started stronger, getting the better of an action packed opening round that finished with both men trading heavy leather. He started the second stanza strongly too, dropping the American in virtually the first exchange.

Hiestand was on wobbly legs and ate a series of elbows as he worked desperately for a takedown. Batgerel was doing damage with punches and elbows but couldn’t shake off the TUF 29 veteran who eventually took his back.

Batgerel eventually escaped and landed more elbows and punches from top position as blood started to flow freely from Hiestand’s damaged face. The American eventually escaped and spent the final few seconds of the round frantically backtracking.

Light punches

Batgerel looked to be in complete control of the contest as this stage. But Hiestand was reenergized at the start of the final round and looked much lighter on his feet, scoring with punches and kicks.

With 90 seconds remaining in the round Hiestand scored a takedown. It looked to be too little too late for the American but he immediately went to work throwing punches from half guard.

Batgerel seemed content to stay in the position for the remainder of the round, making no effort to escape or block the light punches. But the referee had seen enough and with just 39 seconds remaining he stepped in to stop the fight.

With the win Hiestand improves to 7-2 while Batgerel drops to 12-5. It is now three straight losses for the Mongolian whose spot on the roster could be in jeapordy.

Best of the rest

In the main event #3 ranked Sergei Pavlovich (18-1) stopped #4 ranked Curtis Blaydes (17-4-0-1) in the opening round. It was the sixth time in a row he had finished an opponent in the opening round and a heavyweight title shot should be next for the Russian.

UFC Vegas 71, Las Vegas, April 22nd
Sergei Pavlovich def. Curtis Blaydes via TKO (Punches) at 3:08 of R1
Bruno Silva def. Brad Tavares via TKO (Knee and punch) at 3:35 of R1
Bobby Green vs. Jared Gordon ended in No Contest (Accidental clash of heads) at 4:35 of R1
Iasmin Lucindo def. Brogan Walker-Sanchez via Decision (Unanimous)
Jeremiah Wells def. Matthew Semelsberger via Decision (Split)
Christos Giagos def. Ricky Glenn via KO (Punch) at 1:35 of R1
Montel Jackson def. Rani Yahya via KO (Punches) at 3:42 of R1
Norma Dumont def. Karol Rosa via Decision (Unanimous)
Mohammad Usman def. Junior Tafa via Decision (Unanimous)
William Gomis def. Francis Marshall via Decision (Split)
Brady Hiestand def. Danaa Batgerel via TKO (Punches) at 4:21 of R1