Chris Gutiérrez scored a unanimous decision win over Alateng Heili at UFC Vegas 81 last weekend. The #15 bantamweight now has eight wins and one draw from his last ten fights.
Gutiérrez has also beaten Danaa Batgerel during this run. Alateng did survive the three rounds unlike the Mongolian but clearly came off second best against the in form American.
Alateng came into this bout on the back of a draw followed by back-to-back victories. Gutierrez initiated his trademark leg kicks in the opening round and switched stances while targeting the body and legs.
By contrast the Chinese fighter struggled to land a single punch during the opening round Gutierrez’s fluid movement making him an elusive target. It was a frustrating five minutes for Alateng who was getting picked off by kicks and punches while unable to land any strikes of his own with the damage to his legs already starting to show.
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In the second stanza Alateng became more aggressive but Gutierrez was too slick and consistently managed to evade and counter. Once the Chinese fighter stopped moving forwards he had more success with low kicks to take a commanding lead on the scorecards.
In the third round Alateng attempted his first takedown and eventually got Gutierrez down but he couldn’t keep him there. The American dominated the remainder of the round to secure a comfortable decision win and moves up to 20-4-2 while his opponent drops to 16-9-2.
The good news for Alateng is that this is only the second time he has tasted defeat in a UFC career that has spanned seven fights. The bad news is that he looked well short of the level required against a top 15 opponent whose star is rising rapidly.
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The main event was a featherweight slugfest. Edson Barboza (24-11) beat Sodiq Yusuff (13-3) by decision but both men had their moments and looked on the verge of finishing the five round fight at various times.