UFC Vegas 31 was a card that looked to be lacking a little bit on paper, but it's main card delivered nothing but finished, and had an exciting comeback from a beloved former champion. See all the highlights after the jump.
Islam Makhachev def. Thiago Moises via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 4 2:38)
In a largely uncompetitive main event, Islam Makhachev thoroughly dominated Thiago Moises and found the finish in the fourth round. Moises never looked dangerous in any of the grappling exchanges, and it just seemed a matter of time before the finish would come. Post-fight Makhachev called out Rafael dos Anjos, and it's overtime for him to get a big-time opponent.
Miesha Tate def Marion Reneau via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 3 1:53)
After nearly five years since her last fight, Miesha Tate looked like she hadn't skipped a beat in winning every round against Marion Reneau, before finding the finish in the third round. Not only did she show the wrestling we have known, but her jab was a very pleasant surprise. Post-fight Tate announced she's here to make a run for the title, not just a single comeback fight, and Reneau left her gloves in the cage announcing her retirement.
Mateusz Gamrot def. Jeremy Stephens via Submission (Kimura) (Rd. 1 1:05)
In a very impressive performance, Poland's Mateusz Gamrot went right through a tough veteran in Jeremy Stephens. He locked up a takedown very early in the fight, and while Stephens attempted a Kimura to attempt a sweep, it was Gamrot who wound up getting the Kimura and securing the submission.
Rodolfo Veira def. Dustin Stoltzfus via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 3 1:54)
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Rodolfo Veira bounced back after the shocking submission loss in his last fight with an excellent performance against Dustin Stoltzfus. Veira did a much better job managing his gas tank this time, and showed considerable growth in his striking before finally closing the show by displaying his world class grappling by choking out Stoltzfus for the win.
Billy Quarantillo def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO (Punches) (Rd. 3 3:40)
In easily the fight of the night Billy Quarantillo defeated Gabriel Benitez in a bloody war. Quarantillo managed to dominate most of the fight, while not taking anything away from Benitez who certainly had his moments. In the third round, as Quarantillo was obviously fading, he scored a key takedown, found his way to the back and got the stoppage via ground and pound from the back-mount. Find this fight if you can, it was great.