UFC Flyweights Daniel Lacerda and CJ Vergara took home Fight of the Night performance bonuses after a wild, back-and-forth, two-round scrap in San Antonio.
Vergara, a Texas native, opened the fight as a sizable betting favorite. The former backyard brawler was looking to bounce back after being submitted by dangerous Flyweight prospect Tatsuro Taira. He had gone 1-2 in the UFC heading into Saturday’s bout, with the lone win being a split decision victory over Kleydson Rodrigues.
Lacerda on the other hand was looking for his first UFC victory in what would be his fourth appearance with the promotion. He had previously lost fights with Jeff Molina, Francisco Figueiredo and Victor Altamirano.
Known as a fast starter, Lacerda found plenty of success early on. The Brazilian was able to hurt his opponent multiple times in the first round, causing him to literally run around the Octagon throughout the period.
Vergara was warned to intelligently defend himself by referee Jason Herzog on multiple occasions, but the hometown fighter was able to either return fire or clinch up just enough to stay alive.
After chasing Vergara around the Octagon and hurting him several times, Lacerda opted to ground the fight. From there he worked in a tight rear-naked-choke attempt, only for Vergara to again survive. He would ultimately fight on to see another round.
In round two, Lacerda was clearly showing signs of fatigue. Vergara employed heavy pressure and was able to get his boxing going before opting to ground the fight. From there he worked in ground-and-pound and submission attempts until Herzog stopped the fight at the 4:04 mark.
After the fight, Vergara preached perseverance and thanked his hometown fans. “I love this city so much, this city cut out the cloth for me to come and do what I do,” Vergara said. “I know I had a rough start in the UFC, but I showed the way. …. You can make your way to the top. Every single one of you.”
Unsurprisingly, each fighter received $50k Fight of the Night bonuses. Nate Landwehr and Daniel Pineda also took home Performance of the Night honors and accompanying $50k bonuses for submission victories in their respective bouts.