LAS VEGAS • Marina Rodriguez recovered from a major disadvantage on the ground to post a unanimous-decision win over fellow Brazilian Mackenzie Dern on Saturday in the main event at Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Rodriguez took the cards 49-46 across in their strawweight battle at the UFC Apex. Dern, a former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, owned a huge advantage on the ground.
But Rodriguez survived multiple submission attempts and recovered to land 144 signature strikes to just 49 for Dern.
"I had to pace myself," Rodriguez said. "We had five rounds to work, so we worked a little bit slower than usual. But there was a point there."
Rodriguez (15-1-2) has now won three straight fights, while Dern dropped to 11-2.
Other winners on the main card included Randy Brown by unanimous decision, Matheus Nicolau by unanimous decision, Mariya Agapova by third-round submission, and Chris Gutierrez by split decision.
Featherweight Damon Jackson also somehow survived what appeared to be one of the worst cuts in UFC history as he ground out an unanimous-decision win over Charles Rosa.
In the third round, Rosa caught his opponent with a spinning elbow just above the eye that immediately saw blood gush non-stop out of the wound.
The referee nearly stepped in - just five seconds in - but let the bout continue for another minute.
He then paused the action to confer with a doctor on whether Jackson would be allowed to continue given the ever-growing pool of blood in the octagon.
The decision was made to let the fight carry on but even the commentators seemed taken back by the horrific-looking cut. Paul Felder said: "You can smell the blood from here. My God."