Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

We fell in love with Lando Vannata when he first appeared in the Octagon, as a late-replacement against Tony Ferguson. Vannata lost that night, but holy moley did his creative striking and weird stand-up style very nearly put Ferguson to sleep. Since then, he’s been a superhero, winning by spinning wheel-kick KO, and even when he loses it’s only after an exciting battle. Bobby Green was a rising Strikeforce star who did okay transitioning to the Octagon, but he’s on a three-fight losing streak. We’ll see how this one goes.

Round 1 opens with Vannata way too willing to let Green punch him in the face, but though Green obliges him – with relentless jabs and crosses – it only allows Vannata to get close enough to fire off oddly-timed kicks and punches. Soon, some of those punches are finding their mark, and when Green goes down, it only seems like the inevitable is happening, that Vannata is finishing him off. But Green weathers the storm and tries to rise, and when he does, Vannata nails him in the grill with an illegal knee (Vannata actually hits his face with his thigh, but it’s still illegal). Referee Herb Dean stops the action and deducts a point for the foul, and upon a restart, Green survives to the horn. Now, because of the point deduction, the most Vannata can hope for on the judges’ scorecards is a tied round.

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Green comes out composed and aggressive in the second, constantly tagging Vannata in the nose with that jab, and soon “Groovy” is a bloody mess. Vannata counters with takedowns that repeatedly put Green down, but the Strikeforce vet is back up instantly, and is nonstop with that jab.

The third round is more of the same, with Vannata briefly rocking his opponent with punches and Green returning the favor in the final seconds with a one-two combo. And then it goes to the judges.


Results: Lando Vannata and Bobby Green rules a Majority Draw