The bantamweights are up, with Leandro Issa taking on frenetic Frenchman Taylor Lapilus.

Lapilus comes out with both guns blazing, which forces Issa to turn to his top-level jiu-jitsu and go for the takedown. He gets it briefly, but even when they’re back up he’s still applying that smothering pressure to get it down again. Somehow Lapilus stays upright, and whenever there’s an opening he clocks the Brazilian with knees and elbows. With a minute and a half they make space, and Lapilus unloads with a flurry that makes Issa see stars. The round ends with Issa holding onto an ankle desperate to get his foe down, and the Frenchman whacking him like you’d do to an errant bug.

Issa is a man staring into the jaw of a lion when Round 2 commences, as all his attempts at takedowns has left him winded and at risk of getting picked apart by strikes. Which, um, is pretty much what happens. Every effort to clinch or secure a leg is thwarted, and he’s constantly punished by Lapilus’ kicks and punches. In the waning 30 seconds Issa jumps into a guillotine attempt, but Lapilus pulls his head out and lands some punches from within the guard when the horn sounds.

It’s more of the same in the third, and given all the failed efforts by Issa to get the fight to the mat, you have to wonder if he had a plan B. Still, to his credit he never gives up, and more importantly, never gets knocked out, so there is that small victory.


Results: Taylor Lapilus def. Leandro Issa via Unanimous Decision