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5 most explosive moments from UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises

Islam Makhachev picked up a dominant win in last night's UFC main event
Islam Makhachev picked up a dominant win in last night's UFC main event
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST

UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises felt like a low-key event to follow UFC 264 with, but in the end, it was probably one of 2021’s better UFC events.

UFC Vegas 31 featured 10 fights, and amazingly, just two of them went the distance, with the rest ending in largely violent fashion.

That meant for a massive number of explosive moments up and down the card, with new high-level prospects rising up and others cementing their positions on the UFC’s roster.

So following an excellent event, here are the five most explosive moments from UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises.


#5. Billy Quarantillo’s persistence nets him his fourth UFC victory

Billy Quarantillo used a lot of persistence to eventually stop Gabriel Benitez
Billy Quarantillo used a lot of persistence to eventually stop Gabriel Benitez

The featherweight fight between Billy Quarantillo and Gabriel Benitez was the best on offer at UFC Vegas 31 and quite rightfully picked up the event’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus – netting both men a $50k bonus cheque.

But while Benitez’s toughness allowed him to last until the dying minutes of the final round, this fight belonged to Quarantillo and his remarkable persistence in hunting for a finish rather than settling for a decision victory.

‘Billy Q’ basically beat Benitez from pillar to post in this fight. He dropped him with a crushing right hook in the first round, seemingly took him down at will, and battered his left eye to the point that the doctor considered stopping the fight in the second half.

However, ‘Moggly’ proved himself to be insanely tough. He continued to absorb heavy blows, and while he didn’t really threaten Quarantillo in return aside, aside from one knockdown, he seemed determined to hang on.

That was until Quarantillo took his back in the third round. And where he’d previously been hunting for a rear naked choke, this time he simply threw countless punches from back control to the already badly-damaged face of his Mexican opponent. At that stage Benitez was spent, and so referee Mark Smith had no choice but to step in and end things.

This was a hugely impressive showing from Quarantillo, who bounced back from his first UFC loss in style, and also proved that even if he can’t land a one-shot KO, he’s more than persistent enough to keep going until he gets a finish.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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