The UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada played hosts for a night of UFC Vegas 51 results on Saturday, April 16.
The event featured a headliner pitting top-five welterweights Vicente Luque vs Belal Muhammad in a rematch with legitimate title contender ramifications. In the end, the outstanding game planning of Muhammad and his patented wrestling extended his unbeaten streak to eight.
The card on ESPN+ also featured the return of action fighters Chris Barnett, Drakkar Klose, Pannie Kianzad, and William Knight. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from a night of caged violence inside the UFC APEX.
UFC Vegas 51 results
Winner: Belal Muhammad
If there were any doubters left about Belal Muhammad, they are just haters and can never be swayed. In beating Vicente Luque on Saturday, “Remember the Name” showed his fight IQ, well-round skills, and the outstanding planning in his camp that prepared him for this fight. While he deserves a title fight he will need to wait. Meaning fights with either Colby Covington or Khamzat Chimaev next are the only ones that make the most sense for Muhammad.
Loser: Vicente Luque
Despite putting forth a strong performance and having switched the momentum midway through the fight, Vicente Luque suffered a difficult loss at UFC Vegas 51. He was as close to title contention as he’s ever been in his career, but if he hopes to earn a UFC welterweight title fight it will likely need to be in 2023. The Brazilian was not able to stop the takedowns of Belal Muhammad when he most needed to, and it dashed any championship hopes he had for this year.
Loser: Miguel Baeza
Miguel Baeza did all the right things to turn his fortunes around and end his two-fight losing streak. He changed the people around him and went to an elite camp in Sanford MMA. In the end, none of it mattered as he was stopped viciously by Andre Fialho in the first round of their bout. After winning his first three in the Octagon, Baeza has fallen in the next three and his status in the promotion is in a precarious position after Saturday night.
Winner: Pat Sabatini
Dominance. That is all you can say to describe Pat Sabatini’s victory over TJ Laramie. His UFC Vegas 51 results were a showcase of the outstanding grappling he has, and the long-term threat he will be as he makes his way up the featherweight division. In four UFC appearances, the Pennsylvania native is unbeaten and now deserving of a notable step up in competition the next time he steps inside the Octagon.
Loser: William Knight
William Knight will look back on his first UFC fight at heavyweight wondering what the heck happened? Early in his bout with Devin Clark he badly hurt his opponent and seemed to have an early victory in his grasp. However, Clark used veteran guile to weather the storm and then wore the big man down with his wrestling. Eventually, a tired and defensively inept Knight was blasted with a hook that dropped him and led to the eventual finish. He started his UFC run 3-1, but has now lost two straight and has to decide what is the division he hopes to end his first losing streak in.
Winner: Rafa Garcia
After a dominant run in Combate Global that included a lightweight title reign, Rafa Garcia got off to a rough start in the UFC with back-to-back losses. However, he has completely righted his career ship with two straight wins inside the Octagon. The best of the two came Saturday in Las Vegas. His submission win over Jesse Ronson was his first in nearly three years but made a statement that the Mexican is a rising talent in the division with featherweight great Cub Swanson backing him as his new mentor.
Loser: Lina Lansberg
It’s a rarity that you get the chance to avenge the first loss of your career, which also occurred in the very first bout of said career. Lina Lansberg had that chance on Saturday night, but her UFC Vegas 51 results saw her fall short for a second time against Ultimate Fighter alum Pannie Kianzad. And Lansberg left this one bloody and battered. After winning two straight in the Octagon, she has lost her last two and her record drops to 4-5 in the UFC.
Winner: Martin Buday
All of the hype heading Martin Buday’s UFC Vegas 51 debut was on fan-favorite heavyweight Chris Barnett. However, as the fight progressed the Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner showed why he was the betting favorite before the fight as he completely controlled “Beastboy” throughout. An accidental illegal elbow almost put the entire performance in question, but the Slovakian never lost a round and still won across all three scorecards despite the fight being stopped midway through the third.