Cortez uses superior wrestling to earn a ninth straight win

In the second bout of the UFC Vegas 24 main card, we were given an unexpected change to the line-up. After the planned co-main event between Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose fell through because of an injury at the last minute, the featured bout between Tracy Cortez and Justine Kish was bumped to the main card.

To start the fight, Kish got all up in Cortez’s face with punches, and surprisingly initiated the grappling. It cost here as her opponent defended her advances and promptly landed a trip takedown on Kish. Much of the round turned into a wrestling clinic for the Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner. As Cortez scrambled and controlled her older opponent at all times on the mat. The first round was an easy one to score for the judges.

In the second, Kish played it safe and tried to fight at a longer range, however, it wasn’t long before the 27-year-old landed another takedown. Unlike in the first though, Kish was able to get it back to the feet. With much of the round taking place standing, the Muay Thai specialist showed her advantages on the feet, and likely eeked out the frame late.

A little over two minutes into the third, Cortez earned a pivotal takedown on her foe, and landed some good ground-and-pound to score important points before Kish forced the action back to standing. With a minute and a half left, Kish landed a big right hook during an exchange. Stunning Cortez and knocking her to the floor. It was a momentum shift moment that made the round very close and gave the judges a lot to think about.

In the end, Cortez got the split-decision nod and a ninth straight win. For Kish, she is just 1-4 since 2017 and is now 3-4 in the UFC.

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