Despite having to fight at light heavyweight, Vettori dominated the early exchanges in the headliner at the UFC Apex. ‘The Italian Dream’ connected with some good combinations in the opening frames. However, ‘The Eraser’ retaliated with several body shots and counter hooks.
In the end, Vettori succumbed the Brazilian to a second consecutive loss. The Italian had his hand raised via unanimous decision.
The co-main event saw a majority draw between unranked lightweights Grant Dawson and Rick Glenn. Dawson dominated the first two rounds with sharp wrestling. A couple of takedowns gave him a 20-18 lead on all three scorecards.
However, Glenn turned the tables in the third by evading takedown attempts and getting on top of his opponent. After inflicting heavy blows, he applied a choke on Dawson, who saw off the last seconds without tapping, despite being dazed following the final horn. A 10-8 round on two scorecards saw him rescue a draw.
Prior to that, Jessica-Rose Clark used grappling to her advantage to claim a unanimous decision victory over Joselyne Edwards in a women’s bantamweight clash.
There was very little stand-up fighting on display as Clark completed multiple takedowns and had ground control. Edwards, meanwhile, did have some decent offense in the third round, but was unable to avoid defeat.
Alex Caceres, Francisco Trinaldo and Nicolae Negumereanu were the other winners on the main card of UFC Fight Night 196.
Caceres beat Seungwoo Choi in a featherweight encounter via submission using a rear-naked choke. Trinaldo, meanwhile, earned a split decision welterweight victory over Dwight Grant.
In the main card opener, Negumereanu knocked out Ike Villanueva in just 78 seconds.
UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori main card results
Marvin Vettori def. Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)
Grant Dawson vs. Rick Glenn ends in a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Jessica-Rose Clark def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Alex Caceres def. Seungwoo Choi via second-round (3:31) submission (rear-naked choke)
Francisco Trinaldo def. Dwight Grant via split decision (29-27, 29-27, 27-29)
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ike Villaneuva via first-round (1:18) TKO
UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori preliminary card results
Gregory Rodrigues def. Junyong Park via second-round (3:13) KO
Mason Jones def. David Onama via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tabatha Ricci def. Maria de Oliveira Neta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jamie Pickett def. Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jai Herbert def. Khama Worthy via first-round (2:47) KO
Jeff Molina def. Daniel da Silva via second-round (0:46) TKO
Randa Markos def. Livia Renata Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jonathan Martinez def. Zviad Lazishvili via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)