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The first UFC event in Salt Lake City was capped off by one of the craziest and most fast-paced main events in recent memory, as highly touted prospect Yair Rodriguez earned a split decision nod over Alex Caceres in a featherweight showcase.
Rodriguez used an arsenal of spinning attacks, especially through the first two rounds, as he blitzed Caceres with an incredibly active output that saw him fire away at will while throwing anything and everything at the former Ultimate Fighter competitor.
To his credit, Caceres was able to back away and use good head movement to avoid any damage, which then allowed him to come storming back in the later rounds. Caceres started to land the better combinations once Rodriguez slowed down, but he couldn't put together the kind of damage that truly shifted the momentum back in his favor.
More from Salt Lake City: Results | Postfight bonuses | Rodriguez outduels Caceres in 5-round clash | Bermudez, Leites among big winners in SLC | McGee triumphs in prelims littered with TKO's | Swanson, Ledet punch way to victories | Octagon interviews: Yair Rodriguez, Dennis Bermudez, Cub Swanson | Backstage interviews: Dennis Bermudez, Cub Swanson | FIGHT PASS Subscribers: Watch the first two fights of the night on demand | Best images from Fight Night
When it was all over, Rodriguez had two judges scoring the fight 48-47 in his favor, with the other judge going for Caceres with a slightly baffling 49-46 score. Either way, Rodriguez got the victory just like 72 percent of fantasy players predicted him to do on Saturday night.
Rodriguez was certainly a heavy favorite although 69 percent of players believed he was going to win by knockout. Of course, Rodriguez certainly did his best to prove those players correct, but Caceres was a tough opponent and he was able to stick around for all five rounds.
In the co-main event, Dennis Bermudez was one of the biggest favorites on the entire card with 87 percent of players picking him to get the win over former Ultimate Fighter Brazil champion Rony Jason. Bermudez did exactly that with a stifling performance decorated by numerous takedowns over three rounds.
The majority of players — 59 percent — picked Bermudez to win by decision and that's what he did with a lopsided scorecard returned in his favor when it was all over.
Thales Leites was another favorite to get a victory in Salt Lake City, with 59 percent of players picking him to defeat Chris Camozzi in a featured middleweight bout.
The veteran Brazilian fighter latched on to Camozzi almost as soon as the fight started and he stayed on the attack until finally wrapping up a rear naked choke late in the third round to get back in the win column after two consecutive losses in the Octagon.
Santiago Ponzinibbio got the victory after three rounds in a close matchup at welterweight as he defeated Zak Cummings by unanimous decision. Fifty nine percent of players picked Ponzinibbio to get the job done, although a slight majority believed he would win by knockout.
Trevor Smith picked up a dominant victory over UFC newcomer Joe Gigliotti after three rounds in what was seen as an incredibly tight matchup with 51 percent of players selecting him to win before the card began. The matchup was so tight in fact that an extra 120 points were up for grabs to select the correct winner, and those who went with Smith got a good sized bonus at the end of the night.
Maryna Moroz was one of the heaviest favorites on the entire card, with a whopping 89 percent selecting her to beat debuting strawweight Danielle Taylor. Moroz got the victory, but it was ultimately a split decision win, which probably had more than a few players sweating out the final scorecards being read.
On the prelims, Court McGee was a solid favorite, with 61 percent of players picking him to come away with a win over Dominique Steele while he was competing in his home state of Utah. McGee had to battle a very tough and game opponent, but just like 70 percent of players predicted, he got the win by decision.
While there weren't too many upsets on the card, Marcin Tybura was a slight underdog heading into his heavyweight bout with Viktor Pesta, with 47 percent of players picking him before the card began. Tybura ended up with one of the most emphatic victories on the card after he slammed home a huge head kick knockout in the second round.
For the majority of the card, the favorites ruled the day, including two more preliminary bouts where Teruto Ishihara knocked out Horacio Gutierrez after 82 percent of players selected him, while Cub Swanson proved 77 percent of players correct with his unanimous decision victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Overall, the card featured 10 favorites getting the victory out of the 12 bouts taking place Saturday night.