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Dominant victory for returning Aussie

Australian UFC fighter Jessica-Rose Clark has scored a dominant unanimous decision victory over Panama’s Joselyne Edwards at UFC Vegas 41.

The bout was Clark’s first fight in over a year and marks her comeback from a debilitating ALC tear she suffered in 2020. Clark’s last victory came by TKO over American Sarah Alpar in September last year.

Although those on commentary were expecting a striking match, Clark kept the bout on the ground with her dominant wrestling and grappling skills. Clark landed the first takedown of the fight less than 30 seconds into the first round, where she would keep Edwards for most of the round.

The second round did see more action on the feet from the Australian, but was still a dominant wrestling affair, as was the final round.

Clark landed five successful takedowns throughout the fight and had over 10 minutes of grounded control time – a UFC personal best for the Queenslander.

Although it wasn’t what most expected from her, Clark was pleased with her performance and the chance to show off her skills outside of striking.

“It wasn’t as exciting as I wanted it to be, but I think I showed that I’m not just a kickboxer.”

At the post fight press conference, Clark said she was looking for a solid return after such a long layoff from the sport.

“I’d like to get a solid three fights in next year,” she said.

“I’m really enjoying these 12-week camps. I’m trying to be more professional about my preparation.”

As for the immediate future, Clark is looking forward to going on a road trip with her dogs.

“My dogs have been so patient; I haven’t been able to take them anywhere. I feel I really owe them a little road trip now. So I’m going to take two weeks to take them out adventuring and then come back and get back to work. February/March would be a good time frame.”

A February return would position Clark to possibly fight on the rumoured middleweight title rematch card between New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya and Australia’s Robert Whittaker – however this card is yet to be confirmed.

The main event of UFC Vegas 41 saw Marvin Vettori take home a unanimous decision victory over Paulo Costa in a thrilling striking affair that somehow went the distance.

Controversy surrounded this bout, as although it was originally signed as a middleweight fight (185 pounds, 84 kg), three days before the bout Paulo Costa revealed he would not be able to make weight, and requested the fight be made a catchweight of 195 pounds (88kg).

Despite being the one to request the fight be 195 pounds, the weight was changed again to light heavyweight (205 pounds, 93kg) when Costa said he could not make the 195 pound limit.

For not being able to meet the originally agreed on 185 pound weight limit, Costa was fined 20 per cent of his fight purse, which was added to Vettori’s purse.

“I get to buy myself another watch with his money and I got the win – and I’m proud of it,” Vettori said.

UFC president Dana White praised Vettori for his professionalism and dedication to making the fight happen.

“We couldn’t have done it without a guy like Vettori. Vettori acted like an absolute professional. That’s why this fight happened,” he said.

As for Costa, it seems this may be the beginning of a permanent shift to light heavyweight.

“He’s going to have to fight at 205,” White said.

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