With all odds stacked against him, Anthony Hernandez thrived in the underdog role at UFC 258, pulling one of the upsets of the year and leading to the first Rodolfo Vieira MMA career defeat. The most impressive thing is that he not just beat an ADCC champion, he did so by submitting him in the second round via an arm-in guillotine choke!
When Rodolfo Vieira started his UFC 258 bout with Anthony Hernandez, both he and most of the MMA fans watching expected a tough fight, but one the ADCC an IBJJF veteran would ultimately win. Well, Hernandez obviously did not agree with that assessment and put together an impressive performance to tactically outsmart the veteran grappler.
Namely, if there was ever a case for micro-adjustments outside of the realm of memes, it was in this fight. Hernandez tried to exchange strikes with Rodolfo as the fight started, only to be pinned up against the cage and taken down via a double leg that he did not really try to counter.
Vieira quickly passed the half guard and ended up in mount, although Hernandez never really looked in much trouble. When Rodolfo tried to ground and pound, Hernandez trend to turtle, which led to Vieira looking for a rolling armbar that just ended up with both fighters on their feet.
From there on, Rodolfo tried his double leg shot again, with Hernadez clearly adjusting compared to the first one. although Rodolfo got him down up against that cage again, this time Hernandez popped back up quicker.
To be honest that was the first moment that Hernandez showed his then, tying up Vieira in a headlock that ended up spinning him around and having him re-shoot for a takedown. The fight opened up a bit from there, with Hernandez controlling space through striking a bit more. Rodolfo kept shooting for the double, with Anthony adjusting constantly for a better front headlock control, and even a late triangle attempt.
All the action clearly tired Rodolfo, who came in slower into the second round, while Hernandez seemed loser and put together some impressive striking combinations. Rodolfo almost got his back, but Anthony shook him off ending up on top. That is the moment when Rodolfo Vieira MMA career hit a wall.
As he got up to his feet, Rodolfo ate a huge head kick, followed by some impressive elbows and punches that had him up against that cage. Hernandez took his time and the moment Rodolfo shot again, clearly exhausted and leaving lots of space, Hernandez got the front headlock again. Although it seemed like he was setting up a Shultz choke, he quickly changed to a really deep arm-in guillotine and it only took a few seconds to get a tap from the BJJ black belt world champion.
After the fight, Hernandez stated that “he loves eating people at their own game”, while a downbeat Rodolfo called the performance “the worst day of his life”.