Mounir Lazzez didn’t skip a beat with a late-notice opponent change after earning a unanimous decision victory over Ange Loosa to kick off the UFC Vegas 51 main card.
Over three rounds, Lazzez was accurate and active with his striking combinations, constantly beating Loosa to the punch while never allowing the first-time UFC fighter to get comfortable in the cage. When the fight ended, it was clear that Lazzez had done more than enough to win, with all three judges giving him 30-27 scores across the board.
“It was a hell of a camp,” Lazzez said afterwards. “Three opponents changed. We give the fans what we want. We stand in the middle and we bang. I want to stand in the middle and knock people out or get knocked out. I’m made for this s***.”
The welterweights traded shots from the start of the fight, with Lazzez working from the outside, establishing a stiff jab, and tossing out some powerful kicks as well. Loosa did his best to gauge the distance so he could unleash his strikes without stepping into something coming back at him from Lazzez.
While Loosa defended fairly well, he didn’t do much with his offense to back off Lazzez from continuing a varied attack on the feet. Lazzez continuously controlled the center of the cage and kept Loosa on his back foot, which prevented the UFC rookie from really sitting down on his punches when he got into the exchanges.
By the time the third round was underway, Lazzez was surging with confidence as he threw a barrage of punches and kicks while mixing in a few well-timed knee strikes up the middle as well, taking advantage of his shorter opponent.
Loosa did start reacting to his coaches shouting for him to throw more right hands, which was his best punch all night and the one shot that Lazzez struggled to defend.
Just when it looked like Loosa had started to turn up the heat, Lazzez unleashed his best combination of the entire fight as he charged forward and snapped off several punches. A couple of the shots appeared to rattle Loosa momentarily, but he was able to hold on until the final horn to end the fight.
Following more than a year out of action, Lazzez looked great in his return as he improved his UFC record to 2-1 overall, with hopes that he’ll be able to stay more active for the remainder of 2022.