UFC Vegas 80: Joe Pyfer arm triangles Abdul Razak Alhassan

Joe Pyfer showcased his prowess once again in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 80, securing a second-round submission victory over knockout artist Abdul Razak Alhassan.

This marked a significant moment in Pyfer’s burgeoning MMA career, as he secured his first co-main event slot in only his third UFC bout. Pyfer’s journey in the promotion began with a knockout victory over the veteran gatekeeper Gerald Meerschaert in his second fight. However, facing Alhassan and his devastating knockout power was undoubtedly a daunting challenge. Alhassan had won all twelve of his professional fights via knockout, including six in the UFC across two weight divisions.

From the opening bell, Joe Pyfer wasted no time attempting a takedown, but Alhassan swiftly returned to his feet. Abdul found himself ensnared in a standing arm-triangle choke, but he managed to break free and reestablish striking range. The two fighters engaged in a compelling exchange of power punches and kicks until Joe initiated another takedown. Alhassan defended with a guillotine choke but couldn’t secure the finish, using it instead to regain his feet. The pace moderated after this exchange.

With two minutes remaining in the first round, Pyfer landed a significant right hand that momentarily froze Abdul against the fence. Joe sensed an opportunity, intensifying his assault, believing he had his opponent hurt. Nevertheless, Abdul demonstrated resilience and recovery, although he absorbed a body kick. Pyfer launched one final flurry before the round concluded, but Alhassan remained standing, albeit at a deficit on the scorecards.

The second round commenced with Pyfer maintaining his aggressive stance, dictating the pace and initiating most of the exchanges. Alhassan initiated with a strong leg kick early, momentarily pushing Joe back and shifting the momentum. Pyfer retaliated with punches and secured a takedown a minute later. He executed a powerful slam, taking Alhassan to the canvas and settling into top half guard. Pyfer initiated an arm-triangle choke while maintaining control, and Alhassan appeared to tap, albeit with a closed fist, causing momentary confusion for the referee and ultimately leading to Alhassan losing consciousness.

With this impressive performance, Joe Pyfer improved his UFC record to 3-0, all victories coming by way of finishes. Notably, he became the first fighter to ever submit Abdul Razak Alhassan. In his post-fight interview, Pyfer called for a new contract, and upon exiting the octagon, he shared a moment with NFL legend Tom Brady, who was in attendance at the UFC Apex.

The official result declared Joe Pyfer the winner, defeating Abdul Razak Alhassan via Submission (arm-triangle choke) in the second round at 2:05.