David Teymur beats Lando Vannata in three-round co-main event thriller

LAS VEGAS — David Teymur moved to 3-0 inside the Octagon with a thrilling unanimous decision win over Lando Vannata in a back and forth three-round war at UFC 209.

Teymur actually stepped into the cage as one of the biggest underdogs on the card, but he certainly didn’t perform like that while pulling out all the stops to beat an ultra-exciting opponent like Vannata.

While it wasn’t the co-main event many fans anticipated seeing at UFC 209, Vannata and Teymur did their part to help make up for the absence of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.

Vannata wasted no time busting out his flashiest moves with a cartwheel kick and several spin kicks launched at Teymur in the opening round.

As fun as the kicks were to watch it was Vannata’s punches that eventually dropped Teymur during one exchange, but he quickly recovered and got back to his feet where the fight continued.

While he had to survive an early knockdown, Teymur wasn’t going away easy and he fired back with some hard shots of his own as well as several punishing knees to the body.

At the end of one exchange, after Teymur had landed two big knees to the body, he uncorked one last knee to the head that clipped Vannata before the fighters broke from the clinch.

Vannata did an admirable job stalking Teymur around the cage in the third round, but he was consistently countered with hard, stinging shots from the former kickboxing champion.

Teymur continued to land consistently to the body throughout the five-minute session, including several kicks that kept Vannata from finding much rhythm in his offense late in the fight.

It was a constant attack from Teymur, especially in rounds two and three, that really slowed Vannata down as the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor picked up the win on the biggest stage in his career.

Afterwards, Teymur asked the UFC to award him a $50,000 bonus while stating that he didn’t just join the promotion to put on exciting fights — he eventually wants the title.

If Teymur keeps putting on performances like he did at UFC 209, anything seems possible.