Glover Teixeira continued to make his name known as a serious contender to the light heavyweight title, Joseph Benavidez made a strong case for a rematch with Flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and ‘Jacare’ Souza put a hurting on Yushin Okami. What a night!
Glover Teixeira (21-2) vs. Ryan Bader (15-3)
Herb Dean with the main event assignment.
Jab from Bader starts in, and he’s in looking for a single right away. Teixeira defends. Bader lands a left, looks like it wobbled Teixeira. Bader jumps for the guillotine, misses, and Teixeira in on his hips for a takedown now. Bader back to a knee, short shot inside from Teixeira. Bader reverses off the cage, knees to the thigh. Left upstairs for Bader. Bader ducks in, Teixeira grabs a guillotine, but let’s go right away. Back into the center. Bader the aggressor, throwing every time Teixiera looks to come in. Head kick from Bader blocked, and returned from Teixeira. Halfway point of the round. Teixeira comes in, Bader catches him with a short shot, Teixeira falls to the canvas, but jumps back up. As Bader comes in looking to land, Teixeira drops him with a left hook. The Brazilian follows up quickly with heavy, heavy shots, and Herb Dean has seen enough.
Official Result: Glover Teixeira defeats Ryan Bader by TKO (Punches) at 2:55 of Round 1.
Analysis: Very good finish from Teixeira, but I’m actually less convinced of his upside in the division after this fight. Maybe he was just overconfident, but Bader had him wobbly a couple times, and that won’t cut it against the true big boys in the UFC light heavyweight division. He’s got devastating power, as we saw here and in his previous outings, but if he doesn’t close up those holes, his lengthy winning streak won’t last much longer.
That’s it from Belo Horizonte. Hope you enjoy the fights and our live blog. We’ll see you in 17 days for UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (18-3) vs. Yushin Okami (29-7)
Leon Roberts is the referee for the co-main event.
Standing on the center TNT logo to start, both pawing with their lead hands. Body kick from Jacare. Another. Into the clinch, Jacare with a right hand on the exit. Jacare swarming Okami along the cage, firing rapid fire punches. Knee to the thigh, and a takedown attempt, but Okami avoids, and they’re back in the center. Good 90 seconds for Jacare. Overhand right misses for Jacare. Okami looks for a left down the middle, but nothing there. Midway point. Overhand right from Jacare lands, but not flush. Both men looking to throw, Jacare lands with a big right hand that drops Okami. The Brazilian swarms with big, heavy punches, and this one is over. Huge victory for Jacare Souza!
Official Result: Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza defeats Yushin Okami by TKO (Punches) at 2:47 of Round 1.
Analysis: Jacare keeps getting better, and that’s a scary thing for the other elite fighters in the 185-pound ranks.. He just blasted his way through a tough, durable veteran like it was nothing. With knockout power to match his phenomenal ground game, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion has become a contender for the UFC middleweight division.
Joseph Benavidez (18-3) vs. Jussier da Silva (15-2)
Mario Yamasaki with the honors here.
Benavidez pawing with hands, looking for range, lands a front kick to the body. Flurry from both men in close, nothing serious lands. Overhand right from Benavidez missed, Formiga counters. Left from Formiga. Benavidez wades in, Formiga slips the punches. Good combo from the Brazilian. Step in right hand from Benavidez, followed by a left. High kick from Benavidez is pushed aside. Halfway done the round. Body kick and left hook from Benavidez. Formiga looking comfortable trading right now. Spinning back kick from da Silva. Quick combo from Benavidez staggers Formiga, knee to the body drops him, and Benavidez quickly pounds out the finish. Very good performance from "Joe B. Wan Kenobi" here.
Official Result: Joseph Benavidez defeats Jussier da Silva by TKO (Punches) at 3:07 of Round 1.
Analysis: Slick combo from Benavidez to put da Silva on roller skates – left hand to the chin, right on the jaw. The step-knee to the body was gnarly too. He’s now 3-0 since losing to Demetrious Johnson last September, and with the December FOX show announced for Sacramento, California where Benavidez and Team Alpha Male are based, don’t be surprised if we see a rematch between the top two flyweights in the UFC to end the year.
Francisco Trinaldo (13-2) vs. Piotr Hallmann (13-1)
Neal Hall is our official in this one.
Touch gloves and here we go. Hallmann pawing with the jab, looking for range. Right hand lands for Hallmann. Trinaldo fires with a left, misses, but catches Hallmann with the second shot. Body shot from Hallmann. Trinaldo lands a left as Hallmann looks to come in. High kick from the Brazilian. Big overhand left hook from Trinaldo. Hallmann coming forward with a 1-2. High kick from Trinaldo, followed by a big body kick that hurt Hallmann. The Pole comes forward, but gets stung again. Another body shot drops Hallmann. Trinaldo looks for an opening, but Hallmann recovers, and gets back to his feet. Two minutes left. Hallmann’s ribs are bright red. Trinaldo going back to the body, then just misses with a winging overhand left. Uppercut connects as Hallmann dips in. Hallmann with a right hand than lands. Trinaldo swinging for the fences, Hallmann landing technical inside, but gets stung to the body again. Hallmann hanging tough. Trinaldo with a nice takedown late along the cage, landing a couple shots to the head. Back to their feet as the frame ends.
10-9 Trinaldo – those body shots were nasty, and as much as Hallmann is showing heart and not backing down, he is clearly on the wrong side of things so far.
Head kick from Trinaldo is caught, turned into a takedown from Hallmann, who lands in half guard. Hammerfists from Hallmann, but Trinaldo gets up, drags Hallmann down momentarily. Back up. Hallmann loses his balance, Trinaldo dives in, ending up in a kneebar attempt. Hallmann trying to strike, but the Brazilian gets back to a knee, and looks for a takedown. Chest-to-chest on the cage Trinaldo drops for a double, Hallmann landing elbows to the shoulder. Hallmann defends, Trinaldo looks like he’s tiring. Hallmann into half guard, working the body, now short elbows the head. Two minutes left. Trinaldo trying to get up, but Hallmann controlling him on the canvas. Hallmann with an arm trapped, landing elbows. Hallmann now looking for a kimura on the opposite side, and it’s deep. Trinaldo taps, and this one is done.
Official Result: Piotr Hallmann defeats Francisco Trinaldo by Submission (Kimura) at 3:50 of Round 2.
Analysis: Very impressive debut performance from Piotr Hallmann. He looked like he was going to get finished in the first, and was even on the defensive early in the second, but as Trinaldo tired, the Polish lightweight started to come back. The set-up and finish was great, as he softened him up with strikes before grabbing the arm and getting the submission. Tremendous first showing especially given the circumstances of fighting a Brazilian in Brazil.
Rafael Natal (16-4-1) vs. Tor Troeng (16-4-1)
Leon Roberts with the assignment.
Troeng takes the center, Natal first to land with an outside leg kick. Now inside, and outside again. Big right hook on the ear drops Troeng. Natal chases him to the ground, landing in the Swede’s guard. Natal moves to half guard. Troeng defending well. Natal looks for a guillotine, Troeng escapes and gets back to his feet. Now he’s into Natal’s guard, landing a good shot on the way in. Half guard sweep from Natal – really nice, technical jiu-jitsu. Troeng looks to reverse, but Natal defends, back into half guard. Troeng bucks, and Natal looks for a choke, but nothing there. Another half guard sweep, but Natal ends up in side control. Troeng tries to buck, but Natal is heavy, looking for a submission. Troeng reverses into guard with 60 seconds left. Troeng stands, big left on the way back in. Natal trying to get up, Troeng takes his back with 45 seconds left. Natal regains half guard. Round ends with the Swede on top. Great technical battle here so far.
10-9 Natal – the initial big right was the most serious strike of the frame, and they traded positions on the ground the rest of the way.
Jab from Troeng to start the round. Big right hand counter drops Troeng. Natal swarming with hammerfists. Troeng defending, covering up, still hurt. Natal into half guard, dropping elbows. Troeng tries to get up, Natal grabs a guillotine, Troeng counters to end up in side control, and now trying to take the back. Body lock for Troeng, Natal shakes him off, and drops into his guard. Not sure how Troeng has survived to this point; he was rocked with that right hand. Natal into half guard, looking for an arm triangle. Switches to elbows over the top. Halfway point of the fight; best of the evening so far. Natal standing, trying to get around to side control, and makes it. Troeng trying to use the cage to help him buck. Natal with elbows from the top. Troeng hip bumps and gets to his feet, pressing Natal into the cage as they stand. Natal reverse, Troeng looking for a kimura, sits out the wrong way, and loses it. Natal with a knee to the body as they stand back up. 60 seconds left. Natal looking for a single – defended – and now Troeng in on a double. Natal drops to the ground, using Troeng’s momentum to flip him over. Back up to the feet, Troeng trying for a takedown as the round end.
10-9 Natal – Nearly finished the fight with the big right. Needed to measure his shots after more precisely, but still clearly the dominant fighter in the second round.
Troeng looking to come forward to start the third, but hesitant to throw. Natal happy circle away. Jabs land from each. Troeng crashes into Natal, looking for a single, nothing there. Natal jumps an arm-in guillotine, moves to mount as they drop to the canvas. Now Troeng tries to get on top, Natal grabs a guillotine again, but there is nothing there. Two down, three to go. Troeng gets his head out, and he’s in half guard. Left hand lands for Troeng. Natal happy to try to freeze the action on the ground. Troeng looking for room, Natal slides through looking for a leg. Troeng lands a couple strikes, Natal reverses into half guard. Great technical jiu-jitsu here. 90 seconds left. Natal again with the head wrapped up, but more just for control. Troeng defending, but Natal is in control. Troeng tries to reverse, can’t, and Natal takes the back, hooks in. 40 seconds left. Short shots to the side of the head from Natal. Troeng recovers half guard, Natal trying to flurry to end the bout. Should be another win for Natal here.
10-9 Natal, 30-27 for the Brazilian middleweight on my card.
Official Result: Rafael Natal defeats Tor Troeng by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Analysis: Very good showing from Natal here, and he’s now won three straight in the UFC. The right hand in the second was beautifully timed (and sounded nasty), and his jiu-jitsu game is very good, especially when his opponent is looking to be active, as Troeng was here. With five wins in his last six, Natal should get a step up in competition next time out.
Solid performance from Troeng in defeat here too; most guys would have been finished in the second, and he not only survived, but kept looking to attack on the ground. That’s what gets you points with the UFC brass.
Marcos Vinicius (20-4) vs. Ali Bagautinov (10-2)
Mario Yamasaki handling the action in this one.
Big height and reach advantage for Vinicius here, but Bagautinov is the one moving forward. Nothing thrown for 50 seconds, then Bagautinov crashes in behind a flurry of punches. Into the clinch, knee to the body from Vinicius. And again. Bagautinov looking for the takedown. Knee to the thigh. Bagautinov switches legs on the single attempt, and drops Vinicius with a big right hand. Bagautinov swarming with punches, looking for the finish. Vinicius trying to work his way out, gets stuck in a guillotine, but defends correctly and gets out. Now Vinicius spins to take Bagautinov’s back. Hooks in, two minutes to go. Punches from back mount from Vinicius, looking to flatten Bagautinov out. 90 seconds. More hammerfists to the head from Vinicius, now throwing under the armpit. Bagautinov back to his feet, momentarily, but Vinicius brings it back down. Vinicius high on the back, looking at an armbar, but Bagautinov gets out and back to his feet. Vinicius pulls him back to the ground with a late takedown at the bell.
10-9 Bagautinov – the near finish trumps two minutes of control on the ground for me.
Vinicius forward with a leg kick, Bagautinov misses with right hand. Trading body kicks, Bagautinov landing harder. Bagautinov walking Vinicius down again, jumps in with a big swing that backs Vinicius up. And again. Vinicius with a kick, caught, and Bagautinov takes him down. Butterfly guard sweep for Vinicius who gets up, but gets taken right back down. Bagautinov standing in Vinicius’ guard, and now down into his guard on the ground. Vinicius looking to attack with a shoulder lock. Bagautinov not doing much in guard. Elbow from the bottom from Vinicius. Another. Bagautinov stands, looking to jump back in, but Vinicius stands himself. Front kick from the Brazilian. 90 seconds. Bagautinov misses with a combination. Vinicius now coming forward, but not throwing anything. Bagautinov with a left that lands. 60 seconds. Vinicius connects with a right, and then an inside leg kick to follow. Bagautinov slips a punch and lands one of his own. Vinicius using his range to avoid strikes from Bagautinov, who hits a takedown just as the horn sounds.
10-9 Bagautinov for a 20-18 edge heading into the third.
Vinicius takes the center, but neither man throwing through the first 30 seconds. Bagautinov leaps in with a hook that misses. Front kick from Vinicius barely touches Bagautinov, who counters with big, swinging hooks that miss. Inside leg kick from Vinicius. Not much action through the opening 90 seconds in a fight that could be 1-1 heading into this round. Kick from Vinicius is caught. Bagautinov looking for the takedown, Vinicius searches for the guillotine, but nothing there. Bagautinov still on the leg, Vinicius countering with punches and hammerfists, but not a lot on them. Bagautinov bails on the leg, knee inside from Vinicius. Now Bagautinov looking for the double, but Yamasaki splits them apart. Two minutes left. Outside leg kick from Vinicius, but nothing on it. Big right hand out of nowhere from Bagautinov as Vinicius walks forward. Vinicius is down, and Bagautinov swarming with strikes, forcing Mario Yamasaki to jump in and stop it.
Official Result: Ali Bagautinov defeats Marcos Vinicius by TKO (Punches) at 3:28 of Round 3.
Analysis: Some slow moments in this fight, but a brilliant finish from Bagautinov, who stepped back, and then stepped in with a big right hand down the pipe. Who says the little guys don’t have power? A compact, physical fighter, Bagautinov wins his 9th straight, and immediately becomes an interesting prospect in the flyweight division.
Felipe Arantes (15-5-1) vs. Kevin Souza (13-3)
Neal Hall is the referee for the final preliminary card bout of the evening.
Touch of gloves and we’re off. Swing and a miss on a headkick from Arantes. Souza with a serious height and reach advantage here, looking to find his range. Comes in with a right hand. Left hook from Souza. Inside leg kick attempt from Arantes. Left hook for Arantes, counter right from Souza. Right hand to the body from Souza. Left hook follows from Souza. Long left jab lands from Souza. Arantes can’t get inside, Souza walking him down. Left hook, right hand combo glances for Souza, backing Arantes into the cage. Souza looking to land hands, nothing connecting flush though. Big swinging right hand, and another. Right to the body. Souza throwing single shots, winging them in. Arantes ducks under the a takedown, completes into Souza’s guard. Arantes lands to the head with punches. Souza content to tie him up. Arantes with a short elbow inside. Souza keeping Arantes tight though, defending well. Body shots from Arantes. Arantes stands, comes back in with a big right hand, into half guard. Elbows land, Arantes attempts an Americana, nothing there, but moves to mount to finish the round.
10-9 Arantes. Controlled the final half of the fight on the ground, with Souza doing very little. Solid transition to mount, and some good, in-close ground-and-pound.
Souza with a long jab, Arantes answers with a high kick attempt. Jab to the body from Souza. Inside leg kick from Arantes. Push kick attempt from Arantes, followed up by an inside leg kick. Big right hand from Souza stepping in. Left hook from Arantes in tight. Souza with a front kick. Souza throws a right, Arantes dips and grabs a single. Souza pressed into the cage, throwing elbows to the body. Arantes bails on the single, looks for the double, but Souza with a good wide base to defend. Knee inside from Arantes. Halfway through the round, back into space. Long jab from Souza. Left hook blocked by Arantes. Souza reaching with a right hand, both up top and to the body. Arantes standing with his hands behind his back against the cage. Souza throws another single right hand. 90 seconds. Arantes can’t find a way inside. Souza slings a right. 60 seconds. Arantes tries to get inside, but Souza backs out easily. Souza stalking, eats a body kick, keeps coming forward. Inside leg kick from Souza. Spinning back kick attempt misses badly for Souza, eats a hook on the way out. Body kick from Souza to close out the round.
10-9 Souza, 19-19 through Round 2. Souza throwing single strikes, but landing more than Arantes, who can’t find his range, and wasn’t able to bring the fight to the canvas in that frame.
High kick from Arantes as Souza looks to slide in. Jab from Souza, inside leg kick from Arantes. Another attempt up top from Arantes is blocked. Again with the inside leg kick from Arantes, who steps forward with aggression for the first time in a while. Souza misses with a big swing, but connects with a couple jabs. The right connects for Souza, and then he slips Arantes’ counters. Right lands again for Souza who presses forward with Arantes against the cage. Souza looking to capitalize, attacking a hurt Arantes, but he can’t connect with anything solid. Arantes connects on a takedown, dragging Souza to the ground, landing some short strikes inside. Arantes moves around to the back as they stand, but Souza moves back to belly-on-belly. Neal Hall splits them with 90 seconds to go. Another long jab from Souza. And again. Spinning attempt from Arantes, nothing doing. Arantes in a on a single, trips Souza to the ground by the ankle. Knee to the body from Arantes, followed by body shots. Another knee to the body for Arantes, and again. Flurry from Arantes to end the round.
10-9 Arantes, 29-28 Arantes overall on my card.
Official Result: Kevin Souza defeats Felipe Arantes by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Analysis: Close fight, no issues with the split decision. I thought Arantes did enough in the final half of the third round to win the fight, but evidently, the judges favored Souza clipping him and hurting him early in the last frame. Souza has good length, but needs to throw more combinations; too reliant on single strikes. A solid showing from Arantes in defeat as well; tough kid who should continue to find himself taking part on these UFC events in Brazil in the future.
Lucas Martins (13-1) vs. Ramiro Hernandez (13-4)
Herb Dean with his first assignment of the evening here.
Leg kick opener from Martins. Outside follow-up. Left hook lands for Martins. Two more kicks connect. Martins lands a pair of hooks as Hernandez comes in. The two start trading big swings, Hernandez clips Martins, but then eats one in return, followed by a kick. He calls Martins in, and then get blasted with a right hand, and drops to the canvas. He tries to stand, but Martins latches on a standing rear-naked choke, dragging Hernandez to the ground. Martins wraps up the choke, Hernandez tries to fight it, but he goes out. This one is over.
Official Result: Lucas Martins defeats Junior Hernandez by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:10 of Round 1.
Analysis: Very impressive performance by Martins in his bantamweight debut. He has very quick hands and very good power for his size, plus a solid chin. He got backed up by one shot from Hernandez, but stepped forward firing, and wrapped up the choke as soon as it appeared. Love the finishing instincts, and really like his prospects going forward, especially if he cleans up his striking defense.
Joao Zeferino (13-5) vs. Elias Silverio (8-0)
Leon Roberts with the honors here. Headkick offered by Silverio, blocked. Inside leg kick lands, body kick follows, Zeferino in on a takedown attempt. Pressed into the cage, Silverio defending. Zeferino still pressing, switches sides, now looking to get around to the back. Roberts letting them work. Silverio offering a couple light shots to the head as a counter. Zeferino stands back up, Roberts splits them apart. Silverio forward with a wild kick, Zeferino counters with a swinging right. Clinched back up, knee from Silverio. Zeferino once again pushing for a takedown, but nothing there. Elbows from Silverio to the side of the head and body. Knee in close from Silverio, lands low, quick stoppage here. Leg kick from Silverio, another, and Zeferino counters with a right hook. Quick takedown from Zeferino, but Silverio right back up. Zeferino with a body lock, lands on his back with Silverio in his guard. One minute. Silverio stands back out, Zeferino up. Left hook from Silverio. 30 seconds. Silverio calls Zeferino in, then starts walking him down. Push kick misses. Headkick from Zeferino just before the horn.
10-9 Silverio – really no way to score a round for someone that is just pushing his opponent into the cage. Silverio didn’t do a lot, but he landed a couple solid strikes; more than Zeferino offered.
Jab-leg kick combo from Zeferino to start. Back into the clinch along the cage, Zeferino looking for the takedown. Silverio reverses. Knees to the thigh. Looks to pull Zeferino away, loses position. Alternating knees in close. Elbows and punches from Silverio as Zeferino drives in on a takedown attempt. Broken up by Roberts. Two down. Kick from Silverio. Right hand from Silverio follows stiff, hurts Zeferino, who looks for a takedown right away. Lands on the ground, Silverio in Zeferino’s closed guard. Silverio not even moving. Zeferino no way to move, stood up. Hook offered by Zeferino. Silverio pushes forward behind hands, connects, but gets taken down. Zeferino with an elbow over the top. Stands, looks to throw the legs aside, but Silverio stands. Pressed into the cage, Silverio defending the takedown again. Zeferino looks to hook the leg out, but Silverio keeps his balance. Silverio looks to pummel under and out, but not there. Elbows to the head connect, Zeferino looks tired as the horn goes.
10-9 Silverio, 20-18 Silverio through Round 2. Once again, he had the more more solid striking of the two.
Both ask the crowd for noise, and they respond with mild cheers. Body kick from Silverio, followed by a knee inside, Zeferino falls to the ground, equal parts tired and hurt it looks. Elbows from Silverio on the ground with Zeferino defending from half guard. Illegal upkick from Zeferino draws a break and a warning. Restarted on the feet for some reason. Silverio pushing forward, looking for a body kick. Into the clinch, takedown from Silverio. Short strikes inside, Silverio steps up. Leg kick to the downed Zeferino. Roberts stands Zeferino back up. Three minutes. Overhand right from Zeferino is parried. Silverio initiates another clinch, losing it on the takedown though. Silverio right back to his feet, and competes the takedown, landing in half guard. Sweep attempt from Zeferino, Silverio counters by moving around to take his back. Strikes to a defending Zeferino, who rolls through as Silverio stands. On the feet with a little over a minute to go. Silverio with a slick 1-2 coming in. Clinched up again along the cage. Zeferino turns Silverio, but nothing much happening. Zeferino looking for a late takedown, sprawl from Silverio as he plays to the crowd.
10-9 Silverio, 30-27 for the newcomer overall on my card.
Official Result: Elias Silverio defeats Joao Zeferino by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
Analysis: Solid overall performance from the UFC newcomer and Jungle Fight champion, especially given that it came on short notice. Silverio showed very good defensive wrestling in the first, and crisp – albeit unorthodox – striking throughout.
Keith Wisniewski (28-14-1) vs. Ivan Jorge (24-3)
Round 1: Mario Yamasaki with the officiating duties here.
Touch of gloves and we’re underway. Jorge with a lunging overhand right that misses, followed by a takedown attempt. Wisniewski sprawls. Back in the center. Jorge in on a takedown again, Wisniewski defends, looks for a knee, but misses. Wisniewski crashes in behind a jab, into the clinch. Jorge looking for a single, nothing there. Wisniewski presses forward, Jorge drops, still nothing. Clinch for Wisniewski, but it’s broken without anything being thrown. Jab to the body by Jorge. Clinched up, Wisniewski with a good knee to the body. Two down. Body shot from Jorge. Looks for another single, nothing doing, Jorge drives Wisniewski into the cage. Wisniewski with a knee to the body on the exit. Two left. Leg kick for Jorge, knee follows from Wisniewski. Two leg kicks from Jorge, countered by Wisniewski. Clinched up, Wisniewski with a knee. Single defended again, Jorge still pushing in hard for the takedown along the cage. Wisniewski defends, stays upright. Thai clinch from Wisniewski, knee to the head. Jorge with another shot to the body. Left hook, leg kick combo from Jorge. Wisniewski presses into the clinch again, another knee lands. Body lock for Jorge, moves Wisniewski back into the cage. 10 seconds. Horn goes. 10-9 Wisniewski – strikes in the clinch were the best of the frame.
Wisniewski takes the center, Jorge presses forward with the left hook-leg kick combo. Single leg attempt again from Jorge, Wisniewski defends. Elbow to the body for Wisniewski. Jorge finally drags him to the ground along the cage, takes his back as Wisniewski stands. Jorge looking to dig a hook in standing. Wisniewski looking to separate hands, trying to face up Jorge. Hook back in for Jorge standing. No action. Boos from the crowd. Wisniewski content to stand in there. Jorge spins him looking to off-balance him to no avail. Jorge around front to a body lock now. Knee to the body from Jorge. Mario Yamasaki splits them up. Wisniewski out hard, lands a right, and a body kick, and then a knee in the clinch. Jorge starting to look tired as Wisniewski comes forward. Jorge eating shots along the cage, turns out looking for a double leg. Wisniewski gets pulled down to the ground, walks back to the cage, and back to his feet. One minute left. Jorge pressed in on Wisniewski’s hips, looking for the takedown. Elbows to the temple from Wisniewski. Broken up by Yamasaki again. Jorge looks spent. Wisniewski slinging hands, gets into the clinch, lands a knee to the outside of the thigh. Finishes with Wisniewski pressing Jorge into the cage.
10-9 Jorge, 19-19 through Round 2. Not a ton of action, but the takedowns and taking Wisniewski’s back were there high points of the frame. Wisniewski appears to be the fresher of the two though, so Round 3 should be interesting.
Glove touch, and five left. Leg kick from Jorge, and another. Wisniewski pushing forward, eats a body shot. Jorge looking to sweep the feet out, Wisniewski walks through into the clinch. Hooks followed by a body kick from Wisniewski, none landing solid. Jab lands for Wisniewski, followed by a right hand. Leg kick from Jorge. Jab from Jorge lands. Wisniewski with the clinch, but Jorge landing the better knees to the body. Trading knees in the clinch, Jorge backing the American into the cage. Halfway home. More solid knees inside from Jorge, that earns a time call from Yamasaki. Jorge right back in on Wisniewski with a big combination. Not sure what that stoppage was about. Two minutes left. Jorge turning it up in tight. Wisniewski answers with a knee, but not working to get off the cage. More knees from Jorge, followed by hooks to the body. Yamasaki resets them in the center, but they’re right back into the clinch. Another knee from Jorge. And another. Wisniewski not offering much offense. 20 seconds left, Wisniewski with a knee, but he’s spent. The horn blows.
10-9 Jorge, 29-28 for the Brazilian on my scorecard. Surprisingly turned it on in the final round, after looking like he was fading during the middle stanza.
Official Result: Ivan Jorge defeats Keith Wisniewski by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-27).
Analysis: Solid showing from Jorge, who dominated the third and final round, which seemed like the deciding frame, although one judge had it 3-0 Jorge, which I’m not too sure about. This was a short notice appearance for the Brazilian veteran. Going forward, he’ll compete in the lightweight division, where he won’t be giving up as much size and strength as he did here.
Yuri Villefort (6-2) vs. Sean Spencer (9-2)
Neal Hall is the third man in the cage for this one.
Villefort looks for a jumping knee right away, but nothing there. Spencer coming forward, Villefort lands a kick. Kick to the body from Villefort, stumbles to the ground as Spencer counters with hands. Back up, another knee up the middle from Villefort, and another counter from Spencer. Left hand lands for Spencer. Neither man looking to do anything other than strike at this point. Spencer maintaining range. Villefort misses with a spinning back kick attempt. Heavy outside leg kick from Villefort. Double jab from Spencer lands. Villefort clinches, lands a knee, and Spencer backs out. Two down, three to go. Another heavy outside leg kick from Villefort. Spencer looks to catch it, but can’t. Spencer working behind a jab, landing, but unable to follow up. Villefort shoots, looks at a single, but can’t get it. Back to the center of the cage. Two minutes. Outside leg kick from Villefort again. Nice combo from Spencer, but Villefort just eats it, comes forward with another kick. Spencer coming forward, lands a clean right. Villefort looking to land kicks to the body, looking a little fatigued. 60 seconds. Spencer peppering with jabs in space still. Villefort countering with the occasional leg kick. Sloppy takedown hits for Villefort with 40 seconds left, but Spencer is right back up. Another heavy leg kick from Villefort. 10-9 Villefort.
Takedown right away for Villefort, lands in Spencer’s guard. Villefort looking to advance, Spencer crawls back to the cage, and gets back to his feet. Spencer takes the center, offers a Superman punch, but nothing there. Double jab from Spencer – not landing, but measuring range. Right hand lands for Spencer. Villefort looks for a front kick to the face, but misses. Outside leg kick from Villefort connects, followed by a body kick that Spencer catches. Villefort goes up top with a kick; not a lot of power on it, but it lands. Spencer landing his punches, but there isn’t as much pop on them this round. Leg kicks are accumulating damage. Villefort shoots, but Spencer defends. Another leg kick from Villefort, and one to the body. Spencer not throwing as much, and not moving as well either. Two minutes. 1-2 lands for Spencer. Another heavy outside leg kick, and one more. Villefort circling away from Spencer as he comes in. 60 seconds. Another leg kick. Right hand for Villefort on the counter, Spencer responds with one of his own. Inside leg kick sweeps Spencer’s feet out from under him momentarily. Villefort in on a single, back up, Spencer with a nice right hand. 10-9 Villefort, 20-18 Villefort through Round 2. Those leg kicks are beating up Spencer’s lead leg. He needs a finish here in my books.
Spencer takes the center, looking to throw hands, looking to get a rhythm. Pressing forward, Villefort looks tired. Combo lands for Spencer, but no real jam on the punches. Another leg kick from Villefort. Spencer wades in, Villefort lands a hook. Leg kick from Spencer, checked. Hook lands for Villefort, but not much on it. Spencer checks a leg kick, and presses ahead behind hands. Spencer kicks to the body. Right hand lands, and another. Villefort tries a jump knee, but misses. Left hook from Villefort misses, and he looks like he’s on fumes. Spencer lands a clean right. Overhand right from Villefort, and then a knee. Spencer is the fresher man, but he’s not pressing enough. Villefort stuffed on a takedown attempt. Uppercut-left combo lands for Spencer. Another leg kick from Villefort. Jabs from Spencer; needs to show more urgency. Villefort in on a single, Spencer defends, and comes with hands on the exit. Villefort running on empty. Superman punch from Spencer misses. Good right hand lands, but he’s not following up enough. 345seconds. Villefort wading in to close things out, Spencer landing some solid shots. Standing toe-to-toe to close things out, swinging through the horn. 10-9 Spencer, but 29-28 Villefort on my scorecard.
Official Result: Sean Spencer defeats Yuri Villefort by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Analysis: Not sure I agree with a 30-27 for Spencer, but 29-28 either way is fine by me. Spencer had a crisp jab and the cleaner striking throughout, and clearly won the third round. Villefort seems to tire quicker than you would expect of a young fighter who doesn’t look like he’s cutting a ton of weight. Not a bad showing from either man, but not a standout performance for Spencer either. Takedown defense was great, but needs to check those kicks more, and turn up the intensity; he seemed too content to snipe and paw, which is always risky when you’re not packing a ton of power.