Following a 14-fight UFC career in the lightweight division, Thiago Tavares officially made the move down to 145 pounds, and it seems like the experiment was a rousing success.
Tavares was originally scheduled to debut at featherweight as early as this past February, but injuries prevented him from making an appearance. It was worth the wait as Tavares wasted no time dispatching veteran fighter Robbie Peralta in the first round of their matchup on Saturday night in Bangor, Maine.
As soon as the fight kicked off, Tavares got close to Peralta and took him to the mat. It took the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt little effort to pass his opponent’s guard, and work to take his back.
Tavares rained down a barrage of punches and it looked like the fight might get stopped, but Peralta was able to roll and squirm enough to stay out of harm’s way at least for the moment. Unfortunately for Peralta, Tavares never surrendered the position and he continued to dominate the fight until an opening presented itself and he locked his arm under his opponent’s chin.
Peralta struggled for a moment, but ultimately decided to tap out before he was put to sleep.
According to Fight Trax, Tavares blasted Peralta with 43 strikes while taking zero damage before locking in the submission to get the win. A new challenger has arrived in the featherweight division, and considering how tough Tavares always was at 155 pounds, he’s certainly going to be a tough fight for anyone in this weight class.