Cautious start to the round as both men wary of being caught. Wanderlei counters a kick to the body with a straight right. Franklin lands a couple of straight punches as he takes the center of the Octagon. Wanderlei tries for a high kick but Franklin holds the kick and instead takes some punches. Wanderlei trying to come in but is struggling to mount any offense. Franklin gets a flash knockdown with a counter. Wanderlei gets back to his feet but looks hurt as he’s backed up against the cage by Franklin. Franklin’s technical striking is getting the better of Wanderlei although he does land a high kick towards the end of the round. Franklin comes back with a high kick of his own.
10-9 to Franklin.
Wanderlei lands some power shots to begin the second round but falls over his own foot while trying to connect with a leg kick. Silva fell awkwardly and will be lucky not to have done some damage to his ankle. Franklin works Silva over up against the cage, putting together some good combinations to the body. Silva not looking good when moving about. Both men trade high kicks. Wanderlei lands some straight punches and follows it up with a high kick. The round seems to be drifting to the end and then all hell breaks lose. Wanderlei catches him with a crunching left hook and just unloads on the American, dropping him with a big knee. Wanderlei swarming all over the former UFC middleweight champion and is literally just seconds away from being finished.
Incredible action that should make this a 10-8 round (but probably won’t). 19-18 to Wanderlei Silva.
Slow third round after the hellacious end to the second round with both fighters being very cautious. Wanderlei looks tired after the energy dump of the second round and Franklin is allowed to quietly outpoint a passive Axe Murderer. Franklin takes him down with a minute left of the fight but doesn’t have time to make his advantage on the ground count. He does land some good ground strikes.
The pace of this fight has dropped significantly since the second round with Wanderlei not mounting much offense while Franklin is content to work over Silva with the jab and take the points. Virtually the first strike Wanderlei landed in the round was a bad low-blow. The fight restarts and while Silva looks a bit livelier but its another flat round.
More jab and move from Franklin whose movement has been very good throughout the fight. It does have to be said that he has been helped greatly by Wanderlei slowing down so much. With the final minute Wanderlei puts his foot on the gas, coming forward aggressively and calling on Franklin to engage. The round ends with both fighters swinging for the fences up against the cage, a furious exchange that Franklin gets the better of after hurting Wanderlei with a short left.
It’s Franklin’s round and his fight 48-46. The three judges have it 49-46 to him, which shows how impossible it is to get a 10-8 at the moment.
Rich Franklin defeats Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Cezar Mutante Ferreria vs. Serginho Moraes
(TUF Brazil middleweight title)
The fight stops before it begins with Moraes claiming an eye poke. Referee Herb Dean is unimpressed and the fight restarts. Ferreria hurts Moraes with a kick but Moraes is able to get away from trouble. Moraes is an injury replacement and was actually knocked out in the semi-final, and he looks decidedly uncomfortable on the feet. Neither fighter is particularly aggressive but Ferreria is landing the better shots. Moraes gets some success in the striking toward the end of the round, catching Ferreria coming in with an elbow. Moraes drops down after being hit low by Ferreria. The round has a grandstand finish after Ferreria grabs hold of a clinch after landing a high kick only to be on the receiving end of several short punches.
Ferreria’s round 10-9.
Ferreria tries to grab another clinch and again Moares counters with short punches. Moares tries to pull guard but Ferreria is able to avoid going to the ground with the BJJ world champion. Moraes slips but Ferreria cannot capitalize. They’re back on the feet and Ferreria badly hurts Moares with a wheel kick and comes very close to finishing the fight. Moares stops the onslaught by grabbing a hold of a leg for a submission that forces Ferreria to move away. Ferreria quietly dominates the rest of the round until the final minute, never quite connecting with anything that threatens to finish the job on a bloodied Moares. And then with a minute left Moares comes very close to finishing the fight after catching Ferreria with a nasty elbow and just unloading with numerous punches. Moares looked gone but managed to stay on his feet and make it to the final bell.
No idea who won that round but Moares did dominate most of the round. 20-18.
Moares is dropped early with a punch but Ferreria can’t finish the fight. Both fighters seem to have tired. Moares catches Ferreria on the way in with a counter left. Both fighters very wary of what the other can do, and who can blame them after the round just gone. That said, as good as that round was there really isn’t much happening now. Ferreria tries to wing a overhand right but it doesn’t land. Moares catches Ferreria coming in with a short elbow that clearly hurts his opponent. Just as Moares was getting loose, Ferreria "drops" him with a straight left. However the way Moares tries to goad Ferreria to follow him to the ground suggests he may have been playing possum a la Werdum.
I would give the round to Moares, just, but it’s Ferreria’s fight. All three judges agree.
Cezar Mutante Ferreria defeats Serginho Moraes via unanimous decision to become the TUF Brazil middleweight winner (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Rony Jason vs. Godofredo Pepey
(TUF Brazil featherweight title)
Fast star to the fight as the two fighters swing for the fences with Pepey in particular pushing the action. Pepey goes for a couple of takedowns but Jason is equal to the them, so Pepey pulls guard. Pepey going for a kimura. Jason desperately holding his hands together to avoid the submission. Pepey lets go off the kimura. Pepey working to improve position. Yet another fast standup from referee Marc Goddard. Jason catches Pepey coming in with a flying knee and follows up with some strikes. Pepey tries to pull guard but ends up getting slammed down by Jason. The round peters out with Jason working from top position. Difficult round to score but the kimura attempt was the most significant piece of offense in the fight so I give it to Pepey.
Could easily see it being given the other way. 10-9 to Pepey.
They start the round throwing from range but neither man is connecting with anything much — Pepey landing a wild straight left is pretty much the only significant punch to land in the first two minutes. Pepey again pulls guard which is an odd strategy considering the preference of judges to score in favour of the guy on top. Jason eventually stands up and Pepey reluctantly follows him back to the feet. Jason catches Pepey with a straight left on the way in but it doesn’t seem to hurt Pepey. Jason is doing better this round, landing several single shots. Neither man however has been able to put together a decent combination. Not much action in this round. Pepey misses with a spinning back fist while Jason fails to connect with a wheel kick.
No idea how you score that — probably Jason’s round, just barely. 19-19
Jason lands the most significant strike of the fight when he nearly drops Pepey with a counter-left but Pepey manages to just about stay on his feet. Pepey goes for a takedown but Jason shruggs him off. Fight now in the same rhythm as the second round with Jason timing Pepey wild lunges towards the center. Long break in the action after Pepey low blows Jason. Pepey goes for another takedown, can’t get it, tries to pull guard, fails to do that as well. This fight is falling off a cliff in terms of entertainment value. Nothing much happening and Pepey lands another low blow that has Jason rolling around. Pepey does nothing after the restart and indeed gets taken down at the very end. Pepey is angry about something at the end of the fight and has to be restrained by his corner. He quickly calms down.
I have it 29-28 for Rony Jason, as do all three judges.
Rony Jason defeats Godofredo Pepey via unanimous decision to become TUF Brazil featherweight winner (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mike Russow vs. Fabricio Werdum
Werdum hurts Russow early with a short punch after missing with the Thai knee. Werdum catches Russow with a short uppercut on the way in. Russow is repeatedly trying to rush in and get caught with single punches. Russow does however again slip out of the plumb when Werdum goes for the knee. Werdum lands a leg kick. Werdum doing damage with these single punches as Russow is being slowly dismantled. The fight turns into a quick destruction as he drops Russow with a nasty uppercut, following up with nasty hammer fists and straight punches to the head. At 2:28 of the first round, referee Herb Dean has seen enough and Werdum has a win in his first fight in Brazil since 2004.
Fabricio Werdum defeated Mike Russow via TKO (2:28 in the first round)
Yuri Alcantara vs. Hacran Dias
Alcantra pushes the action but his offense is interrupted by a takedown attempt by Dias. Dias pushes Alcantra across the Octagon, continues to work for the takedown up against the cage. He eventually gets the takedown and starts trying to past guard. Alcantra looks very uncomfortable off his back as Dias works for a submission, attempting an arm-triangle choke. Alcantra eventually slips out of the choke attempt only to eat some nice elbows. Alcantra briefly gets back to his feet only to be dropped down with authority. Dias working Alcantra with ground and pound. Alcantra up to one knee but is eating a lot of shots from Dias who has his back. Alcantra manages to spin the position round but Dias grabs his arm, coming close to securing a kimura.
Good round for Dias. 10-9.
Alcantra clearly rattled from the opening round tries to push the action at the start and even goes for a takedown, only for Dias to counter and land up on the top. Dias working his ground and pound only for Alcantra to go for an armbar. He has it on tight but Dias stands up and is able to get out of it. Dias continues in top position but is clearly more cautious for the near miss. The fighters are pushed up against the cage as Dias moves to half guard. The crowd are not enjoying the ground fighting. Alcantra gets back to his feet but Dias has a body lock and throws Yuri back to the ground. Alcantra taking some punishment, particularly from short elbows. Referee Marc Goddard stands the two fighters up, which seems questionable.
20-18 to Dias.
Nothing much happening at the beginning of the round as Alcantra seeks to his distance from the takedown threat posed by Dias. That mitigates his ability to strike effectively, with Dias more than able to stay away from the power of his strikes. Both fighters seem tired and very cautious. Alcantra wings some overhand lefts that miss. Alcantra catches a kick from Dias but gets slapped for his troubles. Crowd is not liking this lack of action. They exchange in the pocket and that gives Dias the proximity to grab a hold of Alcantra and take him down. Alcantra taking repeated punches to the head but manages to slip from under Dias. Dias quickly grabs him however, pushes him up against the cage and gets him down. Dias’ ground and pound not really going anywhere but Goddard was surely too quick to stand the fight; no doubt influenced by the crowd. Dias goes for a takedown and Alcantra stuffs it, taking top position himself. He tries to finish but there simply isn’t enough time. Despite the strong finish it was still Dias’ round and the Alcantra’s win streak is over.
Hacran Dias defeats Yuri Alcantra by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)