The UFC returned to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday night for another set of exciting fights. While the Brazilians continued to find success in their home country, a few notable upsets blemished their otherwise stellar record.
The evening featured several alumni of both the American and Brazilian editions of “The Ultimate Fighter,” including TUF: Brazil season one winner, Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira, and runner-up, Sergio Moraes. Each fighter put on an impressive performance in their respective bout, and they should face a step up in competition when Joe Silva comes calling once again. The American TUF alumni on the other hand went 0-3 for the night, and based on the UFC’s recent precedent in cutting these types fighters at least one of them may be looking for a new employer by the end of the weekend.
There were plenty of intriguing upsets throughout the night as well. After talking a big game, Vinny Magalhaes once again failed to back up his talk once he stepped into the octagon. One flush right hand dropped him to the canvas, as his 41-year-old opponent was able to put him to sleep with follow-up hammer fists. Earlier in the night, UFC newcomer Amanda Nunes faced off against powerful German kickboxer Sheila Gaff in an exciting female Bantamweight bout. Despite losing her own octagon debut, many pegged Gaff as the favorite due to her experience and striking advantage. What transpired was one of the more aggressive fights of the evening, as the women traded strikes in the clinch before Nunes was able to finish the fight by strikes on the ground. The most controversial upset of the name came during the co-main event. Machida and Davis battled to a three round decision that saw each of the judges awarding “Mr. Wonderful” with a unanimous decision. Machida seemed to land the more significant strikes, but Davis was able to secure takedowns at the end of each of the first two rounds that likely made the difference. The hometown crowd made it clear how they felt about the judges’ decision, and Machida showed his astonishment in the post-fight interview.
The main event started out slowly as each fighter engaged selectively in the striking exchange, but eventually things started to open up between the Jose Aldo and the Korean Zombie. Aldo defied many pre-fight predictions by largely leaving leg kicks out of his arsenal and seeking takedowns during the middle rounds. In the fourth round, Jung suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury while throwing a strike. The champion used the opportunity to attack the should with kicks, and completed his fifth UFC title fight with strikes on the ground.
There were a few more fights of note throughout the evening. Ian McCall finally earned his elusive first win inside the octagon, facing off against a game opponent in Iliarde Santos. The two men engaged in several entertaining striking exchanges, but McCall’s speed and combinations gave him a well-earned decision win. Finally, former Middleweight title contender Thales Leites made a successful return to the octagon in a bloody battle against Tom Watson. Despite being put in a series of bad positions, Watson fended off his opponent’s submission attempts to gut out a decision loss. Leites returns after spending the last 4 years outside the promotion, and looks to make waves once again in the Middleweight division.
[table caption=”UFC 163 Fight Card Results”]
Fight,Winner, Round, Result
Aldo v. Jung,Aldo, 4, TKO
Machida v. Davis,Davis, 3, UD
Ferreira v. Santos,Ferreira, 1, SUB
Leites v. Watson,Leites, 3, UD
Lineker v. Tome,Lineker, 2, TKO
Magalhaes v. Perosh,Perosh, 1, KO
Gaff v. Nunes,Nunes, 1, TKO
Magney v. Moraes,Moraes, 1, SUB
McCall v. Santos,McCall, 3, UD
Yahya v. Clopton,Yahya, 3, UD
Barroso v. Oliveira,Barroso, 3, UD
Andrade v. Marunde,Andrade, 1, TKO