Former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos and former Ultimate Fighter winner, Tony Ferguson capped off an action packed UFC card on Saturday night in Mexico City. dos Anjos looked like his old self in the 1st round, when he pressed Ferguson behind a lead right jab and hard leg kicks, however it was Ferguson that made the proper adjustments between rounds and led the rest of the fight. Ferguson pressured the former champion, using his reach, fast footwork, and changed angles to be able to consistently land a load of straight punches to dos Anjos bloody face, and several kicks to the upper legs and calves. While pressuring the pace, Ferguson displayed a granite chin that was able to absorb all dos Anjos’ counter shots. dos Anjos was able to gain some small momentum during the second half of the 3rd round to help him win the round on all three judges score cards, but Ferguson made more adjustments to win the 4th and 5th round. Ferguson beat the former champion by unanimous decision (48-47 on all score cards). The win gives Ferguson his 9th straight win in the lightweight division, which is a record. The win could place Ferguson as the next contender to challenge for the lightweight title.
In the co-main event, long time UFC veteran, Diego Sanchez was able to pull off the biggest upset of the night, when he beat former Bellator standout, and UFC debuting Marcin Held by unanimous decision. The fight was a battle between two grappling wizards. Held spent most of the fight on his back, while continually rolling looking for knee bars, heel hooks, and toe holds. However, Sanchez was able to match all of Held’s moves, while holding top position. Sanchez was able to secure the victory by landing shots from on top.
Charles Oliveira had a very tough Friday, by missing weight by 9 pounds. He has an even worse Saturday, when Ricardo Lamas got arguable the biggest win of his career, by submitting Oliveira in the 2nd round of their fight. The fight started off with a scramble in the 1st round, with Oliveira sinking in a very deep rear naked choke on Lamas, who was saved by the bell in round one. The fight went back to the ground in the 2nd round, but came to an end, when the two fighters scrambled and Lamas locked in a guillotine choke. The submission lose is the 2nd one in a row for Oliveira, who was submitted by Anthony Pettis in August. To make matter worst, Oliveira will be penalized 30% of his show money, which will go to Lamas.
Martin Bravo and Claudio Puelles were the two finalist of the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. Bravo was the 1st pick from coach, Forrest Griffin, while Puelles was the 1st pick of coach, Chuck Liddell. It was team Griffin that prevailed in this one. Bravo impressed with an insanely high pace, being relentless with punching combinations. Bravo stayed in Puelles face, until he was able to send Puelles curled up on the ground due to a volley of body shots. Bravo is crowned the season winner with a 2nd round TKO victory.
In one of the most closely matched up matches, Beneil Dariush won a close unanimous decision over Rashid Magomedov. The difference in the fight, was Dariush’s ability to land kicks to the body while standing at distance, and controlling Magomedov from a Muay Thai plum clinch against the cage. Dariush combined knees to the body and takedown attempts which kept Magomedov on the defense for most of the fight.
Top Mexican female prospect Alexa Grasso showed everyone why she has so much hype in here UFC debut. She battered a bloody Heather Jo Clark for 3 rounds for a unanimous decision. Grasso displayed a full arsenal of weapons by combining fast punches, nice body kicks, a giant slam, and nice reversals on the ground, which kick off the main card.
- Erik Perez over Felipe Arantas by split decision
- Joe Soto over Marco Beltran by 1st round submission (heel hook)
- Max Griffin over Erick Montano by 1st round TKO
- Douglas Silva De Andrade over Henry Briones by 3rd round TKO
- Sam Alvey over Alex Nicholson by unanimous decision
- Marco Polo Reyes over Jason Novelli by split decision
- Enrique Barzola over Chris Avila by unanimous decision