The Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil was home to an action-packed night of fights, with two (T)KOs, four submissions and six decisions, including one split-decision. Tonight also saw the long-awaited return of Lyoto Machida following an incredibly harsh suspension. Unfortunately, “The Dragon” was knocked out in the main event.
Performances of the Night: Derek Brunson and Pedro Munhoz
Sao Paulo’s own Pedro Munhoz came into tonight’s fight a slight underdog to American Rob Font, but he wasted no time in showing the bookmakers the error of their ways. The Brazilian chopped down Font’s lead leg from the opening bell and once his much taller opponent started to worry about the low attacks, Munhoz started throwing at his head with venom.
One of Pedro’s shots, a left hook, stunned Font and turned him into a Division I panic wrestler. Munhoz capitalized on the sloppy takedown attempt with a Rockhold-style one-arm guillotine and that was all she wrote. Munhoz picked up an extra $50,000 for his submission.
Derek Brunson punched Lyoto Machida in the face, then punched him a bunch more in the face on the ground. It was depressing. Brunson got $50k for being the hitman to take out the aging Machida.
Fight of the Night: Elizeu Zaleski vs. Max Griffin
Elizeu Zaleski and Max Griffin put on what is known in technical circles as a slobberknocker of a scrap. Both guys were knocked down by big shots in the first round, but Zaleski was the one pouring on the punishment when the bell rang and if it had gone for another 10 seconds, it could very well have been stopped.
Round two went the same way as round one, except a spinning back kick from Griffin landed clean on Zaleski who, somehow, didn’t even go down. More shots were exchanged and it was starting to look like the American might just fight back into this after losing the first stanza.
Round three saw the Brazilian step up the pace and really start laying strikes into Griffin’s body and head with some real heat. Max just didn’t have that extra gear and couldn’t return fire with the same sort of blows, but he held fast, eating shots and firing back what he could until the final bell. Both men received 50 G’s for their entertaining war.
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