After a night full of great fights, surprising outcomes, and overall a very entertaining card in Sao Paolo, one thing for certain is that there are very important happenings in the UFC now that this card has finished. Let's get into what went on.
Golm (win) vs. Colombo
In the first match of the night, we had a Heavyweight bout between young Brazilian Marcelo Golm and UFC newcomer Christian Colombo. Golm made his UFC tonight, and he did not disappoint. He began the fight by landing with a great hook in his first combination he threw against Colombo. He lands a couple more big shots and backs Colombo against the cage, where they then clinch up, as Colombo has to do something to stop the punches.
However, Golm shows off his well rounded skills with a well timed trip and lands right on top of Colombo in full mount. Golm then begins raining down ground and pound strikes, looking to finish Colombo in the first 2 minutes of the fight. Colombo was in a bad position and was forced to give up his back, and using his position to his advantage, Golm sinks in a rear naked choke and Colombo taps quickly, having been fully caught in the submission with no other options. Marcelo Golm def. Christian Colombo via R1 Submission.
Brooks vs.Figueiredo (win)
Next up, we had a Flyweight match-up between two UFC newcomers looking to further prove themselves, a fight between American Jarred Brooks and Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo. In the first round, both men came out looking to impose their grappling game. Deiveson tries to clinch up but Brooks separates quickly, then circles back around and shoots for a takedown unsuccessfully. Deiveson then pushes him against the cage after standing him up, but then Brooks reverses and successfully grabs the Double leg, then walks over and slams down Deiveson in the middle of the octagon.
Brooks then begins to work some ground and pound in the closed guard of Deiveson. Deiveson works his way back to his feet after taking a couple of punches, but is once again slammed after Brooks shoots and secures another double leg. For the final minute of the round, Brooks works more ground and pound, decisively taking the first.
In the second round, Deiveson comes out and swings a bomb of a hook towards his opponent, which Brooks ducks under. He then tries to take the back of Deiveson with a standing rear waistlock, but Deiveson reverses and gets Brooks against the cage. He uses his position to separate and then lands a good punch and knee on Brooks. Brooks is able to circle away again, though, and then shoots for another double leg. Deiveson takes advantage of the position Brooks puts his neck in and grabs onto a guillotine choke. Although at first it looks tight, Brooks remains calm and is able to work his way out. He doesn't keep top position for long, as Deiveson kicks him off and gets to his feet.
He tries to catch Brooks with a couple of power shots but Brooks times him and takes him down, with Deiveson once again grabbing onto the guillotine. Brooks is able to power out of it again and this time lands some good punches from on top in Deiveson's guard. Deiveson begins to work out of it again but Brooks reverses and Referee Mario Yamasaki warns Brooks for grabbing the shorts, making them resume on the feet.
In the final moments of the 2nd, Deiveson is able to land some good strikes and a successful trip takedown. In the 3rd, the action begins with another grappling exchange, Deiveson reversing Brooks' takedown and trying to grab another guillotine, and Brooks then escaping once more. As they get up Brooks goes for another takedown, getting it, however failing to keep Deiveson down. After some knees in the still-engaged clinch, Brooks takes down Deiveson again, and Deiveson looks for the Kimura, unsuccessfully. He gets up and chases Brooks a bit looking for big shots to try and knock him out. After a pair of takedowns by Brooks, submission attempts by Deiveson, and getups, the final horn sounds. After a close fight, Deiveson Figueiredo def. Jarred Brooks taking away the Split Decision win.
Dos Santos vs. Griffin
In the first fight of the TV-aired Prelims, we had a fight between two Welterweight strikers, Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos and Max Griffin. The first round was Dos Santos' as he was able to find his jab multiple times throughout the round and was also able to land punches following the jab, cutting open Griffin's cheek 2 minutes in. Dos Santos tried some takedowns this round but was shut down by the sprawl of Griffin. Griffin had some success landing strikes on Dos Santos but he got caught late in the round and was staggered by a combo of Dos Santos, also being knocked down by the barrage.
Zaleski tries a submission attempt briefly but as they both get up Dos Santos continues to barrage Griffin with punches, until the round ends, Griffin being saved by the bell. Despite the beating he took in the first, the second round actually saw Griffin come back and put some damage onto Dos Santos. After stuffing another takedown attempt by Dos Santos, Griffin lands a spinning kick then a well placed punch that dropped Dos Santos.
He isn't out of it yet, and as he bounces back to his feet they clinch. After separating they have more back and forth exchanges and its obvious that Griffin has fully recovered. After some back and forth shots in another clinch exchange, the round ends.
In the 3rd, both men come out aggressively despite the fatigue they both seem to start showing. Dos Santos lands a good right but Griffin comes back with his own, and then Dos Santos with a pair of good rights then clinches with Griffin. He then unloads with several combinations of knees and punches in the clinch, backing up Griffin as he does so. They are pressed against the cage with 50 seconds left and after separating Zaleski unloads a final barrage, with Griffin offering a shot back that doesn't compare to the shots Dos Santos was throwing and landing. The fight ends and Dos Santos celebrates as the crowd cheers. Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos Def. Max Griffin by way of Unanimous Decision.
Gordon vs. Dias
In the next fight of the prelims, we have a lightweight bout between a UFC newcomer looking to make his mark in the lightweight division, Jared Gordon, and a UFC veteran returning to the 155 lb division, after losing two in a row at 145, Hacran Dias.
The first round showed that Dias still has some of the explosive striking that got him success in the UFC before. However Gordon was hanging with him, as they exchanged strikes early. Gordon is able to briefly take down Dias with a trip after catching his leg, but they stand and as Dias fails a takedown of his own, it is apparent that Gordon isn't phased by Dias' early striking success, despite wearing a cut on his face.
He continues forward pressure throughout this round that would be pivotal in his success throughout the duration of the fight. In the second round, Gordon comes out with this forward pressure and this keeps Dias backing up. After a clinch exchange and a Dias takedown, Gordon gets to his feet and begins unloading punches on Dias. He continues to score and although Dias lands shots of his own they aren't enough to stop "Flash" Gordon as he backs up Dias into the fence and clinches him, hitting him with good shots and doing damage against the cage.
Gordon then gets a takedown, then lands a flurry of good punches before Dias gets the half guard. The remainder of the round consists of Gordon raining down brutal ground and pound, repeatedly going back to the hammerfist. Dias survives until the end of the round on the bottom eating these shots, blocking them for what he could.
In the third, Gordon continues his constant forward pressure as he finds homes for his jabs early. He continues to find success against the clearly diminished Dias. Gordon has Dias against the cage in a clinch and continues to work his body with punches. After they separate, time is called after Dias is eye poked accidentally, and then the fight resumes. Gordon shoots a takedown and Dias goes down into a whizzer trying to get back up, but Gordon reverses and gets on top once more.
He remains here for the remainder of the fight trying to finish Dias. He is raining down punches and the referee even briefly steps in, causing Gordon to reel back thinking it was over, but the ref doubled back and allowed the action to go on, prompting Gordon to continue the ground and pound attack. In the final seconds Dias throws up an armbar, which Gordon defends for the last seconds of the fight to seal his dominant performance. Jared Gordon def. Hacran Dias by Unanimous Decision.
Carlos vs. Marshman
In the 3rd preliminary bout, we have a middleweight showcase between Antonio "Cara de Sapato" Carlos Jr. and Jack Marshman. The fight started out slow, both men exchanging cautious shots. Marshman stays on the outside, having the disadvantage in size. Antonio began to show his striking skill with some good right hands, but as Marshman tries to catch one of his kicks, Antonio manages to tie up the Welshman in the clinch and get him to the canvas.
This was bad news for Marshman, who immediately tried to tie up the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Carlos jr, in his full guard. This would prove to be a futile effort, as Carlos Jr. Would eventually get into half guard and after some patience and well placed strikes, he passes into full mount, skillfully. He begins raining down well placed and selected ground and pound shots, keeping top mount control and forcing Marshman to give up his back. Antonio then gets his arm under the chin and hand onto his bicep, locking in the rear naked choke so quickly that Marshman can't even get a chance to defend, and he taps out. Antonio Carlos Junior def. Jack Marshman by R1 Submission.
Luque vs. Price
In the final fight of the prelims, we have a Welterweight bout between two up-and-coming UFC talents that have both shown huge potential: Vicente Luque and Niko Price. In the first round we saw caution from both men but Luque showed more of his power, landing good combinations that backed up Price multiple times. He is also working good leg kicks.
Price is showing skill of his own, working his jab and scoring some shots on Luque, which showed by his reddened nose. Luque lands a pair of lefts and then a knee at the end of the round, leading Price to frustratingly throw a combo of his own at the end, missing most of the shots. In the second round, Luque continues to work his low kicks and well timed jabs and punches that follow it.
Price finally finds a home for a good combination, causing Luque to reset and assess a bit before continuing against Price. After more well placed jabs and kicks, Price begins to slow down a bit and Luque then lands a good knee that damages the eye of Price. After a failed takedown by Price, Luque throws a right then a left, and the left lands flush, knocking Niko down. Luque follows and tries to put on a D'Arce choke, and Price stands up a bit, seemingly avoiding the submission. But after a quick adjustment, Luque grabs the choke and locks it in fully, rolling backwards back onto the ground, locking in the choke with maximum torque, forcing Price to tap out, giving him his first Loss. Vicente Luque def. Niko Price via R2 Submission.
Lineker vs. Vera
In the first fight of the Main card we have an important Bantamweight collision between John 'Hands of Stone' Lineker, and Marlon 'Chito' Vera. The first round starts off slow, as both men are tentative in the beginning and exchange leg kicks. The majority of the round goes this way until the final moments, where Lineker goes to the body with a good left to the body. He goes back with a right hook to the body then a left hook that hits the chin of Vera, causing him to stumble back as Lineker closes in with a flurry of heavy punches as the round ends.
The second round begins with some more leg kicks by Vera, but this time Lineker is able to close the distance on Vera earlier and lands some good shots against the fence, followed by a good straight right. Vera grabs a clinch but Lineker pulls away after defending knees, going back to the heavy punches that land once more on Vera's jaw and hands that try to block it.
Vera comes back with some leg kicks and a good left that gives him some distance to work with. Lineker then however comes back with more heavy punches that back up Vera, and 'Hands of Stone' then works a good trip and lands on top trying to ground and pound Vera for what he can. The round ends just as Vera gets back to his feet.
In the 3rd, Lineker comes out strong but this round Vera is able to use his kicks more to time Lineker and try to do more damage. As Vera grabs the clinch he tries more knees and goes high with them, trying to knock out Lineker. They move to the fence where they struggle and continue to battle for position while throwing strikes. As they separate Vera tries more kicks and knees with some success, but Lineker is able to avoid the crucial shots and the final horn sounds. John Lineker def. Marlon Vera by Unanimous Decision.
Hermansson vs. Santos
In the next match-up we had an exciting Middleweight match-up between Up-and-comer Jack Hermansson and UFC Middleweight veteran Thiago Santos. This fight was a bit slow to start out but it quickly was certain that Thiago was going to do well. He landed the first good shots of the bout with a good left punch and body kick combo. Hermansson tried to go for the takedown but ended up just getting Santos against the cage.
After getting loose, Thiago once again unloads with good shots and lands a great left hook on Hermansson. Hermansson steps forward after taking some time to reset but definitely looks more apprehensive now that he's been on the receiving end of a few combos from Thiago. Thiago himself continued the combinations and in the final 10 seconds of the bout he landed a good body kick then pair of hooks that sent Hermansson to the floor, where Thiago followed and pounded out his opponent with a flurry of ground and pound shots, one after the other until Referee Jerin Valel steps in and stops the fight just as the horn sounds. Thiago Santos def. Jack Hermansson via TKO at 4:59 of Round 1.
Miller vs. Trinaldo
Next up we had a Lightweight contest between two true veterans of the UFC, American Jim Miller and Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo. In the first round, both men come out tactfully, not wildly throwing. Normal for a fight between two veterans. Trinaldo eats a right from Miller but then gives a good hook of his own back. Miller trips Trinaldo after catching a kick, but ends up on the bottom as Trinaldo is able to scramble and get to top position as they go down. After some grappling exchanges they get back to the feet and trade a couple strikes before Miller shoots for a double leg and gets it, holding Trinaldo down with his grappling skill until 4:45 of R1, which gave Trinaldo just enough time to land a knee before the round ended.
In the second round, both fighters come out with strikes but Trinaldo is landing the harder shots. Miller is landing shots, but Trinaldo begins to mix up his with body work as well and then reverses a takedown, going into his own. Miller grabbed a guillotine but Trinaldo worked out of it and got to half guard, where he postured up and rained down left hands for the remainder of the round as Miller covered up for the final moments of it.
In the third round, Trinaldo came out his strongest. He lands a good knee on Miller which briefly drops him to his knees, and as he gets up Trinaldo also works his body with hard shots. Trinaldo then walks down Miller, eating the occasional punch to land a combination of his own. As they work in a clinch against the fence, Trinaldo takes down miller, landing in his guard where he goes to work with elbows and punches, and even if Miller tried to work out of it, he had too little time left and Trinaldo finished the fight with a strong statement. Francisco Trinaldo def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision.
Font vs. Munhoz
In our next bout we have a Bantamweight match-up between two of the most exciting up-and-coming 135ers in the UFC, USA's Rob Font and Brazil's Pedro Munhoz. This fight was an important one as these fighters are ranked #13 and #12, respectively, and this was to see who would climb the ladder in the stacked Bantamweight division. This fight began with Munhoz leg kicking Font, trying to affect the lead leg of his opponent. Font however, is making good use of his reach and height advantage, finding a home for his jab multiple times. Munhoz tries for a leg lock but fails, and they go back to the feet.
They exchange more and although Munhoz lands a couple powerful shots to the body and head, Font uses his jab well. After another failed takedown from Munhoz, as they stand, Font eats a good left that Munhoz threw. In desperation he goes for the takedown, he is likely rocked. Munhoz drops into an arm in guillotine and rolls through, landing on top with the choke fully locked in. Font is caught, and he taps out with no other choice other than unconsciousness. Pedro Munhoz def. Rob Font via Round 1 Submission.
Covington vs. Maia
In our Co-Main event of the evening, we had a 170 lb contest between two similar yet different welterweights. #7 Ranked Welterweight Colby Covington squared off against #3 Demian Maia in what would be a fight between two grapplers.
This fight however, went differently than most would've expected. To begin the fight both men were standing and trading strikes. Maia landed a series of good 1-2 combinations, and Covington also threw mostly punches and some leg kicks. Maia sticks with the punches and actually opens up a cut on the corner of Covington's eye, just under the outside edge of his eyebrow.
Colby however continued with low kicks and also was able to stuff all of Demian's takedown attempts. Maia lands a good left that staggers Colby for a second and he shoots a takedown, but Colby is fine enough to stuff it. The round ends as they get back to their feet.
In the second, Maia goes for a takedown early, and is again countered by a Covington sprawl. Colby then gets Maia against the fence and starts landing good strikes against him. Again Maia shoots for a takedown, a single leg, and again Colby stuffs it. He gets to his feet leaving Maia on the ground, waving Covington down, asking him to drop into his guard. Colby stayed up and Referee Jerin Valel ordered Maia to his feet. Maia continued to shoot for takedowns in this round and couldn't get any of them against Colby, and his fatigue from the excessive striking he did in the first was becoming more and more obvious. The round ends with Colby landing a good left on Maia.
In the 3rd, we see an accumulation of all of the work Demian had done with no success. He tried to keep up with strikes but they lacked power and Colby is the fresher fighter at this point, as he lands a good overhand of his own Demian shoots. Stuffed again. The round goes on with Maia unsuccessfully going for takedowns, and in the final moments, Covington stays down on a sprawl and begins raining down hammerfists.
Maia's face is getting increasingly bloodied and Referee Valel almost stops the fight, having to remind Maia to move and not let himself get pounded out. The final horn sounds and Colby celebrates. Colby Covington def. Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision.
Machida vs. Brunson
Now, we get to the main event of the evening. In this Middleweight bout, he have the return of Lyoto 'The Dragon' Machida. He's been absent for 2 years because of a suspension that he had to serve after he admitted to accidentally taking a banned substance. This is Machida's first fight since 2015. He faced off against #7 ranked Middleweight Derek Brunson, who is doing quite well in the division and is coming off of a KO over Daniel Kelly.
This fight started slowly, with Machida in his signature karate stance, reading Brunson. He avoids a flurry by Brunson and connects with a left hand to cheers from the crowd. They have a couple more exchanges like this, Machida popping a good shot and Brunson chasing, coming up short as Machida moves back. However then, Machida stepped into a punch and as Brunson ducked, launching an overhand left. Machida didn't see it in time and backed up too late, as the punch cracked him on the chin, causing him to stumble.
Brunson immediately saw this and landed a short but hard straight left that buckled Machida's leg's causing him to trip and begin falling. Brunson followed him down with punches and as Lyoto landed on his back, barely defending, Brunson got on top and threw down four more huge punches, knocking Machida unconscious as Referee Osiris Maia rushed in on the final strike to halt the bout. Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida via KO (Punches) in Round 1.
Overall this card had surprising results, the most of which was how powerfully Derek Brunson triumphed over Machida. One can think that Machida is coming towards the end of his career now, not being able to withstand that very top of the young and vicious pool of talent in the 185 lb division. Brunson has showed himself to be one of the most dangerous Middleweights in the world.