In the main event of UFC on ESPN+2 in Fortaleza Brazil on Saturday night, Marlon Moraes avenged a 2017 loss to Raphael Assuncao. Here’s a brief recap of all the highlights from the evening’s action.
RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VS MARLON MORAES
These two men fought to a split decision in Moraes’ UFC debut at UFC 212 in June 2017, but the rematch was far more conclusive. Since dropping that debut, Moraes had been on a tear winning three straight coming into this fight. Knowing a strong performance could position him for a UFC bantamweight title shot, Moraes did not disappoint.
The fight started tentatively, with both men attempting to find their range. Moraes landed a couple of solid leg kicks and Assuncao threw an oblique kick that stumbled Moraes. Two minutes into the first round Moraes landed a big overhand right that wobbled Assuncao, then followed it up with a bigger one that dropped him.
Assuncao was able to recover his closed guard to shake out the cobwebs, then started to look for sweeps from butterfly guard. Moraes showed great balance in staying on his feet and continued to work with ground strikes.
As Assuncao sat up on an elbow, Moraes pounced on an arm-in guillotine. Initially going to his back, he then rolled Assuncao into the mount while holding onto the choke. Moraes dropped his hips and squeezed, leaving Assuncao no choice but to tap at 3:17 into the fight.
After the fight, UFC analyst Michael Bisping asked him to send a message to bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw and Moraes obliged. Stating T.J. didn’t deserve a fight with him after his last fight. You can read more about that in this excellent article, not that I’m bias or anything.
After this performance Moraes is the logical next contender for the belt, but it remains to be seen what Dillashaw does next as he has talked about a rematch with flyweight king Henry Cejudo.
JOSE ALDO V RENATO MOICANO
In the co-main event featherweight G.O.A.T, Jose Aldo racked up his second straight win following back-to-back title losses to current champ Max Holloway. While only 32; but a lot older in fight years, the former champ had said coming in that this was the start of his retirement tour, and he intended to fight three times in Brazil this year before hanging up the gloves.
The first round was a cagey affair, with both men exchanging jabs and leg kicks as they settled into the fight. Early in round two, Moicano attempted a jumping knee but as he landed Aldo countered with a left hook over the top that wobbled Moicano. Aldo followed it up with a lead left that rocked his opponent even further.
From there Aldo swarmed, winging wild shots to the body and head to back Moicano up against the fence. A knee, two uppercuts, and a straight right followed and referee Jerin Valel had seen enough, stopping the fight 44 seconds into the second round. Aldo celebrated the victory in trademark fashion. Leaping over the cage and jumping into the crowd to celebrate with his fellow countrymen.
DEMAIN MAIA VS LYMAN GOOD
In a featured welterweight bout, Brazilian veteran Demian Maia got back in the win column with a vintage display against former Bellator champion Lyman Good. The 41-year-old grappling legend rolled back the years with a beautiful display of Jiu-Jitsu en route to a first-round submission win.
As soon as the bell rang, Maia backed Good up against the fence and immediately shot for a single leg. With Lyman against the cage, Maia switched to a body-lock and dragged Good to the mat. Good was able to avoid being flattened out, posting on a hand and getting back to his feet. Maia worked for an inside trip, causing Good to stumble forward and base out on his hands.
Maia seized his opportunity and jumped on his opponent’s back, throwing his hooks in and looking for the rear-naked choke. Good was able to get to his feet but Maia continued to work the choke from standing and applied pressure with a body triangle. Good survived admirably, hand fighting for over a minute, but the outcome was inevitable with the tap coming at 2:38 of the first round.
- Marlon Moraes def. Raphael Assuncao, Submission (guillotine choke) R1 3:17
- Jose Aldo def. Renato Moicano, TKO (punches) R2 0:44
- Demian Maia def. Lyman Good, Submission (rear-naked choke) R1 2:38
- Charles Oliveira def. David Teymur, Submission (anaconda choke) R2 0:55
- Johnny Walker def. Justin Ledet, KO (spinning backfist and punches) R1 0:15
- Lívia Renata Souza def. Sarah Frota, Split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Markus Perez def. Anthony Hernandez, Submission (anaconda choke) R2 1:07
- Mara Romero Borella def. Taila Santos, Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Thiago Alves def. Max Griffin, Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jairzinho Rozenstruick def. Junior Albini, TKO (head kick and punches) R2 0:54
- Geraldo de Freitas def. Felipe Colares, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Said Nurmagomedov def. Ricardo Ramos, TKO (spinning body kick and punches) R1 2:28
- Rogerio Bontorin def. Magomed Bibulatov, Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
BONUS AWARDS ($50,000 each)
Performance of the night:
- Marlon Moraes
- José Aldo
- Charles Oliveira
- Johnny Walker