Raphael Assuncao (27-6) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-5-1)

What a night of vengeance for the underdog Marlon Moraes! Having fallen just short in the first bout by split decision, Moraes took the night, and Assuncao, in his hands and squeezed both for all they were worth.

Both fighters came out in the first round throwing leg kicks and heavy punches, but it was Moraes who landed first: two heavy right hands that dropped Assuncao to the canvas.

Moraes pursued and fell into Assuncao’s half-gaurd, which I felt was a mistake, allowing Assuncao time to recover. However, Moraes wasn’t going for the knock out. He knew he had this fight in his hands, and all he had to do was be patient.

After eating a few punches landed from the top, Raphael Assuncao tried to scramble up to his feet, but he went right into the waiting arms of Marlon Moraes for the guillotine, and quickly had to tap.

For Raphael Assuncao this loss couldn’t have come at a worse time. Many saw him as the next contender for the Bantamweight belt, after TJ Dillashaw’s failed attempt at the usurpation of Henry Cejudo’s title in the Featherweight division.

Is Marlon Moraes the next up? He sure thinks so.

Victor: Marlon Moraes, 1st round submission, guillotine

Renato Moicano (13-2-1) vs. Jose Also (28-4)

It was a slow start for the former Featherweight king Jose Aldo and the up-and-comer Renato Moicano, each unable to effectively read their opponent and find their range during the entirety of the first round. 

However Jose Also opened up at the start of the second, rocking Moicano with punches to the head.  Moicano was visibly hurt and wisely protecting his head, but Aldo switched to the body, and then promptly delivered uppercuts when Moicano dropped his arms to defend. 

Referee Jerin Valel had no choice but to step in and save Moicano from the barrage of strikes hailing from Aldo.

It was a spectacular show for Jose Aldo, who had lost three out of his last five, after starting his career 25-1.  Although Aldo has said that he will retire after this year, it’s clear that if he does, he’s not making that decision due to any noticeable deficiencies in Octagon production.

Victor:  Jose Aldo, 2nd round TKO

Lyman Good (20-5,1) vs. Demian Maia (26-9)

Demian Maia came out and quickly closed the distance, backing Lyman Good up to the cage.  This is typically a bad place to be against anyone with a grappling pedigree, because it doesn’t leave any room behind you to sprawl when defending against a take down attempt.  This is especially bad if the person in front of you is three-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Cup Champion Demian Maia, and take down is exactly what he did.

Maia couldn’t secure a position on top, and Good tried using the fence to stand back up.  However, upon returning to his feet Good turned and gave Maia his back.  Maia quickly jumped to the occasion (and onto Good’s back).  He secured a body lock with his legs and promptly began attacking Good’s neck.

Good did a decent job fighting the hands and keeping his chin tucked, not allowing Maia to secure an arm under his neck for the choke.  But Demian Maia began landing strikes to the sides of Good’s head, which Good then had to defend, and gave Maia easy access to what he had been seeking.

Maia slipped his arm under the chin and against the neck of Lyman Good and secured a tight standing rear naked choke that Good had to tap to. 

Victor:  Demian Maia, 1st round submission, standing rear naked choke

David Teymur (8-2) vs. Charles Oliveira (26-8,1)

This was certainly a strange fight, with a point being deducted from David Teymur no less than 30 seconds into it for an eye poke.  Referee Jerin Valel told him that even though it was inadvertent, the eye poke would be affecting the outcome of the fight, and a point had to be taken. 

Shortly after, Oliveira complained about another eye poke, and wanted the action to be stopped.  The referee would have none of it, and forced the fighters to reengage.   Upon replay it did appear that Oliveira was poked again.

Charles Oliveira seemed none too pleased about the eye pokes, and began calling out  David Teymur, to which Teymur quickly obliged with a huge overhand punch that landed squarely and put Oliveira on the mat. 

Oliveira quickly recovered however, and returned to his feet after a scrum.  During the last few exchanges, Oliveira seemed the more confident fighter as the horn blew to end the first round.

Between rounds, Oliveira was heard telling his corner that he was having problems seeing out of one of his eyes, and that he would need a quick finish.  A quick finish is exactly what would become of the second round.

Immediately as the second round began, Charles Oliveira engaged and struck David Teymur with an up-elbow, visibly rocking Teymur.  Oliveira followed with some heavy hands, to which Teymur lowered his head to avoid.  This seemed to appease Oliveira quite nicely, as he took a hold through the bottom of Teymur’s neck, grabbed his bicep, fell to the floor and wrapped Teymur into a fight finishing anaconda choke.

Victor:  Charles Oliveira, 2nd round submission, anaconda choke

Justin Ledet (9-2,1) vs. Johnny Walker (16-3)

Brazil’s Johnny Walker has exploded onto the MMA scene, riding a now 8 fight win streak following a first round dismantling of Khalil Roundtree at his Octagon debut and an even more impressive and dominant performance over Justin Ledet at UFC Fight Night Fortaleza.

Before the fight began, fans saw a visibly relaxed Johnny Walker having his back against, and both arms outstretched, and resting over the top of the cage.  That would serve as a stark contradiction to what we would see immediately following the fight’s commencement.

Walker immerged from the cage and flew a high kick at Justin Ledet, barely glancing his head.  However, a spinning back fist immediately followed and landed squarely to the face of Ledet.  Understandably, Ledet crumbled to the canvas and in what could have been the biggest mistake of his young UFC career, Walker ran at the downed Ledet and took a soccer style kick at him, which luckily missed.  Had it landed, the fight almost surely would have ended in a disqualification for Walker.

The short mental lapse aside, Walker then stood over Ledet and delivered several huge punches until the referee mercifully stepped in and stopped the carnage, officially the 5th fastest knock out in Light Heavyweight history.  In a style that we have quickly become to know as that of Johnny Walker, he celebrated with spinning kicks, backflips, and even popped the worm across the octagon floor.

Johnny Walker is clearly one of the most exciting and dangerous prospects of the Light Heavyweight division, and he can expect to be called upon to challenge some of the better-known names of the division very soon.

Victor:  Johnny Walker, 1st round KO

Sarah Frota vs. Livinha Souza

In the first match on the main card of UFC Fight Night Fortaleza, and the only fight to go the distance, we had Sarah Frota vs. Livinha Souza.  It was a close fight where Frota visibly rocked Souza 2 times, however she was unable to capitalize on either of those occasions.

Souza clearly felt that she had the advantage on the ground, having a background that’s heavy in Judo.  She attempted several takedowns throughout the fight, and had some success on the ground.  At the end of the second round, she had Frota’s back, hooks in, and was well on her way to securing the neck of Frota, but was unfortunately stopped by the horn.

The third round went mostly similarly to the first two, with a nice takedown by Frota and some punishing hammer fists whilst in Souza’s guard. 

I had the fight scored 29-28 Frota, but in a fight this close, this is why it’s so important to leave it all on the mat, and not leave it up to the judges.

Victor:  Livinha Souza, split decision

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