The Brazil crowd showed up in force for the UFC 134 prelims on Facebook, and the local favorites did not disappoint. Paulo Thiago got back on track with a unanimous decision win, while Erick Silva made the most of his debut with a knockout taking less than one minute.
David Mitchell vs. Paulo Thiago
A loud and raucous crowd greeted Paulo Thiago with open arms, and he responded with a dominant three round decision win over David Mitchell to cap off the Facebook prelims at UFC 134.
The Brazilian was actually bouncing back from two losses in a row, so a win was the most important business for Thiago at UFC 134, but having the Rio crowd behind him didn’t hurt. Ultimately, it was Thiago’s strategy that won him the fight, taking Mitchell down multiple times over three rounds.
Mitchell put on a sloppy and uneven performance as he tried to showcase his boxing, but never put together any real combinations to do damage. Thiago meanwhile put Mitchell on his back over and over again, and in the third round came close to a rear naked choke after taking the American’s back.
Time ran out before Thiago had a chance to finish the fight, but he still put on the performance he needed to get the win and please the Brazilian crowd.
“I was going through a very tough moment in time, but I trained a great deal for this,” Thiago said after the win.
After several months off and two losses in a row, Thiago is now back in the win column and wants to build on that with his next fight in the Octagon.
“I’m an employee, so whatever Lorenzo (Fertitta) decides, that’s what I’m going to do and I’ll be happy for it,” Thiago commented.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Johnny Eduardo
Moving down to 135lbs worked out well for Raphael Assuncao who picked up his first win in the UFC defeating fellow Brazilian Johnny Eduardo by unanimous decsion.
A veteran of the WEC and the UFC, Assuncao definitely looked like the more confident and level headed fighter when he stepped into the cage on Saturday night. While Eduardo didn’t look bad, it appeared his nerves along with the threat of the takedown from Assuncao rattled his strategy.
The 2nd round was fairly even until Assuncao managed to get Eduardo to the ground with less than a minute to go and slipped in to take his opponent’s back. Assuncao ran out of time to finish the fight, but was closer during that moment than at any other time during the fight.
The judges agreed with Assuncao’s performance and gave him 30-27 scores across the board.
“I’m just coming off my weight cut to 135, and I feel great at 35,” said Assuncao after moving to the bantamweight division. “I’m going for contendership, and thanks to all my fans.”
It didn’t take long for Jungle Fight champion Erick Silva to let his impact be known to the UFC, landing a huge right hand to put away Luis Ramos just seconds into the first round.
There wasn’t much of a feeling out period when Silva came over the top with a big right hand, cracking Ramos on the jaw and sending him crashing to the mat. Silva follwed up quickly with a few more punches and while Ramos looked to block a couple of them, the ones that slipped through sent his head bouncing backwards.
Referee Herb Dean saw enough and stepped in to stop the fight before Ramos could endure any more damage. Silva now moves to 1-0 in the UFC with the first stoppage of the night on the UFC 134 card.
Yuri Alcantara vs. Felipe Arantes
In a battle of two Brazilians, Yuri Alcantara used better ground control, wrestling and jiu-jitsu to beat his fellow countryman Felipe Arantes.
Alcantara showcased strong mat skills taking Arantes down repeatedly, and quickly passing his guard into several different positions. During the 2nd round, Alcantara got into the mount and when punches weren’t working he tried for a rolling triangle choke, but Arantes slipped out.
The remainder of the fight was controlled by Alcantara with takedowns and ground control to pick up a unanimous decision victory.
Ian Loveland vs. Yves Jabouin
After a 1-3 start to his Zuffa career, Canadian Yves Jabouin was definitely in need of a win at UFC 134, but came out strong and ended up with a split decision victory over Ian Loveland in Brazil.
The early going saw Loveland put his Team Quest training to use as he put Jabouin on his back and avoid the diverse striker’s most dangerous weapon. Towards the end of the first round is when Jabouin started to gain momentum after catching Loveland with a quick punch, staggering the fighter and sending him backwards towards the cage.
Loveland survived, but from that moment on he struggled to get Jabouin back to the mat into his kind of fight. Jabouin was able to establish his stand-up, and out pointed Loveland for the majority of the remainder of the fight.
Two of the judges gave the fight to Jabouin, while one judge did give the decision to Loveland. The victory puts Jabouin back on track and guarantees him another fight in the UFC.