Thiago Tavares and Rousimar Palhares scored big wins in their Spike TV preliminary card fights at UFC Rio. The Brazilians didn’t disappoint, making their fellow countryman proud by winning their bouts in their homeland and on the popular cable channel.
Spencer Fischer vs. Thiago Tavares
Tavares was busy with kicks in the early first round, throwing several before shooting in and taking Fisher down. Tavares remained on top of his opponent against the fence, landing small shots, but not a lot of damage. After a couple minutes, the referee stood them up, but Tavares didn’t want to stay there. The Brazilian took Fisher down again where he transitioned from side control to full mount, then transitioned again, this time to his opponent’s back. The two stood and Tavares clinched Fisher from behind until the round expired.
Tavares continued to press Fisher and take him down in the second round. He stayed on top of Fisher against the fence and continued landing small strikes, scoring points towards winning the round. Tavares eventually found his way to his opponent’s back and started landing bigger shots from that position. It was just a matter of time at this point, and Fisher could do nothing but cover up before the referee stopped the fight.
The stoppage came at 2:51 of round no. 2.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller
Rousimar Palhares defeated Dan Miller in their Spike prelim fight, scoring the unanimous decision at UFC: Rio.
Although the Brazilian thought he won by technical knockout near the end of the first round, Palhares ultimately went the distance with Miller, getting the nod with scores of 29-27, 30-27 and 30-25.
The middleweights started calm and steady before Palhares pulled guard and nearly executed an omoplata. Miller got out before getting back to the feet. From there, Palhares landed a clean front kick that dropped Miller. Miller tried to get back to the feet, but was taken down again, this time by way of a huge slam by Palhares. The Brazilian later landed a head kick that dropped Miller and followed through with some ground and pound. Palhares thought he won the fight and even got up on the cage, raising his hands before referee Herb Dean pulled him down to tell him the fight was still on. Later, Miller landed a left hand that nearly ended the fight as well, but the first round went the entire five minutes.
The second round began with some intense scrambling. Palhares muscled Miller to the ground and began trying to pound away at his opponent, while at the same time avoiding submission attempts. Palhares stayed in top position for nearly the entire round. A bloody left eye was about the only thing Miller was able to collect out of the second frame and the round ended with Palhares in his guard.
Palhares looked winded to begin the third and final round. Miller used his reach to score some points with punches on the feet, but both fighters looked as though the previous two rounds took all their energy. The entire third round was spent with the two fighters trading jabs and overhand rights before the bout went the distance.
“It was a very tough fight, but God willing, I was able to get this far,” Palhares said after the fight.