Round 1: Brandao lands a head kick, goes to the mat with Gambino and fires off a coupe punches, but Gambino recovers and regains his feet. Brandao takes the center of the Octagon and chops at Gambino’s lead leg. Gambino starts to get his jab going, but isn’t getting any follow-up. Brandao answers back with a side kick to the body that puts Gambino on the fence. Gambino comes with and lands a left-right combination and then follows with a right hand, right leg kick combination. Gambino presses Brandao to the fence, but Brandao scoops a leg and takes Gambino to the mat, landing in side control with 1:30 left in the round. Gambino gains his half guard, but Brandao is still in a controlling top position and dropping some shots to the body and head. Gambino gets full guard and then fires off an upkick and escapes to his feet where he lands a nice left hook. Brandao lands a left of his own and then they lock up for the remainder of the round. MMAWeekly.com scores round one 10-9 for Brandao.
Round 2: Gambino lands a combination, Brandao answers back. Brandao moves in with a huge overhand right that drops Gambino to the mat. Brandao follows him down and moves to full mount with one foot trapped, and then Gambino quickly gets back to a full guard. Brandao lands a couple big elbows before Gambino attempts an armbar. Brandao quickly escapes the hold and they return to their feet. Brandao lands a left hook to the body. Gambino shoots, but Brandao reverses position and clinches Gambino on the fence before scooping a double-leg and taking Gambino to the mat. Brandao goes back to punching and elbows from inside Gambino’s full guard. Gambino clinches, but Brandao keeps working for an opening, but the referee quickly stands them up. Both fighters trying to find an opening with 30 seconds left, but neither able to land much before the horn. MMAWeekly.com scores round two 10-9 for Brandao.
Round 3: Gambino really starting to press the fight, but Brandao catches a kick and drops Gambino to the mat courtesy of a huge right hook. He doesn’t follow Gambino this time and waves him back to this feet. Gambino ducks under a punch and shoots, but Brandao defends, clinches and trips Gambino to the mat, landing in Gambino’s full guard. Brandao immediately starts his ground and pound mixing shots to the body and head. Gambino trying to tie him up, but Brandao started to land some short elbows. Gambino goes after an arm, but Brandao slips past to half guard. Brandao is dropping punches, as Gambino is hanging on, but the referee again, surprisingly, stands them up with a minute left. Gambino lands a left hand, but Brandao is just dropping his hands, urging Gambino forward, but neither fighter lands again before the final horn. MMAWeekly.com scores round three 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for Brandao.
Diego Brandao def. Joey Gambino by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3