Yuri Alcantara looked to become the first man to defeat Urijah Faber in a non-title fight when the two squared off at UFC Fight Night 26 at the TD Garden in Boston on Saturday night, but it wasn’t to be.
Faber came storing across the ring at the opening horn, but Alcantara tossed him to the mat. A scramble ensued, Alcantara taking Faber’s back, both hooks in. The Brazilian worked Faber with hammerfists to the side of the head for a couple of minutes, trying to soften him up for a submission.
Faber remained calm, escaped and slammed Alcantara to the mat, turning the tables and unleashing a brutal assault of elbow strikes to finish the round.
They were right back at it, storming across the Octagon to start the second round, but this time it was Faber that took control, Alcantara on his back with Faber on top in his guard. Faber punished Alcantara with heavy elbows, stuffing his attempts to regain his feet until less than a minute left in the round. Faber tossed him back to the mat, but ran out of time to do any more damage.
Alcantara stymied Faber’s takedown attempts early in round three, but the former WEC champion was relentless, eventually planting the Brazilian on the mat again. Much like round two, Faber kept Alcantara down, grounding and pounding him, although he had to stave off several submission attempts en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Alcantara made it difficult, but Faber knew that’s what he was in for, he just had to rely on his conditioning and enforce his will.
“A guy like that is a true Brazilian warrior,” Faber commented after the fight. “I knew it was gonna be tough, but I just had to use my skill level and go where I knew I could beat him.”
The victory kept Faber on track to make another attempt at a UFC title. He failed to win the interim belt in a fight with current interim bantamweight champion Renan Barão last summer at UFC 149, but has won three consecutive fights since.
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