Round 1: Blanco immediately moves forward looking for a takedown. Arantes shakes off the attempt and lands a right hand. Blanco closes the distance and they briefly clinch before separating. Blanco’s hands are really low. He moves in with a combination. He delivers punches to the body and takes Arantes down. He works in the half guard position. Arantes attempts a reversal and gets to his feet. He lands a superman punch. Arantes picks up the pace and lands an outside leg kick. Blanco moves forward and lands a series of punches to the body. Blanco lands an uppercut. Arantes covers. He fires back with a right hand that makes Blanco move away. Arantes leaps in with a knee to the body. He lands a right hand that drops Blanco. Arantes jumps on him and takes Blanco’s back. Blanco recovers and ends in top position. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Arantes.
Round 2: They exchange leg kicks to start the second frame. Blanco lands an outside leg kick that trips up Arantes. Blanco gains top position and delivers elbows and short punches to the body. Arantes applies a triangle choke. Blanco elevates him and slams him twice to get free. Blanco allows Arantes to stand. Arantes changes levels and works for a takedown. Blanco counters the takedown attempt. Arantes lands a lead uppercut. Blanco goes to the body with a right hook. Blanco changes stances. Arantes delivers a knee to the body. Blanco lands with a kick to the body. Arantes catches it and counters with a right hand. Blanco steps in with a combination. Arantes presses forward. Blanco takes him down in the center of the Octagon. He lands a few short elbows, but not doing much from the top. The referee stands them up. Blanco lands and Arantes counters. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Blanco.
Round 3: Blanco lands to the body to start the third. Arantes moves in with a combination. Blanco works to get the fight to the ground, but Arantes stuffs the attempt. Arantes lands a right hand. Blanco throws a kick that lands clean on Arantes’ cup. Arantes is given time to recover. It sounded like it was a heavy shot. Arantes lying on his back in the center of the cage. Arantes gets to his feet and walks it off. The referee takes a point away from Blanco. The fight is restarted. Blanco presses forward. Arantes lands a right hand. Blanco delivers a hard kick to the body. Blanco secures a takedown. Arantes works for an arm. Blanco defends. Arantes goes for a leg. Blanco pulls his leg free but Arantes gets to his feet and takes Blanco down. Blanco works his way back to his feet. Arantes presses forward. He looks to take Blanco down. Blanco defends it and lands punches to the body. Arantes lands to the body. The referee separates the fighters. Blanco presses forward. He lands a leg kick. Arantes answers with a kick to the body and presses Blanco against the cage. They separate and the round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-8 for Arantes.
The judges scored the fight for Arantes by unanimous decision. All three scorecards read 29-27.
“We were both coming off losses, it’s terrible to fight under that kind of pressure. You end up holding back a bit. Thankfully I listened to my cornermen and kept moving forward the entire time. I think I would have done better I hadn’t been hit by that groin shot. I have to thank my team and the people who’ve been there for me all along. This win is for them.”
“I was afraid I was never going to make it to Brazil. The stress of the trip got to me a little bit. But my opponent is an interesting fighter.”