Round 1: Medadi getting his jab going early, but Marcello mixing it up early on his feet as well, throwing some good kicks with his punches. Madadi, however, lands the first significant combination, backing Marcello to the fence with punches. Marcello fights his way off the fence, but Madadi keps pressing and throwing punch combos, landing more frequently and with more accuracy than Marcello. Madadi lands a hard left hook, follows with the right, and comes back a short time later with another left that has Marcello racing backwards. A little less than two minutes left in the round and Marcello is bleeding heavily from the nose. He lands a couple low kicks and front kicks, but Madadi shoots and takes him to the mat with just under a minute left. There referee stands them up for the last 10 seconds of the round and Marcello lands a solid kick to the body. MMAWeekly.com scores round one 10-9 for Madadi.
Round 2: Madadi immediately takes control in the center of the Octagon and starts pressing with his punch combinations. Madadi lands an uppercut and then catches Marcello with a couple follow ups, but remains patient, not pressing the fight too much. Marcello however fires back with a kick-punch combination. Madadi answers with another punch flurry, rocking Marcello, who fights back and gets a few punches of his own into the mix. Madadi again lands the uppercut and rocks Marcello, but the BJJ coach keeps fighting back. Madadi lands a straight right, leaving Marcello staggering. Madadi follows up with several more hard shots, but Marcello won’t go down… until Madadi takes him down and lands in Marcello’s closed guard. He’s there for just a few seconds before the referee restarts them on their feet. Marcello lands some solid punches, a kick to the body, and couple more punches before the bell. MMAWeekly.com score round two 10-9 for Madadi.
Round 3: Madadi lands a hard right hand early to get the round going, but Marcello is really working his jab now, mixing in low kicks. Madadi shoots and lands a takedown, but quickly allows Marcello back to his feet and lands a stinging jab that snaps Marcello’s head back. Midway through the round and both men are bloody. Marcello lands a spinning back kick, but Madadi answers with more hard punches. Marcello comes on, however, with a solid knee and follows with his best punch combinations of the fight. Both men looking tired, but Marcello has taken the center of the Octgon and is pressing the final minutes of action, punching, punching, punching. He stalks Madadi to the final horn. MMAWeekly.com score round three 10-9 for Marcello, but the fight 29-28 for Madadi.
Cristiano Marcello def. Reza Madadi by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27), R3