UFC 147: What We Learned from Francisco Drinaldo vs. Delson Heleno

Michael HatamotoContributor IIIJune 23, 2012

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Francisco Drinaldo completely dominated his fight at UFC 147 Saturday night, beating Delson Heleno by TKO in the first round. The victory bumped his pro record up to 11-1, and he should be able to take another step up in competition. He looked absolutely great defending Heleno’s takedowns and then landing power strikes to help set up the finish.

It was supposed to be a longer fight between two talented Brazilian fighters, but Drinaldo ensured he was able to dominantly clam the win.

What Fans Will Remember From This Fight

Drinaldo dominated the fight from the opening bell, when he caught Heleno with a right hand as his Brazilian foe shot in for a takedown. Drinaldo was able to land a few devastating knees to his opponent, along with some potent strikes.

Drinaldo was able to finish the fight with punches and hammerfists as Heleno just covered up and absorbed the abuse.

What We Learned About Francisco Drinaldo

He’s a monster. A former Jungle Fight lightweight champion, Drinaldo showed his excellent takedown defense and ground-and-pound. He’s definitely a legitimate prospect and will aim to make a splash in the UFC, even if it’s no longer in the middleweight division. 

What We Learned About Delson Heleno

Not too much to learn from this fight. Heleno absorbed a lot of punishment from Drinaldo and was unable to survive the first round. Heleno is better than this, so he needs to make sure he performs better and brings a smarter game plan the next time he enters the UFC Octagon.

What’s Next For Delson Heleno

Clearly not a good showing for someone as experienced as Heleno. At 34 years old, the Brazilian fighter still has time to showcase his wares, and he will have at least one more fight in the UFC Octagon. Give him a fight somewhere in the top 20 and see what he can actually bring to the table.

What’s Next For Francisco Drinaldo

Looks like Drinaldo wants to move down in weight, which sounds like a scary proposition for welterweights or lightweights in the UFC. His takedown defense, striking and ground-and-pound looked stellar against an overwhelmed Heleno.

Whether he drops to lightweight or welterweight, expect the UFC to give him a legitimate test against a good fighter, as he clearly has potential.