The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil fighter Marcos Vinicius withstood two rounds of being controlled on the ground by elite grappler Wagner Campos before exploding for a TKO win in the third round.
The two TUF: Brazil teammates are both BJJ black belts, but Campos clearly was on an entirely different level than Vinicius. Even so, Campos couldn’t finish the head-arm choke he locked in during the first round, and mysteriously gave up on it.
During the second round, Campos tried to lock in a kimura, but Vinicius was able to defend against it.
Instead, Vinicius landed hammerfists from the bottom, while staying active using upkicks to keep Campos aware of potential threats before simply trying to dive in.
Heading into the third round, Campos was up 20-18 on the scorecards, when Vinicius landed a flying knee to the body. From there, he landed another knee and unleashed a number of big punches against his stunned opponent, with referee Herb Dean stopping the fight just 1:07 into the third and final round.
“First of all, this win was amazing,” Vinicius said in the octagon after the fight. “I can’t even compare the feeling of being inside the (‘TUF’) house. Now, I get to have my wife and my family with me. This is truly a gift from God.”
I absolutely love when a fighter understands he is down on the scorecards and suddenly bursts out of nowhere to surprise his opponent.
As the third round started, I expected to see Vinicius continue to fight off his back, as Campos would try to implement the same game plan that saw him succeed through the first two rounds.
The TKO finish for Vinicius helped him collect a $65,000 “Knockout of the Night” award from the UFC—and since the fight happened on the Facebook prelims, he likely gained a few new fans along the way.
What's next for the featherweight?
If the UFC wants to keep him against Brazilian fighters, matchups between Vinicius and Felipe Arantes or Hugo Viana would be viable options. The UFC plans on heading back to Brazil in the fall, and it would be a perfect time to showcase the lighter Brazilian weight classes again.