UFC 133 Results: Rafael Natal Earns His First-Career UFC Victory

Todd SeylerContributor IAugust 8, 2011

Rafael Natal landing an iniside-leg kick on Paul Bradley
Rafael Natal landing an iniside-leg kick on Paul Bradley

Behind a unanimous-decision victory, Brazilian Rafael "Sapo" Natal earned his first-career UFC win this past Saturday at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Wells Fargo Center.

Capitalizing on his five-inch reach advantage over Paul Bradley, Natal utilized a variety of inside leg kicks and roundhouse kicks as well as straight punches to maintain his distance on the solid grappler.

Keeping Bradley at bay with his length and excellent movement, "Sapo" limited Bradley's strengths as a wrestler, securing a less-than-enthusiastic victory.

Bruising the inside of Bradley's left leg and the outside of his thigh on that same lead leg, Sapo's leg kicks ultimately wore down the All-American wrestler from Iowa, rendering Bradley ineffective in executing his game plan.

Bradley was 3-11 in takedown attempts, yet did minimal damage on the ground. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt training out of New York City, Natal stymied any potential threat while in Bradley's guard and performed excellent hip escapes to re-establish the standup position.

Taking the fight on 12 days' notice, Bradley's lack of cardiovascular conditioning was also exposed during this matchup.

Behind solid cardiovascular conditioning, an efficient standup striking game plan and excellent jiu-jitsu skills, Natal clearly dominated Bradley from start to finish.

Natal elevated his overall MMA record to 13-3-1, 1-1-1 in the UFC. Needing this victory over Bradley, Natal's next bout will be against a higher-caliber opponent within the middleweight division.

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