Kelvin Gastelum Sends Brazilian Fans Home Sad with Devastating Knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106
After a really ugly couple of months for UFC fans, they got something good out of Fight Night 106. From top to bottom, the event in Fortaleza, Brazil delivered solid action and brutal finishes, with the fast-rising Kelvin Gastelum capping the night with a brutal knockout victory over former champion Vitor Belfort. Alex Oliveira, Edson Barboza and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua added impressive highlights of their own and the fights that went to decision were, for the most part, high-energy scraps. This was exactly the card fight fans needed.
- March 12, 2017
UFC Fight Night 106 Fight Card
Main Card (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET)
Kelvin Gastelum def. Vitor Belfort by TKO via Punches at 3:52 of Round 1 Mauricio Rua def. Gian Villante by TKO via Punches at 0:59 of Round 3 Edson Barboza def. Beneil Dariush by KO via Flying Knee at 4:35 of Round 2 Ray Borg def. Jussier da Silva by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Bethe Correia, Marion Reneau Fight to a Majority Draw (29-27 Reneau, 28-28, 28-28) Alex Oliveira def. Tim Means by Submission via Rear-Naked Choke at 2:38 of Round 2
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo by Submission via Rear-Naked Choke at 3:12 of Round 2 Sergio Moraes def. Davi Ramos by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Joe Soto def. Rani Yahya by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27) Michel Prazeres def. Josh Burkman by Submission via North-South Choke at 1:42 of Round 1
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET)
Jeremy Kennedy def. Rony Jason by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) Paulo Borrachinha def. Garreth McLellan by TKO via Punches at 1:17 of Round 1
- via Bleacher Report
Fight Night Turned into a Bloodbath 👀
Here's What Sent the Brazilian Fans Home Sad
Gorgeous win from Gastelum, who showed off two-hand power.
- Invalid Date
- March 14, 2017
- via Bleacher Report
ICYMI: Barboza's Flying Knee 💀
- March 12, 2017
Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum Official Decision
It got dicey for a little while there, but this was the expected outcome. Gastelum weathered the early storm, made the adjustments and scored an impressive knockout that silenced a raucous Brazilian crowd.
The TUF17 winner continues to grow, continues to improve and seems to have found a home at 185 pounds. Gastelum is the future, and that's a good thing.
Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum Round 1
Gastelum stalks forward early but Belfort tags him hard twice, showing a level of hand speed that seemed to be gone. That doesn't scare off Gastelum, however, and he continues pressing forward and knocks Belfort down with a punch and hunts for the finish. Belfort works his way back up and starts firing back, but gets dropped by another left hook. Gastelum starts unloading and the ref quickly steps in and waves the fight off.
Pride Never Die!
This is how Shogun Rua stopped Gian Villante. Well-placed, well-timed punch and a ferocious flurry.
Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante Official Decision
Mauricio Rua def. Gian Villante by TKO via Punches at 0:59 of Round 3
Rua is clearly broken down from the many, many wars he has been in but boy, his timing and accuracy is still there. He's not going to win the title or anything, but this recent run of his is a testament to how good he really is, and makes his heyday even more impressive in retrospect.
Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante Round 3
Villante presses in early, but Rua catches him with a hard shot that puts him on wobbly legs. Rua smells blood and unloads a big flurry. Villante on the cage absorbing punishment. He drops to one knee and the ref immediately steps in. Rua takes it!
Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante Round 2
Round 2 looks exactly like Round 1. Villante is the bigger, stronger man but Rua continues to out-land him. Villante has Rua's respect, and manages to land some hard shots of his own, but the technical discrepancy is obvious. Rua scores another knockdown, but is very carefully rationing his gas tank and doesn't look to finish. Villante seems timid at this point and Rua is functionally coasting, but the suspense is still palpable in this one.
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Rua
Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante Round 1
Rua's body may be failing him, but his striking remains deadly as he starts the fight off with some sniper-like punches to Villante. Villante fires back, however, and staggers Rua with punches, only to clinch him up. Rua recovers quickly and gets right back to out-boxing Villante. The overhand right works wonders for him, and he scores a clean knockdown on Villante. Villante stays alive, but this one isn't looking great for him...
Shogun Rua Does Bad, Bad Things
Newer fans may not appreciate him, and may not have seen his fights in Pride, but that picture there shows what he is capable of.
Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush Official Decision
Edson Barboza def. Beneil Dariush by KO via Flying Knee at 4:35 of Round 2
Barboza can put any lightweight to sleep in a heartbeat. That's not surprising. We know it. His opponents know it. He has maintained his spot in the lightweight top-10 for years now solely on his stopping power.
But man, he is such a phenomenal striker that he just finds ways to catch fans, and opponents, by surprise.
This doesn't necessarily move him forward in the division. It doesn't necessarily move him closer to the title. But if anybody out there was starting to doubt him, this is a strong reminder of what he is capable of.
Eddie "Truck" Gordon Gives Us the Highlight
Yeah...Barboza is a scary, scary man.
Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush Round 2
Dariush literally comes out swinging but Barboza makes him pay with strikes, halting any momentum. They're back at striking range and Dariush shoots for a takedown. He doesn't get it, but Barboza is noticeably less comfortable now, opening up more opportunities for Dariush. A shot to the cup halts the action. The fight is restarted and Dariush looks for a takedown, only to find a lethal flying knee that kills Dariush dead.
That is a scary, sudden ending to this fight.
Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush Round 1
Edson Barboza, unsurprisingly, immediately begins leveraging his striking advantage by battering Dariush with punches. Dariush avoids taking too much damage and fires back, but Barboza is staying exactly where he wants to, and that's just not a recipe for winning.
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Barboza
This Dude Is About to Fight.
Edson Barboza is a downright terrifying man, and his knockout of Terry Etim remains the scariest in UFC history.
Seriously, Though, Star Trek Is Awesome.
Yes, I'm double-dipping on this.
Look, I Know It's Low-hanging Fruit...
But I really like Star Trek. So there.
Jussier da Silva vs. Ray Borg Official Decision
Ray Borg def. Jussier da Silva by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Insert Star Trek jokes here.
But seriously, Borg has arrived in a big way. Da Silva is one of the UFC's most underrated fighters and Borg demonstrated both serious athleticism and impressive technical improvements. At 23 years old, it's hard not to look at him as a champion in the making.
Jussier da Silva vs. Ray Borg Round 3
Da Silva gets an early takedown but an amazing scramble sees both men trade top position, only to result in Borg popping back up and grabbing hold of a single-leg takedown. They swap positions, though, and da Silva ends up slip-sliding his way to Borg's back, with a body triangle locked in. Borg manages to explode his way into top position, and starts pouring on elbows. Da Silva manages to survive, but spends minutes on end on his back en route to the horn.
Bleacher Report scores Round 3 10-9 Borg Bleacher Report scores the fight 30-27 Borg
Jussier da Silva vs. Ray Borg Round 2
Borg found success in the first with punches down the pipe, and he does so again early in the second, landing uppercuts and jabs to the body. Da Silva seems to be slowing down a bit, however, and Borg capitalizes on it by smothering him with clinchwork. The Brazilians' savvy is shining brightly, however, as he manages to match Borg technique-for-technique, keeping him from ever gaining a serious positional advantage. That said, the difference in speed and physicality was much more obvious in the second round, and that puts the American ahead two rounds to nil.
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Borg
Jussier Da Silva vs. Ray Borg Round 1
Da Silva and Borg are top-10 flyweights and, unsurprisingly, the first round is a frenetic one. Da Silva is an underrated veteran, but Borg is demonstrating much more confident, smooth striking. Da Silva isn't phased, though, and manages to avoid damage while leveraging his strong clinch game. Both men get their licks in to the point where this one felt like a 10-10. Gun to our head, though...
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Borg
UFC Fight Night 106 Performance of the Night?
Correia still managed to show some new moves immediately after getting pounded on for five straight minutes.
On the Other Hand...
She knows her strengths, and makes the most of her solid timing and brute strength.
There's a Bit of Debate on Correia...
On the one hand, she's unathletic, slow and lacks the finishing skills to make up for it.
Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau Official Decision
Bethe Correia, Marion Reneau Fight to a Majority Draw (29-27 Reneau, 28-28, 28-28)
Gutsy performance by both women and a deceptively fun fight to watch. Still, neither woman looked particularly formidable in the end and if they end up facing some of the division's tougher fighters, it likely won't end well.
This Is the Kick That Stopped Correia's Momentum Dead
It wasn't pretty, but boy, Reneau's kick was effective and led her to an utterly dominant third round.
Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau Round 3
Reneau lands an early headkick that staggers Correia badly, and Reneau starts looking for the finish. Correia is in survival mode, shooting for a desperation takedown that instead puts Reneau in mount position. A deluge of punches land and a scramble moves Reneau to the mounted crucifix, and then to hooks-in back mount. Reneau is showing a great ability to to stay in dominant positions and continues landing punches and hunting for a rear-naked choke. Correia survives and pops right on up, but man, that third round was an ugly one for the hometown favorite.
Bleacher Report scores Round 3 10-8 Reneau Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-27 Reneau
Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau Round 2
Correia is getting more comfortable, but Reneau continues out-landing her. One of Reneau's punches, however, seemingly flipped a switch in Correia who suddenly has perfect timing, and a wider arsenal of punches. Reneau goes for a knee, but Correia absorbs it, grabs it and gets a takedown. She rides out the rest of the round on top and evens the scores with us.
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Correia
Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau Round 1
Reneau looks considerably more technical and athletic here, but Correia is willing to absorb a strike in order to fire back. Still Reneau is finding her range and finding early success with body kicks. Correia wisely starts clinching up, but doesn't stay especially active. They break and Reneau gets right back to work with strikes, but Correia manages to get a takedown in the closing seconds that probably locked up the round for her with the Brazilian judges (but not with us here).
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Reneau
Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means Official Decision
Alex Oliveira def. Tim Means by Submission via Rear-Naked Choke at 2:38 of Round 2
So...is Alex Oliveira actually really good? It's been easy to overlook him to this point. Heck, a year ago he was 3-2 in the UFC with both losses falling into the "devastating" category. Now he's 6-2 (1) in the UFC with back-to-back wins over a top-10 lightweight in Will Brooks and a super-scrappy Tim Means.
It might be time to reevaluate the other Cowboy...
At least this is better than that time where he showed up heavy against Will Brooks, beat him via injury and then made a jerk of himself.
Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means Round 2
Oliveira feels like he has the advantage in the grappling department and is actively looking to exploit it. He clinches up with Means, gets back control and, this time, successfully gets him to the ground. Sinks in the hooks, goes for the rear-naked choke and gets it without much trouble.
Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means Round 1
Alex Oliveira is in savage grappling mode! After scoring an early takedown, Oliveira goes full Rustam Khabilov with slams, drops and suplexes on Means. That success made him somewhat cocky, though, as he sloppily tried to drag Means to the mat from behind, only to get reversed. Means lands in side control, but can't quite do enough with it to swing the round back in his favor.
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Oliveira
As We Wait for the Main Card to Start...
Let's remember the moment that helped Bethe Correia take off in the UFC bantamweight division!
This Guy Gets It!
And, of course, his reaction GIF game is on-point.
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Kevin Lee Official Decision
Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo by Submission via Rear-Naked Choke at 3:12 of Round 2
I can't overstate how big this win is for Lee. Trinaldo is an exceptional fighter that entered the cage tonight on a seven-fight winning streak that was built entirely at the expense of formidable opposition. Lee managed to endure his offense, make adjustments and score a convincing finish.
This win should be a wake-up call when it comes to the 24-year-old. He may not be a top-10 fighter quite yet, but he certainly seems to have it in him.
The Beginning of the End.
This is the sequence that set Kevin Lee up for his huge win.
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Kevin Lee Round 2
Lee is looking more measured in his offense, and that's paying dividends in the opening minutes of Round 2 as he is effectively playing matador to Trinaldo's wild bull. Lee stuns Trinaldo with a high kick and Trinaldo immediately shoots for a desperation takedown. Lee counters with a leg sweep and lands directly into mount. Trinaldo gives up his back and Lee sinks in a rear-naked choke for the win.
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Kevin Lee Round 1
Action is turned up to 11 in the opening minute, as Trinaldo explodes into strikes, Lee explodes into a takedown, Trinaldo explodes out of it and both men explode back to range! They dial it back a bit, but neither man is willing to give an inch. Lee eventually gets hold of Trinaldo and starts working the clinch, but Trinaldo escapes and blasts him with a punch. Lee's endgame is clearly to make this a grappling bout, but Trinaldo manages to stay at a comfortable range, and out-work Lee for the majority of the first round.
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Trinaldo
I Wasn't Exaggerating, by the Way!
There's Joe Soto pounding on Rani Yahya and all that blood, both on their bodies and on the mat, came from Soto. Really impressive that he could even walk around after getting drained like that.
Sergio Moraes vs. Davi Ramos Official Decision
Sergio Moraes def. Davi Ramos by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kind of surprising that the judges unanimously scored every round in favor of Moraes, but it's hard to gripe about it. Neither man looked particularly great and a 30-27 scorecard in favor of Moraes isn't out of line at all.
This was still a fight to forget in what has been a solid night of MMA thus far, though.
Sergio Moraes vs. Davi Ramos Round 3
Ho-hum! More of the same, except with a bit of role reversal. Moraes is now ceding the center of the cage, but is staying generally more active. They trade positions but the fight continues to be defined by both men putting more effort into avoiding damage than dishing it out. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the result is a boring, and difficult-to-score, fight.
Bleacher Report scores Round 3 10-9 Moraes Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Ramos
Sergio Moraes vs. Davi Ramos Round 2
Moraes comes out a bit more active, keeping Ramos along the perimeter of the cage while throwing more. Ramos lands a clean punch, however, that stuns Moraes and backs him off, but Ramos does little to maintain that momentum and, before long, Moraes is back to controlling the action. Despite that, Ramos continues throwing, and landing, more strikes.
Once again, neither man does much to cement themselves as the winner of the round, but once again, we'll score this one...
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Ramos
Sergio Moraes vs. Davi Ramos Round 1
Very little action in this round, with both men planting their feet in the center of the cage. Ramos throwing more, but Moraes generally doing a better job of controlling the Octagon. Neither man landed much of consequence and neither did anything to really cement themselves as the winner of the round. This could be scored even, but we'll go with...
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Ramos
Rani Yahya vs. Joe Soto Official Decision
Joe Soto def. Rani Yahya by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Really great rally there from the former Bellator champion, and an exceptionally gutsy performance. He is now riding a three-fight winning streak and is poised for bigger-name opponents in the coming months.
That's a really tough one for Yahya, though, as it halts a four-fight winning streak and kills his momentum in a crowded bantamweight division.
The Headbutt That Turned This into a Bloodbath
Both men threw at the same time, and both men wound up covered in blood from it. Almost all of it was Soto's.
Rani Yahya vs. Joe Soto Round 3
Yahya actually needed to be helped off the mat by his corner after the end of Round 2, and he looked no less exhausted after Round 3 started, with Soto taking Yahya down and out-working him with very little difficulty. Soto is demonstrating remarkable cardio considering he has lost an absurd amount of blood.
Yahya absorbs punches for minutes on end, but explodes off the mat with a minute left. This is an absurdly strong second wind and Yahya is pouring it on, but Soto manages to land another takedown to end any rally, and secure the fight.
Bleacher Report scores Round 3 10-9 Soto Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Soto
Rani Yahya vs. Joe Soto Round 2
Soto comes out strong early and tags Yahya with punches before a clash of heads opens up a huge cut on both men. Soto is gushing blood and the referee quickly intervenes and actually breaks up a scramble to have a doctor check on the cut.
The fight is restarted and Yahya seems to be working with an empty gas tank while Soto seems to be working with most of his blood splattered across the cage. That works just fine for Soto, though, as Yahya is doing little more than standing in place and shooting for half-hearted takedowns. Soto is considerably more active and swings the fight back in his favor.
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Soto
Rani Yahya vs. Joe Soto Round 1
Yahya opens strong early, showing some unusually solid striking that complements his grappling well. Soto is visually off-balance from it, too, and is ceding all the momentum to Yahya. Yahya enjoys that advantage, and keeps Soto in his shell standing for much of the round. With a minute and change left, Yahya shoots for a single and gets it, working through a Soto guillotine transition attempt.
Bleacher Report scores Round 1 10-9 Yahya
Josh Burkman May Be Retiring...
And he has had one big, long, wild career.
And Just Imagine...
...this basically went on for another 30 seconds. Burkman took one hell of a needless beating before the stoppage came.
Michel Prazeres vs. Josh Burkman Official Decision
Michel Prazeres def. Josh Burkman by Submission via North-South Choke at 1:42 of Round 1
Strong showing by Prazeres. Very strong, even! The Brazilian is now on a four-fight winning streak and Burkman is a good, veteran name to have on his resume.
Michel Prazeres vs. Josh Burkman Round 1
Prazeres explodes out of the gate with strikes and quickly staggers Burkman. Burkman stays upright, but seems to be out on his feet as John McCarthy seems completely content in watching him absorb punishment. For a solid minute, Prazeres hammers Burkman until Burkman (kind of) pulls guard. Prazeres ends up getting hold of Burkman's neck and finishes the fight from sprawl position with a choke.
Important Note for the Fights Tonight
The new rules and judging factors have been adopted by some states, but not others. Brazil, meanwhile, seems to be picking out which parts they like and making their own set of rules!
Here's the finish from Fight Night 106's first fight.
Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Kennedy Official Decision
Jeremy Kennedy def. Rony Jason by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Strong showing from a young Kennedy, but also an awful showing by Jason. The TUF: Brazil 1 winner seemed like a hot prospect at one point, but hasn't done much since and now is 1-4 (1) in his last six. That's damning in the hyper-competitive featherweight division.
Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Kennedy Round 3
Kennedy is back in business and scores a takedown on Jason without too much difficulty. Jason springs back up quickly and gets back to range, but not for long, with Kennedy taking him down again. This time, Kennedy makes him pay and lands ground and pound without trouble for a long, long while. Jason gets back up with an omoplata attempt, but gets slammed back down to the mat again in the final seconds to secure the round and, probably, the fight.
Bleacher Report scores Round 3 10-9 Kennedy Bleacher Report scores the fight 29-28 Kennedy
Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Kennedy Round 2
Jason clearly hasn't been deterred by Kennedy's successful aggression, pressing the action early in the second and scoring a knockdown with a flying knee. Kennedy manages to survive and Jason seems to be gassed from that offensive explosion. The ref stands them up with under a minute left and Kennedy quickly lands a hard shot to the cup. The action resets, but nothing of note happens and Kennedy makes no effort to swing the scorecards back in his favor.
Bleacher Report scores Round 2 10-9 Jason