Unbeaten welterweight prospect Mike Perry usually ends his fights in the first round, but Saturday at Manchester Arena, “Platinum” had to wait until 20 seconds were left in the fight to get his knockout victory, as he halted Danny Roberts in the third and final round of their exciting UFC 204 bout.
Perry was the aggressor throughout the first half of the opening round, but he was largely ineffective, as Roberts scored with several counter punches and kicks. With 2:20 remaining though, Perry finally caught up with Roberts and landed a hard knee that led Roberts into a takedown attempt that came up empty. While on the mat, Perry was in control, and by the end of the frame, the two were standing but it was Perry rocking his foe with several hard strikes that brought the fight back to the canvas.
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Roberts had his legs back under him to begin round two, and he proceeded to look sharp with his striking. But again, midway through the round, Perry began to turn up the heat and let his hands go. This time, Roberts weathered the attack, and thanks to some hard kicks to the leg, he was able to put Perry on the defensive for the first time. A right hand by Perry was the equalizer though, as he drilled Roberts and then ended the frame with a potent barrage of ground strikes.
Both fighters got their share of shots in as the third round got underway, and the crowd loved it, especially since the back and forth action continued throughout the frame. But in the closing minute, Perry closed the show, rocking Roberts with a knee and then following it up with a right hand that dropped Roberts. Two shots later, referee Marc Goddard intervened at the 4:40 mark.
With the win, Orlando’s Perry improves to 9-0; London’s Roberts falls to 13-2.
SANTOS vs. MARTINS
In a clash of Brazilian lightweight veterans, Leonardo Santos extended his current unbeaten streak to 11 with a split decision win over Adriano Martins.
The first round could be summed up as Martins chasing and Santos retreating, but that would be over simplifying things, as Santos may have landed the most telling blows of the round, as his kicks and knees when Martins got too close allowed him to keep dictating where the fight took place.
Santos introduced more forward motion into his attack in round two, which left him open to counters from Martins, but there was still precious little action to separate the two.
In the third, Santos briefly looked for a takedown but came up empty; Martins didn’t make him pay though, making it another largely tentative round from both fighters. Martins did try to kick it into second gear late as he went in search of the win, but the victory went to Santos via scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29.
With the win, Rio de Janeiro’s Santos moves to 16-4-1; Manaus’ Martins falls to 28-8.