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Shevchenko dominant in Belem co-main

Read on for UFC Belem main card results...

SHEVCHENKO vs CACHOEIRA

A heavy favorite in her UFC flyweight debut, former bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko made an immediate statement in the UFC Belem co-main event at Arena Guilherme Paraense with a punishing performance against Priscila Cachoeira capped off by a submission that ended the fight in the second round.

"Flyweight division, say hello to your worst nightmare."@BulletValentina #UFCBelem pic.twitter.com/wH0IVtPbyv
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2018

Shevchenko took over as soon as the two fighters were waved into battle, with her crisp and accurate strikes staggering Cachoeira. Then it was off to the mat in the opening minute, with Shevchenko putting the Brazilian on her back. There, Shevchenko bloodied her opponent with a ferocious ground-and-pound attack, but remarkably, Cachoeira made it out of the round.

The fight went back to the mat early in the second round, Shevchenko locking up Cachoeira’s arms and firing off more strikes. The Rio de Janeiro native was being outclassed at this point, and with referee Mario Yamasaki not stopping the fight, Shevchenko decided to switch strategies to finish by submission, and she did, sinking in the rear naked choke that forced the tap at 4:25 of round two.

Shevchenko moves to 15-3 with the win. Cachoeira falls to 8-1.

PRAZERES vs GREEN

It may not have been the most spectacular win, but Belem native Michel Prazeres will take it, as he extended his winning streak to six with a three-round unanimous decision over Desmond Green.

Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.

Green (20-7) did a good job of keeping the much larger Prazeres – who missed weight for the fight by five pounds – from implementing his usual power grapping attack in the first round, and he used his own wrestling to put Prazeres on the mat.

The New Yorker put Prazeres (24-2) down again early in round two, but Prazeres fought his way back to his feet fairly quickly, and with a little over two minutes left, he got his own takedown and got into mount as he looked for an arm triangle. Green escaped, only to get caught in a guillotine choke, but again, the resilient American got loose. Prazeres kept the pressure on and sought a north-south choke, but came up empty.

In the third, Prazeres got a takedown with 90 seconds left, and in a close fight, that move may have sealed the deal for the hometown favorite.

JOHNSON vs GOLM

No. 15-ranked heavyweight contender Tim Johnson put an end to the unbeaten run of Brazilian prospect Marcelo Golm, as he used a disciplined attack over three rounds to take a unanimous decision victory.

Johnson had things his way in the first round thanks to his clinch attack, which kept Golm from getting his offense in gear. And while the Brazilian was forced into the second round for the first time in his career, he started strong with a kick to the head and some follow-up shots against the fence in round two. Johnson recovered well, though, and he went back to his swarming clinch game, draining the gas tank of his opponent with each passing minute.

Johnson’s striking game was sharp in the final frame, and he used his punches to set up the clinch. While on the inside, he threw short punches and knees to keep the referee out of it, but Osiris Maia did separate the two with under two minutes left. Johnson was undeterred, fighting through a knee to bull Golm into the fence once more, and when the final horn sounded, there was no surprise that the judges returned scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Fargo’s Johnson, who ups his record to 12-4. Sao Paulo’s Golm falls to 6-1.

SILVA DE ANDRADE vs VERA

Para bantamweight veteran Douglas Silva de Andrade fought a focused fight for 15 minutes as he scored a three-round unanimous decision over Ecuador’s Marlon Vera.

Silva (25-2, 1 NC)  was the busier fighter in the first round, which was mostly contested on the feet until a pair of late takedowns by the Brazilian wrapped up the frame for him. Getting down to business in the second, Vera (10-5-1) began upping his work rate and scoring, but Silva didn’t let up, opening a cut over his opponent’s right eye as he landed with his haymakers and put another round in the bank. The third was close, but it was still Silva’s round, as he finished strong and picked up the win via identical scores of 30-27.

SANTOS vs SMITH

No. 15-ranked middleweight contender Thiago Santos upped his winning and knockout streak to four in the main card opener, as he stopped Anthony Smith in the second round.

Santos started fast, drawing a roar from the crowd for a spinning kick to the head that landed flush but didn’t rattle Smith. Another kick from “Marreta” followed and Smith ate that one as well, but as Santos moved in, he slipped to the mat and Smith took the mount position. Santos reversed position, and while Smith tried to hold on, Santos ripped off several hard body punches. With a minute left, the two rose and Smith chased after his foe, and the two planted and threw elbows that landed, cutting Santos and dropping Smith. Santos attempted to finish, but “Lionheart” made it out of the round.

In the opening minute of the second stanza, a Santos body kick dropped Smith, and again, Santos unleashed fire on the gutsy Smith, who tried to recover, but ultimately, the series of unanswered shots was enough for referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight at the 1:03 mark of round two.

Rio de Janeiro’s Santos moves to 17-5 with the win. Omaha’s Smith falls to 28-13.