Former world title challenger Glover Teixeira continued his march toward another crack at the light heavyweight belt Saturday at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, stopping Patrick Cummins in the second round of their UFC Fight Night co-main event.
Cummins opened the bout with a takedown, Teixeira bouncing right back up. Another takedown followed moments later, and again Teixeira didn’t stay there long. The subsequent stand-up exchanges were fairly even until Teixeira started landing consistently with his left hand, forcing Cummins to seek – and get – his third takedown. When they rose again though, Texieira was jarring his opponent with his strikes, and it was back to the mat as soon as Cummins could get close. This time Cummins was able to cut Teixeira on the way back up, but it was the Brazilian getting the last word with a combination that rocked his foe just before the end of the frame.
Buoyed by his strong finish in the previous round, the 36-year-old Teixeira went on the attack immediately to start the second, bloodying Cummins and landing with practically everything he threw. Eventually, nothing was coming back from the Californian, and referee Herb Dean had seen enough, halting the bout at the 1:12 mark.
With the win, the number four-ranked Teixeira moves to 24-4; the number nine-ranked Cummins falls to 8-3.
THOMAS ALMEIDA vs. ANTHONY BIRCHAK
Sao Paulo bantamweight phenom Thomas Almeida continued to impress in his bout with Anthony Birchak, scoring a devastating first-round knockout that moved his perfect pro MMA record to 21-0.
The number eight-ranked Almeida let Birchak (12-3) lead as the bout opened, but it was the hometown hero who was landing the harder blows in response. Getting hit seemed to light a fire under Birchak, as he begin scoring. Just when he was appearing to get ahead of his opponent though, Almeida would tag him with jarring blows to the head, and with a minute left, “Thominhas” smelled blood and went for the finish. And he got it, with a vicious straight right dropping and knocking Birchak out. Referee Keith Peterson immediately stepped in, the official time 4:24.
ALEX OLIVEIRA vs. PIOTR HALLMANN
Charismatic Brazilian lightweight Alex Oliveira used one right hand to break open a close bout against Poland’s Piotr Hallmann, ending it in the third round via knockout.
Oliveira (13-2-1, 1 NC) was as loose and confident as a fighter can be before the bout, and he carried that attitude into the Octagon, with his unorthodox striking attack cutting Hallmann and keeping him in control throughout the first frame.
Hallmann (15-5) was able to break Oliveira’s rhythm with a takedown in the opening minute of round two, but when the action stalled, referee Mario Yamasaki restarted the bout. Going back to the mat with two minutes left, Hallmann worked his top game, getting in some strikes before the horn.
In the final round, Oliveira did his best to keep his distance and in doing so, he ended the fight in emphatic fashion, with a single right hand knocking Hallmann down and out. The official time was :51 of round three.
RASHID MAGOMEDOV vs. GILBERT BURNS
Rashid Magomedov removed Gilbert Burns from the ranks of the unbeaten in lightweight action, earning a clear-cut three-round unanimous decision victory.
All three judges saw it 30-27 for “Goretz,” who has won 12 straight.
Burns got a couple brief takedowns early in the first round, but the rest of the frame belonged to the accurate striking of Magomedov, who calmly picked and poked at his opponent with kicks and punches.
In the second, Magomedov remained in control and nearly ended the bout after hurting Burns with several right hands, one of which put “Durinho” on the deck. And while Burns remained game and made an early rush in round three, it wasn’t enough to overcome the technically sound and disciplined attack of the Dagestan native.
Magomedov improves to 19-1 with the win; Rio native Burns falls to 10-1.
COREY ANDERSON vs. FABIO MALDONADO
A mix of boxing and wrestling by 14th-ranked light heavyweight Corey Anderson rendered the number 12-ranked Fabio Maldonado ineffective for three rounds, allowing the former Ultimate Fighter winner to score a shutout three-round unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-27 across the board.
Anderson’s boxing looked sharp at the start, and it opened Maldonado out for a takedown that the Illinois native easily landed in the opening minute. After eating some strikes, Maldonado scrambled back to his feet, but after being on the wrong end of more punches by Anderson, he was taken down again before the end of the round.
Maldonado came out of corner blasting as round two began, but the flurry ended as soon as it began, Anderson locking up and looking for the takedown, which he got. Maldonado rose immediately, but Anderson kept him locked up against the fence, drawing the ire of the crowd. With two minutes left, the two broke, but only briefly, Anderson putting the fight back on the mat until the closing moments.
Anderson didn’t deviate from his plan in the final frame, using his stick and move style while standing and smothering wrestling attack up close to keep Maldonado from doing anything offensively.
Anderson, who replaced the injured Tom Lawlor, ups his record to 8-1; Florianopolis’ Maldonado falls to 22-9.