Venezuela native Veronica Macedo picked up her first UFC victory in the flyweight opener, taking just a little over a minute to submit Brazil’s Polyana Viana.
After trading kicks to start the bout, Viana took Macedo down and went to work, but Macedo was ready for her foe’s ground assault, and she smoothly locked in an armbar that forced the Brazilian to submit 69 seconds into the bout.
Macedo moves to 6-3-1 with the win. Viana falls to 10-4.
Brazil’s Alex da Silva earned his 21st pro win in lightweight action, as he shut out Mexican newcomer Kazula Vargas over three rounds.
Scores were 30-27 across the board.
Vargas came out swinging, looking to make a quick impression on his foe, but moments into the fight he found himself on the mat with da Silva soon taking his back. With 30 seconds left, Vargas got loose and was able to fire off some ground strikes, getting him back in the fight.
Seeking his own takedown to start round two, Vargas wound up on his back again with da Silva taking control from the top position, and the pair stayed there for the rest of the frame.
Da Silva continued to nullify Vargas’ attacks in the third round, and while it wasn’t the most compelling affair, it was a victorious one for da Silva, who improved to 21-2. Vargas fell to 10-3.
Bantamweight prospect Chris Gutierrez earned his second straight UFC victory in a tough three-round battle with Brazil’s Geraldo de Freitas, taking a three-round split decision.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 27-30 for Gutierrez, now 14-3-1. De Freitas falls to 12-5.
In a largely tactical first round, de Freitas’ forward motion and a late takedown put the Brazilian ahead, forcing Gutierrez to step on the gas in the second frame, where he scored with several hard kicks to the leg. A clash of heads opened a cut on Gutierrez and prompted a visit from the Octagonside physician. After being cleared to continue, Gutierrez kept going back to the leg kicks, putting de Freitas down on a number of occasions, but he wasn’t willing to play the ground game with his foe, opting instead to let the Brazilian get up, leading to some wild exchanges down the stretch.
An intriguing meeting of flyweight contenders met an abbreviated end in the first round, with Rogerio Bontorin halting Raulian Paiva due to a cut.
After a brief feeling out process, Paiva landed a short left hook that opened a cut under Bontorin’s eye and prompted a takedown from the Parana product. Soon, a visit from the Octagonside physician was requested to check out Bontorin’s injury, but he was cleared to resume fighting. Bontorin went on the attack, cutting Paiva with a knee, and this time, the cut that resulted was severe enough for the fight to be waved off. The official time of the stoppage was 2:56 of round one.
With the win, the No. 8-ranked Bontorin moves to 16-1 with 1 NC. The No. 14-ranked Paiva falls to 18-3.
Unbeaten Brazilian Marina Rodriguez likely earned a place in the UFC’s strawweight rankings in Montevideo thanks to a shutout three-round decision win over perennial contender Tecia Torres.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-26 for Rodriguez, now 12-0-1. The No. 8-ranked Torres falls to 10-5.
The fight was closer than the judges’ scores would indicate, but Rodriguez’ superior work rate and takedown defense through the first two rounds and a big third frame allowed her to earn the biggest victory of her pro career.
French newcomer Ciryl Gane impressed in his Octagon debut, as he submitted Brazil’s Rafael Pessoa in the first round of a clash of heavyweight unbeatens.
Both fighters unleashed bombs over the course of the fight, but none of them landed flush, leading Pessoa to search for a takedown. He did trip Gane to the mat with a minute left, but as the two hit the deck, it was Gane who wound up in control, and the Frenchman immediately locked in an arm triangle that forced Pessoa to tap at the 4:12 mark of round one.
With the win, Paris’ Gane moves to 4-0. Rio de Janeiro’s Pessoa falls to 9-1.
Longtime lightweight standout Gilbert Burns made a successful return to the welterweight division, as he handed Russia’s Aleksei Kunchenko his first professional loss via unanimous decision.
It was a one-sided opening round in favor of Burns (16-3), who followed up the use of a sharp striking attack with a dominating ground game that kept Kunchenko (20-1) on the mat until the closing seconds of the frame.
Little changed in the second, and whether on the feet or the mat, it was Burns staying a step ahead of his opponent. And while “Durinho” tired in the final frame, allowing Kunchenko to finally put together some significant offense, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide, with Burns leaving the Octagon with the victory via identical scores of 29-28.
Burns took the fight on short notice, replacing the injured Laureano Staropoli.
Featherweights Enrique Barzola and Bobby Moffett went back and forth for three fast-paced rounds before Barzola emerged victorious via split decision.
The two grapplers kept it standing for much of the first round, with the competitive action edged by Moffett, who mixed his attacks up nicely. Barzola did get a late-round takedown, though, a good tactic to keep Moffett guessing.
It was Barzola’s turn to take the lead in the striking game in round two, and there was another late takedown from the Peruvian. But that didn’t mean Moffett was out of the fight by any means, as he continued to get his shots in on his opponent.
The third was as competitive as the previous two frames, but perhaps another late round takedown by Barzola was the deciding factor, as the judges awarded “El Fuerte” the victory via scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29.
Lima’s Barzola moves to 17-4-1 with the win. Moffett falls to 14-5.
The black belt hunter claimed another victim, as unbeaten middleweight newcomer Rodolfo Vieira submitted Poland’s Oskar Piechota in the second round.
An interesting first round saw Vieira get off some solid strikes before taking Piechota to the mat midway through the frame. Vieira was in control on the ground, but Piechota defended well and even landed several hard elbows on the feet just before the horn sounded.
Vieira appeared to be winded as the second round began, and as Piechota continued to defend well, it looked like the tide might be turning. But after another takedown from Vieira, the Brazilian locked in an arm triangle choke, bringing an end to the fight at 4:26 of round two.
Rio de Janeiro’s Vieira moves to 6-0 with the win. Poland’s Piechota falls to 11-2-1.
Volkan Oezdemir snapped a three-fight losing streak in impressive fashion, as he knocked out fellow light heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi in the second round.
A minute into the fight, Latifi showed off his strength with a slam of Oezdemir, but “No Time” got back to his feet quickly and was able to separate himself from the Sweden native. Latifi continued to look to grapple, but Oezdemir kept the knees and punches coming, marking up his opponent’s face as he held off the charges of “The Sledgehammer.”
Latifi had some success with his striking early in round two, but midway through the frame, a knee to the head dropped him. Oezdemir appeared to be on the verge of a stoppage win, but Latifi survived the initial onslaught and got back to his feet. Oezdemir kept the pressure on, though, and he punished his foe with a variety of attacks until a pair of lefts sent Latifi down and out, with referee Keith Peterson stopping the fight at the 4:31 mark of the second round.
With the win, the No. 7-ranked Oezdemir moves to 16-4. The No. 9-ranked Latifi falls to 15-7 with 1 NC.
The only Uruguay native fighting on the card, Rivera’s Eduardo Garagorri remained unbeaten as he shut out Humberto Bandenay over three rounds in a featherweight bout.
Garagorri mixed his punching attack up nicely in the first round, as he followed up body shots with flush shots upstairs, getting Bandenay’s attention and igniting the crowd. Bandenay was unmoved by his foe’s aggression, though, and he scored well with his own shots in the second as he bloodied the hometown favorite in the process. But Garagorri stayed cool in his first bout in the big show, and when he let his hands go, it was always with an intensity that had his fans roaring.
Bandenay tried to turn things in his favor with a grappling-based strategy, but it was not to be, as Garagorri took the nod via three scores of 30-27, capping off a debut to remember for the Uruguayan, who improved to 13-0. Peru’s Bandenay fell to 14-7 with 1 NC.
The UFC Uruguay co-main event had a lot of expectations attached to it and welterweights Vicente Luque and Mike Perry delivered on all of them throughout a punishing three-round battle won by Luque via split decision, extending the Brazilian’s winning streak to six.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Brasilia’s Luque, now 17-6-1. Orlando’s Perry falls to 13-5.
The welterweights wasted little time getting acquainted with each other, with Perry landing the bigger shots in the first round, but Luque scoring with enough clean blows to open up two cuts on his opponent’s face.
Round two was hard to call, as the exchanges became more frequent and more heated. And though each fighter got in their shots and were bloodied, the greater amount of blood on Perry’s face may have been influencing the judges.
Perry began the third as the busier fighter, but as the round progressed, it was Luque keeping the pace high, leading to a takedown attempt from the Floridian. Luque defended well, prompting a restart from referee Eduardo Herdy. Perry went back in for the takedown, but as the two went to the mat, it was Luque nearly sinking in a guillotine choke. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Perry – his nose clearly broken from an earlier knee by Luque - got loose, but he ran out of time for a final surge.
UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko evened the score with Liz Carmouche in the UFC Uruguay main event, avenging a 2010 loss by shutting out the challenger over five rounds at Antel Arena in Montevideo.
The win marked the second successful title defense for Shevchenko.
Carmouche was busy in the early going, shooting in and out on the champion, who calmly picked her opportunities to strike. When Shevchenko did attack, her combinations were crisp and on target, yet Carmouche wasn’t particularly bothered by anything coming at her.
Shevchenko successfully defended Carmouche’s first takedown attempt in the second minute of round two, and while the challenger wasn’t deterred, the champion was getting busier with her striking game, perhaps leaving Carmouche in an 0-2 hole on the scorecards.
With two minutes left in the third round, Shevchenko scored her first knockdown, and while apparently unhurt, Carmouche was falling further behind, and once she rose, it was Shevchenko locking up her opponent and throwing her to the mat, where she kept the fight for the rest of the frame.
The fight went back to the mat in the second minute of round four with Shevchenko in control on top. With 1:39 left, referee Keith Peterson restarted the bout, only for Shevchenko to send it back to the ground moments later, leading to more mat control until the horn sounded.
Carmouche wasn’t able to pull off the miracle comeback in the final round, as Shevchenko defended a takedown attempt and dominated once more on the ground, leaving little drama when three scores of 50-45 were read.
With the win, Shevchenko moves to 18-3. The No. 3-ranked Carmouche falls to 13-7.