UFC Fight Night Report: Marlon Moraes and Jose Aldo win big in Brazil

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/03/ufc-fight-night-report-marlon-moraes-and-jose-aldo-win-big-in-brazil/

The UFC held their second card on ESPN+ Saturday night with a return to Brazil at the Centro de Foracao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza.

The show was highlighted by marquee victories from the top Brazilian fighters on the card. No one stood taller at the end of the night than Marlon Moraes, avenging a 2017 defeat at the hands of Raphael Assuncao with an emphatic submission victory in the opening frame. The win was Moraes’ fourth consecutive victory within the bantamweight ranks and lays solid claim to the next opportunity at the bantamweight championship.

The wrinkle in that plan is UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who recently handed T.J. Dillashaw a loss at 125 pounds and would be the other hurdle preventing Moraes from fighting Dillashaw for the title in his next outing.

While there is an inevitable rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw, a decision must be made on the fate of the flyweight division. It serves no one to see Cejudo jump up in weight and ice his division for months. The division truly rests in the hands of Cejudo and if the decision is made to go up and fight at bantamweight it could spell the end of the flyweight division.

It will be a bitter pill to swallow for Moraes if he asked to take a number and wait in line as T.J. Dillashaw pursues the rematch with Cejudo.


*Rogerio Bontorin def. Magomed Bibulatov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Said Nurmagomedov def. Ricardo Ramos by TKO at 2:28 of Round 1
*Geraldo de Freitas def. Felipe Colares by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
*Jairzinho Rozenstruick def. Junior Albini by TKO at 0:54 of Round 2
*Thiago Alves def. Max Griffin by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Mara Romero Borella def. Talia Santos by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Markus Perez def. Anthony Hernandez by technical submission at 1:07 of Round 2
*Livinha Souza def. Sarah Frota by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Johnny Walker def. Justin Ledet by KO at 0:15 of Round 1
*Charles Oliveira def. David Teymur by anaconda choke at 0:55 of Round 2
*Demian Maia def. Lyman Good by rear-naked choke at 2:38 of Round 1
*Jose Aldo def. Renato Moicano by TKO at 0:44 of Round 2
*Marlon Moraes def. Raphael Assuncao by guillotine choke at 3:17 of Round 1

Rogerio Bontorin def. Magomed Bibulatov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Catchweight 127 pounds

I scored the fight for Bibulatov 29-28 with Bontorin winning the first round after he swept Bibulatov in the first round. Bibulatov solidly took the second round with superior striking and a key takedown. The third round was close with Bontroin connecting with a left-right combination following a big knee from Bibulatov, who scored a takedown at the end.

Bontorin was the largest underdog on the card.

Said Nurmagomedov def. Ricardo Ramos by TKO at 2:28 of Round 1 – Bantamweight

While they are very close, Said and Khabib are not related but refer to each other as their cousin.

Nurmagomedov hurt Ramos with a spin kick and followed with a head kick and then finished Ramos with strikes against the fence. Nurmagomedov improves to 13-1 and is his second win inside the UFC.

Geraldo de Freitas def. Felipe Colares by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) – Featherweight

This was a great performance from de Freitas, who was a significantly better striker with a reliance on wrestling. De Freitas overcame a slam in the opening round to win it with his right-hand landing and his own takedown and kimura attempt. In the second, de Freitas briefly had Colares mounted after rocking him with a left hand. The third round was a dominant one from de Freitas with lots of strikes connecting while securing takedowns and another mount.

This was a strong introduction for de Freitas and an entertaining fight.

Jairzinho Rozenstruick def. Junior Albini by TKO at 0:54 of Round 2

Rozenstruick is a kickboxer with 82 fights but was very tentative in the first round. He was taken down by Albini but showed experience off his back by getting out of bad positions and swept Albini at one point. Albini tagged him and controlled the round. In the second, Rozenstruick let his hands go and appeared comfortable. Rozenstruick landed an uppercut, left and right hooks and then a head kick to place Albini against the cage and stop with shots.

It was a big turnaround in the second round for Rozenstruick who weathered the storm and showed good instincts.

Thiago Alves def. Max Griffin by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Welterweight

This was an entertaining fight, but I easily scored this fight for Griffin.

Alves was hurt in the first round and retreated. Griffin opened with his jabs and combinations that generated a knockdown at the end of the round. I felt this was a 10-8 round.

Alves rebounded in the second round, he was landing kicks to the body and nailed Griffin with an uppercut while succeeding when he closed the distance as he took the round.

The third round featured Alves starting aggressively, including throwing a spinning elbow that led to a takedown for Griffin. Griffin got another takedown later in the round and got the mount. Griffin held Alves down against the cage in the final 30 seconds. I had it 29-27 for Griffin and thought Rounds 1 and 3 were his.

This was Alves’ first win since April 2017 and snapped a two-fight losing skid after losses to Curtis Millender and Alexey Kunchenko in 2018.

Mara Romero Borella def. Talia Santos by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Flyweight

This was a bad fight.

Borella entered the UFC in 2017 and her first two fights had been against Kalindra Faria and Katlyn Chookagian. Santos was making her UFC debut after winning on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Santos took Borella down and was looking for a rear-naked choke but was stopped by Borella, who managed to win the round with a takedown and work in Santos’ half-guard while landing elbows. The second round was a mediocre affair with a long clinch fight until they were separated and then went back to it. Borella was up 20-18 after two rounds.

Santos came alive in the third going from a counter game to become the aggressor and her hands started connecting. She worked her jab and left Borella open to eat her right hand. I scored it 29-28 for Borella.

Markus Perez def. Anthony Hernandez by anaconda choke at 1:07 of Round 2

Perez slammed Hernandez to the ground and took control of his back while standing. Hernandez broke free with an elbow and this led to a great round with both unloading on the other. Perez hit a spinning elbow and Hernandez connected with a right hook.

In the second, Perez hit a body kick as Hernandez was in pain allowing Perez to jump onto his back. He had one hook in and moved to the anaconda choke and got the tap. This was a fun fight while it lasted.

Livinha Souza def. Sarah Frota by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Catchweight 123 pounds

Frota missed weight by seven-pounds and when you’re missing by that much at flyweight I don’t know if it’s even responsible to allow the fight to take place when there is such a huge discrepancy. Brendan Fitzgerald stated that Frota was fined 30% of her purse after it was originally reported at 40%.

Souza won the first two rounds as she navigated the power shots and continually took Frota down. Souza was active when she had her on the ground with hammer fists and nearly ended the fight with a rear-naked choke at the end of the second round when the horn sounded. Frota won the third round mainly with her left hand and connecting with hammer fists in Souza’s guard.

After winning the Invicta FC strawweight title, Souza came to the UFC last year and is now 2-0 with the promotion.

Johnny Walker def. Justin Ledet by KO at 0:15 of Round 1

This was a star-making performance if enough people saw Johnny Walker.

He does a wild entrance dancing his way to the cage and is the loosest fighter you have ever seen before a fight.

He confused Ledet and hits a hook kick to the head that stuns Ledet and follows with a spinning back fist. Walker then wound up and threw a soccer kick that luckily missed, or it could have landed on the downed opponent’s head. Walker finished with strikes and improves to 16-3.

Walker has enormous charisma and the test will be against higher ranked opposition and what he can do, but this was a great performance.

Charles Oliveira def. David Teymur by anaconda choke at 0:55 of Round 2 – Lightweight

Oliveira was the recipient of two eye pokes in the first round with the first being very bad. They restarted and Teymur dropped him with a left hand. Oliveira came back with a pair of flying knees that landed flush while mixing his hands to take the round.

Oliveira rocked him with a back elbow that looked excellent and stunned him with a right uppercut to freeze Teymur and Oliveira fired away before locking on the fight-ending anaconda choke.

Oliveira has the most submissions in the UFC and increased his total to 13 with his fourth straight victory. Oliveira has found his groove and is starting to mount a serious campaign for a championship shot.

Demian Maia def. Lyman Good by rear-naked choke at 2:38 of Round 1

Maia knew what he needed to do, attacked with the single leg and got Good to the mat. Maia worked his way onto the back as Good stood with Maia as his backpack. Maia was patient working for the choke, switched arms and locked it in for the submission.

With the win, Maia is tied with Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping for the second-most wins in the UFC at 20 behind Donald Cerrone’s 22.

Maia said he has two fights left on his deal and intends to fight his contract out.

Jose Aldo def. Renato Moicano by TKO at 0:44 of Round 2 – Featherweight

Aldo looked very sharp and quick in the first round. He was trying to read Moicano as they had a standoff. Aldo’s game plan was low leg kicks to set up the right hand in the early going. In Round 2, Aldo attacked and stunned with a pair of left hands and then went all out with shots to the body and head that overwhelmed Moicano and Aldo stopped him standing.

After back-to-back losses to Max Holloway, Aldo has won two in a row following up on last July’s win over Jeremy Stephens.

Marlon Moraes def. Raphael Assuncao by guillotine at 3:17 of Round 1 – Bantamweight

This is a rematch from June 2017 where Assuncao won by split decision in Moraes’ UFC debut.

Moraes cracked Assuncao with two massive right hands that sent Assuncao down and cut him over the left eye. Moraes was on top and used ground and pound to create the opening as he got a mounted guillotine and Assuncao tapped.

Moraes said he wasn’t sure if bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has earned the right to fight him after his last performance and may have to fight someone else.

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This was a pretty fun card, full of finishes and pretty star studded for a fight night.

  • No question the biggest star in Brazil that night was the great Jose Aldo. If his retirement tour is going to consist of all 3 rounders, I really can’t see him losing to anyone at 145 or 155. He’s still extremely talented, and without having to worry so much about his cardio, he might kill off a few more contenders before he rides off into the sunset and sells hamburgers.
  • Marlon Moraes vs TJ Dillashaw needs to happen next. Rematches, injuries and “superfights” have stalled the division for too long. 3 straight first round finishes of ranked opponents have Moraes looking like a killer.
  • Of course Demian Maia won with the backpack.
  • Charles Olivera is on a really entertaining run right now. He’s still pretty far away from a title shot, but he should at least be looking at a ranked opponent in his next fight.

UFC 234 right around the corner (RIP 233). A truly abysmal PPV, with a great main event and a co-main which will generate some buzz. I’m sure Robert Whittaker will be excited to finally fight someone who’s not Yoel Romero.