Bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao continued his unbeaten march at 135 pounds at the Paulo Sarasate Arena in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Saturday, making it four straight in the division with an impressive second round submission win over Vaughan Lee in UFC on FUEL TV 10 prelim action.
“I don’t want to say anyone’s name,” said Assuncao when asked what’s next. “I just want the chance to go for the title.”
The matchup of two high-level grapplers began as a kickboxing match, with Lee showing off improved standup as Assuncao calmly moved forward, biding his time until an opening presented itself. And with a little over two minutes left it did, allowing Assuncao to score his first takedown. Lee got up immediately, but nearly a minute later, he was dropped by a double leg from Assuncao, who finished the round by passing the guard and getting into the mount position.
Assuncao pushed the pace to start the second, ignoring a cut over his left eye to get the takedown and again move into the mount. This time Assuncao had enough time to finish, and finish he did, submitting Lee with an armbar at the 1:51 mark.
Assuncao, a native of Recife, Brazil who now lives in Georgia, improves to 19-4 with the win; Birmingham, England’s Lee falls to 13-9-1.
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ARANTES vs. PEPEY
In a featherweight scrap full of back and forth groundfighting, Sao Paulo’s Felipe Arantes halted hometown hero Godofredo Pepey via strikes in the first round.
Pepey went on the attack immediately in search of a takedown, and while he got it as he took his opponent’s back, Arantes quickly reversed, getting into the top position. Arantes fired off ground strikes while on top, but Pepey stayed busy with elbows from the bottom, keeping the pace high. Midway through the round, Pepey swept his way into the full mount, but Arantes reversed moments later, and after a series of debilitating shots to the head, referee Dan Miragliotta halted the bout at the 3:32 mark.
With the win, Arantes ups his record to 15-4-1 with 2 NC; Pepey falls to 10-2.
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ALCANTARA vs. SILVA
The first Brazil vs. Brazil bout of the night was far from a barnburner, drawing the ire of the crowd, but when the welterweight matchup was done, it was Soure’s Ildemar Alcantara emerging victorious via unanimous decision over Sao Paulo’s Leandro Silva.
Scores were 30-27 for Alcantara, who has won nine straight, two in the UFC.
There wasn’t much in the way of compelling action in the opening frame, a situation that drew the first boos of the night, and after letting Alcantara dictate the pace in the first, the unbeaten Silva began to loosen up and start implementing his game plan. But by the second half of the round, it was Alcantara stalking again but not doing much in the way of consistent offense outside of a nice spinning kick to the head with a little over a minute left.
With the crowd continuing to get restless, Silva got a tongue lashing between rounds from his coach, but Alcantara wouldn’t let his young foe get untracked enough for him to turn the fight around. Midway through the final round, Alcantara got a takedown but used it primarily for point scoring purposes as he let Silva up. Silva went on the attack after the two rose, but Alcantara used his opponent’s aggression against him as he delivered with another takedown in the closing moments of the bout.
With the win, Alcantara improves to 19-5; Silva falls to 11-1-1.
DAMM vs. HIROTA
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil veteran Rodrigo Damm earned his second UFC victory in three tries, pulling out a three round split decision win over Mizuto Hirota in featherweight action.
Damm had a good first round, showing a greater comfort level with his striking as he drilled Hirota with hard counters, even though he ate a few shots himself along the way. And while the pattern continued in the second, Hirota (14-7-1) started to find his range a little better as the fight progressed, giving him confidence for a big finish. Damm (11-6) held off a hard third round charge by the Japan native though, using a late suplex to seal the win via scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29.
See the post-fight interview for Rodrigo Damm.
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MAGALHAES vs. VEMOLA
Caio “Hellboy” Magalhaes went through hell in the first round of his middleweight bout against Karlos Vemola, but it was the Fortaleza native who had the last word, submitting Vemola in the second round to earn his first UFC win.
The first round was fought at a ferocious pace, with Vemola (10-4) doing most of the damage behind a relentless ground and pound attack. The game Magalhaes (6-1) kept battling, whether looking for guillotine chokes while standing or armbars while on his back, but the Czech Republic native powered loose each time, subsequently making Magalhaes pay with ground strikes.
But just when it seemed like Vemola was going to coast to victory, Magalhaes roared back, taking his foe down as the second round opened. From there, he softened Vemola up with strikes, and after taking his back, submitted him via rear naked choke at 2:49 of the stanza.
See the post-fight interview for Caio Magalhaes.
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BRAGA NETO vs. SMITH
Rio de Janeiro’s Antonio Braga Neto showed off the jiu-jitsu game that had fight fans highly anticipating his UFC debut, forcing Anthony Smith to tap out via kneebar in the first round of their middleweight opener.
Displaying some heavy hands in the opening minute, Braga Neto was able to close the distance after landing with a hard knee and seconds later he scored a takedown and took the Strikeforce import’s back. Smith was able to get loose, but only momentarily, as Braga Neto locked in a kneebar that Smith tapped out to at the 1:52 mark.
With the win, Braga Neto improves to 9-1 with 1 NC; Nebraska’s Smith falls to 17-9.
See the post-fight interview for Antonio Braga Neto.
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Assuncao Four for Four at 135 after Win over Lee - UFC on FUEL TV 10 Prelim Results
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