via Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports
Maiquel Falcao utterly dominated Gerald Harris in a middleweight bout at UFC 123 but angered fans and announcer Joe Rogan by coasting in the third round after winning the first two handily. Falcao easily took a unanimous decision but missed an opportunity to make a good impression on UFC fans and brass.
Falcao took cage center and looked very relaxed for a UFC debutante to open the fight. Harris leaned way over as he fired jabs. Harris' reach advantage paid early dividends. The crowd began to boo as the action was slow starting. Harris jumped in behind a hook. Then another jab. Falcao finally attacked with a hard body kick at the 2:20 mark. Falcao charged in suddenly and landed a hard series of punches then a very hard knee to the body. Harris dropped and Falcao attacked with some brutal ground and pound. Harris worked to get to his feet but Falcao spun him to the ground. More hard shots then Falcao went for a choke. Harris escaped then slammed Falcao to the ground but Falcao stayed on his back and went for the choke. He was cranking the choke as the time expired. The ref chastised Falcao for not releasing the choke as the round expired.
Falcao dropped Harris immediately with a hard right hand. Harris popped up and fought back bravely swinging wild punches but quickly dropped again. Falcao took his back and worked for the choke again. He didn't have his arm under the chin though, allowing Harris to endure. More vicious ground and pound from Falcao. Harris then escaped and went for a double leg. Falcao fended it off and landed knees in the clinch. Falcao stalked Harris who shot in but Falcao sprawled. Harris pinned him up against the clinch and got a big slam. But Falcao got right back up. Harris lands with a knee. Falcao with more body kicks. High kick and combination of punches from Falcao. Harris dived for a desperation single leg but Falcao sprawled. He fired an elbow or two as he stuffed Harris. Harris looked very hurt as he stood up at the end of the round.
Harris waved his right early, trying to bait Falcao. Nothing doing. Then a leg kick from the Brazilian. Falcao stalked Harris down. Then Harris began winging punches again, landing nothing. A leg kick from Falcao. Jabs then a wild uppercut missed from Harris. Harris charged in behind punches that caught nothing. Harris shot, Falcao sprawled. Joe Rogan really criticized Falcao for coasting in the final round.
Harris, a veteran of season seven of The Ultimate Fighter, brought a 3-0 UFC record into the fight, including a dramatic slam KO win over David Branch at UFC 116.
Falcao made his UFC debut tonight. The fighter trains out of Brazil's storied Chute Boxe camp that was once the home of superstars Anderson and Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua, aka Shogun. A seven fight win streak brought him to the attention of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.