The UFC Fight Night 36 prelims kicked off on Fight Pass with a pair of featherweight bouts plus a welterweight battle. Three newcomers were on display in front of an already boisterous crowd in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, in addition to a few UFC veterans coming off of losses. Let's a take a look at how they fared:
This was just the first fight of the evening, but based on the pre-fight crowd noise you'd have banked on this being the main event. It was raucous from the start, but the bout itself started a bit on the tentative side. De Andrade landed some hard leg kicks in the early going. Tuhugov briefly took the Brazilian down but he sprung back up and avoided the Chechen's combination strikes. After landing a counter punch, de Andrade was hit with a left hook that caused a cut above his eyes, which forced the ref to briefly stop the fight to see if he could continue. The round resumed with Tuhugov getting a power double leg takedown, landing some sharp ground-and-pound, worsening the cut of de Andrade. Note that the round ended 7 seconds past the 5 minute mark, so a bad an error there at cageside.
Tuhugov landed the better and harder strikes in the 2nd, and as the round wore on de Andrade started lowering his hands, indicating a bit of fatigue. This fight wasn't short on spinning attacks, particularly form Tuhugov, but neither man really landed anything of note whether from a backfist or a back kick.
Round 3 saw a bit of a wild exchange as Douglas came forward and the two men started swinging away. Tuhugov finished the exchange off with a crisp right hand that had the Brazilian's head spinning. Not much action occurred in the middle of the round but Tuhugov was able to score a takedown, only for de Andrade to scramble and get back to his feet. Tuhugov was definitely the superior striker, stronger fighter, and was well-conditioned. He gave de Andrade his first pro loss while improving his win streak to 7. Zubair Tuhugov (16-3) def. Douglas de Andrade (22-1) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Albert Tumenov - Welterweights
Alcantara opened with a body kick but Tumenov caught and countered with a right hand. Tumenov appeared to drop Alcantara with a left hand but let him back up. Alcantara beautifully timed a takedown but Tumenov reversed into top position, where he landed some hard elbows. He continued to open up the Brazilian with ground-and-pound, but Alcantara showed a good chin. Tumenov did have a cut on his forehead that may have been caused by an upward elbow, and when they returned to their feet he was taken down again and spent the last minute of the round on his back. Nevertheless, he still clearly took the round.
Round 2 saw Tumenov get the better of Alcantara from the clinch, but he was once again taken down. Alcantara managed to get the back with both hooks in, but Tumenov escaped and got back to his feet, but not before absorbing some strikes off his back. After the ref separated their clinch against the cage, Tumenov over-committed on a right hand and Alcantara took him down once more. Dominant round for Alcantara, who had Tumenov's face a bloody mess.
The pace was considerably slowed in the final round and it was contested entirely from striking distance. Alcantara found success with his jab, while Tumenov's best punches were counters. It was a razor thin round and they were both exhausted when all was said and done, and Tumenov in particular looked like a beaten man after an impressive start. Ildemar Alcantara (20-6) def. Albert Tumenov (12-1) by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27). The 30-27 score was objectively absurd.
Felipe Arantes vs. Maximo Blanco - Featherweights
A frenetic opening round saw Blanco come out as the aggressor, but both men were able to get their licks in. Blanco was able to take Arantes down after landing a few body shots and uppercuts. Arantes was able to escape and return to the striking battle. Blanco did really well as far as attacking Arantes' body, but Arantes exploded out of what looked like a troublesome spot and cracked Blanco with a countershot. The round ended with Arantes flooring Blanco with a hard right hand before nearly sinking in a rear-naked choke. Blanco, seemingly on his way to a round 1 win, was nearly finished in the final minute.
Having felt his power, Blanco took Arantes down early, but the Brazilian threatened with a triangle which the Venezuelan power slammed out of. Later on, Blanco had a leg kick caught by Arantes, who threw a right hand and partially landed a left high kick. Blanco took Arantes down once more, but inactivity resulted in a stand-up by Mario Yamasaki before the 2nd came to a close.
Well ... round 3 started with a flush kick to the groin by Blanco to Arantes' nether region. It was costly for Blanco, who was deducted a point. After the restart, Blanco once again had Arantes on his back, but Arantes threatened with a triangle choke and then an omoplata before returning to an upright position. The tables turned briefly when Arantes was able to take Blanco to the mat, but he didn't do anything of note with it and Blanco got back up. Blanco thwarted Arantes' final two takedown attempts, and when the horn sounded to end the fight you could see Arantes sitting down and still feeling the effects of the early round groin kick. In the end, the point deduction didn't really matter, as Arantes won round 3 even after the low blow. Felipe Arantes (16-6-1, 2 NCs) def. Maximo Blanco (9-6-1, 1 NC) (29-27, 29-27, 29-27).
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