Phot via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Marcello and Madadi strand and trade in a big slobberknocker. In the end, Marcello had his hand raised in a very questionable split decision.
Cristiano Marcello picked up a a controversial split decision over Reza Madadi to open up UFC 153 on Facebook. After getting beat in The Ultimate Fighter 15 house and Finale, Marcello got his first UFC victory. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt is now 13-4 as an MMA fighter. "Mad Dog" Madadi is also now 1-1 in the UFC and drops his career record to 12-3.
Despite Marcello's impressive grappling pedigree, this fight was mostly a striking battle. Throughout the bout, Cristiano ate heavy punches from Madadi. More than once he appeared rocked and maybe close to being finished. The fight wasn't one-sided by any means, however. Marcello consistently caught Madadi with his jab and even had him retreating a couple of times in the 3rd round.
What was the high point of this fight?
In the second round, Madadi kept teeing off on Marcello landing power punches in combos. Cristiano wouldn't quit, though, and stayed in the fight.
Where do they go from here?
Controversy notwithstanding, this was a very important win for Cristiano Marcello. He's one of very few fighters to get a third chance after losing his first fight in the TUF house and his follow up at the finale. The split decision most likely saved his position as a UFC fighter.
The swing of the decision was unfortunate for Reza Madadi, especially considering many people thought he won. Having won his debut fight back in April his roster spot should be safe for now.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it later. It's a fun back and forth sloppy brawl, but there's great action to be seen on this card first.