Saturday night's UFC Fight Night 32 event out Goiania, Brazil kicked off with five fights on the Facebook prelims. The combatants delivered with every victor finding a way to finish. A little dash of controversial officiating was thrown in the opening bout just for fun. Check out how it all went down and what it means to the fighters.
For the first time since his TUF 15 Finale fight, Sicilia picked up a win in the Octagon and looked impressive doing it. He defended and reversed an early takedown attempt from Pepey. From his opponent's guard he unleashed violent ground and pound punches to pick up the first round TKO.
The win most likely kept Sicilia on the roster. He dropped to 145 lbs. after the reality series and gave up his first two fights in the new division. A third consecutive loss would have had him looking at the chopping block, instead it's Pepey who will probably be receiving a pink slip after going 1-3 in four UFC fights.
Both 185 lbers put on an incredible show in their three and a half minute bout. Perpetuo landed early, but ended up fending off a rear naked choke shortly after. Thiago got control, then rushed across the cage winging hooks at Akhmedov. The Dagestanian unleashed a counter-hook of his own that dropped Perpetuo and a follow up blow finished the fight.
Akhmedov was making his UFC debut. The UFC brass always loves a guy ready to "war" and Akhmedov definitely showed that willingness. However, He also showed a limited game and shouldn't be moved much up the ladder following this win. Perpetuo fell to 1-1, but expect to see him again in a similar low-level firefight on a future Brazilian preliminary card.
Tavares came in with a quick and dominant performance over Salas. He slammed him early then moved to back control. From there, he locked a rear naked choke on Salas to get the tap.
Tavares was returning to the Octagon after a one-sided loss earlier this year where he was manhandled and finished in more devastating fashion than what he did to Salas. On top of that, he pissed hot for PEDs in that fight and was suspended for 9 months. A loss in Goiania could have easily meant the end of his UFC career, but he was able to hold on with this win. Salas dropped to 2-2 in his four UFC fights. Hard to say what the UFC will do with him, he's got as much chance of being cut as he does getting one more shot.
After an early lead left hook from Martins dropped Cruickshank, the Brazilian took over for the rest of the two round fight. He landed the left a few more times, before hitting a takedown and searching for a kimura. In the second round, he hit another takedown then concentrated solely on isolating Cruickshank's left arm. He finally got it halfway through the round to get the submission victory.
This was Martins first fight in the Octagon after being brought over as part of the Strikeforce merger. The win helps him spot in the lower end of the 155 lb. division. Cruickshank's best moment since coming out of the TUF house was a vicious knockout over Henry Martinez at the end of last year. Since then, he's gone a disappointing 1-2 in 2013. It's not a great spot for him to be in, but at 2-2 in the UFC and very active, I'd be surprised to see him cut after this loss.
Tome looked good in the first round. He landed well, hit a takedown, then threatened from back control before taking a low blow knee in the clinch. He continued his success through the end of the round but looked slowed in the second. After another illegal low shot, Ortiz started to take over. Ortiz was dominant after an early takedown in the final round. Just past the 3 minute mark, he unleashed a flurry from back mount. Despite many of the strikes clearly landing to the back of the head referee Kevin MacDonald stopped the fight and declared Ortiz the winner by TKO.
Nobody really made a fuss about all the illegal blows in the bout, so getting a finish in his promotional debut is a good start for Ortiz's UFC career. Especially in a division as shallow as Flyweight. The loss really hurts Tome who's now fallen to 0-2 in the UFC. It's possible he gets another shot just because the division is so undeveloped.