The UFC Fort Lauderdale main card is in progress, and welterweights Mike Perry and Alex Oliveira just did battle for the full fifteen minutes. It was Perry who had a really strong second and third acts, thus earning himself the unanimous decision. Perry is now 6-4 within the UFC, and in his post-fight interview expressed a desire to make a run at the rankings. Before that, the UFC’s #11 ranked light heavyweight, Glover Teixeira, rallied from being dropped in the opening round to sniff out a second-round submission of Ion Cutelaba. Teixeira has now won back-to-back bouts for the first time in three-years, and called out the man who last defeated him, Corey Anderson.
Picking up his fourth straight UFC win, Cory Sandhagen earned a hard-fought split decision over the company’s #8 ranked bantamweight John Lineker. Sandhagen made the most of his length, darting in with strikes while causing Lineker to whiff on a lot of his punches. There’s an excellent chance of Sandhagen having a number next to his name come next week. Opening up the main card, Roosevelt Roberts aced the scorecards against UFC newcomer Thomas Gifford. Roberts landed some clean punches on the feet, but really won this one with his grappling, owning top position for a substantial amount of time. Roberts remains undefeated as the 8-0 lightweight moves to 2-0 within the UFC.
Mike Perry def. Alex Oliveira by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Welterweight
Oliveira looked to press Perry against the cage to start the opening round, but Perry flipped the script until he found open space. Oliveira was close to taking the back at one point, but Perry was savvy enough to get back up. Back on the feet, Perry started wearing it on his face, but finished up the round strongly by unloading a flurry as time expired.
Oliveira blitz his opponent to open the second round, clocking Perry with clean punches. Perry responded by dropping Oliveira with some heat of his own. Back on the feet, Perry picked up Oliveira and just dropped him like a WWE move. Perry snuffed his foe with a hard right hand and used the moment to take top position. A barrage of quality ground strikes rained down on Oliveira before Perry allowed his opponent to stand back up for the final ten seconds. It looked like Oliveira hurt his foot somehow just before the round ended.
The first-half of the final round saw a much slower pace than the previous-two. Then, Perry started to pour it on. Oliveira backed himself to the cage, and allowed Perry to unload a flurry as he just covered up. Oliveira escaped back into open space but was unable to steal the round.
Glover Teixeira def. Ion Cutelaba by submission (RNC) at 3:37 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
Cutelaba was the aggressor early here, pressing Teixeira with strong punches. Around the midpoint of the round, Cutelaba dropped Teixeira with a spinning backfist. Cutelaba nearly landed an illegal knee before attacking with ground strikes. Teixeira managed to recover and get back to his feet where he landed a few punches of his own before the round ended.
Teixeira wobbled his opponent right away in the second round, but Cutelaba recovered quickly. After a botched takedown from Teixeira, Cutelaba almost kicked a downed Teixeira in the face. Back on the feet, Teixeira began clocking Cutelaba with big punches, backing him up. Cutelaba threw back but slipped and ended up on the bottom. Teixeira took full advantage and started to advance his position, ultimately taking the back. Cutelaba exposed his neck and Teixeira snagged up the rear-naked choke. Cutelaba was dead to rights and tapped out.
Cory Sandhagen def. John Lineker by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29) Bantamweight
Sandhagen pressed forward to start the bout, forcing Lineker to work. Lineker threw with his classic power, but struggled a bit with the length of his taller opponent. Sandhagen found success darting in with strikes, and then moving just out of the way of the return shot. He even threw a cartwheel kick that mostly blocked. Sandhagen came out pumping his jab, keeping Lineker on the outside. Lineker did a good job of attacking the body, which backed off his opponent. Sandhagen switched gears and briefly achieved a takedown, but it didn’t take very long for Lineker to get back up. Back in open space, Lineker faked a haymaker to secure a takedown. Sandhagen too quickly returned to his feet.
Lineker let his hands fly to kick off the final round, ripping to both the head and body. Sandhagen did fairly well and keeping his feet moving to not take the brunt of the big shots. Lineker kept pressing his foe, throwing his hands and landing way more than he did in the previous two rounds. He even blasted Sandhagen with a flurry in the closing moments and jumped a super-tight guillotine. Lineker gave it all he had but the time ran out before he could convert the submission.
Roosevelt Roberts def. Thomas Gifford by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight
Gifford came out pressing the action right away, backing Roberts up to the cage. Roberts came up with a top position in the middle of the Octagon and solidified the position. Several elbows landed from side control, but Gifford stayed active. Both men had brief submission attempts before the round came to a close. Roberts cracked his opponent with a clean punching combination to open the second act. Gifford showed off a solid beard, considering how flush he was getting hit. He ended up jumping on a guillotine, but ended up gifting Roberts the top position. Roberts made the most of the position, owning the top and eating up clock for the remainder of the round.
Gifford hunted down the takedown in the final frame. He pushed Roberts against the fence, and worked for the takedown until he got it. Roberts managed to scramble back to his feet and started to hunt for a takedown of his own. In a similar way to how Gifford did it, Roberts fenced his opponent until the takedown presented itself. The difference was that Gifford was unable to make it back to his feet until the bell sounded.