It was short but spectacular.
American Top Team’s Dustin Poirier continued his ascent in the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division, as he submitted Anthony Pettis with a body triangle in the third round of their UFC Fight Night 120 headliner on Saturday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Pettis (20-7, 7-6 UFC) tapped out after suffering an apparent rib injury, the end coming 2:08 into Round 3.
Poirier (22-5, 14-4 UFC) had the Roufusport star reeling near the end of the first round, where he pinned him to the fence and unloaded with punches. That set the stage for a remarkable Round 2. Poirier struck for a takedown inside the first minute and opened multiple cuts on the Milwaukee native’s face with elbow-laced ground-and-pound. Pettis’ blood covered the canvas and both combatants, turning Poirier’s white shorts a grisly shade of pink. Scrambles ensued, with each man battering the other with elbows from top position. After referee Keith Peterson paused the action to have the cageside physician examine Pettis, “Showtime” locked up a tight triangle and appeared to be inching closer to an unlikely victory. Poirier freed himself from the choke in the waning seconds, perhaps aided by the blood and sweat that was present.
In the third, Poirier delivered another takedown, advanced to the back and secured a body triangle. Pettis attempted to turn and face him, only to sustain a fight-ending injury while he was being mounted.
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Brown Elbow Stops Sanchez
Elevation Fight Team representative Matt Brown knocked out Diego Sanchez with a brutal elbow strike in the first round of their welterweight co-main event. Sanchez (27-11, 16-11 UFC) bowed out 3:44 into Round 1, “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner suffering his third defeat in four appearances.
Brown (21-16, 14-10 UFC) withstood rushes from his hyperactive opponent and made the most of his opportunities at a distance, pairing a stiff jab with leg kicks. Sanchez doubled over “The Immortal” with a body kick but could not capitalize. Brown later caught a kick, backed the Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay to the fence an unleashed a hellacious downward elbow that found its ended mark and dropped Sanchez where he stood.
The win closed the book on Brown’s three-fight losing streak. Afterward, the 36-year-old remained noncommittal on the subject of his potential retirement.
Arlovski Halts Five-Fight Skid
Crisp punching combinations and intermittent kicks carried Andrei Arlovski to a unanimous decision over Astra Fight Team prospect Junior Albini in a three-round heavyweight showcase. Arlovski (26-15, 15-9) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks from the judges, snapping a five-fight losing streak with his first win in more than two years.
Albini (14-3, 1-1 UFC) drew the Belarusian into a series of rabbit-hole clinches in the first round but lost his way over the final 10 minutes. Arlovski worked in two-, three- and four-punch bursts, directing his fists at the head and body of the 265-pound Brazilian. Now operating out of American Top Team, the 38-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion put the finishing touches on the victory with a strong third round, where he continued to blast Albini with punches to the head and body while incorporating kicks when opportunities arose.
The loss halted Albini’s run of 10 consecutive wins.
‘Mutante’ Ferreira Outlasts Marquardt“The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” winner Cezar Ferreira did just enough to eke out a split decision over former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt in a three-round middleweight feature. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Brian Costello and Jeff Mullen for Ferreira, Chris Lee for Marquardt.
Nothing came easy for either man. Ferreira (12-6, 7-5 UFC) operated behind knifing left hands and thudding kicks to the body and legs. However, he found trouble late in the second round, where a patented Marquardt flurry resulted in a knockdown. Ferreira recovered to push the fight deeper, age and mileage working to his advantage. In the third round, he executed a pair of takedowns, spent significant time in top position and drained his adversary’s reserves. Marquardt (35-19-2, 13-12 UFC) reversed position late and opened a wicked gash on the Brazilian’s forehead with a slashing elbow strike, but his efforts went for naught.
Marquardt, 38, has lost three fights in a row.
Assuncao Punch KOs Lopez
World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Raphael Assuncao knocked out Matthew Lopez in the third round of their bantamweight showcase. An unconscious Lopez (10-2, 2-2 UFC) kissed the canvas 1:50 into Round 3, his modest two-fight winning streak having run its course.
Assuncao (26-5, 10-2 UFC) blew up his counterpart’s base with repeated kicks to the inside of the lead leg. Gruesome discoloration covered Lopez’s inner thigh, making him a more stationary and inviting target. Early in the third round, Assuncao went airborne with a flying knee and backed the Trevor Wittman protégé to the fence. He followed the errant strike with a devastating right hook to Lopez’s head, drawing the curtain in spectacular fashion.
The 35-year-old Assuncao has rattled off three straight wins.
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Guida Bludgeons Fading Lauzon
Former Strikeforce champion Clay Guida put away Joe Lauzon with punches in the first round of their featured lightweight clash. Lauzon (27-14, 14-11 UFC) succumbed to blows 67 seconds into Round 1, as he suffered his fifth defeat in eight appearances.
Guida (34-17, 14-11 UFC) staggered “The Ultimate Fighter 5” semifinalist with a clubbing overhand right, floored him with an uppercut and pounced with overwhelming force. Punches, elbows, hammerfists and forearm strikes fell upon Lauzon, who was powerless to stop the avalanche of punishment. Referee Mike King gave him every opportunity to recover before stepping in on his behalf.
The finish was Guida’s first since he submitted Takanori Gomi in January 2011.
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