Cris Cyborg did nothing to diminish the awe and wonder surrounding her. If anything, she enhanced it.
“Cyborg” obliterated promotional newcomer Lina Lansberg in her return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as she blew away the Swede with second-round punches in the UFC Fight Night “Cyborg vs. Lansberg” headliner on Saturday at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. Lansberg (6-2, 0-1 UFC) withered in the face of unimaginable force 2:29 into round two.
Justino (17-1, 2-0 UFC) did as she pleased and even seemed amused with how the bout unfolded. The Brazilian juggernaut battered Lansberg with punches and kicks at range, abused her with knees in the clinch and even mustered a pair of takedowns. By the time the fight reached the second round, the end was near. There, “Cyborg” lit up Lansberg with an overhand right and subsequent body kick before delivering a takedown. Justino softened the former muay Thai world champion with punches and hammerfists, as blood from her nose began to spill onto the canvas. She then postured in guard and targeted Lansberg with standing-to-ground punches until referee Mario Yamasaki had seen enough.
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Barao Denies Upset-Minded Nover
Nova Uniao ace Renan Barao threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak, as he captured a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter 8” finalist Phillipe Nover in the featherweight co-main event. All three cageside judges scored it for Barao (34-4, 9-3 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Nover (11-7-1, 1-5 UFC) did not lack the will necessary to spring the upset, but the tools were another story. Barao hacked away with punishing leg kicks, cut loose with two-, three- and four-punch combinations and countered effectively throughout. As a result, Nover never found his comfort zone. Barao grew more potent as the fight progressed, mixing in spinning techniques and takedowns in the final two rounds.
The victory was Barao’s first since he submitted Mitch Gagnon in December 2014.
Nelson Vanquishes Reeling Silva
Former International Fight League champion Roy Nelson cut down Antonio Silva with punches in the second round of their heavyweight showcase. Silva (19-10-1, 3-7 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:10 into round two, as the monstrous Brazilian suffered his third straight defeat.
Nelson (22-13, 9-9 UFC) stalked “Bigfoot” and hunted for openings for his crushing right hand. He ate leg and body kicks on the way in but stayed patient and remained true to his game plan. Late in the second round, Nelson countered a low kick from the American Top Team export with a right uppercut that found its intended mark. Silva collapsed to his back, and “Big Country” unleashed a series of standing-to-ground right hands that called referee John McCarthy to action. Afterward, Nelson expressed his apparent displeasure with what he felt was a late stoppage by kicking McCarthy in the buttocks.
Trinaldo Stops Felder on Cut
Francisco Trinaldo continued his late-career resurgence, as he disposed of former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Paul Felder on a third-round cut in a featured lightweight pairing. Referee Osiris Maia called for the stoppage on the advice of the cageside physician 2:25 into round three.
Trinaldo (21-4, 11-3 UFC) tore into the Philadelphia native’s body with knees, punches and kicks in the first round and then brought it to the ground in the second. After securing a takedown, the Brazilian sent an elbow slashing across Felder’s face, opening a gruesome cut on his right brow. The profuse bleeding was stopped between rounds, but a stiff Trinaldo left hand opened it further midway through the third frame. It drew Maia’s immediate attention, as he halted the action to have Felder (12-3, 4-3 UFC) examined. Moments later, it was over.
The 38-year-old Trinaldo has rattled off seven consecutive victories.
Spicely Stuns Heavily Favored Santos
CES MMA veteran Eric Spicely submitted Thiago Santos with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their middleweight showcase. Spicely (9-1, 1-1 UFC) coaxed the tapout 2:58 into round one. He entered the cage as a +500 underdog, according to BetDSI.com.
Santos (13-5, 5-4 UFC) was forced to play defense for much of the brief encounter. Spicely struck for a takedown roughly 90 seconds into the first round, transitioned to an armbar and then wheeled to the back in one fluid motion. Santos stood, wandered over to the cage and left his neck exposed in an ill-advised attempt to free himself. Spicely snaked his arms in place, as the Brazilian collapsed to his knees and tapped the canvas.
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“The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” finalist Godofredo Castro submitted Mike de la Torre with a first-round rear-naked choke in a featured attraction at 145 pounds. A replacement for the injured Renato Carneiro, Castro (13-4, 5-4 UFC) brought it to a close 3:03 into round one.
De la Torre (14-6, 2-3 UFC) was in peril from the outset. Castro buzzed him with a wheel kick and follow-up punches, as he had the MMA Lab rep on unsteady footing inside the opening minute. Later in the first round, the 29-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt wobbled de la Torre again with a volley of power punches. Castro then dragged “El Cucuy” to the canvas from the rear waist lock, wrapped him in a body triangle and secured the choke after an extended struggle.
Castro has won four of his last five bouts.