When is Felipe Froes going to finally get to defend his Shooto Brazil featherweight title?
Inside Rio de Janeiro's Hebrew Sports and Social Club on Sunday, the 24-year-old Froes picked up his sixth straight win in the Shooto Brazil 63 main event, dominating Marcos Vinicius Costa Silva from bell-to-bell en route to a trio of 30-27 scorecards. The fight was originally conceived as a contest for Froes' 145-pound strap, but Costa Silva weighed in at 146.1 pounds, necessitating the non-title bout.
It has been a familiar circumstance for Froes: After defeating Thiago Silva for the vacant featherweight title at Shooto Brazil 54 a year ago, the newly crowned champ saw his first slated title defense fall apart in December when opponent Reginaldo Corvao came in 11 pounds overweight. Nonetheless, Froes knocked out Corvao 3:27 into their fight at Shooto Brazil 60.
On this occasion, Froes was unable to get the stoppage, but he dominated “Imperador” every step of the way. The Nova Uniao rep had his man's back for almost the entire first round, threatening with rear-naked chokes throughout. In the second frame, the Ananindeua, Para, native kept the bout standing, tagging Costa Silva with long kicks and precise, straight punches. The final round was a combination of the two, with Froes besting his opponent standing before taking him down, taking the back and searching for the rear-naked choke until the final bell.
In the welterweight co-feature, Mario “Soldado” Sartori savaged Sergio Fernandes, knocking him out 3:09 into the first round. While his clinch knees were nice, Sartori put his body punching on vivid display, first hurting Fernandes with four digging hooks to the ribs. Then, after rocking him back to the fence a minute later, he sealed the deal by ripping into Fernandes' body with the fight-ending body hooks.
Antonio Carlos “Buiu” Ribeiro stayed unbeaten inside Shooto Brazil, knocking out Nikolas Motta 68 seconds into their 150-pound bout. Ribeiro dominated with his jab, then dropped Motta with a lead left hook before diving in to turn out his lights on the ground.
Bantamweight Breno Brigido made a successful pro MMA debut, mounting and armbarring Luis Carlos in just 2:21. The 34-year-old Brigido, a Jair Lourenco black belt, is one of the jiu-jitsu coaches at Nova Uniao Kimura and a regular training partner of Renan Barao and Jussier da Silva.
Elsewhere, Yan Teixeira earned a questionable split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Nova Uniao upstart Jhonata Silva at 119 pounds after an otherwise exciting, technical 15 minutes of striking; at featherweight, Rafael Bernardo played bottom until Jetron Pereira gassed, then quickly swept him, took the back and sunk the rear-naked choke at 3:47; Fortalezan flyweight Edilson Santos Jr. dominated Jefferson Dias from back mount, finishing him with punches at 3:24 of the second period; Alexandre Ribeiro came from behind to knock out Wesley Batista with a clean right cross to the eye socket at 2:54 of the second round of their 155-pound contest; and Gabriel Manna pulled off a beautiful heel hook just 38 seconds into his welterweight fight with Cristian Willian.
In other undercard action, Rondonia native Pedro Falcao, who came in five pounds overweight at 140, easily swept all three rounds on the cards against Mario da Costa Jr., while at 137 pounds, Pedro Rizzo student Iago Lopes do Nascimento also earned a unanimous decision over Romulo Tinetti Arruda, who showed up dressed as Johnny Depp's character, Captain Jack Sparrow, from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, complete with braided goatee.