Frank Mir Ends Drought, Steamrolls Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in UFC Fight Night Headliner

By Brian Knapp Feb 22, 2015

Frank Mir made up for lost time -- 1,170 days of it.

Mir (17-9, 15-9 UFC) wiped out Antonio Silva with a sneaky left hook and follow-up punches and elbows in the UFC Fight Night “Mir vs. Bigfoot” headliner on Sunday at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The end came 1:40 into round one, as the former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder snapped a four-fight losing streak and won for the first time since December 2011.

Silva (18-7-1, 2-4-1 UFC) offered nothing of significance during his brief time in the cage. Mir fought from the orthodox stance, snuck a left hook past the Brazilian’s defenses, planted it on his chin and trailed the fallen “Bigfoot” to the canvas. Once there, he unleashed a series of rights and lefts before mixing in three wicked elbows to the head, the second of which appeared to knock Silva unconscious.

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Johnson Outguns Barboza to Extend Streak

In the lightweight co-main event, Michael Johnson put together perhaps the most complete performance of his career, as he pocketed a unanimous decision against former Ring of Combat champion Edson Barboza. Johnson (16-8, 8-4 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks.

A finalist on Season 12 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Johnson went right after the Brazilian, smothering him with relentless forward movement and multi-punch combinations. Barboza found himself in an almost perpetual backpedal, limiting his offensive options. Johnson ate his share of kicks to the body but avoided damage to the legs and head. The Blackzilians rep mixed in tactical, well-timed takedowns near the end of the second and third rounds, as he pushed his winning streak to four fights.

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Alvey Hook KOs Ferreira

Team Quest export Sam Alvey knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 winner Cezar Ferreira with a clean left hook and two brutal standing-to-ground rights in a middleweight showcase. Alvey (25-6, 2-1 UFC) finished it 3:34 into round one, winning for the sixth time in his past seven outings.

Ferreira (8-4, 4-2 UFC) was in complete control before the shocking stoppage. The Blackzilians-trained Brazilian zeroed in with his kicks, popping Alvey to the legs, body and head. An upward elbow in close quarters from Ferreira appeared to trigger something in the onetime Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder. Alvey fired an overhand right and followed it with a clean left hook to the chin that sent “Mutante” crashing to the canvas in a semi-conscious state. Alvey then met him with two right hands that finished the job.

Martins Edges Tentative Khabilov

Adriano Martins won for the eighth time in nine fights, as he eked out a split decision against Jackson-Wink MMA representative Rustam Khabilov in a featured battle at 155 pounds that was marked by extended periods of posturing and inactivity. All three judges cast 29-28 scorecards, two of them siding with Martins (27-7, 3-1 UFC).

Khabilov (17-3, 3-2 UFC) was tentative and out of sorts. He did his best work in round two, where he scored with a pair of upward elbows and a looping overhand right. However, Martins responded with a searing left hand that briefly dropped the Dagestani grappler and had him in retreat mode in the closing seconds of the frame. In the third round, the former Jungle Fight champion held his own on the feet, struck for a takedown and briefly achieved full mount, doing just enough to pull out the victory.

Saenz Springs Upsets, Downs Alcantara

Former King of the Cage champion Frankie Saenz utilized takedowns, ground-and-pound and pedal-to-the-metal pace in capturing a unanimous verdict against the heavily favored Iuri Alcantara in a bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it for Saenz (10-2, 2-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Alcantara (31-6, 6-3 UFC) never established a rhythm. Saenz walked through the Brazilian’s strikes on the feet and eluded his submission attempts on the mat. In between, the Arizonan racked up points with multiple takedowns and subsequent ground-and-pound, tipping his spear with vicious knees to the body and a steady stream of punches to the head.

The 34-year-old Saenz has won six fights in a row.

Ponzinibbio Hands Strickland First Loss

Head and leg kicks intermingled with heavy power punches carried American Top Team’s Santiago Ponzinibbio to a unanimous decision over former KOTC champion Sean Strickland in a featured welterweight clash. Ponzinibbio (20-2, 2-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27s across the board.

Strickland (15-1, 3-1 UFC) worked behind a stinging left jab that left the Argentine with a bloody nose and sat him down twice. Still, it was not enough. Ponzinibbio attacked the American’s lead leg with repeated kicks and delivered punishing blows to the head, with kicks and punches. Strickland executed takedowns in the first and third rounds but failed to bottle up his counterpart on the ground. On the feet, he spent far too much time fighting with his back to the fence.

Ponzinibbio, 28, has rattled off nine wins in 10 appearances.


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