A deafening hush swept across the crowd courtesy of Kelvin Gastelum’s machete of a left hand.
“The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner further established himself as a serious threat in the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division, as he cut through Vitor Belfort with punches in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 106 “Belfort vs. Gastelum” headliner on Saturday at the Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, Brazil. Belfort (25-14, 14-10 UFC) met his end 3:52 into Round 1.
Gastelum (14-2, 9-2 UFC) waded through heavy fire from “The Phenom” and picked his spots to perfection. He floored the proud Brazilian with a right hook-straight left combination, pounced with ground-and-pound and then reset when a finish did not take shape. Soon after, Gastelum connected with another straight left that sent the 39-year-old crashing to the canvas. Following a few standing-to-ground hammerfists from the Yuma, Arizona, native, referee John McCarthy had seen enough (online betting).
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‘Shogun’ Rua Dismisses Villante
One of the all-time greats proved he had a little more left in the tank, as Mauricio Rua disposed of Gian Villante with third-round punches in the light heavyweight co-main event. Villante (15-8, 5-5 UFC) wilted 59 seconds into Round 3, losing for the third time in five outings.
Rua (25-10, 9-8 UFC) twice stunned the Strikeforce veteran with overhand rights in the first round and weathered a clean left hook in return. The 35-year-old Rafael Cordeiro protégé kept a methodical pace throughout, targeting Villante’s lead leg with kicks while shooting power punches upstairs. Early in the third round, Rua scrambled the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy export with a counter right hook to the jaw, followed with a savage body shot and then swarmed him with punches with both hands along the fence. Villante folded under the onslaught, leaving referee Mario Yamasaki no choice but to intercede.
“Shogun” will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next appearance.
Hard-Charging Borg Downs ‘Formiga’
Jackson-Wink MMA standout Ray Borg registered the most significant victory of his young career, as he pocketed a unanimous decision against former Shooto Americas champion Jussier da Silva in a closely contested flyweight feature. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Borg (11-2, 5-2 UFC).
Neither man gained a discernible advantage through two rounds. Round 3 was marked by wild and dramatic shifts in momentum. Da Silva (19-5, 5-4 UFC) transitioned to mount inside the first minute and later scrambled into top position again before advancing to the back. He strengthened his advantage with a body triangle, but it was not enough to corral Borg. The New Mexico native twisted and turned until he was on top and dropped elbows in full guard, one of which cut da Silva near his left eye. Borg continued his progression and ultimately moved to the Brazilian’s back, and while a finish was never in play, the 23-year-old had nosed ahead at a most opportune time.
Borg has won five of his past six bouts.
Correia, Reneau Battle to Majority Draw
Pitbull Brothers rep Bethe Correia fought to a majority draw with Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Tachi Palace Fights veteran Marion Reneau in a three-round women’s bantamweight showcase. Judge Marco Aurelio Borges saw it 29-27 for Reneau, while Guilherme Bravo and Tony Weeks cast identical 28-28 scorecards.
Correia (10-2-1, 4-2-1 UFC) spent the first two rounds bullying the Californian in the clinch, firing off body-head combinations and countering where appropriate. Reneau (7-3-1, 3-2-1 UFC) did not flinch. The 39-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt staggered her Brazilian counterpart with a head kick in Round 3, followed it with a volley of right hands and sprawled out of a reactive takedown attempt before achieving full mount. Reneau continued her assault on the canvas, where she eventually advanced to the back, set her hooks and fished for a rear-naked choke. Correia survived, but it was a clear 10-8 round and paved the way for the draw.
Oliveira Choke Sinks Means
Tata Fight Team export Alex Oliveira submitted former King of the Cage champion Tim Means with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featured clash at 170 pounds. Means (26-8-1, 8-5 UFC) tapped 2:38 into Round 2.
Oliveira (16-4-1, 6-2 UFC) neutralized the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native in the clinch and frustrated him with a series of takedowns in the first round. Means took top position with roughly 90 seconds remaining in the frame but failed to alter the direction of the fight with meaningful damage. Oliveira went back to take takedown well in the middle stanza, climbed to the back and threaded his hooks. Soon after, the choke was in place and the outcome sealed.