Marcos Rogerio de Lima (right) upset Paulo Filho: M. Alonso
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- After 76 fights (only six defeats) as a kickboxer, Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima has reached a respectable level in mixed martial arts.
Lima posted his seventh win in as many appearances, as he defeated former World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion Paulo Filho by unanimous decision in the First Class Fight 5 main event on Saturday at the Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Backed by the support of nearly 2,000 local fans, Pezao neutralized Filho’s takedowns, imposed his stand-up game during much of the three five-minute rounds and earned the nod from the judges.
Filho took down his foe in the first round, but Pezao returned to his feet and attacked the Pride Fighting Championships veteran with a sequence of punches and kicks. Filho initiated the clinch and spent almost two minutes trying to take down the kickboxer.
In round two, Pezao again came out aggressive and tried to knock down Filho. The Brazilian Top Team representative was noticeably tired and had a difficult time hanging on to Lima, who struck him with strong low kicks and a hard sequence of punches. Filho took down Pezao late in the second round and appeared close to securing his dangerous Americana from the side position.
Filho survived further punishment in the third and again took down his unbeaten opponent. However, Lima reversed and closed with some ground-and pound.
“Paulo deserves all respect,” Lima said. “If I threw 100 blows, 70 hit him, and he kept attacking until the end.”
Pezao told Sherdog.com he wanted to speak with UFC President Dana White.
“Now, I hope to have the opportunity to fight outside, in the UFC if possible, and defend Brazil in the light heavyweight division,” he said.
Filho made no excuses in defeat and pointed to his financial situation as a reason why he took another match at 205 pounds.
“The need to pay bills has nothing to do with weight categories,” he said. “Pezao studied my game very well and deserved the victory.”
The event also solidified the Barbosa MMA Team as the strongest camp in Sao Paulo. Besides Pezao, the team also enjoyed impressive wins from Flavio Alvaro and Murilo Santana.
Santana, a former Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, made his MMA debut in style, as he submitted the more experienced Jorge Luis Bezerra with an arm-triangle choke 68 seconds into the second round. Meanwhile, his training partner, Alvaro, stopped Samuel Quito on knees 3:57 into round one.
In the co main event, Fabio Nascimento returned to his homeland and submitted Rodrigo Ribeiro with an arm-triangle choke 4:12 into the first round.
Daniel Sarafian def. MaurÃcio Alonso -- Unanimous Decision
Marcio Costa def. Matheus Serafim -- TKO (Retirement) 5:00 R1
Alexandre Bezerra def. Luis de Agostinho -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 2:26 R1
Udi Lima def. Paulo Snups -- KO (Flying Knee) 4:58 R1
Caio Glauco def. Rafael Muniz -- TKO (Retirement) 5:00 R1