Andrei Arlovski teed off on Antonio Silva. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Andrei Arlovski proved he has plenty of bite left in him.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder knocked out Antonio Silva with a three-punch combination and follow-up hammerfists in the first round of their UFC Fight Night “Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2” headliner on Saturday at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. The end came 2:59 into round one, as the resurgent Arlovski (23-10, 12-4 UFC) avenged a May 2010 decision defeat to the massive Brazilian.
From the start, Arlovksi’s fast hands and educated feet were problematic for “Bigfoot.” The Belarusian steered clear of danger, stepping in and out with his punches while waiting for an opening to present itself. A three-punch combination, tipped by a perfectly place overhand right, dropped Silva (18-6-1, 2-3-1 UFC) where he stood. Arlovski then swarmed from a crouching position, knocking him unconscious with multiple hammerfists to the face.
Tibau Edges Hallmann for 15th UFC Win
American Top Team lightweight Gleison Tibau delivered a handful of takedowns and landed enough power shots to eke out a split decision over Polish grappler Piotr Hallmann in the co-main event. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Tibau (30-10, 15-8 UFC).
Tibau backed up the Pole with a high kick in the first round, wobbled him with a beautifully timed spinning backfist in the second and withstood a late surge in the third. Hallmann (15-3, 2-2 UFC) was at his best over the final five minutes, as he made life increasingly difficult and unpleasant for the hulking Brazilian.
A knee strike from the Thai clinch resulted in a cut above Tibau’s left brow, but he answered with another takedown, kept Hallmann bottled up in close quarters and denied him the finish he needed.
Santos Spoils Escudero Return
Seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Leonardo Santos banked bookend rounds in earning a unanimous verdict over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero in a featured lightweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Santos (13-3-1, 2-0-1 UFC).
Escudero (22-9, 3-5 UFC), who had not fought inside the Octagon in more than two years, floored the Nova Uniao standout with an overhand right in the second round and appeared to have him in trouble for an extended period of time. Santos weathered follow-up attacks, and Escudero’s inability to finish proved costly.
Rounds one and three belonged to the Brazilian grappler, as he grounded Escudero, transitioned to the MMA Lab export’s back and threatened him with chokes from behind.
Ponzinibbio Dispatches Marques in 80 Seconds
Team Nogueira’s Santiago Ponzinibbio wiped out Wendell de Oliveira Marques with a multi-punch burst along the fence in the first round of their welterweight showcase. A replacement for the injured Sergio Moraes, Marques (24-8, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to the blows 1:20 into round one, his streak of seven straight wins snapped in decisive fashion.
Ponzinibbio (19-2, 1-1 UFC) clipped his countryman with a clean left hook, backed him towards the cage with a subsequent volley of punches and kept firing until Oliveira collapsed where he stood, prompting referee Mario Yamasaki to intervene.
Ponzinibbio, 27, has won eight of his last nine fights.
Alcantara Outduels Prospect Doane
Former Jungle Fight champion Iuri Alcantara rode crisp power punches from the perimeter and an aggressive bottom game to a unanimous decision over Russell Doane in a featured bantamweight confrontation. All three judges struck the same verdict, scoring it 29-28 for Alcantara (31-5, 6-2 UFC).
Doane (14-4, 2-1 UFC) executed repeated takedowns but not enough of them to counteract the damage his Brazilian opponent exacted on the feet, particularly with kicks to the body and ringing straight left hands. Alcantara also damaged the Hawaiian from his back, battering him with elbows and slashing hammerfists.
Doane did a better job of subduing the 34-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in round three, but his efforts fell short of altering the outcome.
Alcantara has pieced together a three-fight winning streak since dropping a decision to Urijah Faber in August 2013.
Andrade Guillotine Taps Pacheco
Parana Vale Tudo representative Jessica Andrade submitted the previously unbeaten Larissa Moreira Pacheco with a first-round guillotine choke in a women’s bantamweight showcase. Andrade (12-3, 3-1) coaxed the tapout 4:33 into round one.
A seven-inch reach and five-inch height advantage never came into play for Pacheco (10-1, 0-1 UFC), who replaced the injured Valerie Letourneau on short notice. Andrade struck for a takedown into side control inside the first 30 seconds and went to work from top position. Punches, elbows and hammerfists fell with regularity, as Pacheco struggled to move into a more advantageous position.
Andrade caught the topside guillotine when the 20-year-old prospect scrambled from the bottom and secured the stoppage soon after.
Castro Triangle Armbar Finishes Johnson
“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 finalist Godofredo Castro dispatched Dashon Johnson with a first-round triangle armbar in an undercard tussle at 145 pounds. Johnson (9-2, 0-2 UFC) asked out of the match 4:29 into round one.
The two men spent much of their encounter posturing on the feet. After a pair of takedowns from Johnson, the second one a slam, “Pepey” caught the triangle in a transition. Johnson fought desperately to free himself, but Castro (11-3, 3-3 UFC) rolled into a mounted position and extended the arm for the tapout.
Sullivan Ground Strikes KO Araujo
Onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder George Sullivan knocked out Igor Araujo with ferocious second-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary welterweight affair. Sullivan (16-3, 2-0 UFC) drew the curtain on the Jackson-Wink MMA representative 2:31 into round two.
Araujo (25-7, 2-1 UFC) was on his heels from the start. Sullivan countered him at every turn, answering his clinches and takedown attempts by bullying his way into top position. In the second round, the New Jersey native climbed to half guard and uncorked a violent volley of right hands that rendered Araujo unconscious.
A Kurt Pellegrino protégé, Sullivan has rattled off eight consecutive victories.
Trinaldo Outduels Countryman Silva
“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 graduate Francisco Trinaldo recorded his fourth victory in six appearances, as he captured a unanimous decision from Leandro Silva in an undercard duel at 155 pounds. Trinaldo (15-4, 5-3 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks from all three judges.
Silva (16-2-1, 0-2 UFC) had his chance and squandered it. The 28-year-old moved to Trinaldo’s back in the second round, stretched out his counterpart and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Trinaldo survived, escaped to top position and lived to see a round three.
There, “Massaranduba” trapped Silva on the feet, tuned up his punches and later assaulted his fellow Brazilian with forearm- and elbow-laden ground-and-pound on the canvas.
The loss halted Silva’s five-fight winning streak.
Spencer Deals Thiago Third Straight Loss
An active and multi-faceted standup attack carried Sean Spencer to a unanimous decision over the reeling Paulo Thiago in a preliminary welterweight scrap. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Spencer (12-3, 3-2 UFC), who has won six of his past eight bouts.
Spencer -- a replacement for the injured Joe Riggs -- floored the Brazilian with the first punch of the fight, a searing right hand down the middle, and never lost his grip on the momentum. He was the busier and more effective fighter on the feet and neutralized Thiago (15-8, 5-8 UFC) on the mat, where he thumped the black belt with punches and elbows from the top.
Since starting his career with 11 consecutive victories, Thiago is a disappointing 4-8.
Yahya Kimura Submits Bedford
Grappling savant Rani Yahya submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 alum Johnny Bedford with a second-round kimura in their undercard clash at 135 pounds. Bedford (19-12-1, 2-3 UFC) conceded defeat 2:04 into round two.
A competitive first round gave way to a far more one-sided second stanza. Yahya (20-8, 5-2 UFC) used a leg lock attempt to sweep out of a sprawl, settled in half guard and went to work on the kimura. Before long, Bedford was in dire straits underneath the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist.
The hold secured, Yahya cranked the arm and forced the submission.