Once on the short list of potential title contenders at 155 pounds, the notoriously hot-and-cold Melvin Guillard righted his ship with a unanimous decision over Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148 “Silva vs. Sonnen 2” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Guillard (30-10-2, 11-6 UFC), who entered the cage on a two-fight losing streak, swept the scorecards by matching 30-27 counts.
Camoes (14-7-1, 1-2-1 UFC) had his chances. He mounted Guillard in the first round and threatened him with a kneebar in the third, but his inability to capitalize fully cost him. Guillard was the more efficient and effective striker, and he took top position more than once, belting the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with ground-and-pound when the opportunities presented themselves.
Nurmagomedov Stays Unbeaten, Decisions Tibau
Khabib Nurmagomedov kept his perfect professional record intact with a controversial unanimous decision over American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau in a preliminary lightweight tilt. All three judges saw it the same: 30-27 for Nurmagomedov (18-0, 2-0 UFC).
Tibau (25-8, 10-6 UFC), who entered the cage on a streak of three straight wins, stuffed the Russian prospect’s takedowns and countered effectively throughout the 15-minute encounter. However, Nurmagomedov was the aggressor for much of the bout, and, despite being bullied to the ground twice by the Brazilian, his persistence appeared to pay off in the eyes of the judges.
Philippou Streak Reaches Four
Serra-Longo Fight Team member Constantinos Philippou utilized airtight takedown defense and crisp punching combinations in capturing a unanimous verdict from former Deep champion Riki Fukuda in an undercard duel at 185 pounds. All three judges scored it for Philippou (11-2, 4-1 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. The onetime Ring of Combat titleholder has quietly rattled off four consecutive victories.
Philippou denied each one of Fukuda’s takedowns and buried one multi-punch combination after another into his face. As the fight deepened, the Japanese import wore a look of frustration. Not even a horrific accidental eye poke and low blow from Fukuda (18-6, 1-2 UFC) in the third round could keep Philippou at bay.
Roller Stops Skid, Tops Alessio
Team Takedown representative Shane Roller survived a first-round knockdown to defeat Canadian journeyman John Alessio in a preliminary lightweight matchup. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Roller (11-6, 2-3 UFC), who threw the brakes on a three-fight winning streak.
Still winless in the UFC, Alessio (34-16, 0-5 UFC) floored the three-time NCAA All-American wrestler with a two-punch combination at the end of round one. Timing was everything, however. Roller recovered and rebounded, as he delivered takedowns in the second and third frames, worked into dominant position on Alessio’s back, fished for chokes and cruised to a unanimous nod.
‘Tractor’ Oliveira Outpoints Izquierdo
Takedowns and a relentless top game carried AMA Fight Club’s Rafaello Oliveira to a unanimous decision over Yoislandy Izquierdo in an undercard matchup at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Oliveira (15-5, 2-4 UFC), who halted a two-fight losing streak.
Izquierdo (6-2, 0-2 UFC) was the superior fighter on the feet. However, after a strong first round, he spent too much time defending against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt on his back. Oliveira struck for takedowns in all three frames, passed to side control without much resistance and displayed his dominance on the ground. Izquierdo opened a gash on the Brazilian’s forehead with a second-round elbow strike from the bottom, but this became less and less of a factor in the bout as his situation worsened.