Dustin Ortiz impressed in his UFC debut. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Dustin Ortiz did not disappoint in his first appearance under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner.
The Roufusport flyweight prospect stopped Jose Maria Tome on third-round ground-and-pound at UFC Fight Night 32 “Belfort vs. Henderson” on Saturday at the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazi. Tome (33-5, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to the blows 3:19 into round three, immediately rising in protest to claim he had been struck in the back of the head. Referee Kevin MacDonald refused his pleas.
Takedowns, leg kicks and the occasional overhand right pushed the Brazilian to an early lead. However, Ortiz (12-2, 1-0 UFC) started to turn the tide in the second round, where he opened a small cut near Tome’s eye with an elbow. In the third, he struck for a takedown, moved to mount and softened the Renovacao Fight Team representative with ground-and-pound before transitioning to his back. From there, Ortiz blasted away with unanswered punches and hammerfists for the finish.
Heavy-Handed Sicilia Overwhelms ‘Pepey’
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Sam Sicilia wiped out Godofredo Castro with first-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary featherweight tilt. Sicilia (12-3, 2-2 UFC) closed out the purple-haired “Pepey” 1:42 into round one, putting the brakes on his two-fight losing streak.
A Spokane, Wash., native, Sicilia reversed out of a takedown and settled into his opponent’s guard. He eventually moved back to his feet and dropped punches with ill intent. One particularly vigorous right hand broke through the Brazilian’s defenses and left the dazed Castro (9-3, 1-3 UFC) open to further punishment.
A heavy barrage of right hands followed, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to intervene.
Undefeated Akhmedov KOs Perpetuo
Russian newcomer Omari Akhmedov kept his perfect professional record intact, as he knocked out Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo with a brutal two-punch combination in the first round of their action-packed encounter at 185 pounds. Akhmedov (12-0, 1-0 UFC) finished it 3:31 into round one.
An incidental clash of heads had Akhmedov reeling early on, but the 26-year-old sambo practitioner weathered the subsequent swarm and somehow recovered. Perpetuo (9-2-1, 1-1 UFC) later staggered the Octagon rookie with a short right hand, only to have Akhmedov answer with a takedown before transitioning to
the Brazilian’s back in search of a rear-naked choke.
The two middleweights ultimately returned to their feet. Perpetuo wobbled his counterpart again and sent him into a backpedal, but he grew overzealous in his pursuit of the finish. Akhmedov responded with a quick right hook that brought the Brazilian to his knees and followed it with a ringing right uppercut that sealed the deal.
Martins Kimura Submits Cruickshank
Former Jungle Fight champion Andriano Martins submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Daron Cruickshank with a second-round kimura in undercard clash at 155 pounds. Cruickshank (13-4, 3-2 UFC) tapped out 2:49 into round two.
Martins (25-6, 1-0 UFC) never allowed his American counterpart to established a foothold. He peppered him with straight left hands, powered him to the mat and attacked with punches in a lopsided first round. In the second, Martins countered a head kick with a takedown, settled in top position and went to work on the kimura. After an extended struggle, the 31-year-old Brazilian landed
Tavares Choke Finishes Salas
Thiago Tavares submitted former Victory Fighting Championship titleholder Justin Salas with a first-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary lightweight duel. A replacement for the injured Quinn Mulhern, Salas (11-5, 2-2 UFC) conceded defeat 2:38 into round one.
Tavares (18-5-1, 8-5-1 UFC) has rarely looked better. In his first appearance since serving a nine-month suspension for a positive steroids test, the Brazilian was razor-sharp. Tavares delivered a takedown roughly 90 seconds into the bout, transitioned beautifully to Salas’ back and cinched the choke for his third win in four appearances.