Dan Henderson’s chin can no longer withstand the kind of firepower Vitor Belfort brings to the table.
Belfort (25-11, 13-7 UFC) dispatched the former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder with a left head kick and follow-up punches in the UFC Fight Night “Belfort vs. Henderson 3” headliner on Saturday at Geraldo Jose de Almeida State Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Referee Mario Yamasaki swooped in to save Henderson (31-14, 8-8 UFC) from further damage 2:07 into round one.
The two legends circled one another for roughly 90 seconds, with Henderson landing a few inside leg kicks and Belfort biding his time. “The Phenom” picked his spot perfectly, sent a scorching kick crashing into Henderson’s face, swarmed with punches and drove his dazed rival to the mat. More punches followed, and Yamasaki intervened.
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Cummins No Match for Teixeira
Glover Teixeira buried two-time NCAA All-American Patrick Cummins with an accumulation of punches in the light heavyweight co-main event. Cummins (8-3, 4-3 UFC) succumbed to the blows 72 seconds into round two, as referee Herb Dean called for the standing TKO.
Cummins secured multiple takedowns but failed to consolidate them with damage. Teixeira (24-4, 7-2 UFC) returned to a standing position each time and flexed his superiority with jabs, uppercuts, overhand rights and his patented left hook. Cummins withstood a punishing burst of punches at the end of the first round, but a one-minute respite was not enough for him to sufficiently recover. Teixeira picked up where he left off in the second, bottled up the American along the fence and ripped punches until Dean had seen enough.
The 36-year-old Teixeira has won 22 of his last 24 fights, losing only to Jon Jones and Phil Davis.
Unbeaten Almeida Obliterates Birchak
Blue-chip prospect Thomas Almeida delivered one of the most violent knockouts of the year, as he wrecked Anthony Birchak in the first round of their bantamweight feature. Almeida (20-0, 4-0 UFC) brought it to a close 4:24 into round one.
Birchak (12-3, 1-2 UFC) fought fire with fire and paid the price. Almeida shut down his takedowns, trapped him on the feet and let his hands do the rest. The 25-year-old Brazilian dazed Birchak with a right hand, followed him to the cage and went for the kill. Almeida volleyed with a spinning elbow and a two-punch combination -- a right cross iced it -- that folded the unconscious former Rage in the Cage champion at the base of the fence, his leg bent underneath him. Somewhere, Steve Nelmark shuddered.
Almeida now owns 19 finishes among his 20 professional victories, 16 of them inside one round.
‘Cowboy’ Oliveira KOs Hallmann
Tata Fight Team’s Alex Oliveira knocked out Piotr Hallmann with clean counter right hook in the third round of their featured confrontation at 155 pounds. Hallmann (15-5, 2-4 UFC) met his end 51 seconds into round three, as he lost for the fourth time in five appearances.
Oliveira (13-3-1, 3-1 UFC) had the Pole bleeding inside the first minute and kept him at bay with suffocating pressure. The 27-year-old Brazilian tore into Hallman with uppercuts and looping hooks from a distance while also inviting him to clinch. Oliveira surrendered a takedown and spent much of the second round on his back but seemed to always know where the fight was headed. Less than a minute into round three, he cracked Hallman with a pair of right hooks. The first got his attention, and the second knocked him out.
Magomedov Improves to 19-1
Former M-1 Global champion Rashid Magomedov took another significant step forward at 155 pounds, as he earned a unanimous decision against Gilbert Burns in a three-round lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 30-27 for Magomedov (19-1, 4-0 UFC), who has won 12 fights in a row.
Burns (10-1, 3-1 UFC) landed a pair of takedowns in the first round, but the Blackzilians prospect lacked the necessary tools on the feet. Magomedov picked apart the four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion with crisp combinations, exquisite counters and kicks to the body and legs. The 31-year-old did his best work in the second round, where an overhand right had Burns dancing all over the cage on unsteady footing. Magomedov rode the momentum into round three and put more distance between himself and the previously unbeaten Brazilian.
Anderson Cruises Past Maldonado
Repeated takedowns, stifling top control and an effective clinch carried “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 winner Corey Anderson to a one-sided unanimous decision over Fabio Maldonado. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 30-27 for Anderson (7-1, 4-1 UFC), who filled in for an injured Tom Lawlor on short notice.
Maldonado (22-9, 5-6 UFC) never got his hands in gear. Anderson landed effectively on the feet and cut off the Brazilian’s advances with well-timed takedowns and frustrating clinches. The 26-year-old put the finishing touches on his latest conquest in the third round, where he executed a pair of takedowns and neutralized Maldonado on the mat.
Anderson has banked back-to-back wins since his technical knockout loss to Gian Villante in April.
Tibau Nets Controversial Finish
American Top Team mainstay Gleison Tibau submitted Abel Trujillo with a first-round rear-naked choke in their undercard clash at 155 pounds. The result was not without controversy. Believing Trujillo (12-7, 3-3 UFC) to be unconscious, referee Keith Peterson elected to call for the stoppage 1:45 into round one without the requisite tapout or a clear indication that the Blackzilians export was out.
Nevertheless, Tibau (34-11, 17-9 UFC) had the fight where he wanted it. He moved to mount on a failed Trujillo guillotine, advanced to the back and softened his counterpart with punches. Tibau then cinched the choke and extended his hips, prompting Peterson to act. Trujillo protested immediately.
The victory, Tibau’s 17th inside the Octagon, ties him with Michael Bisping for third place on the UFC’s all-time list.
Case Streak Reaches 12
Johnny Case extended his winning streak to 12 fights with a unanimous decision over Nova Uniao’s Yan Cabral in a three-round lightweight encounter. Case (22-4, 4-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks from all three judges.
Cabral (12-2, 2-2 UFC) enjoyed success on the mat, where the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had the American in significant danger in the first and third rounds. In between those exchanges, however, Case piled up the points in the standup. He staggered and dropped Cabral with a left hook in the second round and weathered a harrowing sequence on the ground in the third, where the Brazilian advanced to his back and hunted the rear-naked choke. Case escaped to top position and spent the final minute bloodying Cabral with ground-and-pound, his late burst of offense clearing a path to the decision.
Tavares Drops Guillotine on Guida
Thiago Tavares disposed of former Strikeforce titleholder Clay Guida with a first-round guillotine choke in their undercard scrap at 155 pounds. Tavares (20-6-1, 10-6-1 UFC) finished it 39 seconds into round one, as he won for the fifth time in eight fights.
Guida (32-16, 12-10 UFC) shot for an ill-advised double-leg inside the first minute and found himself hopelessly entangled in the choke. “The Carpenter” tried to roll free, but Tavares tightened his grip and forced the tapout from a mounted position.
Now based at Team Alpha Male, the 33-year-old Guida has lost five of his past eight bouts.
Skelly Choke Taps Souza
Team Takedown’s Chas Skelly submitted onetime Jungle Fight champion Edimilson Souza with a second-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary featherweight duel. Souza (15-4, 3-1 UFC) tapped 1:56 into round two, his 10 fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Skelly (15-1, 4-1 UFC) survived a left hook from the Brazilian that resulted in a knockdown late in the first round and then weathered some hammerfist-laden ground-and-pound early in the second. The 30-year-old worked back to his feet, executed a takedown next to the cage and advanced to Souza’s back. From there, he slid his arms into place and clamped down on the choke.
Skelly has rattled off four wins in a row.
Returning Andrade Downs Umalatov
Viscardi Andrade won for the eighth time in nine appearances, as he took a unanimous verdict from M-1 Global veteran Gasan Umalatov in a three-round undercard tilt at 170 pounds. Scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28, all in favor of Andrade (18-6, 2-1 UFC).
Umalatov (15-5-1, 1-3 UFC) seemed uninspired and disinterested for much of the match. In his first outing since February 2014, Andrade broke extended periods of inactivity with tactical punching flurries, knee strikes to the body and chopping elbows, and he had his counterpart reeling at the end of the second round. Outside of a spinning heel kick and an overhand right that forced the Brazilian to retreat to his back in round three, Umalatov failed to put together meaningful offense.
The 33-year-old Umalatov has lost four of his last six fights.
Rivera Edges Munhoz, Wins 17th Straight
Former Cage Fury Fighting Championships, Ring of Combat and King of the Cage titleholder Jimmie Rivera recorded his 17th consecutive victory, as he eked out a split decision against Pedro Munhoz in a preliminary bantamweight pairing. All three judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Rivera (18-1, 2-0 UFC).
Munhoz (11-2, 1-2 UFC) had his moments -- he drew blood with a knee strike in the first round and twice staggered the Team Tiger Schulmann rep with right hands in the second -- but not enough of them to warrant the decision. Rivera struck beautifully in combination, often punctuating heavy multi-punch bursts to the head and body with thudding kicks to the legs and ribs. His left hook was efficient and effective throughout the 15-minute match, leaving Munhoz with a badly swollen right eye.
Pereira Guillotine Submits Rodrigues
Nova Uniao prospect Matheus Nicolau Pereira submitted Bruno Rodrigues with a third-round guillotine choke in an undercard battle at 135 pounds. Rodrigues (4-1, 0-1 Bellator) conceded defeat 3:27 into round three.
Pereira (11-1-1, 1-0 UFC) floored the Shooto Americas veteran with a left hook in the first round, threatened with an armbar in the second and controlled the majority of the standup exchanges, mixing his punches with leg kicks and takedowns. The 22-year-old leveled the oncoming Rodrigues with a counter overhand right in the third, pounced with punches and climbed to mount. Pereira retained top position through a series of scrambles and lured his fellow Brazilian into the choke for the finish.