‘Massaranduba’ Nabs 155 Title; Lineker Shines Again at Jungle Fight

By Guilherme Pinheiro Jul 30, 2011
Francisco “Massaranduba” Drinaldo is finally Jungle Fight’s lightweight champion.

Saturday night at Jungle Fight 30, inside the Para State University Gymnasium in Belem, the Brasilia native got a second chance to vie for the biggest 155-pound title in Brazil and made good, earning a very close majority decision (30-28, 30-29, 29-29) over Dream veteran Adriano Martins.

The 31-year-old Drinaldo was defeated by Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara in last September’s lightweight grand prix final, in a fight that he was dominating. Drinaldo rebounded with three straight wins within the promotion to get another shot at the title, declared vacant since Alcantara turned his Jungle Fight title into a Zuffa contract that now has him in the UFC.

After a slow first round in which both fighters were reluctant to engage, “Massaranduba” came back stronger in the second round, pursuing Martins through the ring and landing the harder shots. However, Martins showed his sense of urgency in the third round, going for the kill from the bell.

The Amazon veteran landed a jab-cross that clearly rocked Drinaldo and immediately pounced on the dizzy fighter. However, Drinaldo showed resiliency, slowly recovering from the onslaught and eventually standing back up again. Though he kept stalking Martins around the ring, his foe kept landing harder punches. However, the Constrictor Team fighter held on to hear the final bell and earned the close nod from two judges, much to the dismay of the disappointed Martins. Sherdog.com saw the bout 29-29.

“I just want to keep training. I started doing this when I was 24 years old. I have to train everyday because I’m still behind most of the guys,” said an ecstatic Drinaldo after the bout, declining to speculate on the possibility of fighting outside Brazil.

The night also confirmed the fighters who will vie for the first Jungle Fight bantamweight championship later this year.

Over 1,800 miles from his home of Paranagua, 21-year-old John Lineker solidified his status as one of the top bantamweight prospects in the world, finishing a very game Francisco Nazareno Figueredo with punches 36 seconds into round three.

After enduring trouble early dealing with Nazareno’s reach advantage, Lineker finally found his range and started to pepper Nazareno’s body with hard punches. He even knocked Nazareno down with a huge body shot that forced his foe out of the ring intentionally, and necessitating a yellow card to the Belem native.

In the second round, Lineker imposed his game on Nazareno, who was forced to back pedal throughout. Lineker scored another knockdown late, but did not have the time to finish before the horn. However, the fight would not last much longer: Nazareno entered the third wobbly and Lineker capitalized by knocking him down again and finishing with his fists.

After saying that this win was his “passport for the UFC” following the fight, Lineker was interrupted by Jungle Fight promoter Wallid Ismail, who immediately announced Lineker would fight for Jungle Fight’s bantamweight belt at Jungle Fight 32 on Sept. 10 in Sao Paulo. Ismail revealed that Lineker would face the winner of the evening’s Iliarde Santos-Luciano Lopes bout for the title.

When that bout came, Santos had an easy time, running over Lopes in just over two minutes to earn the title bid against Lineker.

Lopes tried to posture for a guillotine choke off of an early Santos takedown. Santos quickly escaped the submission attempt, stood up and started to unload on the Chute Boxe fighter. After Lopes turned away from the shots, referee Douglas Ayres had no other option but to stop the fight at 2:03 in round one.

“I’m going after the belt. I want to fight outside Brazil. What do I have to do?” demanded a fiery Santos.

Junior dos Santos training partner Edinaldo “Lula Molusco” Oliveira improved his record to 11-0-1, but did little to back up the notion he is ready for the big show.

Considered the top heavyweight prospect in Brazil, Oliveira fought tough northerner Bira Lima in a fairly slow contest. After being knocked down early in the first round, Oliveira abandoned his typically boxing-oriented game and went for takedown after takedown for the remainder of the fight.

Lima appeared to gas after the first round and had nothing for Oliveira. For his part, Oliveira did not look happy with his lethargic performance, despite easily taking a unanimous decision.

Para’s own Ildemar “Marajo” Alcantara -- younger brother of UFC featherweight and former Jungle Fight champion Yuri Alcantara -- made quick work of Richard Smith in the night’s sole middleweight bout. After getting an early takedown in the fight, Alcantara proceeded to get the back, then mount position and back mount again. In the end, Alcantara’s grappling was just too much for the North American, who tapped to a rear-naked choke at 2:39 of the opening stanza.

Paulo Rodrigues took out teenage welterweight prospect Norman Carlton with a brutal knockout in just 97 seconds. After a promising MMA debut at Jungle Fight 26 against Peterson Chacal, the Champion Team product looked nervous in his second pro fight. Carlton left his chin exposed after a scramble and Rodrigues connected with a huge right cross that took Carlton’s consciousness away from him.

In the evening’s opening bout, lightweights Neilson Gomes and Jadson Souza Costa tangled in a fast-paced fight. Gomes used his clear strength advantage to repeatedly take Costa down and pound him with violent shots. In the end, the Champion Team product took a deserved unanimous decision.
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