UFC Fight Night 137 Prelims: Francisco Trinaldo Finishes Evan Dunham with Perfect Knee

By Mike Sloan Sep 22, 2018

Francisco Trinaldo ruined Evan Dunham’s going away party by leveling him with a sinister left knee to the liver in the UFC Fight Night 137 prelims headliner.

After trading strikes and out-grappling each other for nearly two full rounds, the Brazilian hammered his knee into the Las Vegas-based Oregonian’s liver during a heated exchange. Once the strike landed, Dunham crumbled in a heap, prompting referee Marc Goddard to intervene. The end came officially at 4:10 of the second, allowing “Massaranduba” to rise to 23-6. Dunham ends his MMA career with an 18-8-1 overall record.

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Newcomer Spann Gets Win

Newcomer Ryan Spann did well in his Octagon debut as he out-dueled former heavyweight Luis Henrique Barbosa de Oliveira over three rounds. Both light heavies landed decent punches and kicks, but Spann (15-5) had the better gas tank down the stretch.

Even with the Brazilian scoring multiple takedowns in the contest, “Super Man” continuously escaped to his feet and improved his positioning. In the end, all three judges felt Spann did enough to win as they awarded him a unanimous decision via tallies of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28. Henrique fell to 10-5.

Heavyweight prospect Augusto Sakai had to work hard but he eventually stopped Chase Sherman late in the third. The pair traded punches to the head and low kicks throughout their affair, but Sakai continuously landed the harder, more damaging strikes.

Sakai rocked “The Vanilla Gorilla” with a right hook to the head and then nearly had his foe out with knees to the head and body moments later. Sherman (11-6) hung tough, but with a depleted gas tank, Sakai eventually tossed him to the canvas, where he finished him with punches from on top. Referee Marc Goddard eventually intervened, ending the battle at 4:03 of the third, allowing the Bellator veteran to improve to 12-1-1.

Moraes Displays Elite Ground Game in Win

In a matchup of two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts, it was Brazil’s Sergio Moraes who reigned supreme against Ben Saunders (22-10-2). “The Panther” took the taller American down in the first and nearly landed an armbar from mount, and then continued his grappling dominance in the second.

Moraes (14-4-1) scored a takedown and took his time before slithering to mount. From there, Moraes wrapped up the arm-triangle choke and forced “Killa B” to tap out, the first time ever in MMA that Saunders has been submitted. The end came officially at 4:42 of the frame.

Silva Takes Arm Home

Flyweight prospect Mayra Bueno Silva (6-0) entered her bout on UFC Fight Pass as a slight underdog against submission specialist Gillian Robertson (5-3), but that didn’t faze her. “Cheetara” landed solid punches and elbows to the head and eventually locked her foe up in a tight armbar late in the first.

At some point in the contest, the Brazilian injured her leg, but it didn’t stop her from rolling “The Savage” into an armbar and forcing the tap with a mere five seconds remaining in the first.

Leites Calls it a Career

In what was his final fight ever in mixed martial arts, Brazil’s Thales Leites went out on top. After suffering through an opening round that saw Cuban Olympic judoka Hector Lombard (34-10-1) slamming his shins into his legs, Leites changed his approach and dominated down the stretch.

Leites continually landed short right hands to his opponent's head and began landing leg kicks of his own. In the end, Leites (28-9) was busier in the final round and won a unanimous decision via tallies of 29-28 across the board.

Dos Santos Capitalizes to Taste Victory

Welterweight veteran Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos ended the unbeaten streak of young newcomer Luigi Vendramini as he took him out in the second round in spectacular fashion.

After surviving a pair of tight rear-naked chokes in the opening frame, “Capoeira” countered a low kick by crushing a flying knee onto Vendramini’s jaw. The strike immediately sent shockwaves through The Italian Stallion’s circuits and as he stumbled toward the cage, dos Santos finished him off with punches to the head. The end came officially just 80 seconds into the stanza, allowing the Brazilian to rise to 20-5. Vendramini, from Rome, dipped to 8-1.

Souza Debuts in Impressive Fashion

Brazilian contender Livia Renata Souza was impressive in the first bout of the evening as she blitzed Alex Chambers (5-6) and submitted her in just 81 seconds.

“Livinha” rocked the Aussie with an overhand right to the dome and, during the ensuing scramble, took her down. From there, Souza (13-1) moved to full mount before locking in a guillotine and forcing “Astro Girl” to tap out.


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