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Before the UFC FIGHT NIGHT 106 card from FORTALEZA BRAZIL began temperatures were rising. Had nothing to do with global warming either. In more than half of the square offs on Friday night things got testy between fighters. The half card of Brazilians all received standing ovations from the raucous crowd, making it sound more like a soccer game than MMA weigh ins. All that did was add some fuel to the fire for what on paper looked like your average Brazil vs the world type card. Every single fighter brought their “A” game to the cage, and fans left the Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste with sore throats.

The card started off with undefeated Brazilian  PAULO BORRACHINHA making his UFC debut, and tearing through GARRETT SOLDIERBOY MCLELLAN, who had 7 first round finishes himself. The TKO due to strikes happened at just 1:17 of round 1. JEREMY KENNEDY also improved his undefeated stretch to 10-0 after outlasting RONY JASON on all three judges scorecards.

Opening up the prelims; MICHEL PRAZERES who was on a 3 fight win streak extended it to 4 in a row by making JOSHUA BERKMAN tap out to a NORTH SOUTH CHOKE. It was just the forth time in UFC history that hold was used at 1:42 of the 1st round. Then right after Joshua announced he was walking away from MMA, as the gym he trains in (Iron Addicts in Miami) was just busted by the  DEA  in a massive multi state steroid ring. JOE SOTO edged out 14th ranked BANTAMWEIGHT RANI YAHYA by using efficient striking and walked away with an unanimous decision. The next bout wasn’t that close and went to the judge’s cards also. It saw SERGIO RAMOS beat DAVI RAMOS, making his UFC debut by unanimous decision. Rising lightweight prospect KEVIN THE MOTOWN PHENOM LEE was on a 2 fight win streak, and had really spiked the ire of the fans at the weigh ins after he flipped them all the bird. He was squared up against 11th ranked FRANCISCO TRINALDO riding a 8 fight win streak. Trinaldo hurt Kevin in the 1st with a straight left, and dropped him with another one followed by some elbows that put him on the brink. Between rounds Kevin seemed to magically snap back.His legs weren’t quite wobbly, and he was accurate. Lee’s kicks were getting mostly blocked, but hir right jabs weren’t. Eventually he found himself getting Trinaldo’s back in a scramble where he cinched in the REAR NAKED CHOKE as the big fan favorite tapped 3:12 of round 2 as the crowd just pelted Lee with boos.

TIM THE DIRTY BIRD MEANS opened the main card by fighting ALEX COWBOY OLIVIERA. Alex in their 1st fight at UFC 207 left the cage in a stretcher after getting kneed to the head just 3:33 into the 1st round. This time Oliviera wanted to bring the action to the mat. And it did with him taking down Tim 8 times and never letting him get into any rhythm. Eventually he was able to get his arm under Means’s chin and apply a very tight rear naked choke at 2:38 into round 2 when the Dirty Bird tapped out. The battle between 13th ranked BANTAMWEIGHTMARION THE BELIZEAN BRUISER RENEAU and 9th ranked BETHE PITBULL CORREIA, promised to be a slug fest. It more than lived up to its billing. Marion refused to not only back away from the tough striker, but chose to go toe-to-toe with her. For every shot she took, she countered with a greater number. The 2 actually did rock each other a couple of times. The judges saw it right down the middle and declared it a majority draw, although both fighters very much disagreed with that decision.

The FLYWEIGHT fight between #8 RAY BORG and #3 JUSSIER FORMIGA was to set who’s on the next level to take on champion DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON. It was Ray starting quickly, but was a back and forth grind for most of the bout. With Ray landing more vicious shots despite his legs bruising from the kicks he was absorbing the unanimous decision went in favor of Ray. Dangerous lightweight  EDSON BARBOZA was able to score his 11th win via KO/TKO and his 3rd win in a row; after landing an absolutely brutal flying knee



on the chin of BENEIL DARIUSH who had been pushing the action from the get go. In doing so he was landing some kicks and his left on the face of Edson at will. But Barboza was able to time that last charge perfectly, putting Dariush to sleep. The win now puts him very much in the lightweight title talk, especially with questions around KHABIB and CONOR. Perhaps a bout vs RDA is next.

Bellmore Long Island’s own GIAN VILLANTE had said he’d like to take on MAURICIO SHOGUN RUA. Like the old saying goes; be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Make no mistake the veteran Rua got hit, hit hard, and was even rocked a couple of times. But it was that veteran Shogun with the TKO win 59 seconds into round 3 dropping Gian with a head kick and right left combo. While the 2 had no problems trading shot for shot early on, the pace did slow down as they both became more careful. The win for Mauricio, was his 3rd in a row; the first time he’s done that in 10 years. He’ll most likely get the winner of the MANUWA-COREY next.

The main event was future Hall Of Famer 9th ranked middleweight THE PHENOM VITOR BELFORT, who was on a 2 fight losing streak taking on 10th ranked KELVIN GASTELUM who was actually on a 2 fight win streak since leaving the welterweight division. A laser fast and accurate left by Gastelum dropped the icon but he was able to get up and the onslaught continued. Vitor, who’s slowed down in age got tagged and tagged some more. Finally he went down at 3:52 for good of the 1st round from yet another blazing left hand. Afterwards, Gastelum said he’d like to go on a “legends ass whipping tour” and then called out ANDERSON SPIDER SILVA for the June 3rd card, UFC 212 in the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. That card is headlined by ALDO-HOLLOWAY for the UNDISPUTED FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE. He also hinted he may want to go back down to the welterweight division; but it’s a safe bet that DANA WHITE will not be a fan of that move after he missed weight 3 consecutive times. While Vitor has just one fight remaining on his contract, he said post fight that he’d like that to be his retirement fight. Also requesting to be on 212, as he lives in Rio; with probable opponents being URIAH HALL, or even TIM BOETSCH.

There is a definite feel at least in the UFC, that the changing of the guards is well under way. Surprisingly though no fight won “fight of the night”, yet 4 fighters walked away with “performance of the night bonuses”. They were Gastelum, Barboza, Prazeres, and Borrachinha.



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