In UFC Fight Night preliminary action at the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil Saturday night, Washington featherweight Sam Sicilia broke a two fight losing streak, stopping Godofredo Pepey in the first round of a battle between Ultimate Fighter alums.
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“We call that Richter scale ground and pound at my gym,” said Sicilia, now 12-3; Fortaleza’s Pepey falls to 10-3.
Turning an early takedown by Pepey into his favor as he got on top, Sicilia fired off bad intentioned ground strikes, and after eating an upkick, he continued to pound away, with right hands rocking and soon stopping the Brazilian, with referee Dan Miragliotta halting the bout at the 1:42 mark.
See Sicilia's post-fight interview
AKHMEDOV vs. PERPETUO
A wild middleweight bout between debuting Omari Akhmedov and Sao Paulo’s Thiago Perpetuo ended with Akhmedov scoring a first round knockout victory.
Akhmedov (12-0) got rocked and dropped in the opening minute as the two clashed heads, but he recovered quickly and got back to his feet, locking up Perpetuo against the fence. When the two broke, Perpetuo (9-3-1) wobbled the Russian with a right hand, but again Akhmedov shook off the effects of the blow, this time getting a takedown and almost finishing matters with a rear naked choke. After escaping, the Brazilian got a takedown of his own, but the two rose quickly. A wild exchange followed, and Akhmedov struck first with a right hand, dropping Perpetuo to the mat face first, prompting referee Kevin MacDonald to halt the fight 3:31 into the first round.
Jon Anik interviews Akhmedov post-fight
TAVARES vs. SALAS
Florianopolis’ Thiago Tavares looked sharp from the opening bell against Denver’s Justin Salas, quickly finishing his foe via submission in the first round of their lightweight bout.
Using his striking effectively as the fight opened, Tavares used his hands to set up two takedowns, the second allowing him to settle in on the mat, and after taking Salas’ back, he finished matters, with a rear naked choke producing a tap out at 2:38 of the first round.
Tavares ups his record to 22-5-1; Salas falls to 11-5.
Hear from Tavares after the win
MARTINS vs. CRUICKSHANK
Former Strikeforce lightweight Adriano Martins made his UFC debut a successful one, submitting Daron Cruickshank in the second round.
After a measured start from both fighters, a left hand from Manaus’ Martins (25-6) sent Cruickshank to the deck just about two minutes in. Cruickshank (13-4) recovered well, but after the two rose he got rocked again, this time by a 1-2. With a little over 90 seconds left, the bout strayed to the ground, with Martins taking control immediately. Working for an arm, Martins almost got it twice, but Cruickshank’s defense kept him in the fight and got him out of the round.
Martins got the fight back to the mat early in round two, and he fired off strikes from the top position until getting another opportunity to take Cruickshank’s arm. And this time, he got it, forcing the Detroit native to tap out via kimura at the 2:49 mark.
ORTIZ vs. MARIA
Flyweight debutant Dustin Ortiz picked up his first UFC victory in the opener, stopping Rio de Janeiro veteran Jose Maria in the third round.
The crowd in Goiania was into the fight from the start, chanting and cheering for their man, Maria. Maria responded with some solid strikes and two takedowns, but in the second half of the frame, it was Ortiz bouncing back with some quality ground work and takedowns of his own, even if he nearly got caught in a guillotine choke in the final minute.
Round two was almost a carbon copy of the first, with Maria starting strong before taking a low shot, and Ortiz coming back in the second half of the stanza before the Brazilian attempted a guillotine choke in the closing seconds.
Ortiz got in gear quickly in the third though, taking Maria to the mat and dealing out some effective ground and pound. Eventually, Maria turned and gave his back, and after a series of hammerfists, referee Kevin MacDonald called a halt to the bout at the 3:19 mark.
With the win, Ortiz improves to 12-2; Maria falls to 33-5 with 2 NC.