In the lead-in to his UFC 153 co-main event with Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira Saturday night, heavyweight Dave Herman said that “jiu-jitsu doesn’t work” on him. Well, it worked for Nogueira, as he submitted Herman with an armbar, sending the crowd at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil into a frenzy.
The 36-year-old Nogueira (34-7-1, 1 NC) walked through a knee to start the bout, determined to get the fight to the mat. He got his wish, but it was Herman (21-5) in control until the two rose again. Nogueira was able to get Herman’s attention with a short left, but it was the American who fired back with hard kicks to the midsection. With 90 seconds gone, Nogueira caught a kick and bulled his opponent to the fence, but they soon broke free, each landing their share of shots. Nogueira soon began finding his range with his right hand, but the relaxed Herman was undeterred by the former PRIDE and UFC champion’s attacks.
Nearly 30 seconds into the second round, Nogueira switched things up, dropping Herman with a left. Nogueira then got the mount and worked on Herman’s left arm, but he gave it up in order to take his opponent’s back and try for an armbar. Herman defended well though, and he got back to his feet. A throw by Herman followed, but the two quickly rose. After a brief exchange, Nogueira got the takedown and went for the arm again. This time he got it, and Herman tapped out at 4:31 of the second frame.
TEIXEIRA vs. MALDONADO
The Glover Teixeira hype train isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon if his dominant two round win over countryman Fabio Maldonado is any indication, but what most people will take away from the light heavyweight bout was the courageous stand of Maldonado, who refused to give in under ten minutes of punishment.
“This guy, he’s not human,” said Teixeira in admiration of his foe.
The first round was one of the most one-sided you will ever see, with Teixeira (19-2) starting things off with a left hook that rocked Maldonado. A follow-up right left dropped Maldonado, and what followed was four minutes of ground and pound by Teixeira mixed with an arm triangle attempt, and when Maldonado finally got up, battered and bloodied, with a little over one minute left, a stoppage by referee Mario Yamasaki would have been welcomed. Amazingly, Maldonado was able to tag Teixeira and stagger him, forcing a takedown just before the end of the round.
Teixeira took no chances in round two, immediately tossing Maldonado to the mat. Maldonado (18-6) made it back to his feet though, and he was able to score with some jabs before another Teixeira takedown. The ground and pound assault resumed, but not with the intensity of the previous frame, and with a minute left, Yamasaki stood the fighters and had the Octagonside physician check Maldonado out. After the action resumed, Teixeira continued tagging Maldonado, and at the end of the round, the doctor wisely intervened and stopped the fight.
Hear who Teixeira called out in his post-fight interview
E. SILVA vs. FITCH
The old dog issued a valuable lesson to the young lion in welterweight action, as longtime contender Jon Fitch put on one of his most impressive performances yet, pounding out a three round unanimous decision over hot prospect Erick Silva.
“I would have beaten anybody tonight,” said the former welterweight title challenger.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Fitch, who improves to 27-4-1 with 1 NC. Silva falls to 14-3 with 1 NC.
Fitch took advantage of Silva’s first striking attempt, catching a kick and taking the Brazilian to the mat. Silva shot back up, but Fitch wouldn’t let him escape, taking his back and firing away with right hands as he tried to get both hooks in. Midway through the round, Fitch looked for a standing arm triangle, but Silva got free and landed with a front kick and hard right hand. At close range, the two locked up and both got off strikes, and the exchange ended with Fitch getting Silva to the fence and later taking him to the mat just before the bell.
Starting off the second round with a nice uppercut to the jaw of Silva, Fitch suddenly got tripped to the mat by the 170-pound prospect, and Silva pounded away with hammerfists in an attempt to take control. Fitch used his veteran experience to survive though, and with 3:25 left, he got loose and bulled Silva to the fence. A missed takedown attempt allowed Silva to get Fitch to the bout though, and soon after, it was Silva sinking in a rear naked choke. After a few rough moments, Fitch remarkably found a way out and sunk in an armbar just before the end of the round, turning the tide once again, but Silva was able to make it out of the second stanza.
A quick takedown by Fitch opened the third, and Silva looked exhausted as Fitch took his back and pounded away with right hands. 90 seconds in though, it was time for Silva to resurrect himself, and he got free and locked in a guillotine choke. At this late juncture, Fitch was able to get out of danger, and he quickly regained control, dumping Silva to the mat again. Fitch proceeded to pound away with both hands, and Silva, while game, had no recourse but to take the punishment until he was saved by the bell.
Watch Fitch's post-fight interview
DAVIS vs. PRADO
The August bout between light heavyweights Phil Davis and Wagner Prado ended in a no contest after an inadvertent eye poke rendered Prado unable to continue, but the second time around, Davis made sure there was a definitive finish, as he dominated Prado on the mat before submitting him in the second round.
There was little scoring of note in the first two minutes until Davis (10-1, 1 NC) scored a takedown and put Prado against the fence. Prado stayed busy in an attempt to stand, but Davis kept him trapped. With 90 seconds left, Prado got up briefly, only to get double legged back to the mat, and Davis landed with two flush right hands while the two were grounded. Prado rose to his feet late in the round, but not surprisingly, he was on the mat by round’s end.
The takedown fest continued in round two, with Prado (8-1, 1 NC) unable to deal with the mat prowess of the former NCAA Division I national champion. Late in the round, an arm triangle choke came up short, but the anaconda choke moments later wrapped things up, with Prado tapping out at 4:29 of the second.
Hear what Davis had to say in his post-fight interview
MAIA vs. STORY
In the six years since his last fight in Brazil, Sao Paulo’s Demian Maia became a world-renowned UFC contender. Tonight, he returned and gave his home country fans something he hadn’t delivered since 2009, a submission win, as he forced Rick Story to tap out in the first round.
Story came out blasting, but Maia adjusted well and got the fight to the mat. Story got back to his feet, but the Brazilian kept the pressure on and every time the American got upright, Maia put him back down. Eventually, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard took Story’s back and with a rear naked choke turned into a neck crank, Story was forced to submit at 2:30 of the opening round.
With the win, Maia ups his record to 17-4, in the process making it 2-0 at welterweight. Story falls to 14-6.
Watch Maia's post-fight interview