Before the UFC 153: "Silva vs. Bonnar" main card kicked off on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Sat., Oct. 13, 2012) from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, an entire six-bout preliminary card was broadcast on Facebook and FX, respectively.
In the final bout of the preliminary card, two alumni of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) squared off as featherweights Sam Sicilia and Rony Mariano "Jason" Bezerra put on an absolute war. Both men were known for their stand-up skills and both clocked each other with heavy punches throughout the bout, with "Jason" getting the more powerful and accurate blows in.
In the second round, "Jason" caught a kick, landed a monstrous right hand and put Sicilia down. After following him to the ground, Bezerra blasted him with hammer fists until Sicilia turned away from the punishment which gave Bezerra the victory.
Two of the largest lightweights in the UFC battled it out as Brazilians Gleison Tibau and Francisco Trinaldo duked it out in a thrilling three round war. Tibau controlled the first round with superior striking technique and some powerful takedowns, but Trinaldo fired back in the second, rocking Tibao with a haymaker on the feet and nearly finishing the fight with both a rear naked choke and with an arm triangle attempt on the ground.
Tibau showed amazing submission defense, saving himself on both occasions by remaining calm under fire and after he got back to his feet for the third round, he looked dominant once more, outstriking Trinaldo on the feet in a very entertaining exchange and then power-doubling him to the ground with his superior wrestling. He finished the fight in full mount while hunting for a submission, winning a unanimous decision 29-28 on all three judges scorescards.
Former winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 14 Diego Brandao put on the most complete performance of his UFC career against American Joey Gambino. Brandao got the better end of both the striking and grappling exchanges, hurting Gambino on multiple occasions and also gaining some dominant positions on the ground after following the New York-native to the canvas.
To his credit, Gambino showed strong defensive skills on the ground and was able to retain full guard every time Brandao threatened him with his grappling.
Brandao had showcased some serious issues with cardio and conditioning in the past, but he fought a much more measured gameplan and refused to blow his energy on fruitless finishing attempts. This resulted in him still being able to go strong until the end of the bout, which he won all three rounds to take a unanimous decision.
In welterweight action, TUF Brazil fighters Sergio Moraes and Renee Forte battled for supremacy, dropping down a weight class from their appearance on the show. Forte was getting the better of the stand-up exchanges but Moraes proved to be the superior grappler, scoring multiple takedowns throughout the fight and constantly working for submissions.
In the decisive third round, just when Forte seemed to be gaining momentum during an exciting striking exchange, Forte dove on his back, locking in a body triangle and hunting for a rear naked choke. Eventually, he snuck his arm underneath Forte's chin and forced his former castmate to tap out.
Luiz Cane dropped down a weight class, making his middleweight debut against gritty American Chris Camozzi, but it didn't go as expected. Camozzi was the more active fighter throughout the three rounds, landing more significant strikes and Cane again did not react too well to being hit.
In the end, Cane's awkward style simply wasn't enough as Camozzi was awarded a unanimous decision in a rather ho-hum fight.
The opening bout of the evening was perhaps the most controversial as well as lightweights Cristiano Marcello and Reza Madadi put on a very entertaining back-and-forth brawl. While both men are known for their ground games, with Marcello's BJJ and Madadi's wrestling, both men were content to stand and trade.
Marcello was the more active striker while Madadi put on more pressure, constantly moving forward and he was the one that landed with more power. Madadi had Marcello hurt in both of the first two rounds and kept Marcello moving backwards, but he lost a bit of steam in the final frame.
In a shocker, one judge gave the bout two Madadi, but the other scored it 29-28 for Marcello and the last, unbelievably, scored it 30-27 for Marcello to award the Brazilian a split decision victory.
Here are the complete results from the UFC 153 preliminary card:
145 lbs.: Rony Jason def. Sam Sicilia via TKO at 4:16 of round two
155 lbs.: Gleison Tibau def. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Diego Brandao def. Joey Gambino via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Sergio Moraes def. Renee Forte via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:10 of round three
185 lbs.: Chris Camozzi def. Luiz Cane via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Cristiano Marcello def. Reza Madadi via split decision
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of the UFC 153 fight card.
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