Sao Paulo's native mixed martial arts (MMA) son, Daniel Sarafian, made his long-waited Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut TONIGHT (Jan. 19, 2013) after a successful run on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" ended with him getting injured and missing the Finale against Cezar Ferreira.
Fighting in front of a proud hometown crowd at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sarafian was up against UFC veteran and TUF 7 runner up, C.B. Dollaway, who held significant height, wrestling and UFC experience over the Brazilian in the Middleweight match up.
Sarafian got the action started early, hurling punches with abandon as Dollaway tried to remain calm and keep his distance. He eventually found his mark, however, dropping "The Doberman" who survived the early scare thanks to his wrestling and scrambling ability.
Dollaway was seemingly on his heels for the remainder of the first round, reluctant to exchange haymakers for any extended period of time, which was unsurprising, considering the evil intentions behind each Sarafian bomb.
Sarafian continued to push the pace and unleash his hellish overhand right in the second stanza, finding his mark early, while Dollaway responded with kicks to the body that seemingly did nothing whatsoever. Dollaway landed a nice shot to the back of Sarafian's head midway through round two, which appeared to slow down the aggressive Brazilian.
Dollaway connected with an uppercut shortly thereafter that sent Sarafian to his belly. Dollaway swarmed thinking he could compel a stoppage, and he might have been able to get one, but Sarafian was saved by the bell.
In the third and final frame, Dollaway attempted to continue the momentum and it was clear that Sarafian did not have as much pep left in his step as he did earlier in the bout. Dolloway began to tee off one the fading Sarafian and he was soon able to finally score his first (and second) takedown of the fight.
Dollaway appeared to be on his way to winning the round, and possibly the fight, before Sarafian turned the tide, reversed and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Dollaway defended and reversed himself, angling for position as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
It was anyone's fight when it was all over, giving the judges a difficult decision. However, they eventually sided with Dollaway, awarding him with a hard fought, well-deserved and very unpopular split decision.