Last night (Sun., March 23, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights CB Dollaway and Cezar Ferreira went to war in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 38 from Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil (full results here).
Undefeated in three UFC bouts, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" 1 middleweight winner Ferreira came in off a decision win over Daniel Sarafian. He faced a man with much more experience in Dollaway, who brought the knowledge of 12 Octagon bouts into Natal.
The NCAA Division I All-American wrestler had won two out of his previous three mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts, and his UFC 166 loss to Tim Boetsch was a controversial split decision that many felt could have been ruled in Dollaway's favor. A win over "Mutante" promised to boost him up in the stacked UFC middleweight division, and "Doberman" lived up to his namesake with a vicious first round stoppage in Brazil.
The fight started out with Ferreira pushing forward with some big shots. Dollaway fought back with a right hand of his own, but "Mutante" persevered to continue his rush. Dollaway waited patiently and found an opening for a sharp left hook that stunned Ferreira, following with a right hand that dropped him.
"Doberman" swarmed on the ground, raining down shots on a dazed Ferreira until the referee stopped the fight just 39 seconds into the first round.
It was a quick and brutal win for Dollaway, who has always been regarded as highly talented. But, he also has a reputation for not living up to that potential, something that he's been working hard to shed in recent bouts. He could easily be on a four-fight win streak in the Octagon right now, so a big fight should await Dollaway.
After making a TUF: "Brazil" winner look foolish in under a minute, he deserves it.
Bouts against opponents like Francis Carmont, Alan Belcher, or even the winner of the upcoming clash between Brad Tavares and Yoel Romero at April's UFC on FOX 11 would make sense for the surging "Doberman."
Ferreira will have to go back to the drawing board after his first-ever Octagon loss. He looked effective in his previous three contests, but a step up in competition proved too much for the Brazilian. "Mutante" got overconfident in his striking by coming out ultra-aggressive with several wild, looping punches that left him open to pay the ultimate price.
He'll need to redefine his gameplan and include some respect for his opponent's skills next time out. Even though Dollaway was known primarily as a wrestler, he had five striking stoppages on his record heading into UFC Fight Night 38. Ferreira would have been much better served letting this fight play out more to his strengths rather than going headhunting from the opening bell.
He'll most likely get a rebound opportunity against a mid-level middleweight, but he'll show up to the Octagon with a renewed focus to get back in the win column.
CB Dollaway continued to impress at UFC Fight Night 38, becoming an under-the-radar contender at middleweight by ruthlessly finishing Cezar Ferreira. With momentum on his side, what does the future hold for "Doberman"?