One of the UFC's finest featherweight prospects was given a stern test against one of the brightest newcomers to the promotion last night (June 23, 2012) as Yuri Alcantara took on Hacran Dias in the opening bout of the UFC 147 main card in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Alcantara had gone 3-0 in his Zuffa career thus far, looking sharp and increasingly like a potential contender in all his previous efforts inside the Octagon.
While his opponent, Hacran Dias, was making his UFC debut, he was far from a noobie. The Nova Uniao fighter has long been considered one of the best featherweights in the world that had not been signed to a major promotion.
Dias proved the hype very real.
So what attribute helped Dias dominate the experienced Alcantara? And what happens next for both men?
Follow me after the jump for our Hacran Dias vs. Yuri Alcantara UFC 147 post-fight review and analysis:
This fight was practically all Dias, all the time. Within the opening seconds of the first round, Dias was closing the distance and working for takedowns. He didn' tmess around and he didn't care if Alcantara knew exactly what he was trying to do because he felt Alcantara couldn't stop him regardless.
Once he had Alcantara on the ground, Dias began ripping him up with punches and elbows, which allowed him to eventually pass his guard. It was a great strategy to soften Alcantara up and create his own openings rather than wait for one to develop.
The second round was more of the same, although at least Alcantara threw up an armbar attempt that was surprisingly close. It must not have been too tight, however, as Dias went right back to punching, elbowing and hammer-fisting with the same arm for the final eight minutes.
In the third, the crowd turned on Dias, not appreciating his dominance and the referee succumbed to its will, forcing some pretty bad stand-ups which allowed Alcantara an opportunity to try and get back into the fight. He would land a efw blows, but not nearly enough to threaten a finish and that was exactly what he needed.
In the end, the judges unanimously saw it Hacran Dias' way with only one judge giving Alcantara one round.
For Yuri Alcantara, this was a brutal night in which he got very little opportunity to showcase what he was capable of. He had a very rough time getting out from underneath Dias and he was just surviving on multiple occasions. In the stand-up portion, he wasn't nearly as aggressive as he should have been considering how much Dias was taking the fight to him on the canvas. For a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, he didn't have much for Dias off of his back other than that brief armbar attempt.
I'd like to see Alcantara face someone along the lines of Hatsu Hioki next as both men were near the top of the division before losing this weekend. Other potential candidates include Bart Palaszewski or perhaps Diego Nunes.
For Hacran Dias, he looked terrific and performed incredibly well considering this was his first serious opportunity with a large fighting promotion. He didn't mess around with Alcantara on the feet for long at all before grabbing body locks and working his takedowns. Dias was also much more aggressive on the canvas than expected as he wasn't known for throwing so many strikes against downed opponents before last night, instead looking to pass guard and attack with submissions. This was the type of performance many fans around the world were expecting after glimpsing his potential and he delivered.
I'd love to see Dias against some other top featherweight prospects like Jim Hettes, the recently victorious Steven Siler or perhaps the recently victorious Charles Oliveira.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did Dias firmly entrench himself as a potential contender with his victory last night? What did you think about his performance and is there anything else you'd like to see out of the young and aggressive grappler?
For complete UFC 147 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.