Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Brazil tonight (Sat., Nov. 9, 2013), and before the heavily anticipated Middleweight main event clash between Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson commenced, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil, were treated to entertaining fights on the "Prelims" under card.
This instalment of the "Prelim" bouts saw the crowd favorites win and lose, with none of the five contests going to a decision -- proving that it was an action-packed way to start off the night in Gioania.
In the featured bout,the expectation was that Godofredo Pepey and Sam Sicilia was going to be a slugfest with one man falling -- and it was more or less that. Sicilia was able to knockout Pepey in less than two minutes.
Both featherweights felt each other out in the opening moments before Pepey went for a takedown and tried to submit Sicilia. The American was wary of his opponent's submissions, and Sicilia found himself on top of the Brazilian. From the open guard, Sicilia continue to attack and starting to drop bombs, with Pepey going out like a light.
Sicilia saves his job, and moves to 2-2 in the promotion.
Thiago Perpetuo was coming off a 17-month layoff to face UFC debutant Omari Akhmedov at middleweight, and although he almost finished the Russian on several occasions, he was stopped in the first round from a short-right hand -- courtesy of Akhmedov.
Perpetuo dropped Akhmedov early and pounced on the Russian, but could not finish him. Akhmedov went for the takedown to survive and once he got back up, he was wobbled by another right hand. Going into survival mode, Akhmedov went for another takedown and then locked in a rear-naked choke and almost submitted Perpetuo. The Brazilian was able to work through it and just when he thought he was the better striker, he decided to slug it out with Akhmedov and was knocked out by a short-right hand to the chin. Akhmedov was able to knockout Perpetuo after being rocked himself for a third time.
Akhmedov gets his ninth-straight first round victory, and it must be stressed that he continues to ride the wave of successful performances from Russian fighters in the UFC as of late. He is still undefeated, with a record of 12-0. Perpetuo is stopped for the first time due to strikes.
Three-time Fight of The Night winner and longtime UFC veteran Thiago Tavares looked the most impressive on the "Prelims," submitting his replacement opponent Justin Salas by rear-naked choke in the very first round.
Tavares tried to engage Salas into a war on the ground early on in the fight, yet Salas was having none of it. Tavares was beating Salas to the punch, setting up a takedown and landed another in a fireman's carry position. Tavares worked until he secured Salas' back, got the hooks in and sunk a rear-naked choke on his opponent and the wrestler tapped quickly.
Tavares will be looking to compete on February's Brazil card, sustaining almost no damage in his eight-career UFC victory.
Daron Cruickshank walked into enemy territory on Saturday night against promotional newcomer Adriano Martins, and felt the wrath of his opponent -- losing by submission for the second time in his career.
Martins disallowed Cruickshank to get into his groove early on in the fight, dropping him and following up with hammerfists in the first round. "The Detroit Superstar" was able to recover; yet he took more damage from strikes and almost got caught in a few submission attempts from his Brazilian counterpart.
Martins continued to work Cruickshank on the mat, looking for a submission win. He attacked Cruickshank's left arm, and eventually caught him in a straight armbar, with Cruickshank tapping immediately.
Martins moves to 24-6 in the sport and has six-straight victories.
The first bout of the evening was contested in the flyweight division, with Dustin Ortiz earning a stoppage over Jose Maria.
Jose Maria started off with flashy striking, including capoeira kicks and spinning back fists, and secured the takedown in the opening minute. Ortiz looked decent on his feet, yet Maria was visibly faster on his feet and mixed up his attacks as well. Maria did catch Ortiz in an arm-in guillotine towards the end of the first round, but the Roufusport fighter survived.
Ortiz controlled Maria with his takedowns in the second round and in the beginning of the third, working with transitions. Ortiz took his opponent's back and started to pummel Maria with strikes -- leaving the referee with no option but to step in. Maria protested, saying the shots were to the back of the head and that he was alright, though it did not change the outcome.
Maria loses two straight in the Octagon, while Ortiz makes a successful debut and makes it four straight wins.
Here are the full "Prelims" results from UFC Fight Night 32:
Godofredo Pepey vs. Sam Sicilia -- Sicilia wins by TKO (strikes), at 1:42 of round one.
Thiago Perpetuo vs. Omari Akhmedov -- Akhmedov wins by knockout (strikes), at 3:31 of round one.
Thiago Tavares vs. Justin Salas -- Tavares wins by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of round one.
Adriano Martins vs. Daron Cruickshank -- Martins wins by submission (straight armbar) at 2:29 of round two.
Jose Maria vs. Dustin Ortiz -- Ortiz wins by TKO (strikes) at 3:19 of round three.
That's it for the "Prelims" that took place on the UFC Fight Night 32: "Belfort vs. Henderson" fight card.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 32 fight card this Saturday night (Nov. 9, 2013) right here, with the main card broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.