Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight prospects Antonio Carlos Junior and Patrick Cummins collided last night (Dec. 20, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 58 inside the Ginasio Jose Correa in Barueri, Brazil.
Carlos Junior ran roughshod on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil at heavyweight before dropping down a weight class. One of the better and younger prospects in the division, the Brazilian had a serious opportunity to announce himself as a threat to the division last night.
On the other hand, Cummins had done a decent job distancing himself from the embarrassing loss to Daniel Cormier. In order to potentially make his way into the UFC rankings -- and get some of that Reebok money -- Cummins needed a strong victory last night.
He earned just that.
Carlos Junior started the bout quickly and landed some nice strikes before Cummins hit an inside trip. Immediately, the Brazilian rolled into a knee bar and began attacking. In an excellent display of both offense and defense, Carlos Junior transitioned into heel hooks and calf slicers, all while Cummins slowly inches his way out and avoided losing top position or a limb.
With about a minute and a half left, Cummins fully cleared the leg lock. Back in a regular guard, Cummins dropped some heavy ground strikes and then passed into side control. The first round ended with Cummins maintaining top position and landing some hard punches.
Cummins completely controlled the second round. Carlos Junior opened the second round with an attempted takedown, which Cummins reversed into top control. From there, he continued to land elbows and punches until he let Carlos Junior stand near the end of the round.
Motivated to get something done, Carlos Junior swung wild punches at the American wrestler. However, "Durkin" responded by ducking under a punch and easily throwing Carlos Junior onto his back towards the end of the round.
Cummins started the third round by ducking into another takedown, much to the dismay of the Brazilian crowd. While landing ground strikes, Cummins slowly worked into the mount. Before he could get any really damage going, Carlos Junior pushed off the fence and returned to his guard.
With about a minute left, Carlos Junior scrambled up to his feet, causing Cummins to go for a terrible shot. The Brazilian clearly saw it coming and reversed into the back clinch. From there, he slammed Cummins and took his back, but the clock was against him. Out of options, the Brazilian attempted to slide into an armbar, but he was shaken off.
At the end of the bout, all three judges gave Cummins each round.
Cummins is developing into a solid light heavyweight. His striking to takedown transitions can still be a bit rough, but his reactive shots were excellent. Once on top, Cummins did a very nice job with his submission defense, including making his opponent pay for submission attempts.
Additionally, Cummins chased the finish throughout the fight and his conditioning held up in a tough environment. For a relatively inexperienced fighter, this was a very promising showcase. In his next bout, Cummins should get a match with someone from the bottom half of the top 15, like Fabio Maldonado.
Though Carlos Junior lost, he's still a prospect worth watching. On his feet, Carlos Junior showcased some serious athleticism and -- prior to getting desperate -- decent striking skills. Plus, his jiu-jitsu is obviously very good.
With all that in mind, Carlos Junior needs to improve his conditioning. Had he been able to maintain his constant attack for three hard rounds, he may have been able to force Cummins into making a mistake. Hell, he nearly caused Cummins to give away the fight last night while horribly fatigued.
At just 24 years old, Carlos Junior is still a fighter worth watching.
During UFC Fight Night 58, Patrick Cummins controlled and battered Antonio Carlos Junior to a decision win. How far can "Durkin" climb?
For complete UFC Fight Night "Machida vs Dollaway" results and play-by-play click HERE.