Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Brazil for the UFC Fight Night 77 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which includes a middleweight trilogy fight between veteran sluggers Vitor Belfort (24-11) and Dan Henderson (31-13).
The duo will trade punches live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) tonight (Sat., Nov. 7, 2015) starting at 10 p.m. ET inside Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo in the feature fight of the evening, right after a pivotal clash between light heavyweight contenders Glover Teixeira (23-4) and Patrick Cummins (8-2) in the night's co-main event.
Elsewhere on the main card are exciting tilts featuring the likes of entertaining countrymen Thomas Almeida (19-0) and Fabio Maldonado (22-8).
However, before we can get to those exchanges, fight fans are treated to an interesting suite of seven "Prelims" bouts, which begin on the Fight Pass streaming service at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then transfer over to FS1 at 8 p.m. ET, where the headliner is a lightweight matchup pitting Gleison Tibau (33-11) against Abel Trujillo 12-6-(1).
Below are the results recaps for the three UFC Fight Night 77 "Prelims" tussles on Fight Pass:
Viscardi Andrade vs. Gasan Umalatov
Both Andrade and Umalatov came into this welterweight meeting searching for some consistency in the Octagon
Some leg strikes from both men get us started. Umalatov is winging shots. He lands a good leg kick. The Brazilian aims to put the pressure on. The Dagestani is on the retreat now, but Andrade isn't throwing. Umalatov misses with the left cross. A right hand connects for Andrade. He gets lazy throwing a kick and eats an overhand right. "Cobra" scores with a body kick. Umalatov goes for a takedown, but he gets denied. The 31-year-old Andrade lands a good elbow and then a knee strike in the clinch.
We start round two with the pair trading in the center of the Octagon. A power body shot lands for Andrade, followed by a kick. Good leg kick from Andrade. Another counter left hand scores for Andrade. Technical prowess isn't really Umalatov's thing. He's not exactly getting outlanded, but Andrade is far more impressive with striking in this round. Solid left from Andrade. Moments of the 33-year-old Umalatov backing Andrade up into the fence. However, it's the Brazilian staying calm, returning with an abundance of strikes. Andrade lands a trio of devastating knees to the body of Umalatov to conclude the second frame.
A nice overhand right from Andrade connects to begin round three. Spinning heel kick cracks Andrade. Good knees from Andrade, followed by an uppercut from Umalatov. They're turning up the heat. Andrade working some leg kicks. A good body shot scores for Umalatov. He connects with a leg kick. A heat-seeking body kick lands for Andrade. Umalatov presses forward and initiates the clinch. He drops Andrade with a right and that's the end of the fight.
The winner: Andrade via unanimous decision
Andrade improves to 18-6, while Umalatov falls to 15-5-1.
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Two bantamweights with lots of promise, Munhoz and Rivera, competed in a tight contest.
Munhoz lands a leg kick to start the fight. Lots of feelers coming from the Brazilian. Rivera scores with an uppercut. An errant low kick from Munhoz causes a brief break. Huge body kick finds the mark for Munhoz. A left sneaks through for the American, followed by a body shot. Speed advantage for Rivera, who puts together a solid combination, ending with a high kick. More strikes pummel Munhoz's body. "The Young Punisher" is struggling to let his hands go. Rivera sees him coming. The 26-year-old Rivera keeps switching things up. His game plan is clearly messing with Munhoz. Big left again connects on Munhoz's jaw, who lands his best strike of the round with a knee. Small cut above the left eye of Rivera develops.
More kicks to the body from Rivera. The Tiger Schulman's product rocks Munhoz and starts pouring it on, but the latter returns fire. Rivera gets tagged now with an overhand right. Great scramble by Rivera to get out of a guillotine attempt from Munhoz after the former was stunned by a beautiful right. The 29-year-old Munhoz is deep on a double leg now. Munhoz's right eye has swollen up. Both men connect with knee strikes to the body. Rivera scores with a left. Leg strikes connect for Rivera.
Front kick connects for Munhoz, but Rivera counters at that start of round three. Spinning heel kick attempt from Rivera. Uppercut sneaks through. A body kick from Munhoz is nullified by a Rivera right. Munhoz shoots in on "El Terror." Rivera rips one to the body. Overhand right from Munhoz connects. Rivera stops a single leg attempt. More strikes to the body from Rivera. The pair keep tagging each other and walking through punches; Rivera scores with some right hands. Rivera shoots and follows up his failed takedown attempt with a good right hand.
The winner: Rivera via split-decision
Rivera improves to 18-1. Munhoz drops to 11-1-(1).
Bruno Korea vs. Matheus Nicolau
TUF: Brazil 4 veterans Korea and Nicolau kicked off tonight's card in what was an entertaining bantamweight exchange.
Nicolau wades in with a left hand, right after an outside leg kick. They trade leg kicks. Solid left connects for Nicolau. A huge right hand, followed by a left hook. Nicolau's establishing a rhythm. He sets it up with a left hand body shot. Korea finds the mark with an inside leg kick. A crushing left drops Korea, sending him to the canvas. The 22-year-old Nicolau slides into full guard. Upkicks coming from Korea as Nicolau postures up. Korea gets back to his feet, but Nicolau keeps up pressure. Nicolau locks his hands and nabs the double leg. Korea right back up. Nicolau answers in close quarters with an elbow. Spinning back kick caught from Nicolau, using it to take his fellow Brazilian to the ground.
Korea needs to push the pace in round two. He was moving backwards for the majority of the opening round. So far, he's maintaining good defense; hands are up. Takedown from Nicolau and Korea commits a foul with an illegal upkick. No point taken away. Excellent scramble by Korea and we're back up. Korea gets tagged again and then responds with a spinning back kick. Seems like Korea's a bit loosey goosey. A good counter right lands for Korea. Spinning back kick by Korea sends Nicolau to the ground, but the former is caught in a deep armbar. He escapes and begins to work. Nicolau is attempting to get back to his feet, placing his foot on the hip of Korea, who maintains top position to end round two.
It's anyone's fight. Korea connects to the body. Big right hand from Nicolau. Korea looked to be going for a flying strike and Nicolau counters, dropping him with an overhand right. Good elbows land for Nicolau. Half guard right now. Korea is cut and bleeding. Nicolau is looking for a choke and taps Korea with a fine guillotine.
The winner: Nicolau via third-round guillotine choke
The Nova Uniao representative earns his first UFC victory and improves overall to 11-1-1, while Korea falls to 4-1.
For complete coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 77: 'Belfort vs. Henderson 3' card, including live updates and play-by-play, click here.