Things get hot in Brazil tonight (March 21, 2015) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosted its second mixed martial arts (MMA) event of the New Year inside Maracanazinho Gymnasium. UFC Fight Night 62 invades Rio de Janeiro with two high-profile welterweight bouts.
Atop the card sits a five-round tilt with two of the 170-pound division's best. No. 7 ranked Demian Maia meets the No. 14 ranked Ryan LaFlare in a meeting of jiu-jitsu masterminds. Preceding the pair's main event melee will be a fight featuring promising prospect Erick Silva and former title challenger Josh Koscheck.
Before we take in the main courses on the evening, fight fans were treated to an interesting set of "Prelims" broadcasted on Fight Pass and Fox Sports 2. Highlighting the six-fight undercard was a lightweight scrap between The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil (TUF) veteran Francisco Trinaldo and Mexican submission stalwart Akbarh Arreola.
The lightweight duo went to war for 15 minutes, with Trinaldo ultimately prevailing off of the strength of his takedowns and heavy hands.
Marring what was an entertaining night of fights was a highly-questionable stoppage. Profound grappler Drew Dober and Leandro Silva went toe-to-toe for the majority of their 155-pound tilt, but it was shady refereeing that awarded the Brazilian a submission victory.
Check out the UFC Fight Night 62 "Prelims" recap below:
Francisco Trinaldo vs Akbarh Arreola
Lightweight Francisco Trinaldo fought in Brazil for the eighth time in his Octagon career when he faced 32-year-old submission specialist Akbarh Arreola.
Trinaldo is in Arreola's face from the start, forcing him against the cage, before landing a huge slam. The Brazilian is trying to land punches through the tight guard of the Mexican. Trinaldo is trying to posture up, but great wrist control shown by Arreola. Short elbows from Trinaldo, as Arreola aims to escape by pushing off of the fence. A big left hand lands from the 36-year-old Trinaldo. We end the first frame with "Massaranduba" searching for ground-and-pound.
Early leg kick attempt by Arreola misses, who eats a right hand from Trinaldo. Arreola lands a solid leg kick and begins to push forward, but Trinaldo answers with his second takedown of the fight. Arreola is looking to strike with elbows from the bottom. Trinaldo drags him closer towards the fence and is looking to punish Arreola with hammer fists. The pair are back to their feet with roughly 30 seconds left in the contest. "El Caballero" is looking to score some points before the end of the round, but Trinaldo answers with a hard body punch and a hammer fist.
Trinaldo misses with the overhand right. Both fighters are swinging for the fences, nothing clean landing. A straight left from Trinaldo grazes Arreola, who lands a right shortly after. Arreola catches a body kick. Overhand left by Arreola tags Trinaldo, who catches a body kick and lands a knee of his own. Hard left hands by Trinaldo are finding their mark. Arreola is visibly gassed and allows his opponent to easily take him down. Trinaldo doing all he can to finish the fight, and instead will have to take the unanimous decision win.
Kevin Souza vs Katsunori Kikuno
Former Jungle Fight featherweight champion Kevin Souza met Japanese karate fighter Katsunori Kikuno in a bout that was set to produce fireworks. Unfortunately for Kikuno, he wasn't the fighter who produced them.
Souza immediately takes the center of the Octagon. Kikuno keeps circling; not much action to start. The karate specialist hammers home an outside leg kick. The 30-year-old Souza looking to go to the body with punches. He cracks Kikuno on the jaw with a straight right for the quick, first-round stoppage via knockout.
Leandro Silva vs Drew Dober
Continuing the lightweight-filled preliminary lineup, ground specialist Drew Dober aimed to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in his UFC career as he took on fellow grappler Leandro Silva.
Dober misses on an outside leg kick, then launches a right jab from the southpaw stance. "Buscape" pushes forward, looking to grab a hold of a double. A right hand by Silva tags Dober. Right-left combination lands for Dober, who's starting to find success on the feet. The Nebraska native is swarming Silva against the cage, landing a nice knee in the process. The 26-year-old Dober defends a takedown attempt from the 29-year-old Brazilian. Silva switches to the orthodox stance with 90 seconds left. The pair enter the clinch, following a left hand from Dober. Both fighters looking for position against the fence. A left outside leg kick lands from Silva, who is countered with a right from Dober.
They each trade kicks to start round two. Dober attempts a high kick, following leg and push kick attempts from Silva. Silva notches his first takedown attempt of the fight and quickly moves to improve his position.He reaches half-guard and then side control, forcing Dober to defend. He gives up his back, but is able to reverse Silva. Dober, now on top, ends up caught in a guillotine choke and the fight is controversially stopped 2:45 into round two.
Leonardo Mafra Texeira vs Cain Carrizosa
Chute Boxe's Leonardo Mafra Texeira faced the 28-year-old Cain Carrizosa in what was a one-sided drubbing from the powerful Brazilian.
Mafra starts by pawing away with the left jab. The 25-year-old Brazilian launches a left body kick. Carrizosa shoots for a takedown and gets it. "The Insane" attempts to take his opponent's back for a moment, but "Macarrao" slips out and they're back to striking again. Mafra lands an upper cut and a few more solid punches. Carrizosa looking to bang but is countered nicely by Mafra, who is finding a home for his left hand. He continues to land vicious leg kicks. Now it's Mafra using a body lock to take the Elite Team member down. The pair are back to their feet in a hurry. Mafra continues to lands his left hand and finish his combinations with a heavy leg kick. Carrizosa is becoming a punching bag, who is forced into the fence by Mafra. He lands some knees before the conclusion of round one.
Mafra continues his onslaught to start round two. Carrizosa looks to grab a hold of Mafra's leg to take him down, but the Brazilian finds a way out of it easily. Carrizosa pushes forward, running his opponent into the fence, looking for underhooks. They separate with 3:30 left. Mafra is landing devastating left and right hands. The pair trade kicks. Mafra slips a Carrizosa punch for a takedown. He makes the transition to side control and appeared to look for a D'Arce choke or something of the like. A scramble ensues but Mafra continues to overwhelm the Californian. Mafra ends round two on top.
Carrizosa begins round three by attempting a series of kicks. He pursues a takedown, but ends up eating knees instead. We head to the ground again, off of a takedown from Mafra, who works to find position. Mafra is unable to take the back of Carrizosa, who scrambles, but not to much avail. Mafra is now in his half-guard and transitions to mount, but Carrizosa is able to escape and make it back to his feet. He later succumbs to the power wrestling of Mafra once again. He is having his way with Carrizosa on the mat and makes it back to mount position. Carrizosa doing all he can to fend his opponent off but it's futile. The Brazilian Mafra wins a demonstrative unanimous-decision victory.
Jorge de Oliveira vs Christos Giagos
Heavy-handed lightweights Jorge de Oliveira and Christos Giagos came into tonight's matchup searching for their first UFC win.
Giagos rushes forward but Oliveira is able to counter with a solid left hand. The 25-year-old Giagos is able to secure a takedown and begins to work in half-guard. Nice shots landing for Giagos, who moves to mount. He rains down some heavy punches, but Oliveira is able to defend and scramble nicely. Oliveira still has Giagos on top of him and in mount. Brutal short elbows are doing damage for "The Spartan." After the 35-year-old Brazilian gives up his back, Giagos was quick to cinch in the rear-naked choke just over three minutes into round one.
Bentley Syler vs Freddy Serrano
Latin American flyweights Bentley Syler and Freddy Serrano made their UFC debuts' in what was a thrilling kickboxing affair.
Lots of movement right away from Syler. Serrano drops "Dr. Bolivia" momentarily with an overhand right and is looking to mix it up with leg kicks. He tags Syler with a straight left, who puts together a multi-punch combination that ends with a right head kick. The 32-year-old lands a left body kick, but misses with a spinning head kick. Spinning body kick attempt from the 35-year-old Serrano. Syler is looking to push the pace and launches a head kick. "Bam Bam" rocks Syler with a left, and followed that with a right, but the latter comes back to make him pay. Syler misses the spinning head kick attempt. The Colombian Serrano changes levels quickly and secures a late takedown, but isn't able to do much with it before the first-round bell sounds.
Syler starts round two with a front kick attempt. The American Top Team fighter then lands a hard outside leg kick. Right jab-left body kick combo finds the mark for Serrano, which is countered by a left hand from Syler. He lands a sharp left body kick at the 3:00 mark. Syler returns with punches after a leg kick from Serrano lands. A takedown attempt by Serrano is easily stuffed by Syler. Blood is leaking from the right eye of Syler. The pair exchange kicks to end the second frame.
Serrano lands a quick takedown 15 seconds into round three, but Syler is back to his feet in a hurry and the two separate from the clinch. The referee stops the bout momentarily to have the cageside doctor look at the cut underneath the left eye of Syler. Spinning head kick attempt misses for Syler, who then charges in with a left hand and lands, but is knocked out cold shortly after by a right uppercut from Serrano. He is your victor via third-round technical (knockout).
With a fun, and wacky night of UFC Fight Night 62 "Prelims" down, get set for a welterweight loaded main card -- including the headliner featuring Top 15, 170-pounders Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare.
For complete UFC Fight Night 62: 'Maia vs LaFlare' results, including play-by-play updates, click here.