UFC 163 takes place Saturday night from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, headlined by a UFC featherweight title bout pitting champion Jose Aldo and challenger “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Aldo is the only fighter to have held the UFC featherweight title and has been universally regarded as the world’s best 145 pound fighter since 2009. Jung, a cult favorite, is known for his colorful nickname and never-back-down style. In the co-feature, rising American star Phil Davis seeks to upset the Brazilian karate specialist Lyoto Machida.
In preliminary action, Viscardi Andrade gave Bristol Marunde an unpleasant welcome to Brazil with a first round TKO at 1:36. Francimar Barroso won a lackluster unanimous decision over Ednaldo Oliveira. And submission specialist Rani Yahya outgrappled Josh Clopton to secure a unanimous decision win.
Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos
McCall is widely considered one of the world’s top flyweight fighters, but lost his last two fights against elite competitors Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. He seeks to rebound against the Brazilian Santos, who is debuting at 125 pounds. Santos won six fights in a row before losing his last contest to bantamweight prospect Iuri Alcantara.
Round 1. The fight starts at a brisk pace, with each man throwing mostly straight punches and McCall mixing in a lot of low kicks as well. McCall lands the best early shot of the fight around two minutes in with a heavy hook to the chin of Santos. Santos goes for a takedown but McCall stuffs it without difficulty and takes top position. Santos looks to stand up. McCall takes his back and lands a few big punches but Santos is able to get up. Santos lands a nice overhand right but McCall goes right back to work. He’s a lot quicker and more precise as well. Santos lands a nice pair of punches late and shoots for a takedown but McCall avoids that. 10-9 McCall.
Round 2. McCall starts off the round by throwing a series of leg kicks. Santos isn’t consistently able to check them. Santos looks for a takedown but again doesn’t come close. The fighters exchange power hooks from close range. McCall continually lands and gets out. Santos is having real trouble connecting. But he does connect with a nice 1-2 punch combination with a minute and a half left and then gets a takedown. McCall stands back up, eating a few punches in the process. He connects with an uppercut at the close of the round. 10-9 McCall.
Round 3. Santos starts the round doing better in the standup than in the previous two rounds. McCall switches levels and looks to take him down. He isn’t quite able to get the takedown and Santos pushes in looking for a finish. Santos connects with a pair of jabs and then loads up a power right. He looks for a takedown but McCall blocks it. Santos hits McCall with a hard kick to the body. McCall goes back to work with leg kicks and continues to circle out of the thick Santos’ power. 10-9 Santos. Santos came on late but it was too little, too late. 29-28 McCall.
Winner: Ian McCall, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Sergio Moraes vs. Neil Magny
Moraes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and has won most of his professional MMA bouts via submission. He is 1-1 in the UFC. Magny won his UFC debut in February of this year and sports a 8-1 MMA record.
Round 1. Magny looks to establish his jab early. Moraes throws some leg kicks. They clinch and Moraes uses a nice trip to get the fight to the ground. He quickly passes guard and works into more advantageous side control position. Moraes then gains full mount. He locks in a triangle choke from the top then rolls over. He throws a series of elbows from the bottom then rolls back to the top and gets the tap.
Winner: Sergio Moraes, submission, round 1.
Amanda Nunes vs. Sheila Gaff
The Brazilian Nunes is making her UFC debut in this fight. She has a 7-3 career record but lost her last fight to Sarah D’Alelio in the Invicta promotion. Gaff is a German fighter who was stopped in the first round of her UFC debut against Sara McMann.
Round 1. Nunes looks for a takedown. In a scramble, Gaff is almost able to get Nunes’ back but Nunes avoids the bad position and returns to her feet. Nunes then takes Gaff down. She quickly works into side control. Nunes mounts Gaff but Gaff quickly powers out and stands up. Nunes takes her back down and lands a series of elbows until the fight is stopped.
Winner: Amanda Nunes, TKO, round 1.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
Magalhaes, a world class submission grappler, was the runner-up on the Ultimate Fighter TV show back in 2008. He has improved his striking over time and become a more versatile fighter. Perosh has a 13-7 MMA record. He is 41 years old and lost via 7 second knockout in his last fight.
Round 1. Perosh drops Magalhaes with a right cross and knocks him out with additional punches on the ground.
Winner: Anthony Perosh, TKO, round 1.
John Lineker vs. Jose Maria
The pay-per-view portion of the card opens with this flyweight contest. Lineker is viewed as a potential future title contender and has won his last two UFC fights. Maria takes this fight on short notice. He has an impressive 33-3 record but that has come almost exclusively against lesser competition on smaller shows.
Round 1. Maria stuns Lineker with a spinning backfist. Lineker tries to smile it off but Maria realizes he is in trouble and swarms. He looks to finish and dazes Lineker again with another punch. Maria looks for a guillotine choke but can’t get it. They return to their feet. Lineker is able to regain his senses and gets a takedown at the end of the round. Dominant round for Maria but not quite 10-8. 10-9 Maria.
Round 2. In a strange finish, Maria goes down as Lineker lands a punch to the shoulder area. The announcers speculate something might have happened with Maria’s leg. Lineker throws additional punches on the ground and since Maria is just covering up, the referee is forced to stop the bout.
Winner: John Lineker, TKO, round 2.
Thales Leites vs. Tom “Kong” Watson
Leites is a former middleweight title challenger with very solid jiu jitsu in particular. Watson is a charismatic British fighter who is 1-1 in his UFC career.
Round 1. Leites connects with some solid punches on Watson and takes Watson down at the start of the round. Leites takes Watson’s back and sinks in his hooks to control Watson’s body. Leites lands punches and looks to lock in a rear naked choke submission. Watson finally gets out of danger with a minute left in the round. Watson stands up and presses forward with punches and kicks. Watson lands a nice uppercut and hook. He follows with a head kick. Watson just barely avoided a 10-8 round with the flurry at the end. 10-9 Leites.
Round 2. Leites takes Watson down and works into full mount. Watson rolls over and stands up but Leites immediately takes him right back down. Leites again gets Watson’s back with his hooks in. Leites then transitions into an armbar submission attempt. Watson is barely able to escape and they return to the feet. Like at the end of the first round, Watson looks fresher. He nails Leites with a series of knees in the clinch as well as elbows and kicks. They exchange punches late and Leites looks for a takedown at the end of the round. 10-9 Leites.
Round 3. Leites lands a big hook and Watson is bleeding badly. Leites then looks for the takedown. Watson defends and they work against the cage. They separate, at which point Leites looks for the takedown again and this time gets it. He takes full mount against the cage and then takes Watson’s back as Watson turns. Leites then looks to secure an arm triangle choke. Watson has to simply hold on and defend as the round concludes. 10-8 Leites, 30-26 Leites.
Winner: Thales Leites, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos
This is a fight aimed at the Brazilian market, where Ferreira is a popular fighter coming off winning the first season of the Ultimate Fighter Brazil. He has a 5-2 MMA record. Santos is a late replacement with an 8-1 record.
Round 1. Ferreira lands a big punch, head kick, and grabs a guillotine choke for the submission.
Winner: Cezar Ferreira, submission, round 1.
Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis
Machida, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, has a unique style built around counterstriking karate and defensive wrestling. He is looking for an impressive win that could earn him a rematch with current champion Jon Jones. Davis is an elite wrestler with very good submissions and improved striking. He has an 11-1 record and a win over Machida would put him in the title mix. That makes this an important fight.
Round 1. Davis lands a kick to the body and then to the leg of Machida. Machida answers with a leg kick of his own. The fighters settle into the typical pace for a Machida fight, with both fighters moving a lot but very little landing. Machida connects with a solid kick to the body. Machida attacks with a series of straight punches and a big knee. Davis is okay and he takes Machida down with a minute left in the round. He looks for a kimura submission but there isn’t enough time so he lands a bunch of elbows to the body at the close of the round. 10-9 Machida.
Round 2. Davis is very active at the start of the round with punches and kicks from different angles but nothing of note lands. Machida hits a nice head kick. Davis looks for a takedown two minutes in but Machida defends well. Davis throws a big hook that just barely misses the chin of Machida. Davis connects with a solid overhand right. He looks for a takedown but can’t get it. He goes for another and it is defended again. Machida lands a nice straight punch right up the middle. Davis goes in for a takedown. He eats a right punch but gets it. He lands some knees to the body at the close of the round. 10-9 Davis.
Round 3. Davis throws all sorts of kicks to start the round but again very few are landing. Machida isn’t throwing much at all himself. Davis goes for a takedown but can’t get it. Machida uses a push kick up the middle. Davis attempts a takedown but eats a knee and Machida grabs a waistlock. Davis gets away. Davis catches a kick attempt and goes for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Machida appears more comfortable and lands a punch and a knee. He blocks a Davis takedown attempt impressively. Machida hits Davis with a straight right punch as Davis moves in. Davis goes for an additional two takedowns late but they are also blocked. 10-9 Machida, 29-28 Machida.
Winner: Phil Davis, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
UFC featherweight title: Jose Aldo vs. “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung
Aldo sports a glittering 22-1 record and is undefeated in WEC/UFC competition. He is widely regarded as one of the very best pound for pound fighters in the sport, with excellent striking, speed, power and takedown defense. Jung is a fun action fighter with a well rounded game in the biggest fight of his life.
Round 1. The fighters feel each other out early, with Aldo in particular not throwing a lot. He begins utilizing his jab and lands a couple jabs that connect well. Jung is much less active than he usually is. He’s being very cautious while Aldo just sits back and lands the occasional shot. Aldo goes for a takedown but only gets it momentarily. Not much happened there. 10-9 Aldo.
Round 2. Jung moves forward with a series of looping punches early. None really connect. Aldo lands a crisp jab. He follows with a couple nice punches to the body. Jung is doing nothing. He just stands right in range and occasionally throws a punch that misses. He does land a nice overhand right but Aldo takes him down and looks to set up an arm triangle choke. He gives that up. Jung gets Aldo in his guard and the round comes to an end. 10-9 Aldo.
Round 3. Jung just stands there for the first 30 seconds of the round or so. He goes for a flying knee and Aldo takes him down. Jung looks to wall walk up the cage while Aldo attempts to keep him down. Jung does get up but Aldo trips him and takes him back down. They struggle against the cage until referee Herb Dean separates them. Jung finally opens up with some aggressive punches and lands on Aldo. Aldo goes for the takedown late. They exchange late with Jung landing some punches. Close round. 10-9 Aldo.
Round 4. Jung throws some wild looping punches that don’t land. Aldo looks tired and isn’t throwing much. Jung suffers a fluke injury, with his shoulder separating in the middle of the action. Aldo takes him down, lands a few punches, and the fight is stopped. Disappointing performance from both men with a disappointing finish.
Winner: Jose Aldo, TKO, round 4.
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