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A Night of Finishes in Brazil

Aldo about to make his way into the Brazilian crowd

Last night was a fantastic night of fights from top to bottom. The Brazilian fans were chanting and singing the entire night.

Steve Gadman and I were talking about how if Chael Sonnen gets his rematch with Anderson in Brazil there is going to have to be some serious security protecting him.

Jose Aldo was clearly beyond pumped to be fighting in Rio. Even when vaseline was being applied to his face he continued to bounce around. When he made his way to his corner of the cage the movement stopped. With his fist clenched by his side, he had his head tilted towards the floor with his eyes closed. He was preparing for battle.

Mendes was trying to use Aldo’s game against him by utilizing leg kicks, but there was a clear gap in skill. Aldo’s leg kicks left Mendes having to readjust his stance as they would send his entire body turning.

I really thought Mendes would get at least one double-leg takedown, but Aldo just has such solid takedown defense. Mendes found brief success when taking Aldo’s back and securing a body lock, but even when Aldo was tossed to the ground he got right back up.

It was a thing of beauty when Aldo turned around to face Mendes and landed that knee. He had an incredible awareness of where his body was in relation to his opponents, and he said he predicted that Mendes would shoot in to grab a leg. Having that type of fight IQ shows that this sport is beyond bar-room brawling.

Watching Aldo run into the crowd to celebrate with the fans was a true feel good moment.

The rest of the card after the jump…

 

 

Go to sleep Rumble

Johnson was just sloppy from the opening moments of the fight. He threw a few kicks that didn’t have any sort of set up and he dropped his hands. He secured some takedowns, but was only slightly more active than Tyron Woodley last week. He seemed fairly content to just lay on Belfort. His stand up reminded me of Miller against Bisping with the overhand right and ducking his head. I was glad that Belfort got the submission in his home country and also saved us from having to watch Johnson continue to struggle.

Palhares is a scary man. Only a minute into the fight he pulled Massenzio to the ground and Joe Rogan goes “leg lock! leg lock! this is it,” and he was right. Palhares has had six heel hooks and a kneebar in his career. Basically if he grabs your leg you are doomed. I’m hoping for big things for him in the near future.

The Erik Silva/Carlo Prater bout unfortunately had a bizarre ending. Silva dropped Prater and swarmed him with punches before the ref stepped in. Before Silva was announced as the winner the ref said that due to illegal blows to the back of the head that Prater would be the winner. It looked like there was one blow to the back of the head and when the ref stepped in another two strikes landed, but this shouldn’t leave Silva with a loss on his record. What are you suppose to do when guys turtle up? At that point they are no longer intelligently defending themselves so the bout should immediately be stopped so guys don’t end up in a situation like this.

The Barboza/Etim fight had some great technical work done by both guys on their feet and on the ground. It’s tough to talk about the actual fight when the ending was so spectacular. Barboza threw a wheel kick that left Etim stiff on the canvas. It looked like Etim thought he was going to block it but the kick went right over his guard. Surely that is highlight that will be shown for years.

Also it was great to see Gonzaga return and get a win. As soon as he took the fight to the ground he worked his jiu-jitsu and secured the victory.

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