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Barao can work wonders with the smallest windows of
Barao submitted Michael
McDonald with a fourth-round arm-triangle choke and retained
his interim Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight crown in
UFC on Fuel TV 7 headliner on Saturday at Wembley Arena in
London. McDonald (15-2, 4-1 UFC) conceded defeat 3:57 into round
four, his career-best eight-fight winning streak snapped inside a
A victor in 20 consecutive bouts, Barao (30-1, 5-0 UFC) caught the
choke on the transition, tightened his grip with confidence and
waited for the tapout. It was a thing of beauty.
McDonald did his best work in the first round, where he rattled the
Brazilian with a series of short right hands in the clinch. Barao
dropped to his knees but quickly recovered and slowly took command
of the fight with his diverse offensive game. He bloodied
McDonald’s nose with a picture-perfect spinning back kick in the
third round and opened a cut above his left eye in the fourth.
Barao then dragged his 22-year-old challenger to the canvas,
transitioned to the choke and finished it.
“I feel great,” Barao said. “There was a lot of hard work. I left
my family four months ago, and I’ve been training very, very
Resurgent Swanson Outpoints Poirier
In the co-main event, resurgent
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export Cub Swanson
took another significant step towards title contention at 145
pounds, as he bested the highly regarded Dustin
Poirier by unanimous decision. Swanson (19-5, 4-1 UFC) swept
the scorecards by 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks, posting his fourth
Speed was the most glaring difference between the two featherweight
contenders. Swanson wobbled the
American Top Team representative with an uppercut in the first
round and invested heavily in punches and kicks to the body.
Perhaps sensing the bout was slipping away from him, Poirier (13-3,
5-2 UFC) buzzed the Californian with a stout combination early in
round three. Swanson answered with a takedown and later scored with
a beautiful head-and-arm throw in the center of the cage. He
countered Poirier’s response on the ground as well, rolling into
full mount in a slick transition. Poirier spent much of the last
minute of the bout in defensive mode, with Swanson attached to his
Diabate Suffers Fight-Ending Leg Injury, Manuwa Moves to
A leg injury sustained by Cyrille
Diabate resulted in a technical knockout victory for unbeaten
former Ultimate Challenge MMA champion Jimi Manuwa
in a featured clash at 205 pounds. Diabate (19-9-1, 4-3 UFC) was
deemed unfit to continue in between rounds one and two.
It was fun while it lasted. Manuwa (13-0, 2-0 UFC) went after the
Frenchman with power punches and sporadic kicks, and even mixed in
a pair of takedowns. Diabate answered with a series of savage knee
strikes to the body from the clinch. Unfortunately, the injury
brought about an anti-climactic conclusion to what had been one of
the most anticipated bouts on the card.
Welterweight Prospect Nelson Stays Undefeated
Icelandic prospect Gunnar
Nelson remained undefeated and passed the most significant test
of his career, as he captured a unanimous verdict over former
Santiago in a welterweight showcase. All three judges sided
with Nelson (11-0-1, 2-0 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Santiago enjoyed some success with knees from the clinch and
occasional right hands, but Nelson kept him off-balance with his
awkward karate-based standup style. The 24-year-old Renzo Gracie
protégé turned the tide in his favor with a dominant second round,
as he struck for a takedown and scored with standing-to-ground
punches and elbows before ultimately mounting his fellow Brazilian
jiu-jitsu black belt.
Nelson did a number on Santiago (25-11, 1-5 UFC) with uppercuts in
round three, but the Blackzilians representative refused to stand
down. Though weary, he lashed out with lefts and rights, the last
one of which caught Nelson clean on the chin in the closing
seconds. Santiago’s efforts, however, went for naught, as he lost
for the fifth time in six career appearances inside the
Te Huna Authors Stirring Comeback, Halts Jimmo’s Streak
Australia-based kiwi James Te
Huna roared back from a harrowing first round to defeat
Jimmo in a featured battle at 205 pounds. All three cageside
judges scored it for Te Huna (16-5, 5-1 UFC): 29-27, 29-28 and
29-28. The defeat snapped Jimmo’s 17-fight winning streak.
Te Huna needed every ounce of his pride and resolve to secure his
10th victory in 11 bouts. Jimmo (17-2, 1-1 UFC) drilled him with a
perfectly timed head kick inside the first minute and pounced with
punches and elbows, opening a gash below his foe’s left brow. Te
Huna somehow weathered the assault, maintained his composure as his
blood spilled onto the ground and inched the fight towards a second
From there, Te Huna got his second wind. The heavy-handed
31-year-old struck for takedowns in each of the final two rounds
and mauled a fading Jimmo with ground-and-pound from top position.
A former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder, Jimmo had not
lost since his professional debut in February 2007.
Riddle Overwhelms Mills, Notches Split Verdict
A steady diet of takedowns, ground-and-pound and superior topside
grappling drove “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum Matt Riddle
to a split decision over Che Mills in a
welterweight showcase. Two of the three cageside judges scored it
for Riddle (8-3, 8-3 UFC) by 29-28 and 30-27 counts; a third cast
an inexplicable 29-28 nod for Mills (15-6, 2-2 UFC).
Riddle imposed his will on the former Cage Rage champion,
delivering takedowns in all three rounds. He did his best work in
round two, where he kept Mills pinned to the mat, moved to mount,
transitioned briefly to his back and fished for a rear-naked choke.
Outside of a few uneventful standup exchanges, Mills was
essentially a non-factor in the bout.More UFC on Fuel TV 7 »
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