UFC Fight Night 29 is in the books from Jose Correa Gymnasium in Barueri, Brazil, and the fights delivered a solid night of action for the fans. Demian Maia met Jake Shields in a welterweight main event between two of the best MMA grapplers ever. The first round began with Maia working hard to get a takedown. He got one, landing in Shields’ guard, who reversed position only to hit the ground again. Maia jumped to Shields’ back but was reversed again. Shields landed some soft shots from top position to close out the round.
In the second Shields reversed a takedown attempt for a third time to smother Maia up against the cage. Shields chipped away until a warning for action from the referee. It was a dominant round for Shields. Maia landed some good left hands to open the third, He again went for his opponent’s back, earning a takedown. Shields rolled into an excellent counter into half guard to lock up the round. The battle was in the clinch again as the fourth round began, earning a restart to the crowd’s delight. Maia landed on top to another restart. It was a slow round that probably went to Maia. The final round saw more jockeying for position as Shields couldn’t finish another takedown. Maia pushed forward with strikes as Shields shot again to no avail. The fight ended with Maia landed some good left hands. The grueling bout ended with a split decision and a huge upset in hostile territory for Shields.
Rising prospect Erick Silva looked for a top-name win against Dong Hyun Kim. Kim went for the takedown early but couldn’t find it. Silva landed some good knees but Kim looked to clinch. Kim missed with spinning punches but took Silva’s back then transitioned to the mount. Silva looked for a half guard sweep to a heel hook, but Kim would have none of it. Silva exploded early in the second with big knees and punches. Somehow Kim survived and grappled against the cage. Both fighters slowed, and Silva threw some looping shots with more knees. Kim came back with a massive overhand left that knocked Silva out cold. A follow-up shot was unnecessary, as Silva remained on the floor for some time. Kim made a big statement with his first UFC finish since his debut in 2008.
Matt Hamill and Thiago Silva locked horns at light heavyweight. Not surprisingly, “The Hammer” looked to his wrestling early, scoring a takedown that Silva quickly recovered from. The Brazilian lumbered forward with several low kicks and power shots, but Hamill held his own in the striking exchanges. The second round saw another Hamill takedown that wasn’t capitalized upon. The leg kicks began to take visible effect on Hamill. Silva responded with some big shots that dropped Hamill, but he stayed in the fight. Hamill actually ended the round on Silva’s back as both fighters looked tired. Silva took Hamill’s back on the ground before landing a brutal low kick, but then Hamill poked Silva in the eye. Leg kicks continue to find a home as Hamill gassed and looked out on his feet. Silva took home a one-sided, ugly decision. It looked like the overweight Silva could have finished the fight as several instances but he just didn’t.
Fabio Maldonado and Joey Beltran hit the Octagon for what promised to be a slugfest. Beltran controlled the action early on, pushing Maldonado up against the cage. He didn’t earn any takedowns, but he landed several strikes. Maldonado fought back with his boxing and missed a guillotine attempt. Maldonado came out goading Beltran in the second, but “The Mexicutioner” went back to the cage. Maldonado landed a good combo before Beltran came back with some strong elbows. Maldonado ended the round with good jabs and body shots as the action finally picked up. Maldonado continued to pepper the jab in the last round, but Beltran landed a big right hand. A clinch against the fence saw a restart, with Beltran throwing hard shots. He scored with a few knees and finished the round strong, but Maldonado took home the split decision.
Quietly on a four-fight win streak, Mike Pierce welcomed Rousimar Palhares to the welterweight division. Palhares didn’t take long to go to his bread and butter, turning an early takedown in a twisting leglock attempt. When it was unsuccessful, he dropped down into a tight heel hook that quickly earned the tap from a screaming Pierce.
T.J. Dillashaw and Raphael Assuncao fought in a pivotal bantamweight matchup. The fight was a barnburner from the start, with both fighters showing crisp striking. Assuncao landed a couple of good power shots, but Dillashaw took the Brazilian down for the first time in the UFC. Although Assuncao got right back up, Dillashaw rushed to take his back and look for a few choke attempts that were avoided by the Brazilian. In the second round Assuncao came out throwing sharp kicks, and also nailed Dillashaw with some great left hooks and uppercuts to bloody his nose. Dillashaw went or the takedown but was met with a guillotine attempt. Despite a swollen left eye, Assuncao appeared to have found his range and timing. In the third round the action slowed a bit. Assuncao went for a single but couldn’t capitalize. Dillashaw appeared to control the Octagon but didn’t do much. It was a close bout but Assuncao won a split decision on the strength of the last two rounds.
UFC Fight Night 29 Main Card Results:
Jake Shields def. Demian Maia via split decision
Dong Hyun Kim def. Erick Silva via R2 KO (punch)
Thiago Silva def. Matt Hamill via unanimous decision
Fabio Maldonado def. Joey Beltran via split decision
Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Pierce via R1 submission (heel hook)
Raphael Assuncao def. T.J. Dillashaw via split decision