Fan favorite slugger Fabio Maldonado (22-9) met Corey Anderson (7-1) inside the Octagon to kick off the main card for UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. While Maldonado looked to rebound from his decision loss to Quinton Jackson back in April 2015, Anderson was vying for his second straight victory.
Despite being called to fight on short notice, Anderson had his hand raised after a dominating performance.
Early on, “Beastin 25/8” threw leather to set up for a takedown. In less than a minute, he put “Caipira de Aco” on his back. Anderson threw elbows, but they were blocked and Maldonado found his way back to the feet. Anderson used body kicks to pressure his opponent against the fence. A flying knee from Anderson was blocked, but he landed a right hand. The round ended with Anderson nailing Maldonado with knees to the body.
Maldonado gained a small surge of energy by landing some shots, but he found his back against the cage. “Caipira de Aco” was eventually taken down, but got back to his feet. “Beastin 25/8” kept the pressure on Maldonado and threw knees and elbows in the clinch. They separated and Anderson kneed Maldonado to the body and connected with a right hand before completing another takedown. Round two came to a close as both men broke free of a clinch position.
Anderson missed a head kick early in round three. He went for a single leg takedown, but the Brazilian avoided it. “Caipira de Aco” once again found himself on his back. They returned to the feet and Anderson landed a nice combination that included a knee and a left and right hook. “Beastin 25/8” popped Maldonado with a right hand. With 20 seconds left, Anderson secured a takedown and maintained control until the horn sounded.
All three judges gave the nod to Anderson.
Final Result: Corey Anderson def. Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)