UFC Fight Night 125 emanated from Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil tonight (Saturday, February 3, 2018). The headliner saw undefeated rising star Eryk Anders look for the biggest win of his career against the legend Lyoto Machida. Machida got the decision win, but the bonuses went elsewhere.
Co-headliner Valentina Shevchenko took care of business in ruthless and destructive fashion against overmatched newcomer Priscila Cachoeira. “Bullet” tagged the Brazilian with punches on the feet but quickly went for takedowns in each of the first two rounds. In top position, she sliced up Cachoeira with elbows and punches from the top. The fight should have been stopped much sooner, but Shevchenko took care of that herself too, getting the rear-naked choke in the second. She banks an extra $50,000 for her Performance of the Night.
The other Performance of the Night went to 37-year-old Iuri Alcantara, who continued to defy Father Time. The inconsistent Brazilian had a signature performance against Joe Soto, hurting the American with a body kick before pouncing with punches in the first round. With the win, Alcantara snapped a two-fight losing streak and breathed new life into his career. And he also took home an extra $50,000.
Fight of the Night honors went to middleweight sluggers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. Santos won by second-round TKO after hurting Smith with a body shot early in the frame. But the first round was a back-and-forth battle that saw Santos mounted at one point. The two later exchanged simultaneous standing elbows, but Smith got the worst of it. Rocked and knocked down, he had to cling to a takedown attempt to survive the first. He did not find much of a reprieve in the second. But both he and Santos will wake up tomorrow $50,000 richer for their entertaining scrap.
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