The UFC’s latest foray to the homeland of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was an exciting one tonight (Saturday, March 11, 2017). UFC Fight Night 106 emanated from Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. The main event between Vitor Belfort and Kelvin Gastelum ended as many predicted it would: with Gastelum standing over a prone Belfort.
“The Phenom” had his moments, but the younger, fresher Gastelum proved too much for the Old Lion. Gastelum ate Belfort’s fast hands and dropped him with a left hand. Belfort would survive on the ground and ultimately return to his feet, but from that point on, he was compromised. Gastelum put him down for good with another left hand moments later, and this time, referee Mario Yamasaki had no choice but to intervene on Belfort’s behalf. Gastelum would pocket an extra $50,000 for his impressive performance.
Elsewhere in main card action, Edson Barboza would bank his own $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his sensational, instantaneous, come-from-behind jump-knee knockout of Beneil Dariush. Dariush consistently beat the scintillating Barboza to the punch over the course of the bout’s first eight minutes. But one well-timed knee was all it took for Barboza to escape with the second-most impressive finish of his career, and an extra 50 G’s.
On the undercard, Michel “Trator” Prazeres blew the doors off wily veteran Joshua Burkman in less than a round. Burkman had only been finished one other time in his illustrious career, but Prazeres did the honors with shocking ease. A right hand wobbled Burkman and Prazeres poured on the punishment relentlessly. When Burkman survived the follow-up volley against the cage, Prazeres took him down, advanced to north-south position, and sunk in the fight-ending choke. He’ll go home an extra $50,000 richer for his dominant performance.
Lastly, the curtain-jerker offered extreme violence from the middleweight division. UFC newcomer Paulo Borrachinha plastered four-fight big-show veteran Garreth McLellan with powerful punches in the very first round. The notoriously tough McLellan could never find his footing, as he was put on the defensive from the word “go”. Borrachinha trapped his prey on the fence, bombed away with haymakers, and mopped him up on the mat when McLellan sought refuge there. The UFC debutante pocketed an extra $50,000 for his impressive striking display.
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