The Ultimate Fighter Brazil finalist Godofredo Pepey scored the first victory of his UFC career Saturday in UFC on FX 7 prelim action, and while his split decision win over veteran Milton Vieira was greeted with boos by the crowd at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, he’ll take it.
“I was not confident and he does deserve all the applause the crowd gave him, but I did win the second round with a big advantage,” said an honest Pepey, when asked if he was confident before the scorecards of 29-28 twice, and 28-29 were read.
Vieira (13-8-2) got on the board first with a kick to the liver, Pepey (10-1) responding with wild haymakers, including a hard right that nonetheless allowed Vieira the room to get a takedown. Both stayed busy on the mat, Pepey looking for submissions and Vieira unloading ground strikes. With 90 seconds left, the two rose, with an accidental low kick by Pepey forcing a halt to the action. As the bout resumed, Pepey closed the distance and clinched with his opponent, but it was Vieira who used the position to get the takedown. Both rose quickly and remained standing to the bell, Vieira going back to his corner with a growing mouse under his left eye.
Pepey’s striking paid no dividends in the second, as Vieira easily scored the takedown. Pepey showed off his ground skills, sweeping his way into the mount before taking his foe’s back. Pepey maintained that position for the rest of the round, with strikes being his weapon of choice during the dominant frame.
Both had success with their standup in the first two minutes of the final round, with Vieira holding a slight edge with two hard rights. From there, they locked up, with Vieira looking for a kimura as they went back to the mat. From the bottom, Pepey worked for the arm himself, but after both came up short, referee Mario Yamasaki stood the fighters up. Pepey missed a couple wide shots, leading to another Vieira takedown, one that looked to have sealed the deal for him on the scorecards, but that ultimately didn’t, as Pepey was awarded a win that wasn’t very popular with the Sao Paulo crowd.
MARKES vs. CRAIG
It wasn’t spectacular, but middleweight up and comer Ronny Markes’ kept his unbeaten Octagon streak intact, handing Andrew Craig his first pro loss via unanimous decision.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Markes, now 14-1; Craig falls to 8-1.
Texas’ Craig came out with the upper hand in early exchanges with Markes as the bout began, prompting Markes to seek the takedown, and after some grappling against the fence, he got it 90 seconds in. Craig shot right back up as soon as he hit the mat, but Markes wouldn’t let him go, ultimately slamming his foe down midway through the frame. Craig stayed calm, and even though Markes was able to take his back, the Brazilian wasn’t able to do anything with it, with Craig reversing position just before the bell.
Craig wasn’t able to keep Markes off him for long as the second opened, getting dumped to the canvas in the first minute. While on the mat, Markes worked for an arm, but Craig’s defense was solid, allowing him to escape. What he wasn’t able to escape was Markes’ grip, as the two remained locked up against the fence until a restart from referee Marc Goddard with 45 seconds left. Unfortunately for Craig, it wasn’t enough time to mount an offense.
Finally in the third, Craig found the opening he was looking for, as a right hand to the head dropped Markes. Craig pounced with ground strikes, and the end briefly looked to be near, but Markes was able to shake off the shots and hold on. With 30 seconds left, Goddard stood the fighters up, but a missed flying knee attempt by Craig was his last stand, as Markes locked him up and rode the clock out, improving to 3-0 in the Octagon.
Watch Markes' post-fight interview
LENTZ vs. NUNES
Nik Lentz made it two for two at featherweight, dominating Diego Nunes for three rounds en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
Scores were 30-28, 30-27, and 30-26.
Lentz swarmed Nunes in the early going, locking up with him against the fence and then getting him to the canvas. Once there, Lentz took Nunes’ back, and though the Brazilian made it back to his feet, it wasn’t for long, as the Minnesotan returned the fight to the mat and worked his ground game, which included strikes and smothering control, for the rest of the round.
Less than a minute into the second stanza, Lentz had Nunes back where he wanted him on the canvas, and his consistent work rate kept Nunes from finding any daylight until he got to his feet with less than 30 seconds left in the round.
Down two rounds, Nunes finally got on the offensive scorecard in the final frame, landing some hard punches before yet another Lentz takedown in the second minute. From there, it was a repeat of the first two rounds, with Lentz in complete control until a last minute flurry by Nunes.
With the win, Lentz improves to 25-5-2 with 1 NC; Nunes falls to 18-4.
BARBOZA vs. MARTINS
Lightweight prospect Edson Barboza bounced back from the first loss of his pro career last year to Jamie Varner, stopping previously unbeaten Octagon debutant Lucas Martins in the first round.
Barboza (11-1) went on the attack at the start, looking sharp with his punches and kicks. One kick strayed low though, prompting a halt to the action. When referee Mario Yamasaki called the fighters back together, Barboza’s fast hands and feet kept him a step ahead of Martins (11-1), who came in to replace the injured Justin Salas. Midway through the round, a flush left hook dropped Martins, and a follow-up barrage of ground strikes finished things seconds later, with the official call being 2:38 of round one via tap out due to strikes.
Watch Barboza's post-fight interview
ALCANTARA vs. NOBRE
Yuri Alcantara’s bantamweight debut came to a screeching halt against Pedro Nobre, as a no contest ruling was handed down due to an accidental foul in the first round.
Alcantara (26-4, 1 NC) jarred his late replacement opponent almost immediately with a kick to the body, and the size advantage for the former featherweight was very noticeable. An inadvertent kick to the groin by Nobre (14-1-2, 1 NC) brought a brief halt to the action, and when the bout resumed, the pace remained fast, with Alcantara getting the fight to the mat, where he almost locked up an arm before taking the newcomer’s back and unleashing ground strikes. After referee Dan Miragliotta deemed that a shot or two strayed to the back of the head, he issued a warning to Alcantara and called a stoppage to the action. Replays showed that the blows were legal, yet following a visit from the doctor, Nobre said he was unable to continue, with a no contest verdict being rendered 2:11 into the bout.
ALCANTARA vs. PRADO
Late replacement Ildemar Alcantara made the most of his call-up to the big leagues, submitting Wagner Prado in the second round of a light heavyweight tilt to leave the Alcantara brothers at 1-0, 1 NC for the night.
Alcantara, the brother of bantamweight Yuri, moves to 18-5 after the win, which came after he replaced Roger Hollett in the bout. Prado, now 8-2, 1 NC, is winless in three UFC bouts.
After eating some right hands to start the bout, Alcantara adjusted well, using kicks to the midsection to keep Prado at bay. As the round progressed, the more technical Alcantara worked his jab well while switching stances, and though he did take some hard shots from the now bloodied Prado, he got the last word for the round with a takedown in the final minute.
Prado stayed aggressive to open the second, landing a few punches before getting taken down a second time by Alcantara. Prado quickly reversed position after a missed submission attempt by his foe, opening the door for a series of ground strikes. Alcantara, cool under pressure, worked for a leg lock and got it, finishing matters with a kneebar at the 2:39 mark.
Watch Alcantara's post-fight interview
TRINALDO vs. KEITH
Francisco Trinaldo earned his second UFC win in three tries, easily dispatching of C.J. Keith via submission in the second round of their lightweight opener.
Trinaldo was in control from the moment he locked up with Keith 45 seconds in, and after a brief stay against the fence, “Massaranduba” slammed his foe to the mat and worked his way into the mount position. Just when things looked dire, Keith was able to reverse position, getting back to his feet moments later. Trinaldo got him back to the mat though, ending the round on top and in control.
There was no let up from Trinaldo in the second round, with a hard left hand and an ensuing suplex setting up an arm triangle choke that produced a tap out at 1:50 of the round.
With the win, Trinaldo moves to 12-2; Keith falls to 8-2, with both losses coming in the UFC.
Watch Trinaldo's post-fight interview
Pepey Gets First UFC Win, Barboza, Markes Victorious - UFC on FX 7 Prelim Results
By Thomas Gerbasi January 19, 2013