Legends and Newcomers in Brazil (UFC Fight Night 32 Review)

ufc_fn32The UFC will turn 20 years old on Tuesday November 12, 2013 as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of UFC 1. Bookending this celebration is two events hoping to showcase everything that the UFC has to offer. On November 16th the UFC will provide one of the best cards in recent memory in Las Vegas that will be capped off by the welterweight championship between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Before this the UFC would hold Fight Night 32 where they would feature the legends of the sport. With so much concentration on the future of the sports the UFC would take some time to remember the people who made them what they are today. Two of these men would square off in the main event of Fight Night 32. Both men represented where the sport came from and both would enjoy the opportunity to get a rematch against one another only a few days before the UFC anniversary. The first time that these fighters faced off it was not in the UFC as it was instead in the legendary Pride Fighting Championship. In 2006 the FUC was beginning to take over the MMA world but there were plenty of other promotions around the world putting on great shows. Pride had been doing this for years as the promotion based out of Japan Pride had taken off since beginning in 1997 and was the biggest promotion in the world. They would have the best fighters in the world and they would put on some classic matchups. Two such fighters would be Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. They would meet at Pride 32 and would take the fight right to the end of their three rounds. Henderson would come out on top in the fight and would begin his path to the new big fighting promotion. After beating Belfort Henderson would win one more fight in Pride before moving on to the UFC. For Belfort the effects of the loss were not great as he would leave Pride after that night and begin a longer path back to the UFC. He would have a stint in Cage Rage and the short-lived Affliction promotions before he would finally come back to the UFC. It has been almost 7 years since both fighters entered the ring at Pride 32 and now they would get back with a chance to earn a big win in the UFC. For Henderson this fight was an attempt to show that he is still valuable in the UFC. After winning every belt in professional MMA Henderson has yet to win a UFC belt and with two straight losses it was not looking like he would get a chance. At 43 years old Henderson does not have much longer to fight in the UFC and if he did not get a win at Fight Night 32 he ticket may have been written. For Belfort it was a chance to gain some revenge for the loss and to continue his climb up the rankings. Ranked as the #2 Middleweight in the UFC Belfort would take a shot at being ranked in the Light Heavyweight division at the same time. Belfort would go into the fight winning 9 of his last 11 fights, his only two losses coming in title fights, and was looking to continue his strong performance to earn another title shot. Both fighters wanted this win and with the anniversary so close both were looking to show that the old school guys have plenty to give in the UFC. They would prove just that as both fighters would come out in the first round with a short feeling out period. Then Henderson would come forward but would be dropped by Belfort who would begin to jump injured fighter. Belfort would unleash his fast hands on Henderson continuing to put the pressure one. Henderson would look to get up and survive but Belfort would not let him recover hitting him with a big kick that would drop Henderson for good. The finish would be the first time that Henderson would lose via Knockout and for Belfort it would be his 3rd straight KO win. The loss could be the beginning of the end for the 43-year-old Henderson as it was his third in a row and will likely not give him many more fights. Henderson’s career might be over or at least heading in that direction especially after this loss. For Belfort the win would be his third in a row and his third KO in a row and would show that he is a changed fighter and a better fighter and ready to challenge for a title whether it is in the Middleweight division or the Light Heavyweight division.

Before the two veterans of the MMA finished off the night two young rising stars would represent the new era of the promotion. Cezar Ferreira and Daniel Sarafian would not have anywhere near the same path as the two fighters that came after them on the night. Henderson and Belfort began their careers in the smaller promotions travelling anywhere and everywhere to earn a living fighting. Ferreira and Sarafian would enter a reality show to earn their spots in the UFC. It is a true show of how far the UFC has come from UFC 1 in 1997 as the new era of fighters is completely different. They are more well-rounded than the fighters of the past and now have more ways of attempting to be found out of their local competitions. Sarafian and Ferreira are perfect examples of the new era in the sport and their fight would also have a little extra to it. Sarafian and Ferreira were scheduled to face off in the TUF: Brazil finale to win the middleweight title. An injury would force Sarafian to drop out of the fight and Cezar Ferreira would go on to win the title. They would now face off in the matchup that everyone was expecting for the TUF finale and they would get the chance to prove who the true TUF: Brazil champion was. The fight would be a grinding battle for both fighters as the majority of the fight would be against the fence and on the ground. With a few moments of breaking out the fight would remain a battle of wills by both men. Sarafian would not be able to do much when the fight went to the ground with Ferreira taking control of the wrestling battle. Ferreira would continue to look to put the fight on the ground as he would grind out the win. Sarafian would take the loss, his second loss of his career, and looks to try to recover to become one of the best middleweights in the UFC. Ferreira would take the win and would prove that he was the true TUF: Brazil champion and would begin a three fight win streak. Now Ferreira will move on to another fight as he hopes to build a strong case for an eventual title fight in the middleweight division. The two newcomers and two legends at Fight Night 32 would show the past and the future of the UFC at 20 years of the promotion in a big night for all.

 

Fight Bonuses

Submission of the Night
The Fight card would be full of great choices for every bonus but only a few would be able to earn the extra $50,000 and that group would include Adriano Martins who would take home the Submission of the Night for his Kimura win over Daron Cruickshank

Knockout of the Night
Dan Henderson had never been knocked out in a career that has spanned decades so it was only natural that Vitor Belfort would earn the extra $50,000 for being the first fighter to end the streak for Henderson

Fight of the Night
With some great fights the Fight of the Night was a difficult choice but in the end the bonus would go to Omari Akhmedov and Thiago Perpétuo who would only fight for 3 minutes but would go all out for those three minutes that would end with Akhmedov earning the KO

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
“The Phenom” Vitor Belfort def. Dan “Hendo” Henderson
(KO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira def. Daniel Sarafian
(Split Decision)

Rafael “Feijao” Calvacante def. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Brandon “Rukus” Thatch def. Paulo Thiago
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Ryan LaFlare def. Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio
(Unanimous Decision)

Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens def. Rony Jason
(KO; Rd. 1)

Undercard:
Sam Sicilia def. Godofredo Pepey
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Omari “Lakec” Akmedov def. Thiago “Bodão” Perpétuo
(KO; Rd. 1)

Thiago Tavares def. Justin “J-Bomb” Salas
(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

Adriano Martins def. Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank
(Submission; Kimura, Rd. 2)

Dustin Ortiz def. Jose “No Chance” Maria
(TKO; Rd. 3)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks (Saturday November 16th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks [Welterweight Title]
Notable: “Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen
Notable: Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler

TUF 18 Finale: Johnson vs. Benavidez (Saturday November 30th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez [Flyweight Title]
Notable: TUF Women’s Championship [Match-up to be Determined]
Notable: TUF Men’s Bantamweight Championship [Match-up to be Determined]

UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Silva (Friday December 6th; 9:00 pm ET)
Brisbane, Australia (Brisbane Entertainment Centre)
Main Event: Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Notable: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. James Te Huna
Notable: Pat “HD” Barry vs. Soa “The Hulk” Palelei

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