Kelvin Gastelum would earn another big win in the middleweight division as he swept aside Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort in Saturday night’s UFC Fortaleza main event.
UFC Fortaleza, or UFC Fight Night 106, took place on Saturday, March 12 in the Olympic Training Centre in Fortaleza, Brazil and featured a differing fortunes for two Brazilian MMA icons.
Belfort started the fight brightly enough, showing off his trademark handspeed whoch is one of the only skills not to have diminished for the Brazilian. It would be short lived however as Gastelum would find his range and start landing crisp combinations on the feet.
Dropping Belfort with a hard straight left, Gastelum would jump on top and tried to finish the fight however the 39-year-old would hold on and get back to his feet despite being bloodied around the nose.
It was but a small reprieve for the former light-heavyweight champion as Gastelum would light him up immediately and would find the finishing blow with another straight left that put the Brazilian on his back and the referee intervened before the 39-year-old took any unnecessary damage.
Post-fight, the 25-year-old Gastelum declared his desire to fight another legend from Brazil in Anderson Silva after securing his third straight win in under a year.
“The Phenom” meanwhile would declare his intention to see out the final fight of his contract and stated he would like to makenit happen at the upcoming UFC event in Rio de Janiero.
In the co-main event, former PRIDE champion Shogun Rua would turn back the years and continue his recent resurgence with a win over New York native Gian Villante.
In a stand up war, Rua and Villante would trade shots throughout the first two rounds in an entertaining striking battle which delighted the crowd.
In the third round, Rua would go in for the kill after rocking the American with a head kick and then finishing off Villante with punches against the cage.
Also on the card, lightweight Edson Barboza would score a stunning second round flying knee KO over Beneil Dariush to add to his already impressive highlight reel.
Dariush did well to close the distance and pressure his opponent in the first round but that early success would be his undoing. When Dariush came rushing in, Barboza timed a sickening knee to the head which ended the fight immediately as Dariush crumpled to the mat.
Also on the main card, Ray Borg would continue his assault on the flyweight division with a unanimous decision victory over top contender Jussier Formiga and Alex Oliveira would get the submission win over Tim Means via a rear-naked-choke in the second round.
UFC Fortaleza fight card
Main Card (3am – BT Sports)
Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum def. Vitor Belfort via TKO (Punches) (Round 1 – 3:52)
Light-Heavyweight: Mauricio Rua def. Gian Villante via TKO (Punches) (Round 3 – 0:59)
Lightweight: Edson Barboza def. Beneil Dariush via KO (flying knee) (Round 2 – 3:35)
Flyweight: Ray Borg def. Jussier Formiga via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Womens Bantamweight: Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau declared Majority Draw (27-29, 28-28, 28-28)
Welterweight: Alex Oliveira def. Tim Means via Submission (Rear-naked-choke) (Round 2 – 2:38)
Prelims (1am – BT Sports/UFC Fight Pass)
Lightweight: Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo via submission (rear nake choke) (Round 2 – 3.12)
Welterweight: Sergio Moraes def. Davi Ramos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Joe Soto def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Lightweight: Michel Prazeres def. Josh Burkman via submission (north-south choke) (Round 1 – 1.41)
Early Prelims (12am/UFC Fight Pass)
Featherweight: Jeremy Kennedy def. Rony Jason (14-6, 1NC) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Middleweight: Paulo Henrique “Borrachinha” Costa def. Garreth McLellan via TKO (punches) (Round 1 – 1.17)