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Jason, Jussier Victorious in Goiania

Back in action for the first time since May 31, 2014, former Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner Rony Jason made a winning return Saturday night, submitting American Damon Jackson in the first round of their featherweight bout at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil.

Jackson had to eat a knee and a kick to do it, but he got Jason to the mat in the second minute of the opening round, which is right where he wanted the fight. “The Leech” proceeded to land hard elbows at close range, but he lost his advantage when the two rose and he landed an illegal knee. When the bout resumed, Jackson got another takedown, but Jason responded better the second time around, locking up a triangle choke. Jackson tried his best to escape, but to no avail, as he tapped out at 3:31 of the opening frame.

Ceara’s Jason improves to 16-5; Dallas’ Jackson falls to 9-2.
FORMIGA vs. REIS

Number four-ranked flyweight contender Jussier Formiga won his third straight and kept his spot in the title race intact, taking a unanimous decision win over countryman Wilson Reis.

All three judges saw it 29-28.

Formiga was the more measured of the two in the opening round, landing solid counters from all angles against the number 12-ranked Reis, who was burning off a lot of energy as he tried to implement his own attack.

After landing well with the right hand in the first, Formiga kept throwing it in the second, dropping Reis in the opening minute. Formiga pounced, taking his opponent’s back, but fellow jiu-jitsu black belt Reis recovered and got out of trouble, eventually making it to the top position. Once standing, Formiga kept impressing with his striking game, with Reis responding by getting a quick takedown and then by keeping his foe locked up. Formiga got a takedown of his own in the final minute, the two subsequently scrambling back to the stand-up position.

The pace dipped in the final round, with Reis not doing enough to turn the fight around, and Formiga playing it fairly safe until the final moments, when he scored a takedown and took his foe’s back just before the horn.

With the win, Natal’s Formiga improves to 18-3; Sao Paulo’s Reis falls to 19-6.
DALBY vs. ZALESKI DOS SANTOS

Welterweight newcomers Nicolas Dalby and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos delivered an exciting three-rounder, with Denmark’s Dalby taking a close split decision.

29-28 twice and 28-29 for Copenhagen’s Dalby, now 14-0; Parana’s Zaleski dos Santos falls to 14-5.

Dalby may have been the more technically-sound striker, but it was Zaleski who landed the harder blow, leading Dalby to take the fight to the canvas. Referee Fernando Yamasaki didn’t let them stay there long, restarting the bout quickly. Dalby’s brief respite was a welcome one, and he landed several good strikes before a missed kick by Zaleski saw the Brazilian fall to the mat, Dalby following. Zaleski got up quickly, but the Dane dragged him right back to the ground before the bell sounded.

The stand-up action was pretty heated in the opening two minutes, Zaleski holding a slight edge before Dalby locked his foe up against the fence and took him down briefly. The Brazilian did finish strong on the feet, with his left hand being particularly effective.

Dalby did pull off another takedown in the final round, but it was Zaleski who did the better work on the feet, and even on the mat he was able to use a kimura attempt to reverse position, gain the top spot, and then get to his feet for the final moments of the bout.

BEKTIC vs. MARTINS

Highly-touted featherweight prospect Mirsad Bektic remained perfect as a pro, dominating Minas Gerais’ Lucas Martins before stopping the Brazilian in round two.

An initial stand-up exchange led to takedown by Bektic, who was very active with his ground and pound attack, bloodying his foe’s face. Midway through the round, Martins got back to his feet, but the confident Bektic put him on the seat of his trunks moments later and kept him there to the horn.

In the second, Bektic continued his impressive performance, landing a right hand that sent Martins to the deck. The follow-up barrage of strikes ended matters, with referee Mario Yamasaki stepping in 30 seconds into the round.

With the win, Bektic moves to 10-0; Martins falls to 15-3.
LIMA vs. ALMEIDA

Strawweight contender Juliana Lima scored a solid, yet unspectacular, three-round unanimous decision over Sao Paulo’s Ericka Almeida, handing the newcomer her first pro loss.

Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-25 for Belo Horizonte’s Lima, now 8-2; Almeida falls to 7-1.

Almeida threw Lima to the mat seconds into the bout, but Lima was able to reverse position and get into her opponent’s guard, allowing her to fire off some ground strikes. Almeida did find some daylight briefly, but the majority of the round was spent on the mat with Lima on top and in control.

Lima took the fight right back to the canvas to begin round two, and while Almeida tried to make something happen from the bottom position, it just wasn’t happening, as Lima’s smothering attack kept the newcomer grounded. With under a minute left, referee Camila Albuquerque restarted the stalled action, and Lima continued to have success, landing with hard knees at close range before finishing the frame with another takedown.

Presumably down two rounds on the scorecards, Almeida had some success with her stand-up attack in the final frame, even rocking Lima briefly with a right hand at the midway point. Lima was content to counter before scoring with yet another takedown as the round wound down.

BREESE vs. DUTRA

Birmingham, England rookie Tom Breese got on the board in the UFC in a big way, knocking out Brazilian veteran Luis Dutra in the welterweight opener.

After a back-and-forth battle for much of the first round both in the middle of the Octagon and against the fence, Breese teased a right hand in the closing seconds of the frame and then whipped in a straight left that rocked and dropped Dutra. A series of unanswered strikes then prompted referee Fernando Yamasaki to intervene at the 4:58 mark.

Breese moves to 8-0 with the win; Dutra falls to 11-4-1.

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