It’s 1 AM in Rio De Janeiro and and the locals have turned out in droves to cheer on their countrymen and wish death upon foreigners. It may not be very sporting of them, but we’ve pretty much thrown professionalism out the window this weekend.
Is Mendes the right Alpha Male to topple Aldo in his own backyard? Does Belfort have enough power to put away one of the UFC’s top heavyweights? And will Palhares’s overwhelming desire to tear limbs apart overcome his instinct to stop fighting in the middle of a bout?
Come join me, Chris Colemon, inside for the answers to these questions and more.
I thought the FOX era was supposed to signal the end of the Gladiator intro, but I guess that only counts for FOX broadcasts. That’s a shame.
And we aren’t wasting much time. It’s been a strong showing for Brazil thus far. Let’s see if Etim can turn the tides.
Edson Barboza, Jr. vs. Terry Etim
I don’t speak Portuguese, but I had an easier time understanding Barboza’s prefight interview than I did Etim’s. Bruce Buffer, man of the world, caters to the home crowd in his introduction.
R1: If you forget who is who, the Brazilian is the one with the tan. Big Dan is in control of things. Both men swing awahy and Etim gets the early takedown, but they quickly pop back up. Barboza blocks a head kick. Etim fakes a punch and shoots for another takedown, but Barboza sweeps and gets back up. They’re feeling each other out, and Barboza misses with a wild punch before finding his mark with a pair of leg kicks. Barboza’s thrown quite a few shots to the break basket. Barboza sees the takedown coming and stuffs the Brit. The crowd is chanting something–it undoubtedly involves Etim meeting his maker. Barboza charges in and connects with a combination. Woo, powerful spinning back kick from Barboza to shut out the round.
R2: Etim comes out much more active, but he’s still eating leg kicks. Etim lands a leg kick and follows up with another to the head but it’s blocked. Etim gets stuffed on a takedown and eats a knee to the gut. If he can’t land these takedowns, he needs to get more aggressive in the standup, and he’s making the effort. Barboza’s been landing heavy kicks to Etim’s lead leg throughout the bout, and he’s sticking with the formula. Etim with a head kick and spinning back kick of his own. Etim with a takedown from across the cage. He lands it but it’s as short lived as the others. Barboza digs in with a body shot and follows it up top. Strong switch kick to the body by the Brazilian to close out the round.
R3: Really wish they would have secured local talent for the ring card girls. Am I alone in that? They’re trading early in round three. Etim with a failed flying knee, or “jumping knee” as Goldy called it earlier. Both men are sticking to their plan: Barboza lands a leg kick and Etim fails a takedown. Annnnd Barboza whips around with a magnificent spinning wheel kick! Tiiiiimbeeer! He catches Etim square in the face and this is a wrap!
Edson Barboza def. Terry Etim by Knock Out (2:02 R3)
Rogan calls this the first ever spinning heel kick knock out in UFC history. He’d probably know. A nice finish to kick off the PPV card, and the Brazilians are rolling tonight.