Vitor Belfort was game from the opening moments, but Gastelum was undeterred by the Brazilian great’s standup combinations, closing the distance to knock Belfort down early with a straight left before punctuating the effort with a little ground-and-pound.
Wisely, Gastelum got back to his feet when he saw that he wouldn’t be able to work to a finish on the mat, and it wasn’t much longer before an even more devastating straight left sent Belfort to the mat again. This time, the follow-up hammerfists that Gastelum landed from his standing position were enough to force a stoppage by veteran referee John McCarthy.
Fortunately for the Brazilian fans in attendance, fellow legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fared much better, finishing his bout with former heavyweight Gian Villante through a barrage of third-round punches.
The strikes were the finish to a sequence in which Rua had already hurt Villante with a counter right hook and follow-up body shot. The ground strikes that followed were academic and with Villante only covering up, referee Mario Yamasaki was forced to stop the contest.
The win puts Shogun’s record at 25-10 and gets him back above .500 in the UFC, where his record stands at 9-8. However, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has won his last three contests.
Jussier da Silva may be a long-time mainstay in the flyweight top ten, but he was outworked in his fight against Ray Borg tonight, ultimately losing 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Da Silva was not without his moments during the fight, however, as the first two rounds were extremely competitive and even mounted Borg in the opening minute of the final round. However, he was swept by Borg despite having a body triangle in and was controlled for the rest of the fight in what would be the defining round of the bout.
Borg advances to 11-2, while da Silva is now 19-5 with a disappointing 5-4 UFC record.
Finally, Bethe Correia was not able to take home a win against Marion Reneau, as the two fought to a majority draw in which the third judge gave the fight to Reneau via a 29-27 scorecard.
During the first two rounds, it appeared as if Correia had sealed a decision win as long as she could get through the third without being finished. In the opening rounds, Reneau had few answers for Correia’s striking combinations and clinch control. However, Reneau landed a huge head kick to open the final round and would take full mount as Correia scrambled. Although Reneau wasn’t able to secure a fight-ending rear naked choke, her dominating performance was enough to earn a 10-8 round in the eyes of all three judges and steal a majority draw from the jaws of defeat.