The UFC returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil with UFC Fight Night 137 as Thiago Santos took on Eryk Anders in the main event. Plus, in the co-main event, the other ‘Cowboy’, Alex Oliveira returned for the first time since defeating Carlos Condit to take on Carlo Pedersoli Jr. The whole event was action-packed and entertaining as ten of the fourteen bouts ended with a finish.
Many fighters performed very well and put on excellent performances. Now, it is time to look at the fighters who stood out from the other with their Standout Performances. In order for a fighter to make this list, their performance must stand out among their peers. This could be quick finishes, flashy knockouts, great submissions, dismantling an opponent, or providing an all-around exciting fight. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
UFC Fight Night 137 Standout Performances
#1: Alex Oliveira
Alex Oliveira def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. via KO (Punches) at 0:39 of Round One
Alex Oliveira was originally supposed to be facing top-ten welterweight Neil Magny at this event. But an injury forced Magny out of the contest causing Pedersoli to step in on short notice.
Oliveira entered this contest coming off the biggest win of his career. Coming off a fight of the year loss to Yancy Medeiros at UFC 218, Oliveira stepped in for the injured Matt Brown to face Carlos Condit at UFC on Fox 29. To many people’s surprise, Oliveira locked up a guillotine in the second round and choked Condit unconscious.
Carlo Pedersoli Jr. made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 130 on a seven-fight win streak when he faced Bradley Scott. He won his debut for his eighth consecutive victory, defeating Scott by a split decision.
There’s not much to go over in this fight as it ended so quickly, but that’s why it stood out. Oliveira made it look easy as he put his opponent away in only 39 seconds. He barely took any shots as he made sure to finish it quick.
Nothing was really going on before Pedersoli threw a body kick. Oliveira reacted quickly and was able to catch the kick and force Pedersoli to the mat. Once he got Pedersoli down, he unleashed his ground and pound and knocked Pedersoli out cold forcing the ref to stop the fight.
#2: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Luigi Vendramini via Knockout (Knee and Punch) at 1:20 of Round Two
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos came into this fight on a five-fight winning streak. The most recent of those wins came at UFC 224 when he took on Sean Strickland. He ended that fight in emphatic fashion as he landed a spinning wheel kick and finished the fight with punches immediately after.
His opponent, Luigi Vendramini, making his UFC debut on short notice, entered the contest undefeated at 8-0. His most recent outing came under the Samurai Fight banner against Lucas Eurico. He won the fight by TKO in the first round to improve his record to 8-0.
The first round of the fight didn’t see all that much action on the feet. The whole round was mostly action on the ground as early in the round, Santos locked up a Peruvian necktie.
However, after a good chunk of time holding onto the choke, he gave it up. But when he gave it up, Vendramini quickly was able to circle around to Santos’ back. Once he got around he was able to lock up the body triangle and go for the choke. He was able to pull Santos down from this position onto the mat.
Santos was doing a very good job at defending the choke and would eventually get back to his feet. Once they were back to the feet, there wasn’t much more action. Santos was able to land a few good shots though here and there before the horn.
Much like the first round, Santos controlled the octagon in the second. He continued to back Vendramini up towards the fence and land some decent shots. A little over a minute into the round, Vendramini threw and landed a leg kick but it looked like he had injured his leg as he pulled it back. He started to hobble backward and Santos quickly noticed his opponent was hurt.
Santos rushed forward and landed a picture perfect flying knee followed up with a couple hooks that knocked Vendramini out cold.
#3: Francisco Trinaldo
Francisco Trinaldo def. Evan Dunham via Knockout (Body Knee) at 4:10 of Round Two
Before entering the cage against Kevin Lee, Francisco Trinaldo had won seven straight inside the octagon. The most notable of those wins came against Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros, and Ross Pearson. His fight against Kevin Lee ended up not going his way as Lee finished him in the second round by rear naked choke. He would then go on to win one against Jim Miller and then lose one against James Vick before being matched up with Evan Dunham.
Evan Dunham hadn’t won a fight in two years as he entered this one against Trinaldo. Since defeating Rick Glenn at UFC Fight Night 94, he went on to fight to a draw with Beneil Dariush and lose to Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Entering his final fight, he looked to go out with a win over Trinaldo.
The first round was very close as both fighters were able to land some good shots. Whenever Dunham would come forward and throw some punches, Trinaldo would stay in the pocket and throw his own counter shots back. He would count on his counter game throughout the entire fight.
With about three minutes to go in the round, Trinaldo landed what would be his biggest strike so far as he landed a big left hand and a spinning kick.
The rest of the round would be more of the same. Dunham would rush in and land some decent shots but Trinaldo would counter every time. With ten seconds left in the round, Trinaldo landed another perfectly placed kick, but Dunham ate it and kept going.
Early in the second round, Trinaldo was able to land a hard shot. This punch landed as Dunham threw a kick so it knocked Dunham down and forced him to desperately look for a takedown. Trinaldo was able to easily defend the takedown and land a good knee in the clinch. He would then land a good knee on the break and landed another good left-hand moments later.
Later in the round, while trying to get out of the way of Trinaldo’s punches, Trinaldo snatched Dunham’s neck. He then brought him down to the ground and started to try and lock up an anaconda choke but was unsuccessful as he let Dunham back up and landed a perfect knee on the break.
Once the two were back on their feet, Trinaldo would go back to his counter game. And it would pay off for him big time as with 50 seconds left in the round, Dunham would move inside and Trinaldo would launch a knee to the ribs/liver of Dunham and cause him to collapse instantly.
#4: Livinha Souza
Livinha Souza def. Alex Chambers via Submission (Guillotine) at 1:21 of Round One
Former Invicta FC strawweight champion, Livinha Souza, was undefeated at 9-0 before losing her belt to current UFC strawweight, Angela Hill. After losing to Hill, she would go on to win two straight under Invicta against Ayaka Hamasaki and Janaisa Morandin. She would then get the call to fight in the UFC as she would make her debut against Alex Chambers.
Chambers made her UFC debut in 2015, picking up a win over Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night 65. After that win, she would go on to lose two straight at the hands of Paige VanZant and Nadia Kassem.
Souza started this fight off quickly as she pressured forward. One of the, if not the first, shots she landed was a hard right hand that she would follow up with a hard leg kick seconds later.
Later on in the round, Souza landed another hard right hand and followed it up with a flurry of punches before getting a takedown.
Once she got the takedown, she easily was able to pass into full mount. Once in full mount, Chambers would try to scramble back to her feet but gave up her neck doing so. This would allow Souza to lock up the guillotine and forced Chambers to tap.
#5: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Sam Alvey via TKO (Punches) at 1:00 of Round Two
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been fighting for a very long time and along with his brother, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira have established themselves as MMA legends. This fight against Sam Alvey was Nogueira’s first fight back since 2016. In that fight, he lost to the current Bellator light heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader via TKO in the third round.
The former middleweight, Sam Alvey, recently made his light heavyweight debut at UFC on Fox 28 when he took on Marcin Prachnio. He won that fight in the first round by knockout and would go on to face Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 131. He would also win that fight by split decision to improve his light heavyweight record to 2-0.
The first round of this fight was all Sam Alvey. It wasn’t a dominant round from Alvey, however, but in terms of striking, he was landing many more shots than Nogueira. Nogueira pressured and landed some jabs and hooks here and there, but Alvey was landing more. He utilized his leg kicks and punches as Nogueira pressured forward, but once the round had finished it was probably scored for Sam Alvey.
Once the second round started, Alvey continued doing the exact same things that he did in round one. He landed a couple leg kicks until Nogueira finally turned it on. A little more than 30 seconds into the round, Nogueira landed a good left hand that wobbled Alvey. He then followed it up with another left hand and for the next 30 seconds, Nogueira chased Alvey around the cage landing good shots. Finally, Nogueira was able to pin Alvey’s back to the cage and land the fight-ending sequence.
Next week, the UFC will be off, but on October 6, one of the biggest fights in UFC history goes down in Las Vegas. UFC 229 will be live from the T-Mobile Arena with a main event between current lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the former lightweight and featherweight champion, Conor McGregor. Plus, the co-main event will see the return of the former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, as he comes back from a knee injury to face former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis. Also on the main card will be a pivotal heavyweight matchup between top-five heavyweights, Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov. So join me in two weeks as we look back on one of the biggest events of the year and determine it’s five standout performers.
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