Erick Silva has been labeled as something of a disappointment since he arrived in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in August 2011. Luan Chagas might disagree with that assessment.
Silva -- a +122 underdog according to BetDSI.com -- submitted Chagas with a third-round rear-naked choke, as the former Jungle Fight champion put a stop to a two-fight losing streak and improved his organizational record to 7-6 at UFC Fight Night “Cyborg vs. Lansberg” on Saturday at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. Chagas (+145) bowed out 3:57 into round three.
Never short on physical tools, Silva withstood a pair of knockdowns -- one in the first round and another in the second -- and escaped full mount twice. He whipped repeated jabs into Chagas’ face in the third round, bled his fellow Brazilian’s gas tank with a steady pace and made him pay for his inability to finish. Fatigue overtook Chagas late in round three, where he wound up on all fours after an ill-conceived takedown attempt. Silva slid behind him, moved to the back and secured the choke for the tapout.
Four other favorites missed the mark at the event, most notably Thiago Santos (-850). The Brazilian striker submitted to a rear-naked choke from CES MMA veteran Eric Spicely (+565) in the first round of their middleweight showcase. Spicely sprang his trap 2:58 into round one, besting a man who had beaten former Pancrase champion Nate Marquardt and onetime hockey enforcer Steve Bosse in decisive fashion.
Meanwhile, former Ring of Combat champion Gregor Gillespie paid no mind to the odds in his promotional debut, as the +117 underdog claimed a unanimous decision over Glaico Franca (-140) on the undercard. A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler, the unbeaten Gillespie prompted three 29-27 scorecards from the judges on the strength of repeated takedowns, a probing jab and basic but effective punching combinations.
Michel Prazeres (+215) and Alan Patrick Silva Alves (+137) also authored mild upsets. Prazeres captured a unanimous decision from four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Gilbert Burns (-265) in their three-round catchweight clash, and Alves took a unanimous verdict over Stevie Ray (-165) in a 15-minute encounter at 155 pounds.