The unbeaten Brazilian submitted Christensen with a second-round armbar in their UFC Fight Night 96 “Lineker vs. Dodson” light heavyweight prelim on Saturday at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Da Silva (12-0, 2-0 UFC) coaxed the tapout 4:43 into round two.
Christensen (13-4, 0-1 UFC) put up serious resistance. After a competitive first round, the former Superior Challenge champion sat down da Silva with a clean knee strike early in the second. Damaging ground-and-pound followed, but the resilient Brazilian refused to wilt. Da Silva scrambled into top position, climbed to full mount and caught the armbar on the transition. Christensen had no choice but to tap, his five-fight winning streak having reached its conclusion.
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Replacement Fili Upsets Dias
Team Alpha Male standout Andre Fili cut sharp angles, kept his feet moving and largely neutralized the takedown-dependent Hacran Dias, as he took a unanimous verdict in their three-round undercard scrap at 145 pounds. A short-notice replacement for the injured Brian Ortega, Fili (16-4, 4-3 UFC) was awarded 29-28 nods from all three judges.
Dias (23-5-1, 3-4 UFC) never got in gear. Fili dropped him with a left hook and flurried on the fallen Brazilian in the first round, setting the table for what was to come. He dug in further in the second, where he countered a pair of takedowns into top position and extricated himself from a Dias armbar, giving the Nova Uniao representative pause on the feet and on the ground. Dias secured two takedowns in round three and advanced to side control, but the opportunity to finish was nowhere to be found. By then, the fight had been lost on the scorecards.
The 32-year-old Dias has lost four of his last six fights.
Surging Abdurakhimov Edges Harris
Shamil Abdurakhimov utilized efficient punching combinations and a stout chin in claiming a split decision against American Top Team’s Walt Harris in a preliminary heavyweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Marcos Rosales for Harris, Sal D’Amato and Dave Hagen for Abdurakhimov.
Harris (8-5, 1-4 UFC) struggled to string together his punches and kicks, too often settling for single strikes. Against Abdurakhimov (17-3, 2-1 UFC), it was a recipe for disaster. The Dagestani brute leaned on better output, freed himself from a second-round guillotine choke and withstood thudding kicks to the body and head from Harris. Neither man established a real foothold in the fight.
Abdurakhimov, 35, has rattled off five wins in his past six bouts.
Dos Santos Outduels Nakamura
Onetime Jungle Fight champion Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos won for the sixth time in seven outings, as he pocketed a unanimous decision over Keita Nakamura in a three-round undercard confrontation at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for dos Santos (16-5, 2-1 UFC).
Nakamura (32-8-2, 2-5 UFC) was superior in the grappling exchanges but ran into trouble on the feet. Dos Santos survived rear-naked choke attempts in the first and second rounds, returned to his feet and cut loose with damaging power punches and kicks to the head and body. The Brazilian seized control of a back-and-forth round three with a belly-to-back suplex and a pair of submissions, as he attempted an arm-triangle choke and a Peruvian necktie. Nakamura escaped to top position in the waning moments but squandered his advantage and wound up eating punches on all fours until the horn sounded.
Marquardt Head Kick Vanquishes McCrory
Former Pancrase and Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt cut down Tamdan McCrory with an overhand right and follow-up head kick in the second round of their preliminary middleweight contest. McCrory (14-5, 4-5 UFC) bowed out 4:44 into round two.
Marquardt (35-16-2, 13-9 UFC) was a step ahead of his less-experienced opponent. He chipped away with kicks to the outside leg and mixed in tactical takedowns when the opportunity presented itself. Late in the second round, Marquardt dazed “The Barn Cat” with an overhand right behind the ear and then floored him with a left high kick. Ever the gentleman, he offered no further abuse and allowed referee John McCarthy to intervene on McCrory’s behalf.
Cutelaba Overwhelms Gunshy Wilson
Ion Cutelaba picked up his eighth win in nine appearances, as he captured a unanimous verdict from Millennia MMA export Jonathan Wilson in a three-round undercard tilt at 205 pounds. Cutelaba (12-2, 1-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with matching 30-27 marks from the judges.
Wilson (7-2, 1-2 UFC) had no answer for the Moldovan prospect’s output. Cutelaba swarmed him with power punches and inside leg kicks for the majority of their encounter. One of those kicks drifted below the belt and resulted in a five-minute delay in the second round, and he later benefitted from an inadvertent eye poke that went unseen by referee Herb Dean. Beyond the accidental fouls, however, Cutelaba overwhelmed the former Gladiator Challenge champion with sweeping hooks, uppercuts in the clinch and occasional spinning back fists. Wilson landed intermittent straight lefts but offered little in the way of meaningful retorts, despite the pleas of his coaches.
Blaydes Elbows Dispatch East
Curtis Blaydes disposed of former King of the Cage and Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Cody East with second-round elbows in a preliminary heavyweight affair. East (12-3, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:02 into round two.
Blaydes (6-1, 1-1 UFC) controlled much of the match with takedowns and ground-and-pound. East staggered him twice with clubbing right hands in the first round but failed to control the distance and wandered into takedowns that cut off his momentum. A powerful Blaydes double-leg put the Jackson-Wink MMA rep on the mat again inside the first 30 seconds of round two. East absorbed a few elbows and attempted to scramble into a more advantageous position. However, in doing so, he left his head exposed while crouching on all fours. Blaydes capitalized and blasted away with unanswered elbows until referee Dave Hagen had seen enough.
Unbeaten Vieira Subdues FaszholzNova Uniao prospect Ketlen Vieira kept her perfect professional record intact in her Octagon debut, as she registered a split decision over Kelly Faszholz in a three-round undercard battle at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with the undefeated Vieira (7-0, 1-0 UFC).
Vieira executed takedowns in all three rounds, and while she was ineffective in top position, the 25-year-old Brazilian kept the David Terrell protégé bottled up on the canvas for two-plus rounds. Faszholz (3-2, 0-2 UFC) made her move in round three, where she stayed upright long enough to pressure her counterpart with punches. However, Vieira shut down her rally with another takedown and bled the remaining time off the clock.
Faszholz, 31, has lost back-to-back bouts.