Cezar Ferreira became Brazil’s first middleweight ‘Ultimate Fighter’ tonight at UFC 147, but he had to work hard to get it against a game Serginho Moraes.
Ferreira looked much more comfortable in the early striking exchanges and was clearly the more technical fighter. He was being patient though, keeping his distance and then leaping in with short flurries of strikes. He also tried a flashy spinning capoeira kick that Moraes blooked.
For his part Moraes was just throwing wild punches which generally weren’t landing, but were dangerous nonetheless.
In the closing stages of the round Ferreira landed a nice kick to Moraes ribs and then tried to follow up with more strikes against the cage, but he was caught by surprise by the ferocious series of punches that Moraes fired back at him and so he backed out of the exchange.
Ferreira really started to pick up the intensity in the first couple of minutes of the second round, and an early flurry of strikes opens up a cut on Moraes face. Moraes responds by trying to pull guard, but it doesn’t work.
He gets up and Ferreira is pushing forward again and throws a wheel kick that has Moraes wobbled and he slumps to the mat. Ferreira swarms in, but Moraes has his bearings and is looking to start a ground battle and so he wisely backs out again.
After that initial success Ferreira goes back to a more methodical striking game for the remainder of the round, picking his shots.
Moraes has other ideas though and charges forward with a combination that misses. He’s not finished yet though and his persistance pays off as he lands a right elbow that has Ferreira wobbled and hitting reverse gear. Moraes throws more strikes, but then slows down his pace a little which buys Ferreira valuable time to clear the cobwebs as the round ends.
Exciting stuff and there’s still a round to go. Ferreira comes out looking like he’s recovered and starts to tag Moraes with a few strikes. He’s operating at a slower pace than the second round though and time ticks by with not a lot happening.
Moraes lands a solid shot, one of the few meaningful ones of the round so far and so that swings the momentum of this final five minutes towards him.
Not for long though as in the final minute Ferreira connects with a straight right that drops him to the mat. That could be the punch that seals the fight for Ferreira in the eyes of the judges and he knows it, opting not to dive into Moraes’s guard, but rather tick down the clock by peppering his grounded opponent with a few leg kicks instead.
And so it’s down to the judges to decide the middleweight ‘Ultimate Fighter’ and they award the unanimous decision to Cezar ‘Mutante’ Ferreira (29-28, 30-27 x2).