Gerald Harris and newcomer Maiquel Falcao made their first appearance on the televised portion of a UFC card tonight in Detroit, and put on a performance that occasionally blew hot but often icy cold.
Much of the first round was very cautiously fought with neither fighter in a hurry to engage. However as the clock began to tick down a relaxed looking Falcao suddenly pounced with a flurry of strikes and then a knee to the mid-section which crumpled Harris to the mat.
Falcao then laid down some vicious ground and pound to the face of Harris before switching to the submission game, locking in a rear naked choke in the final seconds of the round. Harris survived to hear the bell but his cause was not helped by Falcao holding the choke a few second later than he should have, forcing the referee to have a word with him in-between rounds.
A tired looking Harris came out for the second round while Falcao looked confident. Before long it was Falcao, best known for his striking, who had Harris on the floor and was again threatening with a rear-naked choke. Harris managed to defend it and got back to his feet before slamming Falcao to the floor. It was only a momentary success though as the Brazilian quickly popped back up to his feet and began punishing him again on the feet.
The third round then ended up being a disappointment. With Falcao already having two rounds in the bag he was happy to go into cruise control now and barely threw a punch, while Harris looked too tired to mount a comeback. The crowd voiced their disapproval, but neither fighter made the decision to leave it all in the cage and the fight fizzled out.
So it was down to the judges and Falcao claimed the unanimous decision victory (29-28 x2, 29-27).
Falcao looks like a dangerous striker with some ground skills to boot, but the fact that he seems reluctant to use his talents for much of the fight is going to attract a fair amount of criticism and to some extent overshadow the positives of his performance.
As for Harris, the end of the first round beating and then submission attempt took a lot out of him and he never fully recovered.