Michel Pereira’s late submission stoppage of Zelim Imadaev at UFC Fight Night 176 tonight may have been a bit controversial, but his overall performance will get him a lot of praise.
Jab from Pereira after missing a push kick. As Imadaev tries to attack Pereira responds with punches to the body and then upstairs.
Pereira just connecting with a reaching right hand. Left hand lands for Imadaev. Pereira aborts mid-air on a flying knee.
Pereira ducks to avoid a big punch. Leg kick for Imadaev. Front kick to the body from Pereira. Now a left hand. He connects with an inside leg kick too.
More measured approach from Pereira so far rather than his usual frenetic acrobatic attacks. Imadaev with a hard punch, but Pereira works a punch downstairs and a hard knee too.
Big punch lands hard for Pereira. Imadaev definitely felt that one. Now the superman punch of the cage from Pereira.
Punch knocks Imadaev to the mat. He immediately gets back up and Pereira is back on the offensive. Another big punch lands for Pereira.
Pereira really warming up to this now. he tries another superman punch off the cage. Now he’s showboating with his hands down, looking away and then throws another punch as the round comes to a close.
Right hand from Pereira misses and Imadaev lands a good counter. Kick to the body from Pereira. Front kick to the body for Imadaev.
Pereira tried to go for a flying knee, but a kick from Imadaev at the same time knocks him off-balance.
Front kick to the body for Pereira. Punch lands for Imadaev. Right hand on tehe back foot from Pereira. Now a cartwheel kick that misses. Imadaev lands as he gets back up from that.
Front kick to the body from Pereira. Imadaev misses on a few punches and then Pereira lands a front kick to the body. Slaps from Pereira and motions his opponent on.
Imadaev looks to clinch up against the cage. Knee to the body from Pereira. They move away from the cage with Imadaev landing an uppercut on the way.
Back to striking range and Imadaev lets his hands go, but Pereira avoids most of that. Pereira with a jab. Now a body punch.
Jab for Imadaev. Flying knee from Pereira grazes the side of his opponent’s head. Hook and a straight from Pereira.
Imadaev stalks, but then Pereira darts forward with a right hand. Now a left from Pereira. Body kick lands too. He tries for the flying knee again but misses.
Nice left hook for Pereira. Leg kick for Imadaev. Ripping body punch from Pereira. They throw right to the bell.
Jabs from Pereira. Now a front kick to the body. He lands it again. Now an outside leg kick and then back to the body.
Leg kick for Imadaev. Good jab for Pereira. Pereira runs to the cage and then bounces off it with the superman punch and lands it. Imadaev a little dazed by that as Pereira continues to fire off at him.
Pereira backs up to the cage and then does a superman punch again off it. Now a slap landing for Pereira and he taunts his opponent afterwards.
Imadaev just misses with a right hand. Pereira moving out of range on the outside. Body punch for Pereira and then a body kick too.
He lands to the outside leg. Right hand for Pereira, but then as he bobs and weaves Imadaev does land a punch too. strike to the body from Pereira lands nicely.
overhand right for Pereira lands. Cuffing right hook now. Pereira motioning him on. left hook lands. Now a big right that Imadaev takes well all things considered. Pereira with his hands behind his back and Imadaev lands a leg kick.
More showboating from Pereira, but when Imadaev bursts forward he gets surprised by Pereira taking his back and suplexing him to the mat, then sinking in a quick rear-naked choke as his opponent is turtled up.
Almost immediately the ref is rushing in to end the fight, but it’s not clear why. replays show that Imadaev seemed to be reaching his hands to fight off the choke, but the official misinterpreted that as a tapout and so the fight officially ends at 4.39mins by submission.
Bit of an unfortunate finish there, but to be fair the fact that Pereira went from impressive striking to a big takedown and submission attempt out-of-the-blue so late into the fight was impressive and his victory was never in doubt.