Raoni Barcelos impressed tonight at UFC Fight Night 182 in a technical three round battle with Khalid Taha which he won by unanimous decision.
Half a minute into the round and Barcelos lands a front kick to the face. Taha tries to return fire with punches, but then soon after he’s caught to the head again.
Leg kick from Barcelos knocks Taha off-balance momentarily. Exchange in close. Barcelos with a push kick and then another leg kick that sweeps Taha to the mat again.
As Taha gets back up Barcelos swarms on him with punches. He starts working knees upstairs too. Taha returning fire though and disrupts his opponent’s balance with a grazing blow.
Barcelos responds by working for a takedown and soon after gets the back and brings Taha on top of him looking for a rear-naked choke attempt. Credit to Taha though as he manages to transition on top.
Taha with some nice ground and pound, but Barcelos is working for an armbar attempt here. Taha able to escape that but Barcelos manages to stand up. Taha still in the clinch position against the cage though.
Barcelos looks to reverse the position but then they head back to striking range. Left hand for Barcelos. He throws another flurry and lands with the left hook as the round is ending.
Leg kick for Barcelos. Jab for Taha as Barcelos again lands the leg kick. Taha with a flurry and Barcelos lands a left.
Solid right hand from Taha, but Barcelos at least partially blocked that. Barcelos with a flying knee. Double jab from Barcelos.
Another flying knee upstairs from Barcelos, but Taha’s guard was up. Body punch to set up one upstairs from Taha.
Front kick to the body for Barcelos. He goes for an inside leg kick, but it lands to the groin and forces a stoppage.
Back to it they go. Taha throws out the jab. Now a one-two. Leg kick counter from Barcelos. Another lands.
Inside leg kick for Taha now. Body kick for Barcelos and then a teep. Punch for Taha, leg kick for Barcelos.
Solid counter for Barcelos. It’s hard to keep up with the action here as every time one fighter lands the other lands a counter. Barcelos working the legs often, but going to the body at times too.
Barcelos with short hooks and Taha seemed a little dazed by that just for a split second. Hard knee from Barcelos and big punches behind it. Taha in trouble as Barcelos lands another knee upstairs and then a three-piece combo including an uppercut. More strikes coming, but It’s right at the end of the round though and so he can’t fully go for the finish.
Body kick for Barcelos. Now a front kick to the body. Punches for Taha, but then a hard leg kick for Barcelos.
Barcelos flowing into kicks, punches and knees and then takes Taha down. He gets to the back as Taha tries to move over to the cage.
Taha taking his time here as he looks for a chance to rise to his feet. Barcelos working in a rear-naked choke though.
Taha moves down to get his back on the mat. Barcelos settles in half-guard looking for ground and pound. Taha still working strikes off his back though. Taha throwing his legs up hoping for a submission attempt and Barcelos opts to just stand up and move away.
Taha briefly into the clinch but then they go back to striking range. Taha with a leg kick. Nice right hand for Taha. Now a left scores.
One-two for Barcelos. Sneaky left from Taha. Three-piece combo for Barcelos but not behind those punches. Left hook for Barcelos and a knee attempt.
Crushing right hand for Barcelos. Now another knee upstairs attempted. Left hands for Barcelos. Both men getting tagged as they trade punches.
Well timed knee upstairs for Barcelos. Hard leg kick knocks Taha off-balance. Taha with a takedown attempt, but Barcelos stuffs it.
Taha catches Barcelos clean with a punch and then they try to slug it out in the final seconds.
Great fight here with both men showing off high level exchanges on the feet. Barcelos’ work was particularly slick though and he also had some solid moments on the mat too, and his impressively well-rounded skills are rewarded with a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).