In hard-hitting main card opener tonight at UFC Fight Night 125 it was Thiago Santos who emerged on top against Anthony Smith, with a kick to the body proving to the be the beginning of the end for his game opponent.
Santos with some feints early and then a couple of kicks. He tries for a head kick and just misses and then slips. Smith charges forward to capitalize on that and backs Santos up against the cage.
They get back to striking range. Santos with a spinning hook kick and it lands, but somehow Smith manages to eat it and stay standing. Santos moving in, but there’s a scramble and Smith ends up landing in full mount on the mat.
Smith taking his time from this position, but suddenly Smith manages to reverse the position and ends up on top in Smith’s guard with three minutes of the first round remaining.
Smith settles himself and then launches a salvo of body punches and a couple to the head for good measure. Another lull and then more thumping body shots with the right hand.
A couple of left hooks for Santos. Smith trying to stand now and eats a few more punches as he does so. Santos not making it easy for him to stand back up, but he eventually grabs on a single leg and does make it to his feet.
Smith comes lunging forward and threw a kick and an elbow. However, Santos returns fire with a big punch that staggers Smith backwards rocked.
He goes to ground and Santos is on top, but the Brazilian is bleeding from a cut near his eye. Smith still has his wits about him and this fight is going to a second round.
Front kick to the face for Santos. Now a leg kick and one to the body. Smith with a jab and then tries a high kick of his own. They exchange punches in the center of the cage.
Body kick from Santos and it hurts Smith badly and sinks him to the mat. Santos fires away with more punches as Smith remains on his knees but doesn’t quit. The ref gives him a chance to recover, but Smith can’t gather himself enough to get fully out of danger as more punches land to the face and brings an end to the fight by TKO.
Great fight from both men here and with Santos now having racked up four stoppages due to strikes in a row, he looks to be on course for higher profile fights going forward.