Saturday night, the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum (also referred to as UFC Fight Night 106) at the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. The fight card featured 12 mixed martial arts bouts, including a women’s bantamweight match between Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau, a light heavyweight fight between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Gian Villante and a middleweight main event pitting rising star Kelvin Gastelum against MMA legend and Brazilian native Vitor Belfort.
Gastelum gave an impressive performance, knocking out the far more experienced Belfort at 3:52 of the first round. Belfort landed some decent strikes on Gastelum early on, but then Gastelum knocked him down with a crisp two-punch combo and rained several strikes down on him from the standing position. Belfort managed to regain himself. However, Gastelum soon sent him to the canvas via strikes a second time and began raining hammer fists down on him before referee “Big” John McCarthy stepped in to call the fight.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 12, 2017
“Kelvin Gastelum knocked out one of the greatest fighters the UFC has ever seen with an excellent display of boxing and combination strikes to put Vitor Belfort away in the first round in a front of a hostile crowd,” David McCracken wrote for the Bleacher Report.
Several of Gastelum’s previous fights have been in the welterweight division, but he has often had trouble cutting weight. His last two fights have been at middleweight. After winning both by knockout, it looks like middleweight might be a more comfortable class for Gastelum.
“Belfort looked sharp in the opening two minutes of the fight and was even able to land some punches and show off the creativity that made him one of the most exciting fighters in MMA,” McCracken continued. “But once Gastelum tagged Belfort with a jab and a left hook, there was no turning back.”
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, another Brazilian native and MMA star, defeated Gian Villante via a third-round knockout, improving his record to 25-10 and putting him on a three-fight win streak, including a victory over MMA legend Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC 190 in August of 2015.
— Mundo ESPN (@ESPNagora) March 10, 2017
In the women’s matchup, both Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau came into the fight having won three of their last five bouts, and both showed impressive versatility in transitioning from striking to grappling. The two eventually fought to a majority draw after three action-packed rounds of fighting.
One of the highlights of the night came when Edson Barboza knocked out Beneil Dariush with a flying knee as Dariush moved in on him in the second round of their lightweight match.
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) March 12, 2017
The UFC split the Fight of the Night bonus up into four Performance of the Night bonuses, giving Kelvin Gastelum, Edson Barboza, Michel Prazeres and Paulo Borrachinha earning the extra $50,000, as Forbes reported.
The full results for UFC Fight Night 106 are listed below.
Main Card Results
Kelvin Gastelum def. Vitor Belfort via first-round TKO (3:52)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Gian Villante via third-round TKO (0:59)
Edson Barboza def. Beneil Dariush via second-round KO (3:35)
Ray Borg def. Jussier Formiga via unanimous decision
Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau ruled a majority draw
Alex Oliveira def. Tim Means via submission (rear-naked choke) (R2, 2:38)
Preliminary Card Results
Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo via submission (rear-naked choke) (R2, 3:12)
Sergio Moraes def. Davi Ramos via unanimous decision
Joe Soto def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision
Michel Prazeres def. Josh Burkman via submission (north-south choke) (R1, 1:42)
Jeremy Kennedy def. Rony Jason via unanimous decision
Paulo Borrachinha def. Garreth McLellan via first-round TKO (1:17)
[Featured Image by Steve Marcus/Getty Images]