The UFC returned to Brazil with a featherweight championship unification main event as Jose Aldo and Max Holloway headlined a five fight main card on pay-per-view

First up on the main card was a welterweight bout between American Yancy Medeiros(13-4-1NC) and Brazilian Erick Silva(19-7-1NC), with the American entering the fight as betting favourite

A tentative opening round featured little action, with both fighters preferring to spend the first five minutes feeling each other out rather than looking to land any of their big shots as the fight moved into the second round

The pace of action picked up in round two, and after Silva managed to put together some punching combinations that partially landed Medeiros was able to counter with some combos of his own and landed a solid left hook to the chin of Silva that dropped the Brazilian before following up with some punches on the ground before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:01 of the round

Next up on the main card undefeated Brazilian middleweight Paulo Borrachinha(9-0) put his perfect record on the line in a 185lbs tilt as he took on American/Nigerian fighter Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2) with the Brazilian being the betting favourite to pick up the victory

Bamgbose was aggressive early and managed to get a takedown in the first few minutes of round one, however Borrachinha began to assert himself as the round wore on via landing some good solid punches to the body of Bamgbose, and by the end of the round Bamgbose was gasping for oxygen

The inevitable happened in the second round, as after an exhausted Bamgbose slipped to the ground after trying a head-kick, the Brazilian pounced and landed multiple ground and pound punches before referee John McCarthy stepped in and waved the fight off at 1:06 of the second round

Two mixed martial arts veterans collided next, as forty year old Vitor Belfort(25-13-1NC, #11MW) took on thirty eight year old Nate Marquadrt(38-17-2) in a middleweight fight

A very uneventful three round affair, neither fighter showed a willingness to commit to anything meaningful with the most action coming via Marquadrt’s first round successful takedown attempts while Belfort was able connect with some good body kicks, though neither fighter could gain a sizable or recognisable advantage across the fifteen minutes
Belfort had Marquadrt in some trouble in the second due to landing some punching combos, however the American was able to recover as the dull encounter went all three rounds

In the end, all three judges gave the nod to Vitor Belfort via unanimous decision

It was first-ranked versus second-ranked in the co-main event, as Brazil’s Claudia Gadelha(14-2, #1WSW) took on Poland’s Carolina Kowalkiewicz(10-1, #2WSW) with the Brazilian the betting favourite to bag the win

The Brazilian lived up to her billing as betting favourite, as after a few minutes of back-and-forth striking action in the first round, Gadelha was able to complete a takedown and from there easily and quickly took the Polish fighters back and locked in a rear-naked choke for the submission win at 3:03 of round one, in a performance that will likely earn her a title fight next time out

It was champion versus champion in the main event of UFC 212, as interim featherweight champion Max Holloway(17-3) faced featherweight champion Jose Aldo(26-2), with the latter entering the fight as betting favourite to unify the titles

Aldo started strong in the first round, getting the better of the striking exchanges as the first five minutes were comprised entirely of stand-up with the two fighters preferring mostly to trade punching combos, though Holloway landed some good body kicks while Aldo landed some good leg kicks

Despite not fully landing, both fighters were swinging huge punches in the second round with Aldo getting slightly the better of connections with his, though Holloway landed some good shots of his own however the American was slightly rocked as the round ended after being clipped by an Aldo punch combo

Holloway began to dominate in the third round, and after getting the better of the striking exchanges for the first two minutes the American landed a clean punching combo that rocked and dropped Aldo and after a few more minutes of ground and pound punches from both the back and mount position referee John McCarthy stepped in and stopped the fight as Aldo wasn’t defending himself, with the stoppage coming at 4:13 of the third round as Holloway became undisputed UFC featherweight champion

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh