The UFC Sao Paulo main card is in progress, and the company’s #14 welterweight Alex Oliveira just melted Carlo Pedersoli Jr. in a mere 39 seconds. Cowboy now sits with back to back victories, which should set him up for a big fight against a ranked opponent. Before that, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira made his return to action following nearly two years away from the sport to score a second round knockout on Sam Alvey. This is Nogueira’s first win since he stopped Patrick Cummins at UFC 198 back in 2016, and the longtime veteran has been professionally scrapping in MMA since 2001.
The now 14-4 Andre Ewell had a strong showing in his UFC debut, dropping Renan Barao early in the first round, and then continuously touching him up with the hands en route to a split decision victory. Kicking off the main card, the promotion’s #13 strawweight Randa Markos and undefeated UFC newcomer Marina Rodriguez went the distance. Both athletes gave it their all, and the bout resulted in a majority draw. One of the judges scored it 29-28 for Markos.
Alex Oliveira def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. by KO at :39 of round 1: Welterweight
Cowboy came out launching rangy kicks at Pedersoli, before cracking his foe with a buzzing right hand. The followup ground strikes were brutal and constant, prompting the referee to step in and make the stop. Yikes!
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Sam Alvey by KO at 1:00 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
Alvey stung Nogueira with a left hook to start the bout, causing the old school veteran to back off. It didn’t take much time for Nogueira to begin stalking forward again, but this time behind his left hook, which backed Alvey up to the cage. A brief halt to the action was called when Alvey was poked in the eye, but the bout resumed without the need for a doctor visit. Alvey landed a clean left hook that backed off Nogueira once again, resulting in a lull for the final 15 seconds of the round.
Nogueira went right after his opponent in the second round, backing Alvey up to the cage where he unloaded a flurry of heaters. A heavy left hand collapsed Alvey in on himself, and a couple of follow up ground strikes from Nogueira sealed the deal. Alvey instantly went for a takedown, but the fight was already over.
Andre Ewell def. Renan Barao by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Bantamweight
Barao recklessly went after the UFC newcomer, but paid for it when Ewell dropped him with a jolting left hand. It didn’t take very long for Barao to recover and get Ewell down to the ground. A couple of hard knees to the body scored for Barao as he controlled from the top, with Ewell having very few answers. From full mount, Barao attacked an armbar but Ewell was able to escape and make it back to his feet, but was taken right back down before the bell.
Surprisingly, Barao opted to keep the fight standing to start the second round, and got clipped several times by Ewell for it. With about a minute or so remaining in the round, Barao finally shot a takedown to put Ewell on his back. A couple of ground strikes added up for Barao, but it might not have been enough to win back the round.
Ewell got back to his laser straights in the third round, tagging up the former bantamweight champ pretty good. Barao again abandoned the takedown in order to strike, but struggled to pop off with anything substantial. The left hand of Ewell continued to hit its target, busting up Barao and keeping him on the back foot. The bantamweights slugged it out for the final moments of the fight but nothing flush was really landed.
**It should be noted that Barao weighed in at 141.75 pounds and was fined 30% of his purse
Randa Markos and Marina Rodriguez drew even (29-28 Markos, 28-28 x2): Strawweight
Markos came out and duffed Rodriguez with a hard right hand, followed by a successful head and arm throw. Full mount was quickly acquired and Markos had her way from the top in terms of control. Rodriguez didn’t make it back to her feet, nor did she mount much of any offense before the horn sounded.
Rodriguez was able to get off some strikes to keep Markos off of her, and when Markos did get on the inside, Rodriguez blasted her with some mean knees from the clinch. Markos pressed forward behind her punches, and landed some clean shots but was unable to stay on the inside. Things started to heat up towards the end of the round when the strawweights began to brawl in the final 10 seconds.
Markos rushed forward to start the final round, pressing Rodriguez up against the fence. She was able to score a brief takedown but Rodriguez was quick to get back up. Rodriguez started to get more aggressive, using her front kicks to the face and Thai clinch to score some offense. Like a true veteran, Markos used her opponent’s aggression against her by changing levels and picking up a takedown. after being controlled for a bit, Rodriguez scrambled up to her feet where the strawweights went at it in the clinch. Rodriguez was able to land a couple of kicks and a solid knee to the body before the final second ticked away.