Timely takedowns, excellent lateral movement and intermittent power punches carried Gleison Tibau to a unanimous decision over Healy at UFC Fight Night “Cerrone vs. Miller” on Wednesday at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. All three cageside judges sided with Tibau (29-10, 14-8 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
The hulking Brazilian controlled the first half of the fight, as he kept Healy from employing the grinding clinch game for which he has become known. Tibau did his best work in the opening round, where he secured the first of his four takedowns, settled in side control and punished the Strikeforce veteran with ground-and-pound. Healy (29-20, 0-5 UFC) came on late in the second frame, as he closed the distance more effectively on the fatiguing American Top Team standup and piled up points with volume punching. However, Tibau answered with two takedowns near the end of round three, avoiding any real danger of squandering his lead.
Healy, 30, has lost his last four fights, all by decision.
‘The Peacemaker’ Chops Down Duke
Leslie Smith dispatched “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 graduate Jessamyn Duke with first-round punches in a preliminary women’s bantamweight battle. Duke (3-2, 1-2 UFC) folded 2:24 into round one, as she was beaten for the second time in as many appearances.
Smith (7-5-1, 1-1 UFC) walked down “The Gun” with punches, neutralizing her height and reach advantage. Duke found herself in a constant state of retreat, and Smith pressed the issue along the cage, overwhelming with a barrage of steady, accurate strikes. The Cesar Gracie disciple never relented, as she peppered her wilting adversary with punches to the body and head until one last left hook to the liver brought it to an end.
Sterling Improves to 10-0
Serra-Longo Fight Team representative Aljamain Sterling put away “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 semifinalist Hugo Viana with ground-and-pound from the mount in the third round of their undercard scrap at 135 pounds. Viana (8-2, 3-2 UFC) succumbed to the blows 3:50 into round three.
Sterling (10-0, 2-0 UFC) paired creative kicks with well-disguised takedowns and an aggressive top game. The 24-year-old former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder made his move in the third round. A single-leg takedown led to half guard and then full mount. Trapped along the fence, Viana had no means of escape. Sterling worked for an arm-triangle choke before posturing up and letting the punches fly. A final volley of hammerfists brought it to a close.
Cedeno, Leg Injury Stops Sanders
Former Championship Fighting Alliance titleholder Yosdenis Cedeno stopped Jerrod Sanders on a technical knockout in between the first and second rounds of their preliminary lightweight clash. A late replacement for Leo Kuntz, Sanders (14-2, 0-1 UFC) was undercut by an apparent leg injury, his 12-fight winning streak halted in anticlimactic fashion.
Cedeno (10-3, 1-1 UFC) enjoyed a dominant opening round, as he caught a body kick and floored the onetime NCAA All-American wrestler with a straight right hand inside the first minute. Sanders countered with a single-leg takedown, only to be reversed by the MMA Masters representative. Cedeno settled in top position, punishing his compromised counterpart with punches to the head and occasional knees to the body. After the horn sounded, Sanders needed assistance to walk to his corner and was forced to retire on his stool.
Unbeaten Gadelha Outpoints Lahdemaki
Nova Uniao’s Claudia Gadelha kept her perfect professional record intact, as she defeated Tina Lahdemaki by unanimous decision in the first women’s strawweight match in UFC history. All three judges scored it for Gadelha (12-0, 1-0 UFC): 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt benefitted from a strong start. She backed up Lahdemaki (5-1, 0-1 UFC) with straight punches and counter left hooks before trapping her in the Thai clinch and dragging her to the mat. Once there, Gadelha softened the Finnish export with ground-and-pound, carved through her guard to full mount and transitioned to her back. Rear-naked choke and face crank attempts came next, but Lahdemaki survived.
Gadelha seemed to fatigue midway through round two, allowing the RNC Sport Club representative to surge in the standup. Her efforts went for naught, however, as Gadelha landed a pair of key takedowns in the final round to seal it.