In an event filled underdog upsets–9 to be exact–on the UFC Fight Night 38 card in Natal, Brazil, everyone of those underdogs deserves credit and recognition for going against the odds and coming out on top with the victory. All winners on this card were deserving of a star, but at the end of the day only three could be chosen from the pool.
Honorable mentions go out to:
- Godofredo “Pepey” Castro
- Kenny Robertson
- Jussier Formiga
- Thiago Santos
- Michel Praeres
3rd Star: Fabio Maldonado
Fabio Maldonado has now fought a total of 7 times in the UFC, and every single one of those fights have been entertaining. The man, just possesses a style that cannot help by entertain the audience. In the first round it looked like it would be a long night for Maldonado, as he was controlled and thoroughly dominated by Gian Villante on the mat and in the clinch. However like a scene out of a movie, once Maldonado saw his own blood–in the form of a knee from Villante that opened up a cut on his forehead–the former professional boxer, turned it on and began to deliver his usual performance. Maldonado began to light Villante up with combinations, many of them going to the body–leading to Villante’s cardiovascular to slow late in the 2nd and early in the 3rd. By the 3rd round, it was a one sided fight, as Maldonado treated Villante like his personal punching bag–landing 72 of 112 punches to Villante’s 4. Fabio Maldonado came back to earn the unanimous decision and his 3rd straight UFC win–after previously losing 3 straight and coming out on the wrong end of a couple questionable judges’ decisions.
2nd Star: C.B. Dolloaway
Clarence Byron Dollaway is no stranger to fighting in hostile territory, as he has done in the past, he took on his 2nd TUF Brazil finalist in their home country of Brazil. Dolloway was one of the bigger underdogs on the card, coming in at +340 on the betting odds. He overcame the bigger opponent Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira, when the two were engaged in a bit of a wild exchange. Ferreira pressured and had C.B. with his back to the fence, Dolloway uncorked a counter left hook to drop the Brazilian, and a barrage of ground and pound punches later, Dolloway had a 39 second TKO victory. Remaining undefeated in the country of Brazil, 2-0, and handing Ferreira his 1st loss in the UFC in 4 fights. After suffering back to back losses in 2011, halting his previous 3-fight winning streak, C.B. Dolloway seems to have gained some momentum as of late. Including the close controversial split decision loss to Tim Boetsch, Dolloway has won 3 of his last 4 fights in the UFC.
1st Star: Dan Henderson
Some thought he was done, past his prime, age has finally caught up to him, his amazing chin was been exposed by Vitor Belfort, he’s on a 3-fight losing streak. Those sentiments and many more echoed by fans and media alike. But Dan Henderson, like he has done in the past, once again proved all the doubters and critics wrong. First displaying that his granite chin is still very much in tact–by taking two huge shots from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, especially the 2nd uppercut that would have put many a man away, and recovering to continue on in the 5-round rematch. Henderson shot/faked a takedown in the 3rd round and instead landed one of his patented right hands, dubbed the “H-Bomb” by former Pride and Strikeforce commentator, Mauro Ranallo. The right hand put Shogun down and out, as he could not recover from the follow up punches by Henderson. The 43 year old Henderson may have lost a step, but with the ability and power he possess in his right hand to knock out any opponent in the division, and as long as his chin holds up–Hendo will always be a legit threat to any opponent in a fight.
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