In an action-packed three-round affair, Laureano Staropoli became the first Argentinian UFC fighter to claim victory in his own country, putting on an exciting performance at UFC Argentina on Saturday night.
Kicking off the televised card at UFC Argentina, welterweights Hector Aldana and Laureano Staropoli were set to face off. At 7-1 heading into the night, Staropoli was making his UFC debut in his native Argentina, meaning the fans would be solidly behind their hometown hero. Hector Aldana of Mexico, meanwhile, was coming off a loss in his UFC debut earlier this year.
Off the opening bell, Aldana and Staropoli swung away in a fast and furious exchange. Staropoli was throwing some heavy shots, and Aldana was bloodied within the first minute. Both men were looking for a knockout, as the crowd chanted “ole ole ole” and got behind their countryman. Aldana, however, was far from out of it, connecting with a heavy left hand. Staropoli fired off a leg kick, but he had formed a large hematoma. The ref, though, called time not for that but to check on Aldana’s cut. The doctor cleared him. The action continued, the lump on Staropoli’s head continuing to grow. He fired a jumping knee but was dumped on his back.
Early in the second frame, the action was stopped twice more, first to check on Aldana’s eye a second time, then for a low blow landed by Staropoli. Back underway, the pair settled in a little. Gone was the frantic, swing for the fences pace set in round one. Instead, it was punches in bunches, measured exchanges — but when they were throwing, they were throwing hard.
To start the third, Aldana’s eye was checked yet again. Again, it passed muster. Staropoli went right after him, swinging hard. The pair circled, and while the Argentinian had clearly done the most damage, it still felt like either man could pull off a victory. Certainly a stoppage. Staropoli went to the body with a punch, added a leg kick, then attacked again. Aldana’s cut was bleeding badly. The native of La Plata, Buenos Aires was pulling away as time wound down. Staropoli landed a left, then a right. Aldana fired back.
When the scorecards were ready, it was Staropoli with his hand raised, winning all three rounds. No surprise, as Aldana needed a finish by the end. “I want a lot more fighters from Argentina here in the octagon,” Staropoli said in the octagon after the fight.
Laureano Staropoli def. Hector Aldana by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)