After losing the first round, Ian Heinisch took over the co-main event of UFC Rochester that featured plenty of scrambles on the mat.
Antonio Carlos Junior is currently on a five-fight win streak with four submissions, but pulled out of two separate fights late last year with injuries. Ian Heinisch, a former LFA champion, is on a four-fight win streak, with one of the wins coming on the Contender Series and the latest being his UFC debut against Cezar Ferreira.
The duo traded kicks to open round one, before quickly clinching. From the clinch, Carlos Junior took Heinisch to the ground and enjoyed top control from half guard. Heinisch was able to move the action closer to the cage, eventually getting to his feet along the fence. Once both fighters were up, Carlos Junior dragged Heinisch back down to the ground. It was only for a moment though, as Heinisch once again hurried to his feet and was forced to clinch along the fence.
Repeated takedowns from Carlos Junior were answered by quick scrambles to the feet from Heinisch throughout the opening frame. The Brazilian eventually took the back of Heinisch with about a minute remaining in the first round. Although Carlos Junior continuously worked for a variety of submissions, Heinisch was able to survive the round.
After an energy-sapping first five minutes for both fighters, the first minute of round two was a bit slower in pace. After 90 seconds, Carlos Junior complained about a headbutt from Heinisch, but the referee waved action on. Following the momentary pause in action, Carlos Junior took the back of Heinisch and forced the action to the ground. Again, Heinisch would work hard and get back to his feet, walking along the cage with Carlos Junior’s arms around his waist.
An awkward scramble against the fence led to Heinisch taking top control on Carlos Junior. The Brazilian kept his arms wrapped around Heinisch, but was unable to threaten with submission like he had in round one. Heinisch kept busy with strikes while on top, but failed to land anything of real significance. Then, with about 30 seconds left, Heinisch kicked up the aggression and landed some huge shots with Carlos Junior pinned against the cage. In a close round, the American managed to end on a high note and potentially even the bout.
Ian Heinisch hit an aggressive Carlos Junior with a right hand followed by a brief clinch early in the round, trying to keep momentum. A knee to the groin from the Brazilian stopped the action about a minute in. After action resumed, Carlos Junior fell to the ground, but it was indistinguishable if it was from a knockdown or a slip. Heinisch sprawled on the Brazilian, landed a knee, then sprawled another takedown attempt. Carlos Junior slipped off the back of Heinisch when attempting a submission, and surrendered top position. The grappling specialist reversed position, but couldn’t hold it. The pair scrambled multiple times, but Heinisch stayed on top and punished Carlos Junior, keeping the momentum and winning the fight.
Ian Heinisch def. Antonio Carlos Junior by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)