Rodolfo Vieira continued to amass hype at UFC 248. After he got hit with some early blows, he took down, then submitted Saparbek Safarov.
UFC 248 was a big night for the UFC’s middleweight division. Of course, a 185lb title fight topped the card, with Israel Adesanya defending his title against Yoel Romero. But earlier in the night, a pair of middleweight scraps were scheduled. The first was Deron Winn vs. Gerald Meerschaert; the secondly, immediately after it, saw Rodolfo Vieira take on Saparbek Safarov.
Vieira was 6-0 heading into the night, and had come to the UFC by way of ACA. He had defeated Oskar Piechota in his debut, and was looking for his second scalp inside the octagon. Safarov, meanwhile, had bucked a two-fight skid when he defeated Nicolae Negumereanu just under a year ago.
Saparbek Safarov hit Rodolfo Vieira with a right hand then a front kick that got through. Vieira ran away from danger, then shot for a takedown. Safarov bounced back up quickly, but Vieira shot right back in. Safarov countered with a headlock, but the Brazilian lifted him up and slammed him down. Vieira had his back, and Safarov spun out in desperation into mount. Vieira welcomed this and transitioned to an arm triangle. He jumped into side control and finished the choke, forcing the tap.
We're starting off HOT! 🔥
— UFC (@ufc) March 8, 2020
The early blows that Vieira absorbed caused his eye to completely swell shut. He explained that he knew he needed to finish the fight in the first round because it would have been difficult to continue.
Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov by Submission (Head-and-Arm Choke) in Round 1 (2:58)