UFC Brasilia Results: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos Takes Decision Over Alexey Kunchenko

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Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos rebounded with a win over Alexey Kunchenko at UFC Brasilia.

The empty Ginásio Nilson Nelson served as the backdrop to welterweights Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Alexey Kunchenko squaring off Saturday at UFC Brasilia. With the arena on lockdown due to COVID-19, it was fighters, teams, and staff only. A surreal scene for two fighters who recently had impressive win streaks snapped.

Brazil’s dos Santos had a seven-fight win streak brought to a halt by Li Jingliang last year. But even more of a shock was seeing Alexey Kunchenko’s twenty-fight run shut down by Gilbert Burns last August.

One man was set to get going again Saturday.

Dos Santos opened up the bout with some kicks, and Kunkencho attempted to counter with one of his own. Both looked to find their range, while Dos Santos was swinging heavy looking for anything to land. However, Dos Santos kept landing a low kick that was eating away at Kunchenko early. Kunchenko threw a kick of his own that was caught and Dos Santos took him down as a result. Russia’s Kunchenko scrambled back to his feet quickly, and Dos Santos looked to keep him in the clinch. However the referee would separate them after the action stalled, and the round came to a close.

The second round opened with a brilliant kick downstairs by Dos Santos that stopped the action. Ouch. The fight would continue after a brief break and Dos Santos went right back to throwing leg kicks. Kunchenko would step in and Dos Santos would counter with an attempt at a leglock; Kunchenko would slip out and return to the feet. Kunchenko would land a staggering right hand that landed clean — Dos Santos seemed hurt but Kunchenko didn’t follow up. Dos Santos engaged in the clinch, but they would be separated. Kunchenko would go right back to pushing the pressure and landing combinations. Dos Santos went up high with a head kick that was blocked, and Kunchenko landed a right hand of his own. A good second round for the Russian.

Kunchenko went right back to pressuring with the right hand early in the third. Dos Santos looked for a spinning back fist and Kunchenko responded with a right hand that landed. Dos Santos looked to keep Kunchenko at bay with the jab, but the Russian just kept bringing forward pressure and landed a leg kick of his own. Kunchenko landed a hard body kick as Dos Santos went for a leg kick of his own. Dos Santos then leaned in for another leg kick and Kunchenko landed a hard right hand. Kunchenko got into the clinch late and looked for a spinning back fist on the break. Dos Santos got a late takedown in the third, and he looked tired. The round would end as Kunchenko forced his way up. In the end, the Brazilian got the nod on all three scorecards.

Official Result: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Alexey Kunchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)