Kicking off the main card at UFC Vegas 50 on Saturday was an all-Brazilian middleweight match-up, featuring Alex Pereira vs. Bruno Silva.
Pereira would forever be known as the man who beat Israel Adesanya in kickboxing, twice. At least until he established his own legacy in MMA — which, for now at least, meant chasing Adesanya, who still holds the UFC’s 185lb title.
Silva, for his part, was looking to derail Pereira’s hype train in the fight, and secure his eighth straight win (not to mention fourth in the UFC).
There were some heavy punches thrown in this one — but the pair would end up going the distance.
A touch of the gloves and Pereira opened up with trio of kicks; Silva answered back with a kick of his own, before they entered the clinch for a moment only to break apart quickly. Silva rushed forward with a flurry, while Pereira slid back and answered back with a body kick. Pereira landed a combination, punctuated with a stiff right hook. Silva kept pressing forward with combinations, got the clinch and worked some knees on the inside. They separated again Pereira unloaded another pair of kicks. Sliva threw a kick, followed by a right hand before he dropped for the takedown and drove Pereira into the cage. Pereira worked back to his feet and separated again; Pereira then opened up with a combination that finished with a hard right cross that found its target just before the round came to an end.
Round two started off with Pereira throwing out a pair of kicks, followed by a hook to the body. Silva looked to land the left hook but Pereira got out o the way. Pereira fired back but Silva landed a stiff hook to the body. Pereira now looked to land to the body of Silva but Silva again shot the take down and took Pereira to the mat. They stayed there for just a moment before the two were back to their feet in the clinch. Both men worked inside of the clinch with Silva landing a nice hook followed by an uppercut. Pereira exploded free and immediately went on the attack with a powerful right hook that landed on target. Silva continued to press forward and was able to land the hook again, but Pereira came back with flying knee. Silva threw a kick but slipped and landed on his back, Pereira dove in but wasn’t able to get much done as the round ended.
It was almost a surprise to see the hard-hitting duo enter the third round. That third round saw Pereira come out with leg kick followed by a combination, but Silva rushed forward for the takedown, which Pereira was able to stuff. Silva kept pressing forward and landed the left hand followed by a stinging leg kick.
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In the clinch against the cage, Pereira worked on the inside and landed knees but Silva came back with the left hook that backed Pereira up. Pereira retreated, for only a moment then came back with a combination and loaded up on his punches that staggered Silva. Pereira saw the end was near and opened up more but Silva fired back with that left hand before the two worked inside of the clinch again. Silva found space and opened up on Pereira but Pereira answered with power and landed a crushing right hand that looked as if it broke the node of Silva, and stunned him for a moment. Silva was able to pull it back together and survive the round. The scorecards, however, were another matter, with Pereira earning a clear decision.
Official Result: Alex Pereira def. Bruno Silva by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)