After dropping his promotional debut against Melsik Baghdasaryan last year, former LFA featherweight champ Bruno Souza was looking to get back on track when he kicked off the UFC Columbus preliminary card against Luis Saldana on Saturday.
A Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Saldana was 1-1 in the UFC to date, coming off a loss to Austin Lingo.
Both featherweights took the center of the octagon after a glove touch. A leg kick from Saldana started the fight. A front kick Saldana missed. A punch from Souza landed, but Saldana gave a body kick in return. Leg kick from Souza lands, and he ate a hook. Right hand from Souza landed, and both fighters exchanged calf kicks. A leaping punch from Souza landed, followed by a straight left by Saldana. Saldana landed a takedown with less than a minute left. The round ended with Saldana landing another takedown and Souza barely getting to his feet.
Round two started with Souza being aggressive with a couple of hooks. Saldana missed with a spinning kick but landed with a punch. A spinning back fist by Saldana missed. Souza landed a body kick, and with just over three minutes left in the round, Saldana landed a takedown. After defending a possible submission, Souza got back to his feet with two minutes left. A leaping right hand landed by Souza. Less than a minute left, and both fighters exchanged punches. Souza ended the round landing a heavy punch.
Round three started with a calf kick from Saldana. A high kick from Saldana was blocked. Saldana did land a spinning back kick and a few seconds later ate a right hand. Saldana landed a front kick and stiff jab, while Souza landed another hook. About 90 seconds left, and Saldana slipped off a kick, and Souza got on top. Saldana got right back to his feet and landed a heavy punch. He motioned for the crowd to get going, looking to battle it out to the bell. Both fighters landed right hands. The fight ended with Souza landing a punch on Saldana.
For the first time tonight, we head to the judges. How did you score it? 📝
— UFC (@ufc) March 26, 2022
Come the scorecards, it was Luis Saldana getting the nod. Saldana picks up his second UFC win, while Souza falls to 0-2 in the UFC.
Official Result: Luis Saldana def. Bruno Souza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)