Raoni Barcelos fought Trevin Jones on the main card of UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday night, part of a five-fight affair after one bout fell through the night of.
After being one of the most highly touted prospects in the bantamweight division and starting his UFC career with a five fight winning streak, Raoni Barcelos’ thirty-five years of age seemed to catch up to him as he lost in back-to-back fights by decision against prospects Timur Valiev and Victor Henry. However, his five-time Brazilian National champion wrestling pedigree, his BJJ black belt, and his striking pedigree under legend Pedro Rizzo still had fans excited for every performance.
For his part, Trevin Jones came into the fight also on a two fight winning streak but he had started his UFC run with two straight knockouts, although his KO of Timur Valiev was overturned to a no-contest for a positive marijuana test. This bantamweight tilt was, on paper, one that seemed likely to earn one or both fighters a bonus of some sort.
The open stance match-up allowed the orthodox Barcelos to land a big straight right on the southpaw Jones early on for the first major strike of the fight. After a minute or so, Raoni used a right hand to close distance and get into the clinch. Trevin defended the takedown attempt well but Barcelos did some damage and broke the exchange quickly.
Barcelos got on the front foot and landed another right hand soon after. The pace was slow, but that perhaps suited Raoni, who has had gas tank issues of late in his losses. The Brazilian soon turned a single leg into a slam and got on the back of a turtled Jones with no hooks in. After eating some ground and pound Jones was forced to roll onto his back and Raoni settled into a high half guard. Jones was told by his coaches to open his guard but doing so allowed Barcelos to pass to full mount, displaying his high level jiu-jitsu credentials. Jones attempted to lock down Raoni to avoid damage and he was largely successful until the last fifteen seconds when the Brazilian black belt slammed elbows down on his foe, sealing a clear 10-9 round in his favor.
Trevin Jones came out in round two with increased aggression but Barcelos avoided his massive, wild hooks in the first thirty seconds. Raoni landed a big right hand after a minute that made Jones stumble back to the fence and the Brazilian followed it up with a flying knee that landed partially. After a brief clinch exchange Barcelos landed a big elbow on the break, but Jones ate it. After seven minute of fighting the commentary team revealed that, per their stats, Jones had only landed nine significant strikes. A big strike then floored Trevin Jones and Raoni jumped on top of him looking to finish with ground and pound. However, Trevin was able to grab onto Barcelos’ wrists and smother the strikes while the Guam native recovered from being knocked down. Jones tried to scramble to his feet but Barcelos swiftly transitioned to a front headlock, threatened the choke, and then spun to take the back and force Jones back to the mat. After Jones rolled back to his back, Raoni slammed in elbows and hammerfists that cut open his opponent, dying his blonde hair with red streaks. More and more slicing elbows rained down as the round came to a close. Raoni had established a comfortable, commanding lead through ten minutes of fighting.
Barcelos was vibing at the start of the final stanza, rocking back and forth on his heels as he slipped and returned the strikes of his opponent. Trevin Jones attempted to fight against his counterstriking nature and push forward but the technical proficiency of Raoni made it tough for him to do so.
A big left hook set up a right straight, an uppercut, and a knee from Barcelos and Jones dropped to his knees, appearing close to the end. He got back to his feet but Raoni kept the pressure on, not overdoing it and gassing himself out but staying in his face, landing frequently, and avoiding most of his opponent’s return shots. After a cup shot to Jones stopped the fight briefly, Raoni shot a takedown upon resuming action and landed right in full mount. The dominant performance continued as elbows and punches rained down to the head of Jones. All Trevin could do was attempt to lock down his opponent or bridge out of the situation, which finally succeeded in getting him out of mount. However, Raoni settled in side control and almost finished his opponent with massive elbows dropped from above.
More ground and pound flurried down as the bell rang, and there was no doubt as to what the scorecards would say except for if any 10-8 rounds would be included.
Official Result: Raoni Barcelos def. Trevin Jones by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)