UFC Vegas 82: Rafael Estevam Overweight, but Out-Wrestles Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson and Rafael Estevam, UFC Vegas 82
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) Opponents Charles Johnson and Rafael Estevam of Brazil face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on November 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Contender Series alum Rafael Estevam made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 82, with Charles Johnson welcoming him to the promotion on Saturday.

An undefeated talent out of Brazil, Estevam’s 11-0 record no doubt made him an attractive pick-up for the promotion — but he did himself no favors by missing weight for his first official UFC bout.

Estevam came right out of the gate with a lot of kicks and dove for the legs but was too far away. On his second shot, Estevam got in on the leg and went to the bodylock. Johnson was digging underhooks but Estevam hit a beautiful hip throw. Johnson worked back to his feet and scraped Estevam off his back. They were still working in the clinch when Estevam hit another takedown — this time by an outside trip. Off the takedown Estevam beautifully took the back and into the full mount. Johnson defended well getting back to half-guard but gave up his back again to close the round.

To start round two Estevam dove right into a single leg. He didn’t get it but got Johnson against the fence and got the trip takedown. Johnson got to his feet but with Estevam on his back. Johnson defended well but fell to the mat where Estevam was trying to sink in the RNC. Johnson had Estevam on his back for a while but Johnson eventually got out and to his feet. Right away, Estevam wasn’t playing around on the feet as he went for another takedown. Johnson defended and peppered Estevam on the outside with straight punches. He ended the round well but lost a lot of time on the mat.

Johnson was the aggressor to start the final round going after Estevam. He did get carried away and Estevam shot in on the legs. Johnson defended as Estevam was visibly tired. Estevam kept going for takedowns just being relentless on the shots. Estevam has his hands locked but is maybe too tired to get Johnson down. Johnson looks at the ref and the fight gets separated. Johnson was marching forward going up high and to the body but was throwing one punch at a time. More missed takedowns from Estevam as he was shooting desperately. Johnson wasn’t landing anything hard but was making Estevam uncomfortable with the pressure. Johnson ran out of time that most likely will be a loss for him.

Official Result: Rafael Estevam def. Charles Johnson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)