UFC 301: Dione Barbosa Decisions Ernesta Kareckaite In Newcomer Showdown

Dione Barbosa and Ernesta Kareckaite, UFC 301 ceremonial weigh-in
Dione Barbosa and Ernesta Kareckaite, UFC 301 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dylan Bowker/Cageside Press

Ernesta Kareckaite made her octagon debut on Saturday, when the Lithuanian flyweight, a Contender Series winner, faced off with Brazil’s Dione Barbosa.

Barbosa was also making her promotional debut, like Kareckaite having won her way into the promotion via Dana White’s Contender Series last year.

Round one started with Dione Barbosa landing her kicks. She went to the legs and landed clean to the body. Barbosa seemed comfortable on the feet landing two good right hands on Kareckaite. She had Kareckaite guessing on the striking and she didn’t see the takedown coming when it came.

Kareckaite couldn’t defend and let Barbosa on her back threatening a rear-naked choke right away. Kareckaite was fighting a wrist well but Barbosa was sticky on the back. Kareckaite covered up well defending her neck. Barbosa was still working for the choke and was softening Kareckaite up with punches to the side of the head. The round ended with Barbosa on the back and threatening slightly with the armbar as she was slipping off.

In round two Kareckaite came out with more aggression. As she did Barbosa timed a beautiful spinning elbow that wobbled Kareckaite. Instead of following up, Barbosa went for a takedown she couldn’t complete. Soon after she threw a right hand into a single leg. She was too low on the single and Kareckaite stepped across and got back up. Again Barbosa landed a spinning elbow but allowed Kareckaite to get the takedown. No worries for Barbosa as she used a leg lock to take the back of Kareckaite. As she was giving too much space she fell off the back and let Kareckaite fall in her guard to end the round.

In the final round Kareckaite likely needed a finish. Kareckaite badly needed to land something big as Barbosa was having all the moments. Barbosa went for a double leg but Kareckaite sprawled nicely. Kareckaite started to get some momentum with the kicks and Barbosa was shooting desperate takedowns. Barbosa looked tired as Kareckaite started to walk her down. She landed a combination on Barbosa but not with much power. Barbosa was feeling the pressure though shooting blindly over and over. Barbosa did get the fight down but wound up with her on her back briefly. In the last thirty seconds, Kareckaite came forward landing some shots but it was too little too late. Barbosa had the decision, on all three scorecards as it turned out.

Official Result: Dione Barbosa def. Ernesta Kareckaite by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)