Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight bruisers Elias Theodorou and Cezar Ferreira threw down last night (Feb. 19, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 105 inside Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Despite seeing his fair share of setbacks, Ferreira persevered and entered this bout having won his last three bouts. The Brazilian was looking more reliable than ever, and a win over a rising prospect like Theodorou could really help elevate his position. There was a fair amount of pressure on “Spartan” as well. He impressed quite a bit in his early UFC fights, but Theodorou has lost some momentum since, losing for the first time in the Octagon and then winning a truly ugly bout opposite Sam Alvey. Nevertheless, this was a big opportunity for Theodorou to return to form.
Theodorou attempted to rush his way into a clinch war or brawl, but Ferreira circled well and went to work with his counter striking game. As his opponent ran in, Ferreira scored with left hands and counter kicks, making his opponent miss often. After three minutes without much success on the feet, Theodorou managed to secure the clinch and push his foe into the fence. Even then, Ferreira was able to prevent his opponent from doing any damage before breaking away quickly.
In short, neither man landed all that much in the opening round, but Ferreira landed the cleaner blows.
Ferreira scored an early takedown and threatened to take the back, but Theodorou scrambled well to get to his feet. Ferreira landed several more takedowns in the ensuing scrambles, but ultimately it was Theodorou who landed in top position at the end of all the madness.
The Brazilian managed to scramble back to his feet with about 90 seconds remaining. The round was clearly still up for grabs — neither man really took a dominant position or did big damage throughout the wrestling — but both fighters were pretty content to wait for the end of the round.
It was a very tight round, but Theodorou did have the most top control time.
In the first half of the final round, not a single eventful thing happened. Theodorou threw a ton of meaningless shots that largely missed, while Ferreira waited for the perfect counter punch that never really materialized. Plus, neither man was able to get deep on their respective takedown attempts.
Finally, Ferreira managed to catch a kick and land a takedown. Theodorou again gave up his back in pursuit of the takedown, but this time his opponent was able to take the back and threaten with the choke. Theodorou managed to escape in the final 30 seconds, but neither man had a particularly strong claim while awaiting the judges’ decision.
Ultimately, all three judges awarded Theodorou the victory.
Like it or not — and sometimes, it’s hard not to hate it — the judges love activity. On his feet, Theodorou landed just a few punches that were actually meaningful. However, he constantly moved around, threw tons of kicks and combinations, and generally just appeared active in long moments where little was happening.
In a close decision, that’s often enough to earn the win.
To his credit, Theodorou’s grappling defense did hold up very well. He was able reverse position from the back mount a few times, which eventually allowed him to get on top and wear his opponent down a bit. Plus, he avoided a couple guillotine attempts, again helping him maintain top position and score points.
It was pretty damn ugly, but a win’s a win.
As for Ferreira, he was the more efficient fighter, but he did not throw nearly enough. Being a more patient counter puncher is a smart approach — his old style got him knocked out fairly often — but he needs to throw more punches and kicks while looking for big shots. Similarly, Ferreira’s top game failed him. He was able to score a few takedowns, but Ferreira was never able to truly control his opponent. Theodorou hit the same escapes from back mount repeatedly, which just shouldn’t happen to a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Back to the drawing board for “Mutante.”
Last night at UFC Fight Night 105, Elias Theodorou sort of beat Cezar Ferreira. What is next for the Canadian?
For complete UFC Fight Night 105: “Browne vs. Lewis” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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