On Saturday, November 7, the UFC touched down in São Paulo, Brazil to bring fight fans UFC Fight Night 77 live from the Ibirapuera Gymnasium.

In the night’s main event, fans witnessed the rubber match between middleweights Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson.

Henderson (31-12), a former Pride FC and Strikeforce champion got the best of Belfort in their initial meeting at Pride FC 32 in 2006 in the form of a unanimous decision. In his mot recent contest, Henderson walked away with a first round knockout over Tim Boetsch in June. This victory, snapped the former Olympian’s two fight losing streak. He entered this contest with a  UFC record of 8-7 with 17 career stoppages, with 15 coming by way of knockout.

Belfort (24-11), a former UFC light heavyweight champion turned middleweight contender, would get revenge against Henderson with a violent first round headkick knockout in their second meeting at UFC Fight Night 32 in 2013, cementing himself as the number one contender at 185-pound. However, Belfort would go on to suffer a first round TKO loss to reigning champion Chris Weidman in their title fight at UFC 187 in May. This marked his first setback as a middleweight since his first round knockout loss to Anderson Silva in 2011.

In the co-main event former light heavyweight title contender and hometown favorite Glover Teixeira squared off against former collegiate wrestling standout Patrick Cummins.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

Corey Anderson kicked off the main card with intentions of spoiling the homecoming of Fabio Maldonado, and he delivered from the onset. Anderson’s blend of wrestling and solid striking told the story of the first two rounds. Maldonado knew by the start of the third round that he needed a huge comeback, preferably in the form of a knockout, in order to see the winners’ circle, but Anderson’s wrestling prevented Maldonado from getting anything significant off, and after the last round concluded, all three judges agreed that Anderson completely dominated a very game, durable foe in Maldonado en route to earn the unanimous-decision win.

Gilbert Burns started off strong against Rashid Magomedov, throwing powerful shots and taking down Magomedov early, but near the end of the first frame, Magomedov started to turn things up. Magomedov established himself as the aggressor in the second round, hurting Burns at one point and looking as though he had Burns out on his feet, but the Brazilian would not be denied. Burns hung in for as long as he could, but Magomedov continued to use his striking to stay on top of Burns as the final round progressed, which led to him eventually taking a clear-cut unanimous-decision verdict from the highly-touted prospect and proving once again why many consider him a rising star in the UFC’s shark tank of a lightweight division.

Alex Oliveira knew Piotr Hallman would bring a tough fight, and while Oliveira established his aggression all throughout the first round, it showed as Hallman weathered the Brazilian’s early efforts. Hallman would assume the mantle of the aggressor in the second round and use his takedown prowess, as well as some exceptional offense on the ground and an ability to escape from harm almost at will, to stifle Oliveira. The home-country favorite would have none of it, however, as he reasserted himself in the third round, instantaneously ending the fight with just one vicious right hand.

Thomas Almeida brought some serious fireworks to Sao Paolo, just as Anthony Birchak expected, and it made for an electric one-rounder. Save for an instance where Birchak secured a brief moment in top position,not he two men engaged willingly in a predominantly striking-oriented battle and traded a variety of shots. After defending a takedown attempt, however, Almeida countered Birchak with a right, followed up with a left, threw a spinning back elbow, and ended the fight with a right hand that left Birchak out cold.

Patrick Cummins aimed for takedowns and any chance possible to showcase his ground game against Glover Teixeira, which became clear as Cummins successfully landed takedowns at will on the former light-heavyweight title contender throughout the first round. Unfortunately for Cummins, however, Teixeira never missed a chance to do damage on the feet, and every time he got taken down, he was able to get back to his feet. The onslaught continued through round two, when Glover poured a slew of punches on Cummins, who tried to withstand the barrage, but couldn’t handle the power of Teixeira, who earned his stoppage victory in impressive, yet brutal fashion.

For the first 90 seconds of Vitor Belfort’s trilogy fight with Dan Henderson, very little action took place, outside of a kick from Henderson that intended to set up his vaunted right hand. In a turn of events that proved unfortunate for the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion and former PRIDE two-division world champion, and also felt like a moment of deja vu for the MMA world, Henderson would lean in the wrong direction and pay dearly by hitting the canvas after Belfort’s stuck a head kick. The subsequent flurry on the ground led to a stoppage that Henderson seemed furious about, but nevertheless, Belfort closed the trilogy in scintillating fashion, thus rebounding from his loss to undefeated UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman just months ago.

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD 

Vitor Belfort def. Dan Henderson by knockout (kick and punches). Round 1, 2:07
Glover Teixeira def. Patrick Cummins by TKO (punches). Round 2, 1:12
Thomas Almeida def. Anthony Birchak by knockout (punch). Round 1, 4:24
Alex Oliveira def. Piotr Hallman by knockout (punch). Round 3, 0:51
Rashid Magomedov def. Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Corey Anderson def. Fabio Maldonado by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

PRELIMINARY CARD 

Gleison Tibau def. Abel Trujillo by submission (rear naked choke). Round 1, 1:45
Johnny Case def. Yan Cabral by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-38)
Thiago Tavares def. Clay Guida by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 0:39
Chas Skelly def. Kevin Souza by submission (rear naked choke). Round 2. 1:56

PRELIMINARY CARD

Viscardi Andrade def. Gasan Umalatov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jimmie Rivera def. Pedro Munhoz by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Matheus Nicolau def. Bruno Korea by submission (guillotine choke). Round 3, 3:27