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Preliminary Card (ESPN2) is kicking off with the clash between two talented Brazilians Alexandre Pantoja (21-3-0) and Deiveson Figueiredo (15-1-0). Figueiredo is more than ready to bounce off his single loss against Jussier Formiga and put himself back into the Flyweight division top 5. However, Pantoja is on the rise and if he puts Formiga away with the 3rd consecutive finish, he will be in the line for the Flyweight belt for sure.
Check out our live play-by-play coverage below:
Rd 1 – They meet in the middle and Figueiredo slowly takes the center. Pantoja opens the fight with a hard leg kick! Figueiredo is looking very confident and he is in a unique wide stance. However, Pantoja steps in and catches him with a couple of punches. Figueiredo times the leg kick and scores a takedown. Figueiredo fails to hold Pantoja on the mat and they are back standing. Pantoja sticks with the kicks, however, Figueiredo finds his timing on the counter and he cracks Pantoja with a couple of hard right hands. Figueiredo is controlling the fight from the distance. His boxing is very accurate early. Pantoja wakes up and manages to score a body lock takedown but fails to establish top control. Figueiredo breaks the lock and continues to demolish Pantoja from his range. Pantoja starts exploding with the kicks and punches but fails to find a target.
Rd 2 – Pantoja starts pressing forward but Figueiredo closes the distance fast and lands a couple of nice shots. He stuffs another takedown but Pantoja catches him with a nice overhand right! Figueredo lands a step in the elbow but Pantoja starts finding his range with a one-two counter. Figueiredo is very open during the exchanges. Both fighters start throwing power! Big right lands for Pantoja! Both fighters are using a lot of energy! Pantoja has a lot of success with the straight punches. He dives for a single and gets the takedown. However, Figueiredo explodes to his feet. Figueiredo is switching his stances but he has a hard time connecting in this round. Both fighters are exchanging hard shots! Big right-hand drops Pantoja! Figueiredo on top dropping bombs! Pantoja is saved by the bell!
Rd 3 – Figueiredo continues to show his great footwork. He initiates the clinch and starts displaying his great Muay Thai elbows. Figueiredo separates and starts popping Pantoja with the jab. Pantoja pushes forward but eats a nasty right hand! Pantoja responds with the right hand but finds himself on the ground and eating punches! He survives the storm and gets back to his feet. Figueiredo is looking to close the show. He level changes and takes the fight to the mat. However, Pantoja finds his way up and starts throwing a nice combination. However, Figueiredo is destroying him with the step-in elbows. Pantoja is still dangerous, he is showing a big heart. Both fighters are slowing down. Pantoja starts throwing power shots and landing hard right hands in the last 10 seconds of the fight!