Rafael Natal has now won four of his last five fights after he defeated Joao Zeferino by unanimous decision in the first fight of the UFC on FX 8 main card.
The fight opened with Zeferino landed an overhand right hand and came straight towards Natal. He continue to pressure Natal and did not seem to have any octagon jitters.
He would then go for a takedown and went for a leg lock. Both fighters had a hold of each others leg. Zeferino continued to look for a leg lock and Natal threw various strikes to free his leg.
After the action was stalled, referee Leon Roberts stood them up with 20 seconds to go in the round and neither fighter threw a strike once the fight was back to the feet and the fight moves into the second round.
At the start of the second round, Zeferino once again threw his overhand right but it would not connect this time. Zeferino would be able to get a takedown but Natal was able to immediately get back to his feet. As the round reached the midway point, Zeferino appeared to be slowing down and cardio became an issue.
Zeferino looked for a double leg takedown but it was stopped and Natal looked for a guillotine. He gave up on the position and had Zeferino stand back up. Zeferino attempted a spinning back fist which missed and he went to the ground. Natal would follow him to the ground and get into his guard. While in top position, Natal landed short strikes and the round would end in this position.
In the final round, Natal appeared to be the fresher fighter but Zeferino continued to look for the overhand right. After Natal went for a side kick, Zeferino looked for a takedown but Natal was able to get the fight to the ground. While on the ground, he worked to the half guard position and appeared to be working for an arm triangle choke. He ended up passing to side control and landed several short shorts. He then moved to the mount position and got the back of his opponent. Zeferino would make it to the final bell and the judges will decide the winner.
All three judges scored the fight for Natal (16-4-1) with the scores being 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28).
UFC on FX 8 Results:
Rafael Natal def. Joao Zeferino via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Nik Lentz def. Hacran Dias via unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Francisco Trinaldo def. Mike Rio via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:08
Gleison Tibau def. John Cholish via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:34
Paulo Thiago def. Michel Prazeres via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Yuri Alcantara def. Iliarde Santos via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:31
Fabio Maldonado def. Roger Hollett via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
John Lineker def. Azamat Gashimov via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:07
Jussier Formiga def. Chris Cariaso via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lucas Martins def. Jeremy Larsen via KO (punch) – Round 3, :13