Ricardo Arona. Photo by Scott Petersen/MMAWeekly.com.
Former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Ricardo Arona looked rusty in his first fight in over two years, but managed to put together enough offense to stifle challenger Marvin Eastman en route to a unanimous decision victory in the main event of Saturday night’s Bitetti Combat 4 event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Arona (14-5) started the fight on a high note, connecting with a pair of leg kicks to Eastman’s thigh, one of them sending the UFC veteran falling to the canvas. A couple of successful takedowns saw Arona control the majority of the first round on the mat. However, Arona’s infamous lack of cardio began to show at the start of the second round, which featured very little, if any offense from either fighter.
Appearing to favor an injured toe going into the third stanza courtesy of an Eastman (16-10-1) checked leg kick, Arona was able to score his third and final takedown minutes into the round and coasted to a lackluster, but much-needed unanimous decision win.
Former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho wasn’t very impressive either in his light heavyweight bout against former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Alex Schoenauer as the Brazilian flustered his opponent with constant clinching and grappling against the fencing over the course of three rounds.
Schoenauer’s only offense seemed to come during the closing moments of the third round, where he chased after Filho (18-1) with wild flurries of punches to no avail. In the end, Filho walked away with his second straight win following an embarrassing stint with the WEC last year. The loss was the third in four fights for Schoenauer (14-10).
In a bout that essentially mirrored their original meeting in September 2007, Pedro Rizzo (17-9) used strong takedown offense and superior striking to defeat Jeff Monson (31-9), this time via a convincing unanimous decision. Also victorious was Chute Boxe product Murilo “Ninja” Rua (17-10-1), who scored a highlight-reel, first-round TKO of Alex Steibling (18-11-1), fighting for the first time since announcing his retirement over two years ago.
Complete results from the event:
Ricardo Arona def. Marvin Eastman - Unanimous Decision
Paulo Filho def. Alex Schoenauer - Unanimous Decision
Pedro Rizzo def. Jeff Monson - Unanimous Decision
Murilo “Ninja” Rua def. Alex Stiebling - TKO (Strikes), R1
Milton Vieira def. Luciano Azevedo - Split Decision
Fabio Maldonado def. Vitor Miranda - Unanimous Decision
Glover Teixeira def. Leo Nascimento - Submission (Guillotine Choke), R1
Luis Dutra Jr. def. Henrique Nogueira - TKO (Strikes), R1
Cassi Tytschyo def. Fausto Black - Submission (Guillotine Choke), R1
Alexandre Pimentel def. Luciano Correa - Unanimous Decision
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