On Saturday, March 21, the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night 62: Maia vs. LaFlare from the Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In the night’s main event, former middleweight title challenger Demian Maia continued his run at welterweight as he took on Ryan LaFlare. The Brazilian Maia got back in the win column in May with a unanimous decision win over Alexander Yakovlev. That win snapped a two-fight skid. LaFlare, meanwhile, had amassed 11 wins to kick off his career, including four straight inside the Octagon. The New York fighter had stopped seven of his wins before the final bell.
The co-main event featured another former title challenger in Josh Koscheck, who stepped in on short notice to take on Erick Silva. The veteran Koscheck suffered his fourth straight loss at UFC 184 just three weeks ago, but replaced an injured Ben Saunders. Brazil’s Silva had alternated wins and losses over his nine-fight UFC career and looked to build on the momentum of his 75-second submission of Mike Rhodes in December.
The 12-fight event kicked off Saturday with two bouts streaming on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET. Four additional preliminary card bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, with the six-fight main card airing live at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Brazilian Demian Maia put on a grappling clinic for the first four rounds, but had to survive a spirited final round from opponent Ryan LaFlare to claim a decision win. Maia earned takedowns and passed to mount with ease in each of the first four frames. The BJJ ace looked for multiple arm-triangles and nearly forced LaFlare to tap in round four. However, LaFlare showed heart and came out firing in round five. Maia was clearly exhausted and LaFlare pushed the action. Referee John McCarthy deducted a point from Maia in the waning seconds of the fight for flopping to his back, but it didn’t matter, as Maia was awarded the fight by all three judges at cageside.
Welterweight Erick Silva earned his second straight win, submitting former title challenger Josh Koscheck in the first round. Koscheck came out throwing massive overhand rights, forcing Silva to look for a takedown. When the pair separated, Silva dropped Koscheck with a straight left. He followed into Koscheck’s guard, but the fight returned to the feet. Silva wobbled Koscheck again with another left. The Brazilian chased Koscheck to the cage and latched onto his neck. Silva pulled guard and forced Koscheck to submit to the guillotine choke.
TUF Brazil winner Leonardo Santos ran his unbeaten streak to nine fights with a second-round submission win over Tony Martin. Santos started strong on the feet, but Martin used his wrestling to pin the Brazilian against the cage and score from the clinch. The pair traded shots early in round two, but when Martin sought a takedown, Santos reversed it and landed in side control. He quickly moved to mount and then took Martin’s back. Martin tried to escape but succumbed to the rear-naked choke.
Brazilian bantamweight Amanda Nunes got back in the win column, stopping veteran Shayna Baszler by TKO in the first round. Nunes came out firing, landing hard kicks to the lead leg of Baszler. She delivered a combination that hurt Baszler, but the American survived. Another leg kick from Nunes buckled the leg of Baszler and she crumpled to the mat in obvious pain, forcing referee Mario Yamasaki to intervene.
Lightweight Gilbert Burns came out flat, clearly dropping the first two rounds against late-notice opponent Alex Oliveira. Burns’ face was swollen and bleeding heading into the final stanza, but he came alive, securing a takedown and moving to mount just seconds into the round. Burns transitioned to an omoplata and looked for the finish. Oliveira defended and Burns moved back to mount. In the final minute of the fight, Burns locked onto the right arm of Oliveira and earned the huge comeback win via armbar.
Brazilian Godofredo Pepey electrified the crowd in the opening main card bout, submitting Andre Fili via triangle choke. The pair threw single shots before Pepey closed the distance and secured a body lock. He briefly got Fili to the mat, but Fili bounced back to his feet. Pepey threw up a flying triangle choke to get the fight to the mat. Fili fought the submission valiantly, but eventually was forced to tap.
In the night’s final prelim, Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo used a mix of takedowns and ground and pound to take a decision win over Akbarh Arreola. Trinaldo took Arreola down early and kept him pinned to the mat. The Mexican attacked from his back, but Trinaldo easily defended. It was more of the same in round two. The final frame was sluggish, but the result was never in doubt as Trinaldo won the fight on all three scorecards.
Featherweight Kevin Souza kept his winning streak intact, knocking out Japan’s Katsunori Kikuno with a nasty right hand in the opening frame. Souza stalked Kikuno around the cage from the opening bell and he put his eight-inch reach advantage to use, connecting with a right hand straight down the pipe that sent Kikuno crashing face-first to the canvas.
Leonardo Silva benefited from a huge officiating gaffe, earning a second-round submission win over Drew Dober. The pair traded strikes in the first round with Silva showcasing great head movement. Silva took Dober down in the second round and looked to take Dober’s back. Dober escaped, but fell into a guillotine attempt. Just as he appeared to escape, the referee inexcusably stopped the contest.
Brazilian lightweight Leonardo Mafra started slow, but once he found his rhythm, he dominated Cain Carrizosa to claim a lopsided decision win. Carrizosa dropped Mafra with a right hand early, but after that, it was all Mafra. Mafra scored with punches and leg kicks before scoring big takedowns. In the final round he repeatedly mounted Carrizosa and claimed the win on the scorecards.
Former RFA lightweight title holder Christos Giagos picked up his first win inside the Octagon, submitting Brazilian Jorge de Oliveira by rear-naked choke in the first round. Giagos quickly scored a takedown and moved to mount. He softened up Oliveira with punches, took his back and coerced the tap.
TUF Latin America alums Fredy Serrano and Bentley Syler didn’t much through two rounds, but Colombia’s Serrano changed that in round three with a violent knockout. The flyweight scored with a right uppercut that sent Syler crashing the canvas unconscious.