Joanderson Brito vs Diego Lopes
Official Result: Joanderson Brito def. Diego Lopes by technical unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
It took Joanderson Brito four seconds to press forward and gather up Diego Lopes, dumping him to the canvas and controlling him on the mat for the opening two minutes of their featherweight contest, peppering Lopes with heavy elbows and a handful of heavy body shots in the process. But the talented Lopes wasn’t at all bothered, working to shift his hips and position himself to attack an armbar, lacing up the arm and forcing Brito to defend.
After breaking free and returning to the center of the Octagon, the Brazilians got after it on the feet, slinging hard shots, with both men landing at times, setting the stage for an exciting second round.
They wasted no time getting after it to begin the middle frame, with Brito serving as the aggressor, only to get stuck in a tight guillotine choke. Lopes looked to have the hold locked in, but Brito managed to extract his neck, and when he did, he unloaded from top position, connecting with some nasty blows. Once again, Lopes countered by hunting submissions, first attacking a leg in transition before chasing an anaconda choke, neither of which were particularly close, but each of which forced Brito to slow his offensive output momentarily, only for the streaking 26-year-old to return to top position and continue to bomb away on Lopes, before the LUX Fight League champ chased a kneebar in the closing moments of the round.
Ten seconds into the final round, Brito extended his finger in Lopes’ eye, bringing the action to a halt. The doctor came in to speak with Lopes, who relayed that he was having problem seeing out of both eyes, and the bout was ultimately waved off.
Brito had been warned by referee Chris Tognoni on multiple occasions earlier in the bout, and a point was deducted even after the fight was halted, as the round needed to be scored in order to determine the final decision.
Lopes was understandably heartbroken with the way the fight ended, fighting off tears as the fighters awaited the verdict. Brito emerged with the decision win, but he was none too excited either, disappointed that he wasn’t able to finish the contest the way he had hoped.