To get the evening underway on a fight card headlined by heavyweights, it seemed fitting to begin the festivities in a similar fashion as Don’Tale Maes and Rodrigo Nascimento, aimed to get the evening underway with style points. Both men entered the bout as contract winners from the Dana White’s Contender Series installment, and while Mayes got the octagon jitters out of the way for his debut last October– Nascimento looked to make good on the UFC debut of his own.
You could imagine two relative newcomers to the octagon would be itching to get after it once inside the cage, and these two heavyweights got right to business as soon as the clock began ticking. Mayes, throughout the early going, was incredibly active with a wide array of kicks, and was not wasting any time in aiming for all areas of Nascimento. Nascimento managed to secure a takedown midway through the opening round, and paired it with a solid chunk of control time in top position. Mayes did manage to squeak out of bottom position though, and the two contender series alums were headed to a second round.
In round number two, the Brazilian debutant began to take over the fight. Right off the bat, a crisp head kick grazes the head of Mayes, who was momentarily stunned by the shot. Mayes did manage to recover momentarily, however Nascimento found his opening to take the action back down to the canvas. Nascimento quickly navigated to the back of Mayes, and not long after, sunk in the fight ending rear-naked choke that capped off Nascimento’s octagon debut in style.