Facing his toughest opponent to date, Yuri Alcantara dominated Michihiro Omigawa in the standup and on the ground, earning a unanimous decision in his home country.
Utilizing powerful strikes from the clinch along with a solid jiu jitsu game that caught Omigawa in a deep armbar, there was never a doubt who got the better of their opponent. The native of Brazil established himself as a serious contender in the featherweight division while a battered Omigawa slides to 1-5 in UFC action.
The first round began with a swift knee from Alcantara that got Omigawa’s attention early. Failing to close the distance, the judo pracitioner was met with another knee from Alcanatara and a strong left that sent him to the ground. Alcantara quickly took his back on the mat but the Japanese veteran was able to stand up and shake him off, eventually ending up in Alcantara’s guard. From the bottom position, Alcantara controlled his opponent’s posture, avoiding any major damage.
In the final seconds of round one, Alcantara secured an armbar before meeting the bell. Had the round continued, the BJJ black belt would likely have earned the submission victory as Omigawa appeared in danger. A closer look revealed Omigawa’s left arm severely torqued and possibly dislocated.
Alcantara continued his onslaught in the second round, landing a head kick and a knee early. Despite continuing to throw his left, it was clear Omigawa’s striking was greatly affected. A left hook buckled Omigawa who went for a single leg in desperation. After a bit of scrapping, Alcantara secured full mount and delivered some effective ground and pound. Continuing to dominate his opponent on the mat, Alcantara took Omigawa’s back for a second time and went for a rear naked choke attempt before the bell.
In the final round, a winded Alcantara delivered some labored strikes before Omigawa caught him with a solid elbow. In the first signs of life from Omigawa, he secured a takedown and had his opponent pressed up against the cage. But Omigawa had taken too much damage to capitalize on the Brazilian’s fatigue and failed to do much on the ground, prompting a stand up from the referee in the final seconds of the bout.
After overwhelming his opponent for 15 minutes, Alcantara earned a unanimous-decision victory with judges scoring the contest 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27 in favor of the Brazilian featherweight.
“I thought I would knock him down or win by submission, but we ended up exchanging a lot of punches and strikes,” commented Alcantara. “I hope this win proved to the UFC that I’m ready for the main card. I felt like a complete fighter in there tonight.”
Alcantara (27-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) certainly answered any questions from those who questioned his talent and level of competition, picking up his 13th straight win. He was tested on Saturday by a proven veteran in Omigawa and ended up on top, showcasing a well-rounded attack that will continue to serve him well in the UFC.
Omigawa (13-11-1 MMA, 1-5 UFC) did not fair as well, suffering his third loss in his last four contests.