Raulian Paiva made a successful debuted at Bantamweight with a Majority decision victory over Kyle Philips in the main card of UFC on ESPN 27, Saturday night 24th July at the UFC Apex Facility in Texas.
Paiva (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who competed previously at flyweight was down on score cards but had to fight back in the late rounds against a game Phillips (9-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), upsetting odds to get the nod on the judges score cards 29-28, 29-28 and 28-28.
Both Men came out firing in the opening round but Philips got the better of his opponent connecting a big right that sent Paiva to the Mat, Paiva quickly found his way back to his feet and engaged again in a back and forth exchanges. However, he struggled more due to range difference, leaving Philips with the advantage.
Philips tried landing a spinning back kick which missed woefully and even led to him slipping but while on the canvas he was able to maneuver to the top position and hurt Paiva with huge shots till the Brazilian got saved by the bell.
Paiva came out firing in the second round and was intent on bouncing back, so moved on to secure a clinch and working from there, he caused some trouble for Philips before trying a kneel hook which was not successful as Philips scrambled free. He found some space and wobbled Philips with a big right hand, moving back into the clinch but Philips quickly worked his way out.
Paiva was clear, he wanted Philips in the clinch and ones he found an opportunity, landed some huge combinations that rattled Philips, who quickly went for a takedown. It was successful but his immediate move for a submission wasn’t as Paiva quickly escaped, moved back to his feet and engaged again in another clinch before the time ran out.
The final round saw two fatigued competitors throw blows with hunger for victory but non was able to connect a fight ending shot. Philips went for a takedown but Paiva got the top position and battered him from there till, Philips broke free and made his way back to his feet.
The two traded more, back and forth was the sequence but despite connecting clear shots, non was able to drop the other. Leaving them standing to the final bell.
“I knew in my heart I was going to win,” Paiva said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “I don’t know how. It was a tough fight and I was going to find a way to win.”