weather icon Clear

Brazilian pounds out win

Though Paulo Filho had never fought a mixed martial arts fight in the United States, most American fight fans had heard of the undefeated middleweight’s dominant submission skills.

Sunday night, the Brazilian earned the World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight title by showcasing his stand-up prowess in a first round TKO victory over Joe Doerksen at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Filho landed a right and a left to floor Doerksen, then landed an onslaught of shots on his downed opponent.

Doerksen appeared to be finished but was able to grab onto Filho and rise to his feet, only to be decimated by another prolonged flurry.

Referee John McCarthy called a halt to the fight 4:07 into the opening round.

Filho came to the WEC to become a champion and it took him just one night to establish himself in that role.

"I’m very happy to fight in the organization and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges," Filho said through an interpreter.

Early in the fight, Filho tried to go to his strength and take Doerksen to the ground.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran was up to the challenge, however, and did not allow Filho to gain an advantage on the mat.

That didn’t stop Filho from taking home a championship.

"My goal since the beginning is to be the best fighter in the world," Filho said. "In this weight division, I feel that I am top three in the world."

It had been thought that Filho was placed in the WEC by Zuffa — the promotional company that owns and operates the UFC, WEC and Pride Fighting Championship — to avoid a potential matchup with friend and training partner Anderson Silva, the UFC middleweight champion.

Filho attempted to put that notion to rest, claiming he would have no problem entering the ring against his fellow Brazilian Top Team member.

"A fight is a fight," Filho said. "I’m a champion now. He’s a great champion. If we fight, we fight. Then, we go to dinner afterwards."

Carlos Condit retained his welterweight title Sunday in an equally unexpected manner.

He came into the fight with a clear stand-up advantage over Brock Larson, who was thought to be far superior on the ground. Instead, Condit locked in an armbar from bottom position and held on until Larson tapped out at the 2:21 mark of the first round.

"It’s a weapon I always have in my arsenal. I’ve got good submissions," Condit said. "I thought I had the advantage on my feet, but I’m well-rounded."

The win was the sixth in a row for the 23-year old.

"I love armbars. I haven’t been able to use them for awhile," Condit said. "But tonight, the opportunity presented itself and I was able to use it to finish the fight."

Jamie Varner and Sherron Leggett got their lightweight bout started early when they mixed it up at the weigh in on Saturday, but it looked as if only Varner was ready to continue the fireworks when they stepped in the cage for the official start of their fight Sunday.

Varner landed several big shots, including two solid right kicks to the head, and slammed Leggett to the mat three times before the fight was finally stopped at 4:08 of the first round during a barrage of right-hands by Varner.

Blas Avena, a Hard Rock security guard, worked a short shift on Sunday night, disposing of Tiki Ghosn with a choke just 1:01 into the first round.

Jeff Curran survived three grueling rounds to hand Stephen Ledbetter the first loss of his career, earning a unanimous decision victory in one of only three fights on the nine-fight card to go the distance.

Las Vegan Eric Schambari and Antonio Banuelos also earned victories by decision.

Steve Cantwell and Hiromitsu Miura picked up TKO victories.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Dana White signs four fighters to the UFC - Video
Four fighters were put under contract with the UFC following their performances at Dana White's Contender Series on Tuesday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Contender Series fighters react to being signed to the UFC
After making history as the first batch of winners to all earn contracts following their performances at Dana White's Contender Series, the fighters react to making it to the UFC.
Dana White signs all five winners at Contender Series
For the first time in the three-season history of Dana White's Contender Series, every winning fighter earned a UFC contract. Maki Pitolo, Joe Solecki, Antonio Trocoli, Hunter Azure and Jonathan Pearce impressed the UFC brass and were awarded contracts by the UFC president.
Jones says he was confident he secured a win over Santos at UFC 239 - Video
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continued his reign by taking a split decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239. He discusses the close call and entertains the idea of a trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 recap: Jones and Nunes retain their titles - VIDEO
Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes both retained their titles at UFC 239. Jones took a decision over Thiago Santos in the main event and Nunes scored a first-round knockout of Holly Holm. Jorge Masvidal also made promotional history on July 6 by scoring a 5-second knockout over Ben Askren. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amanda Nunes on her win over Holly Holm at UFC 239 - Video
Amanda Nunes talks about continuing her reign as a two-division champion in the UFC after defeating Holly Holm with a head kick in the first round of their title bout at UFC 239. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239: Masvidal makes UFC history with 5-second knockout - Video
Jorge Masvidal discusses his history-making knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 and makes his case for a shot at the welterweight title next. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fighters at UFC 239 react to the 7.1 earthquake - Video
Fighters at UFC 239 talk about what they experienced when the 7.1 earthquake was felt in Las Vegas on Friday night. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Ceremonial Weigh-in Staredowns - Video
All fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena faced off against each other one last time before their bouts take place. In the main event, Jon Jones will put his light heavyweight belt on the line against Thiago Santos. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes will look to continue her reign as the women's bantamweight champion when she takes on Holly Holm.
UFC 239: Jon Jones says he wants to make a statement - VIDEO
Prior to UFC 239, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says he's trying to challenge himself, set his own records to establish his legacy and explains how he's become comfortable with where he is in his career. He will put his title on the line in the main event against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Official Weigh-in Results
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena made weight at the official weigh-in at the New York-New York hotel-casino on Friday. The main event features UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting his belt on the line against Thiago Santos. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 Preview: Jones vs. Santos
Prior to UFC 239, the Review-Journal's Adam Hill and Heidi Fang break down the main event between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos for the light heavyweight title, the co-main championship tilt between Holly Holm and reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes, and preview a feature bout between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 media day: Masvidal says he has faced tougher competition than Askren
Ahead of facing rising UFC welterweight Ben Askren, promotional veteran Jorge Masvidal says he's faced tougher opponents in the past. Askren says don't be shocked by his approach to the fight at UFC 239 on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Jones thanks fans for support through his dark times
At UFC 239 open workouts, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones thanked fans for their support during his "controversial moments" and says he wants to be more active through 2020. His challenger Thiago Santos says he will "shock the world" on July 6 and be the new division champion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 239 open workouts: Holm wants to shock her naysayers
Holly Holm will look to reclaim the UFC women's bantamweight title when she faces two-division champion Amanda Nunes in the co-main event of UFC 239 at the T-Mobile Arena on July 6. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
White: I'm looking for different things on this show - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White spoke with media following the second episode of the third season of his show "Dana White's Contender Series". He explained why he signed the two fighters he did after their performances and discussed the heat he's taking for not signing Brendan Loughnane last week. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC's Francis Ngannou says he never doubted himself after losses - Video
UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou will face Junior dos Santos at UFC on ESPN 3 in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 29 in a bout that could determine the next title contender. After losing in a title bout to Stipe Miocic in 2018, Ngannou says he never doubted himself. He also talks about meeting former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dana White on Contender Series contracts: "I'm looking for killers." - Video
On opening night at the UFC's newest facility, the UFC Apex, the promotion signed Punahele Soriano and Yorgan De Castro to contracts after their performances on Dana White's Contender Series. UFC president Dana White explains why he signed the fighters he did. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC Apex is the promotion's newest cutting-edge facility - VIDEO
The UFC Apex will officially open as Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series kicks off on June 19. Here's a look at what the promotion's newest facility in Las Vegas has to offer. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC President Dana White on the UFC Apex, ESPN deal, when Conor McGregor could return and more - Video
UFC President Dana White gave the Review-Journal an exclusive interview where he spoke about the promotion's new facility, the UFC Apex, their new deal with ESPN, when Conor McGregor may return to the octagon and more. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shevchenko says defending the UFC flyweight belt is her number one challenge - Video
UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant title when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 last December. She will put the belt on the line for the first time in Chicago, Ill., when she faces Jessica Eye at UFC 238 on June 8. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC title contender Jessica Eye says her move to Las Vegas gives her an edge - Video
Ohio native Jessica Eye says she moved to Las Vegas to get an edge in performance ahead of facing UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Ill., on June 8. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 240: Max Holloway beats Edgar, Cyborg wins

Reigning featherweight champ Max Holloway defended his belt Saturday, overwhelming former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar at UFC 240.