Accepting a fight on short notice is never an easy proposition. Entering a fight without a full camp and optimal conditioning is no easy obstacle to overcome, and has shunk its share of fighters. After UFC on FX 8, you can add Joao Zeferino to the list.
After a strong start in the first, Zeferino faded from the second round on, allowing Rafael Natal to take over and work his way to a unanimous decision victory in a UFC on FX 8 main card bout.
The judges scored it 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 for Natal.
Zeferino had his best opportunity in the first, as the two were locked in a 50/50 guard for what seemed like an eternity, trading leg lock attempts. Both survived, but Zeferino won the round on the scorecards of two of the three judges.
However, he couldn't keep up the frantic pace, and Natal absolutely overwhelmed him over the last 10 minutes, out-landing him by a whopping 88-11 margin during that time, including 56-4 in the third.
Natal came close to finishing in the third after earning full mount and raining down strikes, but Zeferino was able to hang on until the final bell.
Natal has now won four of his last five, improving to 16-4-1. Zeferino, who accepted the bout on about two weeks' notice after Natal's original opponent Chris Camozzi was promoted into another bout, saw his seven-fight win streak go down the drain. He dropped to 13-5.