Once it hit the ground, it was over. Eddie Mendez is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt and Daniel Sarafian is a black belt, and the gap between them was obvious and exploited. Sarafian took Mendez down early, trapped his arm, and then submitted him with a mounted arm triangle. It was that quick and that methodical. The finish of the UFC on FUEL 10 middleweight bout came at 2:20 of the first round.
The victory marked Sarafian's first official UFC win. He was a contestant on season one of the Brazilian edition of The Ultimate Fighter, where he advanced to the final before forced out of the title match due to injury. Instead, he was later matched up with veteran C.B. Dollaway and lost a split-decision in his official debut.
"There's always a lot of pressure but pressure's part of the game," he said after beating Mendez. "That's what you have to practice in the camp. I don't know if there was more pressure in this one, but I was able to win."
Sarafian told the Ginásio Paulo Sarasate crowd that he always intended to take the fight to the ground, citing Mendez's preference for the striking game.
Sarafian is now 8-3. Mendez, a Strikeforce veteran, had been making his UFC debut, but dropped to 7-2.