It was supposed to be an easy night for Cezar Ferreira, facing a fighter who had already lost in the TUF Brazil competition. Ferreira escaped with the win and the middleweight crown, but not without a major scare.
His opponent Sergio Moraes badly hurt him late in the second round with an elbow and a series of strikes that had him reeling backwards against the cage, but after surviving that onslaught, Ferreira out-pointed him for the win at UFC 147.
The judges scored it 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 for "Mutante."
Moments before Ferreira got hurt, he seemed to have the fight in hand, using his size advantage and a more varied striking game to seemingly take control.
But Moraes was game, throwing wild combinations particularly in close quarters. While he was more heart than technique, his wild power punches occasionally found their mark, threatening Ferreira and slowing his attack.
Ferreira nearly got a finish early in the second when he hurt Moraes with a kick and knocked him down with a flurry. But he was hesitant to go to the ground with the jiu-jitsu specialist, and instead allowed him to get to his feet, giving Moraes valuable recovery time.
It wasn't the dominant performance many expected from Ferreira, but it was enough to win the TUF crown and a UFC contract. He's now 5-2 in his pro career.