Hometown fighter Danny Castillo treated the Sacramento crowd to a show by taking it to the huge favorite Edson Barboza early. But, the Brazilian was able to survive a one-sided first round -- a round that could easily have been a 10-8 for Castillo -- to win a majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
Castillo landed a big right hand that put Barboza on roller skates early in the opening round, and followed those up with a series of punches that put him in immediate jeopardy of a quick stoppage. "Last Call" Castillo, who trains with Team Alpha Male, kept the action up for the entirely of the round, landing punches, hammerfists and elbows in trying to end the fight. He also had a couple of rear naked chokes attempts, but the bloodied Barboza was able to persevere and make it to the second round.
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It was then that Barboza began staking his comeback. He started stinging Castillo with massive leg kicks that Castillo seemed too tired to check. He also began landing the jab. Towards the end of the round, Barboza felled Castillo with a big left hook to the forehead just as he was coming forward. From that point, it was Castillo who went into survival mode as Barboza tried to finish the fight with a submission on the ground.
The third round was all Barboza, who continued to assault Castillo with leg kicks and, towards the middle of the round, big body shots. He stunned Castillo at one point with a spinning wheel kick (not unlike the one he landed on Terry Etim). He continue to attack the body until the final bell, securing the victory.
Barboza moves to 13-1 as a pro, his only loss coming against Jamie Varner at UFC 146, in what was a last minute opponent switch. With the loss, Castillo (16-6) has a two-fight win streak snapped in the UFC's lightweight division.