SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- We all knew Carlos Diego Ferreira had sick ground skills -- six of the undefeated lightweight's previous 10 wins came via submission -- but Saturday night, we found out Ferreira can strike, too.
"I've been working hard on my strikes, and that's what I won," Ferreira said. "I've been training hard for this and that was my payoff."
It was Nijem (9-5) who came out swinging, looking to push a fast pace. But for every strike Nijem threw, and several of them connected, Ferreira had an answer. He picked up the pace, matched a sloppy Nijem's volume, and got the best of him on the ground, as well. Ferreira nearly completed a Kimura in the opening round's final minute.
The end came in the second when Nijem came charging in and missed with a right, leaving himself wide-open for a counter right to the jaw. Ferreira pounced on the downed Nijem with hammerfists before the fight was stopped.
"I was surprised," at the pace, Ferreira said. "That's the best I can do. I got him in first round but he stopped me, so I got him again in the second."
Nijem had a two-fight win streak snapped.