For the better part of eight minutes on Saturday, Iuri Alcantara was on the wrong end of a beating by Luke Sanders.
But all it took was one, lightning-fast opening, and the Brazilian veteran stole victory from the jaws of defeat.
Alcantara (34-7 1 NC) took advantage of a momentary lapse by Sanders on the ground, transitioned it into a kneebar, and earned the submission victory at UFC 209 in Las Vegas. The time of the finish at T-Mobile Arena was 3:13 of the second round.
In the first round, Sanders (11-1) dished out offense for the bulk of the round, and it likely would have went into the books as a 10-8 score. However, Sanders drilled the downed Alcantara with a blatant illegal knee late in the round, and referee Marc Goddard correctly docked Sanders a point.
The second round was by and large more of the same. but Sanders was never quite able to get the finish. He dropped Sanders and appeared to be ready to go in for the ending when Alcantara pulled the submssion out of nowehere and got an instantaneous tap.
The victory was the 27th finish of Alcantara’s career and 14th submission. It’s his second straight win and third in his past four fights.
“I took that knee and I felt it,” Alcantara said. “But I got kneed all the time in training, and I knew I could continue on with the fight.”