In his first appearance inside the Octagon since UFC 97, Vinny Magalhaes earned his first UFC victory in an impressive performance against Igor Pokrajac at UFC 152. Magalhaes is a world champion grappler who has been working his striking ever since his abrupt departure after The Ultimate Fighter season 8. Pokrajac entered the fight riding a three fight winning streak and has shown vicious striking that could have proven to be too much to handle for Magalhaes.
The first round started at a very intense pace with Magalhaes throwing leg kicks and initiating the clinch that enabled him to trip Pokrajac and landed in top control. After some nice ground and pound and an arm bar attempt, Magalhaes ran out of time before he could really get any aspect of his game to succeed. The second round started with Pokrajac surprisingly rushing a takedown on Magalhaes who instantly started to work off his back. The legs originally flew up in a triangle attempt but when that did not get Magalhaes anywhere so he used a slick sweep transition into an arm bar had Pokrajac tapping in mere seconds.
Even though it was Pokrajac who took the fight to the canvas which ultimately resulted in the fight ending, the Croatian took to twitter to voice his frustration, “If I wanted to do a grappling match I would go on a grappling tournament , this is MMA and UFC fans want a fight.”
Although he appeared tired leaving the first round, Magalhaes threw an explosively fast submission to send a message to his future opponents that he is back and ready for all they have. The large progression and adaptation into Mixed Martial Arts doesn’t always take heed to grapplers but the fans can always appreciate exciting fight styles like what Vinny Magalhaes exhibits.