Up first on the TUF 23 Finale prelims on FOX Sports 1 are Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Anthony Smith. In case you forgot, Mutante was some sort of international TUF badass; Smith, meanwhile, has the kind of tattoos that make you think “meth-head outlaw biker”.
They circle and trade kicks from the outside for the better part of a minute a half. When Smith starts to get aggressive, Ferreira tries to cool his jets with a takedown, and though they stalemate and get stood up after a while, the message is clear: if Smith wants to come forward, the Brazilian will make him horizontal. Another takedown in the final minute has Ferreira on top dropping knuckles.
Round 2 sees Smith timid when it comes to pulling the trigger on his strikes, and when he does decide to commit, his opponent gets low and hits the double-leg. When they scramble up Ferreira gets yet another takedown, and for a while it seems that the Brazilian has him figured out. Smith switches from trying to fight on the outside to working his Muay Thai clinch though, and in the final ten seconds he sees tons of success elbowing Ferreira bloody.
It takes 30 seconds for Mutante to get a takedown in the opening of the third, and he uses the opportunity to drop the occasional punch and drip blood on Smith’s face. That apparently is enough to break Smith, and even though there’s a referee standup bringing them to their feet, another takedown and Smith is done. The horn sounds with Smith just not giving a crap and laying there with Ferreira on top.
Result: Cezar Ferreira def. Anthony Smith via Unanimous Decision