TORONTO, Ontario, Canada — Vinny Magalhães, a longtime friend of OTM, made a triumphant return to the UFC light-heavyweight division on Saturday night on the undercard of UFC 152 – Jones vs. Belfort. He did so with a second round armbar victory over the heavy-handed UFC veteran Igor Pokrajac. The submission came just 74-seconds into the second round and "snapped" Pokrajac’s 3-fight winning streak in the UFC both figuratively and literally.
After controlling much of the first round on the ground, which included a near armbar submission, Magalhães made no mistake about his armbar in Round 2. After his Croatian opponent inexplicably took him down early in Round 2, Magalhães quickly went for a triangle choke, pivoted to an armbar, hooked a leg, flipped his opponent over, and finished a textbook straight armbar that forced Pokrajac to tap out in physical and verbal discomfort.
The win was the 10th victory of Magalhães’ MMA career and his 8th win via submission. All of Magalhães’ wins have come by stoppage. The win also came nearly 1 year to the day after Magalhães’ ADCC 2011 victory in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom. Magalhães won the +99 kg weight division at ADCC 2011 by defeating two-time defending champion and UFC heavyweight star Fabricio Werdum in the finals. The match also won the 2011 "OTM Submission Grappling Match of the Year" Award.
This was Magalhães’ first fight in the UFC since a brief stint that began in December 2008, when he was the runner-up on the eighth season of the UFC’s hit reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter. After the show, Magalhães lost a close split decision to Eliot Marshall and was released by the UFC. He quickly won two bronze medals (-99 kg and Absolute) at ADCC 2009, the M-1 Global light-heavweight MMA title in 2011, and 8 of 9 total MMA bouts before returning to the UFC this past weekend.
Above: Vinny Magalhães rocking his green OTM "Federal" t-shirt in front of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this past January. The famous landmark was named after the late first president of the United Arab Emirates, who is the father of ADCC founder and Zuffa shareholder Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.