UFC on ESPN+ 40: Raoni Barcelos vs. Khalid Taha Play-by-Play

Returning from a one-year USADA suspension, Khalid Taha fought against Raoni Barcelos on Saturday’s UFC main card. Here is how the fight went.

Bout 8: Raoni Barcelos (15-1) vs. Khalid Taha (13-2) (Bantamweight)

A leg kick from Barcelos made Taha slip in the opening minute of action. Taha fell due to a leg kick in the second minute of the round as well. Barcelos pressed forward with strikes in the second minute causing Taha to shell up for a moment. Barcelos put Taha against the cage in a clinch, slamming him down after. Barcelos took the back of Taha after being on top in full mount. Taha was able to escape the position in the fourth minute, taking full guard on top. Barcelos looked for an armbar before working his way back up to the feet. Taha kept Barcelos against the cage in a clinch. Barcelos escaped and returned to striking with 30 seconds left in the round. After tripping Taha with another leg kick, Barcelos put together some punches before the round concluded.

Both fighters were throwing a fairly quick tempo of strikes early in the second round. A groin kick caused a stop in the action two minutes into the round. Barcelos continued to land with leg kicks on Taha. Barcelos had a good close to the round, landing a knee to the head and following up with a series of punches. A very wobbled Taha was able to stay on his feet until the round ended.

Barcelos had a hot start to the final round, putting together more hard punches on Taha before scoring a takedown. He took the back of Taha, looking for a rear naked choke from the position. Barcelos took half guard on top after Taha escaped the choke. The fight returned to the feet with half of the round left. Barcelos continued to put together punches on the feet, although Taha often would continue to come forward. A leg kick from Barcelos dropped Taha in the final minute. Taha clinched with Barcelos, letting punches go after. They both threw wild punches before the horn sounded. Barcelos won after three rounds of action (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

RESULT: Raoni Barcelos def. Khalid Taha via Decision, Unanimous

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Barcelos 10 10 10 30
Taha 9 9 9 27

Live coverage of the entire show can be viewed here.

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