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Steve Cofield

Almeida uses the takedown to decision Horwich

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Matt Horwich is a great grappler, he's just not on the same level as Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Ricardo Almeida. Horwich posed little threat on the feet and had a tough time setting up takedowns. Instead, Almeida easily scored nine takedowns over the course of three rounds by throwing two and three punch combos and scoring with single-legs. Almeida looked a bit gassed at the end of second but found enough energy to sweep the fight in the third scoring a unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards) victory.

"To win in MMA, you have to be well-rounded," said Almeida. "Matt is known as one of the hardest conditioned guys in the world but I think I was just as fresh as him at the end."

The only really dangerous moments of the fight came in the final minute of the first. Almeida tried for a guillotine choke but Horwich quickly freed himself. Horwich then worked a heel hook with 25 seconds left in the stanza that had Almeida spinning all over the cage. He got out after 17 seconds.

Almeida (10-3, 2-1 UFC) was disappointing with his stand-up. Horwich's stand-up was some of the worst we've seen for a high level MMA fighter. He threw his punches and kicks with zero conviction and moved so slowly that Almeida could hit him with anything he wanted. Almeida is clearly a world class grappler but is that enough to really move himself into title contention with more skill on the feet?

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