Cariaso won’t be going anywhere in the next poll, as he finished Iliarde Santos Wednesday evening at UFC Fight Night 29 in the second round.
Santos took it to Cariaso in the first, winning it on most scorecards. However, it was all Cariaso in the second, as he found his rhythm and executed pinpoint striking.
“I’ve been working a lot with my Muay Thai coach,” Cariaso said. “He got my striking just dialed on point for the last six weeks.
“Once I found my timing, everything clicked.”
Cariaso (15-5) was coming off losses to Jussier Formiga and John Moraga, two fellow top flyweights. Despite the lofty ranking, though, he needed to find a way to win – even in Brazil.
“Thank you Sao Paulo,” Cariaso said. “I love you guys, thanks for having me. I give it up to Iliarde for coming out and fighting me like I love to fight.”
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