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UFC 153 Round-by-Round Review: Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi

We open up the Facebook prelims in the lightweight division, as Cristiano Marcello (12-4) faces Reza Madadi (12-2). These two had the most intense face-off during the weigh-ins on Friday. The referee will be Fernando Yamasaki.

Round 1: After going face-to-face before the official intros, these two are ready to go. The ref is forced to step in and separate them, but that's over now, as Madadi comes right out after Marcello. It's Marcello with some nice kicks early, peppering the body of Madadi. Stiff left followed by a strong right from Madadi back Marcello up against the cage. Overhand right by Marcello connects to the back of the head. All striking so far, and Madadi has a small cut under his eye. Big right hand by Madadi, as Marcello powers out with lefts and rights. Left hook from Madadi lands and Marcello scatters. Madadi with another left and Marcello ties up to re-gather his bearings. Front-kick by Marcello misses. Huge uppercut just misses by Madadi, who has hurt Marcello with his effective striking. Madadi shoots in and takes Marcello to the mat. Marcello ends the round with a pair of nice spinning kicks.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Madadi

Round 2: Madadi right back to the stiff jabs to start the round. Quick left lands to the nose of Marcello by Madadi. Left hook connects by Madadi. Marcello with a nice swooping right, but he's unable to follow up. Madadi has Marcello pinned against the fence and unloads. Body shot by Marcello, followed by a right hand. Marcello appears more poised and focused, landing. Madadi back to the uppercut, forcing Marcello to take refuge on the fence. Jab and an uppercut land by Madadi, as the strike-fest continues. No attempts to take this fight to the ground besides the brief takedown by Madadi late in the first. Madadi tees off with a right to the chin of Marcello, who is just trying to stay alive as Madadi stalks him. Madadi takes Marcello down, putting himself in danger of Marcello's great submission skills. The ref stands them up and Marcello gets the better of the final few seconds again.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Madadi

Round 3: Both guys have plenty of battle wounds after 10 minutes of action. A total of 130 strikes landed by both fighters. Madadi connects first in the round with a right, as Marcello fires back with his own right. Takedown by Madadi with just under four minutes to go. As Marcello goes for a submission, Madadi just stands up. You can tell this style has taken an effect on the fighters, as they are not able to put many combinations together. Two minutes to go, as Marcello lands a pair of left jabs. Madadi with a huge left and another right uppercut to the wobbly Marcello. However, Marcello comes back with body shots, igniting the crowd in support. Stiff jab answer by Madadi. A minute left and Marcello has to know his only chance is a finish. Under 10 and Marcello fires off a flurry to try and finish. Both share a hug after competing hard for 15 minutes.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Marcello

Cristiano Marcello def. Reza Madadi via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

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