BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – It took him 10 minutes to get started, but when he did, “Batman” took a page out of Keith Wisniewski’s play book – and it helped get him a victory.
Ivan Jorge was a kneeing machine in the third round after the same clinched knees had been Wisniewski’s weapon of choice for the first two frames, and he picked up a unanimous decision with a pair of 29-28s and a 30-27.
The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 28 event at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following an additional prelim on Facebook and ahead of a main card on FOX Sports 1.
Jorge opened the fight with a right, then tried for a shot, but Wisniewski sprawled out of it. And for the first two rounds, that largely was the story – Jorge wanting to take the fight to the ground, but Wisniewski mostly keeping things standing. “Batman” tried to come inside to the body, then worked a leg kick.
But a minute in, Wisniewski came inside and tried to tie Jorge up. Wisniewski wanted a Thai clinch and was able to get knees off there. He kicked to the body, then landed a right hand. When he again defended a takedown attempt, he was able to land another knee.
Jorge started the second round with a good combination, but again wasn’t able to get the fight to the ground. Finally, he briefly took Wisniewski down. The American was back up quickly, then held on for a minute with Jorge unable to take the fight back down and referee Mario Yamasaki separating them and restarting the action. With 90 seconds left in the round, Jorge briefly got a takedown, but wasn’t able to do anything with it. Again, Yamasaki broke them up with 30 seconds left, and when he did, Jorge looked like he was running out of steam.
But in the third, it was a different story. Jorge landed a pair of leg kicks early as Wisniewski looked to put together combinations. But it was Jorge who landed a series of knees in the clinch. With the round halfway through, Wisniewski looked like he took a low blow, and Yamasaki gave him a brief reprieve. On the restart, Jorge again was tough with the knees to the body, and it appeared to have Wisniewski starting to wear out. It was a clear third round for the Brazilian, and that put him over the top for the win.
“I really felt how strong he was, given I was called in for this fight on short notice and had to fight in a higher weight class,” Jorge said. “But apart from his strength, there was nothing extraordinary. I had trained very hard, working on my muay Thai, and I used it a lot.”
“He was very tenacious, kept moving forward, and also very hard to take down,” Wisniewski said. “He was very strong in the clinch. Now I’ve got to think things over. It was a tough loss for me.”
Jorge (25-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) ran his winning streak to seven and picked up a victory in his UFC debut. Wisniewski (28-15-1 MMA, 0-4 UFC), who returned after a layoff of nearly 17 months, lost for the third straight time in his second stint in the UFC.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 28 results include:
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John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Belo Horizonte.