The main card of tonight's (Sat., June 28, 2014) UFC Fight Night 44: "Swanson vs. Stephens" event at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, kicked off with a lightweight battle pitting Joe Ellenberger against James Moontasri in their respective Octagon debuts.
Joe, of course, being the younger brother of Jake.
The action was fast and furious to start, both eager to impress in their first appearance on the big stage. Moontasri was throwing flying knees and landing hard shots. To his credit, Ellenberger was surviving but he was cut up and struggling in a round he was badly losing.
By the close of the first round, Ellenberger's eye was nearly shut. It was bad enough that the referee called the cageside doctor in to give him a look.
He was cleared to continue while Moontasri licked his chops.
Ellenberger turned the tide in the second, however, working a strong grappling game, controlling his foe on the mat with superior positioning, submission attempts, and brutal ground-n-pound. By the time the round was over, it was Moontasri who was busted open.
Make or break in round three.
You wouldn't have known as much from the way both fighters went about the final frame, with Moontasri playing like he was ahead and coasting and Ellenberger struggling to get to the cards.
The judges were called on and scored it as such:
29-28 Moontasri, 29-28 Ellenberger, and 29-28 Ellenberger.
Thoughts on that decision?
For complete UFC Fight Night 44 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.