SAN JOSE, Calif. – Onetime Strikeforce title challenger Jorge Masvidal put another win on the scoreboard for his former promotion, outpointing UFC vet Tim Means.
Making his octagon debut, Masvidal’s wrestling helped him take two of three rounds on judges’ scorecards for a unanimous 29-28 call.
The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 7 event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. It aired on FX following additional prelims on Facebook and ahead of a main card on FOX.
After an extended feeling-out period, the lanky lightweights began to engage, with American Top Team’s Masvidal looking to land right hands. Means, a pupil of Power MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., surprised him with a spinning elbow, which prompted “Gamebred” to open up more with his hands.
With neither man doing much in the striking department, Masvidal scooped up “The Dirty Bird” Means and briefly put him on the mat. But Means quickly righted himself, and the two continued to engage with Masvidal landing a stiff right hand near the end of the frame.
Means turned up the tempo early in the second, scoring with a jab. Again, Masvidal initiated a takedown and attempted to do damage from the top. Instead, he encountered elbows from the bottom and a stiff upkick that caught his jaw. Means had little difficulty getting back to his feet, but Masvidal was able to take him down repeatedly and score points overhead. One of Means’ elbows, however, opened up a cut that began to bleed by the round’s end.
Perhaps sensing a deficit on the scorecards, Means opened the second frame by chasing Masvidal. He landed several stiff left-hand counters, which prompted another takedown attempt. Means fought off a trip to the mat with a jumping knee and elbows to the struggling Masvidal, whose face had turned red from his open cuts.
Finally, Masvidal was able to get the fight where he wanted it, and like earlier rounds, he worked punches and elbows while Means tried to avoid punishment. With short time, Means brilliantly used a kimura to reverse position and put Masvidal in danger on the bottom. But he ran out of time before he was able to swing the fight in his favor.
“I was just kind of out of it before this fight, but I woke up once I got in there,” Masvidal said. “I was on top all three rounds, so I didn’t think I’d lose any rounds, but whatever. That’s why you can’t leave it to the judges. I didn’t perform how I should’ve, but each fight I’ll be able to improve my performance and ability dramatically. I want any top 10 guys as soon as possible.”
After a two-year stint in the now-defunct Strikeforce, Masvidal (24-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) boasts back-to-back wins, while Means (18-4-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) suffers the first octagon loss of his career and sees a nine-fight win streak snapped.
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John Morgan and Ben Fowlkes contributed to this report on-site in San Jose.