Knees from the clinch, well-disguised takedowns and crisp, accurate combinations spurred the former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder to a split decision over Leben at UFC 162 “Silva vs. Weidman” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Two of the three cageside judges ruled in Craig’s favor by 29-28 and 30-27 scores; a third cast a dissenting 29-28 nod for Leben (22-10, 12-9 UFC).
Craig (9-1, 3-1 UFC) utilized a multi-pronged standup attack, oftentimes using Leben’s relentless aggression against him. “The Crippler” kept moving forward, and the well-rounded Houston-based middleweight kept feeding him punches, knees and standing elbows. Craig punctuated the most significant victory of his career with a strong third round, where he nearly finished Leben with a shower of surgical strikes to the head.
“I wouldn’t say I avoided all of [his punches],” Craig said. “He hits as hard as a rock. He makes other people feel like they hit soft, so I’m just happy with the win. My hands hurt like crazy. I can’t believe I didn’t finish him.”
Tokudome (12-4-1, 1-1 UFC) never adjusted to his opponent’s approach. Parke blasted him repeatedly with left hands over the top, mixed in the occasional takedown and briefly transitioned to full mount in the second round. Tokudome did his best work in round three, where he stayed in the Irishman’s face with punches and countered a takedown with one of his own. Still, it was not enough to woo the judges.
Parke has won eight consecutive fights.
Herman (21-6, 1-4 UFC) pecked away with a few front kicks and made the mistake of lowering his guard against the brick-fisted Brazilian. Gonzaga answered an inside low kick from the 28-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind., native with an exquisite counter right hand. A dazed Herman collapsed, and “Napao” swarmed him with punches for the finish.
Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/UFC
Barboza chopped Oliveira down with low kicks.
Barboza (12-1, 6-1 UFC) zeroed in on the leg from the start, and his countryman was powerless against his attacks. Oliveira did what he could to withstand the barrage and landed the occasional punch, but his inability to get the fight to the ground made him a sitting duck on the feet.
Two final leg kicks forced a crippled Oliveira to his back and led referee Herb Dean to intervene on his behalf.
The Houston-based Melancon had Baczynski (18-10, 4-3 UFC) reeling throughout their encounter, as he put his powerful left hand to use and also countered to great effect. Late in the first round, he delivered a takedown, moved to half guard and blasted away with punches until his work was done.
Mitchell (12-3, 1-3 UFC) more than held his own through the first five minutes, as he frustrated the rugged Oregonian with his defensive wrestling and did some solid work in the clinch. Pierce made his move in the second, as he floored the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance export with a left hook and then finished it with a series of right hands.view original article >>
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