Kennedy-v-Manhoef-Strikeforce-Ohio-7609After taking a little heat for his fighter pay comments leading up to UFC 162 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Tim Kennedy surely wanted to notch a victory in his Octagon debut, putting some of that controversy behind him.

Roger Gracie, also making his promotional debut, didn’t make it easy for him though.

Gracie used his size and strong grappling ability to control much of the first round, clinching Kennedy and taking him to the mat, but doing little by way of damage.

Kennedy, giving up several inches in height, turned the tide in the second and third rounds. He kept up a strategy of chopping away at Gracie’s legs with kicks and clinching and pressing him to fence, making the taller man carry his weight.

The strategy worked well. Kennedy put Gracie on the canvas in the second round and scored with some heavy ground and pound, softening Gracie up.

Although he slowed down some as well in the final stanza, Kennedy kept employing his wear and tear strategy, grinding away at Gracie, eventually scoring a unanimous decision victory.

The victory gave Kennedy back-to-back wins as he enters the UFC, while it put a road block in front of Gracie, who entered the fight having won his last two.

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