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Lewis, Jouban, Duffy take different paths to victory

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LEWIS vs NELSON



The fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena didn’t like it, but heavyweight up and comer Derrick Lewis made it four straight in the Octagon Thursday in the UFC Fight Night co-main event, winning a three-round split decision over veteran contender Roy Nelson.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Lewis, now 16-4 with 1 NC. Nelson falls to 22-13

Nelson came out in a low stance, eating two hard kicks from Lewis as the bout began. Nelson responded with a looping overhand right that missed, and the two proceeded to lock up against the fence, Nelson unable to move “The Black Beast” to the mat. After a deadlock, referee John McCarthy restarted the fighters, but a flurry by Lewis led to a takedown by Nelson. “Big Country” had some success, but once the two rose, Lewis landed a hard shot to the body that staggered Nelson. Able to lock up to recover, Nelson caught a breather but then Lewis went on the attack again, hurting the Las Vegan, who nonetheless found a way to score another takedown before the end of the round.

Swinging his big right hand with reckless abandon but coming up empty, Nelson was trying his best to get Lewis’ attention in round two, and he eventually found that it was his grappling that was going to get the job done. Taking Lewis to the mat with a little over two minutes left, Nelson controlled the action, and while not spectacular, he did lock up the round.

Nelson walked into a Lewis knee to begin round three, but the former TUF winner used that momentum to bull the Houston product into the fence and then get another takedown. With 1:20 left, McCarthy restarted the two combatants, Lewis still looking for the finisher while Nelson was content to grapple and control his foe at close range. Lewis was determined though, and he nearly finished matters with a flush right that Nelson remarkably took without falling. That punch may have been the deciding factor in the fight though, as Lewis got the razor-thin nod on the scorecards.

More from Fight Night Dos Anjos vs Alvarez: Results | Alvarez rocks RDA to win title | Lewis, Jouban, Duffy take different paths to victory | Mina KO win caps submission-filled prelims | Backstage interviews: Derrick Lewis | Octagon interviews: Eddie Alvarez, Derrick Lewis | Re-live all the fights on-demand

JOUBAN vs. MUHAMMAD



It was a typical Alan Jouban fight, full of blood, brawling and excitement, and while the welterweight prospect pulled out another win via unanimous decision, the late surge and heart displayed by previously unbeaten UFC newcomer Belal Muhammad may be what fans will be talking about tomorrow morning.

Scores were 28-27, 29-28 and 29-27.

Jouban struck first, dropping Muhammad in the opening minute with a left punch to the head. The Louisiana native moved in for the finish but Muhammad had already recovered and he got back to his feet. Jouban still got in some shots as the two battled against the fence, and after breaking, “Brahma” kept the offensive pressure on. With a little over two minutes remaining, a flush left kick to the head put Muhammad on the deck again, yet once more, the resilient Chicago native found a way to survive, rise and make it to the end of the round.

Muhammad began to get himself back in the fight in round two thanks to a stiff jab, but Jouban’s left cross hit the mark again, dropping Muhammad hard. At this point, it wasn’t surprising when he bounced right back up and began winning the grappling battles with his foe. With less than 30 seconds left, Muhammad scored his first takedown of the fight, continuing his comeback.

Continuing to surge in the third round, the bloodied Muhammad stalked and attacked the tiring Jouban, and the crowd was loving it. As the final minute approached, Muhammad was finding it hard to miss Jouban, and he looked to be one punch away from a miracle finish, abd while he didn’t get it, his nickname proved to be an apt one, as UFC fans will certainly remember Muhammad’s name.

With the win, Jouban moves to 14-4; Muhammad falls to 9-1.

DUFFY vs. CLARKE



“Irish” Joe Duffy wasted no time getting back in the win column after his January loss to Dustin Poirier, submitting Mitch Clarke in just 25 seconds.

The Donegal native struck gold with an overhand right moments into the fight, sending Canada’s Clarke face first to the canvas. Clarke attempted to recover, but Duffy was all over him, taking his back and sinking in the fight-ending rear naked choke that lifted his record to 15-2. Clarke falls to 11-4.

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