The second bout on the main card of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale showcased longtime veteran Yves Edwards taking on TUF 13 winner Anthony Ferguson, who is back fighting in Las Vegas for the first time since earning his contract.
Another win at lightweight would put "El Cucuy" well on his way to some interesting match-ups in the 155-pound division. Could he take out a grizzled vet like Edwards?
Oh yes he could.
It didn't come easy, though, as Edwards made him work his absolute hardest to earn the unanimous decision victory by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
"I learned a lot from this fight and I had a hell of a time," remarked Ferguson in the post-fight interview. So did we, sir. Here's how it went down:
The fight started as all fights do, with both men looking to get comfortable and find their rhythm. The first to do so, of course, would likely find the most success.
And that happened to be Ferguson, who found his range and landed plenty of hard shots that had Edwards on wobbly legs towards the end of the round. The wily veteran survived, though, and made it to the second frame.
They slowed down the pace to begin the second stanza. Beating someone up is tiring work, after all, and there's no use in gassing out in the first five minutes of a 15-minute fight.
This time it was Edwards who got comfortable, landing punches, kicks, flying knees; all the goodies. Ferguson, chinny warrior that he is, absorbed each shot and kept pushing forward, never losing his wits and staying as composed as the damage would allow.
Unfortunately, his nose took the worst of the offense and he was bleeding through a potentially broken beak while looking for effective counter attacks. The problem, of course, is that they simply weren't available to him.
This was not the case in the final frame, although Edwards relaxed movement gave Ferguson far more trouble than he must have been expecting. The lunging jab and power strikes that have served him so well throughout his young UFC career were failing him, while Edwards was playing a flashy but effective in-and-out game.
By the time it was over it was close but the judges saw it for Ferguson. This may have truly been a perfect example of the "could have gone either way" fight.