Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn't pretty, but Derek Brunson fought effectively, overcoming cardio issues to defeat Chris Leben via unanimous decision in his UFC debut in the opening bout of the UFC 155 main card tonight (Dec. 29, 2012) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The UFC 155: "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" pay-per-view (PPV) main card opened up with what was expected to be a thrilling middleweight match-up between Derek Brunson and Chris Leben tonight (Dec. 29, 2012) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Let's just say that those expecting a slugfest were grossly underwhelmed.
Brunson, a former collegiate wrestler, timed "The Crippler's" first significant strike attempt and took him down with a double leg takedown, keeping him on his back for the majority of the first round.
The Strikeforce veteran would continue his wrestling assault throughout the fight, although both men's pace slowed down drastically in both rounds two and three.
Leben tried, but he could not find a home for his patented left hand, although he found some success with his leg kicks. Brunson was never able to take Leben down for longer than a minute after the first round was over, but Leben's aggressive stalking-style was countered with some hard left hands from the Greg Jackson-trained fighter.
Both men gassed badly and the crowd let them have it in the final round, booing heavily and UFC President Dana White agreed, admitting the fight was "bad" on twitter.
When it was all said and done, Brunson would walk away with a split decision, taking a 30-27 score from two of the judges while one sided with Leben 29-28.
Which judges did you agree with?
For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of UFC 155 click here.