Daley's goals coming into the night were clear: win, fight for the 170-pound title and make his way back to the UFC. He would have to actually defeat Misaki to even get a third of the way there, though.
That's because Misaki earned himself a hard fought split decision victory after three rounds and 15 minutes of back-and-forth action (if you can call it that). The highlight of the bout was a nasty cut opened above Misaki's eyebrow. That says it all.
Misaki apologized for his performance in the post-figth interview, saying the weight cut made him unable to fight the way he wanted to. It's safe to say the same can be said for Daley.
In a somewhat surprising twist, Misaki came out with a vengeance, showing a striking game based on quickness and precision that Daley had a great deal of trouble dealing with.
Angles on knees that "Semtex" couldn't see coming also made him uncomfortable. After the first round, Misaki was clearly ahead on the scorecards.
Daley worked a takedown in the second round and spent the majority of it on top, even passing to score some points. Misaki got plenty of his own offense in, though, and cageside commentators Pat Miletich and Frank Shamrock made sure to point out that Misaki was likely ahead 2-0.
That's why Daley was far more aggressive in the early goings of the third. Shortly into it, the referee briefly stopped the action to check a cut over MIsaki's eyebrow, which was absolutely nasty. They let the bout continue, though, and Misaki pushed forward, not backing down one bit.
By the time the horn sounded, there was doubt and that was confirmed when the verdict was announced as a split decision in favor of Misaki.
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