UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier," which is going down tonight (Tues., May 15, 2012) from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, featured a bantamweight battle pitting the unheralded Jeff Hougland against talented veteran Yves Jabouin.
Hougland started his career 1-4 but hasn't lost since, including a decision victory in his Octagon debut in July 2011. Jabouin, meanwhile, has won consecutive fights after dropping down to the 135-pound division and he was looking to keep the gravy train rolling by notching another win in his newly preferred weight class.
It was ugly, though. Real ugly. Hougland looked out of his element for all 15 painful minutes of the match-up, as though he was a sparring partner more than an actual live opponent. It was no surprise, then, that the judges awarded Jabouin the unanimous decision victory by scores of 30-27, 30-26, and 30-27.
Move along folks, nothing to see here.
Jabouin opened the fight with leg kicks, both outside and in. Hougland answered this with punches from far away that failed to do anything but slow Jabouin's pace.
Yves busted out the spinning back kick about a minute and a half into the round, and it looked as sweet as it sounded when it slapped against Hougland's chest and had him bouncing back off the fence.
It was mostly slow rolling early, though, with neither fighter willing to commit to anything. This was made doubly evident by the fact that fans had just been treated to the Pokrajac vs. Maldonado fight just before this.
So seeing the little guys fight like they were conserving energy was frustrating to say the least.
Nonetheless, that was the case throughout the first round. But suddenly, Jabouin landed yet another spinning kick and Hougland went down hard. "Tiger" pounced with a fury but Hougland managed to survive to the end of the round.
His guts were undoubtedly upset that more punishment would be coming.
Instead of playing around with the striking game to start the second, Hougland rushed in for a takedown. He failed, though, and was forced back into standing exchanges. He approached this differently this time, however, throwing a spinning attack of his own.
Even if it was unsuccessful, it got Jabouin to back off just a bit.
With two minutes remaining in the round, Hougland shot in for a double leg takedown but, once again, he failed and they reset.
The round played out with the same inactivity as much of the first did and the restless fans sat on their hands wondering how it is that Jabouin hadn't finished Hougland by now. After all, he looked like nothing more than a glorified sparring partner.
The third round started fast and loose with Jabouin landing a right hand that dropped Hougland. "Tiger" pounced and started unloading punches but once again, Hougland just went into his spasm routine on the floor and survived the onslaught.
The fight would end after another dominant round from Jabouin. The scores in his favor were academic.
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com has LIVE ongoing coverage of the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main card, as well as complete results from the undercard, right here.