Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
MMAmania's Brian Hemminger takes a look back at last night's thrilling main card bout between light heavyweight prospects James Te Huna and Ryan Jimmo. What allowed Te Huna to survive early adversity and end Jimmo's 17 fight winning streak? Find out below.
Early on, it appeared that Jimmo was about to repeat the success of his UFC debut when he blasted the New Zealander with a massive head kick that sent Te Huna to the canvas.
Jimmo tried to pounce with heavy ground and pound, hammering away with heavy shots but he couldn't quite do enough to force the referee to put a stop the action and when he took a brief respite from the onslaught, Te Huna had officially survived.
"The Big Deal" remained on top for the rest of the round, controlling the action and dropping more strikes on his wounded foe, but he couldn't put Te Huna away and that would come back to bite him as the fight wore on.
In the second round, Te Huna quickly closed the distance, working for a takedown along the fence and he got it, taking top position in both half guard and side control. The powerful slugger did a great job of staying busy in top position, dropping punches, elbows and hammer fists on Jimmo to not only even out the rounds but also to gain all the momentum back.
Te Huna aggressively attacked on the feet in the beginning of the third, and it appeared that Jimmo's pursuit of the first round finish had backfired as he was no longer nearly as light on his feet as at the beginning of the fight. After controlling the stand-up portion, Te Huna put a stamp on the victory by taking his Canadian foe down again and staying active from top position until time expired.
It wasn't difficult for the judges to unanimously give Te Huna the final two rounds of the fight as well as the decision.
For Ryan Jimmo, this one has to sting. He was extremely close to ending the fight after hurting Te Huna badly with a beautiful head kick. He had the New Zealander in a world of hurt but just couldn't quite do enough to force a stop to the bout. It was a bad sign when he stopped attacking with ground and pound to rest briefly because that meant he was already starting to get a bit tired from his aggressive pursuit of the finish.
"The Big Deal" just didn't have enough left in the tank to win the final two rounds and Te Huna was able to utilize not only his striking but especially his wrestling to win the final two rounds and the fight. Jimmo had no answer when he was put on his back.
For James Te Huna, getting nailed with that head kick was bad, but his reaction was perfect, hanging tough on the ground and defending himself intelligently. It doesn't hurt to have a really hard head either. It seemed a bit silly at first that such a powerful striker would be trying to take the fight to the ground so badly, but his strategy paid off as Jimmo did not have great defense off his back and allowed Te Huna to not only control him but to really land some heavy ground and pound on the canvas whether it was punches, elbows or hammer fists.
The ground attack wore Jimmo down and opened up some striking opportunities on the feet, which Te Huna took advantage of, but he sealed the deal with another takedown to close out the fight and put a capper on his excellent comeback.