Two middleweights with riding a wave of momentum crashed into each other last night (March 16, 2013) as Chris Camozzi invaded the hostile territory of Montreal, Quebec, Canada to take on Nick Ring on the UFC 158 main card.
Both men were riding winning streaks and both were veterans of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 11, but it was Camozzi who surprisingly fed off the crowd and showcased the most improvement.
Early on, Ring looked to get some work in, but he left his chin exposed. This would come into play later on. Camozzi did a good job of working from the outside and countering with knees, straight rights and the occasional left. Both men would clash into each other but because of Ring's hand placement, he was much easier to hit.
Camozzi started to take the initiative, switching from the outside to the cage center and forcing Ring to move backwards, although Ring did land some decent kicks from the outside after the position switch.
By the second and third rounds, Camozzi put more pressure on Ring, throwing good knees up the middle and catching Ring with some occasional heavy shots, although nothing really serious enough to put the fight in danger of being stopped.
Ring's strategy of keeping his hands low was a very, very bad idea. Sure, he was able to land first most of the time, but he couldn't defend himself from Camozzi's counters and then that made it harder to stop Camozzi's follow-up shots. Even if they missed, they forced him to react and that doesn't look great for the judges when you're in a stretch of being forced to defend.
By the end of the fight, Ring's speed went out the door as he got tired and while Camozzi wasn't initially as fast as him, the speeds became even due to conditioning and he started catching Ring with his jab and the occasional knee from a quick Thai plum.
When both men closed the distance in the clinch, Camozzi scored some good shots on the inside and when they separated, he had complete control of the cage center, landing some good body and head strikes. Feeding off of Ring's weariness, Camozzi easily fended off a takedown and started popping Ring with jabs and straight shots all the way to the end of the fight.
Despite Joe Rogan hanging on his nuts, Ring was not awarded the victory the hometown judges sided with the foreign invader Camozzi with a split decision of 29-28 scores.