As the powers that be in UFC are wont to do, two Ultimate Fighter winners were booked to throw hands on the main card of tonight's (Sun., Mar. 23, 2014) UFC Fight Night 38: "Henderson vs. Shogun 2" Fox Sports 1 broadcast from Natal, Brazil, as Leonardo Santos (Brazil) took on Norman Parke (United Kingdom).
The first round came and went without either fighter gaining a big advantage. Parke was finding some success with high kicks and shots to the body but Santos was countering strong and marking up his opponent's face, likely earning him the extra point.
In fact, the Englishman came into the second sporting a mouse under his eye.
The action heated up in the second stanza but Parke got caught with a hand full of shorts and instead of a warning, was deducted a point immediately. Considering the first round, that likely put him in a big hole.
Despite this, he clinched up against the fence and pummeled for position. As color commentator Brian Stann pointed out, this may have been a strategy to simply fight for a tie in the round at 9-9 to get to the third and see how he could work from there.
Interestingly enough, Parke employed the same strategy in the third, pressing Santos up against the cage and dirty boxing while completely neutralizing the Brazilian's offense.
The crowd hated it, and boisterously booed the strategy.
It turns out, it worked out. As Stann stated, Parke lost the first round but did just enough to win the last two. He did not win the fight, however, because of the point deduction.
Final scores from the judges: 29-27 Santos, 28-28, and 28-28 for a majority draw.
For complete UFC Fight Night 38 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.