Tony Ferguson overcame the aggressive striking and ground game of Rafael dos Anjos to earn a tough unanimous decision win at UFC Fight Night 98 in Mexico City.
Fighting at high altitude, both fighters punished each other at a high pace. Ferguson wore down dos Anjos with strikes, body shots and leg kicks. Both of the eyes of the former champion were bloodied, as well as his mouth.
The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, and 48-47.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Ferguson and dos Anjos earned Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Ricardo Lamas and Douglas Silva de Andrade earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
In case you missed the prelims.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
ENRIQUE BARZOLA DEF CHRIS AVILA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
MARCO POLO REYES DEF JASON NOVELLI VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
SAM ALVEY DEF JASON NICHOLSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
FOX SPORTS ONE PRELIMS
DOUGLAS SILVA DE ANDRADE DEF HENRY BRIONES VIA TKO R1 3:23
MAX GRIFFIN DEF ERIK MONTANO VIA TKO R1 0:54
JOE SOTO DEF MARCO BELTRAN VIA SUBMISSION R1 1:37
ERIK PEREZ DEF FELIPE ARANTES (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) VIA SPLIT-DECISION
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
TSN 5 MAIN CARD
ALEXA GRASSO VS HEATHER JO CLARK
WINNER: ALEXA GRASSO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXA GRASSO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: The footwork and movement of Grasso was too much for Clark, once she got going. Her power was the only thing was I concerned with, moving up to the UFC, but she looked just fine there. Good win for Grasso, but Jo Clark can take some solace in testing her.
#9 BENEIL DARIUSH VS #15 RASHID MAGOMEDOV
WINNER: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Dariush’s experience helped him win this fight. It wasn’t a barnburner, but he did what he had to do against a dangerous grappler and striker. Good win.
MARTIN BRAVO VS CLAUDIO PUELLES
WINNER: MARTIN BRAVO VIA TKO R2 1:55
ANDREWS PREDICTION:MARTIN BRAVO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: That bulldog mentality of Bravo showed itself once again. He saw Puelles was fading and jumped right on it. The body shots were textbook. Great win for the new TUF LA 3 winner.
#4 RICARDO LAMAS VS #8 CHARLES OLIVEIRA
WINNER: RICARDO LAMAS VIA SUBMISSION R2 2:13
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHARLES OLIVEIRA VIA SUBMISSION Andrews:
Andrews: The short notice was too much for Oliveira, who couldn’t make the weight, and still had his chances to win on the ground. I have to credit Lamas for overcoming that and getting another decisive win. Maybe The Bully is back?
DIEGO SANCHEZ VS MARCIN HELD
WINNER: DIEGO SANCHEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DIEGO SANCHEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Held earned Sanchez’s respect, looking for submissions but Diego was up to the task. But once again, Sanchez was up to the task, everywhere the fight went. Great win for “The Nightmare.”
#2 RAFAEL DOS ANJOS VS #3 TONY FERGUSON
WINNER: TONY FERGUSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TONY FERGUSON VIA SPLIT-DECISION
Andrews: We got a war, but the grittiness and striking of Ferguson shone through. He was getting countered early by dos Anjos, but made some adjustments and more importantly, kept the pressure on Rafael. Great fight.