Ben Rothwell narrowly edged past Ovince Saint Preux tonight by split decision at UFC Fight Night 171.
OSP feels out with a front kick aimed at the body to start. Body kick for OSP. He lands it again as Rothwell stalks forward.
Uppercut from Rothwell. Leg kick from OSP. Right hand scores for Rothwell. They move into range again and Rothwell again lands the right hand and OSP circles away quickly.
Rothwell marching forward continually as OSP works on the outside. Overhand left from OSP. Body kick for Rothwell.
OSP with a head kick attempt just as Rothwell was ducking in that direction, but it doesn’t connect as we would have wanted and afterwards Rothwell grabs hold of his neck and puts him down to his knees. Rothwell still on his feet and leaning heavily on his opponent.
Rothwell still staying heavy on OSP and lands a few light punches until OSP rises back up and escapes.
OSP missing with a few kick attempts and starting to breathe heavier as he adjusts to life at heavyweight.
Head kick lands for OSP, though not especially hard. Winging left hook from OSP also seems to find the target now.
Straight left for OSP and now a body kick. Another body kick from OSP as he starts to step up his offense in the second round.
Rothwell with a flurry of punches now and lands well. Rothwell pressuring OSP and working the uppercut as he gets in close and presses OSP to the cage.
OSP manages to get away. Rothwell lands a leg kick. Front kick to the body from OSP. Now a one-two. Hard body kick from Rothwell.
Jab for OSP. And again. Overhand right from Rothwell. Now another right hand from him, but OSP clinches up and lands an uppercut. Rothwell reverses the position and gets to work himself.
OSP able to get away. Rothwell soon closing the distance and OSP lands a hook over the top. OSP with a counter punch. Rothwell just marches forward regardless and works his way into the clinch agains the cage.
Rothwell trying for a takedown, but OSP stays upright for now. A minute left in the round. Uppercut for ROthwell as they separate.
Head kick attempt from OSP is blocked. Left hook for Rothwell, but then a counter left hook from OSP wobbles Rothwell and he drops to his knees then is straight back up. They clinch up and that’s where the round ends.
Rothwell misses with a big punch and OSP runs away. Rothwell into the thai clinch against the cage and lands some knees before OSP gets away.
Body punch and then a left hook grazes Rothwell. Hard left hand for Rothwell and now a kick. Hard body punch from Rothwell seems to hurt OSP momentarily. Rothwell follows up with hard punches and lands cleanly. Now Rothwell clinches up against the cage.
Punches to the leg from Rothwell from this position. Now punches to the body, but not to much action as he breathes heavy. OSP tries to escape, but Rothwell keeps him there for now. however, when he tries for a takedown, OSP gets away.
Hard left hand for OSP. Now a kick. Again with the left landing cleanly. Rothwell with a punch now. Rothwell continuing to maraud forward. Rothwell lands an uppercut and then into the clinch.
Final minute of the round. Body punches for Rothwell and now to the leg. OSP tries to get away, but Rothwell staying heavy. However, OSP does get out and then lands a hard left and another punch behind it. Rothwell connects hard now. OSP swinging for the fences and blasts Rothwell again.
Final seconds of the round and OSP lands one final blow and after the bell Rothwell staggers backwards to one knee and then gets up straight away. We’re headed to the judges!
Rothwell was constantly pushing the action here and landed some big shots, but OSP had Rothwell wobbled on a couple of occasions too, and that leads to a split decision from the judges, but it’s ‘Big’ Ben who emerges with his hand raised (29-28 x2, 28-29).