In a fairly uneventful fight that could have gone either way it was Erik Koch who emerged victorious against former TUF winner Jonathan Brookins.
Wary of Koch’s stand-up Brookins spent much of the opening round in the clinch against the cage where he struggled to take his opponent down, but did land some nice short elbows from in close.
Meanwhile Koch looked smooth on his feet and landed a few shots, but overaal had few opportunities to really let his punches and kicks fly.
Round two saw more clinch work from Brookins as he struggled hard for a takedown but just couldn’t find a way past Koch’s defence for much of the five minutes that followed, though he did finally manage to drag him to the ground briefly towards the end of the round.
While he wasn’t landing much in the way of offense Brookins was managing to stifle Koch’s offense and control where the fight taking place, leaving the younger fighter with only a few brief successes in the stand-up exchanges.
And so it went to the third round and for the first half of it Koch was finally getting his game going, firing off kicks and punches from range while steering clear of Brookins attempts to clinch.
Around the half-way mark Brookins did finally manage to clinch and run Koch into the cage, ticking down precious seconds on the clock.
The rest of the round tipped in Brookins favor though Koch did briefly manage to trip him to the mat only to find him pop straight back up again and return to his clinch work for the remainder of the bout.
So, not the most exciting fight we’ve ever seen, and due to the lack of action it’s a difficult one to score, though I’m leaning slightly towards Brookins.
The judges however are in agreement and award Koch the unanimous decision victory (30-27×2, 29-28).
Koch certainly had the better of the brief stand-up exchanges, but never landed anything particularly damaging. On the other hand Brookins had greater Octagon control, but he appears to have paid the price for not making more attempts to strike rather than just stall.