In a less than enthralling contest James Head was able to get the better of Brian Ebersole on the feet while showing good takedown defense to claim a split decision victory at UFC 149.
Head started off well in this fight, firstly stuffing an initial takedown from Ebersole, and then starting to piece together some nice combinations which had Ebersole simply covering up in defensive mode.
As the round progressed Ebersole slowly began to work his way into it though and landed a few strikes of his own before failing on another takedown attempt.
That allowed Head to attempt a guillotine choke, but Ebersole didn’t seem troubled at all, in fact even giving a couple of ‘thumbs up’ signals to the crowd which resulted in Head simply giving up on the technique.
Ebersole now finally has top control. He tries to open up with some ground and pound and one strike lands hard before Head is able to kick him off and get back to his feet.
He’s met by a cartwheel kick from Ebersole, but it isn’t effective and he falls to his back and Head gets on top for the final moments of the round.
So far Head’s done a great job of stopping Ebersole’s takedowns, and he does so again at the start of the second. Ebersole lands a nice straight left. There’s not a whole lot of action going on in this round, but when they are engaging Head is getting the better of it, while Ebersole is resorting to landing unorthadox strikes like karate chops to the leg of his opponent.
After several failed attempts Ebersole finally secures that takedown he’s been looking for. It doesn’t work out as he’d planned though as Head has butterfly guard and uses it to perform a beautiful sweep to end up on top as the round closes.
In-between rounds Ebersole’s coaches urge him to get Head to the mat in the third round, and in all fairness he certainly tries to heed their advice in the five minutes that follow, but his technique let’s him down.
It doesn’t help that Head also seems to have him figured out and is able to stop his attempts on multiple occasions. it’s not a lot of fun to watch to be honest and the crowd gets very restless at the lack of action.
In the final minute after stuffing the latest takedown attempt from Ebersole, Head switches things up by looking for a submission, but he doesn’t have it and that error results in Ebersole getting on top. He looks to improve his position and perhaps get a submission, but there’s just not enough time left and the fight ends to a chorus of boos.
Onto the judges scorecards and they produce a split decision verdict, but it’s Head who gets the victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).