Ryan LaFlare defeated John howard tonight by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 39 in an entertaining fight that had it’s moments on the mat and on the feet, along with a rather unfortunate illegal groin strike.
A few fakes from both fighters to start and then LaFlare fires off a solid body kick, and then another shortly afterwards.
Howard looking to land punches, but LaFlare ducks low and takes Howard down to the mat. He’s working from in Howard’s half guard now, looking to pass, and he does so into side control.
Howard tries to roll out, but has to settle for getting back to half guard. LaFlare thinking about a submission, but Howard stays patient and chooses the right moment to stand back up.
It’s Howard threatening with offense now in the striking, but LaFlare crowds him and looks to clinch up. LaFlare with a nice throw to get Howard to the mat, but can’t keep him down.
Back upright Howard wades in with punches and connects solidly, but LaFlare eats it. Howard trying to stay aggressive and turn this into a stand-up war.
LaFlare stays with him, looking to land knees and kicks in the final 20 seconds of the round.
LaFlare looks for a low kick early and Howard responds with a flurry of punches and an uppercut and left hook bluckles his opponent who drops to his knees before getting back up.
He takes the fight to the mat and looks to continue to build the momentum, but LaFlare does really well to get a sweep on top. There’s another scramble and they both work back to their feet.
Clinching up against the cage LaFlare lands an illegal knee to the groin and Howard yells out in pain and drops to the mat as the referee calls for a stoppage.
He looks to really be suffering here and after a couple of minutes a doctor is called in. His face is still contorted in pain and there’s a real worry this fight might be stopped – but just as his time to recover is running out he suddenly gets up and decides to continue.
LaFlare quickly takes Howard to the mat as the fight restarts. Not to much action and that may give Howard some more time to recover.
He works back to his feet and looks like he’d like to get a takedown of his own, but there’s nothing doing. LaFlare lands a knee to the stomach followed by a few punches upstairs.
Another takedown from LaFlare but Howard scrambles nicely and is back up.
Howard seems to be getting his second wind towards the end of the round and starts landing some nice clean shots that gives LaFlare pause for thought. Howard looking to capitalize, but he’ll have to wait for round three.
Low kick from Howard to start the final five minutes and it knocks his opponent off-balance. LaFlare rights himself and immediately goes in for a takedown.
Howard does well to find room to stand up and immediately gets busy with a combination of punches. Howard definitely seems to have an edge in these exchanges, but LaFlare is showing a good chin.
LaFlare with another takedown and Howard momentarily reverses it nicely, only to end up on his back again.
LaFlare moves to side control then Howard rolls to his knees. Quick scramble, but they return to the same position with Howard turtled up.
A few short punches from LaFlare and then Howard rolls for a knee bar. LaFlare patient and gets out, only for Howard to threaten another leg lock.
Doesn’t quite get it this time though and LaFlare is back on top. Howard’s had his moment on the mat, but for the most part LaFlare’s had the edge there and he ends the round in top position.
Howard still in pain from that earlier groin strike as LaFlare is awarded a unanimous decision victory.