Despite a late comeback Nate Diaz was outpointed by Dong Hyun Kim this evening at UFC 125 in Las Vegas.
Round one started with the two fighters trying to establish their range, but before long a kick from Diaz had been caught by Kim and allowed him to take him down. A ground battle then commenced with Kim looking to gain dominance on top while Diaz stayed extremely active from his back and threw up a number of submission attempts.
Kim did well to fend them off and landed a few heavy shots. Going for one of Kim’s leg’s allowed Diaz to scramble to his feet and end the round standing.
In the second round Diaz was again trying to get his striking up and running but Kim had other plans and was successfully going in for takedown attempts. Diaz guard is excellent again but Kim is very well versed in submission defense and showed good posture and strength to steer clear of danger. Meanwhile Kim is throwing some light ground and pound that’s not hurting his opponent but certainly looks good for the judges.
Towards the end of the round Diaz reverses the position and takes Kim’s back, but there’s not enough time for him to make good use of it.
In the third the tide begins to turn. Diaz starts to get more offensive, landing a few strikes and also pressuring Kim with takedown attempts. Then comes a moment of controversy as Diaz lands a powerful knee to the face of his opponent that clearly stuns him, but Kim had his hand down on the mat at that particular moment making it an illegal strike (replays show Kim’s hand leaving the mat fractions of a second later).
Kim lies dazed on the floor and is given time to recover by the referee. Eventually he’s ok to continue and the fight continues. Towards the end of the round Diaz really turns up the heat, pressing Kim against the fence and landing a series of punches, kicks and knees that are definitely taking their toll, but aren’t quite enough to stop him from making it to the final bell.
It was a valiant effort from Diaz, but it was too little too late as Kim goes on to take the fight by unanimous decision (29-28).
With another non-flashy but solid display Kim is now unbeaten in six fights in the UFC and is going to continue to pose problems for the other contenders at 170lbs.
As for Diaz, he showed some good skills in this fight but there’s still a question over whether he’s better at 155lbs where he’s not facing a size disadvantage and can make better use of his reach.