Matthew Riddle wisely used his wrestling advantage to defeat Che Mills at ‘UFC On Fuel TV 7’, securing multiple takedowns throughout 15 minutes of action to earn a win that was far more dominant than the split decision ruling would suggest.
Riddle claimed he wouldn’t look to take down Mills in this fight, but he immediately looked for the takedown here in the first round. Mills wasn’t caught out by the ploy though, stuffing the attempt.
That didn’t put Riddle off though and he pushed him into the cage and continued to work for it – eventually managing to drive Mills down to the mat, though it was only for a brief moment before Mills got back upright.
Back to the clinch against the cage Riddle went, but soon after they broke free. Mills began working a few strikes, landing a nice jab and a kick before Riddle swooped for another takedown that he was able to land, but again only for a moment.
Back on the feet Mills puts together a few leg kicks. Then Mills clips Riddle with a hook and the two men briefly swing for the fences before Riddle clinches up again.
Another takedown is stuffed, but Riddle is still on him and gets it at the second attempt. This time Riddle is able to lock down the position from half-guard and lands a few short elbows before the end of the round.
Onto round two and Riddle immediately grabs ahold of a single looking for the takedown, and he gets it, landing it with a flourish. From north-south position Riddle looks for a choke, but gives up on it and moves to side control.
A few knees and short punches follow and Mills isn’t doing a lot to get out of this, just hanging on and hoping that the referee stands them back up. Riddle’s doing enough to keep him at bay though and continues with GnP.
Eventually Riddle gets Mills back and he’s looking for the rear-naked choke. Nothing doing though and he rolls into full mount and lands some small punches to finish the round.
Mills starts to work his strikes early in the third round and is able to goad Riddle into a brawl for a moment, with both men swinging wildly with power punches toe-to-toe.
Riddle steps out of it and resets before going in for another takedown. He can’t get it, but is able to press Mills up against the cage. He’s working really hard for it and almost gets it, but Mills does very nicely to stop him. Again he defends an attempt, this time smartly using the whizzer. Unfortunately for him his hard work is in vain as it’s not long before Riddle does secure the takedown he’s been looking for.
Riddle looks pretty secure from half guard, but Mills suddenly goes for the reversal and gets it with less than 90 seconds left. He postures up and fires down ground and pound before stepping back and the referee stands them up.
Mills presses forward looking for another striking exchange, but Riddle ducks under for another takedown attempt and this fight is over.
And so it’s on to the judges scorecards and Riddle gets the win as expected, but the scorecards are dubious with one judge somehow believing that Mills won by 29-28. Nevertheless a 30-27 and 29-28 ruling from the other two judges hands Riddle the split decision win.
Truly awful judging tonight at times.