Tim Kennedy got the better of Roger Gracie tonight at UFC 162, outworking him and even engaging with him on the mat at times en-route to a decision victory.
A few leg kicks from Kennedy to start this one off. Gracie throws a jab, then as Kennedy wades back in he closes the distance nicely and secures a takedown.
Kennedy’s on his knees close to the cage and Gracie’s attempting to take his back. He almost does so, but Kennedy is able to stand and presses Gracie up against the cage.
They break free and Kennedy misses with a punch and an upkick. A couple of leg kicks do land though. Gracie jumps into a muay thai clinch and throws a knee. A brief clinch against the cage and then Gracie goes for the legs and pulls Kennedy to the mat.
Gracie’s gets Kennedy’s back quickly and locks in the body triangle. Kennedy trying to defend the position with a minute left in the round as Gracie’s hunting for the rear-naked choke. 15 seconds to go and Kennedy does well to spin around and end up on top briefly.
Onto round two and Kennedy’s back to landing some leg kicks. He attempts some punches, but doesn’t quite have his range against the much taller Gracie.
He closes the distance instead and manages to get Gracie to the mat. He’s firing off some hard punches and Gracie’s into scramble mode.
Kennedy’s got Gracie’s back and is landing more hard shots. Gracie scrambles back to his feet and they clinch against the cage.
Bit of a stalemate here, then Kennedy gets a trip takedown. Not doing a whole lot here from top control though, just happy to have the dominant position until they are stood up by the ref.
A few missed strikes from both men and hey, guess what? – back to the clinch for the final moments of the round.
As in the previous two rounds Kennedy starts peppering Gracie with leg kicks. Gracie not doing much in return. Inevitably they clinch up and Kennedy spins around to Gracie’s back and throws a few knees before they separate.
Kennedy back to the kicks and Gracie gets in close and hunts hard for the takedown – finally getting it, but only for a brief moment.
There’s some stalling from the clinch again and the referee breaks them up. Really very little offense coming from Gracie who looks tired and so Kennedy’s kicks and a few punches are enough to get the better of this as the round comes to a close.
Kennedy’s done enough to take this one by outworking Gracie, earning a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).