Despite Hector Lombard rallying in the third round, Yushin Okami emerged as the winner at ‘UFC On Fuel TV 8’ thanks to his control on the ground in the opening 10 minutes of the fight.
Lombard take the center of the Octagon to start this one as Okami lets off a few tentative leg kicks.
It’s not long before Lombard is swinging hard punches in Okami’s direction, but the Japanese fighter backs up to avoid the danger.
A kick from Lombard gives Okami the opportunity to move in for a takedown which he completes, but it’s not long before Lombard works back to his feet, attempting a trip takedown of his own which doesn’t pay off before the break apart.
Okami using distance and movement well so far to steer clear of dangerous strikes from Lombard.
Reaching down Okami grabs for a single and hoists Lombard’s leg up high before securing the takedown again. This time he’s able to keep Lombard down for a while, working a little ground and pound from in his half guard.
Lombard works hard and forces his way back to his feet again and Okami works him into the clinch against the cage. Lombard reverses the position and lands a punch to the body which is met in return with a knee to the mid-section from Okami to end the round.
Onto the second round and it’s Okami who strikes first with a big knee upstairs which just glances Lombard’s head. Soon after Okami lands a nice punch too and he seems to be dictating the distance the fight is being fought at, using his reach to his advantage.
Okami working well behind the jab and Lombard not offering too much in response at this stage. Okami lands another punch and Lombard charges forward with a couple of punches to the midsection.
Then Okami drops for the takedown. At first it looks like Lombard is going to scramble free, buy Okami persists and is finally able to complete it.
Initially working again from half-guard Okami takes his time before managing to transition to full mount. Posturing up he throws down a big elbow. Not too much urgency from Okami here, but he gets a few more strikes in before the round ends.
Lombard pressing forward quickly in the opening minute of the final round and he starts to connect. Okami’s not comfortable with this offensive strategy and he gets caught with a punch that seems to have him hurt.
Lombard continuing to stay aggressive as Okami finally starts to get back to throwing some strikes of his own, but then comes a takedown from Lombard.
He’s trying to work some ground and pound, but Okami’s doing a nice job of stopping him from getting much going. Lombard really needs a stoppage here so this isn’t perhaps the ideal position for him.
They pop back up to their feet briefly, but then Lombard scores another takedown. Not it’s he who’s working from half-guard, but he really needs to up his work rate if he wants to end the fight.
It’s just not happening though and the clock ticks down without Lombard being able to break through Okami’s defensive guard.
And so it’s down to the judges to decide this one and they see it as a split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29) in Okami’s favor.