Andre Ewell made a positive impression in his debut tonight at UFC Fight Night 137, getting the better of former bantamweight champion Renan Barao on the feet to emerge with a split decision victory.
Barao with an early kick attempt upstairs. Flurry of punches and Ewell responds. Another punches series from Barao. He’s looking to stays aggressive in the opening round, but walks into a big counter and is hurt already, but quickly rights himself and looks for a takedown.
Ewell on top though, but he’s hesitant to engage with the Brazilian on the mat and steers clear. Barao pressing Ewell against the cage looking for the takedown and this time he secures it.
Barao in half-guard for now and landing a few knees then an elbow to the head. He starts blasting Ewell with right hands. Ewell trying to walk up the cage, but Barao keeps him pinned.
Another elbow strike lands. Barao heavy on top here and looks to pass, sliding straight into full mount. Now he’s dropping down punches and then suddenly pounces on an armbar attempt.
Barao with an omaplata now, works a sweep and goes for the armbar attempt, but Ewell escapes and gets to his feet. Barao instantly brings him straight back down again though and ends the round on top in half guard.
Knee for Ewell. Now a straight punch. Front kick to the body for Barao. Leg kick for the former champ. Body punch from Ewell. Now a one-two to the head.
Again Ewell with the one-two. Leg kick for Barao. Again back to the one-two for Ewell. Once again he connects. Now he lands a body punch.
Hard left hand for Ewell sends Barao back on his heels. Ewell gets the better of an exchange at close range. Kick for Barao as Ewell lands punches.
Spinning kick attempt from Barao. leg kick for the Brazilian. Ewell trying to stay busy from range with straight punches, landing to the body.
Ewell continually going back to the one-two. Barao tries for a takedown, getting the body lock and then lands a trip and secures half-guard.
Not much action from Barao on the ground this time but he rides out the final minute on top and lands a few short punches to the head.
One-two for Ewell. Push kick for him to maintain distance. Now a right hand from range. leg kick for Barao. Now a kick from Ewell.
left hand connects for Ewell. Another one-two and Barao’s head snaps back. Again he lands. leg kick for Barao. Ewell catches a kick and lands a few punches.
Body kick for Barao. latest left hand from Ewell lands. Left hook for Barao as Ewell lunges in with a knee upstairs. Leg kick for Barao.
Jab for Ewell. Barao trying to clinch, but Ewell shrugs him off. Right hand for Ewell. Nice right hand for Barao. leg kick for him, left hand for Barao. Suddenly Barao gets clipped and seems a litle unsteady on his legs. Ewell connects again and Barao is scrambling against the cage for a moment.
Barao steadies the ship, but he’s clearly losing the standing battle. Kick and a punch from Ewell. Body kick from Barao is caught and he lands a counter punch.
Spinning head kick from Barao just misses. Ewell coming forward aggressively in the final seconds of the round and starts to land, but Barao is firing back too. we’re headed to the scorecards.
Very good performance from Ewell here then and a puzzling one from Barao, whose ground game seemed onpoint early in the fight, but didn’t go back to it in the later rounds. As such, it’s Ewell who emerges with a well-earned split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).