Chidi Njokuani Beats Rhys McKee By Split-Decision At UFC On ESPN 54

Chidi Njokuani got the better of the striking tonight at UFC On ESPN 54 against Rhys McKee and spoiled his opponents attempts to take him down on his way to a split-decision win.

Round One:

Leg kick for Njokuani to start. Now McKee lands his and Njokuani responds with another of his own.

More low kicks for Njokuani. Right hand for McKee. Low kicks exchanged and then a punch from McKee.

Another chopping low kick from Njokuani and then uses head movement to avoid a flurry from McKee. McKee continuing to look for punching opportunities though, while Njokuani is almost exclusively working kicks.

A couple of winging hooks land for McKee. Njokuani so persistent with these low kicks and one lands that has McKee hopping a little gingerly on one leg for a moment.

Now McKee changes things up by getting into the clinch and driving Njokuani against the cage. Not too much happening for McKee from here, but at least he’s not getting his leg beaten up.

McKee attempting a trip takedown, but Njokuani stays upright and lands a knee to the body. McKee unable to work a takedown here, but is happy to stay in the clinch anyway. The ref has other ideas though and breaks them up with less than 30 seconds to go in the round.

Njokuani goes right back to his low kicks as the round draws to a close.

Round Two:

Body kick from Njokuani. McKee lands one too, but gets another one in return from Njokuani. McKee swinging with punches and Njokuani comes close with a knee up the middle.

Leg kick for Njokuani and then as McKee comes forward he gets him in the thai clinch. Regular clinch now as McKee manages to reverse the position to work against the cage.

More stalling action from McKee until Njokuani gets some space and throws up a knee to gain some space and get back to striking range.

Nice right hand from McKee. McKee thinking about a takedown, but Njokuani snaps down his neck and now lands a knee. They move over towards the cage and McKee manages to improve his position and press Njokuani into the cage again.

Elbow for Njokuani. McKee attempting a trip, but Njokuani maintains his balance. Nice elbow again from Njokuani. McKee really struggling with his takedown attempts so far.

Njokuani manages to reverse the clinch for a moment, but then McKee regains control again, but has really not got anything going from this position.

Round Three:

Kicks from Njokuani to start and even goes upstairs with one that just misses. Now Njokuani tries to catch McKee off-guard with a takedown attempt, but it doesn’t pay off.

McKee misses with punches and Njokuani lands a knee to the body. McKee looks to clinch, but goes back to striking range quickly this time.

Body kick for Njokuani. Missed head kick from McKee. Strong knee in close from Njokuani. Good counter right from Njokuani.

We didn’t see much punching from Njokuani in the first two rounds but he’s now letting his hand go a bit and lands another solid punch. And now he goes for a takedown and lands it. Good work from Njokuani.

McKee manages to get back up quickly though and then turns into him in the clinch. They go back to striking range now.

Solid elbow strike from Njokuani. McKee back into the clinch against the cage. This is not the way he’s going to win the fight though, he needs to make something happen. The ref quickly gets fed up with the clinch position and breaks them up.

McKee just goes quickly back to the same clinch position though and this time is moving towards his back with a leg hooked in. He gives up on that but does land a high knee and then tries again for a takedown that doesn’t work out.

Njokuani with a knee as he breaks out of the clinch. Njokuani looking to counter with strikes as McKee comes in. He misses on a head kick attempt. Body kick for Njokuani. Njokuani lands a spinning elbow, but McKee eats it. We’re headed to the scorecards.


Njokuani butchered McKee’s legs in the early stages of the fight and forced McKee into spending much of the fight just hanging out in the clinch getting very little done. Meanwhile in the final round Njokuani also started to mix in some punches and elbows when he could, without ever fully stepping up the gears.

There’s a long wait for the judges to decide and when it comes in it’s surprisingly only a split-decision win for Njokuani, though two judges understandably saw it clearly in his favor (28-29, 30-27 x2).

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