Fares Ziam eeked out a unanimous decision victory over Jai Herbert today at UFC: London.
Jab from Herbert. Low kick from Ziam. Herbert looks for a punch but Ziam counters with a kick. Herbert lands a long-range jab. Low kick from Ziam.
Body kick from Ziam and Herbert with a couple of hard low kicks. Nice right hand from Ziam.
Herbert just missing on a hard straight as Ziam lands a kick. Left hook from Ziam as Herbert clinches up and walks over the cage. They exchange knees in close.
Ziam pushes off the cage but Herbert brings him back to it. Now Ziam able to reverse and is working on his own takedown attempt and it’s Herbert’s turn to defend. Herbert turns into him now as the clinch battle continues. Constant changing of position here and a bit of a stalemate since neither can seem to get the other down. In the end Ziam manages to land an elbow strike as they break free.
Body punch for Herbert. Nice calf kick for him. Inside leg kick lands too. Check hook from Ziam as Herbert tries for another kick.
Early exchange of punches in the center of the Octagon with both men trying to dial in their range and land cleanly.
Herbert pressuring and lands a nice leg kick. Herbert Clinches up and goes to the cage. Short body punches from Herbert. Ziam driving off the cage, but Herbert walks him back over.
Herbert separates with throwing punches. Hook lands for Ziam. Herbert still pressuring and goes back into the clinch against the cage. He lands a few knees from there. They break apart with Ziam landing an elbow.
Herbert is back into the clinch again and is back over against the cage again. He’s trying to get the takedown, but then Ziam suddenly swoops in on his own takedown and lands it.
Credit to Herbert though as he does well to find his way back to his feet quickly and then goes straight back into the clinch against the cage again.
Not too much happening from there and Ziam is able to get away. Exchange of punches from both men. Head kick attempt from Herbert is blocked. Ziam with an uppercut as Herbert punches his way into the clinch in the final seconds of the round.
Leg kicks exchanged. Front kick to the body from Herbert and punches from Ziam. Herbert steps into a hook. One-two for Ziam.
Inside leg kick for Herbert. Now a jab to the body and Ziam lands a body jab in return. Now a punch to the body and one to the head from Ziam.
leg kick for Herbert. Back to the body punch from him. Heavy leg kick from Ziam. Another chopping leg kick lands well for him.
Herbert goes back to his clinch work now as he drives into the cage and tries for the takedown. It’s a strategy that hasn’t proved to be too fruitful so far. Ziam catches him off-guard with a trip attempt, but the whizzer enables him to get straight up again.
Now Ziam working the clinch position and there’s an awkward takedown attempt that sees both go to the mat and get back up.
Back to striking range and Ziam lands a calf kick. Ziam with a leg kick and Herbert responds with one of his own. Missed head kick from Herbert. He does land another leg kick though and again soon afterwards. Ziam with one of his own.
Ziam attempts a takedown as Herbert comes forward but can’t land it. They go over to the cage and jockey for position. Ziam looking for a final takedown. Herbert almost limbo’ing against the cage here as he tries to keep his back from hitting the mat and then gets upright. We’re headed to the scorecards.
This fight was closely fought at striking range, but curiously Herbert in particular was eager to clinch up and try to work for takedowns even though he had little success with it. And in the end that may have hindered more than helped him as it’s Ziam who emerges with a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x2, 30-27).