Jessica-Rose Clark got her takedown game working early and often against Joselyne Edwards tonight at UFC Fight Night 196, but played it safe on the mat to grind her way to a unanimous decision win.
Clark with a flurry of punches to set up a takedown attempt and that works out well, quickly getting Edwards to the mat.
Clark has Edwards up in cramped quarters up against the cage in full guard. Edwards looking for rubber guard options here, but soon gives up on that.
Edwards trying to wall walk now without much success. Clark posturing upon her feet, but keeps her head into Edwards chest and is not really letting her strikes go yet.
Not much happening so the ref stands them back up. however, Clark goes straight back into the clinch against the cage and works for another takedown. She gets her down, but Edwards gets a reversal and they are back upright with Edwards now clinched to Clark’s back.
Edwards lands a few knees to the back of the thigh. Clark able to get away and back to the center of the Octagon.
Body kick for Edwards and punches behind it. Clark’s gameplan is clear though as she drives back into the clinch and lands another relatively easy takedown. Edwards kicks her back off, but Clark drives on top of her again as the round ends.
Elbow from Clark. Low kick from Edwards. Edwards works into the clinch this time against the cage. Knee to the body from Edwards, but Clark turns into her. They trade knees as they continue to jockey for position in this clinch spot.
Clark goes for a takedown and does well to land it. Clark in half-guard almost immediately. Again Clark is very cautious on top here and will need to get a little busier if she wants to keep the fight here.
Clark does well to move into full mount with two minutes of the round remaining. Even from here Clark is still opting for control over offense.
There’s an occasion cuffing punch to the head, but really not much happening here. She does finally land a nice elbow in the final 30 seconds. Edwards trying to work for a submission with the space that presents and so Clark just abandons top control entirely and gets back to her feet to end the round.
Body kick for Edwards and then works punches to the head behind it. Clark trying to work into range again and Edwards unleashes another flurry, but she can’t fend off her opponent for long. Clark gets into range, clinches up and then lands her latest takedown soon afterwards.
Clark in Edwards full-guard in the center of the cage. Edwards landing elbows from her back as Clark offers nothing in return from on top.
Clark manages to pass to half-guard with half the round remaining. Still no offense. Edwards gradually working her way over to the cage and then manages to use that to stand up.
However, Clark immediately brings her back down again, close to the center of the Octagon. Clark’s had great success with her takedowns tonight, but unfortunately hasn’t produced much with it, though certainly still enough to win the fight.
Side control from Clark and then attempts to pass into full mount as the round ends.
Not the most exciting fight then, but Clark controlled her opponent for large spells on top to grind out a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).