The softly spoken Jonathan Martinez did his talking in the Octagon tonight at UFC Fight Night 180 with a solid display of striking to earn a decision victory over the returning Thomas Almeida.
Front kick from Martinez to start. He goes to the leg too. Early work from Martinez and then a leg kick from Almeida.
Almeida steps into a hook, but it misses. Leg kick for Almeida, but Martinez with a good counter punch that lands cleanly.
Head kick upstairs from Almeida that’s at least partially blocked, but certainly threatened. Almeida with a leg kick.
Leg kick from Martinez. Punch for Almeida but Martinez then lands a front kick to the body. Again Martinez goes for that kick, but doesn’t connect cleanly.
Nice elbow strike from Almeida as he steps in. Head kick attempt from Martinez is blocked. Front kick from Martinez is caught this time by Almeida but can’t do much with it.
Straight punches from Almeida. Martinez lands a nice knee upstairs. Again straight punches from Almeida but Martinez backed away out of range from them.
Leg kick for Almeida. Left hook lands for Martinez. Nice couple of punches from Almeida. however, Martinez follows with a hard punch and a head kick threatens too towards the end of the round.
Jab for Martinez. leg kick for Almeida. He again goes to the leg. Body kick from Martinez. Nice uppercut and right hand behind it from Almeida.
Inside leg kick from Martinez. Superman punch attempt from Almeida. They clinch up briefly and Almeida lands a knee to the body.
Solid body kick for Almeida. Martinez pumps out the jab. Now Almeida lands his jab. Grazing right hand for Almeida.
Left hook for Martinez. He works the jab again. Head kick attempt is blocked. Now a kick to the body. They both pump out the jab.
Uppercut from Almeida. Martinez lands a knee, but Almeida catches him with a hook too and puts him down just for a brief moment. He’s straight back up and seems fine.
Jab for Martinez. Almeida misses with a hook. Almeida tries for a takedown that’s stuffed and he goes for a knee to the body instead before getting back to striking range.
Head kicks attempted from both men. Glancing straight right from Almeida. Hard jab from Martinez. Now a solid kick. Almeida with a two-punch combo and lands cleanly with the second of those two punches.
Martinez feeling out with the jab. he lands a body kick. Single leg attempt from Almeida but it’s stuffed and Martinez lands a knee on the way out.
Head kick attempt from Almeida blocked. Body kick for Martinez. Almeida with a front kick to the midsection. Left hook for Almeida.
Punch to the body from Almeida and then one upstairs. A couple of straight punches get through for Almeida. Kick for Martinez. Almeida with more straight punches, but then Martinez lands a hard counter punch.
Front kick to thte body for Martinez. Body kick for Almeida, but again Martinez counters him with a left hand and that seemed to wobble him backwards just for a few moments.
Head kick attempt from Martinez. Now a hard low kick. Solid jab now. A big left and right hand lands for Almeida and that got his opponent’s attention.
Another head kick attempt from Martinez that’s blocked. Exchange in close with Martinez landing a knee to the body and then Martinez connecting with a hard counter.
Jab for Martinez. Almeida grazes with a hook. Right hook for Almeida. He goes in for a takedown, but it’s shrugged off.
Another left hook for Almeida. Head kick blocked from Martinez. Missed punches from Almeida. Straight right for Almeida. Now a left. Martinez with a left of his own. Head kick from Almeida blocked.
Almeida with a final takedown attempt and for a moment it looked like he might get it, but no, Martinez does well to stay upright and defend as the round comes to an end.
A competitive fight here then, but Martinez’s work was crisp and he was sharp on the counter, which helps him secure a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).