Justin Ledet earned a split decision win over Zu Anyanwu tonight at UFC Fight Night 116, though really a unanimous verdict would have been more appropriate, despite a solid performance from the short notice stand-in.
Ledet lands a jab. Zu goes for a body punch. Again to the body for the late replacement. Ledet pistoning out the jab quickly.
Jab lands again for Ledet. Overhand right connects for Zu and that earned his opponent’s respect. Zu unloads with a punch and Ledet counters with the swift jab.
Ledet jab and then follows in with the left hook afterwards. Jab for Ledet, Zu retaliates with a solid strike of his own, but Ledet takes it and lands again.
Body punch from Zu and that’s the last meaningful strike of the round.
Zu trying to walk down Ledet and then lands a big right hand. Ledet soon firing back with a series of jabs though as he works his way back to the center of the Octagon.
He pumps out the jab again and then changes up to the left hook. Zu wades in with a right hand and a couple other punches behind it. Another winging shot just whistles by Ledet’s head.
Left hook lands for Ledet. Then that crisp jab and back to the hook again. Right hand for Zu. Ledet blocks another winging hook. A couple of hard jabs get through for the favorite. Zu not to happy about getting continually caught with this quality jab and his right eye is starting to swell up.
Back to the jab for Ledet and Zu tries to counter with the right hook. Zu pressing forward and fires off a powerful right hand. It’s blocked but he’s trying to make something happen here and uncorks it again soon after.
He takes 30 seconds off and Ledet is back to peppering him with the jab, then he explodes foward with another combination that’s blocked off the gloves.
Another surge forward from Zu and grazes with an uppercut. Power punches again from Zu. A right hand from him sends Ledet moving backwards for a moment slightly off-balance, but not hurt.
Ledet still looks fresh though and is utilizing a lot of movement here to frustrate Zu. Another lumbering right hand for Zu in the final minute.
Last 10 seconds and Zu comes marauding forward with a final series of left and right hands that backs Ledet up, but he keeps his guard high and survives the onslaught to take this one to the judges.
All credit to Zu for a spirited performance from start to finish here despite coming in on short notice, but it was Ledet’s cultured jab that was the deciding factor here.
Suprisingly, one judge sees the fight in Zu’s favor, but two rightly call it in the direction of Ledet and so he emerges as the split decision winner (29-28 x2, 28-29).