Kyung Ho Kang focused on takedowns and control on the mat to get the better of Pingyuan Liu today at UFC Fight Night 165, but his relative lack of action almost cost him the fight when one judge saw the fight in his opponent’s favor.
Liu with an early leg kick. He lands another. Again he connects with it, but soon after Kang ducks under a punch and lands a good takedown in the center of the Octagon.
Kang in half guard here, but Liu brings him back to his full guard. Liu landing a few elbows from his back here. Kang not rushing to retaliate though as he maintains top position.
Liu staying busy here, looking for strikes or trying to set up submission attempts. They’ve shifted over to the cage now and Liu manages to find the space to stand up, but Kang is immediately on him again and quickly lands his second takedown of the fight.
more elbows from his back from Liu. Half guard for Kang, but still not a lot of activity. Final seconds of the round and Kang postures up, lands a few punches, but then coasts to the bell.
They exchange early and Kang lands a head kick. Liu is ok, but Kang then scores another takedown in the center of the cage.
Punch lands for Kang on top, but still a very measured pace here from him. More slicing elbows from Liu, but so far it’s only hhim that is wearing a little damage to his face.
Kang taking no chances here, staying tight to Liu and continuing to focus on control.
Liu manages to get his back to the cage. Kang manages to move him away though and maintains top position in the final minute of the round.
Again Liu has his back to the cage and tries to stand, but Kang is holding him down. Solid punch lands for Kang. The action stalls as the round comes to a close.
Liu needing to do something big in this round. He starts off with leg kicks. Kang lands one of his own. Double jab for Liu.
Jumping kick to the body from Liu, but that allows Kang to clinch up. Liu manages to break free though.
Right hand lands for Liu. Kang in on a takedown and Liu does well to not only stuff that but also start looking for a guillotine afterwards. Kang able to defend that and stand up though.
Liu looking to engage but stumbles back off-balance and narrowly misses being head kicked in the process. However, Kang is able to get on top before he can stand back up.
Kang back to grinding his way to a decision victory in his opponent’s guard now. He improves to half guard. No interest in finding a finish so far on the mat in this fight despite all this control.
Liu back to elbows and finally he’s opened up a big cut that’s bleeding heavily. He really needs a finish here though and it’s not going to happen as Kang stays heavy on top and starts to pick up the pace a little with punches in the closing seconds of the round.
Kang appeared to have grinded his way to a victory here, and indeed he has, but it’s interesting to note that one judge actually scored the fight in Liu’s favor due to his activity with strikes from his back. Nonetheless, it’s Kang who wins by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).