Carlos Felipe edges Justin Tafa via split decision at UFC Fight Island

Australian based Justin Tafa lost for the second time in three UFC appearances earlier this morning (AEDT), with the heavyweight edged by Brazilian Carlos Felipe.

Samoan Tafa started the bout patient and landed the better shots from the outside in the opening round. He peppered Felipe’s leg with kicks and mixed it up to the body and upstairs to take the first round on all judges cards.

The second round went the way of the Brazilian as he hurt Tafa with either what looked like a body shot or battered left eye. Tafa covered up against the cage as Felipe tried to capitalise and was able to see out the round.

Everything was up for grabs coming into the last round and both fighters knew it. Tafa mixed it up and landed a short takedown before they clinched against the cage. Tafa looked up at the clock and noted 30-seconds to. He clinched down on his mouthpiece and unloaded. Felipe returned fire as they exchanged shots until the final bell.

Two judges scored the last round the way of Felipe to give him the somewhat controversial split decision victory.

Tafa out-landed Felipe 47-20 according to UFC statistics with 16 judges on also scoring it to Tafa, compared to four that scored it to Felipe.

The bout was also in contention to win the fight of the night honours and a US$50k bonus however the headline act between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar stole that honour.

The bout took place at Etihad Arena on UFC Island in Abu Dhabi.


  • Max Holloway def. Calvin Kattar via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Carlon Condit def. Matt Brown via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Jingliang Li def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via KO (Punch), Rd 1, 4:25
  • Alessio Di Chirico def. Joaquin Buckley via KO (Head-Kick), Rd 1, 2:12
  • Punahele Soriano def. Dusko Todorovic via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 4:48
  • Joselyne Edwards Laboriel def. Yanan Wu via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Carlos Felipe def. Justin Tafa via Decision (Split)
  • Ramazan Emeev def. David Zawada via Decision (Split)
  • Vanessa Melo def. Sarah Moras via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Austin Lingo def. Jacob Kilburn via Decision (Unanimous)
Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car or a Jet Fighter. Anyone have a spare one lying around?