Sydney’s Josh Culibao was a massive underdog in his preliminary bout against Charles Jourdain and came close to edging the decision before having to settle to a rare split draw decision.
The bout took place as part of UFC on ESPN 16 held in Abu Dhabi as part of ‘UFC Fight Island’.
One judge had it 28-28 draw, another 29-28 to Culibao while most controversial, the third judge had it 30-27 to Jourdain who was dropped in the first round by a big right hand.
Jourdain recovered well int the second round and brought the fight to Culibao, particularly leaning towards his heavy kicks. A self-inflicted eye-poke from Culibao momentarily halted the contest. Jourdain continued coming forward however Culibao countered well and gave as good as he got.
The Canadian athlete had his strongest round in the third and didn’t take long to hurt Culibao with a swinging right hand. Jourdain finished strongly and nearly finished it with a triangle-armbar before the two obliged and finished the contest flurrying in the centre of the cage.
It was a much-improved performance from Culibao having lost his debut back in February on short notice. He moves to 8-1-1 (UFC 0-1-1) while Jourdain drops to 10-3-1 (UFC 1-2-1).