#2 Nick Newell (16-2) vs. Manny Muro (10-6) (Lightweight)
Round 1: Muro came out swinging but Newell wasn't backing down either. They clinched against cage and Newell tripped Muro down to the mat. They got back up almost instantly and, this time, it was Muro who pressed Newell against the cage.
Newell flipped the position and locked in the front face choke with Muro's back against the cage. Newell tried to apply the pressure and get a firm grip by using his shoulders and the cage as leverage but Muro slipped underneath and got out of the hold.
Muro couldn't get back up to his feet as Newel pinned him down. He landed shots to the body before briefly taking Muro's back. Muro turned over and Newell then landed shots from the top in full mount. Muro gave up his back again with 30 seconds to go. The round ended with Muro finding himself in Newell's guard. Big round for Newell.
Round 2: Muro engaged in a clinch with Newel early in the second round. Muro tried to get the under hooks for the takedown with Newell now finding himself against the cage.
The fight went down to the mat but Newell managed to take Muro's back again. Muro tried to get up but Newell held on to his back. Newell patiently got his arms under Muro's neck. Muro got back up to his feet with Newell still on his back. There was a lot of pressure on Muro as he was carrying Newell's weight. The grind continued as Newell let go of Muro's back.
Newell pressed Muro and got in the double hook. Muro's wrestling defense was on point as he avoided getting taken down again. Newell caught Muro's left leg while Muro tried to catch Newell's right leg. It looked like a wrestling stalemate thus far with both men refusing to bulge. Newell made a mistake and lost his dominant position as he slipped. Muro landed a three-piece combo on the break followed by a flying knee. Newell targeted Muro's left leg for the single leg but Muro was strong on his feet until the end of the round.
Round 3: Muro came in with a low inside leg kick. It didn't take time for them to clinch again. Muro was the one leading the charge this time around. He had Newell in a body lock from the back. Muro was controlling his positions well in the final round. He didn't give Newell any room to open up. Newell got up but Muro slammed him back to the mat. Muro was working from the back and he softened Newell up with punches for a potential RNC. Newell passed and got up with Muro hanging on to his back. Muro was still on his back and landed a few strikes as the fight came to an end. That was a laborious watch.
Result: Manny Muro def. Nick Newell via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The exhausting fight was a close one as Newell had his moments in the first and second rounds. However, Muro had a really strong third round and that made a big impression in the minds of the two judges who scored the fight in his favor.Published 27 Oct 2019, 10:58 IST