In a close fight where the official scorecards varied wildly, Jared Cannonier took a split decision over Sean Strickland at the UFC’s final show of the year from Las Vegas. Headlining Fight Night 216, the middleweights engaged in a largely uneventful five round striking match that saw Strickland moving and pumping a smart jab throughout but doing little else as Cannonier relied on occasional bursts of power punching and leg kicks.
Cannonier appeared to come alive a bit more over the last couple of rounds snapping Strickland’s head back with a hard left hook toward the end of the fourth and landing several stinging right hands in the fifth. Sal D’Amato scored it 49-46 for Strickland while Derek Cleary and Junichiro Kamijo saw it 49-46 for Cannonier.
The co-main event had Arman Tsarukyan outwrestle Damir Ismagulov for three rounds to take a unanimous decision.
Mixed martial arts, Mma, Ufc
Black Belt Magazine