MMA careers at the highest level can be shifted by the finest of margins and Ji Yeon Kim’s UFC career appears to be in serious jeopardy after dropping a split decision to Joselyne Edwards at UFC 277.
This time there was no performance bonus for the Korean who has lost her last four UFC fights. This is the third time she has fought to a split decision inside the octagon but the other two went in Kim’s favour.
Her opponent coming into the fight 1.5lbs over the bantamweight limit but having missed weight twice in her UFC career Kim can’t have too many complaints about that.
The 32 year old has never been finished and has excellent hands and she showcased good boxing fundamentals here landing with one-two combinations and the overhand left. Edwards was sporting bright blue hair and the flamboyance translated to her striking style as she continued to throw spinning wheel kicks.
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The opening round was uneventful but Edwards was the busier of the two fighters and looked to be ahead going into the second stanza. Kim fired off some more straight punches and low kicks.
A straight right from the Korean landed clean and Kim seemed to be in the ascendancy. But with seconds remaining in the round Edwards was able to secure a takedown.
With both bantamweights having likely won a round each the final three minutes was always going to be decisive. Edwards picked up the pace and was able to toss Kim to the ground and secure side control.
She tried for an armbar but Kim escaped and worked her way up. The two went toe to toe in the dying seconds leaving the judges with a difficult decision.
In the end two of them had Edwards winning while only one scored it for Kim with all the cards reading 29-28. The Panamanian improves to 12-4 while the Korean drops to 9-6-2 and faces a very uncertain UFC future.
#UFC277 Official Result: Joselyne Edwards (@JoselyneMMA29) (29-28, 30-27) defeats Ji Yeon Kim (29-28) by Split Decision
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Best of the rest
Asian MMA veteran Kai Kara-France (24-10) came up short in his bid to capture the interim flyweight title. He was stopped by Brandon Moreno (20-6) in the third round.
In the main event Amanda Nunes (22-5) avenged the only recent loss of her UFC career. She beat Julianna Peña (11-5) to regain the UFC bantamweight belt which she had lost to the Venezuelan last year.
UFC 277, Dallas, July 30th
Amanda Nunes def. Julianna Peña via Decision (Unanimous)
Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via TKO (Body kick and punches) at 4:34 of R3
Sergei Pavlovich def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (Punches) at 0:55 of R1
Alexandre Pantoja def. Alex Perez via Submission (neck crank) at 1:31 of R1
Magomed Ankalaev def. Anthony Smith via TKO (punches) at 3:09 of R2
Alex Morono def. Matthew Semelsberger via Decision (Unanimous)
Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves via KO (Punch) at 1:30 of R3
Hamdy Abdelwahab def. Don’Tale Mayes via Decision (Split)
Drakkar Klose def. Rafa García via Decision (unanimous)
Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt via TKO (Punches) at 1:09 of R3
Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim via Decision (Split)
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria via TKO (Punches and knees) at 3:33 of R2
Orion Cosce def. Mike Mathetha via Decision (Unanimous)