Son Jin-Soo drops decision but wins fans in UFC San Antonio loss
After going to war against bantamweight contender Petr Yan ten months ago in his promotional debut, Son returned at UFC on ESPN 4 in San Antonio and lost on the scorecards to Mario Bautista in very similar fashion.
This bantamweight matchup started with both fighters spending time making reads. While Son began finding a home for the right hand, Bautista attacked with a varied arsenal, landing at a higher percentage.
Midway through the first round, Son was already showing some swelling around the left eye. Counter striking wasn’t working for the Korean who came out the gate in the second with much more pressure, leading to the most action-packed moments of the fight.
Son connected with a left hand and pressed Bautista against the fence and dragged him to the mat yet he could not keep him there. Once back up, Bautista snatched up a kimura grip and used it to get out the body lock.
During an exchange, Son completed a double-leg takedown but Bautista instantly returned to his feet.
After trading a couple more times with Bautista getting the best of the exchanges, Son was dropped to one knee by a straight right hand down the pipe and from that point on, the rest of the round was a close quarters combat situation.
Too little too late
Embraced in the clinch, Bautista utilized shoulder strikes and elbows to end the round with the upper hand.
The last frame was arguably the best for Son but it was a little too late. Every time Son would land a punch, Bautista was there with a counter and combinations. Even though Son was able to drag Bautista down twice to the canvas, he was not able to keep him there and mount any kind of offense.
Bautista (7-1) bounces back from his first career loss earlier this year to Cory Sandhagen by earning a hard fought unanimous decision. The MMA Lab representative solidifies a spot in the stacked bantamweight division and will look to build his name by taking on another prospect in the coming months.
Son (9-4), on the other hand, drops his second straight and is winless under the UFC banner. Although ‘The Korean Zombie’ protege is very entertaining, the likelihood of continuing his career with the promotion does not look promising.
The UFC is heading to South Korea in December so he will likely be a lock to compete on home soil.
The main card was filled with some highlight reel first round knockouts. Dan Hooker (18-8) started the party by landed a devastating left hook that collapsed James Vick. After a couple more punches on the ground, the ref stepped in and waved off the action.
Then the heavyweights took over and showed that fighters do not get paid by the minute. While Walt Harris (13-7) dismantled Alexey Oleinik (57-13-1) in 12 seconds, MMA black sheep Greg Hardy (5-1) took 45 seconds to finish Juan Adams (5-2).
In the headliner, two top-ranked welterweights went head to head for the full twenty five minutes. Leon Edwards was able to keep the fight on the feet and pick apart Rafael dos Anjos to get a clean sweep on the judge’s scorecards.
Edwards (18-3) takes out the number 4-ranked welterweight and extends his winning streak to eight, making him an immediate contender for the title. Meanwhile, dos Anjos (29-12) loses three out of his last four fights.