Hakeem Dawodu put on a clinic against Kyle Bochniak on the UFC 231 main card, outstriking his opponent over the course of three rounds.
Hakeem Dawodu is a skilled striker who joined the UFC with a 42-4 kickboxing record underneath his belt. However, he did not live up to the hype in his Octagon debut, getting submitted in the first minute. Dawodu bounced back with a decision victory over Austin Arnett in his last appearance.
Kyle Bochniak is a brawler who entered many fans’ radars during his gutsy performance against Zabit Magomedsharipov. Bochniak is 2-3 in the Octagon, but always brings it.
Dawodu started the fight off with a head kick attempt followed by a two-punch combination, with neither landing cleanly. Through the first minute, Bochniak had yet to find his range, not throwing anything with conviction. However, he was avoiding Dawodu’s strikes. Bochniak slid in with a right hook that caught Dawodu, as his opponent landed a glancing counter.
Bochniak was caught off balance by a counter right that Dawodu threw after catching a kick, but there was no follow-up. With a minute left in the round, Bochiak landed a clean double-leg takedown, and forced Dawodu to the fence after he popped up. Dawodu was taken down once more before separating from his opponent prior to the end of the round.
Dawodu started the round with a leg kick and a combination. Dawodu was a bit more hesitant to start the second, perhaps due to the takedown threat. A threat that Bochniak reminded him of by catching a low kick and forcing Dawodu to roll backward. Another combination landed for Dawodu as Bochniak landed a shot on the exit. Dawodu landed a counter-right as Bochniak was still struggling to truly figure out the kickboxer on the feet. Bochniak went for a late takedown, but Dawodu avoided several attempts successfully.
Dawodu was showing a bit more style to start the final round, throwing several kicks including a spinning attack. Bochniak caught a kick, but Dawodu kept his balance until they hit cage, where he was dragged down. After some top control, Dawodu worked his way up and landed a right hand that snapped the head of Bochniak back. Bochniak faded in the final minute, with Dawodu landing several hard shots including a nice body kick at the final bell.
Hakeem Dawodu def. Kyle Bochniak by Split Decision (30-27 x2, 28-29)