UFC Phoenix Results: Nik Lentz Survives Scott Holtzman’s Late Push

Nik Lentz UFC
Nik Lentz. Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Nik Lentz went into the third round at UFC Phoenix with a lead, and despite a strong effort from Scott Holtzman, held him off for a decision victory.

Scott Holtzman came to the UFC undefeated at 7-0. After alternating wins and losses in his first four fights with the promotion, “Hot Sauce” found his stride. Since losing to Josh Emmett in 2016, Holtzman has rattled off three consecutive wins. His last one was his most emphatic, as he knocked out Alan Patrick with just over a minute left in the third round at UFC 229.

Nik Lentz has been a member of the roster since 2009, accumulating a record of 13-6-1 with one no contest. Lentz joined the UFC as a lightweight, but consecutive losses to Evan Dunham and Mark Bocek sent him to featherweight, where he went 4-2. Since returning to 155-pounds, he is 4-2 and coming off a knockout win against Gray Maynard.

Nik Lentz controlled the first portion of the first round on the feet. The amount of strikes landed were significantly in Lentz’s favor, mixing up kicks and punches effectively. Around halfway through, he committed to looking for clinch takedowns. Whenever Lentz was able to drag Holtzman to the mat, however, Holtzman was able to bounce back to the feet. This happened three times before Lentz was finally able to control a takedown, but that occurred as the round came to a close.

Holtzman came alive in the beginning of the second round. After a few exchanges of kicks and knees, in which a low kick swept Lentz off his feet, Holtzman landed a hard straight punch that sent Lentz into wrestling mode. Holtzman easily stuffed the takedown so they began exchanging straight punches on the feet until Lentz followed one of his with a clinch. While against the cage, Lentz turned a takedown rip takedown into a deep guillotine attempt. Holtzman worked his way out, but was taken down twice more as time expires.

Down two rounds, Holtzman came out swinging in round three. Lentz was rocked early on but thwarted Holtzman’s advances by landing a right of his own. A pair of hooks from both angles caused Lentz to rush in for a clinch. Lentz was able to take him down and take his back briefly, but Holtzman popped up and pushed forward. Lentz stops his advance by landing a desperation takedown, but Holtzman escaped as Lentz tried to take his back. They ended up against the fence with Lentz pushing for a takedown, but Holtzman battered him with elbows that split him open. Holtzman went for it all with a flying knee after they separated but couldn’t land cleanly, and ended up on his back late. Time expired with Lentz on top.

Nik Lentz def. Scott Holtzman by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)