Jack Marshman was able to not fall into a fire-fight with John Phillips, using his footwork to win a split decision on the UFC London main card.
Jack Marshman is currently serving as a paratrooper and plans on going back to the military base in two days. His military participation could have contributed to him missing weight for this bout at UFC London. The Wales native is a former Cage Warriors champion who knocked out former prospect Magnus Cedenblad in his promotional debut. Since then, he is 1-3 with two consecutive losses.
John Phillips had a tough time getting into the Octagon, pulling out of a pair of fights in 2017. He went 0-2 in 2018, losing by rear-naked choke both times. Like Marshman, Phillips is also from Wales, but they never crossed paths on the regional scene.
The fight started cautiously, with neither fighter throwing a punch in the first 30 seconds. About a minute in, John Phillips landed a heavy left hook that staggered Jack Marshman. Phillips followed with a clinch against the cage until Marshman pushed away. Phillips landed a leg kick, then Marshman landed a three-piece combination. Phillips landed a right hand that knocked Marshman down, and instead of following him down, Phillips waved him back up and bowed. Marshman landed another three-piece combination, marked by hard right hands. Phillips deflected a head kick then they engaged in a pair of heavy-handed exchanges to cap off the round.
More caution was shown in the second round, with Phillips throwing the first hard shot after just over two minutes ticked away. Marshman absorbed the hook, then landed a body kick to right-hand combination that dropped Phillips briefly. Marshman landed another solid combination as Phillips came in. Phillips tried to goad Marshman into a wild exchange at the end of the round, but Marshman did not bite.
Phillips started the final round with a solid straight punch. Marshman was content to stay behind his jab and keep the pursuing Phillips away. An overhand left landed for Phillips as Marshman was on his horse to limit the offense of Phillips. A right hook and a leg kick landed for Phillips, then a jab. Marshman threw a combination, but Phillips was able to avoid each shot. There was one heavy-handed exchange at the end, but neither fighter buckled and the fight came to an end.
Jack Marshman def. John Phillips by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)