In a fight light on action, Dwight Grant edged out Alan Jouban at UFC 236 in Atlanta, GA on Saturday.
Alan Jouban is a well-rounded fighter who’s carved out a solid career both in the UFC and as a model. Jouban, a 10th Planet Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, started out his run in the Octagon at 6-2 with wins over Mike Perry and Belal Muhammad. “Brahma” then lost a pair of fights to Gunnar Nelson and Niko Price before rebounding by knocking out Ben Saunders.
Dwight Grant is a 9-2 New Yorker who made his way to the UFC through Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Grant won by second-round KO on the Contender Series, and is 1-1 since joining the promotion. After dropping a split decision to Zak Ottow, the one-time Bellator fighter knocked out Carlo Pedersoli Jr. at the buzzer of the first round in February.
Jouban and Grant circled on the outside to start their welterweight battle at UFC 236. Jouban than attempted a takedown; Grant just fanned on a head kick off the break. Grant was putting everything he had into his punches, creating a rather dicey situation early for Jouban. Perhaps because of this, he sat back a little after a couple of close calls, looking for his spot. He would land a takedown early on, but it was short-lived. Jouban then went to the body with a kick, and ate a leg kick from Grant in return. He’d eat a big punch moments later, but walked through it. More feeling out, and another heavy swing from Grant would follow. Jouban continued to look for an opening, wary of a counter.
The second had Grant connecting with a combination early, a sequence of wild punches that put Jouban into retreat mode. The pair traded leg kicks, and while Jouban continued to walk forward, he had yet to figure out the puzzle that was Dwight Grant. This was the case the whole round. Jouban was being frustrated when it came to getting inside on Grant, but at the same time, he was controlling the action and pushing the pace.
The third and final round saw another flurry early. Jouban then walked Grant down, looking to trap him in the corner, but Grant continued to circle free. Near the midway Mark, Grant threw a high kick that hit Jouban’s arm. Jouban’s own kicks were making a difference in the bout, but a low blow at the midway mark caught Grant squarely below the belt, forcing a break in the action. When they were back underway, the pair continued to trade sporadically, with Jouban mixing in a spinning back kick that came up short. Going to the buzzer, the fight would finish with Jouban on top after a scramble got things to the ground. The result? A bizarre split decision, with the dissenting judge awarding Jouban a 30-27.
After the scores were read, neither fighter, frankly, looked pleased.
Dwight Grant def. Alan Jouban by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)