A pair of Contender Series alums met on the UFC 237 televised prelims Saturday, but it was lightweight Thiago Moises getting the better of Kurt Holobaugh — and getting his first UFC win in the process.
After a no contest on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (IV use), and two losses to start his UFC career, Kurt Holobaugh was desperately in need of a win at UFC 237. It would be a tough order, as he was taking on Brazilian Thiago Moises on Saturday night. Moises had lost his UFC debut, but he was fighting at home.
Moises opened with a leg kick and Holobaugh answered back with a kick of his own. The two exchanged until Holobaugh went for a single leg against the fence. Moises defended well and Holobaugh gave up on the attempt. The two exchanged back on their feet with Holobaugh moving forward, and again looking for that single leg. Moises defended well and landed a nice elbow on the break, then went for a single of his own. One that he switched to a double, taking Holobaugh to the mat. Moises worked from half guard while Holobaugh looked for a Kimura but had to abandon the attempt. Holobaugh was able to work back to full guard as Moises looked to land punches from the top. The two men continued to work as the round came to a close.
In the second, Moises this time came out working the leg kick but Holobaugh walked forward firing punches and absorbing everything. Moises landed including a solid front kick. Holobaugh got the clinch against the fence but Moises reversed and looked for a singe that was unsuccessful. The two men separated for a moment until Moises shot a double leg that drove Holobaugh to the mat. Moises worked into a guillotine attempt but Holobaugh defended well enough that he had to give up on the attempt. Holobaugh worked back to his feet and the two exchanged in the center of the octagon for a moment until Holobaugh again looked for the single leg. Moises again defended nicely. Back on their feet Moises ripped a punch to the body of Holobaugh, who responded by clinching up and working against the fence. The two broke from the clinch and exchanged momentarily until Holobaugh backed Moises back into the fence and peppered him with punches, Moises answered back, landing a solid elbow just before the horn sounded to end the round.
Holobaugh came out firing punches in the third as Moises slid out of range. Holobaugh moved forward but Moises landed three consecutive power shots, with that third momentarily stunning Holobaugh. Moises got the Holobaugh to the mat and worked from half guard as he fired punches to the head of Holobaugh. Holobaugh worked to get up and gave up his back for a moment; Moises looked for his hooks but Holobaugh broke free and got back to his feet.
Moises shot the single leg again and drove Holobaugh to the mat. Holobaugh again defended well and worked back to his feet as he drove Moises to the fence. Moises went for his back and looked for the choke but Holobaugh escaped and immediately went for the single leg on Moises. Holobaugh succeeded and worked from top but Moises quickly got back to his feet and looked for another take down, this time with power he lifted Holobaugh and dropped him to the mat. Moises worked from side control and rained down elbows onto Holobaugh. Holobaugh scrambled as he looked to survive until the end of the round as Moises continued to land from the top position until the horn sounded to bring an end to the round, and the fight. Little question in this one — Moises had the win!
Thiago Moises def. Kurt Holobaugh by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)