In a battle of young lightweights at UFC Tampa, Matt Frevola just barely edged out Luis Pena via split decision.
Luis Pena is one of the more colorful characters in the UFC. The man going by the nickname of “Violent Bob Ross” initially made his impact on The Ultimate Fighter, prior to an injury forced him to pull out of the tournament. However, he has started off with a 3-1 record in the UFC, with his last fight being a dominating TKO victory over lightweight veteran Matt Wiman.
Fellow prospect Matt Frevola also has momentum heading into their lightweight showdown. The Contender Series veteran debuted in the UFC, eventually falling to Polo Reyes. However, he has since rebounded, with a Fight of The Night effort against Lando Vannata, and a win over Jalin Turner earlier this year.
Frevola came out with a fast pace, throwing a flurry right at the start of the round. Pena slipped the majority of the punches, however, he did eat a few strong leg kicks. Frevola was throwing the right hand often but Pena just slipped out of the way. He eventually landed the big right, followed by a takedown. Pena quickly got his way back to his feet, but Frevola slammed him down again. Pena scrambled his way to the top position, then back to the feet. Pena rocked Frevola on the feet with seconds to go following a right hand, but he saw the end of the round.
Pena started the round out with one of the most beautiful flying knees you’ll ever see. Pena followed up with a right hand before a takedown attempt by Frevola. He used a kimura attempt to get back to the feet, but it nearly sunk in at one point. Frevola looked to be recovering, as he landed a right hand. The two traded flying strikes for a bit before Pena landed a flush head kick that Frevola just ate. Frevola tried to bring the fight to the ground while Pena looked for another kimura attempt. Pena tried to work his way back to his feet but got suplexed for his troubles. However, he then rolled into mount and land punches as the bell would save Frevola.
Pena came out looking fresh for the third round, compared to the nasty picture that was Frevola’s face. Pena was moving forward with his jab, while Frevola was fine with staying on the backfoot throwing leg kicks. Frevola landed a big right hand that snapped Pena’s head back, followed by another one. Frevola then looked for a takedown, but Pena wiggled out. Pena tried to turn up the pressure with seconds to go, but Frevola put a stop to that with a takedown attempt, and the fight would end in the clinch.
Matt Frevola def. Luis Pena by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)