Having lost his father just weeks ago, it was frankly unbelievable to see Lyman Good in the octagon on Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 11. Not that other fighters haven’t fought through tragedy before: Cody Stamann did so just weeks ago, fighting in the wake of his brother’s unexpected passing.
The timing of Good’s bout, however, was heartbreaking. He was competing, against a dangerous opponent in Belal Muhammad, the day before father’s day.
Lyman Good held center early, and pressed forward at a measured pace, keeping Muhammad on the outside. Muhammad reversed when they clinched, and while Good appeared to have the power advantage, Muhammad was the quicker man.
In the stand-up battle that ensued, Muhammad mixed things up with stance switches. Before long, he was showing a bit of damage, in the form of a cut by the eye. But his sideways movement served him well, with that and his stance switches forcing Good to frequently adjust.
Round two again had Belal Muhammad moving fluidly on the outside. When Good pressed forward, Muhammad shot for a takedown. However, Good’s knees barely grazed the canvas before he popped back up again. In a clinch, Muhammad landed an elbow; back in the open, the same pattern played out: Muhammad moving, Good walking him down. The only abberation was inadvertant an eye poke by Good. At least until the final minute, when a violent exchange ensued. Both men took some damage, and Good’s corner advised to him to breathe, and maintain his composure, while Muhammad was showing some more damage.
Belal Muhammad was still leaking blood starting the third, and Lyman Good could clearly smell it in the water. He rocked Muhammad with a punch, coming close to a finish. Muhammad was hurt. Good followed up with another hard blow. Muhammad, wobbled, somehow escaped. But Good had taken control and was hunting wounded prey. Every punch landed by Good seemed to have an effect on Muhammad. He was still mobile, still fighting back, but definitely in danger. With ninety seconds remaining, Muhammad shot for a takedown, a good sign that he was well aware of how things were going on the feet. And while he couldn’t keep Good down, he did buy himself some time. A second takedown would allow Muhammad to lock in a body triangle to close out the fight, and they’d head to the judges.
Official Result: Belal Muhammad def. Lyman Good by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)