Fares Ziam had his hand raised in the UFC for the first time at UFC Fight Island 6, but had to get by a very active opponent in Jamie Mullarkey.
Jamie Mullarkey and Fares Ziam were both looking for their first UFC victories at UFC Fight Island 6. Ziam debuted last year against talented South African Don Madge with a 10-2 record with finishes in all but one of those wins. Mullarkey is known for his entertaining style and had a 12-2 record going into his UFC debut, losing against Brad Riddell a year ago.
The fighters traded leg kicks to start the fight and Ziam came back with a harder one. Punches started flying and Mullarkey drove for a takedown and brought the fight to the canvas. Ziam found an opening and reversed position into side control, but Mullarkey stood up quickly. Ziam was focusing on straight punches and hard leg kicks, and Mullarkey clinched up with him again briefly. Ziam pushed away and leg kicks kept coming from him. A front kick up the middle came up just short from Ziam as the punches continued to fly. A clinch was initiated by Ziam this time, and he was able to score one takedown and stuff one from Mullarkey as the round came to a close.
The quick pace continued in the second round as Mullarkey aggressively marched forward. A combination connected for Mullarkey, who closed the distance and ate a knee to the body. Ziam turned away and landed a counter left hand. Mullarkey’s footwork was more aggressive in round two, expressing frustration when Ziam circled away. A clinch exchange began and Ziam defended well. Mullarkey tried again shortly after and got him to the ground this time, but Ziam popped up quickly. Another takedown for Mullarkey came right away and he established half guard. Ziam was able to get back to his feet before the end of the round.
Ziam started the third round with a leg kick and a few jabs. Mullarkey pushed through a few hooks and got a clinch. He attempted a throw and somehow Ziam was able to roll with it and stay on his feet. Ziam countered with an elbow and a takedown attempt of his own, but Mullarkey defended and turned it into a takedown for himself. Ziam got back to his feet but was glued against the cage by Mullarkey. A single leg attempt came from Mullarkey, and after a slight adjustment, he drove Ziam down into half guard. He transitioned to mount, but Ziam reversed position and took the back of Mullarkey. Mullarkey tried to get a single leg to turn things around, but Ziam remained on top to close out a close and competitive fight.
Fares Ziam def. Jamie Mullarkey by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)