After winning his first two outings inside the octagon, Youssef Zalal had stumbled, suffering two consecutive losses heading into UFC Vegas 28. Following a 7-0 start to his professional MMA career, Sean Woodson had endured his first loss last time out against Julian Erosa.
One man would get back into the win column on Saturday at UFC Vegas 28.
Both men took center immediately. Woodson hit Zalal with a jab, and Zalal answered back with a calf kick. Zalal was circling Woodson and landing combos. Zalal hit Woodson with a hook, one that woke up Woodson. Now we were getting going. Zalal shot in for a takedown and put Woodson against the fence; Woodson defended. They both ended up in the center of the octagon, and Woodson landed a nasty body kick. Woodson pointed at the ground, taunting Zalal to box him. Zalal threw a spinning kick but missed. Less than 90 seconds left, and Zalal put Woodson against the fence again, which Woodson reversed after 15 seconds or so. Zalal eventually landed a takedown to end round one. It was a very active and entertaining round; there was a reason most fans circled the fight.
Woodson landed a low kick to start round two, and Zalal answered back with a wild combo. Zalal hit Woodson with two leaping-in hooks. Just under four minutes in, and Zalal put Woodson against the fence as he tried for the takedown. Woodson defended, and Zalal hit him with an elbow on the break. That led to a lot of circling each other, and Woodson clinched with Zalal, but nothing came with it. Zalal ate a knee as he came in and then ate a nasty jab immediately after. Zalal shot in on a power double leg with less than a minute left, but Woodson ended up locking up a guillotine choke. Zalal survived as the round ended.
Both fighters started throwing combos to start round three. Zalal immediately put Woodson against the fence, and Woodson escaped after defending. They took the center for a few seconds, and Zalal shot for another takedown with Woodson against the fence. Three minutes left, and Woodson escaped. Woodson landed a 1-2, and Zalal went for another takedown. Zalal wasn’t doing anything in the clinch, and Woodson was signalling at the referee. With little more than a minute to go, Woodson escaped. Zalal shot in for a lazy takedown, and Woodson grabbed Zalals neck and locked up a submission that looked tight, but Zalal survived. Zalal escaped and took Woodsons back, but Woodson rolled and ended up on top. Both fighters got to their feet to end the fight.
After suffering his first professional loss, Woodson is back in the win column, while Zalal has now lost three in a row. Zalal might be going back to the regional scene.
Official Result: Sean Woodson def. Youssef Zalal by split decision (28–29, 29–28, 29–28)