Stepping up on short notice at UFC San Diego was former CFFC bantamweight champion, Da’Mon Blackshear, taking on Youssef Zalal.
Having lost three straight, Zalal was in must-win territory on Saturday.
A win didn’t come. Then again, neither did a loss.
To open up the fight a lot of kicks were thrown from both guys. Zalal wasn’t landing and Blackshear was chopping away at the lead leg. Zalal timed a nice takedown taking Blackshear down with no issue. Blackshear threw his legs up threatening a triangle but Zalal kept composed and escaped never being in any real danger. Blackshear pushed off on the hips to attempt a heel hook. It didn’t work but it allowed him to scramble and take the back. After being on his back almost the entire round Blackshear ended the round on Zalal’s back.
Blackshear was pressing forward to start round two and shot in on an early takedown. Blackshear did complete the takedown and took the back. A little too loose in position as Zalal escaped and got top position and took the back himself. Really good defense from Blackshear as he escaped and created a scramble that got back to the feet. In the clinch, Blackshear changed the level and went to the back jumping on Zalal in the standing body triangle. Blackshear threatened the RNC but just ended the round again on the back.
In the final round Zalal was firing a nice sticking jab to start the round. It was Zalal in need of the finish most likely and was pressing forward mixing it up. Blackshear was visibly tired and Zalal was landing at a good clip. Blackshear shot desperately on a single leg but Zalal defended. A few times Zalal had Blackshear curling up against the cage but couldn’t land anything clean. Zalal did land a body kick that did seem to hurt Blackshear. Another heavy body kick landed and it folded Blackshear. With time running out Zalal emptied the tank trying to send the ref in with the ground and pound. He couldn’t get Herb Dean to step it but ended in mount in a dominant round.
The end result: two judges scored the fight a draw, giving Zalal a 10-8 in the third.
Official Results: Da’mon Blackshear vs. Youssef Zalal results in a draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)