At UFC Vegas 62 on Saturday night, Brandon Davis fought Mana Martinez on the featured prelim.
Although each fighter was coming off of a loss, their exciting fight style and the competitive nature of the match-up was likely what lead to its placement on the card.
The fighters opened by trading kicks from distance as they found their range. Davis was the first one to start using his hands and he landed a few times early on with straight punches. Two early accidental fouls, one from each fighter, paused the action in the opening half round— but Martinez recovered quickly from the low blow and Davis from the eye poke before they got back to work. The southpaw vs. orthodox match-up, when Martinez went southpaw at times, seemed to be making each fighter feel awkward early on. Mana mainly dealt with it by throwing open side kicks while Davis focused on his right straight. Martinez clipped Davis with a good hook in the final minute and coach James Krause encouraged his fighter to move forward for the finish. Davis called on his opponent as well, however, and soon recovered. At the end of the round it was unclear who had won the first stanza.
Early in round two Mana hurt Davis again and he retreated. Martinez swarmed him, looking for the finish, but Davis was able to duck in on a takedown and end up in the clinch. Martinez escaped, but it allowed Davis to recover a bit. The constant body kicks from Martinez appeared to be beginning to take a toll. After three minutes of fighting Davis landed his big right hand, his biggest strike of the bout, but Martinez countered well with a left hook. Davis began to gain some momentum and seemed to be ending the round strong, but Martinez dropped his foe with a spinning back fist. When he swarmed to finish the fight he knocked out Davis’ mouth guard. Davis stood up again but was dropped again with only seconds left before being perhaps saved by the bell.
A big right hand almost dropped Mana one minute into the final round but he was able to regain his footing. The pressure and offense from Davis was non-stop this round however, and Mana frequently found his back to the cage. Martinez tried to defuse the pressure with a takedown which was stuffed at first but he used chain wrestling to land it finally. Davis popped to his feet and they ended up in the clinch until Davis separated the hands and got back to striking. The forward pressure from Davis was suffocating and Martinez seemed to be starting to tire. Another spinning back fist attempt came from Mana but Davis defended it this time. With one minute left Davis landed a takedown of his own, into Mana’s full guard. He perhaps needed a finish, but Martinez was doing all he could to lock down his opponent. Still, Davis was able to drop down hard elbows on Mana and avoid the armbar attempt his opponent offered. When the bell rang, Davis had clearly won round three but the first two close rounds remained in question, although Mana hurt his veteran opponent in each of them.
— UFC (@ufc) October 15, 2022
When the scorecards were read it was a split decision with the first judge scoring it 29-28 Davis but the final two scored it 29-28 Martinez, giving him the victory by hard fought decision.
Official Result: Mana Martinez def. Brandon Davis by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)