Heavyweight grinder Karl Williams came into his bout against scrappy striking specialist Chase Sherman at UFC Charlotte off of the back of a decision win in his UFC debut. Sherman, for his part, was 2-5 in his seven fights since returning to the UFC in 2020, but kept his job after being released briefly in 2022 by accepting to fight mauling wrestling Alexandr Romanov on short notice.
Williams shot an early takedown but Sherman stayed strong defensively. However a minute later he went right back to it and got Sherman down that time, but only momentarily as the whizzer of Sherman helped him pop back up to his feet. Sherman looked to put together kickboxing combinations; his leg kicks were his most effective offense. Williams, although clearly wanting to wrestle, stayed competitive on the feet and landed some good punches in the latter half of the round. With just over a minute left Williams shot a powerful double leg which got Sherman to his back in half-guard. Sherman ate some ground strikes but got back to his feet right before the bell.
Round two saw Sherman press forward but he was not doing clearly more damage and ate some big strikes from Williams. Both men were landing, though and Williams did not attempt a takedown in the early part of round two. The leg kicks of Sherman really began to take a toll but then with two minutes left in round two he shot a takedown and got Sherman to the fence. Sherman was able to use strong hips and an underhook to stay upright and get back to distance. With thirty seconds left in the round a massive knee from Williams in the clinch landed on the cup of Chase Sherman, crumpling him to the floor. Sherman was able to resume relatively quickly and the rest of the round passed without much happening.
The final round began with a big right hand from Williams, but Sherman appeared undeterred as he marched forward again. Williams landed more clean strikes by countering the jab of Sherman but Karl failed a takedown and stayed on the back foot, perhaps displaying poor optics for the judges. Williams ate a knee and a leg kick on his way into a lengthy single-leg takedown attempt which Sherman stuffed. The leg kicks continued to be Sherman’s best strike but he did not throw them as much as he had in the first two rounds. Williams shot another takedown inside of two minutes but was unable to get the drive to penetrate and push Sherman’s hips back much. In the final minute both men landed some decent punches as Williams circled away from the pressure of Sherman. In the bell sounded as the two heavyweights went fifteen minutes at a good pace.
When Bruce Buffer read the scorecards it was who Karl Williams who claimed the unanimous decision, moving to 2-0 in the UFC despite being unable to engage what seemed like his preferred gameplan, his wrestling, much.
Official Result: Karl Williams def. Chase Sherman by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)