Canadian Kyle Nelson looked to return to the win column at UFC 289 in Vancouver when he faced undefeated Contender Series vet Blake Bilder in a featherweight match-up that kicked off the televised preliminary card.
With a 1-4-1 record in the UFC, Nelson was badly in a need of a win, and had bought himself just a tiny bit of breathing room care of a draw against Doo Ho Choi in his last fight. Bilder, meanwhile, had won his promotional debut against Shane Young at UFC 284 in Australia earlier this year.
At the start of the first round, Bilder and Nelson took center stage, both landing in some exchanges. Bilder tried to get the wrestling going early, but Nelson defended quite nicely. Bilder was using his speed and landing his jab early and often, while Kyle Nelson was looking to attack the lead leg and body with his kicks. Nelson hurt Bilder at the end of the round, closing out the round.
In round two, Kyle Nelson starts the round off by kicking Bilder in the groin, which the ref did not see, but Bilder was able to recover and go for a takedown. Nelson did a nice job of defending Bilder. Kyle Nelson has landed the more damaging shots, popping that jab often and effectively. Bilder, on the other hand, is ahead on the significant strike numbers.
The third round starts off with Bilder looking to wrestle, but Nelson is still defending the takedown attempts. Nelson looks to do some of his own grappling as he has Bilder held up against the cage. They find their way off the cage, and Bilder lands some huge overhand rights and starts showboating, throwing a few spinning kicks as the round ends.
All in all, Blake Bilder was never able to get going, and Kyle Nelson looked great in the striking department and defended all of Bilder’s takedowns. Kyle Nelson gets a huge victory on the scorecards.
Official Result: Kyle Nelson def. Blake Bilder via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)