Canadian Kyle Nelson made the trip to Las Vegas for Saturday’s Noche UFC, where he took on Mexico’s Fernando Padilla on a card set to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.
The featherweight showdown kicked off the main card, on a night which had already seen some big performances from Mexican fighters.
Nelson landed a solid low kick early, spinning Padilla around and giving him something to look out for. Another one landed a few seconds later, again almost tripping up Padilla, who answered with his hands. Padilla’s jab had Nelson bloodied, but a Nelson jab caused a stumble from Padilla. A solid first half to the round. Later in the frame, Padilla would fire off a volley of standing elbows, to the approving roar of the crowd. He also began targeting the body, ripping punches and launching a knee at the buzzer.
Nelson landed a heavy right hand early in the second, then sailed over him with a head kick. Some while punches were exchanged with Nelson landing a glancing head kick moments later. Padilla was eating some heavy right hands, but came back and launched several uppercuts in close. Wrestling, meanwhile appeared to have been forgotten about as both fighters focused on their stand-up, with Nelson landing a kick to the body, then another moments later. Padilla did catch a kick in the final minute, but couldn’t dump Nelson, who showed some solid balance in the sequence.
With the score likely 19-19 headed into the third, it would come down to who wanted it more. Padilla was more active with his low kicks early in the round, but one strayed up, catching Nelson in the cup which led to a timeout. Back underway, Nelson landed a kick, and Padilla answered with a right hand. Nelson briefly changed levels, thinking takedown, but bailed on it when Padilla proved aware of the attempt. Round three prove to be quite close, and Nelson knew he, shooting a takedown in the final minute. Padilla went down, but didn’t stay there, and instead it went to the scorecards.
Nelson took the win there, with 29-28 scores reasonable, while a 30-27 was a bit of a question mark given Padilla seemed to have done enough to win the first.
Official Result: Kyle Nelson def. Fernando Padilla by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)