UFC 295: John Castaneda Sweeps Scorecards in Back and Forth Affair with Kyung Ho Kang

John Castaneda and Kyung-Ho Kang, UFC 295
John Castaneda and Kyung-Ho Kang, UFC 295 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Jake Noecker/Cageside Press

UFC veteran Kyung Ho Kang faced John Castaneda on the prelims of UFC 295 from Madison Square Garden.

Hailing from South Korea, Kyung Ho Kang has built a great record of 8-3 (1 NC) in the UFC while remaining incredibly under the radar in a stacked bantamweight division.

Kang was able to stay on the front foot and seemed to have a slight advantage in the boxing through much of the first round against a visibly shorter Castaneda. However, Castaneda was an active kicker, even from the back foot, and touched Kang’s legs and midsection continuously. Due to that and the lack of major events the round was quite close.

The second round was more of the same until Castaneda shot in and got Kang to the fence with a rear body-lock. He was able to use his lower center of gravity to get Kyung Ho Kang to the mat. However the South Korean used the fence to stand back up and get back to striking. John tried again but this time when he got the rear body-lock Kang was able to fight the hands and escape before he got taken down. Kang landed more clean strikes on the feet but Castaneda’s lands seemed to have more effect, so the second round was as close as the first, or closer.

The third round began with Casteneda picking up the pace and putting on the pressure. His volume was constant and he got Kang back to the fence early and began to make him look worn from the pressure, as well as three rounds of leg kicks. Kang fought through it, defended a takedown, and Castaneda’s pace slowed after the first ninety seconds. Despite Kang being the party moving forward thereafter, he was unable to consistently land clean while Castaneda picked his moments to counter with straight punches.

After one such flurry, John landed a takedown but could only hold onto top position for a minute before Kyung stood up. With one minute left in the fight Castaneda shot another takedown, failed, and then landed an immediate follow-up. He tried to take the back but fell off, at which point Kang tried for a guillotine and failed. Kang chased Castaneda across the cage in the final moments before the bell.

No one knew who won the fight, as the only clear round was the third one, which was expected to be scored for Castaneda. An expectant Madison Square Garden listened as Bruce Buffer read out the scorecards, which awarded the unanimous decision victory to John Castaneda. Castaneda improved to an impressive 4-2 in the UFC with his second straight victory.

Official Result: John Castaneda def. Kyung Ho Kang by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)