Jamal Pogues Fends Off Debuting Thomas Petersen to Kick Off UFC Vegas 85

Thomas Petersen and Jamal Pogues, UFC Vegas 85
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 03: (R-L) Jamal Pogues punches Thomas Petersen in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 03, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Contender Series winner Thomas Petersen made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 85 on Saturday, kicking off the main card opposite Jamal Pogues.

Pogues, who earned his UFC deal a year prior to Peterson on DWCS, was 1-1 in the promotion to date and looking to bounce back from a loss to the undefeated Mick Parkin. Petersen, entering the night, had won three straight, with his lone loss as a pro coming to fellow UFC big man Waldo Cortes-Acosta.

Petersen came forward to start the fight. He walked through a leg kick but closed the distance against the cage. Pogues defended well, framing off and circling away. Pogues landed a left hook almost knocking the mouthpiece of Petersen out. Soon after Pogues landed again almost putting the mouthpiece out again. Petersen kept coming forward but Pogues was mixing it up better including his right-hand landing. Pogues landed a nice combination but Petersen responded with a single leg takedown. With not much time Petersen quickly took the back. He didn’t get the finish but ended the round with punches to the side of the head.

In round two, Peterson was pressing forward throwing just to get to the clinch. Pogues would defend and do well in space but kept letting Petersen walk him down. Pogues’ hands were looking good finding the target and peppering Petersen. Petersen went in on a deep single leg but Pogues defended perfectly. Another takedown from Petersen and Pogues defended again and made Petersen pay with elbows on the inside. Petersen landed a left hand snapping the head of Pogues back. Both guys were visibly tired towards the end of the round. Petersen did a good job of throwing punches to get on the inside. At the end of the round, Petersen hit Pogues with a clean right hand.

In the final round, there was a good chance it was 1-1. Petersen did a good job throwing in singles but landing. Pogues was throwing better combinations. Petersen was going to the body more and Pogues to the leg kicks. Pogues was going to the well with the jab and keeping Petersen on the outside better. Petersen was lacking combinations big time in the final round. The fight was paused due to an eye poke Pogues took from Petersen. Pogues continued and we saw some urgency from Petersen. He brought the pressure but nothing came out of it.

Official Result: Jamal Pogues def. Thomas Petersen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)