Tiequan Zhang had the responsibility of being the only Chinese fighter competing at the UFC's inaugural event in the country, and while he didn't win, he certainly represented himself and the sport well, combining with Jon Tuck to put on an early candidate for Fight of the Night at UFC on FUEL 6.
It was Tuck's grappling advantage that ultimately swung the fight in his favor, as he emerged with a 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 unanimous decision.
The first round was especially brilliant, featuring a series of riveting grappling sequences, with Zhang scoring a takedown and both men threatening at various times. Tuck at one point neared an arm bar and rear naked choke, and Zhang looked for an inverted triangle. But Tuck nearly always had the positional advantage, going from Zhang's back to side control to mount during one stretch.
The second began with an exciting stretch of standup action but when the fight went to the ground, it was again Tuck who took over, although Zhang did have his moments, bloodying Tuck with an elbow.
Tuck's pace slowed in the third, and in a round that was mostly contested on the feet, Zhang found his stride, scoring consistently with a left cross. Tuck occasionally warded him off with a sharp right jab, but Zhang often found his way inside for the power strike. At one point, he clearly rocked Tuck with the same punch but Tuck recovered quickly and managed to last out the round and earn the win.
Tuck moved to 7-0 overall after capturing his octagon debut while Zhang's job may be in jeopardy after he lost his third straight, falling to 15-4.