LAS VEGAS -- The debate over the importance of wrestling vs. striking is never far off, especially in a close decision. Dennis Bermudez and Max Holloway added their UFC 160 fight to that list and that debate after Saturday night's UFC 160.
Holloway was the one landing clean strikes, but it was Bermudez's late surge on takedowns that captured a narrow split-decision by 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 scores.
Holloway got off to a great start in the first round, shutting down all three of Bermudez's attempts and hurting him with a pair of spinning back kick to the face. That impact of the first strike had Bermudez on crazy legs. The second knocked him down, making it a clear round for the Hawaiian.
But Bermudez, showing the same tenacious spirit he showed during his memorable February bout with Matt Grice, would not go away. In the second, he finally got Holloway to the ground, and kept that momentum going. Holloway was able to get to his feet on most occasions, and occasionally land strikes, but the third was a more clear round for Bermudez, who took him down three times, and ended the fight in half-guard, raining down elbows.
According to FightMetric, Holloway landed 79 overall strikes in the fight to Bermudez's 78.
At the time the final decision was read, Holloway was clearly angered while half of the MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd booed the decision and others cheered it.
The win was the fourth straight for Bermudez (10-4). Holloway (7-2) saw his three-fight win streak snapped.