Eventually, Tom Breese was going to go the distance.
For the first nine fights of his MMA career, including his first two UFC matchups, the 24 year-old Tristar fighter by way of Birmingham, England, won via finish.
But crafty veteran Keita Nakamura presented him with something a little different Saturday at UFC Fight Night 84. The Tokyo native kept Breese honest for 15 minutes, but not enough to take a decision.
In a welterweight fight closer than the scores would indicate, Breese remained unbeaten via unanimous decision, getting scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Breese landed clean shots in the first round, but did so in such a manner that it was obvious Nakamura would be able to figure out the holes in Breese's game and make a fight out of it.
That happened late in the second round. After Breese controlled much of the round, Nakamura got an omoplata out of nowhere, then with a slick transition nearly secured a rear-naked choke.
The third round was similar to the second, minus the omoplata. Nakamura made Breese hustle, but could never quite get the better of him.
"I told everyone this guy is a tough guy, 40 fights and won ," Breese said. "This guy's tough, I gotta get more cage time."
Nakamura dropped to 31-7-2 with a no-contest.