The end result of this determined energy was a bout which officially had no winner, but ended up the early favorite for UFC 230’s fight of the night.
Vannata, who has moved from JacksonWink to Donald Cerrone’s BMF Ranch, threw down with Serra-Longo’s Frevola for 15 highly entertaining minutes in the featured Fight Pass bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The end result was a majority draw, with two judges ruling the contest 28-28 and a 29-28 for Frevola.
“You can never f*cking tell when you’re in there, so I had no idea,” Vannata said of the scorecards. “He hit some good shots that rocked me, but when I went down I wasn’t off-balanced. I was rocked.”
The opening round was fought at a frenetic pace, with Vannata using his scattershot style with a mix of punches to the head and body and wild kicks from out of nowhere. Frevola, though, is a Serra-Longo fighter, and displayed the Long Island gym’s legendary toughness. Frevola was dropped by a head kick early in the round which would have led to the finish for a lesser competitor. But he shook it off and got back into the fight. Then, by the end of the round, Frevola dropped Vannata, momentarily sunk in a choke, and was in full mount when the horn sounded.
Vannata took control in the second, though, which was noteworthy, because this is where he’d run out of gas in the past. Vannata slowed the pace and made all his shots count in the fight’s most clear-cut round.
Both fighters had their moments in the third round. Frevola, who outstruck Vannata 80-68 in the fight, outstuck Vannata in the round as well, but Vannata dictated the flow of the round and had the most significant moves of the round.
Vanata (9-3-2) now has two draws in his past three fights, and is 1-2-2 in his past five. Frevola (6-1-1) is now 1-1-1 in the UFC, including an appearance on Contender Series.