Someone was going to snap out of a rough patch in the featured prelim bout of UFC 230.
Jordan Rinaldi entered New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday night as the loser of two of his past three bouts; while Jason Knight, who at one point sported a four-fight UFC win streak, had dropped three in a row.
As it turns out, Rinaldi was the one who shined on the big stage, as he dominated Knight from wire-to-wire for a unanimous decision win in the featherweight fight. The judges’ scores were 30-27, 30-25, and 30-26.
“Jason Knight was a tough guy for a featherweight debut in the UFC,” Rinaldi said. “He’s a tough guy ...
Rinaldi, who has fought as high as welterweight over the course of his career, set the tone early, as he got the better end of the scramble and ended up in top position. This started a rinse-and-repeat pattern to the bout, as Rinaldi had dominant position on the mat, and Knight proved himself adept at his ground defense, but was never able to get any offense untracked.
Late in the third, in a sequence emblematic of the entire fight, Knight managed to get to his feet carrying Rinaldi on his back and slammed him, but Rinaldi held on and managed to briefly sink in a choke before resuming his mat clinic.
Rinaldi is now 14-6 after his ninth career decision win, while Knight dropped to 20-6.