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UFC Atlantic City results: Justin Willis earns decision over Chase Sherman

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Justin Willis Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Justin Willis’ nickname is “Big Pretty.” But Saturday night, the American Kickboxing Academy heavyweight proved he’ll win ugly when he has to.

Willis landed a low blow and an eye poke in a grind of a fight with Chase Sherman at UFC Atlantic City. He also he quite an effective counterstriking game for which Sherman could never find an answer, and that spelled the difference in the bout. The judges’ scores at Boardwalk Hall were 29-28 across the board in favor of Willis.

The opening round set the template for the bout, as Willis wobbled Sherman with a counter early and then dropped him and nearly finished the fight late. In the second, Willis dropped Sherman with a head kick, but once against the very tough Sherman was able to survive the ensuing swarm.

In the third, Sherman, showing urgency, outstruck Willis, and won the round but he never came close to getting the finish he needed.

With the win, Willis improved to 7-1 in his career, and he’s 3-0 since debuting in the UFC nine months ago. Sherman dropped his second consecutive bout and is now 11-5.