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UFC London results: Jack Marshman ekes out decision over John Phillips

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Jack Marshman will compete at 170 pounds in his upcoming fight. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Finally, we have the long-awaited answer to the much-debated question: Who is the best middleweight in Wales?

But not by much.

A pair of Welshmen squared off in the main-card opener of UFC London on Saturday, as Jack Marshman met John Phillips. It was a tightly contested affair, tight enough that it went down to a split decision.

Marshman got the better end of two out of 29-28 scorelines at O2 Arena to get the split-decision nod.

“My 31st fight and I’ve never stuck to a game plan once,” Marshman, who missed weight for what turned into a 188-pound catchweight bout, said after the fight.

Phillips had his best round in the first, as he dropped Marshman with a looping left hook. He then made the debatable decision to let Marshman back to his feet rather than follow up, and Marshman wasted little time getting back into the fight.

The rest of the way, Marshman by and large dictated the flow, as he effectively parried his slugging foe and was smart with his counters as Phillips never again could get quite untracked.

“I felt in the second and third round I didn’t really get hit,” Marshman said. “You stand there with John Phillips you’ll get your head knocked off.”

Marshman (23-8) is now 3-3 in his UFC run after his fifth career decision win. Phillips (21-9, 1 NC) has now lost all three of his UFC fights.