Saint Preux was content using a front kick and straight punches to keep “Shogun” away during many of the exchnages, which was enough to sway the judges in his favor when the fight was over. Two scores of 30-27 and 29-28 came back for Saint Preux with the third judge giving the fight to Rua with a 29-28 scorecard.
Still, Saint Preux did enough for the split decision win, although it’s probably not a performance he’ll be adding to his highlight reel any time soon.
Unlike the first fight that ended before the first minute was over, Saint Preux and Rua were both a little more apprehensive about over engaging as the action got going. Because ‘Shogun’ was squaring up on him, Saint Preux started digging a series of hard kicks to the midsection that had the Brazilian’s belly glowing red.
‘Shogun’ was consistently going back up top to the head with his punches but he was struggling with the range due to Saint Preux’s size and height advantage. There was still more activity from Rua with a volume of strikes compared to Saint Preux.
Between rounds, Rua’s coaches told him to start mixing in more kicks and that led to him digging to Saint Preux’s thighs with some solid inside shots.
Unfortunately there was a lack of overall activity from either fighter as they kept pawing at each other with single strikes coming from both sides. Rua did get busier as he continued to focus on the kicking game while Saint Preux was constantly looking counters against the Brazilian whenever he moved forward.
Realizing the fight was close heading into the final five minutes, Saint Preux finally got more active with his forward motion, which led to a few more shots landing with Rua stuck backing up as the fight came to a close.
The win puts Saint Preux back on track following two losses in a row while “Shogun” has said he hopes to have one more bout in the UFC before calling it a career