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‘Dumbest fighter I’ve ever seen’: Fighters react to bizarre split draw at UFC 278

UFC 278: Woodson v Saldana Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

The fight between Luis Saldana and Sean Woodson probably shouldn’t have gone three rounds. But after a bizarre sequence of events, the UFC 278 preliminary went the distance – and ended just as bizarrely as it started.

The fight got off to a weird start when Saldana knocked down Woodson with a short left hook. Woodson was in all kind of trouble, and was hurt even worse when a follow-up jab from Saldana landed flush and sent him tumbling to the mat.

Saldana needed only to land a few follow-up shots from top position to seal the victory. Instead, he fired a blatantly illegal knee that briefly put Woodson out. Rather than call off the bout, referee Mike Beltran called the foul and deducted a point from Aldana, giving Woodson another chance to get back in the fight.

Woodson did just that in the second round, wrapping up a buggy choke that tied up Aldana for the end of the second round. When the tap didn’t come, the two settled into a somewhat pedestrian rhythm that ended with a split draw, with one judge scoring it 29-27 for Aldana, another scoring it 29-27 for Woodson, and the third having it dead even at 28-28.

Here’s what fighters had to say about the first-round sequence and the ending.

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