William Gomis nearly saw his victory slip away after a late submission attempt from Jarno Errens nearly caught him slipping but the French featherweight managed to escape to survive and win a majority decision at UFC Paris.
Throughout all three rounds, Gomis showed strong wrestling and ground control to keep Errens from ever gaining any real momentum until the closing seconds of the third round. That’s when Errens threw up a Hail Mary triangle choke attempt that looked really tight but somehow Gomis stayed patient until finally slipping free just before the final horn sounded.
“It was really, really complicated,” Gomis said about the late submission. “He had the triangle but then I heard the crowd. I’d rather die than give up.”
The judges then scored the fight 29-28, 29-28 and 29-29 with Gomis getting the win. The 29-29 scorecard also means at least one judge handed out a very rare 10-10 round during the fight.
Prior to the decision being read, the featherweights initially settled into a rhythm in the opening round with Gomis sticking with a technical striking attack while Errens was uncorking some unorthodox moves to try and catch him by surprise. A battle from the clinch eventually led to Gomis landing a well-timed throw that put Errens on his back with his head pressed against the cage.
After the fight worked back to the feet, Gomis cracked Errens with a body kick that landed with a thud as he started to get more comfortable unleashing his best strikes after fighting off any jitters from his octagon debut. Just when it looked like Gomis was taking over, Errens popped him with a quick counter punch that seemingly rattled the French fighter for a moment.
Rather than risk another dangerous exchange, Gomis decided to take the fight back down to the floor and Errens once again got stuck playing defense from his back rather than any further offense on the feet. Even when Errens managed a slick reversal, it was short lived success as Gomis quickly escaped the position and got back on top again.
The strength advantage was apparent for Gomis, who was able to overpower Errens in almost every situation where the fighters were battling for position, especially where grappling was concerned. Just when it looked like the fight was nearly over, Errens nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback with a late triangle choke attempt but Gomis was able to fight his way free just as time expired.
With a raucous crowd on his side, Gomis celebrated the performance with his hometown fans as he moves to 1-0 in the UFC while extending his overall win streak to nine in a row.