Charles Jourdain put on a striking display and avoiding every grappling attempt made by Kron Gracie to win a lopsided unanimous decision to kick off the UFC 288 main card.
While it wasn’t the most exciting fight of the night, Jourdain put on a tactical three round performance to tag Gracie during every exchange on the feet and then avoid any potential submissions on the ground. In the end, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Jourdain, who gets a much needed win after two straight losses while Gracie suffers his second straight defeat in the octagon.
“A strategy was applied,” Jourdain said after his win. “I’m a very immature fighter, it showed in my record. Sorry guys it was not the most exciting fight. I was in the guard of a Gracie, it was very dangerous.
“Why not Edson Barboza [next]? I want a kickboxing fight. That would be fun for me.”
As expected in a battle of striker versus grappler, Jourdain was looking to keep the distance while Gracie was plodding forward with hopes of dragging the fight down to the ground. Jourdain was fast with his hands as he began snapping off some straight punches that continuously caught Gracie looking.
It was midway through the opening round when Gracie finally got close enough that he grabbed onto Jourdain and then just fell to the canvas pulling guard just to bring the fight into his world. Unfortunately, Gracie’s success was short-lived as Jourdain was smart defensively before escaping back to his feet.
Gracie went back to the well again in the second round as he latched onto Jourdain before dropping to the ground to try and apply his world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu. To his credit, Jourdain was peppering away with punches and negating any attempts from Gracie to improve his position.
When the fighters started striking again, Jourdain was dominant with a clear advantage, although he was smart not to overextend himself, which could allow Gracie another takedown attempt. Jourdain was methodical and calculated with his punches while punishing Gracie, who just had no answer whatsoever except to try and pull the fight to the mat again.
Jourdain is typically known for thrilling performances but he didn’t exactly have a willing opponent to engage with him on Saturday. Still he got the job done to get the win while Gracie may find himself looking for a new fighting home after a lackluster outing at UFC 288.