BOSTON – It was quite a difference for Dustin Ortiz between his Saturday fight and his prior performance.
Ortiz (18-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) had to work hard to grind out a unanimous decision win over Alexandre Pantoja (18-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC). He took a trio of 29-28 scores after a rough first round that saw him on the cusp of being finished with a choke. The win came on the heels of a 15-second knockout win for Ortiz, who experienced a study in extremes in victory over a two-fight span.
The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.
Pantoja was all over Ortiz early and got the fight to the canvas. He kept Ortiz stifled there for most of the round and finally put him in serious danger with a rear-naked choke. But Ortiz seemed to win the crowd back over by fighting his way out of it, and even had top position in the closing seconds of the round.
In the second, Ortiz was able to keep the fight on the feet for the first couple minutes. Then he turned the tide on Pantoja by forcing him up against the fence and working knees. With 75 seconds left, Pantoja broke away to get back to the center and traded punches with Ortiz. They hit the deck with 45 seconds left with Ortiz on top, but he couldn’t pose a serious threat to finish.
The two traded punches quickly in the third, then scrambled to the canvas and traded positions there until Pantoja got on top. Ortiz pushed his way over to the fence to attempt to walk his way back up, but Pantoja was intent on holding him down. He was warned by Dan Miragliotta twice to do more than hold Ortiz. When Ortiz tried to scramble up 90 seconds into the round, Pantoja worked to try to take his back. But he couldn’t keep it and Ortiz got to his feet.
But Pantoja dragged him back down and took his back. A body triangle ensured Ortiz wasn’t going to go anywhere without a struggle. Struggle, he did. But Ortiz finally got loose enough to get on top, and with 80 seconds left he got back to his feet desperate to get a finish. He threw heavy hands at Pantoja, and inside a mintue worked for his own takedown. Ortiz took Pantoja’s back and landed punches and knees for the remainder of the round hoping to win the judges over.
Pantoja had an 11-fight winning streak snapped and suffered his first UFC loss. Ortiz won for the second straight time.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:
- Dustin Ortiz def. Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julio Arce def. Dan Ige via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Enrique Barzola def. Matt Bessette via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Islam Makhachev def. Gleison Tibau via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:57
(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)
- UFC 220 results: Julio Arce outworks Dan Ige for decision in fight between DWCS products
- UFC 220 results: Takedowns help Enrique Barzola to unanimous decision over Matt Bessette
- UFC 220 results: Islam Makhachev KOs Gleison Tibau in 57 seconds to open card in Boston
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC 220 results: Dustin Ortiz rallies to take unanimous decision from Alexandre Pantoja