Nick Ring def. Riki Fukuda via Decision (Unanimous), photo via Daniel Herbertson, FanHouse
Nick Ring narrowly defeated Japanese import Riki Fukuda on Saturday night at UFC 127. The decision, which was deemed by many fans to be highway robbery, was scored 29-28 across all three judges' scorecards. Fukuda controlled the second and third rounds with perfectly timed takedowns and effective striking, although it's debatable whether Ring's own strikes in the second were enough to edge out Fukuda on the scorecards.
Most of the fight was spent on the feet where Ring kicked Fukuda's legs frequently, but Fukuda seemed unphased by the ranged attacks, barreling through Ring's weak takedown defense and taking him down effortlessly multiple times. In the opening round, Ring threatened with both a triangle and possible triangle armbar when he was initially taken down. Fukuda neutralized those attempts later by moving to side control. The second and third rounds, as aforementioned, were much more definitive rounds in the eyes of fans.
Fukuda will more than likely get another chance inside the Octagon as both Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have already conveyed their displeasure with the decision. Fukuda's striking could improve, but Ring looked like the far worse fighter in this fight. He'll need to go back to the drawing board and figure out exactly why he looked so flat.