Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
Kyle Kingsbury called opponent Fabio Maldonado "the toughest guy I ever faced" and "devastating" after their Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale bout, but that didn't stop him from taking a unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Kingsbury scored early with some hard standing knees to Maldonado's face. Maldonado answered with an arm-in guillotine that came very close to winning the fight. Maldonado began to score with punches in bunches and hurt Kingsbury with a left hook. More left hooks tagged Kingsbury. Kingsbury tried to counter but Maldonado rode it out. Kingsbury then landed a trip take down that put Maldonado on his back in half-guard. They returned to their feet and traded knees (Kingsbury) for punches (Maldonado) to end the round.
Kingsbury opened the second with a hard body kick and a strong double leg take down that laned in Maldonado's half guard. When they returned to the feet, Maldonado continued to answer knees with uppercuts to Kingsbury's body. Kingsbury bloodied Maldonado's face with a knee but Maldonado answered with more body punches. Kingsbury landed effectively with his jab and body kicks. Maldonado fired a late punch to end the round.
They traded vigorously to open the third with Kingsbury getting another take down he didn't keep long. Maldonado began to land to the face and body, swelling Kingsbury's left eye. A left hook preceded a take down by Maldonado. A visibly hurt Maldonado held rubber guard. After a ref restart, there wasn't much action to end the fight, saving a second take down from Maldonado.
Maldonado, a Brazilian former pro boxer came into the fight with an eleven fight win streak, although only one of those came in the UFC.
Kingsbury brought his own three fight streak including wins over Jared Hamman, Razaak Al-Hassan, and Ricardo Romero.