Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
Chicago-born UFC newcomer Jeff Hougland started off the evening at UFC 132 with a showcase of great grappling skills and solid boxing as he defeated fellow newcomer Donny Walker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
The first round was a back-and-forth affair with Hougland gaining the edge early with a takedown that eventually turned into a guillotine attempt. Walker survived the attempt, maintaining top control and transitioning to a D'Arce choke. Hougland easily slipped out, pressing the action to the fence and controlling Walker. Walker attempted a late transition to stretch out one of Hougland's legs, but it fell short.
Hougland continued his success in the second, battering Walker with jabs and kicks from distance while Walker aggressively moved forward, hoping to catch Hougland. During a scramble near the end of the round, Hougland was able to catch Walker in a guillotine choke along the fence, nearly pulling it off. The bell sounded to save him.
Walker pressed forward in the third, getting top control early. Unfortunately, Hougland threatened with an armbar attempt and triangle attempt before both fighters were stood back up. Once on the feet, a tired Hougland tried to shoot to cinch up the contest. Walker stuffed it, but Hougland was able to reverse the top position gained by Walker in the ensuing scramble. The round ended with Hougland on top, winning all three rounds o
Both Walker and Hougland were making their UFC debuts at UFC 132. Hougland had once fought under the WEC banner back in 2003 against Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, but he has since been relegated to the regional mixed martial arts scene in California and Washington state. He entered tonight's contest riding an eight-fight win streak against regional fighters in the Pacific Northwest.
Walker not only made his UFC debut, but he made his debut in the bantamweight division as he previously competed at featherweight under Ohio's NAAFS promotion. He attained the NAAFS featherweight crown last August with a win over Mike Nesto, and he successfully defended it in December with a submission win over Billy Vaughan. During his seven-fight win streak, he defeated recently signed Bellator veteran Kenny Foster at an event last June in Erie, Pennsylvania.