Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Canadian Yves Jabouin managed to make his bantamweight debut a good one, picking up a split-decision victory over Ian Loveland. The scores were 30-27 Loveland, 29-28 Jabouin, and 29-28 Jabouin. The first round was close, with Loveland spending a fair amount of the round on top while Jabouin got the best of the standup. Round two saw Jabouin hold a wider margin in the striking and even getting a takedown of his own to counter one of Lovelands. The third was much slower, but Jabouin did enough on the feet to take it.
The most surprising moment of the fight was likely when Bruce Buffer read off the scorecards. While a split decision wasn't out of the realm of possibility, the 30-27 card for Loveland seemed a little crazy. The fight was the first bout on the Facebook portion of the UFC 134 broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Probably the spinning back kicks from Jabouin, or the look on everyone's face when it was announced that one judge gave the fight to Loveland 30-27. What?
Where do these guys go from here?
Jabouin did pick up a win in his bantamweight debut, but he didn't exactly like the world on fire with the victory. His vaunted striking game looked good but not great. I imagine he will meet a lower-level bantamweight, likely a striker, in his next bout. I'm tempted to say he'd face the winner of the Damacio Page vs. Norifumi Yamamoto fight scheduled for UFC 135, but they might be a little further up the pecking order than Jabouin is.
Loveland has now dropped both bouts since the drop to bantamweight and is 1-2 in the UFC overall. He did make it a close fight though, which will likely earn him another shot in the promotion. Facing the loser of one of the many upcoming bantamweight fights between newcomers seems the most appropriate way to book Loveland going forward.
Watch it now, later, or never?
I'm tempted to say never. While the fight wasn't really bad by any means, it certainly wasn't the most exciting either. If you only have time for a few fights from the card, this is definitely worth passing up.
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