Canadian veteran Ivan Menjivar squeaked out a victory over the tenacious Nick Pace in a bantamweight affair at UFC 133. Menjivar started very strong in the first, taking over the striking early and beating Pace up with leg kicks and a variety of other strikes. Pace turned it around in a scramble where he took Menjivar's back and tried to sink in a choke. He rode the back for the final 90 seconds of the round, unsuccessful in his finishing attempts.
The second was all Menjivar for four minutes, until Pace got a takedown with a minute to go. He didn't do much with it though. The third saw more solid work from Ivan, until Pace cracked him with a knee to the eye that visibly injured Menjivar. Ivan begged off for the final 90 seconds, and held on until the bell. The judged announced a somewhat-suprising unanimous decision win for Menjivar. The fight took place on the Facebook portion of the broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
There was a lot of good stuff, but Pace's knee that hurt Menjivar in the third round was probably the best strike of the fight.
Where do these guys go from here?
Menjivar is now 2-1 in the UFC, with his only loss coming in a closely-contested bout with Brad Pickett. He missed weight for this fight which is not looked upon favorably by the promotion, but a win is a win. With another Toronto card scheduled for December, it's pretty much a lock that we'll see "The Pride of El Salvador" at UFC 140. A fight against Miguel Torres would be pretty entertaining.
Pace looked pretty good in the fight, but his standup could use some work. He's now 1-1 in the UFC and stuck in the middle of the pack in a bantamweight division that has been slowly growing over the next few months. A bout with Cole Escovedo sounds about right.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Menjivar showed off a diverse, exciting striking game for much of the fight, but it was Pace that closest to finishing (twice). A great back-and-forth fight that entertained for the full 15 minutes. If anything, watch it just to see how you'd score it yourself.
More BE coverage of UFC 133 in the full entry.