Photo by Tracy Lee for Y! Sports
They chose to not touch gloves with Assuncao coming out south paw. He switched to orthodox and then back to south paw. The crowd was restless within the first minute of the fight. Assuncao was tentative, not wanting to commit to any of his strikes 100%. He threw a lazy kick and immediately drove forward and got the takedown against the cage. Yagin played solid defense not allowing Junior to get any real offense going while on the ground. Junior's punches began to get through the defense and Yagin pushed off and regained his feet. Yagin then stalked Junior across the cage and landed a big right hand to the side of the head. Junior ducked under a hook and got the fight back to the ground. With almost no time left in the round it was Yagin who was attacking landing numerous elbows from off his back.
Junior Assuncao came out in the second throwing kicks to open up space for a takedown. Yagin was ready and landing a big knee to the face that backed Junior Assuncao away. Junior attempted another takedown and dragged Yagin to the ground. He quickly secured a hook but couldn't keep the fight grounded. Yagin for the entire round had trouble finding his range and didn't really land any significant strikes. The crowd was restless and after the first two fights of the evening, it is understandable. Junior danced and then shot another takedown. Yagin caught him in a guillotine and Junior opted to showboat waving his finger in the air. The round ended and the arena filled with boos.
The round opened and Assuncao attempted a quick takedown. He was stuffed and Yagin took the dominant position. Junior worked his butterfly guard and swept to standing. Yagin jumped another guillotine and again came close to ending the fight but Assuncao stayed calm and survived. He took the fight to the mat and landed peppering strikes from half-guard. With less than two minutes left in the round, Junior finally began to open up with his strikes from a side guard. Multiple strikes to the head but they were all arm punches. Yagin survived and the fight went to a decision.
After the bell Junior continued his showboating. This was a case where even in victory, Junior Assuncao doesn't gain any footing in the division. Tonight was his return to the UFC after four years away from the organization. Tonight's win is Junior's seventh in a row and pushes his record to 13-4. Eddie Yagin looked worse than Junior Assuncao, never really finding his range and only really gaining the advantage with his two guillotine attempts. He came in tonight 15-4-1 and after this performance, he'll be lucky to get another shot. Head over to MMA Nation to see what Kid Nate has to say about the fight.