Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
It wasn't a typical Matt Riddle fight, but he got it done. His UFC 154 welterweight bout with John Maguire had a slow pace that only picked up in spurts, but Riddle was able to control position and land enough strikes to take a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 for Riddle.
The fighters started slowly with both men landing low kicks and single punches. They gradually worked their way up to combinations, but neither man was incredibly effective. Maguire caught a couple of kicks, one of which led Riddle to try and throw a jumping spin kick with the other leg. After another caught kick, the two men grinded away against the cage for a bit. The round was fairly even overall.
Riddle got off to a good start in round two, landing a solid leg kick and a nice right. Maguire responded by upping his own tempo, bringing it to Riddle a bit until he got tripped to the floor. Riddle was reluctant to enter Maguire's guard, but did eventually after some kicks. It didn't take long for him to back out though, and the ref stood them up. Maguire landed a nice right hook, then snatched up a guillotine and pulled guard. Riddle rolled out and they started to brawl on the feet at the end of the round.
The pace was measured early in the third, with a few single punches getting through for both men. Half the round went by like that, though Riddle was probably landing a little bit more overall. Maguire looked for a takedown but Riddle pushed him against the cage instead and they grinded away in the clinch. They finally separated with 25 seconds to go, and Maguire looked for a guillotine, but it was too late.
Riddle improved to 7-3 (1 NC) with the win, while Maguire dropped to 18-5 and has now lost two bouts in a row.