In a battle of Ultimate Fighter winners, Mac Danzig overcame a damaged ankle from an Efrain Escudero heel hook in the first round and picked up a solid decision victory. Danzig was the busier fighter, landing more strikes and working Escudero over in the clinch. Neither fighter landed any strikes that came close to ending the fight and the bout was slow at times, but Danzig looked fairly good.The judges had it 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
Danzig looked to clinch immediately in the first, and worked over Escudero against the cage. Danzig got a trip takedown, but Escudero locked up a heel hook. Danzig managed to get out and take Escudero's back. They quickly returned to their feet though. Escudero landed some leg kicks, and they exchanged some punches. Danzig was the one backing Escudero up continually, preferring to fight near the cage. Danzig got Efrain's back, but had trouble dragging him to the floor. Danzig looked for the uppercut throughout the round. Escudero shot in for a takedown, but Danzig fended it off to close out the round.
Danzig opened the second coming forward, and the fighters traded glancing shots for the first half of the round. Danzig clinched up against the cage and threw some knees, but they quickly reset at the center. After some more tentative striking, Danzig looked to clinch again but couldn't tie Escudero up for long. He tried again and was more successful, landing some solid body shots but taking knees from Escudero in the process. Escudero looked for a last second takedown but it wasn't there.
The start of the final round looked similar to the first two, with some clinch work and both fighters throwing a steady stream of strikes. Danzig was still the one coming forward though, and was usually working Escudero against the cage. Danzig attempted to take Escudero's back, but settled for a few knees and punches. Escudero was able to land some knees in the clinch himself, but Danzig was just throwing and connecting more. He started to work the body in the last minute, and was quite effective doing it. They showed Danzig's swollen ankle as the fight ended.
Danzig, the TUF 6 champion, was looking to get back in the win column after a decision loss to Matt Wiman at UFC on Versus 6 last October. He had won performance bonuses in each of his last two bouts going into this one. Escudero, the TUF 8 champ, was invited back to the UFC as a late replacement to face Jacob Volkmann, but dropped a decision.