Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
In the second preliminary card fight on UFC 145, Chris Clements defeated Keith Wisniewski by split decision. The welterweight bout was a back-and-forth struggle between Clement's heavy strikng and Wisniewski's grappling, and was quite entertaining. Clements took two scorecards with 30-27 and 29-28 cards, while Wisniewski got one 29-28 card.
The first two rounds were pretty tough to score, with Wisniewski getting the fight to the ground and advancing to mount in both stanzas but getting completely busted up on the feet and almost finished multiple times. Clements used some big right hooks and a variety of flashy spinning attacks to eventually make a mess of Wisniewski's face. The third was all Clements, and that likely decided the fight.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Clements connected on a spinning back kick that collapsed Wisniewski in the corner late in the first. If there was a category for a low spot, it was referee Fernando Yamasaki's atrocious standup in the first round when Wisniewski was in half-guard and clearly working.
Where do these guys go from here?
Clements is 36 years old, and it might be a little too late to shore up his ground game. But he's a crowd-pleasing striker, and there are plenty of guys at welterweight that he could meet for some standnbang. The winner of the Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig bout at UFC 146 might be a good candidate.
Unfortunately for Wisniewski, this might be the end of his second UFC tenure. He put up an entertaining fight, but he just doesn't know how to defend himself very well on the feet, relying on his chin to guide him through. He's an extremely tough dude though, and I'd like to see him get one more shot.
Watch it now, later or never?
I'd go with now. On a card full of semi-dull fights, this was a candidate for fight of the night and it was full of excitement.