Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Anton Kuivanen defeated Mitch Clarke by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The UFC 149 curtain jerker between Anton Kuivanen and Mitch Clarke was an entertaining ground battle, but Kuivanen came out on top with a close split-decision victory. Clarke controlled the first round and almost finished the fight, but Kuivanen bounced back with some good wrestling and control to turn the fight around.
Clarke looked for a takedown early in the first round but couldn't put Kuivanen on his back. Clarke grinded away against the cage for a while, then eventually got a body lock and slammed him to the ground. Clarke looked for a guillotine but Kuivanen reversed position. Clarke looked for an armbar from the bottom and almost locked it up, but Kuivanen escaped. Clarke round his back for the rest of the round looking for a kimura.
Clarke was on top early in the second, but Kuivanen was able to reverse. Both men looked for a variety of submissions, and ended the round looking for duel leglocks and throwing punches. They smiled at each other after the bell.
Kuivanen worked on the ground in the third, looking for a variety of submissions such as guillotines and arm-triangles, but nothing was successful. Clarke looked for a kimura from the bottom. Clarke was finally able to reverse briefly and they returned to the feet. Clarke scooped a single leg and worked hard for a takedown but Kuivanen used Clarke's own momentum to roll through and take top position once again. Kuivanen opened up with punches late and cut Clarke open.