USA TODAY Sports
In the opening bout of UFC 158, George Roop earned a hard-fought decision win over Reuben Duran.
George Roop and Reuben Duran came to fight, and their bantamweight bout was quite the grind. In the end though, Roop made good on his UFC bantamweight debut and picked up a unanimous decision win with some timely takedowns and solid knees from the clinch. The judges had it 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.
Roop utilized he strong kicking game to start the fight, but got caught with a couple of strong counterpunches from Duran. Roop connected with two head kicks. Duran hurt him with a right/left combination, but didn't follow up with much. Duran ducked a punch and scored a nice takedown. Duran stayed fairly busy on top but didn't look to pass. Roop attacked with elbows from the bottom, but he was stuck for the rest of the round.
After some cage work against the cage, Roop got behind Duran, took his back, and dragged him down. Roop threatened with a choke but hadn't secured position and Reuben got up. Reuben got his own takedown with two minutes to go. Duran couldn't get much going and Roop got up with 30 seconds to go. They grinded it out against the cage for the last half minute.
Duran went for another takedown immediately in the final round but Roop didn't go all the way to his back and got up. Roop grinded away against the cage and landed some good punches. Roop finally got a takedown halfway through the round. Duran got up after a few seconds though and they went back to the cage battle. Roop landed some knees down the stretch while Duran looked unsuccessfully for a takedown.