Round 1: Perez lands an outside leg kick. Perez lands to the body and Figueroa fires back with punches. Perez lands a kick to the groin and Figueroa collapses to the canvas. Figueroa recovers and the fight is restarted. Figueroa lands a leg kick. Perez closes the distance and secures a takedown. Figueroa stands. Perez delivers a front kick to the body that knocks Figueroa down. Figueroa immediately bounces back to his feet. Perez steps in with a solid right hand. Figueroa lands a kick to the body and Perez takes him down. Perez moves to half guard. Figueroa scrambles to his feet only to be taken down again. Perez lands short elbows. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Perez.
Round 2: Figueroa moves forward. Perez steps in and lands a right hook that knocks Figueroa down. Figueroa gets back to his feet and fires back. Figueroa lands a combination. Perez changes levels, elevates Figueroa and slams him to the canvas. He lands in side control. Perez lands hammer fists and punches. Figueroa uses the cage to stand. Perez delivers a knee to the body. Perez lands a right hand and backs away. Figueroa lands a big right hand. Two minutes remain in the round. Figueroa lands another right hand. Perez decides to take the fight to the ground. He delivers elbows. Perez steps over into half guard. Referee Kim Winslow stands them up for some reason that is beyond me. Perez looked like he was trying to set up a choke. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Perez.
Round 3: Perez lands first in the final round with a leg kick. Figueroa inches forward. Perez lands an inside leg kick. Perez misses with a wheel kick. Figueroa moves in with a right hand and Perez ducks under and takes the fight to the ground. Perez works in half guard. He lands elbows to the thigh of Figueroa. He peppers Figueroa with punches. Perez advances to side control. He moves to north-south position and delivers a knee to the body. Figueroa gets to his feet. Perez lands and takes him down again. Figueroa works his way back to his feet. Perez lands a counter right hand that wobbles Figueroa. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Perez.
The judges scored the fight for Perez by unanimous decision. All three scorecards read 30-27.
“I was very well prepared tonight. My game plan was to go toe to toe and win the fight round by round. I’m very emotional after this win because I feel like I did what I was supposed to do and I was rewarded for it. I lost my last fight because I was under a lot of pressure and got away from the strategy. I fixed those mistakes tonight and it really paid off.”
“The fight went exactly how I thought it would. I don’t know if people noticed but my knee popped out in the second round. I was in a wizard position against the cage trying to wall walk and it completely slipped out of place. I popped it back in but after the low blow in the first round and then the knee in the second round, everything kind of went downhill. I was light on my feet early on and I busted up his nose pretty well but as the fight went longer my pace got worse.”