Round 1: Cariaso lands first with a kick to the body. Smolka moves forward. He lands a kick. Cariaso counters with a right hand. They clinch. Smolka looking to get the fight to the ground. Cariaso delivers a knee to the body. Smolka lands knees to the legs of Cariaso. Smolka attempts a throw, but Cariaso defends the takedown attempt. They’re still tied up a long the cage. Cariaso reverses the position and they separate. Cariaso lands a kick to the body. Smolka continues with forward pressure. Smolka lands knees to the body. He mixes it up with left hands to the midsection. Smolka looks for a single leg takedown. Cariaso applies a guillotine choke. Smolka defends the submission attempt and gets to his feet. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Smolka.
Round 2: Smolka lands to the body. Cariaso unleashes a combination. He takes Smolka down and takes Smolka’s back. Smolka rolls and escapes out the back. He gains top position and works left hands to the body. Cariaso works for an armbar. Smolka counters and gets to his feet. They work for position along the fence. Cariaso powers forward and trips Smolka to the canvas. Cariaso postures up and lands a right hand. Smolka works his way to his feet but takes a knee to the body. Cariaso lands a combination that moves Smolka back. Smolka leaps in with a superman punch. Smolka takes Cariaso down. Cariaso stands and applies a choke. The round ends. He was close to finishing that. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Cariaso.
Round 3: Smolka moves forward. Cariaso lands a combination. Cariaso is landing combinations every time Smolka tries to get some offense going. Smolka lands a kick to the body. Smolka secures a takedown. Cariaso works for an oma plata. Smolka advances to the mount position. He delivers a big elbow. Cariaso battles his way back to his feet. Smolka presses him against the cage. He delivers knees to the body. He trips Cariaso tot he canvas. Cariaso scrambles to his feet. Cariaso lands to the body. Cariaso landds a leg kick that knocks Smolka down. Smolka gets up quickly, but Cariaso targets the legs. Cariaso secures a late takedown. Smolka gets to his feet. Cariaso lands a right hand at the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Cariaso.
The judges scored the fight for Cariaso by split decision. The scorecards read 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
“I thought the fight was awesome. I started out faster than I normally do which I was happy with. But towards the end I got a little tired.
“I was looking for submissions all the time. When guys get low, they get susceptible to submissions. So I tried for them. We expected him to come forward right away, which is exactly what he did, so the fight went according to plan.
“I hope to fight some top-10 guys now.”