Round 1: After removing some extra vasoline from Pierce, the fight is started. They both miss with punches before clinching. Pierce presses Rocha against the cage. He works from foot stomps. They exchange knees to the body. Rocha pulls guard. Pierce backs away and they are back to standing. Rocha misses with kicks. Pierce works for a takedown. He presses Rocha against the cage. Rocha lands a knee to the body. Pierce lands a short elbow inside. Pierce locks up a double leg takedown. Pierce lets him up. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Pierce.
Round 2: Pierce’s corner tells him to let his hands go. Pierce moves in with a jab and a right hook into a takedown attempt. He presses Rocha against the cage. Rocha gets free and lands a combination. Pierce works for a takedown. Pierce lands short shots to the body. He drops down for a double leg takedown and gets it. Rocha isolates a leg but Pierce fends it off. Pierce stands over him before dropping in with a left hand. Pierce staying out of Rocha’s guard but picking his shots. Pierce chips away with left hands to the body. Rocha stands but Pierce presses him against the cage. Pierce is relentless with pressure, not giving Rocha space. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Pierce.
Round 3: Rocha’s corner tells him that he has to get a knockout of a submission to win. Pierce’s corner tells him that Rocha is going to come hard this round. Pierce lands an outside leg kick and immediately closes the distance. He presses Rocha against the fence. Rocha breaks free and misses with a spinning wheel kick. Pierce lands a right hand and works to get the fight to the ground. Rocha unable to get free of Pierce’s grasp. The referee separates them with three minutes remaining. Pierce jumps in with a left hook and catches a kick from Rocha. He secures a high single leg takdown. Pierce works the body with punches and elbows. Rocha throws punches from the bottom. With a minute left on the clock, Pierce stands over him and misses with a big right hand. Pierce lands a series of elbows. Pierce lands big shots in the closing seconds. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Pierce. It was all Pierce.
The judges score the fight for Pierce by split decision. The judges scorecards read: 30-27, 30-27, 27-30.