Jared Cannonier bests Sean Strickland in close split decision victory at UFC Vegas 66

Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland ended in a split decision at UFC Vegas 66.

They started off relatively slow, looking to size up the other and preparing to potentially go the long haul five rounds. Outside of a takedown for Strickland, not much happened in the first round.

In the second, it was much like the first. Both had good moments but nothing special or crowd-pleasing happened. They both were calculated and precise but slow to action and low energy.

It seemed like, in round three, both fighters were being economical and that made the fight hard to score. Neither fighter stood out in any of the three rounds fought so far. The pace picked up slightly in the bottom half of the third, with Cannonier landing some combos, but it was still not the Fight of the Night people had wanted.

The fourth round began and this time it was Strickland landing the combos. Again, it was close though. A flurry at the end of the round, that nearly dropped Strickland probably gave Cannonier the round.

In the final round, Cannonier was looking to pick up from the flurry in the fourth. But it was Strickland who was landing the bigger shots and combinations. At the midway point of the round, the energy got turned up loud with big combinations from both fighters in the center of the cage looking to end the fight on the feet. The finish didn’t end up coming and went to the scorecards instead.

OFFICIAL RESULTS: Jared Cannonier defeated Sean Strickland via split decision (49-46, 49-46, 46-49)