Round 1: They touch gloves. They clinch briefly. Nelson lands a right hand. Santiago lands a right hand and a knee. Nelson switches stances. Nelson delivers a side kick to the body of Santiago. Santiago fires off a high kick and clinches. Nelson pushes him away. Nelson works on the outside. He shoots in and secures a double leg takedown. Santiago gets back to his feet but Nelson landed a left hand in the process. Nelson has his hands low. They circle in the center of the cage. Santiago moves in with a right hand and Nelson ties him up against the cage. They separate. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Nelson.
Round 2: Nelson moves on the outside. He steps in with a left hand. He looks for a takedown but Santiago has none of it. Nelson lands a combination. He drops down for a takedown and gets it. Nelson works in Santiago’s half guard. Nelson lands a left hand followed by two short right hands. He stands and delivers a hard right hand. Nelson works in Santiago’s full guard. Nelson lands an elbow and stands. Nelson passes Santiago’s guard and lands a left hand. Nelson is in side control. A minute remains in the round. Nelson advances to the mount position. Nelson postures up and lands a hard elbow, and another. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Nelson.
Round 3: Santiago jumps in with a combination. Nelson clinches but Santiago pushes him away. Nelson lands an outside leg kick. Nelson steps in with a right hand. They clinch and Santiago delivers knees to the body. Nelson lands an elbow on the break. Nelson lands a left hand. Santiago steps in and lands a right hand. Nelson lands a big uppercut. He jumps in and lands a straight left hand. Nelson presses him against the cage and lands a knee to the body. They separate. Nelson lands a lead uppercut. He works to secure a takedown but Santiago shakes it off. Nelson lands a right hand followed by a knee to the body. Santiago goes on the offensive. He lands a huge right hand at the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Nelson.
The judges score the fight for Nelson by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.