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Kevin Iole

Grice decisions Black in tremendous opener


CINCINNATI - Matt Grice and Jason Black opened the card on UFC 77 Saturday at U.S. Bank Arena with a lightweight fight that was not slated to be part of the pay-per-view broadcast.

Rest assured after the battle they put on that the UFC will find a way to include the taped replay of the bout somewhere on the broadcast later tonight.

The bout was initially scored a split draw, but judge Nelson Hamilton's card was added incorrectly. He had given the first and third rounds to Grice and the second round to Black, giving Grice a 29-28 win. He joined Jeff Mullen with that score, giving the win to Grice.

I had it 29-28 for Grice, as did my Yahoo! Sports colleague Dave Doyle.

"He had the top position and maintained control," in the first round, Hamilton said of Grice in what turned out to be the decisive round.

Black had five submission attempts in the first and then nearly finished the fight in the second, shortly after he was nearly finished himself. Grice opened the second round with his fists flying and landed four or five hard shots to the ground.

He wasn't surprised, though, that Black survived.

"I've watched a lot of Jason's fights and the guy has a head like a rock," Grice said. "You can hit him all day long and he keeps coming."

About halfway through the second, Black caught Grice in a triangle choke and then briefly pulled on a Kimura.

Grice nearly went out but managed to survive - barely.
When the round ended, each man had to be helped back to his corner.

Grice spent most of the third round on top, pounding Black.

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