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Nogueira narrowly avoids upset from Brilz in split decision

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PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira narrowly avoided being up set by Jason Brilz, winning a split decision 29-28, 29-29, 29-28 at UFC 114.

Brilz hung with Nogueira in the first round, taking down "Little Nog" early on and avoiding damage. Early in the second, Nogueira caught Brilz in a guillotine, but didn't have the right position to complete the choke. Brilz rolled out of it, and then caught Nog in a guillotine. As Nogueira's face turned a shade of purple, Brilz held on tight for 30 seconds. Nog finally got out, but Brilz maintained side control. When Nogueira composed himself and reversed position, he could only hold onto Brilz for a few seconds before Brilz popped out. Brilz continued to control the fight on his feet, landing a few heavy shots that appeared to wobble Nog.

Widely smiling as the third round began, Brilz continued to surprise. Though Nogueira held an advantage in this round, Brilz was still able to take down Nog at will. Every time Brilz seemed in trouble, like when Nogueira had him in a textbook crucifix, Brilz was able to get out.

Brilz took this bout on just four weeks notice after Forrest Griffin had to pull out. Despite the fact that he lost, his performance definitely impressed.

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