Headed into their showdown at UFC 161 in Winnipeg on Saturday night, UFC light heavyweights Igor Pokrajac and Ryan Jimmo were both coming off disappointing showings in their previous outings.
Jimmo lost to James Te Huna at UFC on Fuel TV 7, while Pokrajac scored a unanimous decision victory over Joey Beltran at UFC on Fuel TV 6. Pokrajac’s victory, however, was later ruled a no-contest after it was revealed that he tested positive for the banned substance Nandrolone in a pre-fight drug screening.
In front of a packed house at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, both Jimmo and Pokrajac battled for promotional relevancy in what was a rather lackluster affair.
Round one saw Pokrajac pressure the native Canadian in the opening seconds. Jimmo, sensing the pressure, immediately clinched with the 34-year-old Croatian and began to apply an effective “dirty boxing” attack that set the pace for the majority of the round. Late in the opening stanza, Pokrajac landed what would become the most significant strike of the fight, when he connected with a heavy overhand right that had Jimmo wobbled. The Canadian recovered, however, and it was on to round two.
The second stanza set the pace for the remainder of the fight. Any pressure Pokrajac seemed to muster in round one was gone. Jimmo earned an early takedown and it was all ground control thereafter. It wasn’t the most exciting round, but it lead to the fight-clinching third and final frame.
When the fight wrapped, Jimmo had earned a unanimous decision victory, but not without a hint of displeasure. Normally all smiles, “The Big Deal” was apologetic to the hometown faithful.
“Igor, the fans, Dana White, Joe Silva, I’m very sorry about the not such a great fight,” said the upset 31-year-old.
Jimmo is well aware that Saturday’s outing was less than pleasing to a paying audience.
“It just seems like I’m not able to finish on a regular basis now,” he stated.
Although displeased with his performance, Jimmo made no excuses as to why the fight played out the way it did. He was coming off a brutal loss – a loss that came after 17-consecutive wins – and this fight was all about getting his career back on the right track.
“I was coming off a loss and I fought conservatively,” he said matter-of-factly. “I did get my name back in the ‘W’ column, though.”
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