UFC on ESPN 20 results: Matt Schnell sticks and moves his way to split decision over Tyson Nam

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Simon Head
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After more than a year away from the octagon, and after two prior bookings fell by the wayside, Matt Schnell returned and got back to his winning ways on Fight Island.”

Schnell (15-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) edged past Tyson Nam on the scorecards in their main-card bout at UFC on ESPN 20, which took place at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, as the Shreveport, La., native showed his boxing skills en route to a split decision victory.

Nam (20-12-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) calmly took the center of the cage and looked for openings as Schnell fired off some range-finding jabs and kicks. Then, after a few kicks of his own, Nam started to let his hands go and immediately scored with a slick left-right combination.

However, it was Schnell who settled into his rhythm, and the 31-year-old continued to beat Nam to the punch, though Nam appeared untroubled by his opponent’s strikes and responded to one exchange with a solid left hook. Schnell kept the pressure on, however, and appeared to briefly stun Nam with a rapid combination as his faster, more frequent punches started to cause the 37-year-old a few issues toward the end of Round 1.


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Schnell started Round 2 in the same way he finished Round 1, by sticking and moving, beating Nam to the punch, and connecting regularly. But Nam started to up the intensity and loosened Schnell’s mouthpiece when a solid right hand found its mark. However, it was Schnell’s strikes that appeared to have the greater effect as the cumulative damage from “Danger’s” strikes started to show on Nam’s face.

Perhaps sensing that the fight was drifting away from him past the midway mark, the Hawaiian bit down on his mouthpiece and let fly in the final seconds of the round. But, despite connecting with a couple of clean shots, Nam was unable to knock Schnell out of his stride.

Round 3 saw both men up the pace, with Nam, in particular, looking to raise his intensity as he started to stalk Schnell around the cage. While Nam increased his strike count, Schnell got on his bike and ensured he stayed on the move as he continued picking off his man on the way in.

Eventually the bout went all the way to the scorecards, with the judges scoring it 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 to give Schnell the victory.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 20 results include:

  • Matt Schnell def. Tyson Nam via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Lerone Murphy def. Douglas Silva de Andrade via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Omari Akhmedov def. Tom Breese via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:41

  • Ricky Simon def. Gaetano Pirrello via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 4:00

  • Su Mudaerji def. Zarrukh Adashev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Dalcha Lungiambula def. Markus Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Francisco Figueiredo def. Jerome Rivera via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Mike Davis def. Mason Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Umar Nurmagomedov def. Sergey Morozov via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:39

  • Manon Fiorot def. Victoria Leonardo via TKO (head kick, punches) – Round 2, 4:08