Luis Pena scores split-decision win in a competitive battle with Alexander Munoz

The main card action kicked off with a lightweight clash between Ultimate Fighter and Dana White’s Contender Series alumni. With both individuals looking to bounce back from summertime losses in their most recent Octagon outings. Score one for the TUF alums in this.

Luis Pena controlled the center of the cage and worked a nice jab early until an exchange led to a takedown for Munoz. Midway through the round, Pena was able to get the fight back up, after working back to his feet and through some cage grappling. In the striking battle, “Violent Bob Ross” was active and landed more, but his opponent was very game and landed a big right hand late in the round. It was a back and forth round with both fighters trying hard to impose their preferred style of fight.

It was more of the same in the second, with Pena showing his advantages on the feet. However, Munoz worked some stiff calf kicks, punches to the body, and haymakers to the head. Munoz scored another takedown with two minutes left, but his opponent battled back up quicker this time than he did in the first. Another close round where both men did good things, and the scoring could go either way based on how high the judges will score the Division-I wrestler’s takedowns.

It was a pivotal third round where neither man could be confident about who’s winning the fight. Both showed superb gas tanks after two rounds of high work rate, but Pena looked the fresher and more confident fighter in the final round. The more it stayed standing the clearer it is that he’s ahead there. Munoz was able to get another takedown but was able to do very little with it, as the shots landed by his opponent have seemingly taken a toll. The third ended up being the most clear-cut to score, and it was all Pena.

The third round became key as Pena earned the third split-decision win of his UFC career. He moves to 5-3 in the promotion. Munoz picks up his second loss in as many fights, after falling short in his promotional debut in August.

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