Chris Weidman won his UFC debut, beating Alessio Sakara in a decision at UFC on Versus 3 in Louisville on Thursday. Weidman won the fight 30-27 on all three judges cards after taking the bout on just two weeks notice.
Sakara controlled the action in the first round, despite sustaining a cut in the first minute of the bout. He stuffed Weidman's takedown attempts, and managed to land more strikes. But Weidman, an All-American wrestler at Hofsta, became more comfortable in the second round. He quickly took Sakara down, and worked ground and pound, giving Sakara another cut. Blood poured from Sakara's head, making the octagon a bloody mess. With two minutes left in the round, Sakara escaped and landed kicks and punches, then shook off another takedown attempt.
The bout was stopped for a moment as Sakara's cut was checked. Sakara didn't want to stop fighting and simply wiped his head on the referee's shirt. The cut was cleaned up, and according to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, the doctor only should have checked it, not cleaned it.
Weidman returned to the takedown early in the third round, working ground and pound until the referee stood them up. That only led Weidman to another double-leg takedown. He maintained control through the end of the bout, earning himself a winning, if not exciting, debut in the UFC.
For Sakara, this is his first loss after wins over James Irvin, Thales Leites and Joe Vedepo. His record falls to 15-8, while Weidman remains undefeated, getting his fifth win.