DULUTH, Ga. â€“Â Brian HoustonÂ was able to stifle Trevor Smith‘s takedown attempts, but it was Smith who remained the busier fighter and was awarded a narrow split-decision win.
The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 35 event at Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX Sports 1.
As the contest opened, Smith scored early with a takedown and tried to attack the neck when Houston rolled through and back to his feet. However, Houston patiently worked free and returned to the striking game. On the feet, Houston was the quicker athlete and work punches to all levels. However, Houston scored again with a powerful, driving takedown with 90 seconds left in the first. He nearly finished the fight with an arm-triangle choke, but Houston pulled free and survived until the bell.
As the two started to trade on the feet to open the second, a Houston left hook opened up a huge gash on Smith’s forehead, and blood immediately began to flow down his face. Smith appeared to tire a bit as the round wore on, and he struggled to get the fight to the floor. Houston capitalized with a slight edge on the feet, but he didn’t really put an exclamation point on the frame.
The action remained on the feet in the third, with Houston controlling the center. However, Smith, with blood again trickling down his head, stood firm in the pocket and returned fire, including some heavy kicks to the leg. Smith failed on a late takedown attempt but landed a knee on the break. At the final bell, it seemed Smith had been the busier, more aggressive fighter. Two of three judges awarded him for the effort, and Smith was awarded a split-decision win.
Houston (4-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) is now winless in two UFC appearances. Smith (11-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) snaps a two fight losing streak with the much-needed result.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 35 results include:
- Trevor Smith def. Brian Houston via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Louis Smolka def. Alptekin Ozkilic via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Vinc Pichel def. Garett Whiteley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Beneil Dariush def. Charlie Brenneman via submission (rear-naked choke) â€“ Round 1, 1:45