After three ultra close rounds, Tony Ferguson eked out a split decision win over Danny Castillo in a back and forth co-main event at UFC 177 on Saturday night.
The two lightweights engaged in a standup battle early on with Ferguson pressing forward and looking for haymaker strikes while Castillo countered with accurate punches and combinations. The fight hit the ground in the first when Ferguson went for his patented D’arce choke and he held onto the position for a good chunk of time before Castillo finally slipped out.
The second round seemed to favor Castillo as he out wrestled and controlled Ferguson on the mat. Ferguson was continuously moving, however, and looking for submissions from his back and scrambling to get out of the position.
At different points in the fight, Ferguson looked for a knee bar, a kimura and an armbar but Castillo was able to slip out each and every time. Castillo countered the submission attempts with a stifling attack on top where he suffocated Ferguson for the biggest part of the round.
When the fight came to an end it appeared as if Castillo did enough to get the win with a crisper standup attack mixed with his patented wrestling game, but when the scores were read it was Ferguson who was handed the victory.
The final scores read 29-28 two times for Ferguson with one judge giving Castillo the fight 29-28. A disappointed Castillo addressed his hometown Sacramento crowd after the fight and apologized for not picking up the win. Meanwhile, Ferguson celebrated and gave his opponent credit for giving him everything he could handle in the Octagon.