Leonardo Santos and Norman Parke draw in battle of past TUF winners
Norman Parke’s unbeaten streak continues. Barely.
The Northern Ireland fighter worked past a one-point deduction, winning the crucial third round to escape a UFC Fight Night match against Leonardo Santos with a majority draw.
One judge scored the fight 29-27 for Santos, while the other two saw things 28-28.
The match was a battle of international Ultimate Fighter winners. Santos won TUF Brazil 2 as a welterweight before dropping to the lightweight class, while Parke won TUF: The Smashes.
Parke had entered the fight is the favorite on the strength of a nine-fight win streak, including three official wins in the octagon. But fight Santos in his home country of Brazil, Parke couldn’t find a way to separate himself in the contest.
Still, Parke would have won the bout if it wasn’t for the one-point deduction, which took place midway through the second, when he dug low for a takedown but used Santos’ shorts in the process. Ref Wernei Cardoso immediately called the infraction and penalized him.
In between rounds, Santos’ corner told him that he was up two rounds, advice that could have worked against him as Santos performed passively, just looking to eat up the clock and survive.
For the fight, Parke out-landed Santos 82-37. In the third round alone, he out-struck him 47-10.
With the draw, Parke is now 19-2-1 while Santos is 12-3-1.