| Following the first fight of the main card, this fight had a lot to live up to…and it did just that. An amazing display of middleweight power and pure grit was flashed throughout this fight and it was definitely a treat for the fans.
The two men came out banging, but it was Natal that landed the biggest shot first. He knocked down Troeng early in the round and tried to work his top game but was swept by Troeng moments later. Then, like a grappling war, Natal swept Troeng and was back on top. The two mostly grappled, Troeng threatened with many sweeps until finally hitting another clean one with a little over a minute left. The two scrambled around a little more but the round ended with Troeng on top. This was a very tough round to score. Both men were successful with their grappling in round 1 and not much physical damage was done from either side. I would give the nod to Natal, very slightly, 10-9 in round 1.
The second round opened up with a huge right hand landing from Natal that dropped Troeng. It seemed hard enough and flush enough to put Troeng away but somehow he survived. Natal swarmed him but could not finish him. Troeng actually reversed the position for a moment and looked to be coming back. Every time Natal would put him in a bad position he would come back and either reverse the position or defend it with great technique. The horn sounded to close round two with Troeng actually attempting a takedown against Natal, but that round was clearly all Rafael Natal. He easily gets the the nod for round 2, 10-9. But the fact that Troeng recovered was just as impressive. There was a lot riding on round three.
The fatigue was setting in on both men and Natal threatened with a guillotine early but Troeng defended it and ended up on top of Natal. While he was trying to do some work from the top Troeng lost position and was reversed by Natal. Once Natal got on top of Troeng he continued to try to bait Troeng to open up and give up the guillotine. Treong was tough and didn’t give it up but he ate some big shots from Natal and even gave up his back late in the round. Natal took round 3 as well, utilizing his better grappling and strikes from the top position.
Rafael Natal Wins via Unanimous Decision
Although Natal won the fight and was in control for most of the bout it was an amazing battle between two exciting, grapple-crazy middleweights. Natal was close to finishing the fight a couple of times but Troeng’s heart and grit helped him fight until the final bell, which gave the fans an amazingly fun fight to watch. The grappling exchanges were incredible and both of these men put on a hell of a show. This fight will likely be up for consideration when Fight of the Night is awarded.
Stay posted to BJPenn.com to find out what the UFC decides to do next with both of these men following this great bout.fight night 28 results, Jake Chastain, mma, MMA NEWS, mma results, Natal, treong, ufc, UFC Fight Night 28, ufc news, ufc results