FAIRFAX, Va. – It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but Brad Tavares earned a hard-fought decision win over Dongi Yang. The pair engaged in a 15-minute standup affair at Tuesday’s UFC on FUEL TV 3 event at Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. And while eyepokes and cupshots were on full display throughout, it was Tavares’ stamina that earned him the nod.
The bout served as the featured matchup of a six-bout Facebook-streamed preliminary card and preceded the evening’s FUEL TV-broadcast main card.
The two threw hands from distance in the early going, Tavares jabbing from his orthodox stance and Yang looking to land power shots from a southpaw approach. Both earned warnings for reaching forward with open hands and accidentally pawing the eye. However, neither suffered any serious damage from the pokes.
Tavares admitted between rounds that his vision was blurred but would not allow doctors to end his night. Instead, he stayed the busier fighter in the second frame, but it was Yang who landed with more authority, scoring with heavy straight punches and mixing in a few kicks, as well. Tavares continued to paw at this eye throughout the round, and both continued to fight it out on the feet.
Tavares tried a different approach in the third, scoring an early takedown and continuing to drive forward as Yang tried to work to his feet. The action wasn’t enough for referee Dan Miragliotta, who called for a restart, and Tavares went back to his striking approach when they began again. A Tavares shot to the cup sent Yang briefly to the canvas, but he finished the fight with more power shots while Tavares relied on a volume approach.
In the end, Yang’s third-round approach cost him, and Tavares (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was awarded a unanimous-decision win. Despite another gritty octagon performance, Yang (10-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) falls to just 1-3 in his UFC career.