Kicking off the four-fight prelim card on Saturday, Jordan Griffin fought Youssef Zalal. Here’s how the fight went.
Bout 1: Jordan Griffin (18-7) vs. Youssef Zalal (8-2) (Featherweight)
Griffin was advancing with strikes in the first minute. Griffin shot for a takedown in the second minute. On the feet, Griffin got on the back of Zalal. He tried mounting the back of Zalal but was not able to for long. They returned to striking with two minutes to go in the fight. Zalal pushed forward with a combination that included a flying knee before clinching up with Griffin against the cage. Griffin got a takedown from the clinch in the closing seconds of the round. He got on the back of Zalal on the ground just before the round ended.
Zalal threw a head kick to start the second round. They clinched again early on. After leaving the clinch both fighters threw some wild strikes including a head kick from Griffin that made him fall down. Zalal connected with a body punch in the second minute that made Griffin shoot for a takedown. While sprawling, Zalal landed some hammerfist punches. Griffin mounted the back of Zalal as they got to the feet. Zalal eventually got Griffin off of his back and returned to stand-up. Zalal consistently landed with jabs. Zalal slipped and fell on his back after trying for a flying knee. Capitalizing on Zalal falling, Griffin got top position in full guard. He got on the back of Zalal after they moved positions on the ground. They returned to their feet in a clinch with a minute left. Griffin kept the pressure on Zalal with the clinch until the round concluded.
Zalal strung together some combinations of punches early in the third round including jabs and knees. Griffin got a takedown in the second minute of the round. They got up a minute later. While Griffin was throwing and even landing with his own shots, Zalal was winning off of volume and impact. Zalal stopped a takedown attempt halfway through the round. They went to their knees when Griffin tried again but got to their feet shortly after. Zalal tried for his own takedown near the end but couldn’t attain it. Going to the judges, they all chose Zalal (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
RESULT: Youssef Zalal def. Jordan Griffin via Decision, Unanimous
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