UFC 252: Kai Kamaka vs. Tony Kelley Play-by-Play

Kicking off UFC’s prelims on Saturday, Kai Kamaka and Tony Kelley made their respective UFC debuts. Here’s how their bout went.

Bout 1: Kai Kamaka (7-2) vs. Tony Kelley (5-1) (Featherweight)

The first round started with close striking, with both fighters landing punches to the head. Kamaka continued to land punches throughout the round while Kelley slowed down past the first two minutes of the fight. Kamaka got a single leg takedown in the fourth minute after Kelley was backed up against the fence with a series of punches. They got up shortly after, with Kelley being forced on his backfoot due to Kamaka pressing forward and connecting with tons of strikes. Kamaka got another takedown in the final minute of the fight, getting full guard on top. They stood up in a clinch for the final 10 seconds of the round.

Kamaka continued to be the advancing fighter on the feet in the second round. Kamaka was consistently connecting with hooks to the head and body. Kelley picked up his striking halfway through the round. Kamaka got a takedown with less than two minutes to go in the round. A cut on Kelley’s head opened during the round. They stood back up in a clinch with a minute left in the fight, with Kelley being the fighter pressed against the fence. Kamaka got another takedown with 30 seconds left, although they got up shortly after. Kelley landed some elbows and knees in the clinch as the round wrapped up.

Kelley landed knees and an elbow in the clinch early in the third round. Kelley pulled guard early in the final round while trying for a guillotine choke. Kamaka popped out of the choke quickly and took full guard on top. Kelley escaped the position and got back to the feet with three minutes left in the round. Kamaka tried for a single leg takedown after they traded punches in close range. Not getting a takedown, Kamaka kept Kelley pressed against the cage. In a phone booth position the fighters threw strikes at each other. Their intense pace was paused after Kamaka was kneed in the groin. They resumed after a couple of minutes with a minute-and-a-half left in the bout. They traded strikes on the feet until the round ran out of time. Going to the judges to find a winner, Kamaka was chosen by all three (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

RESULT: Kai Kamaka def. Tony Kelley via Decision, Unanimous

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kamaka 10 10 9 29
Kelley 9 9 10 28

Click here to view live coverage of all of UFC 252.

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