Shaking off a late knockdown in the third round, Dhiego Lima (14-7 MMA, 3-5 UFC) pullled out a split decision win (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) over ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 11 winner Court McGee (19-8 MMA, 8-7 UFC) in the opening fight of UFC on ESPN+: Jacare vs Hermansson.
Fighting in front of a largely partisan American Top Team crowd – the homebase of ATT is located in Coconut Creek, less than 25 miles from the BT&T Center in Sunrise – Lima was able to land strikes and elude the forward moving McGee enough to persuade the judges to give him the nod.
McGee landed a big shot with less than 20 seconds left in the fight and followed it up with ground-and-pound but Lima was saved by the bell.
Lima, the TUF 19 finalist, has now won two fights in a row.
“This was a tough fight. Like I have been saying this whole week, I was ready to go three rounds with him,” Lima said. “I knew that he would stand in front of me, would give me some opening… And, as everyone saw, I hurt him, but he is a very strong guy, he took my strikes and kept moving forward. It was a great fight. Now, we will see what’s next. I did my part which was winning. Now, I’m going to rest, enjoy some time with my family, and when the timing is right, I’ll be back”