It was a frustrating night at UFC 137 for most readers of this blog. Jacoby had a decent first round, where he got the better of the stand up, but gave up a take down in the last 30 seconds which probably cost him that round. The following two rounds he fell victim to Starks strong take downs, and was unable to work off of his back. Additionally, I would say that Dustin was less aggressive than he has been in previous fights.
No one maintains a perfect record for long in this game, and it’s no secret that fighting a wrestler with Division I credentials is always a tough match up. Also, comfort can be found for the 23 year old UFC newcomer in the fact that a blueprint has been laid for areas of improvement before his next bout (which will also most likely be in the UFC). Additionally, Joe Rogan was complimentary of DJ’s footwork, timing and punching repertoire.
For those interested in a blow-by-blow for this fight, I copied this one from MMAmania.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks
Round one: Starks takes the center of the cage and probes with a jab. Both men are hesitant early and Starks has landed a few right hands. Jacoby hits Starks with a right of his own. Starks tags Jacoby with a nice right hand that snaps his head back as both men continue to size each other up. Starks finds another home for the right hand and he’s not using his wrestling at all yet. Jacoby connects with a looping left as Starks is on the way in and Starks responds with a right to the body. Either man can win this round if they do something big in the last minute. Jacoby closes the distance and Starks drops for a takedown, advancing to half guard while Jacoby latches on a Kimura as the round ends. 10-9 Starks
Round two: Both men still a bit hesitant here. Jacoby lands a few jabs and throws a big spinning back kick but it misses. Starks opens up with some nice right hands, his reach is effective here and he has found a home for the right hand. Starks closes the distance and as he gets inside, Jacoby leaves an opening and gets taken down into full guard. Starks lays there for about 30 seconds and finally starts dropping some punches. Starks postures up and drops a few nice left hands. Jacoby isn’t offering much off his back here. Starks pins Jacoby’s hand behind his back and drops some right hands until the round ends. 10-9 Starks
Round three: Starks lunges in with a big right hand and eats a right from Jacoby. Jacoby needs to open up and get a finish here or he’s likely going to lose a decision. Jacoby throws a nice combination and lands a knee but Starks shoots in, turns the corner and takes Jacoby down again. Jacoby grabs an underhook but can’t pop up to his feet. Starks postures up and throws a couple nice right hands. Jacoby ties up both of Starks’ hands but Starks passes to side control. Jacoby attacks Starks’ left arm as he’s in half guard with a minute left in the fight. Starks drops a few right elbows to the body and Jacoby gives up on it with 45 seconds left. Jacoby is quickly running out of time here. Starks opens up with punches in the final 10 seconds of the bout and finishes strong. 10-9 Starks
Final result: Clifford Starks defeats Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
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