So finally MMA has arrived to my country, and I managed to grab my teams' first win of the evening :)

Round 1 went to my opponent, we traded punches early on but I struggled to cope with his side kicks and got caught in the ribs a couple of times. Finally I got him into a clinch and managed to take him down but he got up again immediately, a 2nd takedown on my part followed but my opponent skillfully attacked with an armbar from guard that had me defending desperately for quite a bit. I managed to get my arm out of there and finished the round strongly with some ground and pound, and threatened to take his back a couple of times, but couldn't sink my hooks in.

Round 2: I knew I had to be more aggressive since I was behind. After an initial exchange of punches I pushed him against the cage fence and went straight for the takedown. I started ground and pounding him and even passed his guard into side control, but he used the cage wall skillfully to try to get back to his feet. I went for a kimura submission ending at the bottom in half guard. He started landing shots to my side but I kept the pressure on the kimura. However, I realized I was not gonna get that armlock so went for the sweep instead. I thought I could control him from top position but I got swept myself soon after. With time running out, I played it safe and minimized damage by trying to control his wrists and minimize his ground & pound. I felt happy with that round and was confident I had evened the score in the judge's eyes, which would leave Round 3 as the decisive round.

Round 3: The cliche saying of "no matter how good you think your cardio is, it's never good enough" proved true as I felt exhausted going into Round 3, but I was seeing that my opponent was pretty much breathing heavily himself. It would be a matter of who wanted this most, and I wanted this win real BAD! Both of us were much less mobile on our feet. I got the upper hand in the early strike exchanges, landing a couple of good kicks to his left leg. From there we clinched and I managed to achieve yet another takedown, but left my neck exposed and ended up defending a guillottine choke.

Having gotten out of that, I passed his guard into side control, and then attacked a kimura lock from north/south, transitioning to an armbar nearly straight after, but couldn't quite get any of them. Ending up on the bottom in closed guard once more, I tried to minimize his ground and pound. I even managed to get a sweep but in the process ended up defending yet another guillottine choke, but time was up and the ref stopped us and got us back to our feet. It had been a pretty hard fought round but I managed to do just enough to convince the judges to score it in my favour.

Lessons learnt during this fight, my single leg takedowns worked a treat, but I was leaving my neck way too exposed. I also need to learn to defend better against kicks as I got hit way too often in the 1st round. And yeah, improve my cardio even more!