Las Vegas, Nevada: Alex Morono utilized a strong counter game combined with his BJJ black belt to wrest a split decision over Kyle Noke at the first UFC event of 2016.
UFC 195 took place on January 2, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kyle Noke vs. Alex Morono took place on the preliminary card which aired on Fox Sports 1 in the United States and BT Sport in the UK.
Round 1: Noke opens up with a good leg kick, and evades some hard strikes from his opponent. Morono lands a spinning back kick but gets caught with a stiff right counter. Both men are swinging wildly, and Morono is forced to tie things up against the cage. Throwing knees from the clinch, Morono does a good job of controlling the action. With two minutes to go, Noke and Morono are back in the center of the octagon, with Noke throwing multiple body kicks. Morono plods forward with a combination and almost gets dropped, recovering nicely and circling away. As the first round winds down, Morono lands another spinning kick and is pursuing his opponent.
Round 2: Noke is touching his nose repeatedly as the second commences; indicating some damage from prior strikes. However, he continues to move forward and Morono seems to be looking for the counter at this point. Noke throws a kick but slips, and Morono capitalizes on the mistake, landing right hands and trying to catch Noke off guard. Noke secures ground control, looking for submissions and Morono is fighting back with his own attempts. Noke shakes out of a rear-naked choke and secures full-mount, forcing Morono to attack with a heel-hook to escape the situation. The Australian veteran shakes off the attempt, and the second round finishes with some solid ground striking.
Round 3: Another kick to the body opens the round for Noke. Shortly after, Morono eats another body kick and returns fire with a left straight. Noke is picking his shots wisely, but the UFC newcomer is still landing his counters and causing damage. Noke lands a good elbow, circling away with just over a minute remaining. Landing a quick takedown, Noke looks to steal the round, but Morono starts to immediately attack with a barrage of elbows from the bottom. Seconds later, Morono attacks with an armbar; Noke shakes it off but is forced to defend the ground elbows until the final bell rings.
Official Result: Alex Morono def. Kyle Noke via split decision (29-28 Morono, 30-27 Noke, 29-28 Morono).
Successful in his UFC debut, Alex Morono advances to 11-4. Kyle Noke drops down to 22-8-1.
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