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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020
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Neil Seery loses out at UFC 189 despite a brave performance against Louis Smolka

Disappointment for the veteran flyweight in Las Vegas.

Neil Seery on the defensive against Louis Smolka.
Neil Seery on the defensive against Louis Smolka.

– Paul Dollery reports from Las Vegas

LOUIS SMOLKA UTILISED his superior grappling to defeat Neil Seery tonight at UFC 189.

After a highly entertaining back-and-forth battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Smolka emerged victorious via unanimous decision.

Seery — who received a huge ovation from the predominantly Irish crowd — was the first of three Irishmen to appear in the octagon tonight, with fellow Dubliners Cathal Pendred and Conor McGregor also in action later on the bill.

There was blood coming from Seery’s left eye early in the opening round following an accidental eye poke from Smolka. Referee Marc Goddard temporarily stopped the fight to allow Seery to recover and he did so very well.

The Irish flyweight dropped Smolka with a right hand and quickly followed up with ground-and-pound before attacking with a rear-naked choke. Guillotine and armbar attempts also followed but Smolka survived.

The latter half of the round went the way of the American, however, and Seery had to be resolute as he defended against a Darce choke which almost sealed the deal for Smolka. He didn’t get the finish but it was enough to give him the round.

Seery spent most of the second round on the defensive too. But despite his best efforts, Smolka was unable to finish his opponent with a rear-naked choke.

Trailing 20-18 on the judges’ scorecards as the bout entered the final frame, Seery needed something special to win it and he almost delivered. The veteran threatened with a couple of guillotine attempts but again it was Smolka who finished stronger, as the fight ended with Seery defending against an arm triangle.

When the judges were called upon, it was no surprise that Smolka won on scores of 30-27 across the board. The defeat brings Seery’s record to 2-2 in the UFC but he can hold his head up high following a fine performance against an impressive up-and-comer.

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Paul Dollery

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