Charles Jourdain showcased his impressive striking prowess while warding off each grappling attempt from Kron Gracie, securing a convincing unanimous decision to kick off the UFC 288 main card. Whilst it may not have been the most thrilling fight of the evening, Jourdain executed a strategic three-round display that saw him tag Gracie on every exchange and successfully avoid any potential submission attempts.
All three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favour of Jourdain, who was in dire need of a victory after suffering two consecutive losses. Meanwhile, Gracie faced his second straight defeat in the octagon.
Following his win, Jourdain stated: “A strategy was applied. I’m a very immature fighter; it showed in my record. Sorry guys it was not the most exciting fight. I was in the guard of a Gracie, it was very dangerous. Why not Edson Barboza (next)? I want a kickboxing fight. That would be fun for me.”
As anticipated in a striker versus grappler match-up, Jourdain made efforts to maintain distance, while Gracie pushed forward in an attempt to bring the fight to the ground. Jourdain’s rapid hand movements caught Gracie off guard as he constantly connected with straight punches.
The halfway point of the opening round saw Gracie manage to get close enough to grab Jourdain and pull him to the canvas. However, Jourdain’s strong defensive skills allowed him to escape and get back to his feet without sustaining any notable damage.
In the second round, Gracie again looked to apply his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills as he latched onto Jourdain and attempted to take him to the ground. Despite Gracie’s attempts to improve his position, Jourdain kept him at bay with punches.
As the fighters resumed striking, Jourdain displayed clear dominance, although he was cautious not to lose his focus and put himself at risk of another takedown attempt. He effectively punished Gracie with well-crafted blows, leaving the latter with no response except repeatedly trying to pull the fight to the mat.
Jourdain’s characteristically entertaining performance may have been dulled somewhat by Gracie’s reluctance to engage, but he achieved his goal of claiming the win. Meanwhile, Gracie is left to contemplate his future in the octagon after an unimpressive outing at UFC 288.