34 year-old bantamweight Frankie Saenz was victorious in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 47, defeating Nolan Ticman via unanimous decision. Saenz had a big experience edge, having twice the amount of fights on his record to Ticman and it showed with a dominant performance, winning all three rounds.
While time may be running out for the veteran, he certainly showed that he is ready for a step-up in competition with a one-sided performance in his Octagon debut. The heavily talked about ‘Octagon jitters’ played no factor in Saenz’s performance, who now holds a record of 9-2, with Ticman now 4-2 as a professional.
Here is how the fight played out.
Two UFC debutants squaring off in the bantamweight division. Ticman has gone 4-1, while Saenz holds an 8-2 record and is riding a four-fight winning streak.
Round 1 – Saenz is the aggressor but gets caught with a nice hook from Ticman and is forced to back up. Double leg takedown lands for Saenz, but Ticman straight back up. Big right lands for Ticman, who then strikes Saenz to the body. Saenz pressing the action, Ticman trying to counter with the right. Saenz gets the clinch, getting Ticman against the fence but Ticman escapes the position. Both men landing now. Saenz tries to level change but is unable to land, and Ticman hits a nice counter. Saenz counters Ticman’s leg kick with a sharp left, that was a damaging blow right there. Uppercut lands for Ticman. Saenz gets Ticman to the ground with just seconds remaining, closing the opening round by diving into the guard of Ticman and landing some ground and pound.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Saenz.
Round 2 – Big double leg by Saenz, slamming Ticman to the ground but once again Ticman is quick to get back to his feet. Saenz sticking on him though, not allowing Ticman to get his rhythm going. Saenz misses on the flying knee but follows up by getting Ticman to the mat, Ticman once again getting back up like a spring. Saenz has back control from the clinch, hitting him with knees to the thigh before they separate. Saenz pushes forward but slips, Ticman following him to the mat before Saenz gets back to his feet. Saenz gets the clinch once more, getting it to the mat and landing some short elbows. Ticman covering up but Saenz ends the round on top.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Saenz (20-18 Saenz).
Round 3 – Ticman looking very hesitant now. Saenz unloads with a flying knee and he’s opening up now. Ticman just doesn’t have an answer for Saenz’s attacks, and he’s forced on the outside by the more active Saenz. Saenz doing a good job blocking Ticman attacks, and he pushes forward with a combination, ending with a flying knee and getting Ticman to the ground. He has the back momentarily but well done there from Ticman. Saenz has him in the clinch now. Ticman reverses the position, and Saenz does the same. Huge elbows from Saenz hurt him there. Another takedown from Saenz, Ticman straight back up but Saenz sticking to him like glue. Nice short elbow from Frankie. And another. Knees to the body landing now. Ticman just has nothing for him. A further takedown from Saenz, who has the back of Ticman before getting to his feet as the round comes to a close. Dominant performance.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Saenz (30-27 Saenz).
Result: Saenz via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Ticman was out of his depth, with a solid debut from Frankie Saenz.
Here are the results for the event so far, you can follow the coverage of the full card here.
Frankie Saenz def. Nolan Ticman via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).