Matt Hobar improved from a disappointing UFC debut to hand Aaron Phillips his second consecutive loss at UFC Fight Night 49. Hobar utilised his takedown advantage to get Phillips to the mat on multiple occasions and, while Phillips stayed busy, dominated his opponent from this position.
Aaron Phillips attempted to keep busy from the bottom with short strikes and submission attempts, but overall he was too sloppy to get anything decisive going. Hobar is now 9-2 as a professional and, at just 27, has a lot of room for improvement. However it was a big step up from his debut performance against Pedro Munhoz.
Here is how the fight played out.
Both fighters were unsuccessful in their UFC debuts after having a lot of success elsewhere. 25 year-old Phillips looking to rebound from his first loss against 27 year-old Hobar, who is the -225 favourite.
Round 1 – Phillips with a leaping right, Hobar getting the clinch and attempting a single leg takedown. Hobar with the combination. Phillips is smiling a lot, and seems very relaxed. Nice leg kick from Phillips. Hobar with the level change, and he gets Phillips down, who lands some elbows from the bottom and momentarily tries to circle for an armbar. Now he’s going for the triangle. Hobar once again out, and he gets into half guard now. Phillips staying busy from the bottom with a lot of short strikes. Phillips once again trying to set up a triangle and failing, Hobar into half guard now. Phillips pushing him away, tries to get up but Hobar keeps a hold of the ankle and gets it back to the ground. Hobar now in north-south, and into side control. Short elbows from Hobar from the top. He’s trying to pin the arm of Phillips and land some strikes, but Aaron recognises this. Phillips regains guard, great work. He pushes him, but Hobar staying on top after eating a couple of upkicks. Huge upkick as Hobar goes into side control. Hobar keeping control, landing short strikes on top. Nice hooks from Hobar, now keeping busier. Phillips again landing with the upkick as Hobar stands while Phillips is in his guard. Hobar back in the guard with some strikes to end the round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Hobar.
Round 2 – Phillips with the knee, Hobar getting the takedown but AP immediately works his way back up. Hobar gets the back inside the clinch, but Phillips uses the leg of Hobar to get top position, but Hobar recognises that to work his way on top but stretching the legs in a banana split-esque way. Knees from Hobar in the clinch. Phillips with a big knee to the body, but Hobar trying to get the fight to the ground against the fence. They’re exchanging short strikes in the clinch but not keeping too active. Phillips with a big knee. He’s doing a better job of avoiding the ground. They separate. Overhand right from Hobar almost lands. 1-2 from Phillips, and a left. Body kick from Hobar, but missing on the follow-up. They exchange knees. Overhand right and a left from Hobar, who gets the muay thai clinch and lands the knees. Short elbow from Hobar. Phillips with a left hook. Big takedown by Hobar with 90 seconds remaining. Phillips keeping busy from the bottom again, and lands the upkicks while Hobar gets up momentarily, into the half guard now. This is frustrating for Phillips. Short elbows from Hobar. Good short strikes from Hobar, keeping active in this position. He’s opening up a little more as the round comes to a close.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Hobar (20-18 Hobar).
Round 3 – Hobar shoots in and has the fight to the mat, half guard immediately. Hobar is very tired but still keeping busy with strikes from the top. Phillips straight back up, in the clinch and landing some shots but Hobar with short shots of his own landing. Huge takedown from Hobar, this time into side control. Hobar working on a head & arm choke, but Phillips defending thusfar. Hobar now in the guard, Phillips with no attempt to get the fight up to the feet. Now Phillips trying to get back up but Hobar still has control. Hobar with control of the body of Phillips as they’re in the clinch, landing a knee before attempting a takedown. Phillips with a wide stance, trying to defend. Good work from Phillips but Hobar is relentless. Short shots by Phillips, but he’s planted to the mat. Hobar in guard, short shots landing with 1 minute remaining and he looks on the verge of a first UFC victory unless AP can pull something off in the dying moments. Phillips with short shots from the bottom but nowhere near enough. Hobar into half guard, now Phillips giving up the back and trying to get back up. Knees from Hobar in the clinch. Phillips lands a knee in the clinch, Hobar with a left hook and the round comes to a close.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Hobar (30-27 Hobar).
Result: Hobar via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Disappointing loss for Phillips, but solid performance by Hobar, who looked much improved from his UFC debut.
You can check out the full play-by-play for the event here on Cage Pages. The results for the card, as it stands, can be found below.
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 2)
Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly via submission (omoplata) at 2:18 in first round.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).