The opening bout of the UFC 161 preliminary card was a bantamweight bout and Yves Jabouin was able to win a close split decision in his home country over Dustin Pague.
Jabouin opened up the fight with throwing multiple leg kicks and eventually got the fight on the ground.
While on the ground, Jabouin had top position and Pague looked for submissions from his back which includes going for an armbar has he had a triangle choked locked in.
He was unable to get the submission and Jabouin landed several strikes from top position. Pague continued to go for submission off his back and he went for another armbar. Jabouin would escape that submission attempt and Pague transitioned to go for a heel hook.
Jabouin would be able to escape the submission attempts and had top position for the final 30 seconds of the opening round. He landed several big shots as the round ended. After the round was over, Pague’s corner told him that they believe Jabouin could not keep up a high pace with him.
The fighters continued their high pace fight as the second round opened with Pague landing strikes and took the fight to the ground. Pague was able to get the full mount position and Jabouin gave up his back. Pague locked in a body triangle while on the back of Jabouin and began to look for a rear-naked choke.
Pague was unable to get the submission and ended up transitioning back to top position and passed to the half guard position. Jabouin would be able to reverse the position and get top position. With Jabouin on top of his, Pague looked for a submission off his back. The round ended with Jabouin on top and working his ground strikes.
The final round opened with Jabouin landing a combination and took the fight to the ground. When the fight went to the ground, Pague looked for a submission off his back and appeared to be looking for an armbar. After a lack of action, the referee stood the fighters up but the fight immediately went back to the ground.
Pague was able to get the full mount position and threw several strikes while in the position. As Jabouin worked back to his feet, Pague went for a triangle choke and once again, Jabouin was able to escape. Jabouin ended the round in top position attempting to throw strikes as Pague continued to look for submissions. The fight would end in this position and two of the three judges scored the fight 29-28 for the Canadian fighter.
Jabouin (19-8) has won three of his four fights in the UFC bantamweight division and Pague (11-8) has now lost three fights in a row.