Round 1 – Nchukwi with an early low kick from a rather stationary stance. Park answers back with several straight punches that are blocked. Nchukwi digs to the body. He throws up top. Every strike being verbally punctuated right now for Nchukwi. Park able to work inside to the clinch, but Nchukwi lands several punches to the body, and they split. Nchukwi working the legs and the body. Park landing punches up top, as well. Park’s jab really finding a home. Nchukwi scores one of his own, and Park motions him to come forward with more. Park’s jab really effective early, but Nchukwi just walking through it to deliver return fire. Park kicks the lead leg. He goes back to the jab, which is landing almost every time he throws it. Nchukwi lands a low kick directly to the groin, and Park falls and takes a break. Apology on the restart. Jabs traded. More cautious approach in the final minutes. Kicks traded at the bell. Close round, but MMA Junkie leans slightly toward Park, 10-9.
Round 2 – Nchukwi not quite as aggressive as he was early, being a little more patient but still throwing at full power. Quick exchanges from both men. Nchukwi with a big kick, and Park catches it and trips him to the canvas but can’t keep him there. They work from the clinch, and Park is controlling the head. Knee from Nchukwi lands again to the groin, and Park yells out as he drops to the canvas. Nchukwi loses a point for the infraction, but we do carry on. Park back to the jab on the restart. Nchukwi with his hands high and trying to match it. Nchukwi with a few big hooks behind it, as well. He pushes forward, but Park slips well and delivers a straight . Park wipes at his eye on an exchange, but they fight on. Park tries to shoot, but Nchukwi able to press him down and set up heavy. Whizzer holding things down, but Park won’t get stuck there. He battles to the feet after only taking a little damage on the floor. They trade punches in the final minute. Nchukwi drops for the single, but Park defends and grabs his neck. Nchukwi tries to slam him, but Park able to snatch the neck and squeeze. Guillotine in, but Nchukwi saved by the bell. With the deduction, MMA Junkie gives it to Park, 10-8.
Round 3 – Nchukwi walking forward with big punches, but they’ve lost some zip, and Park avoiding them with relative ease. Still, he’s showing them respect. Jab for Park still scoring and he lands a lead hook, as well. Nchukwi with a low kick, but Park grabs it and drives him to the canvas. Nchukwi working hard to rise. He gets up, but Park is there and drives him back to the canvas and to the floor. He’s heavy on top, and Nchukwi tries to roll. Park wants the back, and he looks for the choke. Not quite there, so Park lets go and fires punches. Another look at the choke after a move, but it’s not there. Nchukwi turns again, but now Park has a more dominant position and is landing punches. Nchukwi bucks and rolls and creates space, but he can’t quite get to his feet. Vicious shots coming, and Nchukwi is opened up. Blood streaming from his face, and Park seals the win with more punches at the bell. MMA Junkie gives the final round to Park, 10-8, awarding him the fight 30-25.
BetMGM Odds: Nchukwi -145, Park +120
Result: Jun Yong Park def. Tafon Nchukwi via majority decision (30-25, 29-26, 28-28)
Photos: UFC on ESPN 24: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Tafon Nchukwi (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Jun Yong Park (13-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Ron McCarthy (30-25, giving a 10-8 in round 2 with the Nchukwi deduction and a 10-8 in round 3), Sal D’Amato (29-26, giving Park rounds 1 and 3, with a 10-8 in round 3, as well as a 9-9 in round 2 with the Nchukwi deduction), Tony Weeks (28-28, giving Nchukwi round 1, Park round 3, and a 9-9 in round 2 with the Nchukwi deduction)