Abu Azaitar returned from a two-year layoff to face Sedriques Dumas at UFC 294.
Despite Abu making his UFC debut five years before Dumas, both men came into the bout with a 1-1 record. Only one could leave the cage with a winning record, and when the dust settled it was Dumas who got the victory by close decision.
Dumas and Azaitar both came out orthodox and took a bit to open up with strikes, mostly trading leg kicks early. Forty seconds in Azaitar caught a leg kick and landed a right hand while pushing Dumas to the mat. However, Dumas scrambled hard, got back up, and dragged Abu down, settling in top half guard. He mostly stayed heavy on top, rarely opening up with ground strikes. Azaitar tried to get to a hip and get up but could not create any space to stand up in, so Dumas held him down for the rest of the first round.
Azaitar had his moments to start the second round, landing some decent punches as he loaded up for wild swings, and did not get put on his back right away again. Dumas tried to press forward but had trouble landing much at all, and so Azaitar could break off the fence and back to center with his big hooks. The volume was quite low all round long and the most effective punches were Abu’s even though most or all of them were fully or partially blocked by Dumas’ guard. Dumas almost refused to throw a single punch. The last thirty seconds saw a repeat of the first round sequence that put Dumas on his back, but this time when he got to his feet Azaitar held onto him in the clinch instead of getting taken down himself. Azaitar ended the round strong, with a knee to the head on the clinch break and Dumas looking somewhat worn down.
The final round began with the scorecards seemingly tied, nineteen apiece. Dumas opened up with pressure and leg kicks but when he shot for a takedown it was stuffed and Azaitar countered with hooks and grabbing a fistful of Dumas’ hair. Herzog stopped the fight for a second to caution Abu. When it resumed, Dumas lanced out with a sharp jab that caught Azaitar off-balance and made him stumble. Abu did not seem particularly hurt though, and soon recovered. Azaitar’s gas tank held up better in this fight than his last one, as he landed some good strikes down the stretch to make it a competitive fight with no real, clear winner, though Dumas had the last laugh with a headkick that somewhat hurt Azaitar through the guard.
When the judges scorecards were read it was Sedriques Dumas who received the decision by a score of 29-28 on all three scorecards.
Official Result: Sedriques Dumas def. Abu Azaitar by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)