In the first of eleven bouts scheduled to take place on the UFC 249 itinerary, two light heavyweights headed in seemingly different directions looked to lock horns in the light heavyweight division. 18-fight UFC veteran ‘Smilin’ Sam Alvey looked to notch his first win since June of 2018, but in order to do so the streaking Ryan ‘Superman’ Spann stands in his way boasting a shiny 3-0 mark inside the octagon thus far.
Almost right away, Spann closed the distance and pushed the action close in tight towards the fence and took control of the positioning almost right away. Alvey managed to get back to his feet shortly thereafter the initial takedown attempt, but was caught in a standing arm-triangle that gave him significant trouble for just under a minute’s time. Alvey, despite turning almost purple in the face through the struggle of dealing with the interlock of the choke, eventually escaped. The two light heavyweights traded blows here and there throughout the remainder of the round, including a couple of clean right hands from Spann that appeared to be the most effective punch of the round.
In round two, Spann walked forward almost right away once again with punches in bunches this time around. Not long thereafter though, Spann initiated the clinch once again though lost control of the position shortly thereafter. For the first half of the round, most exchanges took place on the feet. Spann, the aggressor looking to put combinations together opposite Alvey using his conventional counterstriking approach. Spann landed a couple of solid one-two combinations in the final thirty seconds of the round, that looked to stun Alvey momentarily before the frame drew to a close.
The heat was collectively turned up a notch in the third and final round, with both guys cranking up the volume on their offensive approach. Hellacious exchanges ensued that saw both guys land successful strikes of the significant variety, including each fighter catching a solid high kick almost clean. Alvey however, late in the final stanza broke through to land his most significant strike of the fight, effectively wobbling a clearly-fatigued Spann. Alvey looked to attempt to a ten-finger choke, though unsuccessful before hurting Spann again not much longer thereafter the two light heavyweights returned upright. Spann did survive however, and put together enough of an effort in the opening two frames to take home a decision victory, though by the nature of a split decision.
Official Result: Ryan Spann def. Sam Alvey by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)