The fans in Seoul were not happy, but Alberto Mina remained unbeaten after a three-round split decision win over Japan’s Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Mina fought off a late rally by Akiyama to secure the split decision at UFC Fight Night 79 inside the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.
Two judges gave Mina a 29-28 score, while the other gave the same score for Akiyama.
Mina now moves to 12 straight wins, with the 40-year-old Akiyama dropping to 14-6 with two no contests.
“I had another plan in mind but his kicks really started to hurt so I started to change my plan,” Mina said.
“I’m great with the result, it’s the greatest result of my career. My goodness his kicks really hurt.”
The first round was a measured one, with both fighters picking and choosing their shots mainly leg kicks. But a late takedown by Mina may have locked up the round for the Hong Kong-based fighter.
The leg kicks of Akiyama began taking their toll on Mina early in round two, with Mina clearly showing signs of pain.
In the final minute, Mina surged and nearly finished Akiyama with a flurry of punches, with only the horn keeping the Osaka native in the fight.
In the final round a refreshed Akiyama landed several hard shots and looked to take control of the bout as Mina fatigued and failed in his attempts to get the fight to the mat.