MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Grove wins split decision
LAS VEGAS » Kendall Grove's dream to fight in the UFC at Aloha Stadium is still alive.
Facing the prospect of losing his job with a third straight loss, Grove answered his critics with a split-decision victory over Evan Tanner last night in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter finale show.
Grove improved to 11-5 while handing the former middleweight champion his ninth loss in 43 professional bouts.
Two judges scored the bout 30-26 while the third had it 29-28 for Tanner.
"(Tanner) did good recovery in putting me against the cage," Grove said. "He was strong as expected. I had to come in here and keep my job."
Grove cut Tanner with an elbow in the first round and landed a jumping knee that rattled his opponent. His reach advantage frustrated Tanner, who has lost his last two fights.
Grove took a couple of strong right hands from Tanner in the third round, but was never in serious danger of being knocked out. Tanner withstood wicked shots from Grove in each of the first two rounds, but couldn't come back on the scorecards.
The win keeps Grove in the UFC for the time being. He hopes to be part of the organization's event at Aloha Stadium scheduled for some time next year after MMA's regulation laws go into effect in Hawaii after July 1, 2009.