Temecula fighter Sam Alvey built a good lead against South Korea’s Jung Da-un at UFC 254 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, but a strong effort in the third round from Jung caused a draw on the scorecards.
Jung got off to a great start after signing with the UFC in 2019, finishing both Khadis Ibragimov and Mike Rodriguez. After having two fights with Ed Herman fall through, Jung landed Sam Alvey at UFC 254. It had been a while since Alvey had his hand raised, with his last win coming in June 2018, losing in four fights since.
Jung was scattering kicks at Alvey the whole fight and even slipped on one head kick attempt. The South Korean kept Alvey along the fence early on, but Alvey fired back with a cracking straight punch. Alvey caught Jung with a fierce combination but was giving attention to his eye, and Jung took advantage by landing a heavy combination marked by a few uppercuts. Alvey did not let that slow him down though, as he knocked Jung off balance several times with hard shots. Right before the end of the round, Jung caught Alvey with a second eye poke, but the referee did not pause the fight either time.
Alvey caught Jung early in the second round, and Jung got back to work in the center of the cage, keeping Alvey along the fence. Alvey landed another combination on Jung, who fired back with a head kick. Alvey had been quietly racking up leg kicks throughout the fight, and they were starting to make a difference. Jung had his head snapped back by another Alvey combination. A few more Alvey leg kicks preceded a Jung combination, but Alvey’s success rate was overshadowing Jung’s.
Alvey went right to the leg kick to start the final round, popping Jung twice with it. Jung caught Alvey with a crisp elbow that dropped him, and Jung was able to land a bit of ground-and-pound, taking Alvey’s back in the process. Alvey muscled his way up though and caught Jung with a strong uppercut followed by a combination that featured multiple uppercuts finding the mark. Jung cracked Alvey with another elbow and had him stumbling, but Alvey got a hold of him to limit further damage. Jung tried multiple times for a takedown but was running out of time to come back.
With 30 seconds left, Jung exited the clinch and landed a crushing elbow again, and Alvey stumbled backward. Jung wasn’t able to capitalize, and they fought to a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28).
“I definitely want to thank everyone for their support,” Alvey said. “I thought I fought great; I might not look so great right now, but that is the life of a fighter. I can’t wait to get back home, see my kids and prepare for whoever is next.”
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com