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Matt Frevola (Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Local Athletes

UFC Tampa: Huntington’s Matt Frevola wins a war against Luis Pena via split decision

Ever since he stepped inside the octagon, all Matt Frevola ever wanted was to create moments that last a lifetime. He got what he wished for and then some, as the Huntington-born Frevola won a battle against Luis Pena. In front of over 10,597 fans inside Tampa’s Amalie Arena, Frevola won via split decision (28–29, 29–28, 29–28).

The bout was as hard-hitting and technical as expected, especially with “Violent Bob Ross” Pena (7-2) in the octagon. With Frevola (8-1-1), however, you can expect a decent amount of suplexes. In the opening round he started with a takedown, but Pena came back up and landed a nice shot to the face of Frevola. The latter then got another takedown, and the cycle continued throughout the round.

Pena’s strikes gave him the ultimate advantage in round two. While he was also looking to submit Frevola in multiple ways like he was Chris Jericho, it was a vicious knee shot that really did the damage. How Frevola was able to continue is a mystery.

Pena got Frevola bloodied up, but the Long Islander battled back. The third saw a back and forth affair, as both were just slugging away at one another. Pen’a strong punches continued to bloody Frevola, but with each shot we saw one being given back, and harder.

Frevola’s determination, takedowns and strikes were enough to land him the win. He is now on a two-fight win streak, and is now 2-1-1 in his last four. Pena, who thought Frevola won via a hometown discount (he recently settled down in Tampa), has now lost his two-fight win streak.

Controversial or not, this could be the rub Frevola needed in order to move up in a crowded lightweight division. A rematch is always up for grabs, especially if Pena’s case is (even a little bit) justified.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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