COSTA MESA – Joe Murphy’s face showed the damage from a grueling 15-minute fight.
Softening the pain from a deep cut over his left eye is the fact Murphy, from Huntington Beach, was able to pull off a split decision victory over Victor Henry in an MMA bout on Thursday’s Fight Club OC show from The Hangar at the OC Fair and Event Center.
One judge scored it 29-28 for Henry. Two had it 29-28 for Murphy, who improved to 7-1 in front of 1,421.
This was the season opener for Fight Club OC.
Both fighters came close to submitting the other in the earlier rounds, but in the third round, Murphy relied on his hands.
“It was close,” Murphy said. “We were grappling, I almost choked him, he almost choked me. I feel like I landed a lot more punches, and in the third round, I put him down with a punch (right hand) and I think that made a difference.
“I knew it (the fight) was close. I knew I needed a big round. This is a half-boxing show. The judges are here from boxing. You drop somebody in boxing and that’s a 10-8 round. I knew that if I threw heat, then hopefully he would go down, then I could get the round and that’s what happened.”
The cut over Murphy’s eye came in the first round.
“It was right at the end of the round,” he said. “I stood up and I was covered in blood. I looked at him, he wasn’t covered and I said it must be me.”
In the other MMA fight on the card, Fullerton’s Curtis Millender (5-0) held off Huntington Beach’s John Mercurio (6-6) for a unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.
Giovanni Serran (5-6) handed Jesse West his first professional loss in a five-round boxing match. Serran won by split decision. West fell to 3-1.
In the opening fight, Tony Thompson of Anaheim defeated Elliott Seymour by unanimous decision in a four-round fight. All three judges scored it 40-36. This was Thompson’s professional debut.
Neeco “The Rooster” Macias closed the show with a majority decision, 40-36, 39-37, 38-38, over Julian Cruz. Macias improves to 4-0.
The next Fight Club OC show is set for June 19.
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