Wrecking Ball MMA's Michael Hayden picked up his first professional mixed martial arts win against Gilbert Grappling's Justin Hughes this past Saturday at XFO 57 in Chicago, IL.
From the opening bell, the fight promised to be competitive, with both fighters exchanging in the center of the cage and neither wanting to back down. Clean kicks from Hayden seemed to put him ahead early on but a late flurry by Hughes moved the momentum back into his corner as the round came to a close.
Round two began with much of the same, with both fighters pushing forward and looking to land combinations to the head. A couple of takedowns from Hayden made the difference, however, as he looked to secure the round.
Round three would be the deciding frame and both fighters seemed to know it. Hayden continued to push forward with combinations, mixing in the occasional takedown attempt, while Hughes looked to circle away and land big shots. Hayden managed to get a takedown and secure the mount for the first time in the fight, but Hughes escaped and landed a takedown of his own. The fight came to a close and the crowd acknowledged the spirited battle.
The judges scorecards were announced in favor of Michael Hayden via split decision. With this win, Hayden moves to 1-1 as a professional.