Minowa lands a hard low kick to Grove’s lead leg. Minowa misses a sloppy right-hand lead and looks very uncomfortable on his feet against the taller Grove. Again Minowa lands to the left thigh of Grove. Minowa blocks a head kick and somersaults his way out of harm’s way, much to the delight of the crowd. Grove is cutting off the cage as Minowa circles. Grove stops several weak shots and then has to defend a deep single that the Japanese fighter cinches up. Grove works with his back against the cage and Minowa muscles his opponent to the ground. Grove elbows the head and attempts to wall walk, but Minowa remains on top. Grove looks briefly for an armbar and then a kimura. Minowa’s defense is true. 10-10.
Minowa scores with a hard right low kick and avoids a flurry of kicks from Grove that all are blocked. Grove lands a right hand and the pace slows as both fighters struggle to find a comfortable range. Referee Yuji Shimada asks for action and Minowa dives in for a single that is easily stuffed. Minowa ducks under a right hand and switches from a single to a double. He then drops down to his back in search of a heel hook, but Grove has absolutely none of it. Grove is elbowing the head from the top in half guard. Minowa is defending well as Grove elbows the body and then attempts a brabo choke. Grove moves to the back and locks on a body triangle. Grove works for a rear-naked choke while Minowa battles the wrists to survive. Grove is in total control but gives up the body triangle to heel the liver. Grove moves to the high mount and lands a right hand before returning to the back. 10-9 Grove.
Minowa misses a single and then has more success on a seond attempt. The fighters scramble for position as Grove holds the leg of Grove, but the former TUF champion refuses to be taken down. Grove transitions to the back and gets in both hooks with 3:45 remaining. Grove locks on a head-and arm choke that Minowa escapes from. Grove is all over Minowa with punches from the mount and the Japanese fighters gives up his back to avoid punishment. Grove rides him from the back with a tight body triangle. Grove works for a face crank and then a rear-naked choke. Minowa continues to show excellent defense and is never in immediate danger. Grove lands two right hands and begins to get more offensive with his hands. Minowa is going to be difficult to submit and Grove is looking for other ways to finish. Grove hits the head and holds on with the body triangle as time expires. 10-9 Grove and 30-28 Grove for the unofficial scorecard.
Official score: 30 to 27 from all judges for Kendall Grove