Round 1 - Noons takes the center and look for some openings as Couture works on the outside. He lands a decent body kick, but Noons tries to answer by going low for a punch to the midsection. Front kick from Couture narrowly misses, but he fires back with one to the body. They scrum inside for a moment, and on the release Couture lands a good knee that gets Noons' attention. Then a jab comes on the heels of that. But Noons lands a big punch that has Couture backing up, and he jabs on the other side of it. They scramble for a moment. Noons has his hands down, cocking his right hand back. He lands it, and Couture's corner tells him he has to watch for it. Noons badly wants the right uppercut. With 75 seconds left, he kicks up high and just misses, and then both fighters trade big shots with bad intentions that appear to be just close enough, but not close enough to take advantage of. With 30 seconds left, though, Couture lands a giant right hand that pops Noons' head back. And with 10 seconds left, he lands a huge spinning back kick to the shoulder. But Noons answers and Couture hits the canvas from a glancing left hand. It's a close first round, but Couture appeared to land the bigger shots and will get a very close 10-9 on the MMAjunkie.com card.
Round 2 - Good right hand for Noons, who then looks toward the side at Couture's cornermen, including his dad, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Noons again tries to get inside, but Couture keeps the secondary damage at bay with the threat of a knee. Noons complains of a poke to the eye after a scramble, but the ref didn't see it and tells him he has to continue. Couture tries to take adavantage, and Noons is bloodied up, but Noons soon hurts Couture and has him covering up. The two have traded big flurries. Couture is hurt and Noons is taking advantage. He's landing big bombs, but Couture is somehow staying in it. He lands a knee and Noons smiles at him. Couture still appears to be gathering his senses, and Noons lands a good right hand. As Couture moves in, he lands a few more. Now both men are bloodied up. Couture still working some spinning stuff, and he tries to follow a left jab with a right kick up high. He lands a good left hand, then backs out. He again just misses with a spinning kick, and the two throw wildly as the round winds down. The crowd gives easily its biggest ovation of the night for the slugfest. MMAjunkie.com will score the second 10-9 for Noons, but Couture made it close later in the frame.
Round 3 - Absolutely great fight so far, and there's five more minutes to figure things out. Couture lands a body kick, then a couple jabs and an outside leg kick. They scramble inside on the feet and Couture gets the best punch of the mix-up. Ninety seconds in, Couture looks for a takedown. He can't finish the single, but he lands a big knee as Noons tries to get out of there. Noons lands a big right hand that backs Couture up in yet another momentum-shifter. Then he lands again. Couture slips on a high kick, but pops back up before Noons can pounce. Couture lands a good right hand, then Noons comes inside to hit a couple punches. Noons lands a good right with 90 seconds left, and Couture clinches him up and looks for another knee. With a minute left, Couture tries to get inside, but Noons lands the bigger punch. It's really anyone's round and fight with 30 seconds left. Couture comes inside, but Noons lands. With 10 seconds left, they tie up and trade punches. It's a fantastic fight, and a very close fight that could go either way. MMAjunkie.com sees the last for Couture 10-9 and has the fight for him 29-28. Ryan Couture def. K.J. Noons via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)