Pearl City’s Kai Kamaka III lost a featherweight bout to TJ Brown via split decision at UFC ESPN 23 at the Apex in Las Vegas.
The judges scored the fight 27-30, 29-28, 29-28 in favor of Brown.
[Latest stories from Hawaii’s Sports Station — KHON2 Sports]
The fight between Kamaka and Brown drew rave reviews on social media and is an early contender for the Fight of the Night, in which both fighters would make a $50,000 bonus.
Kamaka drops to 8-4, while Brown improves to 15-8.
Saturday was Kamaka’s first fight since a loss to Jonathan Pearce on Nov. 28, 2020.
The bout between Kamaka and Brown was the penultimate fight of the preliminary card. The featured event of the main card is a light heavyweight bout between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka.