Chris Wade can wrestle.
We already knew that based on his pedigree -- he's one of five former New York State high school wrestling champions to compete in the UFC -- and past mixed martial arts fights.
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He proved it again Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in New Orleans.DatabaseLong Island's UFC fight historyDATALI's state wrestling champions database
But, the Islip-raised Wade also showed he can take a punch and keep moving forward. Plus, he showed improved striking, mixing up his stances and landing different types of punches en route to a unanimous decision win over lightweight Christos Giagos. The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.
It was the third straight win in the UFC for Wade (10-1, 3-0 UFC) since debuting last August.
"Getting a win over a tough opponent like that was a test to my will," Wade said. "It was a lot of back and forth. I thought my standup improved. I would say this was my best performance. I think I put it all together a little bit more. I'm still developing, I'm young in this sport. In November, it will be my fourth year in the sport total. I have a lot of growing to do and a lot of learning to do, but this was a step in the right direction."
Wade hit all of his takedown attempts -- and stuffed all of his opponent's -- and he used his grappling to control Giagos at times. He also used several reversals to get out of potentially troubling situations.
Giagos (11-4, 1-2) was able to land several clean shots early in the bout that seemed to take effect on Wade, though he was able to exchange as well.
The key strike by Wade came on a lead elbow that opened a cut over the right eye of Giagos.