For years, Justin Gaethje constructed a fame as some of the thrilling fighters in MMA. Within the World Sequence of Preventing promotion, he constructed an undefeated file by way of a sequence of electrical performances and thrilling contests. Lingering over Gaethje was all the time the query of how he would carry out in opposition to the most effective competitors in the world. He signed with the UFC sporting a 17-Zero file with 14 knockouts and was put in a principal occasion Friday night time in his first UFC bout. It was time for Gaethje to show what he might do.
Pitted in opposition to longtime light-weight contender Michael Johnson, Gaethje lived as much as his nickname of “the Spotlight.” For 2 rounds, Gaethje and Johnson went to struggle in among the finest fights of this or some other yr. Gaethje and Johnson exchanged phrases main as much as the battle and the opponents swung all through trying to end with virtually each blow. Each had been rocked at totally different factors, with Gaethje showing in deep bother in the primary and second rounds.
Whereas Gaethje took super harm at totally different factors in the battle, Johnson acquired the worst of it. Within the second spherical, Gaethje harm Johnson with a barrage of punches that despatched him to the canvas. Gaethje inspired Johnson to face again up after which went after him with brutal uppercuts. Johnson lastly went down after a knee, and the battle was stopped. As chants for Gaethje rang out from the viewers, Gaethje did a backflip off the cage to have fun. It was some of the spectacular debuts in the historical past of the UFC and introduced the presence of an thrilling new fighter in among the finest divisions in the game.
Within the different high battle of the night, Jesse Taylor secured “redemption” and gained the 25th season of the Final Fighter. The present was constructed round bringing again fighters from earlier seasons and giving them one other alternative to make it in the UFC. The theme of redemption utilized to no fighter greater than Taylor, who was imagined to compete in the finals of the seventh season of the Final Fighter however was faraway from the battle after a drunken rampage by way of a on line casino.
9 years later, Taylor capitalized on his second likelihood.Taylor superior to the finals of the match with wins over Mehdi Baghdad, Hayder Hassan and James Krause. He then submitted Dhiego Lima in the finals Friday night time to win. Even in the battle in opposition to Lima, Taylor labored by way of adversity. Lima dropped him with a left hook in the second spherical and went for a submission, however Taylor rapidly recovered and locked in a rear bare choke of his personal for the faucet. With the victory, Taylor gained $290,000 and was capable of rise again up 9 years after what seemed to be a legacy defining mistake.
In different motion:
— Drakkar Klose (Eight-Zero-) scored an upset win and ended the undefeated file of Marc Diakiese (12-). Diakiese got here into the battle with quite a lot of hype, however a assured Klose challenged him all through and earned a cut up determination (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). Twice, Klose kicked Diakiese’s leg out from below him. In an uncomfortable scene, Klose continued to taunt and trash speak Diakiese after the battle, drawing boos from the group.
— Jared Cannonier (10-2) showcased his trademark depth in the method of selecting up a 3rd spherical TKO over UFC newcomer Nick Roehrick (7-). Roehrick was sport and hung in the battle, however Cannonier landed heavy punches all through and finally put Roehrick away. Cannonier is an entertaining fighter to look at with harmful placing skill, however questions nonetheless stay about his takedown protection.
— In a conflict of kinds, Brad Tavares’ extra conventional method acquired the most effective of the extra distinctive stylings of Elias Theodorou. The battle was even in early rounds however Tavares took over in the third. That was the distinction in a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous determination that improved Tavares to 15-Four and dropped Theodorou to 13-2. Tavares has fought in the UFC since 2010 however has principally flown below the radar. He’s nonetheless searching for a marquee win that may elevate him into constant fights in opposition to high contenders.
— Jordan Johnson (Eight-Zero) secured a unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over a aggressive Marcel Fortuna (9-2). Johnson has a background in wrestling and Fortuna a background in jiu jitsu, however the battle was principally contested on the toes.
— Angela Hill (7-three) prevented a second straight loss with a unanimous determination win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) over Ashley Yoder (5-three). Hill had far more energy in her strikes as they landed all through the bout.
— James Krause’s boxing proved an excessive amount of for crowd favourite Tom Gallicchio over the course of their three-spherical battle. Krause was a lot sharper in the standup, persistently touchdown huge pictures and evading Gallicchio’s makes an attempt at offense. The unanimous determination victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) improved Krause to 24-7 whereas Gallicchio fell to 19-10.
— In an entertaining scrap, C.B. Dollaway (16-Eight) scored a unanimous-determination win (29-28, 29-27, 29-27) over Ed Herman (23-13, NC). Dollaway was combating for the primary time since 2015 due to a freak harm attributable to a malfunctioning elevator final yr. Each males had their moments, exchanging strikes and submission makes an attempt, however Dollaway’s wrestling performed a key function in the choice.
— One small mistake was all it took for Tecia Torres (9-) to safe a submission victory over Juliana Lima (9-Four). Lima went for a takedown however allowed Torres to get behind her in the course of the try. Torres rapidly acquired in her hooks and locked in a rear bare choke to power the submission. The defeat was the primary time Lima has been stopped in skilled MMA competitors and the primary time Torres has gained through knockout or submission.
— Within the opener, former light-weight title challenger Grey Maynard (13-6-, NC) went again to the fundamentals and utilized his wrestling to choose up a unanimous determination win (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) over Teruto Ishihara (9-Four-2). Maynard had struggled mightily in current fights with losses in 5 of his final six, however Ishihara had no solutions for the previous All-American wrestler’s takedowns and high management.