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UFC Fight Night: Ortega triumphs; Andrade impresses in Abu Dhabi

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 18, 2020
UFC Fight Night, Ortega triumphs; Andrade

The grudge match of the epic Fight Night series saw a new version of Ortega, who was returning from his longest layoff of nearly 23 months.

UFC featherweight No.2 Brian 'T-City' Ortega earned himself a title shot with a dominant victory over No. 4 ranked Chan Sung Jung 'the Korean Zombie' in the main card event of Abu Dhabi's Fight Island on Sunday morning.

The grudge match of the epic Fight Night series saw a new version of Ortega, who was returning from his longest layoff of nearly 23 months. In the bout, Ortega waited patiently for opportunities to strike and was effective in his execution over the five rounds.

The 29-year-old set the tone in the opening round with jabs, body shots and leg kicks. In the next round, Jung returned strongly with power shots but Ortega caught him with a spinning elbow to take the upper hand. Ortega looked sharp taking Jung to the fence and busting him open. Jung was able to defend and fend off takedown attempts.

In a stand and deliver fight, Ortega delivered with his combination punches and kicks. 'The Korean Zombie' tried a late charge but failed to find a finish. Ortega, returning from his longest layoff, dismantled Jung in five rounds to a 50-45 unanimous verdict and set a championship fight against Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega now holds a 15-1 win-loss record.

"I feel good. I like to thank my team. I had surgeries and got back to work. I needed to become a new guy and get better at MMA - wrestling and striking. Today, I tried to do the best I could to mix it all up and show everyone that I am back. In this game, you take chances, you don't grow in your comfort zone. Alexander Volkanovski, the champ, the thought of fighting you excites me. I am ready, I am coming," Ortega said.

Andrade makes history with TKO of Chookagian

In the co-main event, Jessica Andrade, the former strawweight champion, became the first female to win in all the three UFC weight classes with a first-round finish over No.1 flyweight contender Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade threw a fiery body blow and followed with a punch, double knee and a right hook as Chookagian was floored and the referee stopped the fight for a technical knockout result.

Andrade, on a 21-8 win-loss run, was excited and said: "When you fight with happiness, there is only one result. Now, I am No.1 and we'll see if this gets me (champion) Valentina Shevchenko. The strategy to go for her body was made here in the locker room. I hit her with a punch on her stomach and she yelled out and turned around and for a second I thought that the fight could be over, but she turned around so I went in again and kept hitting her and then the referee stopped it."

Jimmy Crute destroys Modestas Bukauskas

Jimmy Crute took just 2 minutes and a second to knock out Modestas Bukauskas in the light heavyweight bout. Crute threw a big right hand and followed with a right-left hook combination as the referee called off the match. Crute, the 24-year-old, moved to 12-1 on his resume.

"I'm glad that I learnt from my last mistake. I've done a lot of soul searching and I've realised that this world doesn't revolve around me and there's two parties in the octagon. The biggest thing for me was to not rush and be confident in my abilities and not get too emotional there like I've done in the past. I had a lot of help from a lot of close people, my two coaches over there, my old man, my mom, my strength and conditioning coach."

James Krause ends Claudio Silva unbeaten run

James Krause fought off a tough challenge to end Claudio Silva's undefeated streak in the welterweight category. Krause withstood a painful torn knee to clinch judges' 30-27 unanimous decision to return to winning ways after losing in February this year. Krause extended his MMA record to 28-8.

"Claudio was really good. I was trying to stop the takedowns. He is a hammer on top. I am not in the shape I would like to be. Normally I would like to pace it a bit harder. But the fight went about how I thought it would. I would have liked to come out with a finish. But I'll take the win over the guy who's never been beaten before. It is what it is. I got the W (win)."

Jonathan Martinez outworks Thomas Almeida

Jonathan Martinez thumped an experienced Thomas Almeida, who made his return to the steel cage for the first time since January 2018, in the featherweight division bout. Martinez landed more punches than Almeida in the first two rounds and in the decider pounded body kicks and hooks to win a 30-27 unanimous decision. With his second win of the year, Martinez is on 13-3 MMA run.

"I am really excited to come here and fight. I'm a big fan of Almeida. On my Instagram in 2015, I put, 'Almeida is going to be a world champion one day', and I fought him, so it's pretty good. A lot of people don't even know who I am, I am here to make statements and climb up the rankings. I just beat Almeida, so hopefully that clicks."

PRELIMINARY ROUNDS

Starting just past midnight, there were six undercard encounters, including a tough clash of the debutants, an explosive first-round knockouts and an absolute domination.

Guram Kutateladze wins battle of debutants

Guram Kutateladze got a split-decision verdict (29-28, 28-29 and 29-28) against Mateusz Gamrot in the lightweight category. In a closely fought bout of the debutants, Gamrot took Kutateladze down nine times over the three rounds.

When his hand was raised at the end, Kutateladze disagreed with judges' decision and showing sportsmanship said: "This is not my fight. I am an honest man. The guy (Gamrot) did how many takedowns? I don't know how the judges scored it. I am not happy because this is not what I wanted. Gamrot you are a warrior. It was your fight," Kutateladze said.

Gillian Robertson defeats Poliana Botelho

Gillian Robertson outclassed Poliana Botelho in the women's flyweight action with 73 ground strikes and three takedowns. After three rounds, Gillian got unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 and 29-27) to bag her sixth win and add to 9-4 MMA record. But Gillian was unhappy as she couldn't knockout Poliana.

"I was definitely able to get a bit more ground and pound, get some good shots off, I know I left her with a pretty bruised up eye, so I was happy that I did that. But I'm not happy about the finish. The plan was to finish her. I'm trying to get that 100 per cent finish rate and ruin it. I was really searching for that and the fact that I didn't get it is really upsetting me."

Jun Yong Park dominates John Phillips

Jun Yong Park dominated John Phillips to clinch 30-25 unanimous decision in the middleweight division bout. Park landed a record 286 ground strikes in his 13 minutes 11 seconds of ground control over a hapless Phillips over three rounds. With the result, Park is now on a 12-4 run and eager for more action.

"I'm really thankful for the UFC that we can fight in this difficult time with coronavirus and get up in the rankings and make a living for ourselves. I'll fight whenever the company tells me to and just like every other fighter on earth, my goal is to be a champion."

Maxim Grishin picks a second-round TKO

Maxim Grishin thrashed Gadzhimurad Antigulov in the second round of the light heavyweight bout. After a close first round, Grishin got Antigulov against the fence and landed combination punches. Immediately the referee stopped the fight, handing the technical knockout result to Grishin. The result extended Grishin's MMA record to 31-2.

"I've known him for a long time. I was prepared for anything and it wasn't a surprise that he was so tough. I'm planning on getting into the top 10 as soon as I can. I know some of the guys refuse to fight me. So, I just want to send a message that I'm here and be ready. This is my home."


Said Nurmagomedov floors Mark Striegl in 51 seconds

Said Nurmagomedov collected his seventh first-round career finish by pinning Mark Striegl in the bantamweight fight. Nurmagomedov destroyed Striegl with a flurry of punches in just 51 seconds.

"This is great. I got him with a left hook and then he wanted to go for my legs and wrestle. I just kept punching him until he fell and then I knocked him out. I had great balance and was good on the ground. There is more to come," the 28-year-old Dagestani said after extending his MMA record to 14-2.

Fares Ziam pockets his first UFC victory

Fares Ziam, the youngest fighter on the card at 23 years, prevailed over 26-year-old Jamie Mullarkey in a feisty bout of the lightweight category. The fight went the distance as both the fighters wrestled and grappled. Mullarkey had five takedowns but it wasn't enough to secure judges' nod as Ziam won 29-28 verdict for his first win of the UFC taking his MMA run to 11-3 win-loss record.

"This is my first UFC win but I want more. Jamie was a really hard opponent but I was better with my technique. Thank you to my family, my team, I won because I trained really hard. I thank UFC for this fight in Fight Island. I love Abu Dhabi."

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.


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