It was a bizarrely stacked card of fights at UFC’s first Fight Night in Washington, D.C.
If you were watching ESPN last night, then you already know the good, the bad, and the ugly about how UFC DC went down. In case you missed it, here’s a breakdown of how all the fights shook out and some of the night’s highlights.
Overall Results & Highlights
- Heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a stunning come-from-behind knockout against Alistair Overeem. This was a slow burn of a fight, with both athletes spending much of their time in the ring batting at each other without landing any serious hits. However, that all changed in the final few seconds of the last round. Overeem walked away from the match with what was definitely one of the more brutal busted lips in recent UFC history. You can watch footage of the pivotal knockout moment below.
- Rozenstruik was able to preserve his undefeated status in the UFC, which he seemed in jeopardy of losing throughout the fight. He needed stoppage in the final round in order to turn things around, which is exactly what happened. He spoke with UFC News after the fight about his competitive drive and why he didn’t give up despite fighting his way through a truly dismal match. “I never give up. I always fight for what I want.”
— UFC News (@UFCNews) December 8, 2019
- Ben Rothwell defeated Stefan Struve in truly memorable fashion. Rothwell was docked a point early in the match after toppling Struve with some deceitful kicks to the leg. But the match was perhaps best characterized by a series of groin kicks Rothwell got in at the end of the second round that were enough to make even the most season UFC fan groan in agony. You can watch the UFC/ESPN highlight reel below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 8, 2019
- Aspen Ladd knocked out Yana Kunitskaya in the first few seconds of round three. It was a welcome victory for Ladd, who was coming off the first and only loss of her MMA career. There was some controversial stoppage going on in the match, which Ladd was questioned about in her ESPN post-fight interview. “Referees have a tough job, they have to make split-second decisions. As I said, this one did not go my way, so I wish it hadn’t occurred, but…no hard feelings,” Ladd defended the referee’s right to make the decision. You can watch her post-fight interview in full below.
- Rob Font defeated Ricky Simon by unanimous decision after failing to land a meaningful knockout. Font credited Calvin Kattar with giving him the right advice that took him to victory in the match: “I think I was doing too much in there at the beginning. Calvin [Kattar] told me, ‘Do a little less, but stay be dangerous.’ That clicked in, so I just went back to basics and did me.” It was not a surprising loss for Simon, who has seen his UFC record under siege after a couple surprising defeats. You can check out Font’s full post-fight interview below.
*Image courtesy of Instagram.