It wasn’t an easy night for the ANZAC fighters at UFC Adelaide.
In the main event, Junior dos Santos handed Australian heavyweight prospect Tai Tuivasa the first loss of his professional career. After a memorable walkout in tribute to his indigenous heritage, Tuivasa came out strong from the opening bell, pressuring dos Santos, cutting the cage and swinging wildly. A low leg kick from Tuivasa buckled the Brazilian and continued to compromise his movement into the second round. Tuivasa landed some big shots early in the second, but dos Santos found a home for his left hook and followed up with a right hand which dropped the Aussie. He immediately pounced on Tuivasa, secured mount and rained down punches. Tuivasa had no answer but to fire back his own shots from the bottom before referee Herb Dean stepped in. Now 20-5, dos Santos managed to pick up his first back-to-back win since 2012.
Tuivasa’s close friends and training partners Tyson Pedro and Mark Hunt, who both competed on the card, also suffered defeat. Pedro lost to Mauricio Rua via TKO in round three and Mark Hunt lost a unanimous decision to Justin Willis.
Featherweight Suman Mokhtarian was overwhelmed by a game Sodiq Yusuff who landed a barrage of unanswered shots before the fight was stopped at 2:14.
Jake Matthews had an entertaining first round against Anthony Rocco Martin. What started out as a technical contest soon heated up with the two exchanging wild punches. The Aussie dropped Martin and sunk in a guillotine which Martin eventually escaped. The pace and output slowed in the second as Martin battered Matthews’ leg with calf kicks. Then in third, Martin put Matthews to sleep with an anaconda choke from a failed takedown attempt.
Jim Crute and Kai Kara-France each picked up big wins in their UFC debuts. Crute dominated his fight with Paul Craig, showing his aptitude on the ground against a submission specialist. With only seconds to go in the final round, he secured a kimura and got the tap.
Kai Kara-France vs. Elias Garcia was a timely reminder of the flyweight division’s potential. The two shared a thrilling contest which earned them Fight of the Night. Although the Kiwi significantly outstruck Garcia (157-20, per FightMetric), he was dropped in the first round and threatened with a deep armbar in the second before coming back to win a unanimous decision.
See the full results of UFC Adelaide below:
- Junior dos Santos def. Tai Tuivasa via TKO (R2, 2:30)
- Mauricio Rua def. Tyson Pedro via TKO (R3, 0:43)
- Justin Willis def. Justin Willis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Anthony Rocco Martin def. Jake Matthews via technical submission (anaconda choke) (R3, 1:19)
- Sodiq Yusuff def. Suman Mokhtarian via TKO (R1, 2:14)
- Jim Crute def. Paul Craig via submission (kimura) (R3, 4:51)
- Alexey Kunchenko def. Yushin Okami via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Wilson Reis def. Ben Nguyen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Keita Nakamura def. Salim Touahri via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Kai Kara-France def. Elias Garcia via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
- Christos Giagos def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-28)
- Damir Ismagulov def. Alex Gorgees via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)