Two rising UFC stars from Australia earned brutal knockout victories in Sunday’s UFC Fight Night after overcoming adversity in the first round.
First, 27-year-old Aussie Jamie Mullarkey won a superb knockout that “melted” American Devonte Smith.
The 6’0 lightweight – training partner of Australian champion Alexander Volkanovski – was twice rocked in the first round by the explosive power of Smith, but ended the round with a promising elimination and flurry of attacks in the last few seconds.
Dean Thomas said in a comment: “Devonte Smith looks absolutely brilliant.”
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But it didn’t take long in the second round for Mullarkey to storm through, landing a brilliant low left kick in the first minute that slowed down his rival. He charged forward after two minutes on the back of a left right that hit the eye. He landed and poured over a frightening barrage of punches, elbows and knees that demolished his opponent and forced the referee to step in after 2 minutes 51 seconds.
Thomas said: “Jamie Mullarkey – another knockout win, what a comeback!”
UFC great Daniel Cormier said, “Holy cow, Jamie Mullarkey just melted him! He kept the pace, he kept the pressure on him. He stayed in front of him and when the fight got ugly, got dirty, Devonte Smith started to tire and then he pulled him out of there.
Mullarkey’s second straight win brings his MMA record to 14-4 – with 13 wins via saves.
Mullarkey said, “He started out strong. He probably got that first round I would say. We knew it would be his best turn. He’s a fast and explosive guy and we knew we had to shoot him and put that pressure on him.
Speaking of the jab that triggered the rain of attacks, he added: “I saw it hurt and it hit him. I didn’t think it hurt too much, but when he kept backing up and didn’t throw me at me, I knew he wanted out.
Later on the card, Scottish-born Australian Casey O’Neill continued her unbeaten streak in the UFC with the biggest win of her career.
The 23-year-old improved to 3-0 in the UFC with an impressive second-round victory over Antonina Shevchenko.
O’Neill has now finished all three opponents she faced in the UFC; make a holster like a flyweight to watch it move forward.
“I’ve said it over and over again – just because I haven’t had the opportunity to fight people like this doesn’t mean I’m not ready for this,” O’Neill said.
“… Now I’m here, and I’m staying, and I’m for real.” And I hope I proved it to everyone tonight, because I’m here to stay.
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