Two Aussie UFC rising stars claimed brutal knockout wins on Sunday’s UFC Fight Night after overcoming first-round adversity.
First, 27-year-old Aussie Jamie Mullarkey claimed a stunning come-from-behind knockout that ‘melted’ brawling American Devonte Smith.
The 6’0 lightweight – a training partner of Aussie champion Alexander Volkanovski – was rocked twice in the opening round by the explosive power of Smith, but finished the round with a promising take-down and flurry of attacks in the final seconds.
Dean Thomas said in commentary: “Devonte Smith looks absolutely brilliant.”
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But it didn’t take long in the second round for Mullarkey to go on the assault, landing a brilliant low left kick in the opening minute that slowed his rival. He charged forward after two minutes on the back of a straight left that struck the eye. He clinched and pouring on a scary barrage of punches, elbows, and knees that demolished his opponent that forced the referee to step in after 2 mins 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 his face and when the fight became ugly, became dirty Devonte Smith started to fatigue and then he got him out of there.”
Mullarkey’s second-straight win moves his MMA record to 14-4 – with 13 wins coming via stoppages.
Mullarkey said: “He started hard. He probably got that first round, I would say. We knew that would be his best round. He’s a fast explosive guy and we knew we had to get the shots out of him and put that pressure on.”
Speaking of the jab that started the downpour of attacks, he added: “I saw that it hurt him and it got to him. I didn’t think it hurt him too bad but when he continued to back up and wasn’t throwing on me I knew that he wanted out.”
Later on the card, Scottish-born Australian Casey O’Neill continued her undefeated 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 stoppage victory over Antonina Shevchenko.
O’Neill has now finished all three opponents she’s faced in the UFC; making a case as a flyweight to watch moving forward.
“I’ve said it time and time again – just because I didn’t have the opportunity to fight people like this, doesn’t mean I’m not ready for it,” O’Neill said.
“… Now I’m here, and I’m staying, and I’m for real. And I hope that I proved that to everybody tonight, because I’m here to stay.”
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