Anthony Perosh def. Tom Blackledge via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), photo via Daniel Herbertson, FanHouse
Australian-born Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Anthony Perosh put on an impressive performance in front of his hometown crowd as he choked out British knockout artist Tom Blackledge in the first round on Saturday night at UFC 127. After some sloppy striking on the feet in the opening moments of the round, Perosh gained top control against the fence, battering Blackledge with strikes. As Blackledge tried to escape to the feet, Perosh took advantage by taking the back, sprawling out Blackledge's body, and sinking in a rear naked choke.
The victory shelves the looming threat of being cut from the UFC after he lost his debut against Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic at UFC 110 back in February of last year. Perosh took the fight on only two days notice, creating an almost insurmountable obstacle for him to overcome in a seasoned veteran like Filipovic. Despite the loss, Perosh garnered respect from many fans for his ability to last until the end of the second round.
For Blackledge, he'll need to go back to the drawing board at Wolfslair. He didn't look interested to be inside the cage with Perosh, and his striking was lacking technique and explosiveness. Perosh easily handled him on the ground as well, leading me to believe he may not be the type of fighter the UFC needs.