The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA was home to a mediocre-turned-awesome night of fights. The card saw three (T)KOs, two submissions, and eight decisions, including one split-decision.
Performances of the Night: Paul Craig, Jack Hermansson
Paul Craig and Kennedy Nzechukwu had a fierce back-and-forth battle that saw Craig go immediately to his excellent grappling and Nzechukwu tearing into the Scot with big bombs and vicious kicks and elbows. Eye-poking from Nzechukwu was an unfortunate factor in this fight, and it saw the Nigerian take a point deduction in the third round. After several submission attempts, perseverance finally paid off for Craig in the form of a nasty triangle that forced Nzechukwu to tap out. Paul Craig gets the win and the $50,000 bonus.
It only took Jack Hermansson 49 seconds to submit David Branch via nasty guillotine choke. Branch, a jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, was only able to throw one hook before he was footswept and choked. It marks Hermansson’s ninth first-round finish, and likely catapulted him into serious title shot chatter. Jack Hermansson gets the win and a $50,000 bonus.
Fight of the Night: Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza
Justtin Gaethje and Edson Barboza gave the fans in Philly a beautiful, violent fight, even if it only lasted two-and-a-half minutes. Gaethje hurt Barboza early, but the Brazilian briefly recovered, landing a few big shots of his own. Gaethje ate them like power pellets, though, and landed some leg kicks before a massive right hook put Barboza down like a sack of bricks. Justin Gaethje gets the win, the adoration of fight fans across the world and both men take home a $50,000 bonus.