The UFC 241 is in progress and Sodiq Yusuff just melted Gabriel Benitez in the first round... after a couple of exciting momentum swings. Yusuff has now won five-straight bouts, three of which occurred inside of a UFC Octagon. As for Benitez, this snaps a two-fight winning run. Before that, the UFC’s #8 ranked middleweight Derek Brunson got off to a rocky start against the #10 ranked Ian Heinisch, but ended up putting on one of his cleanest performances to date to win the decision. Brunson has now won back to back fights and retains his status as one of the top gatekeepers in the middleweight division. Heinisch was riding a five-fight winning streak leading into this matchup.
**See complete results below
Sodiq Yusuff def. Gabriel Benitez by TKO at 4:14 of round 1: Featherweight
Yusuff threw bombs right away, cutting open Benitez and backing him up. He then started to attack the legs. Benitez then got back into the fight by wobbling Yusuff with a left hand of his own. Then, the tide turned again when Yusuff blasted Benitez with a melting right hand. Benitez instantly hit the deck and Yusuff pounced with ground strikes. Luckily, the referee was there to stop the assault. Yikes!
Derek Brunson def. Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Middleweight
Heinisch wobbled Brunson immediately with a head kick. Brunson recovered quickly and clinched up with Heinisch. After the pace slowed down, the fight went back to open space. Both men landed clean power punches in their own time and absorbed the blows rather well. Brunson showed up really composed in the second act. Heinisch almost looked desperate at times, whether it was failing at a takedown or getting clipped coming in. Brunson began turning it on. He picked up the pace and started to wear on Heinisch.
A short-lived takedown was scored by Brunson within the first minute of the final round. Heinisch tried to push forward, but he kept getting sucked into grappling exchanges. The better strikes were coming from Brunson. He was throwing at a reserved and calculated pace. He wasn’t over-extending on his strikes. It was as clean of a performance as one could hope for from Brunson.