Shortly after Darren Elkins’s epic comeback win over Michael Johnson and the UFC’s touching tribute to the recovering Matt Hughes, welterweight contenders Kamaru Usman and Emil Meek stepped into the cage to do battle.
Round one of this fight was decisively Usman’s. Though he very nearly dove into a Meek guillotine with his first takedown, he survived this scare to control the rest of the round, softening his viking foe up with ground-and-pound in the process.
A tough first round clearly didn’t discourage Meek, who came out with heavy artillery in round two, tossing out a number of cracking high kicks, and even planting a jarring spinning back-fist on his foe’s face. Eventually, however, Usman began to apply pressure with his wrestling, which led him to a massive slam takedown. “The Nigerian Nightmare” then controlled the remainder of the round on the mat, bloodying his foe with punches and elbows from top position.
Round three began with a bloody Meek attempting to hype up the crowd, bravely advancing on his foe despite being down two rounds. Unfortunately, he landed a kick below the belt in his excitement, which caused a brief pause in the action. When the fight resumed, the two fighters engaged in a wild exchange, which once again resulted in Meek being airborne. Though Meek briefly returned to his feet, Usman was quick to ground things again, where he bloodied his foe with a third serving of ground-and-pound. The fight ended with Usman still decisively in control, and a bloody Meek chucking away his mouth card in frustration.
As expected, all three judges scored this one for Kamaru Usman, who will return to Florida with a unanimous decision win over a tough foe. With this win, Usman moved onto an 11-fight streak, and 12-1 overall. Post-fight, the Nigerian Nightmare made a solid callout of Colby Covington. See that below.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 1/14/2018.