UFC 239: Jorge Masvidal steals the show with a flying knee for the ages
UFC 239 more than delivered on fans expectations this weekend, with an action packed card from top to bottom.
Luke Rockhold made his highly anticipated debut at light heavyweight against the dangerous Jan Błachowicz to kick things off.
The fight began well for Rockhold, who immediately began blasting Błachowicz with his powerful roundhouse kicks, but the former middleweight champion began to face adversity going at the end of the first, when he was hit with a head kick as the bell sounded.
The second round was all Błachowicz, with the aggressive Pole walking his opponent down and eventually finishing the fight in resounding fashion as he span Rockhold out of a grappling exchange straight into a thundering left hook.
This left Rockhold in a heap on the canvas and Herb Dean stopped the fight shortly after.
With the recent back and forth between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal, their match up at 239 might have been the most highly anticipated fight of the night.
The two clearly do not like each other, with Masvidal even going as far as to say ‘I want to correct the mistake that is Ben Askren’.
But as is custom in the UFC, you have to back up what you say in the Octagon.
As the bell sounded for the first round, Jorge Masvidal placed his hands behind his back and then exploded towards Askren. He launched himself into a devastating flying knee which knocked Askren out cold as he leaned down for a double leg take down.
He delivered two follow up strikes and was pulled off by Herb Dean just five seconds into the fight - bagging himself the record for fastest knockout in UFC history.
Following this emphatic victory, Masvidal may be next in line for a title shot, so be sure to stay tuned for coverage on this.
The co-main slot was filled with the double champ Amanda Nunes defending her 135lb title against Holly Holm.
With Nunes looking to solidify her spot as the greatest female fighter and Holm trying to regain her old title, the stage was set for this bout.
The first round looked set to be a feeling out process for the first minute, with Nunes flicking out her jab to gauge distance and Holm stabbing at her opponent with front leg side kicks.
However, in the second minute of the round, Nunes faked a right hand, causing Holm to flinch and leave herself open for a right leg high kick - which the champion threw with conviction and landed flush.
Holm dropped to the canvas and the fight was called off seconds later.
Nunes retains her title and may be looking to the likes of Andrea Shevchenko - who is also coming off an equally impressive head kick knock out - for her next fight.
The main event was the polarising Jon Jones taking on the wild Thiago Santos for the light heavyweight title.
In a tense affair that ended up going the distance, Santos managed to tag the champion, even knocking his mouth piece out with a left hook.
After Santos arguably won the first round, he began to experience issues with left knee and was treading on it gingerly in the second.
Jones managed to score two knockdowns in second and third round with a right kick to the body and a lead elbow, both of which dropped Santos momentarily before he got back to his feet.
With both fighters looking fatigued and Santos’ left leg looking injured, the fight went to the judges. Jones was awarded a split decision victory, but Santos, who was a massive betting underdog became the first person to give Jones a split decision.
With Jones already mentioning a rematch, expect to see the two come together again in the future.