Zhu Rong is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster and he has his first win. The 20 year old finished Brandon Jenkins with just 25 seconds remaining in the third round.
The Chinese lightweight is nothing if not tough as he proved in the first round, declining to take a time out after being kicked in the groin. The two traded low kicks in the opening round but Zhu soon started to find a home for his right hand.
A perfectly timed right dropped Jenkins and Zhu went to work from top position, briefly taking his opponent’s back before moving to mount. The Chinese fighter finished the round in top position and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who was ahead.
Jenkins looked to make a fast start in the second stanza but soon found himself defending a takedown attempt. Eventually Zhu got him down and the Chinese fighter kept him there, moving into mount again.
Went for the spin, but met with a hook ???? #UFCVegas37 pic.twitter.com/y4F5y0Z5kk
— UFC (@ufc) September 18, 2021
This time Jenkins was able to escape and finish the round on his feet but it was Zhu who got the better of the exchanges, landing some solid punches. It left the American with a mountain to climb but the final round did not pan out any differently.
This time Zhu did not need a takedown, he was able to drop Jenkins with another perfectly timed right hand. This time the Chinese fighter showed no mercy from top position and after taking his opponent’s back and trying for a rear naked choke he was able to finish the fight with punches from that position.
It was the first win of the Chinese fighters UFC career, his record improves to 18-4 while his stock rises dramatically. Jenkins drops to 15-8.
???????? China stand up!
[ @RongzhuM | #UFCVegas37 ] pic.twitter.com/ctWehkiPcK
— UFC (@ufc) September 18, 2021
Step by step
Speaking afterwards Zhu sounded extremely humble but was adamant he wanted to take things ‘step by step’,
“I would like to move forwards step by step, focus on my training and show better technique in the future. I want to work on my standing technique, my boxing and my footwork because this time my boxing trainer flew all the way from China to help me with this camp but I feel like I didn’t do that well in my standing. For the next opponent I don’t have anyone in mind because I’ new to UFC and I want to move step by step.
“(I) want to move step-by-step.”@RongzhuM wants to take his time making his way up the lightweight ladder after getting his first UFC victory.
More #UFCVegas37 Results ⬇️:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) September 18, 2021
Best of the rest
Heili Alateng (14-8-2) fought to a draw with Gustavo Lopez (12-6-1) in their bantamweight bout. The Chinese fighter was deducted a point for repeatedly grabbing the fence in the third round, and it cost him the fight.
UFC Vegas 37, Las Vegas, September 19th
Anthony Smith def. Ryan Spann by Submission (Rear-naked choke) at 3:47 of R1
Ion Cuțelaba def. Devin Clark by Decision (Unanimous)
Ariane Lipski def. Mandy Böhm by Decision (Unanimous)
Arman Tsarukyan def. Christos Giagos by TKO (Punches) at 2:09 of R1
Nate Maness def. Tony Gravely by TKO (Punches) at 2:10 of R2
Joaquin Buckley def. Antônio Arroyo by KO (Punches) at 2:26 of R3
Tafon Nchukwi def. Mike Rodríguez by Decision (Unanimous)
Raquel Pennington def. Pannie Kianzad by Decision (Unanimous)
Zhu Rong def. Brandon Jenkins by TKO (Punches) at 4:35 of R3
Montel Jackson def. JP Buys by Decision (Unanimous)
Erin Blanchfield def. Sarah Alpar by Decision (Unanimous)
Carlston Harris def. Impa Kasanganay by TKO (punches) at 2:38 of R1
Gustavo Lopez vs. Heili Alateng by Draw (Unanimous)
Hannah Goldy def. Emily Whitmire by Submission (Armbar) at 4:17 of R1