Jun Yong Park secures third straight win at UFC Vegas 26
Park Jun-Yong continued his excellent form with a majority decision win against Tafon Nchukwi at UFC Vegas 26. The Korean has a burgeoning reputation at 185lbs having shattered the UFC record for most ground strikes landed in his last outing.
Up against John Phillips at UFC Fight Island 6, ‘the Iron Turtle’ landed a remarkable 258 ground strikes to surpass the previous record of 251. Park championed his superior grappling in the lead up to the fight, but his jab proved a more of a factor here.
The first round saw lively exchanges from both fighters with Nchukwi landing a powerful left hook to the body and some strong knees in the clinch. Park in turn, did well to stay behind his jab.
Nchukwi landed with a right counter but Park responded by doubling up with the jab and launching a solid leg kick. Having landed a lead left hook, Park was on the sharp end of a kick to the groin but when the fight resumed, the 30 year-old went right back to the jab.
The Korean landed a leg kick at the start of the second stanza and was swiftly met with a body shot from Nchukwi. Park then caught the body kick from Nchukwi and attempted a takedown. He had the Cameroonian in a front headlock but took a knee to the groin and hit the deck.
The referee this time deducted a point from Nchukwi for his second offence. When the action returned, Park continued to throw the jab but Nchukwi began to show more aggression and landed some left uppercuts on the inside.
Park then showed good level change and secured a single leg but Nchukwi turned his hip over and reversed the position. Nchukwi scored a takedown at the end of the round but found himself in a guillotine before the horn.
Saved by the bell ????
— UFC (@ufc) May 8, 2021
Having won his promotional debut in December, this was only Nchukwi’s second appearance in the UFC and he found himself up against it in the third as Park connected with a stiff jab. The Korean Top Team man then caught the left body kick and took Nchukwi down and landed in top control.
He transitioned from three quarter mount to the back and looked for the rear naked choke. He began to soften his opponent up with some heavy punches to find full mount. Then came more ferocious ground and pound that left Nchukwi badly beaten and dripping with blood.
Park ended the fight in emphatic fashion as he landed a pair of elbows that seemingly put the result beyond doubt. Surprisingly one judge saw it as a draw but the other two awarded the Korean a majority decision win which takes his record to 13-4 while Nchukwi falls to 5-1.
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) May 8, 2021
Best of the rest
In the main event Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) and Michelle Waterson (18-8) went to war for five rounds. The American finishes strongly but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Brazilian from claiming a unanimous decision win.
In the co-main event Alex Morono (19-7) scored the biggest win of his career against Donald Cerrone (36-16). He put a beating on the UFC veteran, finishing the fight late in the opening round.