Shayilan Nuerdanbieke got off to the perfect start at UFC 287. He dropped Steve Garcia with a right hand early in the opening round and looked on the verge of finishing the American.
Garcia was finished by a right hand from Maheshate at UFC 275 and history appeared to be repeating itself. But this time he was able to survive a the onslaught and finish the round strongly.
After the knockdown Nuerdanbieke has plenty of time in top position but couldn’t do any damage. Garcia made him pay in the closing stages when he got to his feet and landed a flurry of punches.
— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2023
While Nuerdanbieke had probably got the better of the opening round the momentum was with Garcia at this point. A minute might not have been enough for the Chinese fighter to recover because he seemed totally unprepared for the assault his opponent launched at the start of the second.
Garcia attacked relentlessly with punches and kicks, backing Nuerdanbieke across the octagon. The Chinese fighter desperately tried to get the fight down but to no avail.
A left kick to the midsection connected cleanly and was followed by a left hook to the liver which folded Nuerdanbieke. The follow up hammerfists weren’t necessary as the referee dived in to save the stricken Chinese fighter.
THE BODY SHOT FOLDS HIM! 😱
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 8, 2023
The fight was stopped at the 0:46 mark and afterwards Garcia celebrated like a man who knew just how close he had come to being finished in the first round. He has now registered back to back stoppage wins since the loss to Maheshate in Singapore.
With the win Garcia improves to 14-5. Meanwhile Nuerdanbieke sees his three fight winning streak snapped after suffering just the second defeat of his UFC career.
The 28 year old remains one of the most experienced fighters on the roster as his record drops to 39-11. He has three wins from his five UFC fights, a respectable return, but saw his recent momentum snapped by the resurgent Garcia.
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