UFC on FOX 27 took place this past Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The main event saw two top middleweights take to the Octagon, both needing a win for hopes of a title shot. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza took on Derek Brunson in a rematch of their fight in Strikeforce in 2012. The card also saw two possible fight of the nights, but that award can only be given to one. Along with all of that, many fighters stood out among the rest as they put on performances that caught the attention of many. From body shot KOs to brawls, here are the UFC on FOX 27: standout performances.
#1: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Derek Brunson via Knockout (Head Kick and Punches) at 3:50 of Round 1
The main event between Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson was a rematch of their 2012 fight under Strikeforce. That fight ended after “Jacare” was able to land two good punches on Brunson, winning by first round knockout. This time around, the outcome of the fight did not really change. Although, this time, the strike that finished the fight was different than the first time. Souza landed a head kick that wobbled Brunson and he followed that up with repeated left hooks that forced the ref to stop the fight. After about nine months away from the sport following a knockout loss to the current champion, Robert Whittaker, “Jacare” is back. He has proved that he can still be a threat to the title at this time in his career. At 38 years old, he is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
#2: Mirsad Bektic def. Godofredo Pepey via TKO (Body Shot) at 2:47 of Round 1
Mirsad Bektic has not been in the octagon since UFC 209 in March after a loss to Darren Elkins. He returned on Saturday in Charlotte against Godofredo Pepey and looked great. He got back to his winning ways, and got it done quickly. Early in the first round, he landed a vicious body shot that made Pepey wince in pain until the stoppage. Bektic was awarded his first win since 2016 at UFC 204. He looked great, and with the win, he could get another shot at a top ten featherweight sometime this year. If he can continue his winning ways after the disappointing loss to Elkins, he will be a fighter to watch this year.
#3: Gregor Gillespie def. Jordan Rinaldi via TKO (Strikes) at 4:46 of Round 1
At 11-0, Gregor Gillespie has proved that he is someone to watch at lightweight. When he gets of hold of you, it is tough to escape. He showed that once again on Saturday, defeating Jordan Rinaldi with repetitive ground strikes en route to a stoppage. Late in the first round, he took Rinaldi’s back and unloaded with ground and pound until the ref was forced to step in.
#4: Bobby Green def. Erik Koch via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
This standout performances goes out to both fighters as they both put on a show. They traded shots throughout the entirety of the fight. Once the fight had gone to the scorecards, Bobby Green was awarded the victory, his first since 2014. Both fighters put on excellent performances that could have earned them fight of the night. Regardless, it was an exciting slug fest that that did not disappoint.
#5: Drew Dober def. Frank Camacho via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
This one also goes out to both fighters in another fight that was very entertaining. This fight was the one that was eventually declared fight of the night over Green-Koch. Drew Dober moved up to 170 after a long stretch down at 155 to take on Frank Camacho, who is known for exciting fights. Camacho was able to win the first round, landing a couple takedowns and stunning Dober before the bell. Once the second round began, Camacho began to fade and Dober picked up his offense. The two went back and forth, but Dober was able to win the next two rounds. Those two rounds decided the fight, as Dober was awarded the win by unanimous decision.
The first FOX event of 2018 is in the books, with Ronaldo Souza emerging victorious in the main event. Next week we see former light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, take on former college football national champion, Eryk Anders. Plus, Valentina Shevchenko’s return to the new flyweight division. Join me next week as we look back at which performances stood out above the rest.