Caolan Loughran failed in his attempt to gain a UFC win on the first time of asking. The undefeated former CageWarriors champion lost his UFC debut via unanimous decision. Loughran took on Taylor Lapilus, a four fight veteran, who was returning to the UFC after a seven year hiatus.
Both men were originally scheduled to face other men on the card, however, this week they were matched together and it played in favour of Ireland’s Loughran.
‘The Don’, got under fans skin straight from the off at the weigh-ins yesterday, goading them into their boos. Naturally, they were on the side of their countryman, Lapilus and Loughran, who fights out of Team Kaobon, cupped his ears in his famous manner and flipped the crowd the bird when he walked out to weigh in. The fans had the last laugh, however.
The Fight Itself
As the fight began, the Irishman struggled to find the range. He was being kept at bay from the longer fighter and shot in for a takedown without really setting it up and was able to control his opponent against the fence.
The heavily muscled bantamweight was able to utilise his pressure, get on the inside and land a takedown in the final minute of the round against the Frenchman. Without actually doing much with the takedown, Lapilus got back to his feet and saw out the round strongly.
Round one to the Parisian.
Round two began with Loughran being much more urgent in his pursuit of a takedown. Achieving it in the first minute, he was able to largely control the Frenchman, despite Lapilus defending well. After a clean break between both men, Lapilus strung the Irishman multiple times, which naturally got the French fans out of their seats. Their native man definitely won the last minute, however, round two to ‘The Don’.
Between rounds, Lapilus was told to stay in the middle and not grapple with Loughran. It took just 30 seconds for the Irishman to yet again shoot for a takedown, albeit unsuccessfully. Lapilus gained some separation, however, Loughran again attempted a takedown.
Despite previous successes, Loughran was largely unsuccessful with his takedowns and had reasonable success on the feet. It wasn’t so much the volume, rather the power of the strikes landed.
Lapilus was certainly the slicker guy, countering well, stinging the former CageWarriors champion and forcing him into another wrestling attempt.
Loughran certainly has a good chin and in a very good, close fight, showed that he had just enough to notch the victory in his UFC debut. He’ll be hoping to perform better next time out, however. It was a successful return for Frances Lapilus, who has the skills to go on a good run on his second attempt.