Hot on the heels of Jorge Masvidal’s stunning five-second knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 last weekend, we were treated to a hat-trick of first-round finishes at the top of the card in Sacramento, with the return of “The California Kid” drawing the biggest cheer of the night.
FABER STUNS SIMON… AND EVERYONE ELSE!
Forty-year-old former WEC world champion Urijah Faber looked to have retired without winning the one prize he so coveted – the UFC bantamweight title. But the man known to his legion of fans as “The California Kid” made a spectacular return to action on home turf in Sacramento.
Faber entered the arena to his iconic walkout tune, 2Pac’s “California Love” as the Sac-Town crowd rose as one to welcome back their hero.
And when the action began it didn’t take long for Faber to get back into the swing of things, as he stunned rising star Ricky Simon with a huge right hand.
Urijah Faber knocks out Ricky Simon 46 seconds into his comeback fight!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 14, 2019
It sent the crowd into raptures as their local hero claimed an incredible TKO win in just 46 seconds on his return from retirement. But they weren’t the only people going crazy. The cleverly-placed camera watching UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald and co-commentator and UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping captured their excitement at the moment as both men went crazy at Faber’s remarkable return.
I mean that night was just bananas. As I was writing the stat in my notes for Urijah’s last KO (2007!), I had a hunch I would need it, but thought it was wishful thinking. Nope. Incredible night! #UFCSacramento
(PS – I sound cooler than I look apparently) pic.twitter.com/SsCBrxVXGo
— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzTV) July 14, 2019
De Randamie Finishes in Style
The main event saw former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie claim a super-fast finish of fellow contender Aspen Ladd and remind everyone that she’s still a serious threat in her more natural weight class of bantamweight. De Randamie clipped Ladd early and moved in for the finish, but referee Herb Dean stepped in very quickly to prevent Ladd taking too much punishment.
Germaine de Randamie | #UFCSacramento
"The Iron Lady" derrota a Aspen Ladd en 16 segundos por KO en la pelea estelar. La holandesa consigue su quinta victoria consecutiva anotándose el nocaut más rápido de la división gallo femenil. ¿Detención prematura? pic.twitter.com/3ZjZzWZosZ
— El rincón de las MMA (@RinconMMA) July 14, 2019
It looked like an early stoppage, but the writing appeared to be on the wall for Ladd, who had endured a painful weight cut and weigh-in process that led some – myself included – to wonder if she should even be allowed to fight after looking so bad on the scale. De Randamie said she would love to face Amanda Nunes for her bantamweight title, but knows she may have to wait while the two-division champ puts her featherweight belt on the line later this year.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) July 12, 2019
LEFT-HAND DOES THE JOB FOR JOSH
Josh Emmett was pushed onto the back foot for much of the opening round of his featherweight clash with the dangerous Mirsad Bektic, but he found the antidote to the Bosnian’s pressure pretty quickly. Emmett waited for his moment, exploded with a big left hand, and ended Mirsad Bektic’s night in decisive fashion to register another big-name stoppage victory with 35 seconds of the first round to spare. The California-based featherweight is part of Sacramento’s Team Alpha Male gym run by Faber, and he helped make it a big night for the team as he scored a huge win to move himself up the 145-pound ladder.
— Louise Green (@LouiseGreenMMA) December 17, 2017