Jenel Lausa gets his UFC career off to a great start with a dominant win at UFC Melbourne.
The Filipino Lausa wins UFC debut after his fight was delayed by a month. His bout with Yao Zhikui was moved from UFC Fight Night Manila to UFC Fight Night Melbourne. But it was definitely worth the wait.
Lausa came in as the favorite against his Chinese foe, who was making his 4th UFC appearance. From the start of the first round until the final bell, Lausa’s boxing proved superior to Yao’s striking.
Both men came out with hard shots to start the round. Lausa’s lead left hook proved powerful while Yao chose to attack with leg kicks to some success. The Filipino former-boxing champ caught two of Yao’s kicks and landed a right hand to put his opponent’s back on the mat. Lausa was faster in the striking exchanges and in the pocket, and ended the round with a knockdown.
Early in the second round, Lausa landed the most significant strike of the entire bout: a thunderous right head kick that dropped Yao. Lausa went in for the kill, attacking with ground-and-pound and pulling guard for a guillotine choke. However, he couldn’t finish off the submission from half-guard and had to abandon the technique. Even with Yao in top position, Lausa managed to get back to his feet.
Yao was able to mount significant offense towards the end of the round. He took Lausa down and rained down hard punches from inside the Filipino’s guard. Lausa, on the other hand, effectively landed a couple of elbow strikes to Yao’s head from off of his back.
It was all Lausa in the third round. Likely ahead in the scorecards, Lausa executed an economic gameplan. His cornermen yelled at him in Filipino not to throw anymore head kicks. His boxing (particularly the left hook and straight right) were on-point, and he was out of harm’s way before Yao had a chance to counter. Basically, “The Demolition Man” picked his Chinese foe apart. After repeatedly landing crisp punches to Yao’s head, the final bell rang.
The judges’ decision was read and Lausa had won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
After Lausa wins UFC debut, he told the media:
“I want to thank all of my family, my wife and son, my team, my fans, everyone who has always supported me in the Philippines and around the world, I am especially thankful to God for this blessing. This win is going to be the first of many and I hope to get more blessings, more fights and hopefully I will eventually get to the belt.”
The victory improves Lausa’s win streak to 5 fights and his record to 7-2. Yao, meanwhile, drops to 2-4.
Check out our feature video on Jenel Lausa here: