Calgary featherweight fighter Hakeem Dawodu was up in opposition to extra adversity than simply his opponent at UFC 231 in Toronto on Saturday — he was additionally battling a chilly.
Regardless of that, the 27-year-old was dominant in a split-decision victory over American Kyle Bochniak, with two judges giving Dawodu a lopsided 30-27 rating, whereas a 3rd had it 29-28 for Bochniak.
“I used to be fairly stunned once they introduced a cut up choice,” stated Dawodu, echoing the emotions of many observers.
“I obtained the win although and felt dominant doing it, in order that’s all I can ask for.”
The 145 pound Dawodu improved to 2-1 within the UFC with a managed efficiency that bloodied Bochniak.
“I wished to go for the end however this entire week I have been sort of preventing a chilly,” he instructed reporters after the struggle.
“Normally within the third spherical I can actually push, I’ve obtained good cardio however I felt slightly little bit of a burn in my lungs, so I obtained slightly bit extra drained than standard. However on the identical time, I should not have left it within the arms of the judges, I felt like if I pushed tougher I might have gotten the end.”
Dawodu stated he was sneezing when he arrived in Toronto on Tuesday.
“I requested my nutritionist to offer me some vitamin C and I used to be taking oil of oregano and that sort of suppressed it,” he stated.
“I did not actually really feel the chilly till the second or third spherical, my lungs have been burning slightly greater than standard. However on the identical time, he was a tricky man and I used to be anticipating a tricky struggle.”
The win follows a formidable efficiency on the UFC on Fox occasion in Calgary in July and all however erases the reminiscence of his disastrous debut at UFC Battle Evening in London, England in March, the place he was submitted in 39 seconds.
“I’m positively beginning to really feel snug,” he stated.
“It is loopy, it is my third UFC struggle in a single yr, I really feel like by my subsequent struggle, after I heal up … you will see the outdated Imply Hakeem again and I am going to get again to my knockout methods.”
Wanting forward, Dawodu stated he’d like his subsequent struggle to be outdoors Canada.
“Perhaps one thing like Australia, or Brazil, China,” he stated. “Simply hold getting my title on the market, getting extra publicity and climbing up the ranks.”
Desires four fights in 2019
Dawodu stated he’d prefer to struggle 4 occasions in 2019.
He has one struggle left on his UFC contract and desires to stick with the group.
“It is the primary league, it is the league to be, they’re treating me very good, they’re holding me lively,” he stated.
Canadians went 2-Three on the UFC231 undercard with Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou and Brad (Superman) Katona each profitable selections. Kyle (The Monster) Nelson, Chad (The Disciple) Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier misplaced.
Theodorou used his in-ring interview after the struggle to additional plead for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for athletes prescribed medical hashish, which he says he makes use of to fight bilateral neuropathic ache.
The 30-year-old middleweight had utilized for an exemption from USADA — the US Anti-Doping Company — which oversees the UFC’s drug testing program, however was denied.
In the principle occasion Saturday, 145-pound champion Max Holloway used his superior placing and motion in opposition to challenger Brian Ortega, leaving him bloodied and inflicting his left eye to swell almost shut.
The ring physician referred to as a cease to the struggle earlier than the beginning of the fifth spherical.
Holloway landed 290 important strikes, setting a brand new UFC document.
The primary occasion was named ‘struggle of the evening,’ incomes each fighters a $50,000 US bonus, and Holloway additionally earned a ‘efficiency of the evening’ bonus, additionally price $50,000 US.
Within the co-main occasion, Valentina Shevchenko captured the vacant 125-pound ladies’s flyweight championship, scoring a dominant, unanimous choice victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk.