21/02/2024
Jack Jenkins full mount

Jack Jenkins dominated the fight on the ground before stopping his opponent in the third round (Photo: UFC_AUSNZ/Twitter)

In his first fight on the big stage, Victoria’s Jack Jenkins (10-2) scored a dominant victory over fellow prospect Emiliano Linares (8-2) on Dana White’s Contender Series.

The performance impressed UFC President Dana White enough for him to award the Aussie with a UFC contract.

On the local MMA scene, Jenkins had garnered a reputation as one of the best-unsigned fighters in the country after gathering six wins in a row, with UFC light heavyweight Jimmy Crute dubbing him as a future world champion.

The impressive run which also included two defenses of Eternal MMA’s Featherweight Championship was enough for him to earn a call to fight for a UFC contract.

Standing in his way was Ecuadorian Emiliano Linares, who was coming into the fight on an impressive run of his own with a four-fight win streak that included three stoppages.

The contest looked to be a tough test for “Phar Jack”, but it proved to be a calm day in the office.

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The fight started off with Linares on the front foot, but after 30 seconds on the feet Jenkins was able to take advantage of his opponent’s aggression to execute a well-timed takedown to enter his opponent’s guard.

Needing a stoppage to impress his potential boss, Jenkins looked for the arm triangle while he was in both half guard and full mount.

However, the Ecuadorian proved to be slick in his submission defense after using the cage and his impressive flexibility to wrap his legs around Jenkins and escape the bottom position, before ending up on top to close the round.

In the opening minute of the second round, Jenkins was able to land some hard knees to the body before putting Linares on his back again.

This time, Jenkins did more damage.

After the Aussie landed a massive elbow, blood started pouring out of the right side of Linares’ head. Jenkins was able to control Linares for the rest of the round whilst painting the canvas with his opponent’s blood.

Needing a stoppage to win, Linares went on the offensive before being taken down within a minute yet again.

Although Linares tried his best to escape the bottom position, Jenkins still remained in control and with 55 seconds left to go Jenkins secured back mount and rained punches until the referee stopped the fight after 4:30 of the third round.

The victory for the Victorian pushes his win streak to seven in a row and won him a UFC contract at the end of the show, making him the Fourth Australian to do so after Jimmy Crute, Jack Della Maddalena and Shannon Ross.

In his post-fight interview with Laura Sanko, Jenkins said that Linares’ tendency to over-extend was the reason he started to take a grappling approach.

“I noticed early that he was eager with that double jab” he said, ” when someone gets eager with that double jab, it’s so easy for that front leg tap so I took that and wanted to go to work.

“He played real defensive, he wasn’t getting up so I had to get my work done from the guard, but I’m happy with that and I want to show that I’ve got a fully rounded skill set, so I’m ready to go.”

Jenkins also dedicated the victory to his friend who is in hospital.

“Me and Jimmy Crute went through a lot” he said, “one of our friends is in hospital from a fight and he has been for a few years, we made a promise to him that I was going to get here and fight with Jimmy so I’m going to do that.”

When announcing the contract winners, Dana White felt that the Aussie was a “one-trick pony” but wants to see more of him in the future.

“My thing with Jack Jenkins tonight was that he looked like a one-trick pony tonight” he said.

“He kept going to the ground, he absolutely dominated but the boys were telling me that he’s actually a great kickboxer, I didn’t see any of that tonight.

“Jimmy Crute thinks he is going to be a world champion, I saw him post that, He is on a seven fight win-streak, he did get the finish.

“It’s the last show of the year [and] on a night that I might not take him, I’m definitely taking him tonight.”

Jenkins’ addition to the UFC roster is yet another win for Australian MMA, as fans from down under get to see one of their own mix it up on the big show.

Despite a one-dimensional but effective performance, it is most definite that we will see a lot more from “Phar Jack” very soon.

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