Welterweight Jacob Malkoun (6-1, 2-1 UFC) has fought back from early adversity to secure Australia’s first win at UFC 271 card, taking a unanimous decision (29-28 x3) from AJ Dobson (6-1-0-1, 0-1 UFC).
The first round of the contest was a stark contrast to the prevailing narrative of the fight on the whole.
An explosive start from Dobson saw him use his elite hand speed to great effect, landing a a number of straight right hands. Though Malkoun was able to land his own overhand punches, the striking advantage was clearly on the American’s side.
In order to negate his opponent’s boxing, the Australian attempted to put his wrestling to good use. Dobson’s takedown defence was sensational throughout the first however, stopping the first four of five attempts.
Not one to be deterred, Malkoun continued to grapple in the second. This time, he found greater success, first with a single leg and secondly with a body lock. The later of these was the key to establishing dominance.
For much of the round, Malkoun held top position, taking Dobson’s back and landing continued ground and pound. So much was his supremacy that by the time the horn sounded, the Sydney native had landed over 50 more strikes than Dobson across the period.
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The third stanza played out in a very similar fashion. Another early body lock takedown led to further mat control. As the pressure continued to rise with Malkoun’s grappling output, it was clear that Dobson had no answers, left with no choice but to be pinned to the floor for a majority of the fight.
Speaking to commentator Daniel Cormier post fight, the relatively coy victor spoke of his pride in making the adjustments and securing another UFC win.
“I’m not just here to fight and see how I go. I’m here to win,” Malkoun told.
“I just proved that I’ve got a bit of a chin. Probably not a good idea to get hit, but the wrestling helped.”
The win marks Jacob Malkoun’s second octagon triumph from three UFC appearances. The 26 year old will now be hoping that he has started a winning trend for the card, with fellow compatriots, Casey O’Neill, Tai Tuivasa and Robert Whittaker in action later today.
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