16/04/2024

Tasmania's Shaun Etchell (left) facing off with the victorious Takeru Uchida before their Road to UFC bout - Photo: MMA Junkie

Former Eternal MMA champion Shaun Etchell has suffered his first stoppage defeat, submitted by 19-year-old prospect Takeru Ushida at Road to UFC in Singapore.

In his first fight under the UFC banner, Australia’s Shaun Etchell (7-3) suffered a first round submission defeat to 19 year old Takeru Uchida (6-1).

The loss marks the first time Etchell has been stopped in his professional MMA career.

After establishing himself on the local scene as one of the best unsigned fighters Australia has to offer, Etchell finally got his shot at the big time when he was called up to fight in Singapore on the recently revived Road to UFC Card.

The show’s main concept is a tournament-style competition to showcase the best Asian talent in MMA, where the winners of each fight advances to the semi-finals later in the year. Eventual tournament victors are then awarded UFC contracts.

Although the former Eternal MMA Bantamweight champion did not compete in the main tournament, it was a great opportunity for “The Buzzsaw” to show the world what he could do.

Facing Japan’s Uchida, a man who has made his name fighting in the SHOOTO promotion, Etchell was tasked with talented grappler that entered the fight riding a four-fight submission streak. Staggeringly, these had never gone past the second round.

As soon as the fight commenced, Uchida shot straight for the takedown and got the Tasmanian against the cage. Although he looked to be in a bad position, Etchell did a great job of utilising underhooks to prevent being taken to the ground.

The fight eventually went to the ground when Uchida attempted a body lock takedown however, only for the Aussie to defend and end up on top in side control.

During a scramble Etchell managed to get to his opponent’s back, but the hooks were not strong enough and Uchida managed to escape.

After more exchanges on the ground, Uchida was able to shake off Etchell from back mount and trap his leg, before easily taking his back to sink in a rear-naked choke.

Etchell fought hard to escape the submission, even attempting to dunk the grappling specialist on his head. The choke was too tight though, leaving the 28 year old Launcestonian no choice but to tap after nearly four minutes of action.

https://twitter.com/UFC_AUSNZ/status/1534827908358881281

In his post-fight interview with Laura Sanko, Uchida said he had felt a lot of nerves coming into the fight.

“This was my first fight outside of Japan, I was very nervous,” Uchida said.

“(I have) a lot of things to think about and go back to but I’m just so happy I got a win.

“(This was my) first time fighting in this big arena, I just feel good, I feel so good.”

Despite not being in the official Road To UFC Tournament, Uchida said that he is excited to be on the UFC’s radar and is ready to fight later this year.

“I understand this wasn’t a tournament (bout), but I’ll be ready anytime – September, December, anytime. I’m ready.”

Despite the loss, it is safe to say that Etchell will still be on the UFC’s radar, and given that he is still only 28 years old there is still a lot of time to grow and get a second shot in MMA’s premier organisation.

Rewatch Etchell’s fight on UFC Fight Pass (Subscription Required)

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