Tristan Connelly got the call to step up and face wild striking Michel Pereira at UFC Fight Night 158 on just five days notice. That didn’t stop the British Columbia native from picking up the decision victory despite entering the event as the biggest underdog on the card.
Pereira walked to the ring executing a choreographed dance with his team and backflipping into the Octagon. His actions to start the fight were no less wild as he threw a superman punch off the cage, flipping kicks, capoeira moves and even an attempt at a backflip stomp — all in the first two minutes of the fight.
For all the flash and showmanship in those opening minutes, Pereira really landed nothing. And it was clear the wild attack had winded the -550 favorite early in the fight.
Sensing this, Connelly upped his pressure, scored takedowns, fished for submissions and took over the striking exchanges as the fight wore on. By Round 3, Connelly had completely taken the fight over, dominating Pereira with heavy ground and pound and earning a 10-8 round on two judges’ scorecards.
When the fight came to a close, the workmanlike performance by Connelly earned him a clear decision win and proved there’s a time to play and a time to fight.
The official scorecards read 29-28, 29-27 and 29-27 for Connelly as the hometown crowd roared in approval.
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