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Gaethje lights up lightweight division with impressive first-round KO win in Philly

The American defeated Edson Barboza in the main event at Wells Frago Center.

MMA star Justin Gaethje poses with fans after a pre-fight workout in Philly.
MMA star Justin Gaethje poses with fans after a pre-fight workout in Philly.
Image: Jacqueline Larma

AN EXPLOSIVE FIRST-ROUND knockout saw Justin Gaethje power past Edson Barboza at UFC Philadelphia, with the American announcing himself as a real contender in the lightweight division.

Last night’s win over Brazil’s Barboza came as Gaethje’s second consecutive knockout victory, overrwiting back-to-back losses prior to that.

The end of the main event at Wells Frago Center came at 2:30 of round one after ‘The Highlight’ landed a big right hand that sent Barboza straight to the canvas, before the referee intervened.

The 30-year-old was delighted to come out on top and bring his record to 20-2-0, adding afterwards that “there are five or six guys in front of me and I want every one of them.”

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

Elsewhere, Scotland’s Paul Craig beat Nigerian fighter Kennedy Nzechukwu with a late submission in the light-heavyweight ranks, while Swedish star Jack Hermasson beat David Branch at heavyweight in the co-main event.

UFC Philadelphia main card results

  • Justin Gaethje def. Edson Barboza via first-round KO (2:30)
  • Jack Hermansson def. David Branch via sub (guillotine) (R1, 0:49)
  • Josh Emmett def. Michael Johnson via third-round KO (4:14)
  • Michelle Waterson def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via UD (30-27 x3)
  • Paul Craig def. Kennedy Nzechukwu via sub (triangle choke) (R3, 4:20
  • Sodiq Yusuff def. Sheymon Moraes via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28 x2)

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