We are two fights into our four-fight #KiwiUFC winter extravaganza and sitting 2-0, things couldn't have gone any better. Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero by decision to get things going and then Shane Young grabbed his first UFC win, with a TKO against Rolando Dy. Young has got a win on the board for Auckland City Kickboxing, before his comrades Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker get their opportunities at different events, next weekend (July 8th and 9th NZT).
There was plenty of funk in Whittaker's win over Romero as Whittaker still accepted the fight despite Romero missing weight for the second fight in a row. That's exactly what we have come to expect from Whittaker and we were then graced with a five round slugfest as Whittaker and Romero traded blows, Whittaker showcasing his ruthless power but also absorbing plenty of punishment and battling through.
The future for Whittaker is now super intriguing as it doesn't make much sense for Whittaker to fight Romero again, a third time. Not only has Whittaker defeated Romero twice, Romero's struggled to make weight in his last two outings and that could mean a move up a weight-class for Romero.
Whittaker suffered a broken hand in the fight as well, limiting the usage of his right hand which is a big weapon for Whittaker. He'll have to suss that injury out and let things play out beneath him, with the likeliest options being another attempt at Whittaker vs Luke Rockhold, or a fight against Chris Weidman.
Equally as impressive as Whittaker, was Young in his 2nd round TKO win via a crazy elbow and a flurry of punches. Young's right elbow proved to be a low key weapon, sneaking over the guard of Dy on a couple of occasions and Young was dominant throughout the fight; 104 of 215 significant strikes vs Dy's 57 of 152 and also landing a takedown on Dy.
This earned Young Fight of the Night honours, which is slightly different to Whittaker winning Fight of the Night as Young was deep in the undercard. Young is now 1-1 as a UFC featherweight, 1-0 considering that he made his UFC debut on late notice and with a full camp behind him, Young made it clear what he is capable of.
Who knows what is next for Young, we'll have to wait for news to come through but it's likely to be another un-ranked opponent and Young will need to continue to rack up impressive wins, climbing the ranks. Outside the octagon, Young will now turn his attention to supporting Adesanya and Dan Hooker over the next week as they prepare for their own crucial fights and the second half of the #KiwiUFC winter extravaganza.
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Peace and love 27.