Ignacio Bahamondes wowed MMA fans and pundits with a knockout of the year contender at UFC Vegas 34 last night. Through a stunning, spinning wheel kick, he took home a $50,000 bonus and is being pushed as a title contender.
Nursing an 11-4 record, Bahamondes came into last night’s clash still seeking a win in the sport’s most elite championship.
Losing in his debut to John Makdessi in April, La Jaula faired much better against Roosevelt Roberts and was cruising to an easy decision win.
Not keen to rest on his laurels, however, the Chilean decided to make a statement with just seconds to spare.
At around 4:55 in the third and final round, Bahamondes let off a perfect spinning wheel kick that caused his American foe to crumble on the octagon floor and was instantly described as a knockout of the year contender.
Leaving fans and pundits wild with excitement, the move left one of the former party to declare: “The UFC is the best.”
Someone from the latter camp was a little more elaborate in his praise, explaining Bahamondes “was desperately seeking the finish despite having a dominant decision in the pocket”.
“Tons of respect to the Chilean, never letting his foot off the gas. Amazing work. That’s a KO of the Year contender right there,” he added.
“The 23-year-old has an extremely high ceiling. He was just given a tough start to his UFC career fighting a veteran like John Makdessi. Keep an eye on this man, he’s bound to be a title contender at the very least.”
For his “picture perfect” finish, Bahamondes received an extra $50,000 via a Performance of the Night bonus and explained: “I wanted to see if he could handle the heat and we could see [that] he couldn’t.”
“I hit him a couple of times to the body, and I knew that whenever he put his hands low and his head a little bit low, I’m gonna rip his head off”.
While Jared Cannonier defeated Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in the main event, and Clay Guida earned praise for his gutsy showing in the co-main where Mark Madsen pipped him by split decision, the preliminary card was laden with KOs other than that from Bahamondes.
Dispatching Fabio Cherant with a face plant first round finish, William Knight’s scary power was called “Francis Ngannou-esque” in a nod to the reigning heavyweight champion.
In the fight after that, Josiane Nunes introduced herself to the UFC with a one-punch KO against a foe that was seven inches taller than her in Bea Malecki.
Like Bahamondes, they too went home with Performance of the Night bonuses along with Alexandre Pantoja, who fired off a second-round submission at the expense of Brandon Royval.
With the flyweight champion looking on ringside, the Brazilian seems to have secured himself a title shot against Brandon Moreno.
“I’ve submitted him once, I beat him 30-26, and now I’ll go for the knockout,” Pantoja threatened.